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THE ADVOCATE AND NEWS.
NOVEMBER 21, Farm Department Sy W. A. PEFFEB. About Insecticides and ThoLr Uses. Clarence M. Weed, la American Culti vator, submits the following: It la well known that there are two principal ways in which insects take their food. Some Insects bite and chew the parts of the plant upon which they feed, while others are provided with a pointed, tube-like beak, which they in sert into the tissues of the plant and suck out the sap. On account of this difference in feeding habits those in sects which bite may be destroyed by coating their food with poisons, while the others must be treated with some substance that kills by simply coming in contact with their bodies. The poisons most commonly used against biting insects are certain chem ical compounds, composed in part of arsenic. Paris green Is the most im portant of these. It Is a chemical com bination of arsenic and copper, contain ing when pure about 55 per cent, of arsenic. When placed in water the fine particles of the green powder do not dissolve, but remain in suspension. Be cause of this fact one of the most pop ular ways of applying Paris green to plants which are in danger of the at tacks of biting insects is in a water mixture by means of a force pump and spray nozzle. In Its simplest form this consists in mixing about a teaspoonful of the poison in a pail of water, stirring thoroughly to get the powder evenly distributed through the water. A small force pump, to which Is attached a rub ber tube with a spraying nozzle at the end, is then set in the pall. By work ing the handle of the pump the liquid with the poison particles In suspeslon Is forced through the tube and nozzles, coming from the latter in a mist-like epray which may be directed upon the plant to be protected, covering each leaf with the liquid. As soon as the spray ing of the plant ceases the water begins to evaporate, and rapidly disappears, leaving the particles of Paris green evenly distributed over the foliage. The poison particles will remain In place upon the leaves for some time, so that in case a biting insect feeds upon the poisoned surface, it will eat some of these particles and be killed. Fortu nately the poison is not absorbed into the tissues of the plant, so that the process can be carried on without dan ger to the consumer of the crop. In the course of a few weeks the particles of poison aro washed away by rain or dew, or are dissipated through the action of the sunshine. A substance which Is used to destroy insects Js called an Insecticide or Insect killer. Thus Paris green Is an Insecti cide, so, also, are tondon purple, helle bore and insect powder. Each of these substances may be applied to plants in mixture with water, as already de scribed, or they may be dusted on in the form of a dry powder. Sometimes one may use for this purpose simply a porous bag, out of which the powder is Bifted. It is generally better, however, to apply the Insecticide by means of one of the many kinds of bellows manufac tured for this purpose. When whole fields of potatoes or other crops are to be gone over, one of the better forms of powder guns now upon the market is very desirable. With one of these guns a pound of Paris green can be evenly distributed over an acre of potato vines. Paris green is so powerful a poison that except when it is applied with the best powder guns, which distribute it very finely and evenly, it is desirable to dilute it with some substance like land plaster, alr-laked lime, flour or road dust. The proportion of poison to diluent varies greatly with different users. One part of poison to twenty parts of diluent serves the purpose If the mixing be thoroughly done. Barnyard Manure. As every farmer knows, If the manure heap Is too loosely built the decompo sition la too rapid. The materials use ful for the formation of humus in the soli are destroyed, and the nitrogen, especially that of the urine, escapes into the air, largely in the form of ammonia. On the other hand, if the manure is too firmly packed the decomposition may be too slow and the manure will not be come sufficiently disintegrated to pro duce the best effect in the soil. A powerful means of controlling fer mentation is the supply of moisture. The addition of water lowers the tem perature and thus retards fermentation. By filling up the pores of the mass and excluding the air it checks aerobic fer mentation when this becomes too active. French authorities maintain that the principal precautions necessary to pre vent losses of ammonia consist simply In regularly wxd properly watering the manure with the leachlngs. In case of drought, if the leachlngs are insufficient, the lack should be made up with water. The need of keeping manure moist Is especially marked In case of horse ma nure, which is naturally dry and decom poses with great rapidity. The same is true in a less degree of sheep manure. The common and harmful "fire fanglng" Is the result of an Insufficient supply of water and may be readily checked by sprinkling. The sprinkling, however, should be regularly done and the heap kept in a constant state of moisture, otherwise the alternate wettlng'and dry ing will result In a loss of ammonia. Preservation of manure In this manner Is generally practiced in Europe, and the product obtained Is highly esteemed as a fertilizer. It Is "very dark colored, or even black, and acquires a highly of fensive odor, while the straw in it loses Its consistency, and becomes soft and incoherent." This black substance is held by certain French agriculturists to posses special value as a plant food. In connection with the foregoing, W. H. Beal describes In a bulletin Issued by the department of this well rotted manure In France: The manure Is placed on slightly Inclined plats of packed earth or cement, so arranged that the leach lngs drain out into a pit from which they are pumped and distributed over the manure heap. It Is usual to provide twp manure plats so arranged that when one Is full (when the manure Is eight to ten feet high) it may be allowed to fer ment undisturbed while the other is used. The manure Is carried from the stables to the top of the manure heap In wheel barrows over an inclined plane of boards. Care Is also taken to smooth down the sides of the heap to prevent the too free access of air and the loss of leachlngs. Waste on the Farm. ' The farm cannot be made to pay until the Items of waste are enumerated and taken from the account-book. In the Western States water Is wasted In irri gation, while in the East fertility Is lost because of no drainage. The soil fre quently wastes away from Improper till age or careless treatment. Grain and animal food are wasted through feeding or stacking.' Fruits waste because the trees aro neglected or poor judgment Is used in picking and packing. In what ever field or building waste is discovered, Immediate steps should be taken to check the drain and prevent a recur rence. The most prolific source of loss that has come under my observation is the annual destruction of farm machinery, in a ride of twenty miles through the grain-fields of Utah I counted thirteen harvesters and mowing machines left where last used, and subjected to all the dangers of midwinter. The same story may be told of some of the Eastern States I have visited. Every piece of farm machinery represents an outlay of cash or a note equivalent. What would a banker think of a farmer leaving the money he had loaned him lying in a ditch or on a stump In the corn-Held all winter? That Is just what many of our farmers are doing every month in the year leaving money scattered about, to be destroyed by the frosts of winter or the rains of summer. Another place where waste Is noticed on the farm Is in the stack-yard. From my house I have looked out upon a straw stack and 'counted not less than forty dung hill chickens scratching away at the chaff in quest of barley. The stack had been standing for four months, and every day during that time the fowls dug through the snow and sleet to get Into the barley chaff. The threshing was done by the best machine In our sec tion of country, but it is a poor testi monial to any thresherman to see his straw stack covered with fowls every day for four months. Surely, there Is an enormous waste from the riddles and cylinder of a machine that leaves a green stack matted together with roots, or a sheltered straw pile the rendezvous of scratching fowls. It is poor economy to grow a good crop of grain, harvest it properly and in season, and then have all the profit wasted by worthless threshers. Again, I notice a waste in feeding the ap'"jals collected in the corral or feed pens. This loss, however, is not from giving the animals too much, but the feeding of too small rations at unusual times. Stock of all kinds should be fed plenty and at regular hours every day. One ton of feed, given in sufficient quan tities, and fed with regularity dally, will provg more beneficial than two tons, of the same feed doled out occasionally. It is a mistake to feed sparingly, especially In winter. If horses, sheep or cattle are worth keeping at all they are surely entitled to good daily rations of whole some food. It Is cheaper to waste a little feed in keeping the boxes and stalls filled than to waste flesh by care less feeding or Intentional starvation.- Farm and Fireside. Farm Gossip. Hens that lay In winter soon pay for their keep. The best of its class is always most salable, because it is most desirable. There are nearly seven hundred ves sels engaged in carrying grain on the Great Lakes. Practical farming now includes train ing of the mind as well as education of the muscles. Green weeds plowed under and well covered will rot and mingle with the 30JI to Its benefit. Every farm ought to be provided with a place for taking care of sick or wounded animals a sort of hospital. About 20 per cent, of the sheep de livered at Kansas City market are sold to farmers for the purpose of feeding for the mutton market. Good stabling for farm animals dur ing winter is not only comfortable to the dumb creatures, but it is profitable from a business standpoint. All classes of products for market should be assorted before being offered for sale, because lots will be graded according to the poorest samples. Last year about a million sheep were sold on the Kansas City market. It is estimated that the sales there this year will exceed those of 1896 by about 20 per cent. The farmer -who wants to keep his place free from weeds must pay per sonal attention to that particular part of his business, and not allow weed3 to go to seed. Kansas farmers will have to re-learn the sheep business. Thirteen years ago we had more than a million sheep in the Slate; now the number 13 not one fourth as large. As the Btrength of a chain is equal to the strength of its weakest link, so is the standard of articles offered In lots gauged by the quality of the in ferior specimens. There Is as much business in prac tical agriculture as there is in merchan dizing or banking. No farmer can suc ceed if he does not conduct his business on business principles. The agricultural colleges are begin ning to appreciate the fact that they can do a world of good among rural people at their homes. Some of these colleges do now maintain departments of domestic science. Very deep plowing, if done In the spring, will give better results If two plows are used, one to open a furrow say six or eight inches in depth, the other a subsoiler that will break the ground below and let It remain at the bottom. But If the work be done In the fall, so that the subsoil may be acted upon by frost and wind during winter and then replowed in late spring, one plowing Is good enough. In a recent publication of the national Department of Agriculture, It is perti nently alleged that whatever will be effective in raising the grade of the home life on the farm, in securing the better nourishment of the farmer's fam ily, and ?n surrounding them with the refinements and attractions of a well ordered home, will powerfully contribute alike to the material prosperity of the country and the general welfare of the farmers. Co-operation Among Farmers. A recent dispatch from Indianapolis says that farmers in Franklin, Fayette and Dearborn counties are preparing to make a test of co-operation on a very extensive scale, which will include not only buying as a firm but the selling of ihelr products in the eame manner. While there have been a great many schemes of a co-operative nature at tempted in Indiana, none has been planned on such a scale. Farmers will buy even their clothing by the lot and boots and shoes by the case. Their household necessities and luxuries will be purchased in the same way, and they will sell their wheat, corn, oats, barley and farm produce as one big company. They see many advantages which a scheme of this kind will possess beyond the simple monetary gain. In Madison and Grant counties, along the line of the new Gas Belt Electric railway, another scheme is to be tested which will advance the farmers' Inter ests and put his on a more equal basis with the city man. Electric service for lighting or motive power is to be fur nished to him at a nominal cost. He can have his house lighted by electricity and can work all of his machinery with electric power. Already the telephone system has been extended to country homes, and, with the additional service of electric currents which will enable him to enjoy all of the luxuries of the city, even to cooking with electricity if he wishes to, the Indiana farmer will find life worth living. In eastern In diana he already has natural gas burn ing in his stoves and Jets and the grocer and butcher, as well as the general sup ply store man, have extended their dally eervlce to his doors. Electric cars are running across his land and the worry of living Is reduced to a minimum. Notes. Only the best sheep return a profit: the poor ones are a burden to the others.... City and town people prefer to pay better prices for the better things they Consume. The remedy for depression in agriculture is to produce high class stock, dairy products and farm crops, and proceeds from the orchard and gar den. The food properties of corn are not changed by grinding; it is still corn, whether served as meal, mush or slop. When feeding hogs, grind only for the aged sows that have lost their teeth, and It Is doubtful If they will pay the miller. Quality gives to the Intelligent, pro gressive farmer who raises improved stock a premium on his high grade beef, mutton and pork as well as on his high class horses, and places him above the wild ranch stock breeders of South America and Australia In European markets. It Is stated on the authority of Thomas Dixon and Professor Loraas, that hay or straw Is a remedy for bloat nature's remedy; and that cattle on clover, sor ghum, or the green succulent feed, as soon as threatened with bloat Instinc tively turn to the remedy, if accessible. They recommend that a stack or pen of hay or straw be placed in the field where the animals can go to it at will, and that then there will be no fatality from bloat. The fact that the country Is short on . swine ana long on corn renders it espe cially desirable this year that growers, should feed and care for the pigs in a way that will develop them rapidly and perfectly. The tendency is to feed the growing pigs too much corn. Some corn 13 all right, but the ration should contain some more nitrogenous food to give a good development of bone and muscle; then when you come to fatten on corn you will have something to build on. Rural World. The results of various trials declare corn to be the most profitable grain for fattening sheep. But practice teaches that other grains must be fed with It to maintain the appetites of the sheep and keep them otherwise healthy. It will likely be safest and best under most conditions to start the fattening with oats or bran, then introduce as much corn as possible, and finish the fattening with a mixture containing one part oats, one part oil meal, and three parts corn, by weight Prof. J. A. Craig. The American Cultivator says that young men are leaving New England dally, either because they dare not marry such women as work in the mills and factories, or because having mar ried such a one they cannot live either happily or comfortably together. It Is. not as it was in the early days of the Lowell mills, when the mill girls were the daughters of farmers, who had en joyed all the advantages of the district school, and were well taught in house hold duties at home before they went out to seek for labor. The question of quality in bacon is one of experience. Most bacon raisers say, first, that swine used for this pur pose should be long in the body with a tendency to put on fat slowly, that Is, grow muscular; that they should have plenty of exercise and pure air. Both these may be secured in the open field and wood. They should be from ten to . fifteen months old and not what, lc these days, we call "fat." From the experi ence of bacon raisers both North and South, we come to the conclusion that the best bacon is not produced from our most highly improved breeds as they are commonly fed. As a rule, the bacon of the South is far superior to the North. It 13 usually secured from a nondescript hog nearly mature, one which has had to "hustle" for a living except during the last few weeks of its life, when It is finished off by feeding a full ration of corn. Country Gentleman