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THE ADVOCATE AND NEWS.
0 MARCH 8, aauuu ii cuii una , From Actual Experience. ( "Agrlcullure It the Moil HeailhJul, Host Useful, and Kosl Noble Employment ol Man." ! 3 George Washington. IP I.arxe 1'otatoe. With potatoes as with other vegetables and fruits largo size captures the market when the duality Is also good. Poor quality will not command good prices even If the size Is large. Whole potatoes are generally found to be the best form for planting the seed, but this places too many seed eyes In one place and as a consequence there are likely to be a great number of small potatoes In each hill. This could be remedied by going through the rows before the plants blossom and pulling out all but the largest to or three stalks In each hill. This would be a good deal of work In a large field but It would be more profitable to do this work and get a crop of good sized potatoes rather than have them all small. Small potatoes used for seed will be most likely to produce a crop of small potatoes. The seed should be carefully selected, rejecting all unsound and scabby potatoes and planting only smooth, sound, good sized seed. The seed end has the greatest number of eyes which are packed closely to gether and the number of eyes could be reduced by cutting off this end and planting the rest of the potato. The cultivating should all be done be fore the plants begin to blossom and as soon as the blossoms begin to show the cultivating should be discontinued, for cultivation after the plants are in blos Bom will prevent the setting and growth of the potatoes. Teaching Agriculture. The principles of agriculture should be taught in our public schools, but only after some radical changes have been se cured in the present curriculum, and then only so far as to afford relaxation from regular studies by an occasional reading from some text book supple mented by questions or remarks by the teacher. Agriculture should first be taught in the home, and no matter how early. I consider reading, spelling, geog raphy, grammar and arithmetic as being the foundation of a good education. Yet how often are some of these set aside when not fully comprehended for some thing of less Importance. Once laid aside, they are not likely to be taken up later on, and thus the children at present in our schools are not up to the standard of the previous generation. Our children are confined at school too early. Better It Is that the boy or girl spend their fifth, sixth and seventh sum mers In the open air and fields, amid fra grant flowers, ripening fruit and waving prater, the father or some friend mean while leading the child's mind from na ture up to nature's Ood. This course la best calculated to develop the physical frame and expand the Intellect, furnish ing Just the education needed at this early age, while confinement in the school room at this time Is quite likely to enfeeble the body and induce disease and premature death. From the manner in Which I have treated this subject you will understand that I would have only the rudiments of agriculture taught In the primary and grammar schools. Teach agriculture only so far as to Interest the scholar and give relaxation from regular studies. When scholars enter the high school they are supposed to be approaching man or wo manhood, with mind fitted to enter more deeply into matters of every day life. Now agriculture may be Introduced as a regular study. Phlneas Steadman. BuolneM Bees (or Farmers. Be cognizant of the fact that good farming is based upon a thorough knowl edge of the profession. Hence, you should give your sons, who are intended for farmers, as complete an education as you do those Intended for lawyers. Be of good cheer, even though adver sity overtakes you. lA cheerful man adds years of enjoyment to himself and those around him. Be on time In all your farm work. Regular hours for milking the cows pro (mates the flow of milk; regular hours for feeding stock promotes digestion and thrift, while irregularity promotes indi gestion and increases the size of your veterinary surgeon's bills, and the bone yard. Be a good accountant It is not neces he sihould keep a strict account with every farmer should keep a comptometer. But he should keep a strict account of every field and every animal and every farm operation, In order to know for a cer tainty what Is paying a profit and what, If any, Is losing money; thus being able to apply the proper remedy. He can not afford to burden the faithful servants with the shortcomings of the unfaithful. Be a good salesman. Many an other wise successful farmer Is handicapped In all his operations by lack of ability In this one particular. A horse Is kept year after year that Is not needed. Fat stock is kept week after week when it has ceased to gain In weight, thus losing all It eats, etc. The factory Idea 13 the true one for the farmer. Sell the products quickly and produce some more. Bumble-bees are good for farmers. Did you ever console yourself with that Did you ever enclose yourself with that thought while bandaging your eye with chalk and water? Clover seed would be as scarce as hen's teeth if lit were not for bumble-bees. The citizens of Aus tralia had to import some before they could raise clover seed. The most of our flower plants require the services of bees to carry the fertilizing pollen from one flower to another. Our short apple crop last year was due to weather In which bees could not work. Be alert to discover anything new which will be apt to affect your business. For Instance, the short grass country of Kansas and Nebraska, known a few years ago as the Great American Desert, is going to develop Into the greatest hog raising section of the United States. Necessity, the mother of Invention," lhas caused the inhabitants of this section to stumble upon a balanced ration com posed of alfalfa and Kaffir com, both of which they can raise In profusion. Ex periments In process at the present time Indicate that alfalfa hay fed to fattening hogs, in connection with a green ration, will prepare hogs for market a month sooner than when fed grain alone, and yield $17 per ton for the hay. Be willing to learn new Ideas from ex periences of others. The farmers of the corn belt can get a good pointer on pig feeding from the alfalfa belt. The fourth cutting of alfalfa is the best hay for hogs In winter. This cut ting Is done late in the fall and is raked Immediately and shocked, thus curing without very much sun. The leaves and all are saved In a succulent condition, thus making a feed that is relished by the pigs. Bees for honey cows for milk. A land "flowing with milk and honey" has always been sought for ever since Prov erbs were written. I know little of the, profitable production of honey. It looks as If It were all profit You press the button, the bees do the rest Alfalfa makes good pasture for bees as well as pigs. H. W. Cheney. Feeding for Butter Fat. A generation ago there was apparently but one side to this question, Judging from popular expression. Dairymen talked freely about how this and that feed made the milk richer or poorer, and rarely was there one found who dared dispute such statements. In those days only the chemist analyzed milk to deter mine its fat content, and with him rarely was the work done with any particular system, only isolated samples being used. In olden times, before the days of the Babcock test, sometimes when the farmer was accused of skimming or watering his milk by the factory operator, he would excuse himself by saying toat the night before he had not fed his cows as muoh grain as usual, and he supposed that ac counted for the thinner milk. The Bab cock test has been a great leveler in this matter, and Is rapidly changing popu lar opinion on the whole subect The dairyman who uses the test knows that the variations in fat from his herd's milk Is not caused to any extent by slight changes In feed aside from the possible nervous effect that such changes bring. Indeed, our farmer dairymen are coming to lead the scientist in this matter for their every day experience at the milk intake of the factory Is accumu lating an enormous amount of evidence that feed does not dorectly Influence the fat percentage of milk. An ample feed allowance and good care Increases the milk flow of cows and thereby the total quantity of milk Is in creased. We must feed, therefore, to produce a large flow of milk, and In doing bo we get a larger total quantity of but' ter fat. It was in securing this Increased milk flow by the use of ample feeds that misled our farmers in the past into sup posing that feed directly affected the fat percentage of milk. It does affect the total quantity of fat yielded, but not necessarily the percentage of fat. If the old idea were correct, that we could influence the fat composition of milk by the kind of feed given, one could then buy any kdnd of a cow and cause her to give rich milk. A Holstein cow could be converted Into a Guernsey simply by the character of the feed, and a Jersey giving rich milk caused to make it still richer by what she was supplied. We know that such thlng3 cannot be done. Still, it is possible that the general In fluence of continued liberal feeding, and especially of supplying an abundance of protein In the ration may gradually en rich the milk. If there is such improve ment directly due to the abundance of feed, and especially to the liberal supply of protein, it Is not probably In any case over one or two-tenths of one per cent fat; this increase is less than can be de tected by the practical dairyman In his usual operations of butter-making, and even this Is not as yet proved. To the breeder and student, however, such in crease, If it is possible, i3 of high signi ficance, for by high feeding and selection, one can in time secure animals which have the fixed characteristic of giving richer milk than their ancestors. Per haps In this way we can account for the cows of the United States giving richer milk, as a rule, than those of north Eu rope. The change has been a slow one, running through many generations with the final cumulative effect quite marked. W. A. Henry. of Injury is known, therefore, we may wisely begin the pruning. If left till a later time, other work may crowd it out entirely, with the result that the or chard Is lost. A saw and tree pruners are the tools to be used. It will be beneficial to carry along a keg of white lead and apply a coat of the lead to the wounds made. This will keep out the air, pre vent the wood from checking, and retard evaporation from It All pruned-off wood should be removed from the orchard and burned. Kansas Experiment Station. Winter-Injured Tree. The recent cold weather has greatly in jured the fruit trees in many sections of the State. The peach, apricot and Japan ese plum have suffered most. In our orchards of 51 varieties of peach, the trees of IS varieties appear to be entirely ruined. Twenty-one varieties are killed back to main branches or trunk; in many cases of which the whole tree will even tually die from the Injury; four varieties are Injured to a less extent but not neces sarily very seriously. The varieties show ing least injury are Mountain Rose, El berta, and two seedlings of our own propagation. All the Japanese plums ex amined In our own and adjacent orchards show serious Injury, also all the apricots, while a slighter Injury Is to be noted on the European and American types of plum, the cherries and the peats. Where trees are merely injured, the real damage done to the orchards will de pend greatly upon the treatment given then from this time. Trees that are killed should be removed at once from the or chard. If they can be used for fire-wood well and good, If not they should be piled and burned to destroy any insects or dis ease that may Infest them. Trees that are partly top-killed are weakened and deadened throughout, and should be heavily cut back, the extent depending upon the degree of injury. In many cases it will be necessary to cut back to the main branches or even to the trunk, but where the Injury la less se vere the cutting may be confined to the smaller branches of the tree. Though the branches of an injured tree may not be killed, it is advantageous to cut them back, because the wood that is browned and deadened can never perform its life functions again. It becomes as heart wood and must be enclosed by a layer of new wood. The quicker we can get this deposit of new wood the better, and the more of It the better. By cutting off the branches of the tree, it is reduced in surface and the new wood is more rapidly deposited on the parts that re main. The energy that is spent in blos soming is also saved to the tree by the severe pruning. It Is necessary to pre vent the vitality of the tree from dis sipating itself in any way, and to hus band and apply it so as to restore the tree quickly to Its normal process of growth. Trees treated in this way will rapidly regain their vigor unless the Injury Is very serious. They will also quickly re sume their normal habit of growth and shape. Cutting back the last year's growth in the winter is especially bene ficial to the peach, whether It has been Injured by cold or not as its branches tend to grow long and slender, and in bearing fruit near the extremities they break and spiit and are ruined. Where blackberries and raspberries have been killed back to the ground, the canes should be cut out and burned. A difference in opinion exists as to the best time for cutting back injured trees; some growers prefer to have the work done before the leaves open, others choose a later time; but the safest way is to do H easily. As soon as the degree Spring Canker-Worm. It will not be long before this destruc tive insect will make its appearance in our orchard and shade trees. A descrip tion of the pest and the best means of combating It will at this time be timely, and will undoubtedly assist many in re sisting the insect and preventing exten sive losses from the same. The canker-worm attacks a large num ber of our fruit, shade and forest trees. 'In the records of the department it has been recorded attacking apple, apricot, cherry, peach, plum, oak, ash, catalpa, and elm trees. It is the larvae or caterpillars that In jure the trees. Often the trees are en tirely defoliated by them. In slight at tacks, the leaves are perforated with small holes. But if the larvae or cater, pillars are allowed to continue their destructive work, they soon devour the pulpy parts of the leaves, leaving noth ing of the leaves but the midribs, veins and stems. When the damage has gone this far, it is then that the orchard has the appearance of having been scorched by fire. The adults of the canker-worms are moths. The males and the females dif fer greatly in appearance. It is impor tant that one be able to distinguish them. The male has two pairs of wings; the front wings are of a brownish-gray colorj while the hind wings are of a light gray color. On the other hand, the female is without wings, and is of a brownish-gray color, with a black band along the middle of the back of the abdomen. She might easily be takf n for a spider. In early spring the adult moths emerge from their cocoons in the ground. During the day the males may be found resting on the bark of the trees. At the approach of evening they are often seen flying about the trees in large numbers. In some seasons they have been observed about the ellectrlc lights in swarms. The female moths are not so active. As they are without wings, they do not travel very far. Upon emerging from the ground they make their way to the base of some tree, up which they make their ascent to deposit eggs. The eggs of the moth are oval-shaped, yellowish, with a pearly luster, and ere deposited in irregular masses or clusters In fruit spurs or at the base of the large branches. The brown leaf masses of the leaf-crumpler are favorite places for the depositing of eggs. The moths seem to prefer to deposit their eggs In concealed or protected places. Upon hatching out from the eggs, the young larvae or caterpillars commence to feed on the young expanding leaves. The small caterpillars are ravenous eat ers, and as they increase in size their destructive work becomes more notice able. The newly-hatched caterpillar is of an olive-green color. The mature caterpillar is about one inch In length, and varies In color from a greenish yel low to a dark brown. When full grown the caterpillars aban don the trees, either by crawling down the trunk or by letting themselves drop by means of silken threads. Upon reach ing the ground, they work their way into It for a few Inches, where they construct cocoons, in which they pass into the pupa state. They remain In thl3 state till the following spring, when they emerge as adult moths. To combat the canker worm, spray the infested trees with arsenical poisons, such as Paris green or London purple, at the rate of one pound of the poison to 150 to 200 gallons of water. The mixture should be thoroughly stirred white the application is being made. All the leaves of the trees should be reached by the poison. If rains should follow soon after the application has been made, spray the trees over again. Do not delay the spraying till the caterpillars are fully grown; for by this time the damage has been done. Spray as soon as the cater pillars make their appearance. About the middle of March and from that time on, examine the trees occa sionally. The presence of the caterpil lars can soon be dected by jarring the branches of the trees, when the cater pillars will drop and hang suspended by silken threads. If the poisons are pure, and the spraying is done thoroughly and at the proper time, there Is no necessity for any extensive Injury by the canker worm. Kansas Experiment Station.