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TABLE III.—CULTIVATION EXPERIMENTS WITH CORN, 1903-1909.
The average yield for the seven years favors the shallow-early-deep-late cultivation by a little over three bushels per acre per year, when compared with the deep-early-shallow-late cultivation, which gave the lowest average yield.
The variation in yield by the different methods of cultivation from year to year and the nearly uniform average yields for the long period of seven years, indicate that the method of cultivation practiced, whether shallow or deep: may not make much difference in the yield of the crop, provided the cultivation is done well and at the right time.
The factors heretofore described. which have to do with seed germination and plant growth, are largely controlled by cultivation. There are, perhaps, no exact rules or methods for cultivating corn. but a farmer observing the crop and soil conditions, and understanding the principles of soil cultivation, may vary the manner and practice of cultivation somewhat to suit the conditions and accomplish the objects desired.
It is very important to cultivate corn at the "right' time. An experiment which has been carried on for two years in cultivating corn at the “right” time and the "wrong" time, has resulted as follows:
Average vield for "wrong” time cultivation, 61.9 bushels per acre. Average yield for “right" time cultivation, sixty-seven bushels per acre, or six and onetenth bushels per acre in favor of cultivating the corn at the “right” time. The "right" time means soon after the rain, when the weeds have started and the soil is just dry enough to cultivate well; the wrong time is a week or ten days later, when the weeds have become larger and the soil is hard and dry and turns over in clods and lumps. It costs more to cultivate corn at the "wrong" time than at the "right" time, because of the slower and more difficult work and greater draft of the cultivator due to unfavorable soil conditions-and yet the "right" time cultivation increased the yield 10 per cent.
It is important also to use the best implements, but doing the work we!! and at the right time is even more important than the type of cultivator used. No one type of cultivator can be recommended as superior to others, but different kinds of cultivators are useful for different work and for different conditions. The corn grower should have more than one kind of corn cultivator. I prefer at least two types, one for shallow and one for deep cultivation. The knife and shovel cultivators serve their purpose well, but the disk cultivator may he used in place of shovels, and is especially recommended for use during the early cultivation of listed corn.
It is possible, as shown by the work at the Station, for the wheat farmer who will practice the best culture inethods, to increase his yield of winter wheat 50 to 100 per cent by careful and proper preparation of the seed-bed, with practically no greater cost for cultivation (See Table I.).
The skillful corn grower mav readily increase his corn yields five bushels per acre by a little extra cultivation of the corn land early in the spring before planting: He may add another five bushels to the crop bv practicing the correct method of planting, which experience has proved to be the most suitable to his soil and climate. And finally. by the simple factor of sufficient cultivation of corn at the right time and in the right way he may still further increase the yield at the rate of ten bushels per acre.
Thus it is possible for the farmer who is not now doing these things to add 40 per cent to the average corn yield of his farmı by practicing improved culture methods. The vield of other crops may be likewise increased, but the farmer should hear in mind this fact: that the increase in vield hy better culture may be secured only by maintaining the fertility of the land and planting well bred seed adapted to the soil and climate.
THE CHURCH IN THE OPEN COUNTRY.
BY WARREN H. WILSON, Superintendent of the Department of Church and Country Life of the Board of
Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church of the United States.
It is my purpose to answer the question, "What is the use of the church in the open country." We have some people who call themselves "spiritual,” who do not believe there is any permanent use of a church. Their religion consists of an insurance against fire; and as soon as they get a policy from an evangelist, they have no more use of a church, certainly not of a strong church. I want to speak to you of the church as an efficient institution, the builder of rural civilization.
We have other folk who are without land and without ownership of productive tools: they are under economic pressure; they are our American poor. They think they cannot afford anything that is not a necessity. I am here to argue that the church in the open country is a necessity, especially to the poor.
We have also some theorists, who believe that all rural institutions should be assembled in towns and villages, and that ultimately the farmers should reside there, going out every morning to their fields. I hope the time will never come when American farmers will so live. And I wish to speak to you of the church in the open country as the conserver of the soil, of the social life, the family and the school in the country.
The first reason for the existence of the church in the open country is the fact that "the soil is holy." Already we are faced with a depleted soil in some of our richest agricultural states. But when the soil produces less, the poor will have to pay more for food and for wearing apparel. We have been warned that the time will come when the workingman cannot any longer wear wool or eat white bread. I have observed in the last two years that the clothes which I huy from a tailor who has supplied me for seventeen years do not any longer attract the moths. The moth turns up his nose at cotton, and cries for wool. The business of the farmer and of the sheep raiser is a religious business, because it is in the interest of the whole people. Whatever makes for the prosperity of the farmer will enrich and dignify all the people. The church is an institution essential to good farming, and it should be maintained where the farmer lives, out in the open fields.
Religion is a valuation of life. It values some things high, and some low, but it is, in the opinion of a recent scholar of repute, a system of values. Its highest word is "holy." The land in which the Hebrews were settled was called "the Holy Land,” and nowadays the teachers of modern farming are declaring to the young, “The land is holy." At a recent summer school for country ministers a professor lectured upon “the Holy Land,” meaning Palestine; and a great agriculturist came also to lecture upon the soil of the state in which the school was held, announcing his theme as "The Holy Earth.” We are entering a new era in religion, in which the values of life will be estimated by their services to the poor. In this consecration of the soil to the interest of the whole people the church of the open country will have a great place.
I know a minister in Maryland, where the soil has been exhausted by generations of peach-culture, and the farmers are turning to other crops in order to make a living. There the minister has found that his business is to preach scientific agriculture, and his most impressive service has been to raise a great crop of potatoes, with a dust mulch, the greatest ever raised at that time in that region. He became the leader af those farmers in the actual struggle for a livelihood. He helped them set their business on a firm footing. He preached as he worked, and his people responded accordingly.
The second reason for the maintaining of the church in the open country is the fact that it is the best school by which to teach the farmers to give of their prosperity to the community and to the common good. Farming is an austere occupation. The best farmers are always economically austere, which is defined by an economist as "the condition in which men produce much and consume little.” The
definition shows that of all occupations farming must be the most austere. But the practice of this austerity makes the farmer close and often mean. He stints himself and he stints everybody else. He refuses to support good roads, and he declines to pay for better schools because he is not a spender but a pro
The church, of all institutions, makes the closest and most intimate appeal to the farmer. It is his school of giving. It has an agent living in the com munity, needing to be supported. The salary of the minister, and the supplying of his needs, are a constant education in the building of community utilities. The schools will be better maintained, the roads will be sooner reconstructed, even at greater cost, and the poor will be better cared for, where the church exists in the open country; to fertilize, with its appeals, the sour soil of the farmers' austerity, with the needed ingredients for benevolence.
The third reason for the church in the open country is the fact that the church is a family builder. The rural household. which for three generations was the spring of American idealism, has been dissolved, in the past twenty years, by speculation. The exploitation of farm lands has made so many families nomads, and has retired so many farmers to the towns, that there is need of a new era of home building in the country.
The best fitted of all institutions for this service is the church. Her work, as she well knows, is with the young. Her membership is always made up largely of women, and with them lies the future of the American home in the country. The moving force in the exodus from the farm is too often the woman. The church will do more to make life worth while for her on the farm than all other institutions.
The fourth use of the church in the open country is as a center of the concern for the farmer's income. The church in the country which does not sanctify the livelihood of the farmer will not survive. “The most successful farmers in America,” says an economist, "are the Mormons, the Scotch Presbyterians and the Pennsylvania Dutch." All these are religious farmers, and their churches are their coöperative associations for farming. They all idealize country life. They are organized for agriculture. But, mark this, in all these country churches and their churches are out in the open-the church has concern for the prosperity of its farmers as farmers. The income is the man's job, and when the church would get the men it will care for the income. The Lord Almighty cares more for the feeding of the whole people than for any other thing. First of all God is the Father of men, and He cares most for their satisfaction in material things than for their having books, or for their having any of the higher refinements. If the people have not abundance of food and warm clothing, all moral and religious values will suffer. Therefore the farmer is the Lord's hired man: and the church's first business in the open country is “to produce the spirit in which the knowledge will be used, which will enable the farmer to succeed.”
The transition in economic affairs, through which we are passing is working its effects upon the country churches. For the church is the best of all thermometers of the social economy. Many churches in the country are being closed. In the South alone, according to the Southern Baptist organ, sixteen hundred Baptist and Methodist country churches are closed every Sunday of the year. In the state of Illinois, our sociological surveys have shown that about seventeen hundred country churches have been closed and abandoned. It is the elimination of the unfit. It is the realignment of the religious people for greater efficiency, at new centers. There is no sign that country people are less religious than they were. But there is every indication that the churches are being sifted on the principle of efficiency.
The churches are suffering at the farmers' hands another process, which I would like to describe as dehorning. It is like the removal of the horns from the heads of dairy cows: and it has the same purpose. Doctrinal subjects which divide are being tabooed, and the churches are no longer to hook and horn one another, but to live together in peace and produce the most of the milk of human kindness, with the greatest economy in the fodder of doctrine.
This transition is showing also in the inventing of a new type of church. It is appearing all over the land at the same time. I find it in all denominations, and it bears the marks of the same spirit everywhere. My friend, McNiitt, at Plainfield, Illinois, has become the most eminent exponent of this new ideal of the pastorate, but he is far from being the only man who is so succeeding. He has a unique power of telling of his work; but many others, who cannot tell of it, can do as well. His church has the heart of the community: and there all the people, especially the young, gather for musical culture. for recreation, as well as for worship.
The modern church for the open country will be a community center. It will bring all the people together, by serving the needs which are common to all. For the community has taken the place once held by the farm household, as the circle of the life of country people. Tradition once ruled farming. but its place has been taken by science. The farmer can no longer teach his son to farm the
land, therefore the household cannot dominate the country, as once it did. The new ideals of country life are community ideals. And the churches which are succeeding in the country are community churches.
The community center church cares for the young, for the growing buys and girls of the community, and for the farm hands. It is a center for the recreative life of the people. Music has its home in that church. Plays are presented under its auspices. The holidays of the year are celebrated at its instigation. Every needful enterprise that the country community requires for its development is fostered by the community church. I have known side paths to be made on country roads, in this manner, the whole countryside coming together for a "frolic" for the purpose of laying out these walks. I have known a country bank to be started in this way. There is no limit to the good that can be done in the country, in making country life worth while, by a church which has the community spirit.
My friends, worship is the symbol of the community. The church spire out in the fields is the center around which the whole locality revolves. The common assembly, on Sunday, does more, all over the open spaces of this great land, to organize people in neighborhoods, and to cultivate a country life ideal, and to make country life worth while, than all other institutions combined.
For there is nothing in the high price of farm land to keep the boy and girl on the farm. The only way for the conservation of the highest value of country life is to secure pastors who will live in the country, and churches through which they may build men into communities of farmers, contented, devoted to the work of a Divine Providence, and crowning the productive labor of the week with worship on the Lord's Day, in the place where the cominunity meets most fitly, in the church of the open country.
THE EXTENSION OF THE POSTAL SAVINGS SYSTEM TO OUR
By F. A, FILSON,
President of the Missouri Association of Assistant Postmasters.
Of the three great forward movements which have marked the history of the postal service during the past dozen years the inauguration and extension of the postal savings system is, we believe, destined to be the greatest and most farreaching in its effects on the general welfare of the great mass of our people. Rural delivery, the first of the three great forward movements, it is true, has been not only a phenomenal success but has been of untold value to all classes of our people and is sure to grow in popularity and efficiency as the vears go by. And the parcels post, the third great movement which we believe is sure to be inaugurated will in a measure revolutionize many branches of business, but in the end be of untold blessing and value to the masses; and whatever in our country is of great and lasting benefit to the masses is sure to be accomplished notwithstanding the opposition of wealthy corporations and selfish personal interests.
The postal savings system, like all other great forward movements, in its infancy met with violent opposition from many classes of our citizens, who for selfish reasons or lack of information violently opposed the enactment of the necessary legislation for its installation. Many of the same arguments which have been worn threadbare in the discussion of rural free delivery, parcels post and other progressive measures, were again brought into use and vociferously enunciated through the press and from the public platform and on the floors of Congress: but after mature deliberation and thorough discussion the right prevailed, as it generally does, and the necessary bill was enacted by Congress and a committee appointed who immediately got busy and laid plans for the inauguration of the system and adopted rules and regulations for the conduct of the business. Be it said to the everlasting honor and credit of this committee and its co-workers that the system evolved is, in the judgment of your humble servant, one of the very best, most comprehensive and practical of any system of its kind in use throughout the world.
In fact, it is the product of the experience of all other nations plus the practical common sense American ideas of our illustrious chief and his co-workers on the committees. While our system is yet in its infancy, the phenomenal record it is making and the ease and celerity with which the machinery of the same is moving quietly along proves conclusively that while it may not be perfect it is founded upon correct principles and with a few alterations will become famous throughout the world as the American system of postal savings. It is with considerable pride that its advocates and promoters can point to the fact that every one of the predictions which they made before its inauguration and during the long campaign for the enactment of the necessary legislation has already been fully and conclusively demonstrated and proven beyond the possibility of a reasonable doubt. In fact, many of the bankers and those who so violently opposed the inauguration of the system have become fully convinced of the fact that it will be no detriment to the banking business of the country, but, on the other hand, will be of inestimable value in bringing from its hiding place the idle currency of the country and placing it in the banks and putting it into circulation. Not only has it demonstrated that it does and will do this, but it has, in the localities where depositories have been opened, originated and is continuing a sentiment favorable to creating and maintaining savings funds among many classes of people who have never before given the matter as much as a serious thought. The experience of our postal savings depository at Cameron is, I presume, about the same as that in other localities. namely, that over sixty per cent of our 300 or more depositors are men, women and children who never before had a bank account of any kind.
From our standpoint we believe that the fact that the system thus induces such thrift and frugality will be of untold blessing to the present as well as coming generations, and that as a result our nation will become richer and greater in the coming years and its people more prosperous, contented and happy. While the system inaugurated by the committee in charge is complete and comprehensive, yet in the very beginning of our experience at Cameron we saw the need of a little further extension of the same, and after giving the matter much thought and serious consideration we laid plans and have inaugurated in all the schools of our city penny savings banks, to be operated in each room of the schools, under the direction and charge of the superintendent and teachers. This system of penny savings banks in the schools works in connection, and is really a part of, our postal savings depository at the post office; and while it is an idea of my own, yet I have submitted it to the postmaster general and the postal savings system committee, and hope in the near future to see it adopted and extended to all the schools throughout the country. It is very simple and easily instituted and operated, and we believe will be heartily and enthusiastically received by the teachers of a majority of the schools throughout the country.
A brief explanation of the system, as we have it in Cameron. I believe would be of interest to all postal officials that have to do with the postal savings system, and I therefore take pleasure in presenting at this time a brief outline of the same, and would be pleased at any time to explain the workings more in detail or answer any questions that may be propounded.
The extension of the postal savings system to our schools and the establishment of the penny savings hanks therein is based upon the facts that many of our child dren do not receive as much as ten cents at one time for their labor or for their spending money, and that they, like many of their elders, find it very difficult and at times almost impossible to keep money in their pockets for any given length of time. In fact, in many cases it immediately begins to "burn their pocket," and must be spent at once. Hence their pennies and nickels are spent before they can accumulate the necessary ten cents with which to purchase a saving card at the Post Office. Then again, the tendency of our time for vears has been for the vouth of the land to spend all they have or get, le it much or little with great rapidity and absolutely without any idea of its value. In the inauguration of penny savings banks in our schools we endeavored to impress two valuable admonitions on the minds of every pupil: First, that every boy and girl should, as soon as hie enters school, make it a point to earn a small amount of money each weck: and, second, that they should make it an invariable rule to save at least one-half of all the money earned and given them and place it in a savings fund. In giving these two admonitions we made thie assertion that if those in the primary department would follow these rules and deposit their money in the postal savings banks and invest it in government bonds, compounding their interest by withdrawing and depositing same, that at the age of twenty-five years the larger majority of them would have amassed sufficient capital to enter into any retail business in our city.
In introducing this extension I first laid the matter fully before our super; intendent and received his unqualified endorsement of the same, and then arranged for a meeting with all the teachers of our schools and to them presented the postal