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Mr. Morris. With us, we are for both butter and cheese, and the quantity of milk is also a consideration.
Mr. M. C. BEEBE, of Venango. This discussion seems to have been confined entirely to the Durham and the Jersey, or Alderney, and their relative merits. I am not disposed to leave this subject without saying a word for the Ayrshire. In doing so, I shall be brief. In giving the relative merits, I will start out by saying Durham for beef, the Jersey for butter, the Ayrshire for cheese. They may bring either their Durham or their Jersey, and, so far as my information goes, the Ayrshire will exceed them in quantity. For several years I have bred more or less of the Ayrshire. I sent to New York to a farmer, and got an imported hull, one I believed to have been of good stock. In the first test of the first year, the returns were so insignificant that I was sick of the bargain myself, along with some of my neighbors; but some I raised, and some they raised, and we found, as soon as they commenced to be milkers, that we had a valuable animal, both for milk and for easy keeping. They are a very hardy animal. I venture to assert that if you take a Jersey and an Ayrshire cow, side by side, to winter, putting them down to the same quantity of hay, and with a pint or a quart of meal each at a feed, that the Ayrshire will show the best in the spring. So that for mountainous countries, as well as in very rich land, the Ayrshires are well adapted to raising, and they are not so subject to disease as other breeds. Compared with the great Durhams they may not appear to be half the size; but they eat scarcely more than one half the feed, and they will give the same quantity of milk right along for the first four or five months, and perhaps more. About the 1st of December, when the Durhams are dry, you can continue to milk the Ayrshire. One is scarcely able to dry them up by any process, except six weeks prior to their coming in. Hence, to farmers I would have no hesitation in saying that for cheese the Ayrshires are the better breed of cattle.
Mr. J. S. KELLER, of Schuylkill county. I have some grades of cattle of the Channel Island breed. I find they do not give as much milk as some other breeds; but their milk is rich. The butter is yellow and delicious, and they are equal in that respect to any other breed.
Mr. H. M. ENGLE, of Lancaster county. The reason why the farmers of Pennsylvania do not have better cattle is they do not take sufficient care of their stock. The idea of Professor Hamilton, in his paper, is to educate the farmers up to the idea that it pays better to have good than poor stock, but they must take proper care of their stock before they will get better. In regard to bettering stock, there has been, and always will be, a conflict of opinions. Those in the Short-Horn business will defend and set forth their preferences for Short-Horns. For it is a matter of money with them; and Short-Horns and money, in this respect, are one and the same thing.
There are different grades of Short-Horns, and it is not strange that a want of this knowledge bas led to various prejudices. Certain kinds have been bred for beef purposes, whilst others have been bred for milking purposes. So long as Short-Horn breeders will breed for butter and milk, and will make the best selections to improve, they will have just as good milk and better cows eventually; but this will require some time. There are those who breed for beef altogether, and many breed for milking qualities altogether. The question is asked what is a thoroughbred ? What I understand it to be is a certain breed of cattle that have been bred for a number of generations until they become a fixed type. I have no doubt that ShortHorns and Jerseys and Ayrshires at one time were ordinary cattle. They
were bred for certain purposes, and it would require quite a number of years to breed out a certain kind. Take, for instance, our own stock, probably just as good as any of the dairy breeds—and you breed a cow with the best thoroughbreds, it may be a poor milker. They become a regular strain of milkers, and will not easily dry up. This is the advantage of always having thoroughbred animals to keep up a certain type. It is admitted that other great animals are just as good for milking and the dairy as thorougb bred, but breed from grades for generations, it will breed out. This is an advantage of thoroughbreds of a fixed type for holding it. One type of the Short-Horn for beef and the other for butter. Mr. Young's Jerseys are pretty hard to beat, I should judge. He has a number of excellent “play things” worth from four hundred to one thousand dollars each.
In reference to milk and butter qualities, I believe that it is conceded that the Guernseys and Alderney, or Jerseys-different strains, although somewhat similiar-invariably make the most butter. If I am not mistaken, they make all the gilt-edged butter, which is generally sold in market at fifty cents to a dollar a pound. Not a great deal of that butter is made from the common class of cows. As a rule, Short-Horn cows will not make the quantity of butter that Jersey cows of a good strain will. Jerseys have different strains; some bred for milk and butter, others for fancy. Others get their stock a little more plump than lean, and physically run it down; but it is claimed of the Jerseys, and I think correctly so, that they will make more butter from a given amount of feed than any other breed of cows now known. Farmers ought to look to the getting of the largest amount of product from a given amount of feed, and that, I think, the Jersey will do. The Ayrshires I am not much acquainted with. I think, however, that the remarks of Mr. Beebe are correct, that they become large milkers, and that the article is rich. They are valuable no doubt.
Mr. Morris, of Susquehanna county. The first five months of a call's life is all there is of it. The calf is made the first five months. The general practice through the country, after the calf becomes one or two months old, is to turn it out, and there let it fight the flies the whole season. The farmer is very busy. He may come in late at night. We work out as long as the sun will let us, and when we get through, the men are tired, and the calf is forgotten and stunted ; and after it is stunted, what does it ever amount to? Never turn your calf out the first year. Keep it in the stable. Then you will have to take care of it, and then you will find the animal growing satisfactorily; and instead of a little yearling, you will have a big, fine two-year old. A man came into my yard not long ago from Schuylkill county, and asked what I would take for a certain animal there. I said I would take so much ; "there is the pedigree.” He thought the animals were two-year olds; but they were yearlings. They had never seen grass; but were fed on milk and grain until the winter
came. Through the winter season they were hardly fed with grain at all ; but .. .
Colonel Young. Mr. Morris has covered the point exactly. If the calf is turned out the first summer to fight the flies and get its living as best it can, it will be stunted right at the start, and will never recover the lost time. Instead of turning it out in pasture, put it in a stable not too light, and feed regularly, and it will pay well. If this was the universal practice, we should have less of little Jerseys or little stock of any breed. If you must starve them, it had better be the second summer. But better keep them growing all the time.
The SECRETARY. Mr. President, the discussion has taken a wider range than is warranted by the essay of Mr. Moore. Some very good practical ideas have been drawn out from men who are noted more for their works than words. The question of the comparative merits of different breeds as milk cows is one of the many which this Board can hardly hope to settle. If Mr. Morris will visit Colonel Young's herd of Jerseys, I will guarantee him the best of treatment during his stay, and know that before he leaves, he will have formed a much higher idea of the ability of the Jersey as a dairy cow. In the production and selection of his herd, the colonel has had a view to business; and while good colors and points are not entirely lost sight of, they have not been made the main item to the exclusion of the milking properties. For practical business, as either a milk or butter dairy, I know of but few better in the State, and when the claim for quantity of milk (not a leading point in the Jersey) is the question, I will place them second to none. Mr. Young and Mr. Keller, probably both, committed one and the same error when they condemn the Short-Horns and the Jerseys from their personal experience with a few animals. It is only by the aggregate of individuals that the race can be fairly judged; and by this test, the Jerseys carry off the palm for quantity and quality of butter, and the Short-Horns for size of carcass, early maturity, and quality of beef. Colonel Young, however, has thoroughbred Jerseys, which, when fat, will push Mr. Morris' Devons pretty hard for both quality and weight.
Discussion closed, and on motion of Mr. FAHNESTOCK, adjourned to meet in the House of Representatives, at half past seven, P. M., for the purpose of hearing an address from Prof. J. P. Lesley, State geologist and geogeologist of the Board.
At an adjourned meeting of the Pennsylvania Board of Agriculture, held in the hall of the House of Representatives, Wednesday, January 23, 1878, at half past seven, P. M.
His Excellency the Governor in the chair. Minutes of previous meeting read and approved.
His Excellency the Governor said:
We have present with us to-night, a distinguished gentleman, a citizen of Pennsylvania, who is thoroughly familiar with the geology of this state, who has been invited by this Board to address you this evening upon the subject of soils, as regarded from the side of geology. I need say nothing more than simply to introduce to you Professor Lesley, of Philadelphia. [Applause.)
Prof. Lesley then addressed the meeting as follows:
THE BEARINGS WHICH A GEOLOGICAL SURVEY HAS UPON THE AGRI.
RICULTURAL INTERESTS OF THE STATE. Mr. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: I have been requested by the Board of Agriculture to address you on the subject of soils, and, of course, I can only do this as a geologist. It is a subject pertaining more properly, as everybody knows, to the agricultural chemist. I must beg your indulgence, therefore, if in obeying this call from the Board of Agriculture, I shall have to treat the subject differently from what I should do if I obeyed simply a call from the board of commissioners of the geological survey.
The science of geology touches the art of agriculture at only three points:
1. In its explanations of the origin of soils from the mother rocks.
2. In its descriptions of the orderly or disorderly arrangement of soils on the underlying rocks; and
3. In its discoveries of the elementary or chemical constituents of rock, sub-soil and soil required by plants.
Whatever knowledge geology has on these points it offers to the farming population of the State, and thereby performs one of its duties to the Commonwealth.
It is needless to speak of its other duties. Every body comprehends by this time that coal mining and iron smelting depend for their success as much upon geological information as upon practical experience. Even when professional geologists are not employed, all superintendents of mines and furnaces become theoretical geologists in spite of themselves. Even in a hap-hazard business, like boring for oil, geology has become a necessity, and is habitually practiced by thousands of people, who, were they questioned on the subject, would say that they know nothing about geology at all.
In fact, geological science has diffused its principles, and even its methods, throughout the entire population of Pennsylvania; in rather a vague and indefinite manner, it is true, but really and truly for all that. All that is needed is a few more years, and then everybody will have a sufficient practical knowledge of where our beds of coal, belts of iron ore, hori. zons of petroleum, streaks of pure limestone, deposits of glass sand, potter's clay, and best building stone are to be looked for, and how they can be followed up.
But it will be a long time before our farmers shall all understand that the same sort of science is of use to them; before they will believe that even the best geologist or agricultural chemist can teach them what they have not already taught themselves by long practice and hard experience on their own farms. And yet not one farmer in ten thousand could answer the simple question: What is soil? And yet, to the farmer, soil is the most important thing in the world. His business is in it. His life comes out of it. His home is on it. He turns it over and over to find money; and with the money thus found he buys the necessaries of life, the luxuries of modern civilization, instruction for his children, civil, religious, and political liberty for himself.
If his share of soil be good, he can grow wealthy and powerful, and make his descendants great in the land. If his soil be poor, he must live and die an overworked, discouraged, and defeated human being; his children will be scattered, and his name forgotten.
Regions of good soil are sure to become populous and potent centers of human activity. Mills multiply in them, and their streams are made to store up and give out power. Woolen-mills are built beside the grist-mills. Turnpike roads and then railways are constructed to take away the products of the soil and bring back coal. Coal supplants water power, and capital from a distance flows in. Surplus wealth seeks employment, and iron works are erected. Iron ores are demanded, sought for, found, mined, and smelted. Rolling-mills are attached to the iron furnaces; nail mills, machine shops, agricultural instrument factories follow; then cotton-mills, chemical works, and a hundred other forms of organized energy transfigure the fertile district, and it becomes a little kingdom in itself, sufficient unto itself in peace and in war, and able to dispense blessings to distant lands.
It feeds, protects, works for, legislates for, and enlightens the people of the poorer unfertile forest-covered districts all around it.
It breeds gov
ernors for the State, bankers for the exchange, merchants for commerce, mechanics for trade, scholars for science, orators for religion.
In the soil, then, the whole human world is rooted. Good soil has always been essential to civilization. The best soil is that of river deltas; and on these have sprung up all the mighty empires of history. On these are built all the greatest and wealthiest cities of the world.
The next best soil is that which covers the limestone rocks. Where continents are crossed by belts of limestone soil population is dense and intelligent, and the map is studded with villages and large towns. France became the most powerful and enlightened country of continental Europe because one third of its area is an unbroken plain of limestone, with Paris in the center; and another third of its area consists of an almost unbroken delta deposit, stretching from Marseilles to Bordeaux. At first there was a double France. When its northern and southern halves were united under one government, then, united France dominated Europe.
Our western prairies have virtually a delta soil, and the men of the prairie are becoming the rulers of the Republic. Southern Russia is floored with the same black earth, of apparently the same age, and of similar origin. We may safely predict that southern Russia is destined to rule the eastern world.
Northern India is one immense delta, and on this unbroken plain have lived a succession of empires. At present it supports a population three times as great as that of France.
North-eastern China is an immense delta, and its rulers have firmly held their power for four centuries over all the other provinces of the Empire.
The first men lived in the forest, and preferred the hills, because the denser and more luxuriant natural vegetation of the low rich soils defied their feeble efforts to subdue it. But as mankind improved in arms and arts men descended from the mountains to the plains, from the heads of the rivers to the deltas at their mouths, and built cities and ships. The successive erection of city after city along the Ganges, each new one lower down the stream than the one preceding it, shows the steps of the process.
After the deltas had been reclaimed and populated the uplands and interior were re-occupied. Poorer soils were cultivated and exhausted. Men migrated to fresh lands and exhausted them in turn. Manures were discovered. Mineral fertilizers come now into use; lime is burnt; potash and gypsum are mined. All kinds of soil, even the poorest, can now be permanently occupied ; populations need not be crowded into the most fertile geological belts; railways and good roads sow fertility everywhere; and the democratic principle of the greatest good to the greatest number, and more good for all, may be realized.
Geology teaches us that the goodness of a soil depends upon two facts: 1. The variety of its elements, and, 2. Their looseness. This is illustrated best by the fertility of the delta soil of the great rivers of the world, which have their rise in distant mountain ranges, and receive, on their way to the ocean, the various drainage of many regions, all differing in their geological formation.
1. The plain of the Po has been made out of the slow destruction of the granites, limestones, dolomites, and clay slates of the Alps and Appenines. Holland has been reclaimed from the North Sea by the Rhine bringing the commingled sand, clay, and limestone mud of the Alps, the Jura, the Black Forest, the Vosges, and the Taunus; the débris of formations of all ages. The lava beds of Abyssinia, the red sandstones of Ethiopia, the sienite of Nubia, and the nummulite limestone of Egypt have been washed down piecemeal to constitute the delta of the Nile. The delta