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A bill to establish agricultural experiment stations in connection with the colleges established in the several States under the provisions of an act approved July 2, 1862, and of the acts supplementary thereto."
LOCATION OF THE STATIONS. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in order to aid the Department of Agriculture in acquiring and diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects connected with agriculture, and to promote scientific investigation and experiment respecting the principles and applications of agricultural science, there shall be established, in connection with the college or colleges in each State established, or which may hereafter be established, in accordance with the provisions of an act approved July 2, 1862, entitled “ An act donating public lands to the several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts,'' or any of the supplements to said act, or such college which has been or may hereafter be established and operated under the laws of any territory in conformity with the provisions of this act, a department to be known and designated as an - agricultural experiment station :" Provided, That in any State in which two such colleges have been or may be so established, the appropriation hereinafter made to such State shall be equally divided between such colleges, unless the Legislature of such State shall otherwise direct.
OBJECTS OF THE STATIONS. SECTION 2. That it shall be the object and duty of said experiment stations to conduct original researches or verify experiments on physiology of plants and animals; the diseases to which they are severally subject, with the remedies for the same; the chemical composition of useful plants at their different stages of growth; the comparative advantages of rotative cropping as pursued under a varying series of crops; the capacity of new plants or trees for acclimation within the isothermal limits represented by the climate of the several stations and their vicinity; the analysis of soils and water; the chemical composition of manures, natural or artificial, with experiments designed to test their comparative effects on crops of different kinds; the adaptation and value of grasses and forage plants; the composition and digestibility of the different kinds of food for domestic animals; the scientific and economic questions involved in the production of butter and cheese; and such other researches and experiments bearing directly on the agricultural industry of the United States as may in each case be deemed advisable, having due regard to the varying conditions and needs of the respective States and territories.
SECTION 3. That the said experiment stations shall be under the direction and control of the trustees or other governing body of such colleges, who shall have power to appoint a director and such assistants as may in each case be necessary.
UNIFORMITY OF WORK. · SECTION 4. That in order to secure, as far as practicable, uniformity of methods and results in the work of said stations, it shall be the duty of the United States Commissioner of Agriculture to determine annually a standard of valuation of the ingredients of commercial i
fertilizers, upon which the analysis of such fertilizers, as far as made by said stations, shall be based; to furnish forms, as far as practicable, for the tabulation of results of investigation or experiments; to indicate from time to time, such lines of inquiry as to him shall seem most important; and, in general, to furnish such advice and assistance as will best promote the purposes of this act; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize said commissioner to control or direct the work or management of any such station except as to the standard of valuation of commercial fertilizers. It shall be the duty of each of said stations, annually, on or before the first day of February, to make to the Governor of the State or territory in which it is located, a full and detailed report of its operations, including a statement of the receipts and expenditures, a copy of which report shall be sent to each of said stations, to the said commissioner of agriculture, and to the secretary of the treasury of the United States.
PUBLICATION OF RESULTS. SECTION 5. That in order to make the results of the work of said stations immediately useful, they shall publish at least once in every three months bulletins or reports of progress, one copy of which shall be sent to each newspaper in the States and territories in which they are respectively located, and to such individuals actively engaged in farming as may request the same, and as far as the means of the station will permit. Such bulletins or reports and the annual reports of said stations shall be transmitted in the mails of the United States free of charge for postage, under such regulations as the PostmasterGeneral may from time to time prescribe.
APPROPRIATIONS-HOW SPENT. SECTION 6. That for the purpose of paying the salaries and wages of the director and other employés of said stations and the necessary expenses of conducting investigations and experiments and printing and distributing the results as hereinbefore prescribed, the sum of $15,000 per annum is hereby appropriated to each State and territory, to be paid in equal quarterly payments, on the first day of January, April, July and October in each year, to the treasurer or other officer duly appointed by the aforesaid boards of trustees to receive the same; the first payment to be made on the first day of July, 1886; but no such payments shall be made to any station until the trustees or other governing body of the college at which such station is located shall have executed, under their corporate seal and filed with the secretary of the treasury of the United States an agreement to expend all moneys received under this act for the sole and exclusive purpose and in the manner herein directed, and to maintain a farm of at least twenty-five acres in connection with such college, and shall also have executed and filed with said secretary their bond, in the penal sum of $15,000 with two sufficient sureties, approved by the clerk of a court of record in such State or territory, conditioned on the faithful expenditure of and accounting for all money so received: Provided, however, That out of the first annual appropriation so received by any station, an amount not exceeding one-fifth may be expended in the erection, enlargement or repair of a building or buildings necessary for carrying on the work of such station, and thereafter an amount not exceeding five per centum of such annual appropriation may be so expended.
MONEY DEDUCTED. Section 7. That whenever it shall appear to the secretary of the treasury, from the annual statement of receipts and expenditures of any said station that a portion of the preceding annual appropriations remains unexpended, such amount shall be deducted from the next succeeding annual appropriation to such station, in order that the amount of money appropriated to any station shall not exceed the amount actually and necessarily required for its maintenance and support.
SECTION 8. That nothing in this act shall be construed to impair or modify the legal relation existing between any of the said colleges and the government of the States and territories in which they are respectively located
Mr. SXAVELY. I understand, in case the bill would pass, that the station in this State would be located in Centre county.
Mr. COMFORT. Can any of our members point out instances where “experiment stations” have proven beneficial ? There are so many different soils and conditions to be considered that it seems impossible to secure any reliable data.
Mr. SNAVELY. If I am correctly informed experiments are now being made by the State College.
Col. McFarLAND. If conducted according to the provisions of this bill, experiments would, is made on the same line of work, be more uniform and valuable.
Mr. Moon. This matter is yet in its infancy, but I believe will result in good. There are thousands of dollars spent annually by the government for purposes much less worthy, and a few thousand spent for the benefit of agriculture would be well invested.
Mr. LINVILLE. No douwt much of the objection to this bill arises from the conviction that the agricultural college in this State has not proven a success. However, there has been much improvement there. Some valuable experiments have been made in our agricultural colleges, and, if properly conducted, many interesting facts can be worked out and determined that will greatly benefit farmers and horticulturists. I suppose another object of the bill is to devise some way of expending our surplus revenue.
can be collected at these “experiment stations” that cannot be gotten in any other way. Observations have been made as to coming changes in the weather that have been the means of saving much valuable property on sea and land. When we are warned of approaching storms we can often remove crops or secure our buildings from injury. Fertilizers can also be tested and their adaptation to certain soils ascertained. At our own “agricultural college” there has been much bad management, and as a State we have had occasion to be ashamed of it. New York has a well conducted and valuable "experiment station ” while we have frittered away our opportunities by careless management. In my own opinion this bill would benefit us in many ways, and I hope we will encourage its passage. Of course there will be some mistakes made, but in a general way it will do much good. I hope we will do nothing to discourage the passage of this bill, but will be only too glad to give the government an opportunity to spend some money for the benefit of agriculture and horticulture.
Mr. COMFORT. I move a committee of three be appointed by the chair to whom this question be referred.
Adopted, and Messrs. Comfort, Moon and Snavely were appointed, with instructions to report at a later session..
REPORTS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES.
Peach YELLOWS AND SPECIAL MANURES AS PREVENTIVES. Mr. SATTERTHWAIT. As chairman of this committee I did not know that the clause had been added in reference to special manures. I have but little to report. I wrote to the department at Washington to ascertain what, if anything, had been done on this subject. I received a report containing several pages written by Mr. Saunders, who is good authority. He repudiates the idea that yellows can be cured by any application, in which I agree with him. It is a specific disease for which there is no cure. One point to be remembered is that there is no “yellows" south of a certain latitude. Mr. Saunders confirms this view and goes on to say that he has noticed orchards in New Jersey and in this latitude that were very healthy, but that after a severe winter yellows gradually developed. From this fact he inferred that climatic influences were the chief causes. It is a specific poison that is contagious, and my observation is that no application to the soil will be of any benefit. We have never had much practical information on this subject from the department at Washington, but more attention to horticultural matters is now promised and some valuable results may be expected.
On motion Mr. Satterthwait's committee was continued.
Mr. THOMAS. We have on our programme a paper on the subject of peach culture and yellows, by Mr. Smith, of Juniata county, who is a practical peach grower. I suggest that before discussing this question further this essay be read.
A motion to that effect having been made and carried, the following was read by the secretary •
PEACH CULTURE AND TREATMENT OF YELLOWS.
By J. F. Smith, McAllisterville, Pa.
We have been requested by your worthy secretary to give our experience in growing peaches, our location, planting and after treatment. Also our mode of marketing the fruit. We feel our inability to do justice to this very important subject.
There are a few things, however, that we have found essential to making peach-growing a success in our locality, viz: good location, good trees and varieties, deep planting, proper cutting back, good cultivation, keeping clean of borers and the removal of all trees affected with yellows within twenty-four hours after they are discovered.
First, we will endeavor to give you an idea where we are located. We are situated in Juniata county, Pennsylvania, ten miles east of the Juniata river, our valley runs east and west. North of us is the Shade mountain, with an altitude of about 500 feet, next to this mountain there is a ridge about 150 or 200 feet high, with only a narrow valley lying wetween it and the mountain. On the top and southern slope of this ridge we find our best locations for growing peaches. This ridge contains fossil iron ore in abundance. The soil is a light gravel, and some of it very stony and a dark loose soil.
The timber consists of rock-oak, black-oak, white-oak, pine, hickory, and chestnut. The principal orchards in this section are planted on this ridge, although there are some planted on adjoining ridges that are doing very well.
ground. In the spring of 1872 we planted our first orchard of 900 trees, and in 1876 we harvested 1,600 crates of peaches from the same, this being the first crop. This orchard was planted on land that had been cleared fifty or sixty years before, and had been farmed a number of years. Then it was allowed to grow up in scrub pines, some of them being six inches in diameter. We chopped off the pines, pulled the stumps, plowed the ground deeply and applied fifty bushels of lime to the acre. On the ground thus prepared we planted peach trees, and cultivated potatoes two years in the orchard, after this we cultivated the ground but raised no crops thereon.
We planted the trees sixteen feet apart each way, and dug the holes eighteen inches deep and eighteen inches square, putting the top soil on one side of the hole and the lower on the other. Before we plant the trees we see that the borers are very carefully taken out and all the broken and bruised roots are trimmed off. Then we fill the hole with top soil until the tree will stand about three inches deeper than it stood in the nursery. In most instances deep enough to cover the connection where they have been budded. We find that trees planted in this manner are more easily kept clean of borers than those that are planted more shallow.
Also the large roots are less frequently torn up by coming in contact with the plow. Nurserymen generally do not recommend deep planting, but with deep plowing before and after planting we have found it to be much the best. After the trees are planted we trim off all the branches and cut the top down two and one-half to three feet. We do more summer pruning than most of the peach growers in our section. In June or July we remove all the young shoots or branches except three or four around the top of the stem. We prefer only three if they are divided so as to make a well-balanced top. In good soil and with good cultivation, those branches will grow three to four feet the first season. The following spring we cut back those branches from eight inches to one foot, this being essential to making a wellshaped top. Some time in May or June we remove all the young shoots again from those branches, leaving only five or six shoots on the top, or about two on each branch, being careful to have them equally divided over the top. With good care and cultivation those shoots will grow from four to six feet this season, and we have grown them as long as seven feet. The following spring we cut back about one-third of this growth and thin out a few of the branches. After this we cut back only the leading branches and thin out enough to keep an open, well-shaped top. We have occasionally applied salt and saltpeter to our trees in the following manner: To five gallons water add one pound saltpeter and one pint of salt. Apply in June or July one quart of this solution to each tree, pouring it against and