Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 4, January 26, 1884 - A Weekly Journal for the Farm, Orchard and Fireside
Author: Various
1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse


A Weekly Journal for





[Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was originally located on page 56 of the periodical. It has been moved here for ease of use.]


AGRICULTURE—Raising Onions, Page 49; Royalist 3d, 4500, 49; Illinois Tile-Makers' Convention, 50-51; Better Management Needed, 51; Seed Corn from South, 51; Field and Furrow Items, 51.

LIVE STOCK—Items, Page 52; Herd Books and Records, 52; Competing for Sweepstake Prizes, 52; Raising Young Mules, 52.

THE DAIRY—Wisconsin Dairymen, Page 53.

VETERINARY—Impaction of the Paunch, Page 53;

HORTICULTURE—Lessons of 1883, Page 54; Illinois Hort. Society, 54; Diogenes in His Tub, 54-55; Possibilities of Cherry Growing, 55; Prunings, 55.

FLORICULTURE—Gleanings by an Old Florist, Page 55.

EDITORIAL—Items, Page 56; The Cost of Cold Winds, 56; Good Work at Washington, 56-57; Wisconsin Meetings, 57; Answers to Correspondents, 57; Wayside Notes, 57; Letter from Champaign, 57.

POULTRY NOTES—Chicken Chat, Page 58; Chicken Houses, 58; Items, 58.

FORESTRY—Items, Page 59.

SCIENTIFIC—Official Weather Wisdom, Page 59; A Remarkable Electrical Discovery, 59; Items, 59.

HOUSEHOLD—Christian Charity (Poetry), Page 60; Items, 60; The Night Cap, 60; How to Treat a Boy, 60; Pamphlets, Etc., Received, 60; Compiled Correspondence, 60.

YOUNG FOLKS—Jule Fisher's Rescue, Page 61.

LITERATURE—Between the Two Lights, Poem, Page 62; The Two Overcoats, 62.

HUMOROUS—Bait of the Average Fisherman, Page 63; Whose Cold Feet, 63; Changed Relations, 63; It Makes a Difference, 63; Items, 63. Question Answered, 53.


MARKETS—Page 64.


There are two causes of failure to make this crop uncertain. One is because the soil is not kept clear of weeds, and the other is that it is not properly enriched. To raise a good crop of onions requires a light, loamy soil, worked into as fine a condition as possible, to render cultivation easy.

The greater part of the preparation should be done in the fall, and especially the application of the manure. Well rotted manure is the best, and that which is free from grass, oats, or weed seeds, should always be selected. Of course, if the manure is properly rotted the vitality of the larger portion of the seed in it will be killed, but unless this is done it will render the cultivation much more difficult. Stiff, clayey, or hard, poor land can be made a great deal better for the onion crop by a heavy application of ashes or well rotted bagasse. I prefer to apply ashes as a top dressing in the spring, working it in the surface, as I find by experience that they are not only valuable as a fertilizer when used in this way, but are also of great benefit in keeping down the weeds.

A plot of ground that is seeded with crab-grass should not be selected, as the pulling up of the grass injures the growth of the onions. Onions feed near the surface; in fact, the larger portion of the bulb grows on top of the soil, and as a natural consequence the plant food should be well worked in the surface. Of course it is too late now to talk about fall preparation. If we want a crop of onions from seed this spring, whatever preparation there is must be done between now and seeding. I should plow or spade up the soil as soon as possible, if there is a thaw out either the last of this or any part of next month.

If you can save up and rot a supply of poultry manure and leaves, you can have the very best manure for a good onion crop.

Another important point in raising a good crop of onions is to have good seed and sow it early. The first favorable time in the spring must be taken advantage of, if you would have the best success with your crop. As good seed is necessary in any crop, so it is with onions. Test your seed before risking your entire crop, as by the time you plant once and fail, and procure seed and plant again, it will be too late to make a good crop. I always take advantage of the first chance in March to sow my onion seed. We usually have a few warm days sometime about the middle of the month when this work can be done. Of course I do not say that this is the case every year. The first favorable opportunity should be taken advantage of, is what I want to impress upon those who expect to make a crop; let this time come when it will, any time early in the spring. If the ground has been plowed or spaded well during the winter, a good harrowing or raking should be given. If you have the poultry manure, now is the best time to apply it, working it on top of the soil with a rake. If you have not the poultry manure and have ashes, give a good strong dressing of ashes, raking evenly over the surface. Mark off in drills twelve inches apart, and not more than one inch deep; lay off the drills as narrow and as straight as possible, and then drill the seed evenly. Try to keep them in a straight row, as it will aid much in the cultivation. Cover lightly, but press the soil firmly upon the seed. They will withstand considerable cold, damp weather before rotting.

Last year I sowed my onion seed on the 23d of March; the next ten days were cold, rainy, dark, dismal days, with two or three freezes. Yet my onions came up all right and made a good crop.

As soon as the shoots make their appearance above the ground a good raking with a fine steel rake can be given. This will give them a good start and destroy the young weeds that will begin to make their appearance at the same time. After the onions start to grow, cultivation is the making of the crop, and the cleaner they are kept and the oftener the surface is stirred the better will be the crop.

As to varieties, the old Red Wethersfield and the Danvers Yellow are my favorites. The Yellow Strasburg is a good yellow variety, and there are quite a number of others that are good. In cultivating I keep the surface level, as they do better if kept in this way than if they are hilled up. Thin out so that the plants do not crowd each other—they should stand two or three inches apart—if you want large onions at maturity.


ROYALIST 3D, 4500.

The bull Royalist 3d, 4500, here portrayed, stands at the head of the superb Jersey herd owned by Col. Charles F. Mills, Springfield, Illinois. He was bred by Mr. Samuel Stratton; dropped December 13, 1878; got by imp. Royalist 2906; dam imp. Nelly 6456. Royalist 2906 received the first prize over all Jersey in 1877; first prize and silver cup at St. Saviour's Show in 1877; first prize at the great St. Louis Fair as a three-year-old, and grand sweepstakes at St. Louis Fair in 1879 as the best Jersey bull of any age. Her sire, Duke (76), won first prize over the Island, Herd Book Parochial prize, and first Herd Book prize at Royal Jersey Show in 1875. Merry Boy (61), I. H. B., grandsire of Royalist 2906, won first prize at St. Mary's Show in 1874. Stockwell II (24), I. H. B., great-great-grandsire of Royalist 2906, won third prize over the Island and second Herd Book prize at the Royal Jersey Show, 1871; the bronze medal at the Channel Island Exhibition in 1871, and third prize at the Royal Jersey Show in 1872.

Nelly, the dam of Royalist 3d, 4500, has produced 21 pounds of butter in seven days since importation, and Mr. Stratton is authority for the statement that she received the special prize at the Farmers' Club, Island of Jersey, for the best butter cow, having made 16 pounds Jersey weight of 18 ounces to the pound, or 18 avoirdupois pounds, in seven days. Her sire, Lemon (170), is the grandsire of Mr. C. Easthope's celebrated Nancy Lee 7618 (test 95 lbs. 3-1/2 oz. unsalted butter in 31 days), and Daisy of St. Peters 18175 (test 20 lbs. 5-1/2 oz. unsalted butter in seven days).

Taking all things into consideration, we doubt if there is a better Jersey bull in the world than Royalist 3d. Certainly he has no superior in this country. Mr. Mills' Jersey herd is a model in all respects, and the popular chief clerk in the State Agricultural rooms may well be proud of it.

* * * * *

The Northwestern Importers' and Breeders' Association, Minneapolis, Minn., have bought $20,000 worth of Fresian stock of the Unadilla Company, West Edmeston, N. Y.

* * * * *


Farmers, Write for Your Paper.

Illinois Tile-Makers' Convention.


(Continued from last week.)

An interesting feature of the proceedings of the Tile-Makers' Convention was the brief reports of members regarding their business last year. About forty manufacturers reported. In the majority of cases the demand has been fair; in a few very brisk; in quite a number it was said that sales could be made only at a reduction in prices. It was easy to see that in some sections of the State the work of tile-making was overdone, that is, the supply is in excess of the demand. It was the general expression that prices could not be greatly reduced and leave a reasonable profit to the manufacturer.


was the question this year. Last year at this convention the talk was upon "How shall we supply the demand?" The answers to the question of how to increase the demand were various. Some advocated a rigid adherence to fair living prices, and thus teach farmers that it is useless to wait for cheaper tile; make a first-class article and the cheap tile that is hurting the trade will be forced out of the market. There was a general advocacy of a wider dissemination of a knowledge of the benefits of drainage. Show farmers and fruit-growers that they can add new acres to their farms, and take from tiled land a sufficiently increased yield the first year to pay for tiling, and that their land is worth more dollars per acre after tiling than the expense amounts to, and the demand will multiply many fold. Teach the farmers how to lay their drains properly, so that no disappointment will result, and every acre drained will advertise the profits from drainage. Circulate facts in regard to drainage as contributed to the agricultural papers, and even the newspapers. Subscribe for these papers and distribute them. Circulate the essays read at tile-makers' conventions. Talk drainage everywhere and at all times. These were among the means sensibly advocated for increasing the demand for tile.


It is but recently that the manufacture of tile has been carried on in winter, but now many establishments are running the year round. It was not claimed that the business can be prosecuted as advantageously in winter as in summer. But it gives employment to men, and the manufactories are thus enabled to keep skilled labor always on hand. It was thought that though the profits are small it is really better to run in winter where there is a demand for tile. In most cases it is better to make brick a portion of the year. There is always a demand for good brick at paying prices. If it will not pay to produce all tile, or so much tile as may be turned out, this will afford relief and keep the machine in motion.


Mr. Billingsby, whose position allows him an excellent opportunity of judging, said there has been rapid improvement in the machinery for tile-making. Great advance has been made in machines for preparing clay, especially in the rapidity of handling it. The buildings for drying tile were a great deal better than five years ago. The means of ventilation are becoming excellent. The kilns are better and can be more satisfactorily managed. There is yet need for a cheaper tile factory—one where the investment of only a few hundred dollars will answer.


It was generally conceded that it is best to have some device at the end of the drains to keep out rabbits, water animals, etc. Wires stretched across did pretty well but must be carefully looked after to clear away the roots and refuse that come through the drains. Two or three devices to take the place of wire were exhibited and were generally thought to be greatly superior.


An interesting feature of this convention was the introduction, for the first time, of the discussion of tile ditching by machinery in a paper prepared by Hon. F. Plumb, of Streator, Ill. Mr. Plumb has been experimenting for several years with tile ditches, using both animal and steam power. He gave it as his conclusion that the machine of the future would be a machine that would perfect the ditch by one passage over the ground. He has perfected and is now manufacturing a steam power machine, at Streator, Ill., which is spoken of very highly by all who have seen it at work in the field. Mr. Plumb claims that the machine will cut twenty rods of three-foot ditch in an hour, and give a grade and finish to the bottom of the ditch equal to the very best hand work. The capacity of the machine is varied to any depth up to four feet, and for any sized tile up to nine-inch. Two men can operate the machine. The cost of cutting ditches, laying and covering tile is reduced to about ten cents per rod. He has already sold several of his machines, and is to be congratulated on the success he has attained in securing a good tile ditcher. We can conceive of no one thing that will conduce to the sale and use of tile so much as such a machine as the Plumb Steam Tile Ditcher. The machine is indorsed by C. G. Elliott, of Tonica, Drainage Engineer; by Mr. Pike, President of the convention, and others who have seen it at work in the field.


There was nothing among the devices exhibited at this convention that attracted more attention or received more favorable private comment than a model of Chamberlin Brothers' Patent Apparatus for Tiling. The model only was shown, but working machines are in operation in Iowa, and they are giving excellent satisfaction, as attested by such men as Thos. B. Wales, Jr., of Iowa City, and Daniel H. Wheeler, Secretary of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. The apparatus is upon the old principle of the mole ditcher requiring the same capstan power. One team is sufficient to run it. The apparatus is composed of a beam or sill, horizontal in position, and a coulter seven feet long at the rear end of the beam, and perpendicular to it a spirit level attached to the beam, aids in regulating. The coulter can be run anywhere from one to five feet deep. The front end of the beam is provided with a mud or stone boat to prevent sinking in the mud, and with a jack screw for regulating on uneven ground. Attached to it, and following the mole, is a carrier 200 feet long, made concave in form. On this the tile are laid and carried into the ground. A start is made at an open ditch or hole of required depth; when the carrier is drawn in full length a hole is dug just back of the coulter, two by three feet, down to the tile, a stop placed in front of the tile, the machine is started which draws the carrier from under the tile, when it is again located as before, and so on. Different sized moles are used according to the size of the tile to be laid. Any one can easily count up the advantages of this mode of laying tile, provided the machine can do the work it is claimed to do, and of this there seems to be no question, if we may believe the testimony of those who have seen it in operation.


The following by Senator Whiting, of Bureau county, was read by the Secretary:

Illinois is a good State as nature made her, and drainage is destined to add wealth almost inestimable. Drainage enterprises are everywhere seen—in extent from the small work beginning and ending in the same field, to the levees of Sny Carte, and the canal-like channels through the Winnebago swamps. Drainage is naturally divided into two classes:

1. Individual drainage, where the land-owner has his own outlet independent of others.

2. Combined drainage where one can not drain without joining with others.

The smallest of these combined works is where two only are concerned. The Hickory Creek ditch now in progress in Bureau and Henry counties is thirteen miles long, has a district of about 15,000 acres, owned by over seventy-five persons. This combined drainage partakes of the nature of public works. For this class the constitution has been twice amended, and many elaborate laws have been enacted. These laws have had their vicissitudes, and are not yet free from complications. The first drainage legislation commenced forty years ago, by a special act, to drain some wet lands near Chicago. In 1859 two special acts were passed for lands on the American bottoms. In 1865 a general act was passed. All these enactments were under the constitution of 1848 which was silent on drainage, and the courts annulled most of these as unconstitutional. In 1870 the new constitution was framed containing a brief provision on drainage. The late Mr. Browning, a leading member of that convention, drafted a drainage bill which was enacted into a law without change. Large enterprises were organized and got well started; but again some complaining person appealed to the courts, and this law too, was declared too big for the constitution. The constitution was then enlarged to meet if possible, the views of the court. Two elaborate laws on the main question were passed in 1879, and these with several amendments since made rest undisturbed on the statutes. One of these is generally known as the "levee law," and the other as the "farm drainage act." They cover nearly the same subject matter, and were passed to compromise conflicting views. These laws relate to "combined drainage." "Individual drainage" was not discussed. As the law does not undertake to define how deep you may plow or what crop you shall raise, so it was thought unnecessary to make any provisions about the drainage of your own land.

COURT DECISION.—To the public surprise the Appellate court at Ottawa in two decisions pronounced individual drainage unlawful. As this decision is notable, and the subject of controversy, its history should be known. In 1876, Mr. C. Pilgrim, of Bureau county, laid about sixty rods of two-inch tile up a slight depression in his corn-field, discharging the same under a box culvert in the public road. This depression continued into a pasture field of Mr. J. H. Mellor, of Stark county, about eighteen rods to a running stream. Mr. Mellor sued Mr. Pilgrim for trespass, and the case was twice tried successively in the circuit courts of Stark and Bureau counties. The juries each time decided for Mr. Pilgrim, but the Appellate court each time reversed the decision; and finally worried Mr. Pilgrim into yielding to a judgment of one cent damages. The material part of that decision is as follows:

MELLOR VS. PILGRIM.—"The appellant had the right to own and possess his land free from the increased burden arising from receiving the surface water from the land of appellee through artificial channels made by appellee, for the purpose of carrying the surface water therefrom more rapidly than the same would naturally flow; and the appellant having such right for any invasion thereof the law gives him an action. * * * If, as we have seen, the appellee by making the drain in question collected the surface water upon his own land and discharged the same upon the lands of the appellant in increased quantity and in a different manner than the same would naturally run, the act was unlawful because of its consequences, and the subjecting of appellant's lands to such increased and different burden than would otherwise attach to it, was an invasion of appellant's rights from which the law implies damages, and in such case proof of the wrongful act entitles the plaintiff to recover nominal damages at least."

Under this decision it is not easy to see how a man can lawfully cut a rod of ditch or lay tile on his own land, unless he can contrive some way to stop the flow of water.

1. The lower man may recover without proving that he is damaged because to drain is "wrongful."

2. Such drainage being a continuing trespass, subjects the perpetrator to never ending law suits and foredoomed defeats.

3. The lower man may forbid you to drain, or exact such tribute as he may dictate.

4. As the first man below must be consulted, why not the second, and how far this side of the Gulf is the limit of this trespass?

Here, as I have elsewhere, I challenge this as bad law. It reverses the order of nature, as well as custom, and can not be endured as the public policy of Illinois. Let us contemplate the exact opposite principle. "A land owner may drain his land for agricultural purposes by tile or open ditch, in the line of natural drainage, into any natural outlet on his own land or into any drainage depression leading to some natural outlet."

This proposition is generally regarded as self evident, but out of respect to the court, let us give some of the considerations on which it rests:

1. Improved agriculture is an element in civilization.

2. Drainage belongs to good agriculture, is extensively practiced and must often precede the plow.

3. The surplus water can not be stored or annihilated, and the course of drainage is indicated, in most places determined by nature, in the drainage depressions which are nature's outlets.

4. The law of gravity, with or without man's work, is constant and active in moving the waters to the lower level. The ditcher's art is to remove the obstacles to a freer flow.

5. Excessive water is a foe to agriculture; and for the general good it should be collected into channels, and as speedily as possible passed along on its inevitable journey.

OBJECTIONS ANSWERED.—It is said to be a universal law maxim, "that you may use your own as you will, but not to the detriment of your neighbor," and that this principle forbids this kind of drainage. This maxim may be general, but it is not universal. My neighbor may have built his house and other domestic arrangements in the lee of a natural grove of timber on my land. The removal of this grove may be a real grievance by giving the wind too free a sweep; yet my right to change this waste into a grain field will not be questioned. My warranty deed is my right thus to improve my land, though it be "to the detriment of my neighbor." He should have foreseen the contingency of a removal of these woods. On like principles a land owner may remove an excess of water so as to raise corn and not rushes. In the removal of woods my neighbor may not have an immediate remedy for his ills, but the effect of my ditches may be turned to good account by continuing them, and thus improving his land as I have mine. My warranty deed is my right to cultivate my own land, and this right carries the right to cultivate it in the best manner. The lower man should have taken judicial notice that water runs down hill, and that in this progressive age ditches may be cut and tiles laid.

But it is said that this court decision follows the English Common law; and now being settled by a decision, it is not open for further consideration. In this progressive age nothing is settled until it is settled right. Judge Taney once judicially settled the status of the African race. The common law was held to forbid the bridging of navigable streams. Harbors could only be made where the water was salt and affected by the tides. The Dartmouth college decision was held to so cover railroad corporations as to shield them from legislative control. These have all been overturned by the march of events, and this Appellate court decision is not necessarily immortal. For fifty years the farmers of Illinois knew no such rule. The public roads have been improved by side ditches which dropped the water into the first depression. In 1873 there was placed in the road law a provision that a land owner may drain on the public road by giving timely notice, and this stands through all revisions. Blackstone in his commentaries does not class this kind of drainage as a nuisance or trespass to lower lands, but he does its opposite, where the lower man neglects to "scour" a ditch, and thus sets back the water to the harm of the upper man. If this court rule is common law, as claimed, then it may be further said that a rule for the dark ages when drainage was exceptional, is not necessarily the true rule, since drainage has become so large a part of good agriculture.

ACTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.—Early in the last session, bills were introduced into each House to overturn this court decision. These were defeated, but late in the session there passed with much unanimity a bill of the following title, which became a law: "An act to permit owners of land to construct drains for agricultural purposes." Sec. 1 of this act reads as follows: "That the owner or owners of land in this State shall be permitted to construct drains for agricultural purposes, only, into any natural water-course or any natural depression whereby the water will be carried into any natural water-course, or any drain on the public highway, if the road commissioners consent thereto, for the purpose of securing proper drainage to such land, without being liable in damages therefor to any other person or persons or corporation." This was intended to establish the right of "individual drainage."

But we are told that the courts will not respect this law, for the reason that it seeks to legalize trespass.

Here we join issue with our objectors and stand by this declaratory law. It embodies the general opinion and practice of the people; it is plainly conformable to the physical laws of nature and the requirements of civilization. Lands are held subject to laws thus grounded, and these considerations will not tolerate laws or decisions the very opposite.

These declarations are not much more radical than a declaration that we stand by the law of gravity as constitutional.

The public are busy in overturning this court decision by everywhere disregarding it. The few who stopped draining in deference to the court, have resumed under shelter of the statute. If all violators should be prosecuted with vigor, tile-making might decline, but courting would be lively. Courts and judges must be multiplied, and every lawyer in the State would have fat business for the next ten years. Some judge will soon give us a precedent in accordance with reason, and this will settle the matter as effectually as did one taste of the tree of knowledge reveal good and evil. It will soon be seen that individual interest is best promoted by general and free drainage—that presumption should be in its favor, and that one man should not be clothed with power to stop others from making improvements.

NEW LAWS.—The next legislative work on drainage should be to revise and consolidate the law. On some points the law is duplicate, and on one triplicate. It is generally demanded that the law shall be less cumbrous and more summary. This can be done to some extent when it shall be found that the courts favor drainage. So far they have had a very tender feeling for complaints. When drainage shall be acknowledged to be lawful, laudable, and necessary, like plowing, laws may be greatly simplified and made more effectual.

RIVER DISTRICTS.—Illinois being generally level, many of our inland streams waste a large amount of land by overflow and drift. Roads, crops, and bridges are insecure. To a large extent this may be remedied by straightening the channels, and hereafter keeping them in repair and clear of drift wood. If the lands along these rivers, which would receive benefits from this work, were made into a district and classified according to benefits, the burden on them for proper improvement would not be great, and it is believed that dollars would be realized for cents expended. This waste is growing worse year by year. Enough land could be reclaimed along the Kaskaskia, Little Wabash, Big Muddy, Saline, and Henderson to more than make a New England State. The State may well afford to do the engineering and give an enabling act, that the people interested may organize as they decide to improve their respective rivers. When so improved, it will become practicable to more effectually drain the district by lateral works.

Illinois being so generally level, and much of our black soil resting on clay, here is to be the favorite field for the ditcher and tile-maker. Invention has an inviting field, and already foreshadows rich results. Your association, though a private one, touches the public interest very broadly. You reveal and make possible new sources of wealth, which promises to agriculture a new era of development. You may do much to settle true principles and proper public policy, so that this great drainage enterprise may move along harmoniously. The law-maker and the tile-maker are necessary factors in this grand march of improvement.

Other valuable papers were read which we shall take occasion to publish at some future time.


A little forethought on a farm is a good thing. It saves time, money, and much of the vexation that is liable to come without it. Like the watchman on a ship a good farmer must always be looking ahead. He must be quick in his judgment of what should be done at the present time, and he should have a good perception to show him the best thing to do for the future.

It is a mistaken idea that many possess who think there is no brain work needed on a farm. Farmers are usually looked upon as an ignorant class of people, especially by many of the city friends who often do not see the large, sympathizing feelings that lie hidden beneath the rough exterior of country people. They are in many cases better educated than they look to be, and they have a chance to use all the education they have at their command in the performance of the many and different kinds of duties that are to be done in the occupation of agriculture. There is much work to be done and it requires to be done at the right time to give a profitable return for the labor. To have things done properly a farm requires a good manager to eke out the labor force in the way it will do the greatest amount of work. Most farmers are willing to work, and take pleasure in doing so. All perform the harder parts of farming with an energy that is surpassed by no other laboring class in the world. Farmers deserve praise for this, I think, for it requires a great deal of pluck to work as hard as many of them do.

It is not, however, the actual hard manual labor that pays the best. The hardest part of the work may be done and there still remain enough to render the job far from complete. The minute parts of an occupation are the ones that distinguish it from others. These parts constitute trades. They require a special training to perform them, and the more perfectly they can be performed by any one, the more successful will that person be considered as a tradesman. A fine workman receives more pay for less work than one who does rougher work, simply because it is the minute parts that bring in the profit. This is so in the mechanical trades; it is so also in farming and yet many seem to be unaware of the fact. How numerous are those who leave out the minutia; mechanics learn a trade in a short time at least well enough to make a living by it. Many farmers have spent their whole lives upon farms and are still scarcely able to make a decent living; and the reason of it is because they have left undone those parts which would, if performed, bring in profit.

It is not the lack of an education that causes so much poor success. It is a lack of care in action and a want of observation in seeing. A man's experience is what makes him wise. He gains this experience by coming in contact with and observing those things which he meets.

In schools children are taught from the works of men. These works are arts, and since art is but the imitation of nature, all education is but imitation of that which the farmer boy has the chance of seeing before it becomes second hand. There is no place that has greater facilities to give observation its full scope than a farm. All farmers can, with the aid of the right kind of books and papers, be reasonably well educated, and most of them have a better comparative knowledge than they think they have. Many of the city cousins are superficially educated. City people can talk, but the greater part of the talk of many of them might be more properly called chattering. No farmer need feel below them because he is more retired and has a greater amount of modesty.

It is true, perhaps, that one can not seem more insignificant than he really is. Great men are constantly dying, but the living move on just the same. Each person's position seems valuable to few, and yet there is almost an entire dependence of man to man. Every one can not fill the highest positions, but they should make the best possible use of the faculties that are given them. If this is done there will be no regrets in the future in regard to what might have been done in the past. Life will then be thought worth living and much more happiness will cluster around it than now does.

There is no greater lack of education, perhaps, in agriculture than in the other vocations of man, and most farmers have a good share of well developed muscle to aid them in their work. The requisites are supplied. How many use them, at least in the way they should be used. All of the work could be done, but there is too small a number of good managers to oversee and carry out the performance of the little jobs that require to be performed at the right time.

There are some people in every business who, in the race for success, far outrun their competitors. This may be noticed on a farm. It takes but a short time to tell by the work a man does whether he is a good farmer or not. If a person is a good farmer and unites that quality to that of business management he will be successful in his attainments. Through success he will be honored by the members of his profession. He will be praised by all other people, and above all he will in the silent thoughts of his own mind have the satisfaction and pleasure of knowing that he is not a cipher in the vast human family. He will be pointed out as an example to those who are perhaps bowed down by discouragement. He will in all probability be called lucky when his success is really due to decisions that are arrived at by the experience and close observation of the past. If more farmers would be content to give their thoughts, as well as time, to farming, there would be more success and happiness in the occupation that depends above all others on good management.



I am an interested reader of THE PRAIRIE FARMER, and knowing that thousands of farmers take the advice they get from its pages and act upon it, I wish to say that the suggestions of B. F. J., Champaign, Ill., regarding seed corn from portions of the country South of us will not do. Last spring hundreds of farmers in Western Iowa planted seed corn that came from Kansas and Nebraska, and the result was that none of that from Kansas ripened, while but little of the Nebraska seed did any better. It all grew nicely, but was still green and growing when the frost came. It may be claimed that much of that grown from native seed was no better, but it was better and considerable of it ripened, and from this native seed we have the only promise of seed for next year's planting. If farmers expect a good crop of corn they should not get seed from a southern latitude. No Iowa farmer would buy seed corn now that grew in Kentucky, Kansas, or Missouri. The only seed corn on which our farmers rely implicitly is that which they have gathered before frost came and hung up near the fire to be thoroughly dried before it froze. That corn will grow.



All manures deposited by nature are left on or near the surface. The whole tendency of manure is to go down into the soil rather than to rise from it. There is probably very little if any loss of nitrogen from evaporation of manure, unless it is put in piles so as to foment. Rains and dews return to the soil as much ammonia in a year as is carried off in the atmosphere.

Rice contains more starch than either wheat, rye, barley, oats or corn. Of these grains oats carry the least starch, but by far the largest proportion of cellulose. In nitrogenous substances wheat leads, followed by barley, oats, rye and corn, while rice is most deficient. Corn leads in fat, and oats in relative proportion of water. Wheat leads in gum and rice in salt.

Convenience of farm buildings is an important aid to good farming, especially where much stock is kept and there are many chores. Water should always be provided in the barn-yard, the feeding boxes should be near where the feed is kept, and the buildings should not be very far removed from the house. If this results in more neatness about barns and barnyards than has been thought necessary, it will be another important advantage gained.

The President of the Elmira Farmers' Club tells the Husbandman that his crop of sorghum got caught by the frost, and too much injured to be of value as a sirup-producing substance. But he fed it to his cows which ate it greedily, and soon began to gain in milk. He thinks he got about as much profit from the crop as if it had been devoted to the original intent.

Governor Glick, in a short address before the State Board of Agriculture, last week, stated that Kansas history is the most remarkable on record; that in 1883 her people had more money to the head than any other people under heaven; that the State had received 60,000 immigrant population in 1883; that it will receive 160,000 in 1884; that in ten years it will have 2,000,000 people, and that thereafter Kansas will not care anything about bureaus of immigration—it will have people enough to work with, and the rest will come as fast as they are needed.

Farmers' Call: The experiments conducted during the last season at the Missouri State Agricultural College fully demonstrate the advisability of mulching potatoes. We believe every experiment so far reported gave a similar result. The cost of the materials for mulching is usually very small, leaves or straw being plentiful and cheap upon the farm. The materials manure the ground; and mulching saves hoeing. The potato requires a cooler climate and moister soil than our latitude affords. Mulching tends to secure both. The result in every case has been largely increased yields of superior quality.

The old saying, no grass no cattle, no cattle no manure, no manure no crops, is as true to-day as when first spoken. Grass takes care of him who sows it. The meadow is the master mine of wealth. Strong meadows fill big barns. Fat pastures make fat pockets. The acre that will carry a steer carries wealth. Flush pastures make fat stock. Heavy meadows make happy farmers. Up to my ears in soft grass laughs the fat ox. Sweet pastures make sound butter. Soft hay makes strong wool. These are some of the maxims of the meadow. The grass seed to sow depends upon the soil and here every man must be his own judge. Not every farmer, however, knows the grass adapted to his soil. If he does and seeds by the bushel, or other measures, he is apt to be misled.

Including millet and Hungarian there were in Kansas this year 3,730,150 acres of land devoted to the raising of hay. The yield per acre was 1.61 tons, or a total product of 6,002,576 tons. None of the tame grasses have as yet attained a large area in this State, the most extensively grown being timothy which has an area of 95,844 acres. The great bulk of the grass lands mentioned above is the prairie, protected by fence. The eastern third of the State probably contains four fifths of the tame grass area. The question of the growing of tame grasses in Kansas is receiving much attention from farmers, it becoming of vast importance as people increase the number of their farm animals. The question no doubt will be satisfactorily solved within a few years, and the tame grass area will increase to its just proportion.

The agricultural changes in Great Britain continue to be of a marked character. The area devoted to grain crops the past year was 8,618,675 acres, which is 214,705 acres less than in 1882. Potatoes were planted on 543,000 acres, and turnips and Swedes on 2,029,000 acres—all showing a slight increase; but mangolds, vetches and other green crops have declined by 21,000 acres on the figures for the previous year. Clover and the grasses show an increase of 58,500 acres. The change from tilth to permanent pasturage is again conspicuous, there being 15,065,300 acres as compared with 14,821,600 last year. Ten years ago grass covered 13,000,000 acres, while arable land has fallen during that period from 18,186,000 to 17,319,000 acres. Orchards are on the increase, and also market gardening. In the matter of live stock there is an improvement which leads to the hope that the heavy losses of recent years will be made up.

* * * * *

Illinois Central Railroad.

The elegant equipment of coaches and sleepers being added to its various through routes is gaining it many friends. Its patrons fear no accidents. Its perfect track of steel, and solid road-bed, are a guarantee against them.

* * * * *




Contains all the valuable features of his old "Nichols' Mills" with none of their defects. This is the only balanced mill without a vane. It is the only mill balanced on its center. It is the only mill built on correct scientific principles so as to govern perfectly.


Are mechanical devices used to overcome the mechanical defect of forcing the wheel to run out of its natural position.

A wind wheel becomes its own vane if no vane if used, hence, vanes—save only to balance the wheel—are useless for good, and are only useful to help blow the mill down.

This mill will stand a heavier wind, run steadier, last longer, and crow louder than any other mill built. Our confidence in the mill warrants us in offering the first mill in each county where we have no agent, at agents' prices and on 30 days' trial.

Our power mills have 25 per cent more power than any mill with a vane. We have also a superior feed mill adapted to wind or other power. It is cheap, durable, efficient. For circulars, mills, and agencies, address


(Successors to the Batavia Manf. Co., of Batavia, Ill.)

* * * * *

Sawing Made Easy

Monarch Lightning Sawing Machine!

Sent on 30 Days test Trial.

A Great Saving of Labor & Money.

A boy 16 years old can saw logs FAST and EASY. MILES MURRAY, Portage, Mich. writes, "Am much pleased with the MONARCH LIGHTNING SAWING MACHINE. I sawed off a 30-inch log in 2 minutes." For sawing logs into suitable lengths for family stove-wood, and all sorts of log-cutting, it is peerless and unrivaled. Illustrated Catalogue, FREE. AGENTS WANTED. Mention this paper. Address MONARCH MANUFACTURING CO., 163 N. Randolph St., Chicago, Ill.

* * * * *


2 TON WAGON SCALE, $40. 3 TON, $50. 4 Ton $60, Beam Box Included.

240 lb. FARMER'S SCALE, $5.

The "Little Detective," 1/4 oz. to 25 lb. $3.




40 lb. Anvil and Kit of Tools. $10.

Farmers save time and money doing odd jobs.

Blowers, Anvils, Vices & Other Articles


* * * * *


is simple, perfect, and cheap; the BEST FEED COOKER; the only dumping boiler; empties its kettle in a minute. OVER 5,000 IN USE; Cook your corn and potatoes, and save one-half the cost of pork. Send for circular. D. R. SPERRY & CO., Batavia, Illinois.

* * * * *



* * * * *



FULL TREATISE on improved methods, yields, profits, prices and general statistics, free.


* * * * *


Nervous Lost Weakness Debility Manhood and Decay

A favorite prescription of a noted specialist (now retired.) Druggists can fill it. Address


* * * * *

40 (1884) Chromo Cards, no 2 alike, with name, 10c., 13 pks, $1. GEORGE I. REED & CO., Nassau, N.Y.

* * * * *

REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER from this date to January 1, 1885; For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER COUNTY MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, FREE! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.

* * * * *


Stockmen. Write for Your Paper.

American breeders imported from Scotland 850 head of polled cattle last year.

* * * * *

W. C. Vandercook, Secretary of the Northern Illinois Merino Sheep Breeders' Association, recently took 900 Merino sheep to his recently purchased ranch in Norton county, Kansas.

* * * * *

Mr. Estill, of Estill, Mo., passed through Chicago, a few days ago, with forty head of Angus-Aberdeen and Hereford cattle. Estill & Elliott now own one of the best polled herds in the West.

* * * * *

The second regular annual meeting of the Kansas State Short-horn Breeders' Association will be held in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol, Topeka, Kan., during February 12 and 13, beginning at 7 P. M. of the 12th.

* * * * *

The seventh annual meeting of the Dutch-Fresian Association of America will be held at the Butterfield House, Utica, N. Y., February 6, 1884. Essays and addresses are expected from a number of distinguished stock breeders.

* * * * *

The Lafayette County Thoroughbred Live Stock Breeders' Association was recently organized at Higginsville, Mo. They will hold annual public sales and otherwise advance the improved stock interest. Their first sale will be held at Higginsville, October 15 and 16, 1884.

* * * * *

The following is a list of Jerseys exported from the island during the past year: Mr. Francis Le Brocq exported 848 cows, bulls, 28—total, 876. Mr. Eugene J. Arnold sent out 656 cows, 47 bulls—total, 703. Sundry shippers sold 158 cows and 7 bulls—total, 165. Grand total, 1,744 head.

* * * * *

Our readers will not fail to notice the public sale ad. of Mr. Wm. Yule, of Somers, Wis., who will, on the 19th day of March, disperse his entire herd of thoroughbred Short-horn cattle. The herd numbers forty head, and is the opening sale of the season, and will be one of the most attractive ones of the year. They are all of his own breeding. Send for catalogue, which will be ready about February 15.

* * * * *

Horse-stealing seems to be as prevalent in England as in this country. A late London live-stock journal says there is as much of it going on as there was half a century ago. A gang has recently been operating in Kent, Essex, and Surrey quite extensively. The thieves are no respecters of breeds, taking hunters, cart horses and carriage horses with equal boldness. Arrests are becoming frequent, and it seems likely the gang will soon be broken up.


The following addresses may be of use to many readers of THE PRAIRIE FARMER who may wish to record stock or purchase books:

American Short-horn Herd Book—W. T. Bailey, Secretary, 27 Montauk block, Chicago, Ill.

National Register of Norman Horses—T. Butterworth, Secretary, Quincy, Ill.

American Clydesdale Stud Book—Charles F. Mills, Secretary, Springfield, Ill.

American Hereford Record—Breeders' Live Stock Association, Beecher, Ill.

Holstein Herd Book—Thos. B. Wales, Secretary, Iowa City, Iowa.

Herd Register—American Jersey Cattle Club, Geo. E. Waring, Secretary, Newport, R. I.

American Poland-China Record—John Gilmore, Secretary, Vinton, Iowa.

Central Poland-China Record, Mr. Morris, Secretary, Indianapolis, Ind.


Our readers will remember that we last week made mention of a change in the sweepstakes rings at the next Illinois State Fair. This was a slight error. The change was made with reference to the Fat Stock Show. In this connection we present the argument of Hon. John P. Reynolds, on the subject before the board and which governed the board in its action.


To the State Board of Agriculture.

GENTLEMEN.—The undersigned, Superintendent of class A., respectfully submits the following report for the past year, including the fair in September, and the Fat Stock Show in November.


It was perfectly apparent to any one familiar with the displays of previous years in this department, that the breeding of fine cattle in this country is, at the present time, attracting the attention and commanding the best and most intelligent care of not alone the farmers who have been bred to their avocation, but of capitalists, who comprehend the great money values involved, and who either of themselves or through their sons have set out to identify themselves with this great interest. As the result of the fact the display of cattle was more varied as to breeds and greater as to number, if not superior as to quality, than at any fair, while the visitors in attendance seeking to purchase and studying the question of breeds with a view to purchase for breeding purposes, were never so numerous nor so much in earnest.

Under such circumstances, it may easily be imagined that the awards of prizes, not for the money value of the prizes themselves, but for the bearing of such honors upon the interests of exhibitors in regard to sales, assumed an unusual importance and involved a corresponding responsibility on the part of this board. Impressed, as I think, with a proper sense of that responsibility, and of the embarrassment which always surround that position, as your representative I discharged the duty to the best of my ability.

The most serious and perhaps, the only embarrassment which I should refer to in this report, was the absence of so large a proportion of the members of awarding committees originally selected, rendering it necessary to fill the places of the absentees by selections from the by-standers after the cattle had been called to the rings. Some of you "have been there" and have a realizing sense of the difficulties involved in the effort to make these substitutions intelligently and with conscientious care, on the spur of the moment. To do so in all cases with satisfaction to one's self is simply impossible, and to do it in all cases with satisfaction to unlucky competing exhibitors is not to be expected. If I could do the first and feel sure that the talisman had been wisely selected, it would be easy to disregard complaints, if any, which are known to be unjust.

The question of so modifying our committee system as to avoid the embarrassment I have referred to and thus to secure a better deserved confidence in the justice of the awards is one I hope to hear discussed at this meeting as it has been probably at every meeting of our predecessors for the past thirty years.

Possibly we are in the light of our own experience, with a different system at the Fat Stock Shows prepared to try something else at the fairs; but of this I do not feel certain.


The remarks I have made in regard to the display at the fair and the great interest it excited apply with, if possible, still greater force to the Fat Stock Show. Your record shows all material facts in respect to numbers and quality of the stock on exhibition, and I need not enlarge.

The importance of this enterprise, in its relation to the meat supply of the world, can hardly be over-stated, and its direct results to the producers of the meat producing breeds of stock as well as to the consumers, are too apparent to require discussion.

The rules and methods adopted by the board for conducting this show seems to need but little change—some slight modifications of the requirements of the premium list will be proposed when that subject shall come up for consideration, but beyond these there is but one subject which I regard as of sufficient importance to demand a suggestion from me at this time. I refer to the number of and division of duties among the awarding committees.

The method of selecting judges seems to me all right and there was much less difficulty in securing their attendance than at the fair. A few did not respond, but their places were filled satisfactorily in most cases. The wisdom of the appointment of your committee to decide upon the age of all animals on exhibition, prior to the commencement of the work of the judges and entirely independent of any suggestion or wish on the part of exhibitors, was practically demonstrated so that there is probably now no desire to discontinue it. In this case their discussions corroborated and established the statements and good faith of the exhibitors themselves in every instance except one, in which one the result was unimportant.

The special feature to which I desire to call your attention may perhaps be best understood if I express my own views in regard to it.

At present it is the practice for one committee of judges to make the awards on the animals of each breed in their several rings of yearlings, two-year-olds, and three-year-olds. After that has been done it is the practice for another committee to select the sweepstakes animals from among all the entries of all ages of that breed without regard to the prizes which the former committee may have awarded.

Now it not infrequently happens, and is always liable to occur, that the latter committee selects as the best animal of any age one which the former committee did not deem worthy of any prize at all or at least not a first prize, when judged by them in competition with these of its own age only. Evidently there is a mistake somewhere. Both decisions can not be correct. Both committees, we are bound to assume are equally honest, disinterested, and competent, because the members of both committees considered in making up a decision such discrepancy of judgment and the system which renders it possible may be almost excusable, perhaps, but in the Fat Stock Show, where we deal so fully in details and exact figures, and where we pretend to use our best efforts in every practical manner to get at and publish for the benefit of a confiding world the reliable, bottom facts obtained by the labors of paid experts, reach a conflicting record is not, in any judgement, one to be greatly proud of.

There is one plain, just and proper remedy for this, to wit: Restrict the award of sweepstakes prizes in the several breed rings to such animals as have taken first premiums in the rings for ages, and restrict competition for grand sweepstakes to such animals as have taken sweepstake prizes in the breed rings as have not otherwise competed at all. The awards of all special prizes should follow the decisions in the regular rings when not offered for animals not included in the regular rings.

Under this rule every animal competing for a sweepstakes prize, with possible exceptions in the grand sweepstakes, would have received the highest indorsement of the committees, and hence there could be no pretense of prejudice on the part of the judges and hence, too, it would matter very little whether a new competent committee were called for the grand sweepstakes or that committee was composed of judges who served in the rings, the latter, in my opinion, being preferable, because of their larger opportunity in becoming familiar with the points of difference between the competing animals.

I am persuaded that no objection to the remedy as I have stated it, would or could properly be made except by those whose animals were not included in the first prize or sweepstakes winners, and the only objection I have ever heard to the adoption of the rule, even at the fairs, is based on the idea that those animals (or the owners) failing to take prizes in the rings for ages, should have a "new trial" before an entirely new jury in sweepstakes. But how about those who won the verdict in the first trial! Is there any justice in requiring them to submit to another trial between themselves and those they have once vanquished? and if there is any propriety in that, why not in still another new trial and more new trials before new juries until every animal in the show has received a first prize, or the treasury has been exhausted or the community fails to furnish any more jurymen?

If it were simply the "consolation stakes" to non-prize winners, some loose practice might seem justifiable, but it is not the best policy in conducting the competitions of the Fat Stock Show to be influenced by any considerations except those which relate to fair, impartial and intelligent decisions, and no decisions can be fair, impartial and intelligent which conflict with each other and which, as a whole, fail to form a consistent record.

JOHN P. REYNOLDS, Supt. Class A.

* * * * *

James F. Scott purchased 200 mares and 500 one and two year old colts to be delivered on the 15th of March at the San Antonio Viego ranch.

* * * * *


Where land is not too high, and pasturage good as well as cheap, keeping good mares from which young mules can be raised is certainly a profitable business; especially so where corn and hay are grown on the farm, and the mares can be profitably worked at least part of the year.

With a liberal supply of corn fodder for winter feeding, and a good pasture, with hay and corn during the coldest weather, and when at work, this branch of farming is not only easy, but certain and profitable. A mare in good condition, not counting pasturage, can be kept for eight dollars a year. Service of jack here is generally six dollars, making keeping of mare and service cost fourteen. There has been no time since I came to this part of the State when a mule colt would not bring all the way from twenty-five to fifty dollars, depending, of course, upon the size, form, and general condition at weaning time. Allowing nothing for the work the mare would be able to do, which certainly ought to be sufficient to pay for her keep, there is left a good margin for profit. Or if we count the interest on the money invested in the mare, still we have a good profit left. The difference paid for young mules shows two facts: first, the importance of a good sire, or jack, and the other of a well-formed mare. It certainly costs no more money to keep a well-formed animal than it does to keep a poor one. Of course, at the start, one may require a somewhat larger outlay of money, and in this way, if we count the interest on the money invested, cause young mules to cost a trifle more than if cheaper animals were used. But this is more than compensated for by the larger price the colt will bring.

The difference between a mare that will bring a mule that only sells for the lowest price here at weaning time, twenty-five dollars, and one that brings a mule that will sell for fifty, the highest generally obtained, would make quite an item in the amount of profit to be derived from her keep, and especially where the same animals are kept quite a number of years for this purpose, as is often the case.

And this is not all; the mule will himself pay handsomely for keeping. Mules a year old, that are broken to the halter, so that they can be led, bring from eighty to one hundred dollars. When two years old, and broken to to the wagon as well as saddle, one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five dollars is the general price. Of course a pair of well matched mules, well broken to harness, at three or four years, will sell all the way from three to five hundred dollars, depending upon their color, form, size, etc. And this difference is, in nearly all cases the result of the difference between good and poor jacks, as well as good and poor mares. One other point must always be taken into account in this work, and that is in having mares that are sure breeders.

I find that those who have made most money out of this line of farming or stock-raising are those who, when they have secured a valuable brood mare that is sure of bringing a first-class mule colt, they not only keep her, but they take good care of her; and in this way they secure the very best results and realize the largest profits.

Where proper care is taken not to overwork or strain them, mares can always be profitably worked in planting and cultivating the corn crop, as well as cribbing it in the fall; fully enough work can be done to pay for what they eat and the pasturage. So that the cost of service and interest on the money invested is what the mule costs at weaning time. After that time, of course, they cost something more, as weaning time generally comes in the fall at about the time that pastures fail, and corn fodder, wheat straw, and hay, with a small amount of grain during the winter must be fed to keep the colt growing in good condition. Many farmers who do not care to go to the trouble of breaking young mules, dispose of them at weaning time; while others find it profitable to buy these up at whatever prices they are obtainable, and keep until they are two or three years old; during this time they are broken to lead, to ride, and to work.

To be sure, there is some risk connected with this, but, on the whole, it is considered very remunerative—so much so that many young men who manage to get enough cash ahead will buy one or two mule colts in the fall at weaning time and keep them until well broken in, and they sell at a profit, and in this way make a good start for themselves. As compared with other branches of stock-raising, there is less risk in this than in almost any other branch of farm stock.



Dairymen, Write for Your Paper.


The convention of Wisconsin dairymen, at Lake Mills, last week, was an excellent one. It was largely attended by the most prominent and experienced dairymen of this wonderful dairy State.

The people of Lake Mills did their utmost to make the visit of delegates pleasant, and they succeeded admirably. The crowning feature of their hospitality was the banquet on Thursday night. The feast was prepared by the ladies of the M. E. church. The supper, the toasts and responses, the music and all were enjoyable in the highest degree. Wisconsin dairymen believe in banquets. A leading member of the convention declared that the prosperous history of the association began with its first banquet.

Governor Rusk was in attendance at this convention, and his address was one calculated to encourage and help on the association. He assured the members that if they thought the association needed legislative aid, all they have to do is to ask for it. If they ask for $5,000, he will do his best to have the appropriation bill passed, and he will sign the enactment promptly when it reaches him for signature. He believes Wisconsin one of the foremost of dairy States, and he wants it to retain its position.

Among other prominent gentlemen present who participated in the discussions were Prof. Henry, of the Agricultural Department of the State University; Hon. Clinton Babbitt, Secretary of the State Agricultural Society; Hon. Hiram Smith, Chester Hazen, S. Favile, J. M. Smith, J. H. Smith, J. B. Harris, Inspector of Dairy Factories, Canada, and T. D. Curtis, Syracuse, N. Y.

The election of officers resulted in retaining the incumbents of last year for another year's service. These gentlemen are: W. H. Morrison, Elkhorn, President; D. W. Curtis, Fort Atkinson, Secretary; H. K. Loomis, Treasurer.

One of the prominent papers read was on Co-operative Dairying, by J. B. Harris, Esq., of Antwerp, N. Y., who is employed by the Canadian government as inspector of cheese and butter factories. We will give it in full, and follow next week with some account of the discussions.


In all human efforts, grand results have been attained chiefly by concert of action.

In our own time, everything is done by co-operation. Railways across continents, canals uniting oceans and seas, bridges almost of fabulous proportions, enterprises in engineering and commerce, never before known, evince the extent to which modern genius is availing itself of concert of effort in testing human capacity.

There is a visible tendency in all branches of business toward co-operation and centralization.

In looking down upon a large city, the unity visible even in the diversity of human affairs manifests itself in a manner truly wonderful. The air is literally filled with a vast net-work of wire, crossing and re-crossing in every conceivable direction, and over these, backward and forward, the thoughts of men are made to vibrate with the speed of lightning, in the elaboration and consummation of thousands of business schemes, and the air, as well as the buildings and streets, is full of human activity and enterprise. The lawyer, sitting comfortably at his desk in his office, talks with his banker, physician, grocer, a hundred clients, and his family, all seated like him himself at home, or at their various places of business. Thus is the telephone made the instrument of human co-operation and concert of action.

It is now less than thirty years since dairymen stumbled into the practice of co-operation in the business of making-cheese. Previous to that time cheese-making in this country was, to say the least, a crude affair. Every farmer ran his own factory, according to his own peculiar notion, and disposed of his products as he could "light on" chaps. In that day, cheese-making was guess work and hap-hazard. To-day it is a science. Then there were as many rules and methods as there were men. To-day the laws which nature has enacted, to govern the process of converting milk into cheese, are codified, and cheese-making has become a profession. In that day the accumulated results of the cheese industry of a neighborhood or township was a sight to behold—all manner of circular blocks, of concentrated error, large and small, thick and thin, when heaped together presented a spectacle that would now bring a smile upon the countenance of the most sober and dignified cheese-maker in the State.

The condition of the market at that time was quite as crude and irregular as the system, or rather the want of system, in manufacturing. There was no cable, no regular reports from the great business centers of the land, no regularly organized boards of trade, railroads not as numerous, less daily papers were in circulation, and many other circumstances which left the seller comparatively at the mercy of the buyer, and the purchase and sale of a dairy was conducted upon principles similar to those usually practiced in a horse trade.

The great changes which since that day have taken place in the dairying world are due chiefly to a division of labor, the introduction of system and co-operation. Our machinery, we are sorry to say, is not yet quite perfect in all its parts, and does not move with the precision and harmony of the orchestra, to which we have already alluded. Yet, although still in its infancy, it has already produced and does annually produce results grand indeed.

If we take a glance at the various industries at which men are to-day engaged, intellectual, commercial, and mechanical, the painstaking exactitude everywhere practiced will be found to be a growing subject of wonder and admiration. The secret of this lies in the fact that perfection in any department of business not only enlarges that business but also enriches those engaged in it. For example: there are perhaps ten times as many watches manufactured in the world to-day as at any other period in its history. It is a profitable business, or men would not engage in it, and the superhuman effort that is being continually put forth to increase the value, by making as perfect an article as human power can produce, establishes conclusively the assertion that there is always a profit in doing well. I am glad to observe that in the cheese industry of the United States and Canada, the light of this truth has to some extent aroused the slumbering dairymen. To quote from the Utica Herald of Sept. 11, 1883: "It is estimated that about 700,000 men are employed in this business, in one capacity or another, and that about 15,000,000 cows are used to furnish the one product of milk. The returns from this product are over $800,000,000. The total amount of capital invested in dairying in the United States is estimated to reach the enormous sum of $2,000,000,000." In consulting these figures we hope there is no person so dense of understanding as to entertain for a moment the idea that had the old system of every man his own cheese-maker prevailed that anything approaching this grand result would ever have been attained. Never. The concert or effort attained in the factory system is the key note to this grand, soul-inspiring chorus.

But an experience of twenty-five years in the dairy industry leads me to the conclusion that in the music of our business there is yet much discord. The dairymen and factorymen fail to understand the spirit of the piece we are attempting to perform, and fail to catch the idea that individual profit and prosperity depend upon the success of the business as a whole. No chain is stronger than its weakest link, and so long as there remains a slovenly dairyman in the business just so long our system will be incomplete and the working of co-operation remain imperfect. Perfect concert of effort, unbroken unity of hand with hand, in all the various details of the business, reaching down to the most unimportant items in the production of milk and the making of cheese, will produce in the long run the most profitable and permanent results to the individual as well as to the community.

"But," say some, "there is too much of the millennium, too much of theory, too much of the unattainable, in all this." To such I answer that there is much of the millennium, much of theory, and much of the unattainable in the Sermon on the Mount, and yet our Divine Master preached it, nevertheless.

It may perhaps be considered chimerical and theorizing to talk of a time when there will be no such persons among dairymen as what are known to the cheese-maker as a skimmer or stripper, but we hope such a time will come, nevertheless.

To what purpose do A., B., and C., and a score of other industrious, honest, painstaking fellows, exert themselves to collect a model dairy, sparing neither time nor expense in providing themselves with perfect sets of improved appurtenances for those dairies, from rich, well-watered pastures down to good, substantial three-legged milking stools, and labor incessantly from sunrise until sundown, that their barns may be in perfect order and everything connected with the business neat and clean, in order that their material may come into the hands of the manufacturer in a perfect condition—if heedless, lazy, shiftless, dishonest, ignorant, good-for-nothing D. keeps about him a herd of sick, disconsolated racks-of-bones, to wander over his arid and desolate fields in search of food and drink in summer, or with backs humped up, hover together for shelter under the lea of a wheat-straw stack, their only food in winter, and using a kit of dairying tools, the very best article of which is an old, water-soaked, dirty wooden pail, drawing his whey from the factory in the old, rusty, time-embattled milk cans, in which it is allowed to stand until the next milking, and which, after an imperfect washing, and refilled and returned to the factory, freighted with a compound sufficiently poisoned to nullify and undo the best efforts of a hundred A., B., and C's. It may be theorizing and visionary to talk of a time when the spirit of co-operation shall have driven such fellows out of the dairying business, to betake themselves with a pick-ax and spade to the ditch, but that such a time may come ought to be the earnest prayer of every thorough-going friend of co-operation in the land.

It may seem like castle building and an unprofitable waste of time to indulge in theories and construct plans by which the rivalry among factorymen may be kept within a limit sufficiently circumscribed to prevent the fear of loss of patronage from interfering with, and lowering the standard of, our cheese. It is too often the case, nowadays, that factorymen are deterred from a full and complete discharge of their duty to themselves, their patrons, and the world in general, by a fear, by no means groundless, that a bold and upright course with regard to the material brought to them will result in a damaging, if not entire loss, of their occupation.

The unwise extent to which men have gone in the erection of cheese factories, has increased competition to an extent decidedly prejudicial to the interest of the cheese-consuming world. A., having invested his entire capital in the construction and equipment of a factory, will be quite likely, when B., C., and D. erect factories in his immediate neighborhood, to hold his peace when sundry varieties of swill milk are offered at his door, instead of speaking out an equivocal protest against the insult thus offered to his professional pride and sense of decency.

To the dairyman naturally given to slovenly and careless habits, the restraint to which he might otherwise be subjected is practically removed when nearly equi-distant from his place of abode there are three or four factories, instead of one, and he knows that if rejected at one place, he can without inconvenience go to another, and thus it transpires that at five factories in every ten there will be found a conspicuous absence of thorough and inexorable discriminations which ought always to prevail in the receipt of milk for factory purposes.

For this abuse there is, in our estimation, a remedy however theoretical and visionary it may appear, and that is concert of action and co-operation among factorymen. Men in all branches of business, nowadays, associate with each other, and form themselves into bodies for the purpose of closer union and mutual protection, and when this is done for the general good, as well as individual advancement, the purpose is laudable and universally successful.

We know of no business in which the necessity of combination is so great as that of cheese-making, and, what, let me ask, could be more desirable and praiseworthy than an association of cheese-makers, for the purpose of sending the swill milk of the country to the hogs, where it belongs, instead of making it up, as at present, for human consumption.

We have an idea that such an association might be successfully formed, and that, when once in effectual operation, it might ask the legislative body of its country to enact a law, entitled "An Act for the suppression of swill milk, and for the general good of mankind," in which it should be provided, among other things, that in every case where a dairyman has left a factory on account of having had his milk rejected for cause traceable to his negligence, that in all such cases, the factory or factory company knowingly receiving the milk of such rejected party, shall be liable to some appropriate penalty.

The extreme sensitiveness of milk in the absorption of taint from the atmosphere, or any substance with which it comes in contact, ought to be thoroughly understood by all persons engaged in handling it, but, we believe, that but few comparatively are alive to the true facts of the case. I herewith present several paragraphs clipped from journals of recent date:

"There are seventy-five cases of typhoid fever in the town of Port Jarvis. Dr. McDonald attributes the spread of the disease to the use of milk from the farm of Mrs. Thomas Cuddebach, in whose family there have been several typhoid cases, holding that the milk conveyed the disease germs. Nearly all of the parties now sick had used milk from the farm."

"A dairyman from Dundee has been apprehended and fined for allowing his wife and daughter to milk cows and assist in the sale of milk, after they had been engaged in nursing a child suffering from scarlet fever. No less than nineteen cases of fever, four of which resulted fatally, were traced to this act of carelessness."

With these facts in view, how can it be expected that any amount of diligence on the part of a cheese-maker can atone for the unpardonable sin committed, day after day, by the heedless and unobserving patrons, of leaving a can of freshly drawn milk standing all night in an unwholesome barn or yard, until it has absorbed a whole family of pestilential odors, and then to carry it to the factory to corrupt and poison everything with which it comes in contact.

Some may suppose it a mere theory to speak of a condition of things in which abuses of this character can not be found, but during an experience of five years as cheese instructor, in the Province of Ontario, during which I superintended the making of cheese in about 400 different factories, and during the last year inspected the milk from about 65,000 cows, the property of about 7,000 dairymen, I occasionally made up vats in which there was no discoverable taint and which, I was pretty certain, came from the farms of well drilled, well posted dairymen, and, from a circumstance of this character, I am led to the conclusion that what has been done once can be done again, and I make such facts a text upon which I found my plea for more thorough co-operation and diligent painstaking in the work of producing milk for factory purposes.

* * * * *

There may be times when peculiar atmospheric conditions will exert unfavorable influences, and seasons when drought and wet weather will produce changes, over which human efforts have no control, and for these sufficient allowance must be made. We quarrel with the stupidity, shiftlessness, and ignorance of men, and not with the providence of God.

In this day and age of the world there is no excuse for ignorance upon the points to which we have alluded. Wisdom uttereth her voice in the streets, and he who will not hear her ought to be drummed out of the camp of dairymen. As a rule, a common carpenter puts more thought into his business in a month than many dairymen do in a year. Indeed, it would be difficult to point out a single branch of human industry, of one-half the magnitude which the manufacture and sale of cheese has reached, carried on in a manner so slipshod and slovenly as dairying.

The banker, the columns of whose ledger fail by one cent of balancing, spares neither time nor money in searching out and correcting the error; the merchant brings to bear upon his business a care and insight so unceasing and laborious that his locks are soon sprinkled with premature silver; the machinist works to plans from which the variation of a thousandth part of an inch can not be allowed to pass uncorrected; but the dairyman too often stumbles along through his work without thought, or employs the little intellect he has in putting in and harvesting his crops, leaving the dairy in the meantime to take care of itself. There are too many men engaged in dairying who can see nothing in the business beyond the factory dividend; men to whom filling the milk pail and the can are the Alpha and Omega of life. To such men such a thing as an ambition that their county, town, or neighborhood shall attain and hold a reputation for being the banner cheese district of the State or nation, is as thoroughly unknown as the configuration of the bottom of the Dead sea.

In saying what we have about the patrons of cheese factories, and the closer and more thorough co-operation among them, we have been actuated by no feelings of unkindness or ill will, nor have we arraigned them upon trivial or imaginary charges. The indictments we have found against them are all true bills, against which too many of them will be unable to sustain the plea of not guilty. We have been constrained to our present course by an overmastering sense of the importance of greater care, deeper thought, and closer union in pushing forward one of the greatest industries of the day. I am confident that before another step can be taken in advance it must be preluded by a correction of the errors which we have feebly attempted to portray, all of which lie outside and prior to the factory. As a body, cheese-makers can do little better than they are now doing, until there is some improvement in the material upon which they are called upon to exercise their skill, and the practice of crimination and recrimination, the factorymen tossing the blame upon the dairymen and the dairymen upon the factorymen, which is made use of to conceal the real source of our mistakes, will continue to shield him from the eyes of a discriminating public until the care and diligence of dairymen strip him of this shelter and drive him forward on the march to improvement.

* * * * *

REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER from this date to January 1, 1885; For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER COUNTY MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, FREE! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.

* * * * *


Impaction of the Paunch.

Impaction of the paunch (the first stomach or rumen) in cattle, sometimes also called grainsick or mawbound, differs from bloating or hoove, mainly thereby that the distention is more solid than gaseous, it being either with food alone, or with food and gas. Symptomatically it differs also from hoove by the absence of eructation, and by the hardness of the flanks and the smaller volume of the swelling. It arises from gorging with almost any kind of food, even with grain or with chaff, at a sudden change of diet; but it is particularly liable to arise from a surfeit of turnips, fresh grass, or any other succulent food at the commencement of the season. The instrument called a probang ought to be introduced, either to decide whether the case be one of hoove or one of mawbound, or to ascertain the degree in which the latter disease exists. If the probang bring on a sudden rush of gas, the disease is wholly or chiefly hoove; and if it encounter a solid resistance, the disease mawbound, and exists in a degree of aggravation proportioned to the nearness of the point at which the resistance is felt.

In mild cases of impaction of the paunch, when the animal does not seem to suffer much pain, and is not materially fevered, but merely ceases rumination or chewing of the cud, refuses to eat, and lies long and indolently in one posture, a dose of oil, or a little forced walking, are frequently sufficient to effect a cure. In cases which, though on the whole mild, are accompanied with a kind of inertia, or with an insuperable reluctance to rise or to move about, stimulants, such as ether diluted with alcohol and water, may be required to rouse the paunch into renewed action; but whenever such remedies are necessary, they must be given in cautious doses, and always accompanied with some gentle purgatives. In very bad cases, when the animal seems sinking through inertness into death, or in which moans, swells at the sides, becomes almost as a board in the flanks, appears to suffer great and increasing pain, and seems eventually to be overwhelmed with anguish and to be passing into unconsciousness, it must be promptly decided whether we have sufficient time and encouragement to try the effect of stimulants, purgatives, the stomach pump, and other comparatively gentle measures; and if not, we should, without much delay, cut through the left flank into the paunch, and with the hands withdraw the contents. The cutting operation itself is attended or followed with little danger; but in the extracting of the food, no matter how carefully performed, some small portion is liable to drop into the abdominal cavity; and this, in consequence of its indigested condition, resists absorption or expulsion, undergoes an irritating decomposition, and may very probably originate some serious inflammatory disorder. Any animal which has suffered a very bad case of impaction of the paunch, ought, immediately after complete restoration to health, to be sent to the shambles; for, independently of the lurking danger consequent on the artificial extraction of the food, or even upon the relaxation which follows the administration of a stimulant, the paunch is so much overstretched and injured by the mechanical effects of the distension as to be temporarily incapacitated for the proper discharge of its functions.

Queries Answered.

PROBABLY RINGBONE.—W. B. S., Sciola, Iowa. In the absence of any information to the contrary, the lameness may be regarded as due to the development of ringbone. There is no certain cure for this disease. All that may be expected from treatment is to retard or stay its progress or development; but in all cases more or less stiffness or lameness will remain, depending upon the extent of its development. Then, subsequent hard work, or any cause of renewed irritation, will be apt to further aggravate the case, and cause additional enlargement and increasing lameness. The usual course of treatment in such cases consists in blistering or firing, or both combined, with subsequent long rest or a season's liberty on pasture.

* * * * *

Uneasiness is a species of sagacity; a passive sagacity. Fools are never uneasy.

* * * * *

REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER from this date to January 1, 1885; For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER COUNTY MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, FREE! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.

* * * * *


Horticulturists, Write for Your Paper.

Lessons of 1883.


Progress in all arts and sciences is the one grand aim of all associations and of all agricultural and horticultural societies and journals; and to study the results of each year's experiences and observations, comparing them with those of previous years, and also with the ideal of perfection which each laborer in these several departments of industry has pictured in his own mind, is the best preparation for achieving desired results in the future.

In the present paper we will take a brief retrospect of the fruit crops of 1883, and inquire into the causes of successes and failures.


We begin with the strawberry, which, though small and unpretentious, has been from year to year rising in importance until it has become second only to the apple in the estimation of a majority of consumers.

The past year's experience has taught, as does that of each year, that great care should be taken in selecting varieties adapted to each particular soil and situation. This may be said to be the important thing in strawberry growing.

It is a difficult thing to find such varieties by the ordinary means of selecting; namely, recourse to the catalogues of growers. Man has a wonderful amount of selfishness in his composition. I say wonderful, for it is a wonder when we consider how much better he would enjoy life were all selfishness eliminated from it, and benevolence, coupled with true self love, were substituted. "Each crow thinks its own young the blackest," and each (almost) originator or "exclusive owner" of a new variety of plant or tree, labors hard to convince himself and others that he has the best of his kind; but, owing to the weakness of human nature, even the sincere among these are liable to be biased, and thus mislead others. The only safety, therefore, lies in planting such varieties as you know to succeed well near you in similar soil, while new varieties, commended as superior by persons of known integrity and experience, for similar soil and climatic condition, should be tried only on a small scale as an experiment. If they succeed, you can soon have plenty of plants of your own growing—if you prefer to grow them. This advice, though often before given will bear frequent repetition—for the desire for "something new" is as prevalent with us now as it was with the Athenians in St. Paul's time. We have seen Big Bobs, Great Americans, and other monstrosities dwindle to pigmies in the hands of ordinary cultivators, and the demand for Sharpless become less sharp through its sensitiveness to the influence of Jack Frost; and hosts of other sorts, really good and valuable somewhere, and under peculiarly favorable conditions to be comparatively valueless for general cultivation. Therefore every person designing to plant should repeat to himself this injunction—"Go slow on new varieties."

It is not desirable for persons who plant for their own use solely to select the pistillate varieties; for these, although the most profusely productive when well fertilized, are liable to overrun their staminate neighbors, and soon render the "strawberry patch" unproductive, or productive only of small or imperfect fruit. The leading pistillates offered in the catalogues now are Crescent, Col. Cheney, Windsor Chief, Jersey Queen, Big Bob, Manchester, Green Prolific, Golden Defiance, Champion, Park Beauty, Gipsey, and some others.

There are a few sorts, having perfect blossoms, which give profitable returns on a variety of soils, and which may be considered safe to plant. These are Charles Downing, Miner, Bidwell (kept in single rows or single plants), Piper, Cumberland Triumph, Phelps ("Old Iron Clad"), Sucker State, Finch, Capt. Jack (acid), Longfellow (with good, rich culture), Mt. Vernon (late), and for sandy soil, Kentucky (late). This list may be said to constitute the cream of the thousand and one varieties offered which have been well tested. Of course those who grow strawberries for market will plant largely of some of the pistillate sorts, owing to their great productiveness.

The past year has taught the folly of too great haste in removing the covering from strawberry plants; as those which bloomed early were badly damaged by the frost. Plantations, also, which were partially screened by rows and belts of evergreens produced twice to three times the quantity of fruit that was obtained from the same varieties fully exposed. Plants in orchards also escaped to a great degree, for the trees were in leaf when the destructive frost occurred, and thus gave partial protection. Strawberries are at home in a young orchard; the cultivation given the plants is good for the trees, and the slight shade of the young trees is no perceptible detriment to the plants or fruit.

The general crop was about one-third an average—the chief damage being done by the frost—though the tarnished plant-bug was very destructive in Southern Illinois, and did some damage in other localities. Prices were from fifty to a hundred per cent higher than usual—supply and demand being the factors, in the fruit trade, as well as in all others, which regulate prices.

Spring is better than summer or autumn for planting strawberries. In thirty years' experience in strawberry culture I have never, except in two instances, found any advantage in summer or fall planting, and in these pot-plants were used, which are too expensive for general planting and not always preferable. Three or four of the varieties named, 100 of each, planted as early in spring as the ground is in good condition, in rows three to three and a half feet apart, and confined, as they run, to narrow strips, will give an abundance of fruit for two or three years for a large family. Certainly such planting and care is as good an investment as can be made upon any farm or in any garden.

1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse