The Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56, No. 2, January 12, 1884 - A Weekly Journal for the Farm, Orchard and Fireside
Author: Various
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A Weekly Journal for





[Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was originally located on page 24 of the periodical. It has been moved here for ease of use.]


AGRICULTURE—Dew and Soil Moisture, Page 17; Specialty in Farming, 17; Public Squares in Small Cities, 17-18; Farm Names, 18; Diogenes In His Tub, 18; Field and Furrow, 18-19; Agricultural Organizations, 19; Didn't No. 38 Die Hard, 19; A Grange Temple, 19.

LIVE STOCK—Items, Page 20; Swine Statistics, 20; Iowa Stock Breeders, 20; The Horse and His Treatment, 20; Items, 20-21.

THE DAIRY—Winter Feed for Cows, Page 21; Churning Temperature, 21; Seas of Milk, 21.

VETERINARY—About Soundness, Page 21; Questions Answered, 21.

HORTICULTURE—The Hedge Question, Page 22; Young Men Wanted, 22; Possibilities of Iowa Cherry Growing, 22-23; Prunings, 23.

FLORICULTURE—Gleanings by an Old Florist, Page 23.

EDITORIAL—Items, Page 24; Illinois State Board, 24-25; Sorghum at Washington, 25; The Cold Spell, 25; American Ash, 25; Wayside Notes, 25; Letter from Champaign, 25.

POULTRY NOTES—A Duck Farm, Page 26.

THE APIARY—Apiary Appliances, Page 26; What Should be Worked For, 26.

SCIENTIFIC—The Star of Bethlehem, Page 27.

HOUSEHOLD—How the Robin Came, Poem, Page 28; After Twenty Years, 28; Will Readers Try It, 28; The Secret of Longevity, 28; How the Inventor Plagues His Wife, 28; Recipes, 28; Pamphlets, etc., Received, 28.

YOUNG FOLKS—The City Cat, Poem, Page 29; Amusing Tricks, 29; Bright Sayings, 29; Compiled Correspondence, 29.

LITERATURE—The Wrong Pew, Poem, Page 30; Yik Kee, 30-31.

HUMOROUS—"A Leedle Mistakes," Page 31; Sharper Than a Razor, 31; A Coming Dividend, 31.


MARKETS—Page 32.


Bulletin No. 6 of Missouri Agricultural College Farm is devoted to an account of experiments intended to demonstrate the relation of dew to soil moisture. Prof. Sanborn has prosecuted his work with that patience and faithfulness characteristic of him, and the result is of a most interesting and useful nature.

The Professor begins by saying that many works on physics, directly or by implication, assert that the soil, by a well-known physical law, gains moisture from the air by night. One author says "Cultivated soils, on the contrary (being loose and porous), very freely radiate by night the heat which they absorb by day; in consequence of which they are much cooled down and plentifully condense the vapor of air into dew." Not all scientific works, however, make this incautious application of the fact that dew results from the condensation of moisture of the air in contact with cooler bodies. Farmers have quite universally accepted the view quoted, and believe that soils gain moisture by night from the air. This gain is considered of very great importance in periods of droughts, and is used in arguments favoring certain methods of tillage.

Professor Stockbridge, in 1879, at the Massachusetts Agricultural College, carried on very valuable and full experiments in test of this general belief, and arrived at results contradictory of this belief. He found, in a multitude of tests, that in every instance, save one, for the months from May to November, that the surface soil from one to five inches deep, was warmer than the air instead of cooler, as the law requires for condensation of moisture from the air. That exception was in the center of a dense forest, under peculiar atmospheric conditions. After noting these facts, ingenious methods were employed to test more directly the proposition that soil gains moisture from the air by night, with the result that he announced that soils lose moisture by night. Professor Stockbridge's efforts met with some criticism, and his conclusions did not receive the wide acceptance that his view of the question justifies. In reasoning from observation, Professor Stockbridge noted that the bottom of a heap of hay, during harvesting, would be wet in the morning, the under side of a board wet in the morning, and so of the other objects named. In the progress of tillage experiments related in his Bulletins Nos. 3 and 5, Prof. Sanborn's attention was again called to this question, resulting in the prosecution of direct tests of the soil moisture itself. When completed it is thought that there will then no longer be occasion to reason from assumed premises regarding the matter. The trials were begun late, and under disadvantages; and are to be understood as preliminary to more complete tests during 1884. The experiments were all conducted upon a soil bare of vegetation.

Prof. Sanborn concludes from his experiments thus far that the surface gains moisture from soil beneath it by capillary action, but gathers nothing from the air. This is made strongly probable, if not shown; first, because the soil is warmer by night than the air. (He relies upon other facts than his own for this assertion.) 2nd. Because he found more moisture in the soil when covered over night than when left bare. 3d. Because when hoed, thereby disturbing capillary action, he found less moisture than when unhoed, in surface soil. Finally, he concludes the position proven, for, when he shut off the upward flow of water to the surface of the soil, he found not only less moisture above the cut off or in the surface soil than where no disturbance of capillary action had been made, but actually less moisture in the surface soil than the night before. Strongly corroborating this conclusion is the fact that all of the tests conspire to show that the gain of moisture in the surface of the soil by night is traceable to one source, and only one source.

The facts of this bulletin accord with the previous ones in showing that mulching and frequent shallow tillage economize the moisture of the soil and add new proof of this to those already given.


This subject in my estimation should begin to attract attention, especially among the large land owners and farmers of the West. If we study the whole catalogue of money-making enterprises and money-making men, we find that the greatest success has been attained where there has been the greatest concentration on a special line of work. True, it is, that specialists are subject to unexpected changes of the times, and if thrown out of their employment are not well prepared for other work, and yet their chances for success as compared with the "general idea" man are as ten to one.

For an example look at science. How has it advanced? Is it not by the invaluable aid of men who have given their whole lives to the solution of some special problem? It could not be otherwise. If every scientist had attempted to master the majority of scientific truths before he was contented to concentrate his time on some special branch of science, science would have progressed little or none at all. Linnaeus opened the way in botany, and the world profited by his blunders. But to be brief—it seems to me that the most successful farmer in the future is to be the man who can so arrange his work that he is led into the deepest research on some one branch of farming. He must be a specialist. He must thoroughly master the raising of fine stock for breeding purposes, for practical profit and the shambles. Attend stock associations, and hear witnesses testify on every hand to the difficulties connected with properly rearing calves for breeding purposes.

The honest breeder, though full of ideas, acknowledges he knows but very little on breeding. His time in farm life, for twenty years or more has been devoted to too many things. Is not the expert swine-grower the successful man? Books are something, but practical experience is something more. It matters little however practical the author of a work on agricultural science may be, unless the man who reads has some practical experience, his application of the author's truths will be a total failure.

We insist, therefore, that the successful farmer must be a specialist. He must devote his time to special more than to general farm work. You ask me to outline in detail the idea thus advanced. You somewhat question its practicability. To attempt it might lead to endless discussion, but let us reduce to example. Farmer A. raises cattle, hogs, and sheep for breeding purposes, devotes some attention to fine horses, and keeps thirty-six cows for dairy purposes. Farmer B. devotes his entire attention to dairying and has invested in dairy cows as much money as A. has in all his stock. Is it not evident that though each farmer began life the same year, the latter man will make the most money, providing the section he is in demands dairy work? It seems to me so. And if we further place limit on the dairyman's work, we should say he can not afford, with fifty or seventy-five cows, to give as much attention to the manufacture of cheese and butter as that work necessarily demands. Even though he employs a specialist in creamery work, he himself must be a specialist to some extent. We say to investing farmers do not put $500 into horses, $500 into fine cattle, and $500 into swine, but concentrate on one class of stock, and give that your time.

J.N. MUNCEY, Asst. Ag. Expts. Ag. Col., Ames, Iowa.



A respectable looking, middle-aged gentleman called upon me not long since and told me he was a resident of an interior city of some eight or ten thousand inhabitants, and at a recent public meeting had been appointed chairman of a committee on the improvement of a small park, which it was thought might be made an attractive ornamental feature of the town.

On further inquiry I learned that the proposed park was simply a public square with a street on each of its four sides, on which fronted the principal public buildings, stores, etc. It was a dead level, with no natural features of any kind to suggest the manner of its arrangement, but they thought it might be made to add to the beauty of the town, and he had called to ask my advice in regard to it.

As the arrangement of such areas had occupied my thoughts a good deal in a general way, it occurred to me that this was a good opportunity to ventilate some opinions I had formed in regard to prevalent errors in their management, and accordingly I addressed him substantially as follows:

"It is very rare that the people of any town show a just appreciation of the value of such an area for ornamental use. Such a piece of ground as you describe in the very business center of a town must of course possess great pecuniary value, and the fact that it has been voluntarily given up and devoted for all time to purposes of recreation and ornament would lead us to expect that they would at least exercise the same shrewdness in securing their money's worth, that they do in their private transactions. They have given this valuable tract for the object of ornamenting the town by relieving the artificial character of the buildings and streets by the refreshing verdure of trees and grass and shrubbery, and that it may afford a place for rest and recreation for tired wayfarers and laborers, and nurses with their children, and a pleasant resort for rest and refreshment when the labors of the day are at an end.

"Its arrangement, therefore, should be such as to set forth these objects so obviously that no one could look upon the scene without perceiving it. The trees should be so arranged in groups and in such varieties as would afford picturesque effects when seen from the principal points of approach. The paths and open areas should be so arranged as to prevent the possibility of saving time by a short cut across, and so provided with seats under the shade of the trees as to invite to repose, instead of this, in nine cases out of ten, the trees (if any are planted) are simply set in rows at equal distances, without the faintest attempt at picturesque effect, and the paths are carried diagonally across from corner to corner for the express purpose of affording an opportunity for a short-cut to every one who is hastening to or from his business. The consequence is that at certain hours the paths are filled by a hurrying throng whose presence would alone suffice to banish the effect of repose which should be the ruling spirit of the place, while at all other times it is comparatively deserted.

"Perhaps these ideas might not be satisfactory to your people, and I have therefore set them forth somewhat at length in order that you may understand what I conceive should be the ruling principle of arrangement."

I perceived that my visitor was somewhat disturbed and it was not till he had told me, in a kind of half apologetic way, that he did not know "but what I was pretty nigh right," that he finally informed me that the square in question was already divided in the manner I described, by diagonal paths, and moreover that the paths were lined on each side by rows of well-grown trees.

I could not help inquiring what further laying out it required, and it then came out that there had been no thought of a re-arrangement of the component elements of the park in order to give it an expression of grace or beauty, but they had thought I might be able to make it attractive by the introduction of rustic arbors and gateways, or perhaps a fountain or "something of that sort to give it a stylish look."

I gave him an advertising pamphlet containing designs and prices of garden ornaments, and told him they could select and order whatever they liked from the manufacturers,—but declined to give any advice which should connect my name with the work.

I have told this story as the readiest means of setting forth my ideas of the capabilities of such public areas, and also as an illustration of prevailing errors in regard to landscape gardening, which most people seem to think consists solely of extraneous, artificial decoration, by means of which any piece of ground can be made beautiful, however stiff and formal may be the arrangement of the trees, shrubbery, and lawns which give expression to its character as truly as the features of a human face.

Such squares as I have described are the most common and simple forms of public parks, and they might and should in all cases constitute not only a chief ornament of the town, but a most attractive place of resort for rest and refreshment. Nothing beyond the materials which nature furnishes is needed for the purpose, but it is essential that these should be gracefully dispersed, and that they should exhibit a luxuriant, healthy growth.

Above all we should avoid the introduction of artificial decorations which are intended to "look pretty." If arbors or rests are needed, let them be placed at the points where they are obviously required, and be made of graceful patterns; but do not put elaborate structures of rustic work where no one will ever use them, and where in a few years they will be only dilapidated monuments of a futile effort at display.

The Village Improvement Societies which are everywhere springing up should devote their earliest efforts to the tasteful arrangement and care of these public ornamental areas, which should form the nucleus and pattern of the graceful expression which should pervade the streets.


Since the call of THE PRAIRIE FARMER for "something new" I have been afraid to follow any of the old beaten paths so long traveled by agricultural writers; and have been on the lookout for the "something new." Something that does not appear in our agricultural papers, yet of interest to the fraternity. It matters little how trifling the subject may be, if it begets an interest in farm or country life; anything that will make our homes more attractive, more beautiful, and leave a lasting impression on the minds of the boys and girls that now cluster around the farmers' hearths throughout this vast country of ours.

There is a beautiful little song entitled, "What is Home Without a Mother?" which could be supplemented with another of equal interest, to wit: "What is Home Without a Name?" I answer, a dreary waste of field and fence, there being nothing in the mind of the absent one to remind him of his distant home but a lone farm-house, a barn, long lines of fences, and perhaps a few stunted apple trees; and when he thinks of it, his whole mind reverts to the hot harvest field, the sweat, the toil, and the tiresomeness of working those big fields! Nothing attractive, no pleasant memory. Nothing to draw the mind of the youth to the roof that sheltered his childhood. No wonder boys and girls yearn for a change.

Then what are we to do to change this for the better. I say give your country homes a name, no matter how homely or isolated that home may be. Give each one a name, and let those names be appropriate and musical, short, sweet, and easily remembered and pronounced, and then, when you go to visit a neighbor, either on business or pleasure, instead of saying, I am going to Jones', or to Brown's, or Smith's, let it be, I am going over to "The Cedars," or, to "Hickory Grove," or, to "Holly Hill." How much pleasanter it would sound. There would be no mistake about your destination, there being perhaps half a dozen Jones, Browns, or Smiths within five miles of your home, but only one "Hickory Hill." Then, when young folks make up their surprise parties during the long, cold, winter evenings, in place of notifying each other that they are going to surprise the James', the Jones', or the Jackson's, it would be, we are going to surprise "Pleasant Valley" "Viewfield" or "Walnut Hill." Every member of the surprise party would know the place intended, and the squads and companies of sleighs with their closely packed loads of laughing girls, and well filled baskets of good things would begin to marshal on the several roads that lead towards the trysting place; and when the merry-makers reach the well trimmed walnut grove from which the farm takes its name, and march up to the dwelling, instead of shouting: Mrs. Brown, we greet you, or Uncle Brown, etc., it would be: "Walnut Hill" we greet you, which would include all the Browns, old and young.

One of the brightest spots in my memory is the remembrance of "Rose Valley" my childhood's happy home. Every pleasant occurrence of my boyhood clusters around that never-to-be forgotten name. It has acted like a guide, a land mark for me through my life; and my great aim in life has been to make my own home just like dear "Rose Valley." To begin the work, I have set my own house in order; and the following names given to the farms under my care will practically illustrate my plan.

- - - FORMER OWNERS. FARM NAMES. PRESENT TENANTS. - - - Thompson Place Hickory Ridge A. Maddox Home " Elmwood Mr. Houck's home Doutey " South Elmwood D.Q. Renfrue Horroll " Gravel Hill T.H. Miller Conran " Cedar Grove A. Miller Casebolt " Millbrook C. Blettner Harness " Burnside A. Tunge Heller " Pleasant Hill J.H. Kempf Lewis " Woodlawn W. Lewis Oaks' " Castle Rock Noah Neff Held " The Glade W. Reubelman Jackson " Beechwald G. Edwards Bottom " Deerfield . . . . . . . . . . . . Benna " The Mound R. Oliver Williams " Blacklands W. Mitchel McGee " Lone Tree Tom Miller Johnson " South Park Owen Bush New Land Cedar Cliff Peter Heller " " Cypress Grove Geo. Surlett Old Homestead Middle Park Johd Meintz West of City West Park Dave Meintz East of R. By. Spring Park Jas. Ballinger Manning Place Longview Aug. Klemme Cox " Meadow Hill H. Stinehoff Davis " Lilypond Chas. Davis Renfroe " Beechfield I. Renfroe Ruble " Sycamore Springs Mrs. Sarah Miller Bair Clover Hill W. Gunter Edmonson " Riverside J.H. Relley New " Cotton Grove W.H. Henson Garaghty " Wheatland J.H. Relley Price " Roundpond W. Miller Jordan " Parsonage Wm. Jackson Bird " Richwood Mrs. Jackson Laseley " Richland W. Lackey New " Lakeside D. Edmunson New " The Island Geo. Laseley Sexton " Beech Hill J.H. Irving Martin " Creekfield Joe Bair Miss Co " Catalpa Grove Geo. Burns Cramer " Hubbleside . . . . . . . . . . . . Miller " Spring Grove A. Miller Brown " East Gravel Hill J.H. Miller

I give these as samples to guide my brother farmers in selecting names for their homes. Every one of those farms can be identified by some local peculiarity, prominent and visible. For instance, Davis place is situated close to a large pond covered with white lilies. Standing on the doorsteps of the Manning place you can view a ten-mile stretch of the Mississippi river, while Mr. Relley's place is situated on the banks of that great stream. Such names can be multiplied to an indefinite extent, and duplicated in each county.

If such names were generally in use, it would greatly assist postmasters in their difficult task of knowing which Smith or Brown was intended.

Now brother farmers, I have moved the adoption of appropriate names for every farm in the land; who will second the motion? Give your wives and daughters a chance to name the homestead, and my word for it, it will be both musical and appropriate. Let us give our children something pleasant to think of after they have left the dear old home. To afix the name, paint it on a large board and nail it over your front gate.



Allow me, Messrs. Editors, to give you notes of what I see, and hear, and learn, and cogitate, and endeavor to inculcate, from my snug little home in my Tub—will you not?

Well—having your assent, I begin by wishing you all—editors, correspondents, typos, and "devils"—a Happy New Year, and your excellent paper unlimited success in 1884, and a long life thereafter. Next, permit me to advert to the contents of some


First, to the pro and con of pasturing corn-stalks. That is a subject, like many others, on which much can be said on both sides. Mr. Stahl (in No. 50) quotes Prof. Sanborn as saying that a ton of corn fodder, "rightly cured and saved," is worth two-thirds of a ton of good timothy hay. That may be true; but to be rightly cured and saved it must be protected from the rains and snows as the hay is; otherwise it will be as worthless as the corn left standing in the field. Most people who have cut their corn and left it standing in the shock during the fall rains, know by experience that large portions of it are rendered useless. And if we deduct the waste of corn by wet, and by rats and mice, and the waste of fodder, added to the cost of cutting, it would seem that a "Subscriber" (in No. 52) has at least a strong side of the argument. But these men are both right, in a degree. In the East in cases where the crop is not large, or in the West, and where the producer has large barns or sheds in which to store his fodder, it had doubtless best be cut and utilized in that way. But where no such facilities exist and the crop is large, as usual in the West, I can conceive of no better way to utilize the product than to feed it where it grew.


Prof. Hamilton (see No. 52) has hit the nail squarely on the head in his essay. I doubt if there has been a more valuable article on wheat-growing in the public prints, for many a day. It gives a new view of the question, and in my opinion illustrates, at least in part, why it was that in the early days of wheat-growing throughout the prairie States, the crops were so much better than now. Wheat was then sown for the most part on newly broken prairie sod, and its character was such that the grain could not be deeply covered, nor could the ground be heaved so much as in later sowings, when it has been mellowed by deeper culture. Prof. Hamilton's essay ought to be read by every wheat-grower in the country. Other valuable articles in No. 52 are those of J.H., on Corn, Prof. Hall's lecture on Schools, and many others—not omitting what the two talented ladies say about hens and bees.


Some alarm has been manifested in certain quarters, and Congress been inquired of, concerning the fact that divers European noblemen have been purchasing large bodies of lands in our public domain. There are no laws, I believe, to prevent foreign noblemen from acquiring lands in large or small quantities in our Territories; but it is clearly contrary to public policy to permit these, or our own capitalists or syndicates to do this thing. The public lands should be held for actual settlers, and for them alone; and it is to be hoped that Congress will so amend the laws as to prevent English or European lords, or American lords, from acquiring large bodies of land. The Government has been generous—too generous—to the railroads in the gift of lands; and that policy ought now to cease, and the roads required to fulfil their side of the contract to the letter.


In connection with the above, it will do to say, that as monopolies increase and gain strength, agrarianism also is extending. Legislation should be so shaped as to check the one, and give no cause for the other. Good government and strict regard for the rights and interests of the masses, are the surest means of checking agrarian and nihilistic tendencies. Had the French monarchy and governing classes been just, the revolution would have been impossible.


It does seem to me that your magnificent offer of your Standard Time or Commercial Map—worth $2 itself—in connection with THE PRAIRIE FARMER, all for $2, ought to bring you hosts of subscribers, and that it does is the hope of



The best temperature to preserve apples, potatoes, turnips, or any other roots or fruits stored in the cellar, is just above the freezing point.

Stiff, hard clays intended for tillage in the spring ought, by all means, to be broken up in the fall. A light, sandy soil should, on the contrary, be suffered to remain unbroken.

A wholesale drug house in Indianapolis, tells the editor of the Drainage Journal that tile drainage has reduced the sale of quinine and other fever and ague medicines nearly sixty per cent.

The American Cultivator says that if barley has not germinated the fact of its having been slightly stained by wet is no actual detriment whatsoever; the grain is not really injured and ought to bring to the farmer just as much as the bright samples of equal plumpness.

Dr. E. Lewis Sturtevant, reporting in Bulletin LXXII. of the State Experiment Station his hybridizing tests during the past season with 135 different kinds of corn, incidentally mentions that "the red ears have a constancy of color which is truly remarkable; where sweet corn appears upon red pop and red dent ears the sweet corn partakes of the red color."

An esteemed exchange suggests, if farmers would go to the barn on a wet day and spend their time in making an eaves-trough for the barn or stable, and thereby carry away the drip which would otherwise fall on the manure pile, causing a waste of the elements of plant food contained therein, they will make more money that day than they could any fine day in the field.

American Cultivator: In winter, while the ground is covered with snow and the soil is frozen deeply, it is sometimes curious to note the effect of openings leading down to deep underdrains. The snow will be melted away by the warm air coming up from the unfrozen earth. Even in an uncovered drain three feet deep, a little straw or loose earth will generally protect the bottom from severe freezing.

Cincinnati Gazette: There are so many excellencies about the cow pea, and it is good for so many uses, that we advise our Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky farmers to be sure and cultivate it this year. Next spring, when all danger of frost is over, sow, plant, or drill more or less of these valuable peas, and, in the language of the elder Weller, "you'll be glad on it arterwards," and so will your live stock.

New England Homestead: Nearly level culture, hand-hoeing and slightly hilling but once, and keeping the cultivator running, was recommended at the Waterbury meeting as the best culture for potatoes. It was said that the second hilling induced a second growth of roots higher up on the plant which produced small tubers. If this is not done the additional growth will make large potatoes.

Cincinnati Gazette: During sundry recent visits to Tennessee, we noticed that a considerable share of the immigrants arriving were from Michigan. They are mostly of the second generation from the settlers from the East in that State—men in the prime of life, who are seeking cheap lands in a genial climate, where the pastoral, dairy, and fruit-raising pursuits to which they are accustomed may be pursued with perfect success. Michigan farmers are usually intelligent, practical workers, who understand their profession and like it. They, and such as they, appreciate the advantages they will enter upon in their new homes at the South.

New England Farmer: Prof. Goessmann, as Director of the State Experiment Station, has been analyzing a sample of rye hay, sent to the Station by Secretary Russell of the State Board of Agriculture. The sample was not cut till in full bloom, but Prof. Goessmann finds it compares well in nutritive value with a medium good quality of meadow hay. This agrees with our own estimate of well cured rye hay, judged by its effect in practical feeding to stock. Animals usually have to learn to eat it heartily, as they do many other kinds of coarse fodder which are inferior to the best hay. Rye should be cut before it comes in full bloom, to obtain the greatest feeding value from the fodder. It is then liked better, and a larger per cent will be digested.

Republican, Manhattan, Kan.: In traveling through a considerable portion of the country this week, we noticed that the wheat looked exceedingly promising. The contrast between the green fields and the dry grass and naked trees was cheering to behold. Cattle are in good condition; most of the farmers are provided with sheds or shelter of some sort to protect the animals, but we saw some small bunches of young cattle standing in unprotected enclosures shivering from the north wind; it is cruel to take them through the winter without so much as a wind break to turn off the scorching blasts. Surely every farmer can afford to build a wind break, at least a pile of brush and old hay, around the stock yards. The cost would be more than made up in the saving of feed.

They are growing some pretty heavy crops of wheat in New Hampshire. The Lebanon Free Press reports that Harlan Flint, of Hanover, raised this year eighty bushels of wheat on five acres of ground, and Uel Spencer, of the same town, 206 bushels from four and a half acres, while the town farm crop averaged forty-three bushels per acre. That raised by Mr. Flint was winter wheat, and Spencer's White Russian. A Meredith correspondent of the Laconia Democrat says that eight farms adjoining each other, in that town, have produced this year 524 bushels of wheat. Reports from all sections of the State show that a great yield of wheat has been secured wherever the crop has been sown. Perhaps by the time the prairie skinners of the Northwest have spread over all the wheat bearing land this side of the Rocky Mountains, they may begin the New England States and travel the continent over again.

Correspondent Farm and Fireside: There is nothing so much needed about many houses as good walks in paths that must be used daily. There is hardly an excuse for not having them when either brick, gravel, or timber can be had. A good walk through muddy yards can be easily and cheaply made by placing poles side by side, a short distance apart, and then filling the intervening space with gravel, or with broken corn cobs, or with sawdust. Oak planks will last many years, if turned over occasionally, and this also counteracts warping. One of the best of walks through a level barn-yard can be made by cutting off short pieces from logs, a foot or more in diameter, and setting them upon end in a shallow trench. Such a walk from the barn to the kitchen will always be clean, and there will be less to disturb the temper of the women folks of the household, to say nothing of the good effect upon the men folks who take pleasure in lightening the labor required to keep everything neat and tidy within doors.


[Officers and members of farmers' organizations of all kinds are invited to send for publication in this department notices of meetings, time of holding fairs, and other pertinent information. We desire to make of it a weekly bulletin that shall be looked for with interest by members of clubs, granges, fair associations, and agricultural and horticultural societies.]

The Maine State Grange has elected the following officers: Master, Frederick Robie, of Gorham; Overseer, H.E. Gregory, of Hampden; Lecturer, D.H. Thing, of Vernon.

At a meeting of the Wisconsin State Grange resolutions were passed requesting the Legislature to separate the State Agricultural Experiment Farm from the State University, and to locate it in an agricultural district.

At the Vermont State Grange's annual meeting at Brattleboro, December 13-14, 1883, 72 granges were represented. For the first time since the organization of the grange its doors were opened to the public, and the State Board of Agriculture met with it. Worthy Master Franklin's address revealed a healthy condition of the Order in Vermont.

The meeting of the Massachusetts State Grange was an excellent one. Master Draper was again re-elected. The committees' reports and discussions revealed a hearty interest in and sympathy with the experimental station and the agricultural college, but the present system by which the college trustees perpetuate themselves was sharply criticised, and a change in the law was recommended. It was also "Resolved, that as Patrons of Husbandry, we recommend such a change in the law as will withhold the State bounty from all societies that permit liquor selling or gambling at their annual fairs."

The annual meeting of the Michigan Grange last month was largely attended. The Secretary's report showed the grange to be in good condition. The committee on the agricultural college recommended the admission of girls to that institution. Reports were adopted recommending the restoration of the duty on wool, so that it shall equal that on manufactured woolen articles; urged that taxpayers be required to make oath to their assessments; recommended the continued fostering of the sorghum industry; condemned the extortionate practices of many millers in the State, urging co-operative mills if necessary to remedy the same, and asks the appointment of a committee to draft a bill similar to the Reagan bill to remedy some of the evils of transportation.


New England Homestead: "The eminent men"—George B. Loring, Daniel Needham, Charles L. Flint, Benjamin P. Ware, and George Noyes—composing the late Massachusetts grange No. 38, couldn't appreciate what had happened to them when the State Master's action in revoking the charter of their grange was sustained by the National Grange tribunal. So Brother Ware hied him to Barre, last week, to bring the matter up before the State Grange at its annual session. No doubt the "eminent men" supposed that the presence of the Hon. Mr. Ware would alone be sufficient to cause the State Grange to tremble and humbly beg pardon for their Master's action in disturbing the serenity of this mutual admiration society. Alas, pride must have a fall! Judge of the consternation of these "eminent men" when the State Grange unanimously refused admittance to Brother Ware because he was a suspended member! Now if the honorable delegate from No. 38 deceased had known when he was "set on," he would have silently packed his grip sack and returned to the secrecy of the obscure agricultural newspaper office at 45 Milk street, Boston, the "headquarters" of the corpse of No. 38. But like all "eminent men" he made a grave mistake. At a subsequent session he induced a friend to move that he be given a hearing, but the grange again voted against taking any further action in the matter. This double rebuff was effectual. With his hopes dashed to the ground, the honorable suspended brother crept sadly away to the depot, and when last seen was trying to derive some consolation from his flattering picture as it appeared in the Homestead of December 15.

As our able contemporary, the Maine Farmer remarks, it was a triumph of principle, proving that the grange recognizes no aristocracy. Thus may it ever be!


At its last meeting the National Grange determined to enter upon the work of erecting, in Washington city, a building in which the records and archives of the Order may be preserved. It is proposed to raise the money needful to erect such a building in a way which shall enlist the brotherhood at large, and yet not to be burdensome to even the least wealthy of the members. The National Grange asks each subordinate grange to solicit from every name on its roll a contribution of not less than fifty cents. The money so collected is to be kept separate from all other funds, and is to be used for no other purpose than the building of a Grange Home in Washington. The treasurer of the National Grange is directed to procure a book in which the names of all contributors, and the sums contributed, shall be properly entered. In due time a building-fund certificate will be prepared, containing an engraving of the building, and such other devices as may be agreed upon, and a copy of the same will be sent to every individual who donates the sum of fifty cents or more.

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THE PRAIRIE FARMER is the OLDEST, MOST RELIABLE, and the LEADING AGRICULTURAL JOURNAL OF THE GREAT NORTHWEST, devoted exclusively to the interests of the Farmer, Gardener, Florist, Stock Breeder, Dairyman, Etc., and every species of industry connected with that great portion of the People of the World, the PRODUCERS. Now in the Forty-Fourth Year of its existence, and never, during more than two score years, having missed the regular visit to its patrons, it will continue to maintain supremacy as A STANDARD AUTHORITY ON MATTERS PERTAINING TO AGRICULTURE AND KINDRED PRODUCTIVE INDUSTRIES, and as a FRESH AND READABLE FAMILY AND FIRESIDE JOURNAL. It will from time to time add new features of interest, securing for each department the ablest writers of practical experience.

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Stockmen, Write for Your Paper.

Hon. A.M. Garland is expected home from Australia about the first of February.

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Col. J.W. Judy & Son, the popular thoroughbred cattle auctioneers of Tallula, Ill., last year sold 2,057 head of cattle for $500,620.

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Ohio Jersey cattle-breeders will hold a convention at Columbus, on the 15th. The Short-horn breeders of the State will meet at the same city on the same day.

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Mr. C. Huston, Blandinsville, Ill., has gone to Scotland to purchase Clydesdale horses. He expects to be gone about half the year, and will make several shipments.

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Wm. Yule, Esq., the well-known Short-horn breeder, of Somers, Kenosha county, Wisconsin, names, through THE PRAIRIE FARMER, March 19th prox., for his public sale for 1884.

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At the annual meeting of the American Guernsey Cattle Club, held at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, December 20th, Dr. J. Nelson Borland, New London, Conn., was re-elected President; Edward Norton was chosen Secretary and Treasurer.

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Three new cases of pleuro-pneumonia were recently discovered near West Chester, Penn. Thus far the disease has been confined to three dairy herds. All infected animals are promptly appraised, condemned, killed and paid for by the State. The disease was introduced there by cows purchased at Baltimore.

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The twenty-ninth volume of the new series of Coates' Short-horn Herd-Book has just been published by the English Short-horn Society. It contains the pedigrees of bulls ranging from (47311) to (48978). The larger half of the volume is devoted to the entry of cows with their produce. Each breeder's entries of females are recorded together under his own name. Her Majesty the Queen heads the list, followed by the Prince of Wales.

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The offices of the American Short-horn Breeders' Association in Chicago were badly damaged by fire on Sunday, December 30. Some 1,500 pedigrees were destroyed and many others partially destroyed. Pedigrees received previous to December 20th, were saved. It will take time and work to restore these pedigrees and the loss must cause some delay in the work of the office. It will be remembered that the records of the association had a narrow escape at the time the Evening Journal office burned.

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The following are the officers of the National Chester-White Swine Record Co. for 1883: Hon. Jack Hardin, Pleasureville, Ky., President; H.W. Tonkins, Fenton, Mo., Vice-President; W.B. Wilson, Eminence, Ky., Treasurer; E.R. Moody, Eminence, K., Secretary. The capital stock of the company is $5,000, in shares of $10 each. Fees are charged as follows: Book of 100 blank pedigrees, with stub for private record and instructions for filling, $1; for entry in Record, each pedigree, $1; stockholders, 75 cents; Record will be furnished at cost of publication.

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At the late meeting of the American Merino Sheep Register Association at Burlington, Wis., the following officers were chosen: President, C.S. Miller, Caldwell, Wis.; First Vice-President, Daniel Kelly, Wheaton, Ill.; Second Vice-President, F.C. Gault, East Hubbardton, Vt.; Secretary, A.H. Craig, Caldwell, Wis.; Treasurer, George Andrews, Mukwonago, Wis.; Directors, C.A. Dingman, Troy Center, Wis.; G.B. Rhead, Norvell, Mich.; George Peck, Geneva, Ill.; E. Campbell, Pittsfield, Ohio; S.D. Short, Honeoye, N.Y.; John S. Goe, Brownsville. Pa.; F.C. Gault, East Hubbardton, Vt.; E.F. Gilman, Farmington, Me.; Ward Kennedy, Butler, Ind.; A. Wilson, Richfield, Minn.; Fayette Holmes, Russell, Kan.; H.J. Chamberlain, Davilla, Tex. Registering committee, T.W. Gault, Waterford, Wis.; C.A. Dingman, Troy Center, Wis.; Perry Craig, Caldwell, Wis.

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Here is an excellent prize winning record: S.H. Todd, of Wakeman, Ohio, won on Chester-Whites and Poland-Chinas in 1883 as follows: At the Tri-State Fair, at Toledo, O., sweepstakes for best herd of Poland-Chinas, and the same on Chester-Whites. At the Michigan State Fair he took sweepstakes on Chester-White boar; at the Illinois State Fair, sweepstakes, for best Poland-China sow; do. for Chester-White sow, and the grand sweepstakes of $50 for the best herd on the ground regardless of breed. He also won in breeders' ring the prize for best herd of Chesters, and the prize for best boar with five of his get; also first and second prizes for sow with five of her pigs. Besides these notable premiums Mr. Todd's stock won for him nearly 100 class prizes at various leading fairs.


One of the Chicago dailies recently made the point that this city should be the center of the swine and pork statistics of the country on the ground that here is the center of trade in these products. The point is a good one. Some years ago the bulk of the hogs of the West was marketed at Cincinnati. At that time the Price Current of Cincinnati with commendable enterprize established itself as an authority in swine and pork statistics, and it has held the position from that day to this, despite the fact that Chicago has for several years received and packed several times as many hogs annually as has the original porkopolis. And this year, as usual, the Chicago press is dependent upon Cincinnati for packing statistics throughout the extensive swine-growing regions of the country. Of course it makes no real difference to merchants or producers where the figures emanate from so that they are comprehensive and reliable. It is only a bit of local pride that suggests the idea that here should the records be kept and the statistics compiled. If there is not sufficient enterprize here to capture the business, there is no ground for complaint. We should not have alluded to the matter, probably, but for the fact that the Cincinnati Price Current, with its hog-packing statistics, for the season of 1883 has just brought it to notice. Here the figures are compared with those of last year:

Cities. 1883-84. 1882-83.

Chicago, packed 1,405,000 1,500,000 Kansas City 254,059 233,336 Cincinnati 301,000 300,000 St. Louis 200,000 207,000 Indianapolis 181,700 183,000 Milwaukee 185,000 197,000 Louisville, Ky. 142,000 118,000 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 91,618 86,965 Cleveland, O. 62,280 42,352 Keokuk, Iowa 28,601 31,411


The Iowa State Improved Stock Breeders' Association had a good attendance at its annual meeting at Ames, last month.


Hon. J. Kennedy read a paper on the subject "Will Sheep Breeding Pay." Viewed from a financial point of view, he thought there had been no better financial results from any commodity than from the sheep—the wool and mutton—when given proper care and attention. Speculators and traffickers in wool and woolen goods were failing all over the country, but he attributed this to want of fitness for the business in which they were engaged. Though the present depression in the wool market was somewhat due to tariff tinkering, was more the result of over-production—greater supply than demand.

Mr. Grinnell said that at one time he was the owner of a flock of 6,000 sheep, but wool went down in price, and he did not think it profitable to keep so large a flock, and sold out.

Col. Lucas believed the owner of 160 acres of land could not do better than to put upon the tract at least 100 sheep.

Hon. E. Campbell had found the business profitable where flocks were fairly dealt with. He thought Iowa one of the best places in the world in which to raise sheep. He believed that both sheep and cattle could be profitably kept upon the same farm. His favorite cross is Cotswold and Merino. The average weight of fleece in his own flock was over six pounds.


Col. John Scott introduced the subject of swine by reading a compilation of historical facts regarding them. He presented drawings, showing the different breeds and the improvements made in them, in form and size.

Mr. Failor spoke of the Jersey-Reds as his favorite breed for docility and other essentials.

Prof. Knapp said the most profitable hogs are those with sound constitutions, good muscular systems, of early maturity, and in general made to resist diseases which prevail from time to time, all over the country.

Mr. Young said that when we want an animal for the farm, we must first look to soundness of constitution. Breed is not of so much consequence. A breed should not be run after merely because it is novel. He breeds Poland-Chinas. In order to gain the most prolific breeding, the sows of this breed should not be allowed to get too fat before dropping the first litter; simply keep them in good condition.

C.R. Smith thought early breeding injurious to the swine interests of the country.

H.W. Lathrop asserted that the forcing system of putting on meat had injured the constitutions of many of our breeds of hogs. In times past, when less pampering was in vogue and hogs were allowed wide range, there was less disease than now.


Mr. Clarkson, of Des Moines, read a paper entitled "Plain and Practical Thoughts for Common Farmers." It treated of the breeding and care of cattle.

Mr. Roberts said the more care there is bestowed upon cattle, the more profitable they are. He had bred up from a good Short-horn bull. Other members agreed upon the necessity of improving the grade of cattle. The best demand is always for the best stock.

Hon. J.B. Grinnell read his paper upon the extent of the cattle interest and the necessity of protecting our cattle from contagious diseases, in this connection, the following resolutions were passed:

Resolved, That we earnestly urge upon Congress, in view of the fact, the cattle interest is one of the most important industries, the justice and expediency of passing laws providing for an effectual eradication of pleuro-pneumonia from the entire territory of the United States, and also preventing the introduction of all contagious diseases in the future. This is the only authority to which we can go for the power for this purpose, as Congress has the exclusive power to regulate commerce with other nations, as well as among the several States; and, as there is now no law in any of the States to prevent any man who has a herd infected with a malignant, contagious disease, from taking them anywhere he pleases to the herds of any of the States; to prevent which, there must be a law more comprehensive in territorial power and extent than any State has. Therefore, it is of the most vital importance that the authority to regulate inter-State commerce should promptly act to protect our great cattle interest from total annihilation.

Resolved, That the Legislature of Iowa, as a police regulation, should put the power in some hands, carefully and wisely guarded from abuse and wasteful extravagance, to arrest by isolation and destruction, if necessary, any contagious disease which may suddenly be developed in any neighborhood. This, however, not to include any of doubtful contagious character, such as hog cholera; and that we respectfully ask the Governor to call the especial attention of the Legislature to this subject, though there is no pleuro-pneumonia in our State now, nor has there ever been any, but we need laws to arrest it if any should be introduced.

Resolved, That nations, as well as individuals, who ask justice should do justice, therefore, we insist that our Government should as carefully and vigilantly seek to prevent the exportation of contagious cattle diseases as to prevent their importation. This policy would create a feeling of national comity, and an effort to eradicate the scourge of nations (the cattle diseases).


The committee on resolutions submitted the following, which was adopted:

Whereas, It has become impossible to keep sheep in safety in many parts of this State, owing to the loss occasioned by the ravage of wolves and dogs: therefore, be it

Resolved, That this association petition the State Legislature to increase the bounty on wolves and the tax on dogs.

Resolved, That the President of this association be requested to appoint a committee to draft a bill embodying the sense of this meeting in reference to a wolf and dog law.


The next meeting of the Association will be held at Ottumwa, commencing the first Tuesday in December next.

Col. Scott is to prepare and publish the proceedings of this meeting. The edition will be 5,000 copies.

The following are the officers for 1884: President, C.F. Clarkson; Vice-presidents, H.C. Wheeler, B.F. Elbert, R. Stockdale, H. Wallace, W.H. Jordan, E.W. Lucas, and P. Nichols; Secretary and Treasurer, Fitch B. Stacy.



History chronicles no improvement in the horse made by the agency of man. The horses of the days of Pharaoh, or of Homer, have their superiors in no part of the civilized world to-day. The Arabs have for ages been noted for the excellence of their horses, but that excellence was not created, nor has it been increased by the arts of man. Since the time of Cromwell the horses of England have steadily degenerated. Those most conversant with the matter say that this degeneracy has been the most marked and rapid during the last fifty years. The horses of this country lack the value of their ancestors of the Revolutionary period. Nowhere, or at no time, can man boast of improving the horse by the arts of breeding. What is the reason of this?

The horse, the ox, the hog, and the sheep comprise the four great classes of domesticated farm animals. In certain directions man has improved these three last. These improvements have made them more valuable. The ox has been bred to make more flesh from the same amount of food, and to lay on fat at an earlier age; the cow has been bred to give instead of a supply of milk barely large enough to sustain her young, a bountiful yield, and of a richer quality; the hog has been bred into a veritable machine to convert food into pork; the sheep has been bred to yield more wool, and of a finer texture, and to make more mutton. All these changes have been beneficial because the value of the animal lay in its production of beef, milk, pork, wool, or mutton, as the case might be. It is true that these changes have been accomplished at the expense of vigor and endurance. These two qualities are important in the hog, ox, or sheep, but those that have been developed so far overshadow their lessening that on the whole we can say that the arts of man have improved our kine, swine, and sheep.

But it is not so with the horse. Its value does not depend upon the quantity and quality of its flesh, milk, or bodily covering. Unlike the others its value depends upon the work it can do. Hence vigor and endurance are the prime essentials of a good horse. But as man has lessened the vigor and endurance of the hog, ox, and sheep, so he has of the horse. This is the invariable result of human art. Whenever man tampers with the work of nature he is certain to lessen bodily vigor. It could not be otherwise. For the course of nature, undisturbed and undeflected, is always towards the greatest health. Man changes the course of nature and the result is lessened vigor and endurance.

Man has improved some qualities of the horse. He has increased its speed, perhaps, but only for short distances. Our race horses of to-day would make a sorry record with those of days no longer past than those of the "pony express," to say nothing of the couriers of centuries ago, because they have been made to deteriorate in vigor and endurance. We have ponderous, heavy horses to-day; but they can not do as much work before the plow or dray as those of the eighteenth century. We can not point anywhere to horses produced by breeding that are the equals of the horses of the days of chivalry. They lack not only in vigor and hardihood, but in intelligence. As the perfect symmetry of development by the course of nature has been destroyed by man the intelligence of the animal lessened. Whenever the hand of man has touched his equine friend it has been only to mar.

This decrease in the excellence of the horse can not be shifted from man to time. One instance alone demonstrates the unfairness of this. The Andalusians are now mere ponies, yet they are the descendants of those noble beasts ridden to victory by the Spanish chivalry in the days when the valor of the horse was as important as the valor of the knightly rider. Taken from their hills and valleys to serve in the haunts of men, and to be subjected to the arts of breeding, they have sadly degenerated. But the horses of the Spanish explorers of both North and South America escaped, and to-day the descendants of these same Spanish horses are, under the nurture of nature and nature's ways, the superb wild horses of the new world. They are the work of nature; the Andalusian ponies are the work of man's art.

As this degeneracy is the necessary co-existent of man's breeding, so far as it is produced by this cause it can not be escaped. But a good part of the evil is not the necessary sequence of breeding per se. It is also attributable to errors in treatment so palpable and easy of correction that it behooves us to note and avoid them. In my next I shall briefly mention a few of the most important of these.

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Breeder and Sportsman: The old story of the countryman and his deceptive plug was recently repeated in Jersey, where people are supposed to have their eye-teeth cut. It was an old gray pacer this time, attached to a dilapidated wagon by cords and odd ends of harness. The astute hotel proprietor refused to give $20 for the outfit. Owner then replied that he would pace the horse over a good track in three minutes. Landlord bets $100 to $50 that he can't do it. Money was then put up, and owner wanted to draw, as the track was a good way off, and he could not spare the time to attend to the matter. Landlord insisted that the horse must pace or pay forfeit. A sulky and harness were borrowed, and judge placed in the stand, according to Hoyle. Owner claims the right to three trials, according to National Association rules. Point conceded. Old crowbait is scored up and given the word. Works off the mile very slick in 2:43. Landlord feels small, and $100 goes into owner's pocket. Another greenhorn bets $100 that horse can't beat 2:43. Rips off another mile 2:42, and owner pockets the money. Landlord feels better; owner better yet. Latest advices: same old side-wheeler won two or three hundred same way at Flemington, some more at Paterson, and has had a little pacing circuit all to himself. "What fools these mortals be!"

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The following by Richard White in the New York Sun, might very properly have been dedicated to those trichinae-frightened twins, Bismarck and Paul Bert.

Sing, heavenly muse, the noble quadruped, Whom Orientals oft presume to scorn, Who glorifies the food that he is fed, Extracting carbon from convenient corn.

Peaceful his life, his death almost sublime, His end a grand effect of modern art; Scarce has he bid a sharp adieu to time, When he is packed and ready for the mart.

He goes abroad, our land to represent; The earth, from pole to tropic, is his range; He fills the bill for use and ornament, Greases the world, and regulates exchange.

Though ministers abroad may lightly treat The rights that only appertain to men, They must protect our Western corn-fed meat, Defending our four-footed citizen.

If Bismarck bars our barrels, tubs, or cans, Forcing our pork to make its way incog, Upset his schemes, and overthrow his plans, And clear a pathway for the native hog.

* * * * *

Dr. Detmers, V.S., stationed at the Union Stock Yards at Chicago, by the Department of Agriculture for the purpose of inspecting swine, alleges that during the last four months he has examined at one packing-house not less than four thousand hogs and has seen at least ten times that number, but has not seen the slightest trace of disease, as he certainly should if any had existed. During the last two years but very little swine plague has prevailed anywhere, and, as far as he knows, no diseased hogs have been shipped; nearly if not all the small rendering tanks having been closed.

* * * * *

M. Pasteur, the eminent French scientist, says epizootic hog-cholera, even of the most virulent type, can be prevented by inocculation with the attenuated virulent virus. He also says it is proven that the period of immunity is more than a year; that, consequently, this is long enough for the requirements of hog-raising, since the period of fattening does not generally exceed a year. Yet, in spite of these happy results, I repeat that the question of the use of vaccination for different breeds needs new investigation, so that the vaccination of swine may be made general.


Dairymen, Write for Your Paper.


The increasing demand for milk in our cities and villages, and for gilt-edged butter during the winter season, is leading some of our most intelligent farmers to study more carefully the problem of winter dairying. "It costs more to make butter in winter than in summer," says the American Agriculturalist, "but if a select class of customers in cities or elsewhere, are willing to pay for the increased cost of producing it fresh in zero weather, then there is no good reason why they should not be gratified. Its feasibility is already established on a small scale, and there seems to be no discernible limit to the demand for a first-class article during the six months when the pastures are barren. The farmer who has the capital can readily provide a barn that will make his cows nearly as comfortable and healthy in winter as in summer, and shelter all the food they need to keep up a constant flow of rich milk. We have not attained, perhaps, all the information necessary to secure the best rations for winter milking, yet we are approximating toward that knowledge. Some think they have found in ensilage the one thing needful. Yet, some of the parties dealing in gilt-edge butter begin to complain of that made from rations consisting largely of ensilage. We shall probably have to put down early cut hay with the flavor of June grass in it as an essential part of the winter rations for first-class butter. We doubt if the bouquet of the June made article can be found elsewhere. Another ration will be Indian meal, our great national cereal, which is abundant and cheap and likely to continue so. Then we want green, succulent food with the dry fodder to sharpen the appetite and help the digestion. This suggests roots as another ration. We have carrots, mangolds and sugar beets; all easily raised, and cheaply stored in barn cellars or pits. And from our own experience in using them during several winters in connection with dry feed, we judge them to be a safe ration in butter-making. Cabbage also is available, and in districts remote from large markets, might be grown for this purpose. Near cities it is probably worth more for human food than for fodder. The whole subject is yet in the tentative state, and all are looking for further light!"


A correspondent of the New England Homestead found difficulty in making the butter "come" from cream raised in the Cooley Creamer. In a later issue several correspondents tried to help her through the difficulty. One said:

First of all be sure your cream is ready to come before you churn it. If you have no floating thermometer, please get one right away. Deep set cream needs not only to be ripened, but the temperature must be right—not less than 62 degrees, and 65 degrees is better. Don't guess at it, but be sure. Mix each skimming with the others thoroughly, and keep the cream pail in a warm place at all times.

Another said: Keep the cream at 60 degrees to 65 degrees all the time before it goes into the churn. Take care to thoroughly mix the different skimmings. Sometimes in cold weather the butter will nearly come, and then hold on without any advance. In such cases, put into a thirty-quart churning, half a cupful of salt and four quarts of water heated to 55 degrees; it will cut the butter from the buttermilk in five minutes. My butter sells for fifty cents a pound and this is the way I manage.

Another: Sour your cream before churning and have it as near 62 degrees as you can, and you will have no trouble. The first fall we had the Cooley we had one churning that would not come into butter. I found it was perfectly sweet. Since then I have been particular to have it ripe and have had no trouble.


A newspaper correspondent contributes the following which is of course made up of a mixture of facts and guesses. But as it is somewhere near the truth, as a general thing, we do as all the rest of the papers are doing, print it.

"There are nearly $2,000,250,000 invested in the dairying business in this country," said an officer of the Erie Milk Producers' Association yesterday. "That amount is almost double the money invested in banking and commercial industries, it is estimated that it requires 15,000,000 cows to supply the demand for milk and its products in the United States. To feed these cows 60,000,000 acres of land are under cultivation. The agricultural and dairy machinery and implements in use are worth over $200,000,000. The men employed in the business number 700,000 and the horses nearly 1,000,000. The cows and horses consume annually 30,000,000 tons of hay, nearly 90,000,000 bushels of corn meal, about the same amount of oat-meal, 275,000,000 bushels of oats, 2,000,000 bushels of bran, and 30,000,000 bushels of corn, to say nothing of the brewery grains and questionable feed of various kinds that is used to a great extent. It costs $400,000,000 to feed these cows and horses. The average price paid to the laborers necessary in the dairy business is probably $20 a month, amounting to $168,000,000 a year.

"The average cow yields about 450 gallons of milk a year, giving a total product of 6,750,000,000 gallons. Twelve cents a gallon is a fair price to estimate the value of this milk at, a total return to the dairy farmer of $810,000,000. Fifty per cent of the milk is made into cheese and butter. It takes twenty-seven pounds of milk to make one pound of butter, and about ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese. There is the same amount of nutrition in three and one half pounds of milk that there is in one pound of beef. A fat steer furnishes fifty per cent of boneless beef, but it would require about 24,000,000 steers, weighing 1,500 pounds each, to produce the same amount of nutrition as the annual milk product does."



It may be supposed that the hackneyed term "sound" is so explicit as to need no comment,—and most people conceive it to be so; but the term "sound" really admits of as much contrariety of opinion as the word "tipsy;" one man considers another so if, at ten at night, he is not precisely as cool and collected as he was at one in the day. Another one calls a man so when he lies on the floor and holds himself on by the carpet. So,—as to soundness, some persons can not see that a horse is unsound, unless he works his flanks like the drone of a bagpipe, or blows and roars like a blacksmith's bellows; while some are so fastidious as to consider a horse as next to valueless because he may have a corn that he never feels, or a thrush for which he is not, nor likely to be, one dollar the worse.

So far as relates to such hypercritical deciders on soundness, we will venture to say that, if they brought us twenty reported horses in succession, we would find something in all of those produced that would induce such persons to reject them, though, perhaps, not one among the lot had anything about him of material consequence. To say the least, we will venture to assert that nine-tenths of the horses now in daily use are more or less unsound. We make no reservation as to the description of horse, his occupation, or what he may be worth. We scarcely ever had, indeed scarcely ever knew, a horse that had been used, and tried sufficiently to prove him a good one, that was in every particular unequivocally sound. We have no doubt that there are thousands of owners of horses who will at once say we are wrong in this assertion, and would be ready to produce their own horses as undeniable proofs, whereby to back their opinion and refute ours. They may, perhaps, say that their horses are never lame—perhaps not; that is, not lame in their estimation or to their eye; but we daily see horses that go to a certain degree indubitably lame, while their owners conceive them to be as indubitably sound. These horses, perhaps, all do their work perfectly well, are held as sound by owners, servants, acquaintances, and casual observers; but a practical eye would detect an inequality in their going, as a watchmaker would do the same in the movement of a watch, though we might look for a week, or listen for the same length of time, without being able to either see or hear the variation. The watch might, however, on the average keep fair time; but it would not be a perfect one; and what matters, if it answers all the purposes for which we want it? A really bad watch that can not keep time is a different affair;—it is pretty much the same with a horse. If the unsoundness is such as to render him unable to do his work, or even to do it unpleasantly to himself or owner, or if it is likely to bring him to this, our advice is to have nothing to do with him. If, however, this is not the case, or likely to be so,—if you like him—buy him.

It is not improbable that a man may say, I begin to believe that few horses that have done work are quite sound; but a sound one I will have; I will, therefore, buy a four-year old, that has never done a day's work. We will acknowledge that if he does so, he may probably get his desideratum; but do not let him make too sure of this. There are such things as four-year olds, unsound, as well as worked. But, supposing him to have got this sound animal; what has he got? An animal that he has to run the risk of making useful, so far as teaching him his business goes; and by the time this is effectually done, and the colt has arrived at a serviceable age, he will probably be quite as unsound as many of those he has rejected; independent of which, and supposing him to continue sound, the breeder of this horse must have better luck or better judgment in breeding than his neighbors, if more than one in five or six that he does breed turn out desirable horses in every respect. If he turns out but a middling sort of beast, it is but small satisfaction to know that he is sound; in fact, so little satisfaction should we feel, that, if we were compelled to keep and use him, so far from rejoicing that he was sound, we should only regret that he was not dead.

In relations to the doings of dealers in horses, it is not our present object to expose the tricks of the trade, or to prejudice the unsophisticated buyer against all horse dealers. There are honest horse dealers, and there are dishonest ones; and we are sorry to say that, in numbers, the latter predominate; that honesty in horse dealing is not proverbial. But horse dealers, like other mortals, are apt to err in judgment; and all their acts should not be set down as willful wrong-doings. However, be their acts what they may, the general verdict is against their motives. Therefore, supposing we could bring any person or number of persons to believe the fact that a man conversant with horses might sell, as a sound horse, one that might, on proper inspection, be returned as unsound, all that we could say or write, would never convince the majority of persons that a dealer could innocently do the same thing. If his judgment errs, and leads him into error as to the soundness of his horse, it is set down, not as willful or corrupt perjury as to oath, but most undoubtedly as to his word and honesty.


Glanders, Chronic Catarrh, and "Horse Distemper."—H.P.W., Peotone, Ill.—Query—What are the symptoms whereby a person may know the difference between glanders, catarrh, and ordinary horse distemper?

Reply—Among the prominent symptoms of glanders may be mentioned a discharge of purulent matter from one or both nostrils; one or both glands on the inside of the lower jaw bones are more or less swollen, hard and knotty. One or both nostrils are sometimes swollen and glued up by a sticky, unhealthy looking pus, sometimes streaked with blood. On opening the nostrils, pustules and ulcers are seen on the inner surface. The nose may sometimes bleed. The eyes are often prominent and watery; the coat rough and staring if the horse is in lean condition; and the voice more or less hoarse. The appetite is not often impaired. Sooner or later, farcy buds may appear on the head, neck, body or limbs, generally along the inner side of the thighs. In chronic nasal catarrh or so-called gleet, the glands between the jaw bones are very slightly, if at all, enlarged; they are loose, not hard and knotty, as in glanders. This ailment, which is apt to persist for months, unless properly treated, may leave an animal in an unthrifty state, with a staring coat, disturbed appetite, dullness at work, cough and discharge from one or both nostrils; but there are no pustules or ragged sores or ulcers within the nose, as in glanders. Chronic nasal gleet, however, is apt to run into glanders; and, as there is no telling when the beginning is, such a horse, with chronic discharge from the nose, should always be looked upon with suspicion, and be kept away from other horses. The difference between glanders and influenza or ordinary horse distemper, is so marked that a mistake is not easily made. The more prominent symptoms of distemper are as follows: With signs more or less prominent of a general febrile condition, there is great dullness and debility, frequent and weak pulse, scanty discharge of high-colored urine, costiveness, loss of appetite, and a yellow appearance of the membranes of the mouth and the eyes. The eyes appear more or less sunken, upper lid drooping and lips hanging, giving the animal a sleepy look; there is cough, soreness of the throat, and labored breathing; the mouth is filled with frothy slime, the legs are cold and sometimes more or less swollen below the knees and hocks. In the advanced stages of distemper, there is a free discharge from both nostrils.

Brittle Hoofs.—I.F.C., Camden, Ill. If the animal is shod, the shoes should be removed and reset at least once a month, to allow the feet to be properly pared and trimmed. If habitually brittle, it will be proper to keep such feet off from much moisture, and instead provide dry floor of whatever kind. Once or twice a week such feet should be given an ample coat of some simple hoof ointment, such as equal parts of tar, tallow and beeswax, carefully melted together, and stirred till cold.

Lung Disease in Swine.—A.J.T., Emery, Ill. Most internal diseases of swine, especially inflammation of the lungs, which is often given the wrong name of thumps, are very intractable and apt to prove fatal when occurring during the winter months. Prevention is the sheet anchor for these troubles, and it must be a poor farmer indeed who can not manage to provide clean, comfortable and dry housing for his live stock during this season, or who can not comprehend that such is necessary for the well-doing of animals as well as of himself. Any animal, even a hog, will of course suffer more, or less severely when constantly exposed to chilly winds, draft of cold air, wet ground and damp surroundings, icy or frozen drink or food, etc.

Blindness After Lockjaw.—M.J.G., Los Angeles, Cal. Let the animal go loose in a comfortable, roomy, well-bedded shed, from which strong light is excluded. Apply, once daily, to the hollow space above the orbit of the eyes, a small portion of fluid extract of belladonna. Give food which does not require much hard chewing.

* * * * *

REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER one year, and the subscriber gets 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.


At one of the December meetings of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society a prize essay from the pen of John J. Thomas, of Union Springs, N.Y., was read on the subject "Hedge Plants and Hedges."

The subject of the essay was proposed in the form of a question, "Are live hedges to be recommended either for utility or ornament, and if they are, what plants are most suitable?" The answer to this question was given from the experiments of the essayist during the last forty years. The deciduous plants tried were the buckthorn, Osage orange, honey-locust, privet and barberry. The evergreens were the Norway spruce, hemlock, and American arbor-vitae.

The buckthorn has the advantage of great hardiness, thick growth, and easy propagating and transplanting, and requires but a moderate amount of cutting back. But the growth is not stout enough to resist unruly animals, unless in very rich soils, and even a moderate amount of cutting back is an objection to farmers.

The cost of buckthorn hedges, including the preparation of a strip of soil five feet wide, purchase of plants, setting, and occasional horse cultivation on each side, was about twenty-five cents a rod the first year. The yearly cultivation and cutting back, until the hedge had reached full size, was three or four cents a rod. Though the buckthorn has nearly passed out of use on account of its inefficiency, it is not impossible that it may be extensively planted when cultivators find that it may be converted into an efficient barrier by inclosing two or three barbed wires extending its length through the interior—these wires, supported on occasional posts, being successively placed in position as the hedge increases in height, the branches growing around the wires and holding them immovably in position. Galvanized wire should be always used, on account of its durability.

Osage orange hedges require more care than buckthorn, in assorting plants of equal size and vigor, and the rejection of feeble plants. Like all other hedge plants, they should be set in a single line, and eight inches apart is a suitable distance. For the first few years the ground must be kept well cultivated. It is partly tender and will not endure the winters at the North, unless on a well-drained soil. Hence the importance of placing a good tile drain parallel to the hedge and within a few feet of it. Thus protected, good hedges have stood for twenty-five years where the thermometer has often shown ten or twelve degrees below zero, and sometimes lower.

No hedge is more commonly mismanaged than the Osage orange. It is planted in imperfectly prepared ground; vigorous and feeble plants are planted indiscriminately, cultivation and pruning are omitted or not done thoroughly, resulting in broken and irregular lines. When more care is given, the hedge is nearly spoiled by being pruned too wide at the top, the heavy shade above causing meagre growth and openings below. It should be pruned in wedge shape, but shearing is objectionable as causing a thick and short growth of leaves at the exterior, excluding light from the inside and causing bare branches there. Cutting back more irregularly with a knife allows the growth of interior foliage, and gives more breadth to the hedge. The sheared hedge presents an unnatural stiffness in ornamental grounds; but skillfully cut back with the knife it has more of the beauty of natural form. The manner of pruning is very important, both as regards utility and beauty. For farm barriers hedges do not require so elaborate care. Another mode of treatment has been adopted in the Western States. The trees are trimmed and the main stems trained upright for a few years. They are then cut half off at the ground and bent over at an angle of thirty degrees with the ground, a tree being left upright at distances of four or five feet, and the inclined ones interwoven among them, a straight line of trees being thus formed. The tops are then cut off about three feet high. New shoots spring up in abundance and form an impenetrable growth, as many as fifty having been counted from a single plant the first year. The top is cut to within a few inches each year of its previous height. Hedges made in this way have no gaps.

A similar treatment may be adopted when a hedge becomes too high by long years of growth. The trees are first partly trimmed with a light axe or hook with a long handle, and then half cut off at the ground and bent over. A new growth will spring up and form a new hedge. This course was adopted by the essayist with a hedge planted twenty-eight years ago, and which has been a perfect farm barrier for more than twenty years. The cost of this hedge was about twenty-five cents a rod the first year, and the three subsequent cuttings for sixty rods cost about twenty dollars, averaging less than a dollar a year. But it was usually too tall and shaded, and occupied too much ground, to be recommended where land is valuable.

Ninety rods of Osage orange hedge, properly trimmed, cost about the same for the first four years of cultivation, but more for annual cutting back. It was planted twenty-four years ago, and has been a perfect barrier for about twenty years. The yearly cost of pruning was about four cents a rod for ten or twelve years, and since it has become larger and higher nearly double. For cutting back a stout hook with a handle two and a-half feet long or a stout scythe was used. Hedge shears are too slow except for ornamental hedges, and even for these the knife is preferable.

The Honey locust has been extensively used for hedges of late years on account of its hardiness. Seed should be selected from the most thorny trees. The trees have a tall, slender, and not hedgy growth, and require thorough cutting back to secure a thick mass of branches at the bottom, and very few have received this treatment when young. The care in planting and rearing is similar to that required by the Osage orange.

Many hedges have been injured or even destroyed by pruning after the summer growth has commenced. The pruning must be done in spring before the buds swell, if vigorous growth is to be preserved. But strong-growing hedges, that are likely to become too high, may be checked by summer pruning.

Though the cost of planting and starting a hedge is less than that of building a good board fence, they are not adapted to farmers who will not give them the continued care required to keep them in good order. This conclusion is justified by observing how few have succeeded with hedges, and many have allowed them to be ruined by neglect.

The evergreens which have been employed have been exclusively for ornamental screens, and not for farm barriers. The Norway spruce may be placed at the head on account of its rigid growth, hardiness, and the freedom with which it may be cut back, it will bear more shade than many other evergreens, and hence the interior of the screen is green with foliage. The cutting back should be done with a knife, and not with shears. Next to the Norway spruce is the hemlock, which excels the former in its livelier green in winter, while it is unsurpassed for retaining interior foliage. It will bear cutting back to an almost unlimited extent in spring before growth commences. But it is not so stiff as the Norway spruce as a barrier. The American arbor-vitae, though much used, becomes destitute of foliage inside, and is browned by winter.

By the introduction of barbed wire an important change is likely to take place in planting hedges. Barbed wire makes a cheaper fence for its efficiency than any other material. A serious objection to it is the danger of animals being lacerated against it, the wires being nearly invisible. This objection may be obviated by inclosing the wires in visible hedges. Efficiency may also be thus imparted to small-growing hedge plants, such as privet, barberry and small evergreens, which will require but little labor in pruning and would become handsome ornaments. The purple barberry, for example, would present an attractive appearance during a large portion of the year. A new value may thus be given to hedges by rendering moderate growers and those easily kept in shape efficient barriers for farm and fruit gardens.


Perhaps one of the greatest needs of horticulture at the present day, is young men to engage in the work—intelligent, patient, energetic young men, who will begin and make it a life-labor and study. What nobler employment in which young men can engage? What field for study and investigation can be found for them which offers a more gratifying and pleasant pursuit, and promises richer and more substantial results?

There are so many open questions connected with the science; so many points that need investigation, so many problems to be solved; so much to learn that is yet unknown—that the needs for more laborers are great and pressing; and the wonder is that more of our young men are not entering upon the work.

That young men are needed, rather than the old or middle aged, is because many of the investigations to be undertaken require a lifetime to perfect, and can only be brought to a profitable issue in a long series of years. Such, for instance, as the production of new varieties of fruits; the relative hardiness and longevity of trees; the effects of soil and climate, heat, cold, etc., upon plant life; the degeneracy of species, etc.;—all of which require a long series of experiments to determine. Older men, here and there, are engaged in these investigations; but they are passing away in the midst of their work only partially accomplished, and their labors are thus in a degree lost.

Our farmers' sons—stout, healthy, energetic young men—are the ones upon whom this labor and high duty more properly devolves. To them belongs, or should belong, the honor and glory of pushing forward this noble work. Many of these, however, are mistakenly leaving the farms to engage in trade and speculation; while others who remain at home mostly incline to other branches. The agricultural colleges are doubtless developing a few faithful workers for these too neglected fields; but these munificently endowed institutions are believed to fall far short of their duty in this respect.

I will close by recommending this matter to the thoughtful consideration of the young readers of THE PRAIRIE FARMER, who, as a class, I believe to be as capable and intelligent as the country affords, and with the remark that I know of no business in life to which I would sooner urge any young friend of my own to devote his talents and his energies.



Prof. Budd, of Iowa, sends THE PRAIRIE FARMER the following copy of his address before the Eastern Iowa Horticultural Society, remarking that its appearance in this paper may lead the Bloomington nurserymen to look up this very important line of propagation:

The topic assigned me is, as usual, experimental horticulture. I select the division of the work implied in the heading for the reason that it is, as yet, mainly an unoccupied field of inquiry. If the idea occurs that my treatment of the question is speculative rather than practical permit me to suggest that thought and investigation must always precede the work of adapting fruits to a newly occupied country, especially if that country is as peculiar in climate and soil as the great Northwest.

In the summer of 1882, I was fortunate in having a fine opportunity for studying the varieties and races of cherries in Continental Europe. The fruit was ripening when we were in the valley of the Moselle in France, and as we went slowly northward and eastward it continued in season through Wirtemberg, the valleys and spurs of the Swabian Alps to Munich in Bavaria, through the passes of the Tyrol in Saltzburg to Austria, Bohemia, Siberia, Poland, and Southwestern Russia. Still farther north of St. Petersburg and Moscow we met the cherries from Vladimir on every corner, and our daily excursions to the country permitted the gathering of the perfectly ripened fruit from the trees.

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