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THE PRESIDENT:-The next will be the report of the Crop Improvement Committee, Mr. Faust, Chairman.
CROP WORK OUTLINED.
MR. FAUST:-Mr. President, it gives me great pleasure to inform the Convention that your Crop Improvement Committee has been actively engaged in its endeavor to secure improvement of crops. As you are probably aware, the crop improvement movement throughout the country has become general and is also very popular. The press gives up quite a bit of its space to such activity and agitation. I might also say that financial assistance can be secured with very little difficulty. For instance, one philanthropist in Chicago has donated thus far $110,000 for the improvement of crops. This means that in the last two years 110 agriculturists have been located in as many counties, and it will be only a very few years when the agricultural counties throughout the country will have an experienced agriculturist who will inform and teach the farmers how to produce better crops.
Secretary Fox made a very important statement to you a few moments ago, in which he put forth the fact that the brewing industry is manufacturing and selling more beer than we have crops to take care of. He means by that that the increased materials from the agricultural districts have fallen behind the increased sales. This is very important, and I will mention that the Crop Imment Committee is giving this its attention also.
As you are probably aware, we have affiliated ourselves with the various Boards of Trade throughout the country that have crop improvement bureaus. They have appreciated our assistance in this matter and they have sent to us the Manager of their Crop Improvement Bureau, Mr. Ball. He is here and desires to lecture before you in connection with stereopticon views, and I would like to have you give him your best attention.
I could talk to you at length about this matter, but it will be incorporated in our general report, and therefore I will not occupy your attention any longer. (Applause).
THE PRESIDENT:-Gentlemen, you have heard outlined the report of the Crop Improvement Committee; what is your pleasure? The Report was adopted.
REPORT OF CROP IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE. Following is the report of Mr. Bert Ball to the Crop Improvement Committee of the United States Brewers' Association:
It is difficult to state in words the accomplishments of the Crop Improvement Committee, because its achievements consist mainly in getting other people to do things, nor can we take great or undue credit for their work. The object of this committee is to arouse a community spirit to do things which will result in a larger yield of better grain. Therefore, our policy is to unite every agency in the field.
First, to insure the systematic testing of all seeds in the public schools and upon the farm.
Second, the organization in every county of a Grain Breeding Association.
Third, to unite all agricultural, commercial, industrial, social, educational and transportation interests; to cooperate with the United States Government, State Agricultural Colleges, and all others, in establishing farm bureaus and kindred organizations in every county in the United States, and to employ a county agriculturist and skilled assistants as rapidly as funds may be provided.
Systematic testing of seeds has now been introduced into nearly all of the country schools in the barley growing districts, and in addition to the "Rag Doll" corn testing campaign, the committee is now engaged in distributing scientific blotting-paper testers for the testing of barley and all small seeds. This plan provides that each pupil shall obtain samples of barley, each from a different farmer and return to each man a report certifying the result of the tests.
In this manner we are learning where seed is lacking and where to obtain the best qualities. We are also trying to get a concerted effort to protect the grain during and after harvest, the time when most of the damage is done.
Each of the barley growing States has now organized, in addition to the work of the Experiment Station, a State Breeding Association. Wisconsin still leads in this regard, having more than 2,000 members, and somewhere about 30 counties in which county branches have been established, each fully organized with a Con
stitution, a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. These county orders will obtain seed barley from its members in any quantity, shipping it all over the world. A plan in each county for inspecting the growing crop, for stiffness of straw, stooling, uniformity, etc., is being introduced. The same plan has been introduced in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and it is the work of the committee to encourage the organization of county branches as rapidly as the situation seems to warrant in each locality.
Our Committee has also been instrumental in growing test plots in California, of fifty-six different kinds of barley, both tworowed and six-rowed, the seed for which has been gathered all over the world, and the quality of all of them has been improved in these tests.
The organization of County Farm Bureaus is proceeding in a very satisfactory manner. Minnesota now leads with twentythree and North Dakota has about the same. Since the last annual meeting, sixteen State Legislatures have passed Acts enabling the County Officials to appropriate money for the support of the County Farm Bureau and of the "County Agent."
We plan another year, to arrange with the County Agents in all counties growing 100,000 bushels or more of barley, to furnish advance reports on acreage and conditions, and we have made arrangements with the crop reporter of the National Hay and Grain Reporter and Price Current, to include barley with the other grains in this report.
We have succeeded in obtaining the services of Professor F. H. Demaree as Agronomist and field agent for the Crop Improvement Committee, which will enable us to make still more rapid progress in the furtherance of our plans.
MR. ALTON'S REPORT.
Following is the report of Mr. Thomas Alton to the Crop Improvement Committee of the United States Brewers' Association:
HOPS, BARLEY AND RICE.
Because of the interest shown by the Hop, Barley and Rice trades, the U. S. Department of Agriculture has done a vast amount of important and profitable work in these crops.
With reference to this experimental work on the Pacific Coast, I have the pleasure of reporting as follows:
The U. S. Department of Agriculture by Drs. Galloway, True, Stockberger, Rabak, and Messrs. Parker and Thompson, is doing considerable hop work. The field work as pertains to quality and yield per acre is in the immediate charge of Dr. Stockberger. The work on hop lice, spiders and fleas is in the immediate charge of Mr. Parker.
Large experimental plots are being worked by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in various sections of California and Oregon, on the ranches of the E. Clemens Horst Co.
The lines of work being carried on as above comprises in part:
Breeding of different varieties;
Fertilizing for quality;
Fertilizing for quantity;
Training vines for quantity;
Root pruning and care.
Substantial results are being shown in the work as pertains to quantity. Bulletins frequently published by the government on various phases of the work, are being eagerly read by hop growers and substantial benefits are being derived.
The work on quality is, however, well blocked by reason of the contrariety of opinions of hop consumers as to what really constitutes quality. It appears that crop improvement work cannot be legitimately carried on till the factors of quality are determined. The Department of Agriculture has already put itself on record that America can fully duplicate in all respects any hop grown in the world. The largest growers on the Pacific Coast agree with that opinion, but as the price of hops is fixed within a very close range, according to district of production, the growers are not willing to substitute small producers for large producers, unless it should be determined that small yield runs in harmony with superior quality. The important hop growers on the Pacific Coast believe that richer lands produce hops richest in quantity and richest in quality. They are not willing to change their hop acreage from rich to poor
lands, nor their varieties from good producers to poor producers, unless they are assured by well established standards on the part of the consumers that the change in the character of hops grown will not result to their disadvantage financially.
There were sent to Mr. Bert Ball samples in the straw and in the grain of 56 specimens of Pedigreed Barley grown by the E. Clemens Horst Co. at Wheatland, California. The samples show that all sorts of barley do well in California. These barleys were grown in the current season, which was one of the dryest and worst barley growing seasons that California ever had, yet by proper care of the crop practically every variety of seed from many parts of the world has shown a decided improvement in the barley grown in California over the seed from which it was grown.
There is no standard of quality, other than that of appearance, by which the barley growers can govern themselves. For legitimate crop improvement work as to quality, it will be necessary to establish standards.
The barley crop of the Pacific Coast for each of the past five years, according to the commercial figures, ran between 30,000,000 and 35,000,000 bushels. The average for 1913 was sufficient to produce under favorable crop conditions, 50,000,000 bushels, but the severe drought of 1913 reduced the Californian crop so much that the whole Pacific Coast crop amounted to only about 30,000,000 bushels.
The prospects for the 1914 crop are that there will be sufficient barley acreage sown to make a crop, under favorable weather conditions, of over 50,000,000 bushels.
The Panama Canal is expected to be open in time to move a large portion of the 1914 Pacific Coast barley crop.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture is conducting an experimental station devoted to investigation of rice culture.
We might say that this Station, located near Biggs, California, contains 56 acres, of which 50 acres are under cultivation. varieties are being tested. The testing is going on for both quantitive and qualitative results. The qualitative results, however, are for the use of rice for cooking purposes. No special attention being