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About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 7, 1899)
8 'Cbc Conservative *
ItKI'OKT OF TIIK SKCKKTAKY OF
AGKICUI/TUKK FOK 181M ) .
Secretary Wilson begins his annual
report with a "Summary , " in which he
briefly refers to one or two salient
features in connection with each bureau ,
division , and office of the department , ns
"Weather Bureau The extension of
the weather bureau service around the
Caribbean Sea has been abundantly
successful in noting the first indications
of cyclones , forcasting their movements ,
and giving timely warning to our navy ,
to merchant vessels at sea , and to pro
ducers and others interested on laud.
Division of Chemistry This division
is becoming a necessity to every depart
ment of the government in the making
of chemical analyses. Foods are inves
tigated , preservatives of all kinds
examined , sugar beets analyzed , etc.
An interesting inquiry has been made
into the change which takes place in the
composition of grains grown repeatedly
on the same soil.
Division of Entomology Since Doctor
Howard has shown owners of Smyrna
fig trees on the Pacific coast how to get
the fruit fertilized , there is good reason
to believe that in a few years we shall
obtain our fine figs from that locality.
Investigation by this division shows that
house flies and mosquitoes may be
greatly reduced by removing the propa
Division of Botany The department
is gathering information regarding the
life history of the plants that supply
commerce with India rubber and gutta-
percha , and should congress be pleased
to give direction , it will seek the plant
zones in our island possessions where
these commodities may be produced.
The United States now pays $30,000,000
annually for rubber. We import be
tween four and five million dollars'
worth of Egyptian cotton annually.
Experimentation indicates strongly that ,
on suitable soil properly cultivated , this
article can bo grown here.
Biological Survey Plants and animals
thrive and produce best where they are
most at home. The biological survey is
endeavoring to find the most congenial
conditions for our plants and animals.
Division of Vegetable Physiology anc
Pathology The hybridizing of grains is
being conducted by the division of vege
table physiology and pathology , with i
view to securing varieties ( rust-resisting
drought-resisting , and cold-resisting !
better suited to our varied soils anc
climates. Hybridization will also be
applied in the immediate future to cot
ton , and efforts are now being made to
get a hardier orange tree by the same
process. The diseases of plants in the
several states , including a serious fun
gous disease affecting sea-island cotton
and the diseases of fruit trees are also
Division of Pomology This division
continues to experiment in many locali
* > .
ies throughout the country with fruit-
jearing trees , plants and vines. For
xaniple , 119 varieties of the finer table
grapes of Europe have been grafted on
3hylloxera-resistaut American stocks
and sent to North Carolina and Florida.
Special work is being done on the Pacific
east to get more definite data regard-
ng the adaptability of varieties to that
Division of Forestry The division of
'orestry is introducing practical and
mying forestry on a large scale among
umbermen , and extensive experimenta-
iou in tree-planting is being conducted ,
vith cooperation on the part of those
uterested in woodcraft in the several
Division of Soils The irrigation
farmer of the West is being helped by
he mapping and extended investigation
of nlkali soils and by the reclamation of
njured or abandoned land , many acres
of which have become sterile through
the injudicious use of water.
Division of Agrostology Cropping re
duces the organic material in the soil.
Long-continued cropping renders the
soil unproductive. Grasses and legumes
are the best agencies for restoring this
organic matter. The division of agros-
; elegy is experimenting with home and
foreign grasses and legumes in all sec-
Ions of our country , to build up worn-
out soils in some cases and to introduce
useful varieties in others.
Office of Experiment Stations Co
operation between the department and
the experiment stations becomes closer
every year. Assistance from the states
is increasing , and the farmers of the
several states are appreciating their
station work more and more. Experi
mentation in Alaska has begun with
congressional aid. This work should be
extended to Hawaii , Porto Rico and the
Philippine Islands , so that they may be
enabled to supply the United States with
tropical products , our importations of
which amount to over two hundred
million dollars annually.
Office of Public Road Inquiries.
There is great interest at the present
time in the public highways of the
country. Extensive experimentation is
being conducted by the department in
cooperation with local authorities in
building sample roads from the materials
found in different localities , and in the
laying of steel track.
Division of Publications During the
year G03 publications were issued anc
over 7,000,000 copies distributed among
the people. Of the Farmers' Bulletins
2,487,000 copies were printed and dis
tributed , which did not meet the ful
Section of Foreign Markets Show
rapid growth of American commerce in
all parts of the world. We continue to
sell raw material to foreign countries
from which they manufacture high
selling articles. Trade regulations ar
prohibitory against American meats in
ome European countries where impor-
atious of cheap grains from which
meats are made are encouraged. The
American farmer can not afford to exert -
) ort nitrogenous grains or mill feeds for
; his purpose.
Bureau of Animal Industry The work
of this bureau increases rapidly. Meat
nspection was conducted last year at
88 abattoirs in 41 cities. The ante-
uiortem inspections were 53,228,170 ,
while the number in 1892 was 8,809,459.
? he third year of experimentation with
log cholera shows that from 75 to 80 per
cent of hogs injected with serum are
aved. Encouraging results have "come
from the introduction of dairy products
ute foreign markets. The department
ends shipments abroad for the purpose
of ascertaining the facts regarding such
products ; these facts are published , and
ommerce naturally follows.
Division of Statistics Fifty thousand
crop reporters keep the division" of
statistics informed regarding the condi-
ion of our staple crops , and every effort
s being made to promptly give the
) eople the facts as they are found.
Gardens and Grounds The grounds
of the department and its extensive
greenhouses serve a useful purpose ,
more than 100,000 plants and bulbs , all
of economic value , having been dis
tributed during the year by the superin
tendent. This official is now prepared
to supply tea plants for experimentation
in the Gulf States.
Seed Distribution The department
in the distribution of seeds is aiming to
conform to the original spirit of the law
by the importation and distribution of
what is rare and valuable.
The secretary then reviews in some
detail the work of the several bureaus ,
divisions , and offices of the department.
He lays stress on the great services
rendered by the weather bureau to com
merce and agriculture , and by the
bureau of animal industry to the stock
growers of the country. He makes a
strong plea for the wide extension of
the forestry work , for which he urges
greatly increased appropriations. He
dwells at some length on the losses due
to the injudicious use of water in alkali
lands of the irrigated regions , and pleads
for a special appropriation of $10,000 for
the investigation of the subject.
Much work has also been undertaken
on behalf of tobacco , looking to as wide
a substitution as possible of home grown
for imported product , by improving the
quality of the former. Interesting in
vestigations as to the causes affecting
flavor and aroma are being carried on.
He congratulates the country on the
increasing cooperation between the
department and the state experiment
stations in many lines of important
work , and strongly urges special appro
priations to enable the secretary of
agriculture to establish agricultural
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