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To the list of bulletins as given on page 31 two other publications should be added as distributed during 1917 — the Thirty-fourth Annual Report for 1915, and Part II of the Annual Report for 1916. The usual delay in printing of the Annual Reports of the Station has been intensified during the past year so that distribution of the report for 1915 could not be made for a year and a half after the completion of the year. For the first time, also, printing and delivery of the bulletins of the Station have been so delayed as to be annoying and embarrassing. Many factors have combined to cause this delay, including failure of the Legislature to make the necessary appropriation for printing the bulletins, difficulty in securing paper of proper quality, and slow transmission of printed material from Albany to Geneva because of transportation troubles. That the bulletins have appeared at all during the last half of 1917 has been due to the public spirit of the State Printer, the J. B. Lyon Company, who bore the financial burden of their publication in advance of an appropriation to provide for them.
Part II of the report for 1916, mentioned above, is The Peaches of New York, the fifth of the series of fruit monographs prepared by the Horticultural Department of the Station. This volume has been more in demand than any of its predecessors except The Apples of New York, since it is one of the most satisfactory and pleasing of the series. The Commissioner of Agriculture very kindly placed at the disposal of the Station a portion of his allotment of 2000 copies, thus aiding in meeting the great demand, which our own allotment of 2000 copies could not possibly cover. The remaining 5000 copies of the monograph have been assigned to the members of the Legislature. Attention must again be called to this unsatisfactory method of distribution, whereby it is made impossible to place such valuable books in the hands of fruit growers who would make profitable use of them, while hundreds of copies go to ornament the libraries of those who have no connection with fruit production and are not specially interested in it, but desire the books because of their beautiful color plates and because they can be obtained without expense.
RESULTS OF STATION WORK IN 1917.
During 1917, the published results of Station activities appeared in seventeen bulletins, of which nine had popular editions also; in seven technical bulletins; and in four circulars. The number of persons reached by these Station publications increased somewhat during the year, but there are evidently still thousands of farmers in the State who might benefit by Station experience who secure knowledge of its results only at second or third hand, if at all.
DIVISION OF AGRONOMY.
Ground limestone for New York State.- The need for lime in New York agriculture has been shown in many ways and the production of ground limestone in the State has developed very rapidly in five years to meet this need, at least in part. From one plant grinding limestone in 1912 and one producing marl, the number has increased until there were 56 such plants in the State in 1917 and a dozen or more outside the State shipping in large quantities of the ground stone. To familiarize farmers with these local sources of supply and the comparative value of the product of the different plants, Bulletin No. 430 was prepared. This includes a map showing the location of the different grinding plants and a table giving the analysis of the ground product of each, the analyses being more detailed as well as more numerous than those given in the fertilizer bulletin. Discussions are also presented, in simple terms, of the comparative value of ground limestone, of the degree of fineness required for best results, of soils requiring lime, of field tests for need of lime, of the response of crops to liming and of the nature of soil acidity.
Determination of carbonates.- Technical Bulletin No. 62 describes and illustrates a simple piece of apparatus, devised by the Agronomist, for the determination of carbonates, particularly in limestone and similar materials. It is based on the principle of the hydrometer, requires no weighing and gives results without computations. From its inexpensiveness, simplicity and accuracy it should serve a useful purpose in a wide field.
Lysimeter and pot-culture work.- During 1914 the Station installed a battery of lysimeters for soil study, perhaps the most complete and expensive piece of apparatus of this type in the country, Believing that familiarity with this lysimeter installation would be of value to others engaged in similar work or contemplating it, plans, photographs and structural details of the apparatus have been collected in Technical Bulletin No. 61. Outlines of the problems to be studied and of the plan of work are also given. Adjacent to this battery of lysimeters on the Station grounds are sets of draintile cylinders for controlling conditions in certain lines of soil study, but without opportunity to study drainage water as given by the lysimeters. The two installations supplement each other.
FIELD WORK OUTSIDE STATION FARM,
Great Bear Springs Co. (8 acres), Fulton.
Jas. Vick & Sons (8 acres), Elm Grove. Cherry orchard -- Fertilization, cultivation and cover crop tests. .
P. F. O'Neil (3 acres), Geneva. Pear orchard — Fertilization, cultivation and cover crop tests..
Lawrence Howard (3 acres), Kinderhook. Vineyard — Fertilization and deep plowing tests ..
S. E. Stone, Jr. (4 acres), Fredonia.
F. A. Tuerk (12 acres), Baldwinsville. Four year rotation and fertilizer tests... P. R. Bennett (6 acres), Milford.
DIVISION OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY.
Goat's milk for infant feeding.- For several years the Station maintained a herd of milch goats, the original animals coming as a gift from Mr. H. S. Greims of New York City. The animals that reached Geneva early in 1910, forty-nine in number, were of several breeds, pure and crossed; several were in poor condition; and a few later developed the somewhat uncommon malady known as takosis. Owing to these conditions and the necessity of weeding out undesirable types and animals, no records of great value were secured in 1910 or 1911; but during 1912 data were obtained showing the approximate food cost of maintaining twenty-eight females, three males and nine kids of Long-haired and Short-haired Toggenburg, Schwartzenberg, and Saanen breeds, and crosses among these breeds and of some of them with Angora and American goats. The food cost of the milk for all of the goats during 1912 was 4 cents a quart. The NEW YORK AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION.
lowest cost for a year's production was with a Saanen doe, the estimated cost of whose milk during 1911 was 1.27 cents a quart. Even the best of these figures shows the food cost of milk from these goats to be far above that from the Station herd of Jersey cows, with which the average for three years was .92 cents a quart.
The milk of the goats was used with good success for feeding infants in a hospital. In eighteen cases where children in private homes were not thriving on other foods that had been used, a satisfactory state of nutrition was established thru the use of goat's milk, the beneficial results in some instances being very marked. With some of these children their condition was regarded as serious, and their restoration to a satisfactory state of health was good evidence that goat's milk is often a very desirable resort for infant feeding. The details of this work with milch goats appear in Bulletin No. 429.
BACTERIOLOGICAL AND DAIRY DIVISIONS.
Dairy investigations.- Definite progress has been made during the year on the studies of the accuracy of the analytical methods used for counting bacteria in milk. This has resulted in the preliminary publication in the Journal of Dairy Science of the results of the cooperative analytical work done with the Department of Dairy Industry of the State College of Agriculture. The chief conclusion reached in this work was that when samples of milk were prepared in such a way that all of the well known and commonly understood difficulties which prevent accurate counting of bacteria in milk were eliminated, different analysts could secure reasonably close duplicate counts. Two methods of analysis were used: one, the generally used agar plate method and the other, the direct microscopic examination of the milk previously described in bulletins from the Station. The counts secured by both methods agreed so closely that there is good reason to believe that the figures obtained really represented a very close approximation to the actual number of bacteria present.
Unfortunately, however, for the accuracy of the counts used in the milk control work in the State, the results of a long series of comparative analyses in which both the agar plate and the direct microscopic examination were used have shown that the ordinary conditions prevailing in market milk samples are such that the officially recognized counts are not counts of the individual bacteria but are counts of groups of bacteria. The results of these studies
DIRECTOR'S REPORT OF THE
have been published as Bulletin No. 439. Since the clumps of bacteria in ordinary market milk are of variable sizes in different samples of milk, the counts secured are not only much smaller than they should be but the errors in count are so variable that it makes it uncertain whether a milk sample stated to contain 10,000 bacteria per c.c. actually contains less bacteria than does another sample stated to contain 20,000 bacteria per c.c.
These findings would leave the matter of milk control on the basis of the bacteria count in a very unfortunate condition if it were not for the fact that while these studies have been in progress still another line of experimental work has been carried out at Hobart, N. Y., and at Geneva in cooperation with dairymen and certain milk distributing companies. The report on this work published as Bulletin No. 443 shows that it is not necessary to make accurate and detailed counts of the bacteria in milk in order to control its bacterial quality; and that either the microscopic method or the officially recognized agar-plating method can be used to divide unpasteurized milk on the basis of the bacterial count into as many as three classes with an agreement in results as high as 91 per ct. Strong presumptive evidence was secured for believing that milk delivered to the milk stations by dairymen was graded more accurately by microscopic examination than by the plating method.
The results of the studies on sanitary milk problems carried out at this Station and at the Illinois, Cornell, and Wisconsin Stations have led to the publication of a joint bulletin, No. 438, which discusses the fundamental problems underlying the grading of milk according to its quality. During the year the studies upon milking machines as factors in the production of sanitary milk have been completed and the results of the investigation are being prepared for publication.
Soil flora studies.— A series of technical bulletins has been issued dealing with the general bacteriological flora of the soil. The general characteristics of the soil flora and the methods best adapted to studying it are discussed in Technical Bulletin No. 57, the first of this series. The other three bulletins of this series deal with the three groups of soil bacteria already mentioned in the Director's Report for 1916. Technical Bulletin No. 58 takes up the sporeforming bacteria, giving descriptions of four different species, three of which have been found in all the soils studied. It is shown that