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Six cows from eight to ten years old, inclusive, average nine years and four months, weighed 6,430 pounds evening weight. Loss on this weight, in the morning, 285 pounds. Average loss on each cow, 47.50. Loss per cent. on evening weight, 4.43.
Eleven cows from four to six years old, average four years and nine months, weighed in the evening 10,145 pounds. Loss on this weight in the morning, 565 pounds. Average loss on each cow, 51.36 pounds. Average loss per cent. on evening weight, 5.56. The eleven young cows lost 1.14 per cent. more than the six old cows.
The average number of days after calving of the twelve cows that gave milk during the ten days was 1551. Daily average yield of milk of the same cows, 14.30 pounds each. Average milk on average weight of the same cows, daily, was 1.53 per cent. The average falling off in milk of these twelve cows, since the thirtieth of June, is 1.63 per cent. of their average live weight.
The committee would suggest the expediency of an application to the legislature for a grant of funds, to enable the Board to continue the experiments, and to try others which are calculated to determine the individual and comparative value of the different breeds of cattle, and the comparative value of the several kinds of roots grown in the State, with good English hay, corn-fodder and other substances usually fed to cattle.
The principal crops raised on the farm during the past season were: 1,393 bushels of potatoes; 1,819 bushels of Indian corn as taken from the field, or 9094 bushels of shelled corn; 2,258 bushels of carrots; 70 tons of hay; 1,119 bushels of ruta-bagas, and sufficient quantities of the various smaller products, as pease, beans, beets, squashes, &c., for the use of the institution.
The experiments detailed in the report of the Committee on Crops will be found to be of great value and interest, though not in all respects so satisfactory as they would have been had the season proved more favorable. It has been already stated that the subject of fertilizers was put into the hands of this committee. This is a matter of vast importance to the community, for on these depend the success and profit of every operation on the farm. These experiments relate to the comparative value of stable manure and guano, super-phosphate of lime, potash, &c. They will appear best in the following
The undersigned, a sub-committee of the Superintending Committee of this Board for carrying on the operations of the State Farm at Westborough, submit the following Report
"ON CROPS, INCLUDING FERTILIZERS, &c.”
In pursuance of the duty assigned, your Committee visited the Farm in the spring, and after consultation with Deacon White, the farmer, in relation to the wants of the Institution, and the capabilities of the soil, gave such directions as appeared to them to be the best adapted to promote the interests of the Commonwealth and the objects of the Board.
Among the latter were certain experiments with fertilizers, for the purpose of ascertaining their value, and their adaptation to various crops and soils.
Before proceeding with a statement of the results of the experiments, it should be mentioned that, from unforeseen and providential circumstances, it was impossible to commence some of them until the season was too far advanced for a favorable trial. Other difficulties have since occurred, which were not anticipated, and which have prevented so accurate and satisfactory a report as might be desired. Among these may especially be named the unparalleled drought so generally disastrous to vegetation throughout the country.
Your Committee herewith submit the subjoined statement of the products derived from the department under their charge, without estimating the cost of production or the value of the crops, since these will be found in the accounts of the farmer, rendered to the Secretary of the Board
There were twenty-one acres in one field, and the soil was of a light, loamy character. The crop for the previous three years had been hay. The land was ploughed eight inches deep, and furrowed both ways thirty-six by thirty inches. Fifteen acres of the above were manured with manure from the barn, spread and ploughed in, at the rate of twenty-five cartloads of thirty-four bushels each, or eight and one-third cords to the acre, a cord estimated to contain one hundred and two bushels.*
The remaining six acres were divided into six equal lots, were manured at equal expense, and subjected to the following experiments:
Lot No. 1.–This was fertilized with ten dollars' worth of reservoir manure from the sinks of the institution, mixed with soil, estimated at its comparative value with stable manure, and it produced 87 bushels of cars, or of shelled corn 43.) bushels per acre. . Lots Nos. 2 and 3.—These were dressed with ten dollars' worth
of guano each to the acre, and produced 144 bushels of ears, or 72 bushels of shelled corn, being 36 bushels per acre.
Lot No. 4.—This was manured with ten dollars' worth of Mapes' super-phosphate of lime, and produced 85 bushels of ears, or of shelled corn 424 bushels per acre..
Lot No. 5.—This was dressed with ten dollars' worth of De Burg's super-phosphate of lime, and produced 101 bushels of ears, or of shelled corn 50.1 bushels per acre.
Lot No. 6.—This was dressed with ten dollars' worth of ground bone, and produced 90 bushels of ears, or of shelled corn 45 bushels per acre.
On Lots Nos. 2 and 3 the seed corn was destroyed twice by the strength of the guano, although it had been composted (see note) for some weeks. The crop was therefore late, and much injured by the drought.
On lot No. 5, dressed with De Burg's super-phosphate of lime, the corn was the heaviest and stoutest, yielding only one bushel of soft, or pig, corn to the acre.
Thus it will be seen that of these lots, side by side, similarly constituted and cultivated, and fertilized at equal expense, the results were as follows:Guano, not fairly tried, produced
36.6 per acre. Mapes' super-phosphate of lime produced . 421 Reservoir manure produced
433 Bone manure produced
45 De Burg's super-phosphate of lime produced . 50, “
* The barn manure was composed of 120 cartloads of loam, and 40 do. of meadow muck, to 220 loads of stable manure, and, when composted, estimated to be worth one dollar a load, or three dollars per cord. The fifteen acres produced 1,312 bushels of ears, or 656 bushels of shelled corn, or at the rate of 43 11-15 bushels per acre.
† The above fertilizers, previous to use, were mixed with five times their bulk of meadow muck, and applied to the several lots in the hill.
But, for reasons above stated, these results, in a different season and in other circumstances, may vary.
The weight of the stover, it will be seen below, does not exactly correspond with the grain, yet the largest yield produced also the greatest amount of fodder.
Two acres of corn not included in the above were also planted with different kinds of corn. One of these was mostly sweet. Of this there was sold in the green state the amount of $41,2. The balance at harvest time yielded 23 bushels of ears of sweet, 8 of pop, and 10 of a white corn, had of Ruggles, Nourse & Mason. The other acre was planted with seed corn from Hadley, Mass., and yielded 110 bushels of ears, of a very beautiful quality. These two acres were fertilized with manure from the pigsty in 1853, at the rate of ten cords to the acre, and the same quantity this year. Last year the product was at the rate of 621 bushels of shelled corn to the acre. This land lies north of the institution.
Of these there were nine acres in cultivation.
The following experiments were made on the Sibley lot, containing five acres; soil light-rather sandy; ploughed seven inches deep, furrowed both ways, thirty-six by thirty inches, and planted with the St. Helena potato. This field produced corn in 1853, and was then manured with about seven cords of barn manure to the acre. This year the crop was hoed twice, but not hilled at all.
Lot No. 1.—This, like the others which follow, contained one acre. It was manured with barn manure, one-half spread and ploughed in, the balance put in the hill, at the rate of twelve dollars' worth to the acre. Product, 5,189 lbs., or, at 60 lbs. per bushel, 864 bushels per acre.
Lot No. 2.- This was dressed with twelve dollars' worth of guano, and produced 5,535 lbs., or 923 bushels per acre.
Lot No. 3.—This was dressed with twelve dollars' worth of Mapes’ super-phosphate of lime, and produced 5,053 lbs., or 841 bushels per acre.
Lot No. 4.—This was dressed with twelve dollars' worth of De; Burg's super-phosphate of lime, and produced 4,641 lbs., or 77} bushels per acre.
Lot No. 5.—This was fertilized with super-phosphate of lime, at half the expense of the foregoing, say six dollars per acre, and produced 3,637 lbs., or 60% bushels per acre.*
Further Experiments on Potatoes. Two acres were planted on the Warren lot. This was dressed in 1853 with hog manure, at the rate of eight and one-third cords, and about thirty bushels of coal-ashes to the acre. This year the land received to the acre 400 lbs. of guano, applied in the hill. The product was 359 bushels, or 179 bushels to the acre.
Lot below the House.—This also contained two acres, and had been mowed for three years without any dressing. Last year (1853) the land was broken up and cultivated with corn for fodder, without manure. This year it received, like the Warren lot, 400 lbs. of guano to the acre, and produced 379 bushels, or 1894 bushels to the acre.
In all of the above cases the manure was applied in the hill.f
Experiments on the Field by the Barn. The soil was a deep, good loam, ploughed from twelve to fifteen inches deep. The previous crop, in 1853, was ruta-baga turnips. The fertilizers named below were compounded with meadow muck as before stated, and were spread and deeply ploughed in, the cost of each being at the rate of twelve dollars per acre. Each lot contained twenty-eight square rods.
Lot No. 1.–This was dressed with guano, and produced 6,354 lbs., or, at 55 lbs. per bushel, 11537 bushels, or 660 bushels per acre.
* The potatoes on lot No. 1 were small, but numerous and good. Those of Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 were all large and fine for the table.
+ From these experiments, it will be seen that the results of these fertilizers in the potato crop vary with the results in the corn crops. De Burg's super-phosphate of lime, which produced the largest crop of corn, yielded the smallest crop of potatoes. Guano yielded the largest crop, even on land which had received no manure for four years, having been mowed three years, and last year cultivated with corn for cut fodder. In this instance, ten dollars' worth of guano produced 189 bushels of superior potatoes per acre. Similar results in America and England prove the value of this fertilzer, especially for potatoes.