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measures over two inches. A single tent, if not destroyed, will strip off nearly all the leaves on a tree. About the middle of June the caterpillars separate to seek out some quiet corner where each one of them spins a thick cocoon, from whence the moth soon issues to lay eggs for the next year's brood of caterpillars.
They may be very easily and quickly destroyed by hunting out the clusters of eggs on a clear day in winter, or by destroying them in their tent as soon as they hatch. Strong soap suds or weak petroleum, applied in the morning or evening, when they are in the tent, will kill them.
FALL WEB WORM. These greenish yellow caterpillars may be found on our apple trees in August. They, like the tent caterpillars, spin a tent, hence many people think that they are only a second brood of the tent caterpillars. A hasty examination would show to any one that this is a mistake, for these caterpillars are of a dirty, greenish-yellow color, instead of the yellow, with stripes of black and white, which mark the tent caterpillars. The larva only grows to about one inch in length. The parent of this “worm" is a pure white moth, which appears in June and July. The moths lay their eggs on the leaves, where it is difficult to see them, so that the only time to destroy them is when they are in their nests. Soap suds or petroleum will kill them. The surest way, however, is to cut off the nest and burn it. These insects come on so late in the season that they will not kill the tree, though they will weaken it a good deal.
THE CUT-WORM. There is also a cut-worm, very much like the one that works on our corn, which is sometimes injurious to orchards in the spring, by eating off the fruit and leaf buds. These usually work only on sandy ground. The worms climb the tree and eat the buds during the night, returning to the ground and hiding before morning. The orchardist knows nothing of their work until his trees fail to put forth their leaves in due season. He then examines and finds that some mysterious foe has destroyed the buds. To prevent their ravages we must keep the larvæ from climbing the tree. This may be done by placing a belt of tar or a tin sheath around the runk of the tree.
THE CANKER WORM. This enemy of fruit growers has not yet appeared in this vicinity; but in the Middle and New England States it is more destructive than any other insect they have to contend against. The larva is ash-colored on the back, black on the sides, and yellow beneath. It appears early in spring, eating both leaf and fruit buds. When fully grown the larva enters the ground, where it forms an earthen cocoon. The perfect insects come out and pair late in autumn. The female is wingless, and is obliged to crawl up the tree to lay her eggs. These eggs are deposited in pleasant days in winter and early spring. The female, being wingless, may be kept out of the tree by means of a belt of tar, or a tin or zinc sheath, around the trunk of the tree. This should be put on in November, and allowed to remain till nearly June. The male of the canker worm is a greyish moth. When expanded, its wings spread about an inch.
THE CODLING MOTH. To us, the most disgusting of all our apple enemies is the codling moth. Its nasty, dirty, white larva eats into our apples, mining them in every direction, and spoiling a large part of our crop.
The eggs of this moth are laid on the blow end of our apples, while they are yet very small. In about four days the larva hatches out from the egg, and bores directly for the center of the apple, from whence it eats in every direction.
The larya is white with a black head. When about a month old, it leaves the apple and hides in some obscure place, where it spins a thin, silken cocoon. If it is early in the season it soon changes to a full-fledged moth, which lays eggs on our late apples; but if it is late in the season, the pupa remains in its cocoon all winter, and only comes out as a perfect insect in the spring.
In many cases the apple or pear (for this loathsome insect is not confined to the apple alone), falls to the ground before the larva has left it. In this case, the larva soon leaves the apple to hunt up, a good, dry place in which to hide and spin its house. The moth spreads nearly three-fourths of an inch. Its front wings are grey with a coppery binding, and the hind ones are brown.
THE ONLY REMEDY for this insect is extermination. This may be accomplished if all the people of a district will only go at the work in earnest. It will do but little good for one man to fight them, if his neighbor just over the way is breeding a fresh supply.
One way to destroy them is to destroy all worm-eaten fruit soon after it falls to the ground, either by hogs kept in the orchard, or by gathering them up and crushing for cider, if you are fond of such cider.
Large numbers of the larva may also be trapped by fastening bands of paper, cloth, or straw, around the trunk of the tree. These belts make very nice hiding places for the worms, and they will secrete themselves there if the rough scales of bark are only scraped off so that they will find no other convenient place. I have found as many as sixty of the larvæ under one of these belts. These belts should be placed on the trunk of the tree about the last of June, and examined, and the worms killed every two weeks, until the apples are gathered. This will greatly lessen the numbers of successive broods. woodpeckers and sap-suckers destroy large numbers of these insects.
And now, gentlemen, should these few words be of any service to any one of you, I shall feel amply repaid for this, my first effort.
SHORT-HORNS AND IMPROVED STOCK.
AN ADDRESS BY A. F. WOOD, DELIVERED MAY 30, 1874.
In the breeding of domestic animals in this country we depend more on cattle,—that is, they are more useful to the larger number of persons than any other one kind of animals. We learn that in different countries they vary much, according to soil, feed, and climate; but I believe, in the rich, fertile soils, with the advantages of an improved country, such as commodious barns to protect them against storm, cold, and wind, and the production of grain and roots to feed, in addition to straw, corn-stalks, and hay, that none of us should be satisfied without improving our stock. The better stock we keep, the better we can afford to feed them; for the higher fed, the richer will be the manure, which, applied to the land, renders it more fertile and productive.
The great mass of cattle have been bred by a chance system. It is said that “like begets like in nature, but this is not true in a general sense. Nature never duplicates any of its works, and it is only by careful selection and breeding for several generations that we arrive at any definite form, or so firmly fix distinct form and habits that the offspring will, with regularity, inherit them from their parents. For illustration, you have this herd before you. Such a herd, even in quality and form, never was duplicated by chance. It has only been done by care and judgment. Perhaps in some instances force of circumstances may add to improvement. There is no question but that there are more qualities, both beneficial and useful combined, in the Shorthorn than in any other breed for a country like this; but cross breeding and the breeding of grades together should be avoided in all cases as much as possible. A crossbred animal may be a good one for certain purposes, but in the hands of many it does not stop there, -an injury is done that can never be repaired.
If a mare and jack are bred together, a fine working animal may be produced in the form of a mule, which is, no doubt, in many cases beneficial and useful. Nature stops there. If, by Providence, many other crosses ceased with one cross, it would save much responsibility to mankind. Had man never been permitted to err, much responsibility and baneful influence would have been saved; but that we might be thinking and useful beings, capable of great enjoyment, it was not thus ordained.
The question comes, How are we to improve our stock and conduct our business so as to make farming pay as well as any other business on the capital invested ? Mr. A buys a farm of two hundred acres in a fair state of cultivation, and commences farming by raising hay and grain to sell. Paying the present price for help and current expenses, how long will he be successful? How will he keep up the fertility of his soil ? The average crop of wheat in this State has been estimated at thirteen bushels per acre. The expense of culture for one acre, and interest on the capital invested, sum up as follows: Plowing-
$2 00 Cultivating, dragging, and sowing
2 00 Use of land or interest..
3 50 Two bushels seed, $1 50.
3 00 Harvesting (cutting, binding, and setting up)---
2 00 Drawing, threshing, cleaning, and marketing the grain, at 25c a bushel, 13 bushels ...
-$15 75 $16 55
$2 80 This reckoning shows an average profit of $2 80 per acre, provided there is but one year's use of the land given to the crop, but two years are frequently allowed. What has been gained from the sale of oats and corn, everything considered, during the past few years ? Were this branch of agriculture alone pursued, how would we enrich the soil, which is constantly deteriorating? Said H. Greeley, “ It is no matter how much money you put in your pocket, if you
take it from the soil, you are growing poorer.” În the rearing of cattle let us compare the results obtained from native, then improved stock. Would not $20 be a fair average price for steers two years old, from native cattle, for years past? Can a man afford to hire his work done, pay wear and tear, and the interest on the money invested at these figures, and live? Yet three-fourths of the cattle raised are of this sort. A man may do his work himself, he and his family live very economically, and accumulate some money, but one should not work cheaper for themselves than for others.
How many men commence dairying with more or less cows that do not pay expenses, viz.: cost of keeping for the year, care, and interest of the money expended ? I would ask any practical dairyman, how many cows did you have last year that did not pay expenses?
How is this condition of affairs to be remedied? Why, improve your stock, whether it be horses, cattle, sheep, swine, or even poultry.
To accomplish this: first, stop raising all animals that do not pay; secondly, all animals grown up that are not profitable to keep, convert into beef and money as quickly as possible.
After using a thoroughbred animal and obtaining a half-blood, men see a marked improvement. Often they are nearly equal for growth and appearance to a thoroughbred, and you will hear persons contend that they are superior to a full-blood, and will sell such animals for breeding purposes at a large price. Persons using such animals are generally disappointed, and are led to believe that the animals are not worth the money asked for them. “I have invested money to improve my stock, but it amounted to nothing." When half-bloods are bred together, although from different stock, I think the offspring will invariably be inferior to either sire or dam. Practically, the way to improve, and that successfully, is to select (if a dairyman) your best cows, obtain a thoroughbred bull from good milking stock and use, continue to use a thoroughbred bull on the descendants, and in a few years a man will have a stock equal to thoroughbreds for the dairy, or for growing steers. I would refer you to the “Fanny Family," at the State Farm. I think the old cow was one-half Devon, one-fourth Shorthorn, and, perhaps, the rest native, and a good milker. They have bred her and her descendants to full-blood Ayrshire bulls, and have now some dozen of them which are, practically, equal to fullbloods for the dairy.
As we look around us, there is a vast country to improve. The demand for thoroughbred cattle increases faster than the cattle, hence prices steadily ad
After a farm is stocked with the families bred in a line, as the “Dutchess," “ Oxfords," and many other families, they are, of course, more profitable than the more common Shorthorns.
A large part of this State is probably as well calculated for the raising of Shorthorns as any part of the United States, and as well situated to ship cattle to other localities where they will be required. Were a large number of men in this section to engage in the business who could be successful, the demand for, and prices, would increase. Not every man is calculated for the rearing of Shorthorns more than we are all calculated for any other one business.
I purchased my first cow and heifers at very low figures for the breeding and quality,-probably could not buy as good now for double the sum.
“Surprise," now as she stands, cost me here in Michigan, six years ago last October, then a yearling, $250. She and her descendants now on the farm number eleven cows and heifers and two bulls. I have sold two bulls when calves for $250. I leave you to judge whether, with the capital invested, they pay as well as common cattle, even if sold for milk and beef. What they will bring on the 11th of June next, time only will tell.
Now, gentlemen of the club, in conclusion allow me to say, if the time occupied in the preparation of this should be the means of inducing one man to improve his stock, I shall feel repaid.
THE CULTIVATION OF WHEAT.
ESSAY OF R. J. BULLEN, READ BEFORE THE FARMERS' CLUB JUNE 17, 1874.
The cultivation of the wheat plant is a subject that interests all classes of human beings,-the farmer, the mechanic, the merchant, the minister, the physician, and the lawyer. All are more or less interested in the production of wheat; and it being one of the leading, if not the greatest product of the soil, no class can be more interested than the farmer. It being a subject of such general interest, it becomes very necessary that we know how to cultivate it successfully, so that we may reap the best returns from a given amount of labor, and how to manage our soil in order that it may produce successive crops without becoming exhausted. It is these two points that we shall notice more particularly in the few broken remarks that we may make before you to-day. Now it is a well-known fact that there is comparatively a very small average of wheat to the acre produced throughout the wheat-growing sections. While some of our farms raise an average of 20 bushels per acre one year with another, the general average throughout the country is only between 12 and 13 bushels, showing a great lack somewhere. The number of acres of wheat in the United States in the year 1868 was over 18,000,000,-probably in 1873 it reached as high as 20,000,000 of acres. Now multiply the number of acres by the number of bushels per acre that our best farmers average more than the general average, and see what a vast amount of wheat might be raised more than there is raised. While a portion of this difference may be owing to the kind of soil, a far greater portion, we believe, is owing to the manner of handling the soil. Now we will suppose a man plants a field with corn in the spring and raises a heavy crop which takes a large percentage of the properties of the soil necessary for the production of wheat. The following spring he sows the same field with oats, and, if fortunate, harvests a good crop of oats, which, of course, makes another heavy draft on the soil. After this he plows his oats stubble ground and sows it with wheat, having the very erroneous idea that it is in better condition for a wheat crop than a summer-fallow. Well, what is the result? The next harvest will tell. If it is a good piece of land and all things are favorable, he may get from 10 to 15 bushels to the acre, and in addition to this he will get his land pretty badly run.