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farm, on account of the great service it has rendered to the sheep industry of South Dakota and adjacent States.
Resolutions by the Black Hills Beet Growers' Cooperative Association, and the Belle Fourche Irrigation District, praising the work of the farm in its relation to the problems of the beet-sugar industry; also stating their opposition to the bounty plan in the sugar-beet industry and their approval of the marketing agreement plan of September 25, 1933.
Various petitions signed by residents of the community served by the experimental farm at Newell, S.Dak., including beet growers, agriculturists, business men, and professional men, totaling perhaps about 800 names.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very glad to have these communications. They are too voluminous to be included in the record, but we would be glad if you would leave them with the committee.
Mr. WERNER. I will be glad to leave them with the committee. They are evidences of the sentiments of those who are closely in touch with the activities of the Newell experiment station. There is little which I can add to these pleadings to strengthen the argument why this station should be continued. Those who have been closest to it, and who have made use of the experiments which have been carried on through the years have presented an abundance of reasons why this activity should be continued; how helpful it has been to them; how greatly it has contributed to their success and how much it will continue to aid them in working out many of the problems which will present themselves in the days ahead. I want to impress upon the committee the real service which this activity renders to the region which it serves; to urge that appropriation be reinstated so that its functions may be carried on during the next fiscal year; to urge also that the prayer of the petitioners be given full weight for they, above all others, are most vitally interested and concerned.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1934.
DRY-LAND EXPERIMENT STATION AT AKRON, COLO.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRED CUMMINGS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO
Mr. SANDLIN. Mr. Cummings, you may proceed with your statement.
Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chairman, I am appearing here in connection with this dry-land appropriation for Akron, Colo., and the appropriations for sugar-beet diseases, curly top, and so forth.
I want to say in regard to that station at Akron that I spent a day there last summer. As you know, that is an experiment station for experiments in dry-land farming. We had our annual picnic at that time, and there were between 300 and 500 people there.
I might say, to begin with, that I have farmed west of the Missouri River for 55 years in central Nebraska, where the conditions are somewhat arid, with about 23 or 24 inches of rainfall, and for 27 years in irrigated country in Colorado. Last year was exceedingly dry in this Akron country, and has been for 3 years past, and I was surprised to see the feed crops that they had grown and the experiments they had made. For instance, they would have plots of barley probably 3 or 4 rods wide and 6 or rods long, of different kinds, and they carry on those experiments from year to year to show which are the most droughtresisting. The same applies to sugarcane; that is, a cane used for feed for cattle; to kafir corn, different kinds of alfalfa, and other crops. Some of those alfalfas would be practically worthless; others would produce, even in a dry year, probably a ton and a half. One kind of cane might not produce over a ton to the acre; another would produce 5 or 6 tons. I have a statement here that I will file and make a part of the record, which was prepared by the agricultural college
Mr. SANDLIN. Very well.
(The statement referred to appears at the conclusion of Mr. Cum. mings' remarks.)
Mr. CUMMINGS. When this station was originally established, a part of the money was furnished by collections taken from the land owners. It is located in a very good agricultural country, barring one thing—that there are years when water is scarce.
Mr. SINCLAIR. There is nothing wrong with the soil in that country?
Mr. CUMMINGS. It is the finest in the world. They have big houses and big barns there; and while I know, of course, that there is quite a movement on foot to decrease the acreage, and a good deal of talk about marginal and submarginal lands, there are plenty of people in that country that have lived there for years and have made a good living. As I say, they have good homes and good roads, and there is not the slightest question in the world as to the benefit of this work.
I will tell you what occurred to myself, personally, in Nebraska 27 years ago. They started this Campbell system of farming-deep plowing, harrowing, and thorough cultivation--and I think I grew probably the only crop in the country, because I was plowing exceedingly deep, and I got 25 bushels of corn to the acre through the Campbell method of farming. And those are the things that they are demonstrating in that college.
Mr. Sandlin. You do not think they have discovered all they need to learn about that Campbell system of farming?
Mr. CUMMINGS. I think they are just beginning. When I went to Colorado 20 years ago I insisted that they could not grow corn in that country because it was too high. I put a hundred acres of corn in silo this year, but I got 80 bushels to the acre-good sound grain. They have developed what they call Minnesota 13, and they plant it thicker and use different methods of cultivating entirely.
Mr. SANDLIN. You live in Eastern Colorado?
The experiments at the college have demonstrated this: They were building silos there at a cost of $1,000 to $1,200. Somebody in that country conceived the idea that they could make a trench silo. The college tried it. We put all those hundred acres of corn in a trench silo, and I do not think it cost a hundred dollars to build. It would have cost 3 or 4 thousand dollars to build the old-fashioned silos. So there is no doubt as to the benefit from this work.
In regard to their beet experiments there, we are bothered with what we call the curly-top disease, that causes the leaves to curl up and the beets to die. We have perfected seed now, which, when
planted side by side, in the same fields, with other beets, will produce from 3 to 7 tons per acre more. That is one fourth or one half of a good crop and it adds about 2 percent more to the sugar content.
They are also experimenting in regard to the planting of beets, that is, whether you should irrigate them heavily, or use only a certain amount of water to irrigate them, or whether you should use the water in 2 or 3 excessively heavy soakings, or spread it over 5 or 6 irrigations. They are conducting such experiments as that. That is done in the district in which I happen to live, which is the largest sugar-producing district in the United States. To show you the importance of this work there, I will say that we grew 212,000 acres in beets last year, producing 2,621,000 tons. Each acre of these beets meant $35 in freight to the railroads.
Mr. SANDLIN. Has the result of the studies by the stations been helpful to your agriculture?
Mr. CUMMINGS. There is no question about that. It is just as essential as any of the benefits that would come from experimenting with medicines or in surgery. This is like an advance in medicine, surgery, or anything like that.
Years ago I did not see much in the college experimental station, but after living there with the agricultural college work, I have changed my mind. I changed my mind, because seeing is believing. If you take any old hard-headed farmer, and show him two crops, growing side by side, under the same soil and climatic conditions, but one producing far more than the other, he is convinced.
Mr. SINCLAIR. He learns that from a visual demonstration, and he must believe it.
Mr. Cummings. Yes. Now, it might be necessary to reduce the expenses at these stations. If necessary, there might be some reduction for some of these people. It might be necessary for them to share that with the rest of us; but it would be a crime to close these stations, and have that work stopped. This work is scattered all over the country, and if the work is stopped, we lose a lot of the benefits that we have obtained. The men might have to take smaller salaries, and suffer in that respect like the rest of us, but I think it would be a criminal mistake, so far as our agriculture is concerned, to discontinue these stations.
Mr. SINCLAIR. It would be unfair to do that in the case of one particular section of agriculture.
Mr. CUMMINGS. Yes; it would be unfair. Those men have spent 10, 15, or 20 years, in studying and developing along that one line. It would be like stopping the research experiment work at Rochester, Minn., or stopping that kind of work in any other business. I have been very brief, and would like to submit an additional statement.
ACTIVITIES OF STATION
Mr. SANDLIN. We will be glad to have your further statement.
Mr. CUMMINGS. I will submit these further facts relating to the field station for dry-land investigations of the Bureau of Plant Industry at Akron, Colo.:
The field station at Akron is an experimental station for working out facts pertaining to dry-land agriculture. The part which this agriculture plays in Colorado's production is not commonly known. Almost 80 percent of the wheat, oats, and barley produced is grown on the dry lands of our plains east of the Rocky Mountains. Better than 80 percent of the corn, better than 90 percent of the dry beans, better than 90 percent of the sorghums, and almost the entire broomcorn crop is produced on these dry lands.
Kanred winter wheat was first tested out throughly on the Akron station and then generally introduced on our plains by the Colorado Experiment Station and Extension Service.
Two new barleys of very much higher value than any previously grown, Club Mariout and Flynn, have been proved and purified at the Akron station. Club Mariout slightly out yields Flynn, which is a smooth-awned or smooth-bearded barley. The lack of barbs makes it possible to feed the straw or cut grain to livestock without the danger of sore mouth.
The years, 1931, 1932, and 1933, were three of the driest ever to visit our plains section. In spite of drought, Club Mariout barley yielded from 8 to 20 bushels per acre and Flynn practically the same. Over a series of years, Club Mariout has yielded 274 bushels per acre over all barleys except Flynn. On farms it has yielded from 5 to 8 bushels better than the barley commonly used as an average under all conditions.
In 1933 there were 430,000 acres in dry-land barley in Colorado. If this could have all been put in Club Mariout barley at an average increase of 214 bushels per acre, it would have amounted to 1,075,000 bushels. At 25 cents a bushel, a low price even for these hard times, this increased production would have been worth $268,750; enough to support all the dry-land stations for a year, or to have paid for the support of the Akron station throughout its existence.
Brunker oats, the best dry-land oats yet tried, were originated at the Akron field station. Kanota oats, another very good variety, was tried out and its value proved at this station.
In addition to specific crop contributions, which have increased the safety and certainty of dry-land agriculture, the station has shown also the utility of wind brakes, of forest trees; has worked out such tree-planting service as varieties spacing, cultivation, and care.
The station has shown the possibility and methods of care of handling small farm flocks of sheep, which may utilize crops and crop wastes, which otherwise would have no value.
The value of dry-land feeds has been determined experimentally for fattening or preparing animals for market.
These experiments have shown by adding a mineral mixture, all necessary feeds for fattening farm stock for market could be grown on the plains, thus making it possible to utilize the crop residues, which otherwise would be a complete loss.
The Akron station has shown the adaptability of the furrow drill in the summer fallow program and the value of the lister, thereby materially reducing costs of cultivation.
Water is the controlling factor in dry-land agriculture. The classical experiments of Briggs and Shantz on the Duty of Water in Crop Growth, The Amount of Water Required by Growing Crops were carried on at this station.
Feeding experiments at this station have shown that hershy (hog millet) is practically equal to corn in feeding value for swine. This resulted in a raise in market price the very next year after our results were made known and prices in northeastern Colorado now rule much closer to corn and barley prices than they did before this work was done. Removing a considerable part of the crop from the market for use in feeding makes the demand sharper for poultry feed.
In experiments with fattening lambs, we have shown the amounts of various feedstuffs required for 100 pounds gain and at ruling market prices, the cost of 100 pounds gain is cheaper in dry-land sections than in the Fort Collins section, where launb feeding has been developed more than in any other section of the country. We have carried on lamb-fattening experiments here in Fort Collins and at Akron during the same seasons over a period of years and the Akron costs rule lower.
We have shown that Russian thistles cured into hay are a valuable feedstuff and ground thistles were worth slightly more than ground cane fodder.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1934.
DRY-LAND EXPERIMENT STATION, HERMISTON, OREG.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALTER M. PIERCE, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OREGON
Mr. PIERCE. Mr. Chairman, I was for 25 years a regent of the Agricultural College of Oregon, and for 20 years I served as chairman of the experiment committee. Several of these experiment stations in Oregon were located by that committee. They are my babies. The dry-land station at Hermiston, under the new orders, is to be discontinued. I earnestly hope that it will not be done. That station was located there for the accumulation and dissemination of agricultural information and knowledge, and if it is closed at this time, much of that information will be lost. At this time, we are reaching out to find farm products besides wheat that our people can produce and profitably sell to the market.
Mr. SANDLIN. You do not think that your problem out there has been solved yet?
Mr. PIERCE. No. The Hermiston station is located on an irrigation project. It is a dry-land station, but it has been located and relocated at considerable cost. I do not know how much it has cost the Government but it has been many thousands of dollars. At that station we have an accumulation of information that has been piling up for 25 years, covering the methods that the farmers should follow and warning him against methods he should not follow. It would be a serious blow to 4 or 5 thousand people if that station should be closed. We have developed a good line of dairying there. That station is the headquarters for the dairymen. That is where they worked out their plans. I do not know of a harder blow that could be inflicted upon those people who are struggling in the dairy industry, selling their butterfat below cost.
Mr. SINCLAIR. Does not each one of these stations have definite problems to deal with?
Mr. PIERCE. Yes; they have distinct things to do.
Mr. SINCLAIR. They deal with problems affecting the farmers in those different regions.
Mr. PIERCE. I am pleading with you not to close our experimental stations. I do not know of anything that will hurt the administration more seriously than to disregard the wishes of these people with respect to these stations. They are out there struggling, selling butterfat at 12 or 14 cents per pound.
Mr. SINCLAIR. The cost of all the stations would be only $220,000.
Mr. PIERCE. Yes; a very small amount, when we consider the large sums appropriated for the Navy, for instance.
I earnestly hope you will restore these appropriations for the experiment stations.