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FORAGE CROPS AND DISEASES
Mr. BUCHANAN. The next item is: Forage crops and diseases: For the purchase, propagation, testing, and distribution of new and rare seeds; for the investigation and improvement of grasses, alfalfa, clover, and other forage crops, including the investigation and control of diseases, $225,500.
Doctor TAYLOR. The following statement is presented under this item:
There is an apparent reduction of $38,605 in this item, but owing to the transfer of $100 from “Salaries, Office of the Secretary," which has been correspondingly reduced, as prorata of supply handling charges for 1934, there is an actual decrease of $36,505, which is explained as follows:
(1) Four thousand and fifty-two dollars decrease under alfalfa is due to the transfer of $1,000 to drug and related plants, and $3,052 decrease to be effected by a general reduction in travel and other expenditures.
(2) Three thousand two hundred and five dollars decrease under red and sweet clover is due to transfer of $1,500 to drug and related plants and $1,705 decrease to be effected by a general reduction in travel and other expenditures
(3) One thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight dollars decrease under soybeans to be effected by a general reduction in travel and other expenditures.
(4) Seven hundred and fourteen dollars decrease under sorghums to be effected by a general reduction in travel and other expenditures.
(5) Four thousand two hundred and twenty-one dollars decrease under winter legumes, green manures, and acid legumes is due to transfer of $1,000 to drug and related plants, and $3,221 decrease to be effected by a general reduction in travel and other expenditures.
(6) Seven thousand nine hundred and eighty-five dollars decrease under pastures, grasses, and fine turf is due to transfer of $1,500 to drug and related plants, and $6,485 decrease to be effected by a reduction in supplies and materials, travel expenses, and special and miscellaneous current expenses.
(7) Fourteen thousand six hundred dollars reduction on account of continuation of legislative furlough.
Of the above decreases $1,980 will be met by discontinuing the services of a full-time clerk in Washington, D. C.
While the decrease will necessitate some curtailment of the program of work on the projects above indicated, it is believed that the more important phases of all of these activities can be continued.
WORK UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION
Under this appropriation the work consists chiefly of field studies through: out the United States pertaining to the production, improvement, and control of diseases of all crop plants used for forage, either as hay, fodder, silage, or pasture, and incidentally of all plants used for green manuring, turf production, and soil binding, in cooperation with the State agricultural experiment stations; and one independent field station is maintained at Redfield, s. Dak.
Alfalfa.-Under this project are conducted investigations of alfalfa improvement through breeding and selection of superior varieties, development of improved cultural methods, and studies of diseases of alfalfa, particularly with reference to wilt and methods of determining relative resistance to this disease for stabilizing the production of this important forage crop, particularly applicable in the Corn Belt and Great Plains States. (Bureau of Entomology cooperating.)
Red and sweet clover. The work under this project consists of research and experiments on breeding superior clover varieties, improvement of cultural methods, and studies leading to control of mildew and other clover diseases, the results of which are of value to practically the entire United States. (Bureau of Entomology cooperating.)
Soybeans.—The work under this project consists of introduction of new soybean varieties, determination of the oil and protein content of various varieties, selection of better forage and grain varieties for certain localities and varieties resistant to nematodes, root rot, etc., as this crop is being grown
on constantly increasing acreage in the eastern and middle western United States.
Sorghums.—The work under this project consists of investigations concerning the use of sorghum for forage including the introduction and development by selection and breeding of new varieties, genetic studies and the determination of effective cultural methods for the sorghums which are the most reliable feed crops in the semiarid regions of the Great Plains as well as in the Southeastern States.
Winter legumes, green manures, and acid tolerant legumes.-Under this project the growing of winter legumes and green manures is encouraged for soil improvement, and new legumes such as lespedeza and crotalaria are introduced and propagated for hay or grazing crops and in order to secure satisfactory succeeding crops on sandy, acid and other difficult soils of the southern Middle West. (Bureau of Agricultural Economics.)
Pasture, grasses, and fine turf.—Under this project investigations are in progress to determine the best methods of establishing and maintaining good pastures and improving existing pastures. New grasses for pastures and for fine turfs such as are required for lawns, golf courses and airways are introduced and tested, fertilizer needs are determined and methods of. controlling diseases and insects on golf turf are developed. (Bureau of Animal Industry and Bureau of Dairy Industry cooperating.)
REDUCTION IN ESTIMATES FOR 1934
Mr. BUCHANAN. The item with reference to forage crops and diseases shows an appropriation for 1933 of $262,005 and the estimate for 1934 is $225,500 or a decrease of $36,505. In 1932 you had $279,375 and there was evidently a decrease in the appropriation of 1933 under the estimates of about $17,370.
Doctor TAYLOR. That is right.
Mr. BUCHANAN. This decrease of $36,505, is that the legislative furlough exclusively!
Doctor TAYLOR. Of this $36,505, $5,000 is due to transfer to the drug plant subappropriation for the hop mildew work which was mentioned this morning.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Well, it is $14,600 for the legislative furlough.
Doctor TAYLOR. Yes; and the remainder is covered by decreases of $4,052 in the alfalfa work; $3,205 in red and sweet clover project; $1,728 under the soybean project; $714 under the sorghums; $4,221 under the winter legumes, green manures, and acid tolerant legumes. That completes the allocation of the decreases except $1,980 which will be cut out through the elimination of the services of a full-time clerk here in the city.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Is that under the retirement provisions?
Doctor TAYLOR. I think not. I think that is a definite personnel reduction. That is, the decreases, aside from the $5,000 transfer for the hop mildew work are spread over the several projects which I have mentioned.
STUDY OF WINTER LEGUMES, GREEN MANURES, AND ACID TOLERANT LEGUMES
Mr. Hart. Under this winter legumes, green manures, and acid tolerant legumes, there is not any legume that has any corrective.
Doctor TAYLOR. No, it is a question of legumes which will make a crop in acid soil. Mr. Hart. What are those legumes that will do that?
Doctor TAYLOR. Well, we are finding a number of them that are very promising for the regions in the main from here south and west, say south of the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, and west of the Mississippi, south of the Missouri River. In the acid soil territory, some legumes are much promise. Common lespedeza is one of these. It is the lespedeza that occurs most widely and that has long been established as a pasture and in some localities as a hay crop in the South and it is sometimes called Japan clover. It is a little fineleafed legume which here in Washington hardly gets taller than 3 or 4 inches, but which when you get it down into the Mississippi Delta, down into the Louisiana Delta, makes good crops of hay that can be mowed and handled just as you handle soybean hay or very much as you handle alfalfa. Now, that has very_low stature and slight growth in most of the upland acid soil. It is not of so much value when you get it over into the acid soils generally. Certain related species from Japan and Manchuria are showing up during the last 5 years as vigorous growers on acid soils and good heavy yielders of good forage. At their best, they approximate the feed value of alfalfa.
Mr. Hart. Have they the protein content of alfalfa ?
Doctor TAYLOR. Yes; certain of them, although 'certain of them we still do not know very much about the practical utilization of because they are coarse; that is, as in scattered seedlings, they grow too coarse for ordinary use.
Mr. HART. Like sweetclover.
Doctor TAYLOR. Something after the order of sweetclover, but we are finding that when we cut at the right time before they develop too much fiber, we can get about two or three cuttings of what seems to be good quality hay.
Mr. Hart. Well, will sweetclover grow on acid soil ?
Doctor TAYLOR. Well, sweetclover is about as sensitive to soil acidity as alfalfa is, but sweetclover will not do much in a typical coastal plain acid soil.
Sweetclover runs along pretty nearly with alfalfa in its general range of soil requirement so that these lespedezas constitute as far as we can see the most promising group of plants for feed on acid soils. None of them are human-food crops direct but they constitute about the most promising group of feed plants for acid soils that are known.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Are they introduced, imported ?
Doctor TAYLOR. Yes; they have been brought up, picked up in the Orient at different times and this should be said of them too, that none of these now promising ones were or are cultivated crop plants in the Orient.
Their value has been recognized by our curious minded agricultural explorers who have been studying the vegetation of the regions and they secured the seed and sent small quantities over and their value has been ascertained here.
Mr. Hart. They are not used as a hay crop over there.
Doctor Taylor. Yes; and they are proving, as we get to know how to handle them, they are proving to be good seed producers.
They are heavy yielders of seed. They have not any of the characteristics of a noxious weed. Certain of them are proving excellent soil binders in lands where erosion is cutting the land. They stand a lot of grief.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I take it you do not know a better soil binder than Bermuda grass.
Doctor Taylor. In places where Bermuda can get a foothold and perist, no; but of course Bermuda, when it gets up into the country where the land freezes deep in winter, as it does in Tennessee and Kentucky and a good deal of Missouri, Bermuda dwindles, so that we regard these lespedezas as a very important group of soil improvement and feed plants for those soils which will not grow alfalfa or the clovers without such heavy liming that they can not carry the cost.
GREEN FORAGE FOR WINTER PASTURES
Mr. BUCHANAN. Doctor, what are you doing for green forage for winter pastures? Doctor TAYLOR. For winter pastures? Mr. BUCHANAN. Yes.
Doctor TAYLOR. In winter pasture work in the main is devoted to the grasses and, in the main the winter pasture therefore, so far is mostly devoted to the more southern sections of the country where late autumn and early spring growth are important to shorten the dry-feed season.
Mr. Hart. How about rye?
Doctor Taylor. Rye is good while it lasts and, of course, rye as a combination feed and grain crop in a good many portions of the South is a very important crop. Sown in September or October you can get a good tillerage before winter sets in. You can pasture that off from December, pretty well through March, and still make a crop of grain off it in the harvesting in June. Winter oats and barley also make good winter grazing in the South.
Mr. BUCHANAN. In some sections of Texas we plant oats way in September. Doctor TAYLOR. Yes.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Or October, according to the season. They come up, of course, and you graze them through the winter to keep them down so they will not be killed and they are not killed.
Doctor TAYLOR. Yes.
Mr. BUCHANAN. And, you take the grazing off in the spring. It is a plant that will grow all winter.
Doctor TAYLOR. You get a good deal of feed off of winter oats that far south.
Mr. BUCHANAN. It strikes me you might find some grasses that would grow all winter and reproduce themselves for winter pasturage for livestock.
Doctor TAYLOR. There is this combination which in certain portions of the South does work out very well. A winter growth of white clover as spring advances and the weather warins up, is replaced and suppressed by Bermuda grass which comes in and makes a summer pasture on that same land.
Mr. BUCHANAN. But, your white clover does not do much until early spring.
Doctor Taylor. In southern Louisiana in the lower Mississippi River Valley, white clover shows strong growth throughout the winter.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I do not know about that section.
Doctor Taylor. It is a curious pasture alternation through which you have an almost solid white clover herbage in winter.
Mr. BUCHANAN. The sort of grass we need in our section and my section is similar to many others, is a grass that will make its growth in the winter, just as Bermuda grass makes its growth in the spring and reproduce itself.
Doctor TAYLOR. That is, it will maintain itself.
Doctor TAYLOR. I do not think we have any yet in sight which would exactly fill that bill. There are two or three types of Bermuda grass which are very interesting and quite promising because of their stronger growth than the common Bermuda which are exciting a good deal of interest in South Texas. The giant Bermuda on the Kleberg ranch is interesting the people down there very much.
BULBOW'S BLUE GRASS
Mr. BUCHANAN. I think I spoke of this before, but there is supposed to have been a grass come up in an alfalfa field in Washington State and it was noticed for its good qualities and it grew in the winter. It came up after the alfalfa was cut. They let it seed and they are selling seed. I saw an advertisement of it. A Congressman friend of mine told me he got some of the seed and it grew during the winter. It dies down as soon as hot weather starts, or in the spring, and other grasses come up, and the two grasses together make a perennial pasture. I have forgotten the name of that grass.
Doctor Taylor. That is bulbous blue grass, one of those that Doctor Pieters has been working on in Washington and Oregon. There is such a one under test in Washington and Oregon. I do not know just how it has behaved during this last year. It has been under observation there for three or four years. We can make a note on that and I think we can furnish you with some observations
of such grass.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I wish you would. You can readily see the value
Doctor TAYLOR. Yes; in a climate where growing weather occurs in the winter it would be very advantageous.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Of course, growing weather is all the winter in the south, if you get a grass that will stand a moderate cold spell there.
Doctor TAYLOR. Yes; Bermuda is too tender as far as the tops go
Mr. BUCHANAN. It dies down. I do not know what it does in countries where there is no frost, whether it grows all year or not..
Doctor TAYLOR. If they have moisture, it does.
Doctor TAYLOR. Not so very much. It occasionally seeds a little here.
Mr. BUCHANAN. It may make a little seed.