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Mr. THURSTON. Are these commercially justified?
Mr. THURSTON. Are these containers much cheaper than glass or metal containers?
Dr. AUCHTER. This paper is cheaper, but is not generally as satisfactory as containers which can be sealed air-tight because the air gets in and oxidation occurs with the consequent loss of color and flavor.
Mr. CANNON. Dr. Auchter, at what price do these fruits retail?
Dr. AUCHTER. I think that will vary in the different markets. I am not sure just what they are today on these markets. I think you can buy some of these in Washington at the present time at around 15 cents.
Mr. CANNON. As I recall it, I bought peaches at 15 cents at the soda fountains, in a container of about the same capacity but of a slightly different shape. Dr. AUCHTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CANNON. I will say to the members of the committee who have not had a chance to try them that it is just as if the peach had been taken from the tree and peeled and served to you in the orchard.
Mr. SINCLAIR. Is that right?
Mr. THURSTON. The distribution, of course, would be confined to the large centers, where they could purchase car lots?
Dr. AUCHTER. For the most part, yes. When taken from car lots they should then be taken to the stores and put in refrigerators there, and taken home and kept frozen from the time until they are thawed out to eat.
Mr. THURSTON. This fruit would largely be confined to the large centers?
Dr. AUCHTER. Yes, if they do not have refrigeration facilities in smaller towns although small lots can be distributed under dry ice from larger centers.
Mr. CANNON. They can have it wherever they serve ice cream. It can be served in small towns where they serve brick ice cream and is preserved in the same way.
Mr. Hart. They have these refrigerator trucks now.
Mr. RYERSON. One of the interesting things that came out of this study is the variability as to variety. As is shown there, many of our standard commercial varieties are not particularly suitable to this process, like the Elberta peach.
Mr. SINCLAIR. How do you account for that?
Mr. RYERSON. It is the variety, and difference in the fruit itself. We do not know all the reasons for it. There are a number of horticultural problems involved in it and several factors may be concerned, but it is in the variety itself.
Mr. SINCLAIR. I noticed one variety of berry in which the core was more open. That might have had something to do with it.
Mr. RYERSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hart. This frozen or cold pack has been going on for quite a long time for the large users, like the pie companies, and so forth?
Dr. AUCHTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hart. They handle cherries in that way. I have seen frozen cherries.
Mr. RYERSON. It started that way, I believe, in your part of the country.
Mr. Hart. In Wisconsin and in Traverse City, Mich., they began packing fruit in barrels and freezing it for the big pie men in Chicago, Detroit, and New York.
Dr. AUCHTER. I might say that they pack strawberries in the Northwest up to as high as 100,000 barrels—40,000 to 100,000 barrels yearly--put up in barrel lots and frozen for jam making, ice cream, and so forth. A large amount of cherries are also frozen in barrels for the pie trade.
Mr. THURSTON. Do you anticipate that the use of this frozen pack method for shipping fruit will materially increase in the near future?
Dr. AUCHTER. I think it will continue to increase.
Dr. AUCHTER. I guess at least 40 years, in large quantities, in barrels for the pie manufacturers.
Mr. THURSTON. Would this new process of preserving the fruit absorb the loss they have heretofore had by not having it refrigerated?
Dr. AUCHTER. A good deal of it; yes. It will absorb a good deal of it.
Mr. THURSTON. Have you made any study of the ultimate cost to the consumer, as to whether the frozen pack costs an equal amount to the consumer as compared with the fruit that is not frozen?
Dr. AUCHTER. The cost will not be much different, but you will get a better distribution. The consumer can get some of these fruits the year round, where otherwise he could not. Of course you can get fresh strawberries nearly the year round now, but you could not get cherries fresh the year round. This allows a greater distribution of what is practically a fresh product over a longer period in the year.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE UTILIZATION INVESTIGATIONS
Mr. SANDLIN. Let us take up the fruit and vegetable utilization investigations.
Dr. AUCHTER. In this particular project we are studying especially the relative value of the different varieties for producing a high quality pack. There is quite a difference, the same as we noticed in this frozen pack, in canned goods of the same variety, and we are laying special emphasis on determining that. We are also working in this field in grape juice and cider, the preserves, jellies, and certain of what are commonly called by products in fruits.
This group is also cooperating with the transportation unit in some of this frozen-pack work.
We are finding a difference in the canned product depending on the way in which the crop is grown, fertilizer practice, and cultural methods. In other words, we are trying to determine the variety which has the highest quality before it goes in the pack, those factors influencing high quality, and we believe we will get a much higher quality of canned pack.
Mr. THURSTON. Are there as many cans of either fruit or vegetables on the market now that have fermented, or in which some fermentation has set in that has made the contents dangerous for use?
Dr. AUCHTER. No, sir.
Mr. THURSTON. It used to be that the cans would swell or puff out. I do not know what technical name you apply to that. That was not uncommon a few years ago.
Dr. AUCHTER. That is right.
Mr. CANNON. I remember particularly one notable instance in the serving of ripe olives, involving a number of fatalities. Mr. THURSTON. Has that danger been eliminated?
Dr. AUCHTER. It has been practically eliminated through better methods of canning; yes, sir.
FLORICULTURE AND LANDSCAPE GARDENING Mr. SANDLIN. The next project is floriculture and landscape gardening. What work are you doing in this activity?
Dr. AUCHTER. Under this heading we are conducting studies of various crops, such as chrysanthemums, dahlias, roses and peonies, and are working particularly on the determination of the best species of shade and street trees for different sections of the country and the best way of handling such trees because often these shade trees are grown under unnatural and pretty severe conditions, like trees with pavement all around them. We are spending a good deal of time in that particular line of work.
In chrysanthemums, for instance, we have been selecting strains of several varieties which blossom early in the fall, so that you can use chrysanthemums in the North where many kinds are often killed before they bloom. This, of course, is of benefit under home conditions; and we are making other studies of that general type.
Mr. SANDLIN. I notice here in Washington that where the tree is planted close to the pavements they do not seem to have so much trouble. The pavements do not seem to be disturbed as they are in some sections of the country. Now, down in the South, when a tree has been planted close to the pavement, the roots will seem to break the pavements. Why is that?
Dr. AUCHTER. I think it depends, of course, upon the closeness of the pavement to the tree and upon the species of tree grown. Some trees make a much larger root than others. Some are more fibrous.
Mr. SANDLIN. That probably has something to do with it; but I was wondering if the roots were not closer to the surface there than they are in a colder climate.
Dr. Auchter. It is possible down there, where you have quite a good deal of moisture, that your roots will tend to be closer to the surface. But then, again, it depends to some extent upon the species. If you have trees with pronounced tap roots, which go nearly straight down, you do not have the trouble that you would have with a species whose roots extend out in a lateral direction. It depends somewhat upon the species.
Mr. CANNON. Dr. Auchter, where are these studies being carried on?
Dr. AUCHTER. They are being carried on mainly at Arlington and at our station at Beltsville.
Mr. CANNON. You have no field stations outside?
Dr. AUCHTER. We are cooperating with several State experiment stations in sending these plants to the horticulturists, and they are growing them and testing them under their conditions in cooperation
Mr. CANNON. You have had no complaint from commercial nurseries that you are infringing on their territory?
Dr. AUCHTER. No, sir.
Mr. SANDLIN. The next activity is bulb culture. A few years ago we had a lot of trouble with bulb culture on Long Island and in some other places.
Dr. AUCHTER. Yes, sir. We are working there with narcissus, tulips, and other flowering bulbous plants, both from the standpoint of the production problems, of disease problems, and storage--storage in relation to the forcing of early bloom. From the standpoint of the disease that you have referred to--that is, the basal rot-we have been able to develop methods of control. That problem is now practically cleared up.
I think one of the most interesting and perhaps valuable findings is some recent work on the effect of storage temperatures upon narcissus, iris, and other bulb plants for the forcing industry. We find that after harvest, if after a month or two they are put into storage
and held at 50° for about a month they will then blossom in about 30 days earlier than normal. In other words, we can produce blooms for the cut trade several months earlier than we have ever been able to do until these investigations of the past year and a half or 2 years.
Mr. CANNON. That is a service both to the producer and to the consumer?
Dr. AUCHTER. Yes, sir.
DISEASES OF ORNAMENTAL PLANTS
Mr. SANDLIN. The next project is diseases of ornamental plants.
Dr. AUCHTER. In this project are conducted the disease-control investigations of bulbs, of roses—both greenhouse roses and field roses-and of such rather valuable plants as boxwood, magnolia, azalea, and that type of crop.
CHEYENNE HORTICULTURAL FIELD STATION
Mr. SANDLIN. Next is the Cheyenne horticultural field station.
Dr. AUCHTER. At this station general horticultural investigations are conducted with fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and shelter-belt studies. It is hoped to develop fruits and vegetables which will be resistant under the drought and cold conditions of that area.
We are conducting both dry land and irrigated studies there.
DISTRIBUTION OF P.W.A. FUNDS
Mr. SANDLIN. Under emergency funds applicable under this heading you had $490,202. Have you a statement showing how this money was allocated and spent?
Mr. RYERSON. Yes, sir, I will insert it in the record. (The statement referred to above is as follows:) This sum consists of an allotment under the National Industrial Recovery Act for physical improvements at various points in the field where our field work is conducted. It consists primarily of a large number of small items, including repairs on buildings and fences, remodeling propagation equipment, reconditioning greenhouses, painting, and other building repairs, clearing land, constructing water lines and wells, erecting irrigation systems, installing electric power, repairing and constructing roadways, and in the case noted below, the purchase of land now under lease, the total allotment for all purposes being $490,202. These funds became available in August 1933, and will be expended during the fiscal year 1934 and during the early part of the fiscal year 1935. A division of this amount is indicated below by States: Arizona: Construction of curing houses for date investigations
$2. 600 California: Painting and repairing buildings, remodeling and recon
ditioning propagating equipment, constructing laboratories and other station buildings
31, 850 Colorado: Repairing and reconditioning station buildings
5, 650 Florida: Extending and repairing laboratory
3, 600 Georgia: Reconditioning station buildings, constructing garage and coal pit.
3, 800 Louisiana: Reconditioning station buildings
600 Maine: Constructing laboratory building and extending implement shed.
3, 800 Maryland: Purchase of land, $82,500; staff laboratory and research building, $95,452; cold storage building, $98,100; greenhouses, heat equipment and headhouse, $75,000; clearing land, installing water lines and irrigating systems, constructing cold frames and propagating facilities, constructing station buildings, repairing, and painting buildings, $55,800.-