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recommend that, when this land is fenced, it be done with wire, as I have found that a wire fence, made with the same amount of timber in posts, will stand better and last longer when exposed to occasional floods, than either posts or rails. It offers less resistance to the current of water, and if five strands of wire are put on posts seven feet apart, no stock that is allowed to run at large in Story county can get through it. The cost will be rather less than for posts and boards.
As soon as the season permitted an effort was made to complete the tile drains begun last fall. About 120 rods, in addition to that made last fall, were cut, tile laid, and the drains completed in a very satisfactory manner. It has done good service. 1553 rods more were cut and got ready for the tile, when, owing to the excessive rains, the ground became like a sponge, and the sides caved in. Efforts to clear the drains long enough to get the tile laid, proved unavailing, and we were forced to abandon it for the time being. Could have finished it in the fall, but funds failed—appropriation exhausted.
A young orchard of 300 apple trees was planted on a piece of land, selected by Dr. Townshend, near the west end of the farm. It is sheltered by the natural timber on the west and north, and is I think, the most suitable site or location for a successful orchard, on the farm. Cost of plants, $37.54, planting, tending, etc., 57.07, total, 94.61.
Of the evergreens that had beeen under cultivation on the farm, a considerable number were very successfully transplanted, under the direction of the President, by students, into ornamental groups on different parts of the college grounds, and already make a very mark ed improvement in the appearance of the landscape.
In the nursery grounds there are yet several thousand trees of different sizes and varities, both evergreens and deciduous, many of which will be of good size for transplanting to permanent sites during the coming season, while a large number would be benefitted by cultivation in the nursery for one or more years.
Twenty-five hundred honey locust plants (three thorned acacia) were procured and planted in the spring, with a view to test its adaptability as a hedge plant for this latitude. They were planted in various kinds of soil, and in situations exposed and sheltered. So far the plants have grown well and are a good stand for a hedge. Length of hedge row (in aggregate) 116 rods. Cost of plants at nursery...
. 12.50 Freight, planting, and cultivating .....
It is impossible to give an exact statement of the amount of grain raised on the farm during the past season. The crop was a very superior one, but, owing to the incessant rains, so much handling was found necessary to get it dried and kept from sprouting, that a great deal was shattered out and left on the ground. The work of handling, binding, etc., was principally performed by students, and as they were in many different places on the same day and all reported to the President simply as “harvesting,” without designating in what particular field the work was performed, an accurate Dr. and Cr. account with each field cannot now be made out. The general result, however, is as follows:
To breaking 334 acres at $3.50 per acre
.$117.25 To 60 bushels seed wheat at $1.15 per bushel ...... 69.00 To 13 days man and team in spring, putting in crop 35.00–$221.25
By 723 bushels wheat at 50cts per bushel...........$361.50
33.50 395.00 To be set against expense of harvesting and stacking..$ 173.75 The wheat is much above average quality this season.
To 8 days plowing, 5 days sowing, 154 days harrow-
$ To 95 bushels seed oats at 65cts.....
By 976 bushels oats at 45cts per bushel.....
To be set against expense of harvesting..
The labor on small grain amounted to-
Leaving a profit on the whole of........
THIRTY-SIX ACRES OF CORN, DR.
To 551 days work with man and team plowing, har
rowing, planting, cultivating, etc., at 3.50 per day.$194.25 To seed.....
6.00 To cutting and shocking by students........
41.09 To estimated cost of husking......
By 1396 bushels of corn, at 45 cents per bushel... $628.20
There were several flat spots of land which, from the incessant rains, were under water so much that the seed perished; estimated extent, four acres.
The corn was cut and shocked by students, just previous to the first frost, and the fodder is of excellent quality.
Between six and seven acres of potatoes were planted. There are now about 600 bushels on hand. About 430 bushels have been used in college and farm house.
To planting and cultivating, 17 days man and team, $ 59.50
To students' labor.....
By 1030 bushels potatoes at 40 cts per bushel ................$ 412.00
It is supposed that enough potatoes are on hand to supply the College until the new crop comes in, also furnish seed, etc.
Of timothy, 461 tons were saved in very good ordervalue .......
.$ 558.00 Cost, students' labor, $18.88; other labor, 52.52.
Of natural grass hay 40 tons, rather coarse and weedyvalue.....
.$ 160.00 Cost, students' labor, $18.36; other labor, 56.81............ 75.17
All the natural grass in the creek bottoms was so sanded and damaged by the frequent floodings that it was unfit for food for stock, and a contract was made for tifty tons of upland prairie bay, at $2.75 per ton in the stack.
A sharp frost occurred before it was all cured and only twenty-nine tons have been secured on the contract. Cost, $79.75; hauling to be added, $36.25 ; total cost, $116.00. Another stack containing thirty tons has been secured from an adjoining farm at the same rates. Cost, $82.50; hauling, $37.50; total, $120.00.
; About two acres of vegetables were raised in the farm garden, an excellent crop. Cost, $50.00; value, $150.00; profit, $100.00.
The young cherry trees nearly all bore fruit, several of the early trees very full. A little over a bushel of fruit was saved; value unknown: consumed in college and farm house.
Some few apples and grapes were also produced and chiefly consumed in farm house.
On the 13th of April a quantity of wheat that had been received from the Department of Agriculture, called “Arpautka Wheat," was very carefully sown and harrowed in. By sowing a little thin, it made enough for one acre. It grew well, and until the ears were fully out gave promise of being an excellent crop, but to our excessive mortification, when it should have begun to mature, it commenced to rot, and rotted so rapidly that when it ought to have been ripe, it was, on a careful estimate, considered doubtful if it would yield enough to be seed for the same amount of land-the produce, a very flinty, inferior article.
Of other seed from the same source, black Swedish oats proved a failure. Excelsior oats were a good crop but so injured by wet weather that a fair test of their merits was not obtained.
Sommerset oats same as above, (believed to be same variety as Excelsior.)
White Schonen sown at same time; differs from the above and is later in ripening.
Saxonian and Probstier barley were both carefully tried and promised well, but were so injured by wet as to be of little value except to save varieties.
With the exception of the black Swedish oats, I think the other varieties, including the barley, should be further tested.
The garden seeds from the Department of Agriculture were mostly under the care of Dr. Townshend, Professor of Practical Agriculture, who had charge of the College garden, and I am unable to make any report of their value.
A few, consisting of three varieties of onions, three varieties of beets, four of carrots, three of cabbage, two of peas, two of beans, one of lettuce, three of radish, and three of corn, were sown in the garden at the farm house, and with the exception of the cabbage all did well, growing luxuriantly and being of excellent quality.
About three acres of mangel-wurzel, two acres of Swede turnips, and several acres of white turnips, were sown as winter food for stock. Although the season was unpropitious, a very fair average crop was produced, but all were seriously injured by an unusualy severe early frost. The white turnips were an entire loss; the mangel nearly so; of the Swedes a considerable portion was saved, but mostly in a damaged condition.