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A new series of plats, sowed to oats in October, was started this fall. Others will be added next spring. It is proposed to continue the application of the same fertilizer to the same plat for several years to study the effect on the different crops in the rotation, and learn if the continued application will prove profitable, and also to ascertain the best fertilizer for our soil. Failing to get kanite, we used wood ashes to supply potash. Hereafter the kanite will be used instead of ashes. One year's test cannot be relied on as determining the needs of the soil or value of fertilizer used.
STOCK. The stock feature of the farm returns a profit to the College. The outlay for pure bred stock made no immediate returns owing to the losses from death, and failure to breed, due to the effects of acclimating fever. Our entire herd is now in a good condition and the sales of stock, milk and beef, are more than meeting the running expenses of the farm, while at the same time the herd is increasing in number and being rapidly changed from the few pure-bred cattle and natives we started with, to pure bred and grades.
The inventory shows cattle on hand, and the Secretary's report shows account of sales.
Our work with stock shows that cattle growing and feeding, may be made a profitable addition to the farms of the State.
Accompanying this report I submit a summary of our feeding experiments,showing the great value of cotton seed and cotton seed meal for feeding cattle. The experiments will be continued with some 30 or 40 head of cattle this winter, and with cows giving milk. Experimental stock feeding, to give results that are reliable and of practical value, calls for a large amount of skilled labor and special equipments of stables, scales, cooking apparatus, etc. The necessary outfit has been beyond our means until the past year, and as yet we are but poorly equipped to give such work the attention it should receive at this College.
The publication of reports, experimental and other work, has been commenced, and vill be continued as rapidly as we can prepare the matter after the work is completed.
Seeds received from the Commissioner of Agriculture, of grains and other crops, that promise to be of value, are being tested.
EXPERIMENTS IN FEEDING.
We commenced a series of experiments in feeding cotton seed, January, 1882, hoping to call attention to the remarkable nutri. tive value of what is too often looked upon as a waste product.
Two very ordinary native steers, in poor, unthrifty condition, we put in the barn and carefully fed all the boiled cotton seed they would eat, in addition to hay, oats and straw. Steer No. 1, four years old, weighing 708 pounds, was fed 56 days, gained in his weight, 260 pounds, or an average gain per day of 4.64 pounds. Average daily ration, 14.4 pounds cotton seed, and 11
pounds hay and straw. Steer No. 2, about twenty months old, weighing 350 pounds, was fed 49 days; gained 240 pounds. Average gain per day, 4.89 pounds. Average daily feed ration, II pounds cotton seed and 8.7 pounds of hay and straw.
Cotton seed at that time cost us 30 cents per 100 pounds, and estimating hay and straw at $10.00 per ton." The gain in weight of the two steers, cost in feed, two cents, and one and a half cents per pound.
Last winter five steers were fed on boiled cotton seed, ensilage and hay, and four steers were fed on cotton seed meal, ensilage and hay. The cost per pound of gain on the first lot was 2.18 cents; on the latter 3.32 cents. Profit on cost of steers and feed, allowing manure to balance labor, 35 per cent. on the investment. These tests were carefully conducted, and all food consumed accurately weighed.
FINANCIAL CONDITION OF FARM.
In my report of December 1, 1883, I stated that the College farm would be seif-sustaining from that time and pay for student labor on the farm. As already stated the losses in stock by deaths, failure to breed, etc., due to acclimating the cattle of our pure breeds, has delayed the returns from sales that we had looked for, The cost of improving the farm and placing the land in profitable working condition has also exceeded our estimates, and with other work, required more time than was thought would be necessary. We have, however, succeeded in bringing the farm up to the point of returning a profit, and our pure bred stock are finally in condition to make handsome returns, notwithstanding the depreciation in value of live stock of all kinds throughout the country.
CORRECTION--For “oats and straw," 4th line from bottom of preceding page, read: and oat-straw.]
The Secretary's report shows that the expenditures of the Department for the two years are as follows: Labor of men, foremen, teamsters......
$ 4,106 93 Labor of students charged to farm ..................... 937 52 Stock purchases......
3,021 05 Rent on land occupied by farm .....
415 00 Office stationery, etc
29 20 Machinery and implements .............................
510 64 Permanent improvements ......
160 76 Seeds..
374 49 Fences.
93 51 Fertilizers...
Teams ....... ............
$ 8,898 82
Sale of cattle.....
965 00 2,247 74 2,293 37
Sale of butter ....
531 96 Field crops.....................
--$ 6,852 57 Increase in value of farm property as per inventory, stock produce, etc ........
$ 7,777 50 Increase in value of land as per appraisement,
$8,922.50. We can justly claim from the improved condition of the farm for cropping and stock.........
5,600 00 Balance in favor of farm......
$20,130 07--$20,130 07 Il from the amount credited to the farm in above statement,....
11,231 25 Be deducted, cost of student labor,
4,855 88 We still have a balance of ......,
.$ 6,375 37
The College Creamery has been in successful operation since last spring.
Milk from the College cows and from cows owned in vicinity of the College is worked up daily, and the butter shipped 10 market. The patrons are so well pleased with the returns from milk brought to the creamery that they, one and all, are increas‘ing the number of cows, and the number of patrons will be doubled in the spring. The College is entitled to the eredit of being the first to show from actual trial extending through an entire summer, that a creamery can be made profitable to its patrons in this State, and butter of a quality that excels best western but. ter, made and delivered in good condition in market. The use of the cream separator, carrying of milk from one to three miles to the creamery, temperature of raising cream, etc., were unsolved problems in this State. Much had to be learned and there is yet room for improvement.
We have shown that where milk from a sufficient number of cows can be secured and a sufficient amount of good water either cistern or well water, by using the separator and a small quantity of ice, first-class butter can be made. With a flowing well or ample supply of water that will remain under 65° temperature, the ice can be dispensed with. The College expended some $1,000 in constructing an underground dairy room with tunnel to supply cold air, to find that such an arrangement is not a necessity for good work. The sub-earth ventilating duct has not given satisfaction. The total cost of creamery building, venti. lating tunnel and engine and machinery has cost $3.000. With our experience we could now put up a creamery with equal capacity, that would do as good work for $1,500.
This investment for experience is being taken advantage of by parties in several localities in the State, who are getting ready to start creameries. The experiment, if it may be called an experi.
ment, has called the attention of farmers to a new industry that can be made a source of profit on the farm, and shows:
ist. That creameries may be successfully established in the State.
2d. That butter of as good quality and as great a yield can be made here, and that it will stand shipment during the summer months, as well as the best Western butter.
3d. That our pastures and stock produce as rich milk as is made in what was formerly known as the “dairy belt.”
4th. The patrons find it profitable to patronize the creamey.
THE RESULTS OF THE WORK OF THE COLLEGE.
ist. A majority of the students who have spent one, two and three, or more years at the College, have gone home to work on the farm, and a majority of the students now present express an intention of doing the same after they leave the College. The faculty is looked upon as a bureau of information on agricultural topics by farmers from all over the State, and the work in the industrial departments is universally commended. The influence of the College upon the adjacent county is shown in the erection of 21 silos in the county during the past 18 months by parties who have been watching the work of the College. Our plan of drainage, methods of planting and working crops, feeding of cattle, and work generally, is being copied. Our students are becoming more and more interested in the practical work of the farm each year, and volunteer special students in agriculture are constantly increasing in number. Among the latter is a recent graduate of the Alabama University. The outlook for the College is exceedingly promising, and if it receives the liberal support in the future that has been given in the past, the value of its work to the State will be appreciated more and more with each succeding year.
F. A. GULLEY,
REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY.
Gen. S. D. Lee, President A. S M. College :
Dear Sir: In reviewing the progress of the Department of Chemistry during the past two years, I find much that is encour
The Laboratory building having been damaged to some extent by the tornado that struck our grounds during the session of the last Legislature, was repaired from the appropriation made for that purpose. Outside of this, there was no legislative appropriation made for the development of this department, and hence I can only report the steady, though slow growth, taking place through the judicious application of such small sums as become available from time to time from other sources.
The necessary repairs to the building have consumed a large
share of these, which, together with the usual breakage of glass ware, and chemicals consumed, has used up most of the remainder. We have, however, added some apparatus, and with the assistance of a small appropriation by the Board, fitted up a large rocm in the basement, where, in future, the State Chemist will carry on his analytical work. Other rooms are partially finished, and we probably have on hand lumber sufficient to complete the proposed improvements. We hope to accomplish this before the end of December next, as we shall need them by that time, in order to give our present larga Sophomore class-room to study chemical analysis. When these additions are finished we will have accommodations for sixty students in qualitative analysis, and for ten or more in quantitative analysis.
We now have facilities for carrying on all of the ordinary analy. tical work of an agricultural chemical laboratory. And our development in future will be directed to perfecting the present arrangements and keeping abreast with the advances made in this department of science.
We are provided with complete outfits for the analysis of soils, fertilizers, feed stuffs, milk, sugar, wine, and for assaying and carrying on any of the analyses of commercial products that may be sent in for analysis. We are well provided with platinum, porcelain, and glass.ware. Our cases, work tables, water-pipes, etc., have been largely increased since our last biennial report.
Our chemical apparatus is of the best and latest construction, and we doubt whether a student of Agricultural Chemistry can find better facilities anywhere in this country than those offered at this institution.
Our physical apparatus is less complete and should receive a liberal appropriation in order to increase it at the earliest possible moment. As it is at present, we are able to illustrate only a part of the subjects treated of in the course in elementary Natural Philosophy, being virtually without means of illustrating the subjects treated of in the course in Chemical Physics.
We have a fairly complete set of Meteoroligical instruments, our most urgent need in this direction being an Anemometer with the attachments, costing about $75.
Nearly all of the apparatus required is of the more expensive kind, and cannot be purchased until we have money in considerable sums at our command, as many of the instruments required cost not less than $100.00 each. This is the greatest need of my department at present, and should receive the earnest attention of the authorities at the earliesi convenient time. We have probably a greater number of students here than any institution in the State, and as they belong to that class of young men who, more than any others, require the practical application of science as it is taught to them, it does seem to me that it is not asking too much that they have at least equal facilities in this department, to those offered at our State University in the same department.