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yearly?” Now, in the asking of that one question we have the origin of the condition which leads to agricultural investigation and agricultural study, and we have the beginning of agricultural progress, of the improvement of agricultural methods. If a man could continually raise twenty, thirty or forty bushels of wheat to the acre, or I will say thirty bushels per acre, year after year, without any thought or care except to plough the ground, sow the seed and gather the crop, then there would be no occasion for study. Most men are so constituted that they are willing to do as little as they can, and still succeed in their business. If we can get good food, good clothes, and comfortable quarters, with little effort, we are apt to accept the conditions and not seek for harder work with less compensation ; yet, while this is true, no one believes that manhood, self-reliance and the mental faculties can be best developed where there are no obstacles to overcome. The inhabitant of the tropies gets what clothing he wants and his daily food for a very small expenditure of energy, while the New Englander struggles with a hard soil, a severe climate, and sharp competition ; and it is true the world over, that just in proportion as the soil becomes exhausted, just in the same proportion does the mind of the agricultural population become enriched. An exhausted soil is the ideal condition for the development of agricultural research and agricultural investigation. It is during this second period, the period of exhaustion, as I have chosen to term it, that we find the beginning of advancement in agriculture. Liebig's work and Davy's work in agricultural chemistry, the beginnings of our knowledge of chemistry as applied to agriculture in England and in Germany, belong to that period. Scientific men turned their attention to the matter of plant growth and plant food, simply because they wanted to find out the reason why soil that had been continually cropped did not produce as large crops as formerly.
I have taken up more time with this part of my subject than I intended, and I pass to the third period, the period of renovation, or the period of restoring fertility to the soil. Here is where we find better methods of agriculture. Here is where we find new substances introduced to furnish food for plants and also for animals. In fact, every subject appertaining to the business of the farmer has been the subject of study, and we have improved machinery, improved tools, improved methods, and improved everything that helps the farmer to succeed. Take, for example, the work of those great experimenters who first applied science to the art of agriculture,- Lawes and Gilbert of England. They started their work in 1843. Their first investigations were with manures, seeking to determine how the farmer could use manure to the best advantage in the raising of crops. Next they endeavored to find substitutes for barnyard manure. They commenced with the use of bones and other substances like the Spanish rock, coprolites, etc., which contain a large proportion of phosphate of lime. In other words, they were studying the question of plant food, and seeking for materials which could be used as nutriment for plants. When we turn back to the beginning of the use of what are now called commercial fertilizers, we find that bones were first used in the last part of the last century, and then came the use of substitutes for bones, including the “ South Carolina rock,” which has been largely used in this country and exported to a great extent to foreign countries. Then came the German potash salts, nitrate of soda, sulphate of ammonia, and other materials which are dug from the earth or are waste products from other industries. The work of these pioneer investigators was not confined to plant nutrition; they also considered the matter of rational stock feeding; and while the Germans, under the lead of Wolff and Kuhn, have been leaders in the work of making stock feeding a science, yet Lawes and Gilbert have contributed much towards the accomplishment of this result.
Having considered these three periods in the history of agriculture, I want just to recapitulate. First we have the so-called period of inexhaustible fertility, when it was thought that the soil would continue to yield abundant crops indefinitely, without the application of any fertilizer. Then we have the period of exhaustion, when the soil has become exhausted of plant food, and will no longer produce a good crop. Then comes the third period, the period of renovation, when we are asking how we can overcome the results of the errors of previous methods of farming. It is in this period that the investigations of agricultural chemists are brought to bear upon the question, and we have now to consider the practical results of these investigations.
How shall we measure the value of experiment stations? You all know very well what they are, that they are simply institutions which are devoted, and intended to be devoted, to the carrying on of those experiments which are necessary in order to determine the best means to overcome the obstacles which stand in the way of successful agriculture, And how shall we measure the value and usefulness of their work? Let us start with the measure of values in general. We must take some standard or unit of measure. The dollar is the unit of measure in the world of commerce and in the world of exchanges. By this standard we measure the success or failure of men in all the business occupations of life. Can we apply such a standard as this to the results of the work of the agricultural experiment stations ? No, we cannot. I will admit that freely, to start with. We cannot measure their work in
way. There is no one who would attempt to measure in dollars and cents the influence of Harvard College in Massachusetts or in the whole country. You would not attempt to measure the value of the schools and other educational institutions of Worcester in dollars and cents. You would not attempt to say how many dollars the churches of Worcester were worth to the city. You could not tell anything about it. There
. are other factors entering into the question of their success or failure, aside from dollars. It is true that we like to have anything that we undertake yield dollars, and of course in all financia! operations it is the legitimate measure; but there are influences resulting from our educational institutions which cannot be measured by this standard. This same thing is true very largely of the agricultural experiment stations. We cannot tell in dollars and cents what they have done, but we have good reason to believe that they have done good and that they are now doing good; and we can pick out certain definite things, as I shall do later, and show wherein they have been beneficial, and in that way we can to some extent measure their usefulness
*** an approximate estimate of their value.
I will pass on to a consideration of what they have accomplished, and when I say this I wish you to bear in mind that I do not profess to be able to measure, nor do I believe any man can, their full value or their full usefulness. In 1889 tnere were printed and sent out by the various experiment stations in the United States 280 bulletins and reports, including 10,000 pages of printed matter. I have no means of knowing, and have seen no figures showing the mailing lists of the various stations, I can simply give the fact in regard to our own State. We have in New Hampshire a mailing list of 7,000 farmers who receive every bulletin and report that is sent out. Then there are other ways which we have of getting the results of our work before the farmers of the State, through farmers' institutes, agricultural papers, etc.
From among these bulletins I have selected a few for the purpose of showing just where they have been of practical value. I have here a bulletin from Cornell University, Bulletin No. 13, in which the subject of manures is treated, the results of which you have seen in the agricultural papers, because this bulletin has been very widely copied. Let us look for a moment at the loss which results from careless methods of handling barnyard manures.
Professor Roberts, the director of the station, says that their experiment, which was conducted by taking certain portions of horse manure from the yard and analyzing it, and then exposing it to the effect of rain, showed that there was a loss from a ton of manure by leaching of $1.03, which represents 42 per cent of the entire value. Now, this represents a loss of over $6.00 per year on each and every horse where the manure is left exposed and unprotected. We have in the United States 13,173,000 horses. Professor Roberts says that, from his experience in the State of New York, a large majority of the farmers leave their manure out in this way unprotected. But let us suppose that only one-third of it is left exposed; we there have a loss which might have been prevented, and which amounts to nearly $26,000,000. If Bulletin No. 13 of the Cornell University Experiment Station could be properly appreciated, much of this would be saved. I have no doubt that one-third of the value of all the horse manure in the country is sacrificed in this way. In the same bulletin the loss from the manure of cows is shown to be 22 cents per ton, or $1.75 yearly. There are 50,000,000 cattle in the United States. Roughly speaking, I suppose that one-third of the cow manure is left exposed in this way. That represents a loss of $30,000,000. Now, I claim that the teachings of this one experiment station bulletin must be of inestimable value to the farmers of the country.
I pass to another one, which is still more striking,Bulletin No. 25 from the University of Wisconsin, in which Professor Henry, who, in my opinion, is one of the best investigators in this country, reports the results of a series of experiments in feeding bone meal and hard-wood ashes to hogs.
It is a question that is not new, but I think the result has never been brought out in its full force as Professor Henry has brought it out in this bulletin. He fed ashes and ground bone, and effected a saving of 28 per cent of the total food required. That is to say, if it required a certain amount of food to produce 100 pounds of pork without ashes and bone, then with asbes and bone there was a saving of 28 per cent of that food. Now, I find by the census that there are 44,000,000 hogs in the United States. Estimating the average weight at 150 pounds, we have 66,000,000 pounds. Now, it requires about five pounds of corn meal daily for 100 pounds. That makes 3,300,000 pounds or 1,650 tons daily, which must be fed to the hogs of the country. Valuing that at $33,000, a saving of 25 per cent amounts to $8,250 daily, or $3,000,000 annually. I do not pretend that these figures are exact; they simply show what is possible. They show that by so simple a thing as furnishing a certain proportion of bone meal and ashes in the feed of hogs, wherc corn is largely used, a great saving can be made, and Professor Henry has brought this out in a very forcible way. I
pass to Bulletin No. 5, from the Storrs Experiment Station, which is under the charge of Professor Atwater. This bulletin treats of a subject that has been in dispute ever since the beginning of scientific agricultural experiments, and that is, the source of nitrogen as food for plants. Every pound of nitrogen that is purchased in any form of fertilizer costs about 17 cents. It is an element that exists in the