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under, and barn-yard manure, will keep land strong for wheat and other exhaustive crops—such as cannot now be raised profitably in the Eastern States.
It has been said that ensilage is my favorite theme. The manure heap in the cattle yard should be made sloping so that it can be driven upon. It cau be kept from heating by trampling it and driving upon it, and compacting it. This is ensilage of the manure heap.
Ensilage should be taken from the silo the evenins before it is fed-in order that it may have fifteen hours to become : cololic; at that time it will become quite warm and the cattle will eit greedily. Eight hours later it will have passed the proper limits and will rapidly spoil as food; forty-eight hours is its extreme dur.tion when removed from the pit. This first fermentation increases the facility of digestion, and therefore the nutritive power of the food. When cattle live on fresh maize in the summer, they eat large quantities, and are always big bellied, which shows that they are obliged to supply what is lacking in quality by an excessive consumption, but when they live on ensilage maize, their bellies are smaller. There is no danger of their becoming corned beef. Dry stalks steamed are nothing to be compared with this fodder, because the nutritious value has gone into the grain. The stalk is in its perfect condition when it flowers, and is then especially and pre-eminently val. uable for the dairyman. Farmers of western New York, I hope the tasseled corn-stalk will be made by ensilage à source of great profit to you. It has become a dry subject to me; I hope it will speedily become a juicy subject to you. I have spent many, many hours in talking about it. I have already received the thanks of several dairymen who are now feeding it, for having called their attention to it; but would you believe, not one of them said a word about sending me a tub of butter?
In the competition with the great tenant farmers of Minnesota, California, etc., the grain-producer of the eastern States can not thrive as such, and the smaller farmers everywhere will find that the combination of capital, machinery, and cheap labor in the production of cereals will make their business more amply unprofitable. You know they talk about raising wheat for 20 cents a bushel and less. But on the stockfarm this combination has no special advantage; a small number of farm animals can be maintained, especially by means of ensilage, about as cheap as a larger number of cows. I mean by a small number enough to consume 500 to 1000 tons per annum.
In order to convince you that it is not worth while to speak of it any more as a mere experiment, I will read you a report in December from Winning Farm, Massachusetts. Cost of keeping 30 head cows and 100 sheep per day:
Balance in favor of eusilage
$4 91 If we count 100 sheep as 10 cows, the average cost per cow is 6} cents per day.
Since they were fed on ensilage the cattle are gaining, the milk in. creased 25 per cent. in one week. The butter is yellow without any coloring. The stock will all leave the best of hay to feed on ensilage. Here is the weekly account of six cows that came in last March. They are fed 1,800 lbs. ensilage and 90 lbs. shorts per week:
Shorts per week cost
Result: 22 lbs. butter, at 35 cts, and 240 lbs. skim milk, at lct....
$2 70 10 10
Profit one week
on 6 cows that, without ensilage, would have been dry.
Last July Monsieur Goffart wrote me and said, 63 horned cattle are now living at Burton, on maize ensilaged in October last, the preservation of which is as perfect as the day of ensilaging it, as can testify numerous visitors each day.
On accepting the invitation to read a paper to the Association, I asked from Monsieur Goffart his latest words on the subject of Ensilage, that I might give them to you. I have his letter, dated December 17, with which I will conclude: “The longer experience that I have in feeding ensilage to stock, the more I am convinced of the great service that it will render to agriculture.”
From October, 1878, to October, 1879, I have fed the hundred animals in my stable exclusively with ensilage maize during the winter, and concurrently with fresh maize at the time when I had it. The animals have always enjoyed the most excellent health, and I can assure you that they have more appetite for the ensilage maize than the fresh fodder, whatever kind it may be. Cows fed upon fresh maize give excellent milk, which yields first quality butter and of exquisite flavor. Fed upon ensilaged maize, the milk is still very good, and I have not noticed that its quantity diminished, but the butter, while still being of good quality, is, however, inferior. But whatever may be the diet of the cows in winter, the butter made at that season is always inferior to that made during the fine weather. I have caused to be taken from the account books of the expenses upon my Domaine the cost of the culture and ensilage of maize during the past season. I hope to be useful to you in sending it herewith. You will observe how small a cost for the food of the animals. Indeed, in rockoning 6 per cent., the weight of the animal for its daily food, I arrive at an expense of 3 3-5 of a cent per day to feed an animal of 1,320 lbs. I know of no fodder of which the ration costs so little as my maize, which only costs me 90 cents per ton; and this notwithstanding the year has been unfavorable for maize, the wet spring and part of summer having injured the plant. One could see at a glance in my fields that the stalks had not reached their normal heights, except in the middle of the beds where they were high enough to escape injury by the wet. Besides, I was compelled to commence my operations too late, and the result was an increase of expenses in cutting and ensilaging in the shorter working day. Finally, the high price of wine this year has increased the cost of labor in a considerable degree. I was compelled to cut down the stalks by hand; but I ought to advise you of the great economy of cutting thein with a mowing machine, as is practiced already by several of my disciples (you see this gentleman introduced not only ensilage, but maize itself to Central France. He also, many years ago, had the good fortune of being the means of saving to France, through LaMartine, the beet-sugar industry, which was about to be abandoned and abolished). I have built near my silos an embankment, forming a platform, accessible from two sides by a gentle slope, for the easy ascent of carts loaded with maize. Upon this platform I have established an engine, and my stalk-cutter, which are level with the upper part of my silos. The elevator carries the fodder over the center of the middle of one of the three silos, and it falls into all the silos in diverging streams. I have obtained thus a noteworthy economy, by avoiding moving the machines, and by saving valuable time at a season of the year when the working days are so short.
I thank you for the kind words you have sent me. I consider them as a recompense for the efforts that I have made for so long a time to make myself useful to agriculturists. I trust that your fellow-country. men wiil be glad to enter into the path which you have indicated to them. Say to them that those of them who desire to come to study the subject of ensilage upon the ground, may rest assured of receiving a kind reception at Burtin.”
Mr. Powell asked for more particulars about the covering of the silos.
Mr. Brown-We first cover with a foot of straw, then with short boards laid lengthwise, then with two inch plank laid crosswise, and made short enough to slip down as the mass settles. On top of this we put a foot of stone for weight. The straw absorbs moisture. In order to use the fodder, we take out the door and cut straight across the face. If there is more than enough to last through the winter, we cut only half way down and cover again. But the simpler, and quite as good a way, is to use only the cross-planks, tongue-grooved and battened together, with the weighi on top.
Dr. Wight-Will the fodder, by this means, be kept entirely free from frost?
Mr. Brown—The experiment has not yet been tried in a severe New England winter, but a concrete wall would guard it completely. Ensilage may be said to be sour-kraut without the cabbage and without salt.
Mr. W. Brown Smith asked Mr. Brown if the fodder would ferment, like sour-kraut.
Mr. Brown said: “If you will tell me how it is made, I will tell you if there is any difference in the procees.”
Mr. Smith then explained the process of making sour-kraut, and when he had finished, Mr. Brown said no salt need be used in preparing the fodder; no fermentation takes place till it is removed from the pit; it will then begin to ferment, but it will not smell.
Mr. Stewart was much interested in the subject, and thought it deserved the attention of dairymen everywhere. He would build the pits of concrete; such a wall is a poor conductor of heat and cold, and is the cheapest. This discovery seems to have solved a problem. With this fodder, cows may be milked profitably all winter, and little or no meal need be used. It will not cost as much to build trenches or "silos” as to build a barn to hold the same amount of fodder. The wages ef a tender to a mason will build a concrete wall. Refuse stone may be used. No skilled labor is required. Erect standards a certain distance from tho walls of the trench, lay plank inside, and fill the space with concrete. He then minutely explained the process of building such a wall.
In relation to feeding oil meal, Mr. Stewart said he had made experiments and found that a quart of meal per day was about the right quantity. More than this will injure the flavor of the milk.
Professor Arnold, President of the Association, was not quite so clear on the ensilage question. If feed undergoes alcoholic fermentation, it must injure the quality of butter, and have some effect upon meat. He gave other reasons for his unbelief. In this climate stock should have dry food in winter, and ho feared the effects of so much succulent food in cold weather. He was not a very good friend of alcohol, and didn't think it was any better for animals than for man.
Mr. Stewart thought cattle need a certain quantity of water, and t! at if their fodd r is d y t'iay would drink all the more cold water, which he thought was more injurious than wet food.
Dr. Wirt.--These theories are rather fin. What the farmer wants is results. If they prove that ensilage is practical, the theories will not stand in its way.
Mr. Tinkham said he had found that when he fed his cattle roots, their conta hocomo pary sleek. Roots have as much water as corn-stalks, and so long as the effect is good, he doesn't care what produces it.