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Which is the most advisable, fall or spring plowing, for corn?
J. M. Smith — I will give a little experience that I had, two years ago, in that respect. I had a piece of land that I wanted to plant with corn the following spring. I plowed nearly the whole of it late in the fall, but it froze up, and left a little strip on one side that I could not plow until spring. In the spring, I plowed it nearly as early as the ground was in good condition. I planted it with corn. It was all planted at the same time, attended just alike in every respect; but the strip of ground that was planted in the fall had a very handsome crop, and yielded over a hundred bushels an acre. The other did not yield over twenty-five.
Mr. Field — I wish to ask whether the plowing was the same depth?
Mr. Smith — Same depth. Just alike, with the exception of the time. The question with me was whether or no the plowing early in the spring did not affect the ground and injure it?
Mr. Field — Was the ground very wet when you plowed it ?
Mr. Smith — No; it was in good order, but the grass bad not started at all.
Chester Hazen - I think it depends somewhat upon the condi. tion of the land you are going to plow. I have had good results in plowing up old pastures and meadow lands in the fall, plowing middling early. If you leave it until spring, you don't want to plow it until the grass gets to growing on it, just before you want to plant it. I think land broken and planted right off after you have a good start of grass on it, will do as well as the fall plowing. Plowing early I have found to be injurious.
Mr. Smith - Why is it that it is injurious?
Mr. Hazen — On mine there was more grass than there was on the fall plowing. Before the grass commences to grow and get started up, if you smother it, it starts up the other way, and comes up between the furrows. It isn't right. If you have some grass it foments under the furrows and creates a warmth. The corn won't start very early, but when it does start it will do better
than the fall plowed land. My experience has been, on old land plowed in the fall, it don't do as well as in the spring. If I had stubble land to plow, I would plow it in the spring. If I had sod land to plow, I would plow it early in the fall, or else late in the spring, the last thing before planting.
Mr. Gill—I have practiced for some years plowing everything I could plow in the fall. One reason was, I thought it was beneficial, and another reason was that I didn't have so much to do in the spring. My neighbors are every year more and more getting into that way.
Two years ago, on a piece of timothy sod, I plowed about the first week in September very thin, and then when it came pretty near planting time cross-plowed it by putting on three horses abreast, and turned it pretty well down, and that is about the most satisfactory job I ever did in sod.
I have frequently plowed sod in the fall late, planted it in that manner, and had good success. I would greatly prefer to have stubble ground plowed in the fall. I noticed this last spring. I had about fourteen acres of stubble ground plowed in the fall, and five acres adjoining it plowed in the spring; both planted with corn the same day, and during the dry weather we had in June the fall plowed region went ahead, and I should think at one time there was apparently two weeks difference in the growth. As far as my experience goes, I prefer fall plowing.
Mr. Webster — I have had some considerable practice in green ground. I raise considerable corn every year, and think it about the best crop I raise. I plowed many years in the spring, but changed to fall, and my experience is that fall plowing for corn is best. If I am going to plow sod, I plow it early in the fall or else wait until the grass gets started in the spring. I think sod ground is better by plowing after grass starts than before it starts. But in stubble ground I prefer plowing in the fall unless I am going to manure. If I haul manure in the spring, I would leave it until after I got my manure spread, and then I would plow in the spring
Mr. Palmer - I think if you plow sballow, the fall is the better; and if deep, the spring is the better.
Is it advisable for the average farmer to grow tobacco ?
Mr. Babbitt - If a man is educated to smoke, I should advise him to raise his own weed and make his own cigars. I think it is advisable for a man to raise anything that he is well adapted for. I don't care whether it is tobacco or anything else.
Is there any way to kill out Witch, or Quack grass ?
Mr. Burdick — Thoroughly pasturing with sheep will do it. Will any man present acknowledge that he has it on his farm?
A voice — Yes, sir. I will acknowledge that I have it on my farm, and sheep won't kill it, either.
Mr. Underwood - I proposed that question, not because I have particularly got it, but my neighbor right adjoining me has got it, and it is coming. It has run his meadow out.
It has run timothy and clover out; and it looks as though it is going to run me out.
It is the worst thing I ever saw. N. N. Palmer, Brodhead — I think that Quack grass can be killed by summer plowing, if you follow it up very persistently. You can kill it by covering it in June.
Mr. Stickney - You rarely see the grass grow up and head out to make seed; and its propagation does not depend in any large degree upon its seed. Any fragment of root is the seed. The root is the priocipal part of it. I have been familiar with it always, and I have had to contend with it in the same way that Mr. Underwood may have to sometime. The best thing I can do with it is to vacate the land for all crops for one season and plow apd drag thoroughly late in the fall. It disturbs the roots so that the winter freeze kills them very generally. That, with a very careful hoeing the succeeding year, and getting out the fragments that may live, will very near obliterate it. You will have to do it again in five years, perhaps. It is hard to get rid of. It has not a deep root. The roots are just under the surface.
A voice — Can you dig it out?
Mr. Stickney — Very possibly. You may dig it all up. Where I could not plow I have taken men with spading forks and picked out every piece. After you have done that you must be careful where you deposit it. If you deposit it in the road and it comes moist weather, it will take root and grow.
Mr. Palmer – This grass has one redeeming quality. It is one of the best pasturing grasses that I ever knew. I bave one field that is fairly sodded with it. I keep that for pasture. Cows or sheep, or any cattle prefer the grass to anything else I have on the farm.
Mr. Field — There is another comforting feature about this grass. No farmer has got it unless he has got very good land. I have had experience these last two seasons on a prairie farm with this grass, and the land was new land, too. It seemed to be natural for the soil. It came in the second or third year I broke up that prairie land. The land had been ploughed in the autumn for both oats and corn. I put in oats in some of that land. This grass had come up in it considerably the year before. I cultivated that land thoroughly in the spring, sowed it to oats, and there was hardly a spear of that grass to be seen on it. On the same kind of land I planted some corn, and that grass had got nicely started. It troubled me all through the season. I don't know that it injured the corn much. It was all full of it. The next spring I turned that over when it was ready for corn planting, and there was hardly a spear of grass appeared on it. I agree with Mr. Stickney, that to cultivate it thoroughly, bring it to the surface, let it have the action of frost or the action of dry weather, and that will kill it out.
Mr. Goss - I have my doubts very much whether you have ever had any Quack grass. I have had it on a small patch. It has lived and lived weeks on the top of the ground, in dry weather, and the more you cultivate it, the worse it is. I have found out that the roots get very close to the top. In time, they will get up so that they won't be over two inches from the top; and from one stalk, not six inches long above the ground, I have seen white roots running out four feet. On my own farm I found a root with only four spears, and no one of them over two inches,
long, and there was as much as eleven feet of roots growing out in different directions. I don't think the gentleman has got the genuine. There are a dozen species. There is one particular genuine Quack grass that can never be killed by cultivation, unless a man sifts the soil.
How shall we winter our bees?
A voice - Put them in the cellar.
What course can a young man pursue who has run in debt for a
run down furm, so as to improve his farm, support his family and pay his debts?
A voice - Go west.
How can I get rid of Canada thistles?
Mr. Martin — There hasn't anybody been troubled with them but myself, in this state, that I know of. I had some apple trees that were set out before I came from York state, and it is supposed that the Canada thistle came in the root of the apple tree. It commenced spreading around, and when I bought the place, there was quite a bed of it. It spread on every side, except the south side of the tree, and by plowing or cultivating some roots, got dragged off fifteen or twenty rods. I put on salt, dug them up, but I never could get them out until I sowed clover, and cut the clover twice, and I have never found a Canada thistle there since.
Mr. Gill — There is one idea both in connection with the Canada thistle and Quack grass that I want to speak about. I have been on the same farm twenty-four years. I have been well acquainted with this Quack grass ever since I knew anything, but I