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ing out how to get rid of straw. When I came to Rock county, about fifteen or twenty years ago, my neighbors had their cattle running about in the winter storm, trying to get shelter wherever they could, and in the fall and spring of the year you would see fires all over the country the straw stacks were burning. And I said to some of my neighbors, "What in the name of heaven do you burn your straw for?” They said it was because it was in the way when they wanted to plow the land. I said, “Why don't you have it in the farm yard and shut your cattle up at night, and they will eat some and lie warm and they make manure.” They said, “O, yes! make manure for us to have the trouble of taking it away in the spring." “But don't your land want manure?” “Oh, that is all you know about it; the fact is you know nothing about this country at all; the land is so rich we don't know what to do with it.” I told them they would wear their land out by and by and then they would want manure, and I think the farmers are now beginning to understand it. They make warm sheds, where they let the cattle lie and make manure, and they are glad to baul the manure out in the spring and put it on the land. That is a receipt for getting rid of the straw; and if you do not want to carry it out in the spring, let it lie on the ground and rot, and the heat of the manure will kill all the seeds that are in it. You will not spread the seeds in the land, and if you put it in in the fall every seed will be destroyed. If you take it green and raw and put it on the soil, you are spreading seeds. I think it is an easy matter to answer the question, how to get rid of the straw. You are breeding cattle and horses ; make manure and put it back onto the land. It puts me in mind of the way they do things in Ireland. They take all the money and spend it somewhere else, beggaring the country. You take a crop from your land every year and put nothing back, and you will beggar your land. You must carry something back; you must carry back manure, and then you are all right.
Mr. Webster - I have bad some little experience, and I wish to say one word. I keep a good many sheep and some cattle, and I find that the sheep use the straw to a great deal better advantage than the cattle. They eat a good deal, and the rest they
work up very fine, and in the spring it is all ready to draw out on the land.
On the prairies they used to have a rope to draw the straw away when they threshed, and then they burned it up. Now they say that we men in the openings can raise better corn than they do ou the prairies, and I think it is partly because of our saving our straw and getting out all our manure every year. want to bed our stock; sheep eat up a good deal inore than cattle, so we get more benefit from the sheep than we do from the cattle.
Prof. Daniells - I koow of a large farmer in this county, who is a very intelligent man, and I think a very excellent farmer. He keeps a large number of cows, raises a large amount of straw, and lets his cows lie on the bare boards. I don't know whether he burns the straw or not, but I should think that would be a necessary consequence.
Mr. Sheldon - I never knew of but one man who set fire to his straw. This winter a neighbor of mine set fire to his straw stack, and that set fire to his wheat stack, and burned the whole tbing up. I must say I could not sympathize with him very much.
A few years ago I used to stack my straw in the field, thinking that when it got sufficiently rotted, I would scatter it around; at last I found that did not work, so I began taking it and scattering it around the barnyard.
Mr. McDonald - The gentleman before me has found it a very easy matter to get rid of straw by drawing it into his yard for the purpose of making manure, and then drawing it out again. I find that a rather laborious way to get rid of it. I think on the whole the fire is the easiest and the quickest.
Mr. Webster — I think my plan is the most profitable. not speaking of the ease.
Mr. Anderson The idea strikes me that the easiest way to get rid of straw, and make a profit out of it, is to cut the grain when it is green and stack it in the proper manner to keep dry; let it stand until late in the fall, and thresh it, and put up the stack in a good workmanlike manner, and feed it out, and you
will work it most all into manure. The cattle will eat nearly the whole of it, and it is better than marsh hay.
Mr. Olds Some of these western men would think that these are small fisted farmers who are talking to night. Possibly they have not straw enough. What will they do when they go out to these farms in Minnesota? There you will find many farms of thousands of acres cultivated to wheat. I have seen farms there where they have let the straw remain year after year in piles where they had threshed until it bad become almost as big a nuisance as the stumps in the east. Let some man tell us how we can get rid of straw out in the western country where they have such large farms.
Mr. Jordan — Those large farms you are talking about in Nebraska, etc., you will find that by and by the land will become exbausted and they will become bankrupt. That is as sure as you are born. They will be bankrupt and the farms will be ruined until somebody gets them and divides them and begins to bring manure upon them and cultivate them again. A farmer, large or small, should keep cattle of some sort, that will make his straw into manure. Horses will use a great deal of straw, particularly wheat straw or oat straw that is cut tolerably green, which it ought to be. It does not hurt the grain at all, and horses and cattle and sheep, and all the ruininating animals, will eat it; and you surely do not recommend a man to keep three or four thousand acres of land, and keep growing wheat and straw. We are talking about wbat is best for farmers in general, and not about this iellow out west that has ten thousand acres. That is not worth thinking about, because it should not be, and it will not be long. Those are the men that want to own everything. If they owned twenty thousand, they would want to join somebody else, and they will be bankrupt by and by, or ought to be. But we are talking about the general farming community, and we want to know how to get rid of our straw. My idea is that we should keep cattle and horses and sheep to eat it up. What they don't eat they will lie upon and it will keep them comfortable, and you know that nature requires so much food in order to produce the degree of heat necessary to carry on the circulation of
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the blood, and the animals must have it, and there is a good deal of it in straw, and they will eat it, and what they don't eat they will make manure of, and that carries back on to your land just what you have taken off by your wheat crop, and keeps your land in good order. You must carry it back in some shape, either in chemicals or manure.
Mr. Kellogg — There is one point in regard to the scattering of manure on the land, whether it should be put in piles, or whether it should be cast broadcast, as Mr. Anderson states; which is the best plan, and the most productive of good ?
Mr. Morton – You can try that in a small way on your garden, or your field. You carry out your manure, and put it in a pile in your field, and turn it over once or twice during the summer, that there shall be no dry rot in it. It will create a large amount of heat, 120° at the least, and it will smoke; and if there should be any places that have the dry rot in it, turn it over with the pitchfork, and it will heat again. It is not much labor, but it must be thoroughly rotted. Now every seed of every weed that is in that manure pile will be destroyed, and not one will germinate. Now if you think rotten manure does not do more good than the dry straw, just try it and see. I tell you it is forty times as good. It is as good as any plaster, or anything you can put upon your land, and it is the most natural manure in the world, if it is thoroughly rotted. Now take your straw and spread on your ground; you don't receive much benefit from that for the first or second year, but you will have plenty of weeds growing. You carry back the seeds of the weeds, and they are scattered all over the ground, and you will find your wheat full of them. Try a small patch, and see if it is not so. But if you thoroughly rot the manure, you will not find a single weed that will germinate. That is my experience.
Mr. Burdick — I received a letter to come up here to attend the agricultural love-feast, saying that every one had the privilege of telling his experience. It is a well-known fact, where I am acquainted, that I am greatly interested in the cultivation of grasses. I would say to the farmers here, those that have a surplus of straw that they do not know what to do with otherwise,
that it makes one of the best dressings for our land of anything that can be used. I will say here in regard to the killing of the rag.weed, that it has been successfully done simply by a thorough dressing of the soil, and a healthy seeding with a combination of seeds suitable and adapted to the conditions of the soil; then let it be well dressed with two or three inches of straw over it. In this manner we have entirely eradicated those weeds. Then again, you may dress your meadow lands either in the spring or in the fall, and put a dressing of straw on them. It forms a compost which holds the moisture, which is requisite and necessary for the plant until it has gained strength enough to take care of itself. Very often we lose our seeding simply on account of the lack of proper covering. Hence here is one way in which we can dispose of a large amount of surplus straw to good advantage.
Mr. Morton - I think I could readily believe that the dressing of straw would keep off cold winds in the spring and also the sun. I think you are right so far; but when you say, give a covering of two or three inches of straw, would you not kill the grass as well as the weeds?
Mr. Burdick — That has not been my experience.
WEDNESDAY, 9 A. M. The convention met, with President Fratt in the chair.
J. M. Smith, of Green Bay, President of the State Horticultural Society, read a paper on the “ Elements of Success in Gardening."
On motion of Mr. Field, it was ordered that each person pres. ent be invited to make remarks upon the papers ; such remarks not to exceed five minutes to each speaker.
Mr. Wood -- As I have listened to this paper by President Smith in which he has given us an imaginary case, I have felt the essential truthfulness of the picture which he has drawn; and though he has termed it Mr. A. and Mr. B., we can find the parallels in our everyday life.
Now the aim of the address is evidently to awaken such feel. ings in men as shall induce them to make their homes so agree. able and pleasant that they will become attached to them, and