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Table showing the mean temperature in degrees Fahr. for each month of the year at
the stations specified, etc.-Continued.
Table showing the mean temperature in degrees Fahr. for each month of the year at
the stations specified, etc.-- Continued.
Dr. McMurtrie, in special report No. 28, has made a careful study of the climatic conditions in the United States favorable to the production of the sugar beet. Maps are given showing the southern limit of a mean temperature of 700 Fahr. for the three summer months, coupled with a minimum mean rainfall of 2 inches per month for the same period. The tables of temperature and rainfall from which these lines were computed are also given in detail. The observations made on the data collated are as follows:
“ We see from this that the sections of the United States most favorable to beet-root culture are confined to the North, including New England, New York, a narrow band south of the lakes, MichiThis map
gan, parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Dakota. Here the line of the southern limit passes into the British possessions and enters the United States again in Washington Territory, and crossing Western Oregon, passes to the coast to the extreme north of California. In most of this band we find a favorable temperature, and the average rainfall is sufficient in quantity, but we are unable to make any observations concerning the number of rainy days. In California, as the tables will show, the temperature is sufficiently moderate, but, from examination of the figures for the stations for which the rainfall has been recorded, we find it to be remarkably deficient. Here, in order to make the culture a success, it would appear that the intervention of irrigation during the summer months would be an absolute necessity.
“We also note a few counties in the southwestern portion of Pennsylvania, and one county in Ohio, without the general band, where suitable meteorological conditions seem to exist. These counties are surrounded by the red line in the more detailed map that has been prepared, showing the county lines near to or over which the line of the limit of favorable meteorological conditions passes. is intended for more ready reference for those who may contemplate establishing the culture in the sections in the near neighborhood of the line.
“Now, I do not mean to assert that the band of country I have thus plotted on the map is exclusively that in which the introduction of beet-root culture may be attempted with prospects of success, but it is certain that within this band the chances of success are greater than they are without it, and it also appears that all the unsuccessful attempts that have heretofore been made to establish the industry have been at points without it. It is therefore advisable that farmers or manufacturers who may design entering upon the prosecution of this industry should study with greatest care these influences which operate with so much benefit or injury upon the profit of the crop: It is evident from what precedes that the beet requires a cool or at least a moderate season for suitable progress in development, that it may not reach maturity in advance of the time for working it into sugar, and under the influence of the rains and elevated temperature of the autumn months enter into a second growth, thereby destroying the valuable constituents which render it so desirable as a sugar-producing crop. “In
this connection it has been suggested that in sections of protracted warm seasons, where the root will develop and attain full maturity in August and during the summer drought, the crop could be taken up before the appearance of the autumn rains, and by slicing and drying the roots preserve them until the arrival of the proper
This mode of procedure has in fact been recommended to the agriculturists of the south of France, and has, it has been stated, been the subject of experiment in Algeria. The method has the objection of being a rather precarious one on account of the chances of the crop being caught after a long-continued drought by late heavy summer showers that would prove almost as injurious as the autumn rains.
“After the directions given by Briem and others it is scarcely necessary to recapitulate here the meteorological conditions which appear
* The experiment of drying beets for preservation in Maine, in the fall of 1878, proved quite disastrous financially for those who engaged in the enterprise.
to be required by this culture, yet the conclusions arrived at from our study of the subject, in addition, may not appear superfluous. The conditions, then, are in general, comparatively dry and warm spring months during the time for preparation of the soil, planting, and cultivating the crop; moderate temperature, abundant and frequent rains during the summer months, the time for ultimate development of the crop and its valuable constituents; cool, dry fall, the time for ripening, harvesting, and storing the crop. If these conditions prevail, the results will be good; otherwise they will be but medium or even bad.” The amount of rainfall
necessary to the proper growth of sugar beets depends largely on the character of the soil, the mean temperature, and the degree of saturation with aqueous vapor of the prevailing winds. In the coast valleys of California, where the proximity of the sea preserves a low temperature through the summer, and where the porous soil permits the tap root of the beet to descend after moisture and moisture to ascend to the root, excellent beets are grown with little rain. The conditions would be entirely reversed in inland localities with high summer heats, stiff clayey soils, and arid winds.
In general, the amount of rainfall during the summer months in the Northern, Central, and Eastern United States is sufficient to secure a good growth, and therefore it may be said that proper soil and attention being provided, beet culture might be undertaken in such localities with little fear of disaster from drought, save in a few exceptional seasons.
In fact, with thorough under drainage and deep subsoil plowing, it would be possible to secure a good crop of beets in the regions indicated quite independently of the variation in the amount of rainfall.
The chief question, therefore, to be considered, is one of temperature and sunshine rather than of rainfall. In the present state of our knowledge it would not be safe to establish beet factories very far south of the mean isotherm of 70° Fahr. for the three summer months, without a more thorough study of the character of the beets produced than has heretofore been made. The possibility of finding localities south of this line, where sugar beets may be grown with profit, is not denied, but the necessity of further investigation is urgent. There are many places situated only a short distance south of this line where the soil, water supply, cheap fuel, and other local considerations supply peculiarly favorable conditions for beet culture, and in such places the industry would doubtless flourish, although the beet might not be quite as rich in sugar as when grown in a more northern locality. In all cases the length of the growing season should be sufficient for the complete maturity of the beet, and the freezing temperatures of winter should come sufficiently late to allow the beets to be safely harvested and covered.
REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF FORESTRY.
SIR: I have the honor to submit my fifth annual report upon the work of the Forestry Division.
With a new fiscal year increased appropriations have marked a new era for this Division, placing at its disposal for the first time funds sufficient to provide for following up in good earnest some special investigations. These funds became available, however, only a few months previous to the writing of this report, and since the arrangements for work were delayed for various reasons proposed methods and promises of results must as yet be discussed rather than the results themselves.
In the line of giving information in answer to requests by letter, the work of the Division has steadily grown. It is to be regretted that the information furnished on many topics is imperfect indeed, no means for acquiring it having hitherto been afforded, especially in the case of requests for statistics regarding timber supplies. The character of much of the correspondence of the Division is indicated by the following classified list of subjects of recent letters:
Statistics.--The loss of useful forest material by fire; present and future supply of white oak; lumber importations and duties; increase or decrease of forest area; soil, timber, and rivers of the Sioux Reservation; manufacture of short-leaved pine in Virginia and North Carolina; amount of long-leaved pine in Georgia and Florida; timber area in the United States and possibilities of exhaustion; area of standing hemlock in the United States and Canada; hard-wood products, markets, etc.; lumber industry of Florida; authors of works on forestry.
Technology.-Oaks suitable for cross ties and tan bark; method of preserving fence material; after treatment of wood when cut; effects of water seasoning upon holly; methods of preserving posts; quality of southern oak; comparative tests of northern and southern oaks; best material for railroad ballast and durability of various timbers in the roadbed.
Forest influences and forest policy.-Plan for seedling distribution; State purchase of land for forest purposes; State forestry legislation; advisability of a department for care of public grounds; repeal of timber-culture law; working of timber-culture law; precipitation before and after deforestation; maintenance of forest cover on mountain slopes; influence of forests and eucalyptus on malaria; protection of timber from fire by law; exemption of forest lands from taxation; artificial rainfall.
Forest planting.-(By regions.) Trees most likely to succeed in Texas; tree planting in Dakota; trees suitable for forest growth in Louisiana; experimental and mixed planting in Michigan; forest growth advisable for Colorado; forest trees for Dakota; growing forest trees from seed in arid regions; advisable mixture of trees for Texas; trees adapted to Arizona; trees suitable for the arid regions; trees for roadside planting; trees for grove planting in California; trees advised for Illinois; trees for street planting; suggestions on deciduous tree growth without irrigation; timber trees desirable for Minnesota; sea-coast planting; instructions for interplanting coniferous seedlings in Minnesota; pecan planting in Georgia; black walnut forest culture; English walnut and pecan culture in New Jersey; treatment of acacia seed in Arizona; treatment of juniper seed in Kansas; trees for shade and ornament in Florida; treatment in pole planting; availability of the ailanthus for Kansas; forest planting in Oregon; conifer seeding in Michigan; timber culture