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struction of the battery I refer to the report of Mr. Edson. In regard to its working in general, I may say that it was a total failure, both as to economy of power and success of extraction. The financial difficulties which were met with by the company during the year were at. tributed largely to the use of this battery. The evaporating apparatus in use at Douglass was of first-class quality and arranged in a practical manier. The system of clarification tanks, double effects, and strike pan was as gooil as could be desired for sugar-making purposes. Bad the company adopted the system of diffusion erected by the Department at Fort Scott, there is erery reason to believe that even during the first season it would have paid all expenses and made a reasonable profit. The attempt to introduce a new and untried system on a large scale shows the danger which too often besets the introduction of a new enterprise. The promoters of such an enterprise, not satisfied wi what has been accomplished, attempt to follow new paths, which often lead to unknown and unwished for localities. It is best in any enterprise to accept what has been proved of value and not jeopardize the success of a commercial undertaking by introducing in its place a kind of experiment, which, failing, wonkil destroy all prospects of success. As will be seen by the analytical tables accompanying the Douglass report, the crop was of fair quality, showing about the average percentage of sucrose developed in Kansas during the last two or three years. The soil on which most of the crop was raised was somewhat richer in vegetable matter and contained less sand than the soil at Conway Springs. The climatic conditions of the two places were so nearly identical as to make apparently but little difference; yet it must be conceded that at Douglass the hot dry winds produced less effect than at Conway Springs. There did not appear to be the same drying up of the juice, which may account to some extent for the percentage of sucrose thereiu being less. The agricultural results, however, were of the most encouraging nature, showing that in this locality a crop of sorghum cane can be grown which, with proper treatment, may be expected to yield from 80 to 90 pounds of sugar per ton of clean cane. Not only were the actual results rendered wfavorable by the kind of battery employed, but, aside from this, for some reason the centrifugals used proved to be wholly inadequate to the severe task imposed upon them. The drying of sorghum sugar is at best a difficult task, and only the best approved centrifugal apparatus should ever be employed for this purpose. IIad the battery at Douglass worked successfully much delay would have been experienced in the manufacture of the crop by the imperfections above noted in the centrifugal machines.
EXPERIMENTS AT STERLING, KANS.
At the very beginning of my connection with the experiments in the manufacture of sugar from sorghum I realized the importance of improv
ing the quality of inc cane to be used. Iu Bulletin No. 3, page 107, I made the following statements:
The future success of the industry depends on the following conditions, viz:
(1) A careful selection and improvement of the seed with a view of increasing the proportion of sucrose.
(2) A definition of geographical limits of successful culture and manufacture.
IMPROVEMENT BY SEED SELECTION.
I am fully convinced that the Goverument should undertake the experiments which have in view the increase of the ratio of sucrose to the other substances in the juice. These experiments, to be valuable, must continue onder proper scientific direction for a number of years. The cost will be so great that a private citizen will hardly be willing to undertake the expense.
The history of the improvement in the sugar beet should be sufficient to enconrage all similar efforts with sorghum.
The original forage beet, from which the sugar beet has been developed, contained only 5 or 6 per cent. of sucrose. The sugar beet row will average 10 per cent.* of sucrose. It seems to ine that a few years of careful selection may secure a similar improvement in sorghum.
It would be a long step toward the solution of the problem to secure a sorglum that would average, tield with field, 12 per cent. sucrose and only 2 per cent. of other sugars, and with such cane the great difficulty would be to make sirup and not sugar. Those varieties and individuals of each variety of cane which slow the best analyt¡cal results should be carefully selected for seed, and this selection continued until accidental variations become hereditary qualities in harmony with the well-known principles of descent.
If these experiments in selection could be made in different parts of the countay, and especially the various agricultural stations and colleges, they would bave additional value and force. In a country whose soil and climate are as diversified as in this, results obtained in one locality are not always reliable for another,
If some unity of action could in this way be established among those engaged in agricultural research, much time and labor would be saved and more valuable results be obtained.
In a summary of the methods which I had advocated for the improvement of the sorghum plant, I said in an address before the National Sugar Growers' Association in Saint Louis, in February, 1887:
Finally, our experiments have taught us that after all the mechanical difficulties which bave been enumerated in the manufacture of sugar from sorghum have been overcome, the industry can not become commercially successful until the scientitic agronomist succeeds in producing a sorghum plant with a reasonably high and uniforin content of sucrose and a minimum of other substances. This work is peculiarly the function of our agricultural experiment stations. In beet sugar-producing countries the production of the seed for planting is a distinct branch of the industry. So,
* In the six years that havo pąsscu siuce the above was written the sugar beet hias been still further improved and its mean percentage of sucrose now amounts to per. haps 12,
too, it must be with sorghum. A careful scientific selection of the secils of those plants showing the best sugar-producing qualities, their proper planting and cultivation, a wise choice of locality and soil, a proper appreciation of the best methods of culturo, these are all factors which must be taken into consideration in the successful solution of the problem.
It was with this purpose in view that I made the arrangements with the Sterling Sirup Company by which the Department assumed control of the experiments which they had commenced in the cultivation of different varieties of sorghum. At the time this arrangement was made, viz, in the latter part of July, Mr. A. A. Denton was already in charge thereof for the Sterling Sirup Company, and he was appointed to continue in general charge under the direction of the Department. It was arranged with Mr. Denton that the general line of research should be such as is indicated in the above statements of the purposes in view. The chemists who were sent to take charge of the analytical work were instructed to co-operate with Mr. Denton in such a way as to secure favorable results and to make such suggestions as wight seem valuable in the details of the work. Mr. Denton was requested to make a general study of the growth of the different varieties and of the habits of each one with reference to its fitsess as a sugar plant. The most promising individuals of each variety were to be selected for experimental purposes, and those showing the big hest content of sucrose with the lowest content of other substances were to be preserved for future planting. The able manner in which Mr. Denton accomplished this work, assisted by the chemists of the Department, will be found in his detailed report. I regard it of the highest importance to the future success of the industry that the line of work thus commenced by the Department should be continued.
One great difficulty with which we have to content is in the character of the appropriations made for the experimental work. I have called attention to this difficulty in former reports, and I wish to emphasize the matter here. The fiscal year in all Government affairs begins on the 1st of July. For investigations in agriculture no more unfortunate beginning of the year could be selected. On the 1st of July it is too late to commence experiments for that season; if these experiments be postponed till the next season arrangements can be made for their continuation only up to the 1st of the next July, and thus they have to be stopped before they are well begun. The difficulty is extremely mani. fest in the present instance, The wisdom and value of continuing the experiments at Sterling last year will be denied by no one. Abundant funds are left over from the present year's appropriation to continue the experiments for another season; it is, however, unwise to make any arrangements for such work, since no part of it, except that which will be let out by contract, could be continued after the 1st of July, 1889. You thus find your hands tied, as it were, by the unfortunate disposition of the experimental year which has to begin and end with the fiscal year. To avoid this difficulty, which has been one of the greatest causes of the disasters which have attended our experiments with sorghum, I earnestly recommend that all appropriations for field and manufacturing experiments in agricultural matters be made to take effect from the 1st of January each year justead of the 1st of July.
POINTS TO BE CONSIDERED IN BUILDING A FACTORY.
It is of the utmost importance, both for the individuals and the industry, that intending investors in the sugar business should carefully consider the problem presented to them in all its forms. Failure is not only a personal calamity but a public one in that it deters capital from investment in an industry which, properly pursued, gives promise of a fair interest on the money invested.
Soil and climate.The importance of soil and climate has already been discussed. In the light of present experience it must be conceded that a soil and climate similar to those of southern and western Kansas are best suited to the culture of sorghum for sugar-making purposes. Further investigations may show that Texas and Louisiana present equally as favorable conditions, but this yet awaits demonstration. Conditions approximately similar to those mentioned can doubt. less be found in Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and other locali. ties. The expectations which were entertained and positively advocated a few years ago of the establishment of a successful sorghum industry in the great maize fields of the country must now be definitely aban. doned. He who would now advise the building of a sorghum-sugar factory in northern Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, or Wisconsin would either betray his ignorance or bis malignity. A season of manufacture, reasonably certain for sixty days, is an essential condition to success in the manufacture of sorghum sugar. Early frosts falling on cane still inmature, or a freezing temperature on ripe cane followed by warm weather, are alike fatal to a favorable issue of the attempt to make sugar. Sober and careful men will not be misled by the claims of the enthusiast, by the making of a few thousand pounds of sugar in Minnesota, by the graining of whole barrels of molasses in Iowa. Four or five million acres of land will produce all the sugar this country can con. sume for many years and these acres should be located where the cli. matic couditions are most favorable. During the past season sorghum cane matured as far north as Topeka, but in 1886 the cane crop at Fort Scott was ruined by a heavy frost on the 29th of September, and in 1885 a like misfortune happened at Ottawa, Kans., on the 4th of October. These interesting facts show that these points are on the extreme northern limits of safety for sorghum sugar making, and the region of success will be found to the south and west of them.
Natural fertility of soil must also be considered as well as favorable climate. The sandy pine lands of North Carolina can not hope to compete with the rich prairies of south western Kansas and the Indian Territory. Indeed, in my opinion, the last-named locality should it ever be opened to white settlers, is destined to be the great center of the
sorglum-sugar industry; nevertheless, those who plant the virgin soils of this great southwestern cmpire must remember that to always take and never give will tire the most patient soils, and a just return should be annually made to the willing fields. A judicious fertilization, rotation of
crops, and rest will not only preserve the natural fertility of the fields but give even a richer return in the improved quality of the cave and the greater tonnage secured. Perhaps the most sensible solution of the problem of the disposition of the waste chips will be found in re turning them to the soil. These chips have a positive manurial value in the nitrogen they contain, while their merely physical effect on the soil may prove of the highest importance.
Water supply.—The misfortunes which have attended many attempts in the manufacture of sugar by diffusion by reason of an imperfect or insufficient water supply are a sufficient warning on this subject to the careful student. Notonly should the water supply be abundant and easily accessible, but the portion of it at least which is to be used in the bat. tery should be as pure as possible. The presence of carbonate of lime and some other carbonates in water is not injurious, but the evil effects of a large amount of other kinds of mineral matter are shown in the data from Conway Springs. When the supply of water is insuficient it has been customary to use ponds for receiving the waste from the factory, so that it may be used again. This method is applicable if care be taken to prevent organic matters, scums, etc., from entering the water supply. In case this precaution is not taken the operator of the factory may find himself in the condition in which the Department was placed in its first experiments at Ottawa and Fort Scott in being compelled to use water foul and putrescent. It is scarcely safe to rely upon a well for a supply of water, especially if it has to be sunk to any depth. Where pumping machinery must be placed many feet below the surface, as in the cramped condition which attends its erection in a well, serious difficulties may arise from the machinery getting out of order, and a great loss of energy may ensue from the necessity of liftiug the water to a great height. In all cases where it is possible a running stream of water should be selected for the supply, and the factory should be placed conveniently near its banks. The importance of this matter is emphasized the more when it is considered that the most favorable localities for sugar making, as indicated by the present state of our knowledge, are situated in regions where the water supply is notably deficient. Yet it must be admitted that even in southern and western Kansas it will not be difficult to find localities for the erection of sugar factories where the water supply is certain and abundant. In the light of past experience it is not probable that any further mistakes will be maile in this direction. Careful estimates should be made of the quantity of water required, and absolute certainty should be secured of the supply of that amount of water, and even of a much greater amount in cases of emergency. The only safety will be found in some such plan as this.