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The Agricultural Experiment Station

Report Of The Director

To the President of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute:

The activities of the Agricultural Experiment Station are organized on a departmental basis, corresponding closely to the subject-matter departments of the School of Agriculture. In many cases, members of the station staff divide their time between teaching duties and experiment station work; and in a few cases they divide their time between extension duties and station work. Again, many members of the staff devote all their time to station work. The station organization includes the following departments: agricultural chemistry, agricultural economics and rural sociology, agricultural engineering, agronomy, animal husbandry, botany and plant pathology, dairy husbandry, entomology, home economics, horticulture, poultry husbandry, and zoology and animal pathology. Substations, which deal with local farming problems, are maintained in the following eight counties: Appomattox, Augusta, Caroline, Charlotte, James City, Nansemond, Pittsylvania, and Washington. The head of the agronomy department supervises the work at the substations. Field laboratories for studies of insect pests and diseases of orchard fruits are maintained at Winchester and Charlottesville, under the immediate supervision of the entomologist and plant pathologist.

The work of the station is handled on the basis of projects, each project representing a definite effort to find a solution for an important farming problem. During this year the program of work involved 125 separate projects dealing with a wide range of problems in the fields of crop production, orcharding, the care and management of livestock, and business and social questions as they pertain to rural life.

The scientific staff was strengthened during the year by the addition of several new members.

The library is used regularly by the members of the station staff and the agricultural branch of the library is a great convenience to the staff. The station assists every year in building up the branch library and during this year the station added to the library by purchase, 71 journals and 58 books, and bound 1,068 volumes of bulletins, journals and other useful material. There are now over 15,000 volumes in the branch library.

New equipment was added during the year, costing about $10,000. This equipment consisted of laboratory apparatus required for scientific investigations, spraying machinery, farm machinery and tools, scientific books and journals, office equipment, livestock and work animals, calculating machines for statistical investigations, and other items required for agricultural research. The additions to the equipment at the station have greatly improved the efficiency of the station’s work in all departments.

The station’s program of work went forward in a satisfactory way during the year. Projects, or parts of projects which were completed or brought to the stage of definite conclusions this year are shown by the list of publications included in this report. Several new projects were undertaken during the year, among which the most important were: the value of peanut meal as a source of protein in poultry feeding; the raising of chicks by the battery brooder; the cooking quality and palatability of soft pork; insect pests of the peach, including the peach moth and curculio; bovine coccidiosis; investigations of methods of improving pastures for beef cattle and dairy cows; management of the beef-cow herd; a study of stock share renting; case studies in rural community development; livestock marketing costs; the varying tolerance of codling moth to arsenic; the effects of lime and organic matter on the outgo of plant food elements from loam and sandy soils. A few minor projects were also undertaken.

The substation in Henry County was closed and a new substation was established in Washington County where special attention will be devoted to pasture investigations and to the growing of feed crops for livestock.

During the year the station cooperated with the several bureaus of the United States Department of Agriculture on twenty-one projects; with the stations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and North Carolina on one or more projects; with the University of Virginia on one project; with the State Department of Agriculture on several lines of work; and with numerous individuals in the state. Cooperation between our own departments is frequently resorted to in order to promote the best interests of the investigations.

When an investigation is completed, the results are published in some form best suited to serving a useful purpose. Results generally applicable to farm practice in the state are published in bulletins and distributed to persons known to be interested in the subject concerned. A general mailing list is no longer maintained; instead we maintain special mailing lists of fruit growers, dairymen, poultrymen, tobacco growers, and so on. This plan avoids the waste of sending publications to persons who are not interested in the subject dealt with in the bulletin. Each new publication is brought to the attention of the public through press notices and persons who are interested in it make special request for it. The more technical results are published in technical bulletins and journals. The following list gives the publications issued from the station during the year:


268—Taxes on Farm and Urban Real Estate in Virginia. By Roy A. Ballinger and Whitney Combs; 30 pages, 7 figures, 23 tables. September, 1929.

269—Soil Management Experiments with the Application of Fertilizers in Apple Orchards. By F. W. HofMann; 35 pages, 45 tables. March, 1930.

270—Life History of the Oriental Fruit Moth in Virginia. By LeRoy Cagle; 48 pages, 13 figures, 48 tables. May, 1930.

271—Stock Share Renting in Virginia. By Roy A. Ballinger; 54 pages, 5 figures, 18 tables. May, 1930.

272—Systems of Dairy Farm Management for the Richmond Milk Producing Area. By J. L. Maxton, R. S. Kifer and J. J. Vernon. (In press). About 96 pages, 21 figures, 41 tables. June, 1930.

273—The Negro Church in Rural Virginia. By C. Horace Hamilton and John M. Ellison; 40 pages, 7 figures. June, 1930.

274—Young Peoples’ Organizations in Relation to Rural Life in Virginia. By W. E. Garnett. (In press). About 80 pages, 25 figures, 12 tables. June, 1930.

Technical Bulletins

39—Studies on the Ox Warble Flies, Hypoderma Lineatum and Hypoderma Bovis, with Special Reference to Economic Importance and Control. By L. 1. Case; 12 pages, 2 figures, 6 tables. September, 1929.

40—A Study of Hibernation of the Corn Ear Worm in Virginia. By W. J. Phillips and Geo. W. Barber; 24 pages, 8 charts, 2 figures, 12 tables. November, 1929.

41—Feeding Hevea Rubber Seed Meal for Milk Production. By W. B. Ellett, C. W. Holdaway, J. F. Eheart, and L. D. Lasting; 12 pages, 10 tables. April, 1930.

Articles In Journals

Cagle, LeRoy, The Plum Cucurlio Outbreak in Charlottesville-Crozet Section of Virginia in 1929. Journal Economic Entomology, Vol. 23, pages 157-162. February, 1930.

Drinkard, A. W., Jr . Relationships and Needs in Rural Sociology from the Standpoint of Research. Publication American Sociological Society, Vol. 24, pages 212-214. May, 1930.

Hamilton, C; H., What the Church is Doing in Behalf of Rural Living Standards in Virginia. Bulletin of the V. P. I., Vol. 23, No.3, pages 111-123. January. 1930.

Hill, H. H., Plant Juice Clarification for Nitrate Nitrogen Determinations. Science, Vol. 71. page 540. May, 1930.

HofMann, Fred W., Profitable Application of Certain Fertilizers to Apple Orchards in Hagerstown Soil Series. Proceedings American Society for Horticultural Science 1929, pages 153-157. February, 1930.

HofMann, Fred W., Effects of Nitrogen, Phosphoric Acid, and Potash Applications on Yields and Circumference Growth in Ensembled Data from Cultivated Apple Orchards. Proceedings American Society for Horticultural Science 1929, pages 145-148. February, 1930.

Hough, W. S., Improving Our Spray Equipment. The American Fruit Grower Magazine, Vol. 50, pages 6 and 26. March, 1930.

Hough, W. S., Recent Developments in the Control of Spray Injury. Proceedings of the Maryland Horticultural Society, page 214- 221. January, 1930.

Hough, W. S., Results of Experiments to Control Spray Injury on Apples. Fruits and Gardens, pages 8-9. February, 1930.

Hough, W. S., Improved Equipment for Orchard Spraying. Report of the Thirty-sixth Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association, pages 108-117. January, 1930.

Hough, W. S., Results of Experiments to Control Spray Injury on Apples. Proceedings of Virginia State Horticultural Society for 1929, pages 143-147.

Hummel, B. L., Community Organization in Relation to Higher Standards of Living. Bulletin of the V. P. I., Vol. 23, No.3, pages 133-140. January, 1930.

Hummel, B. L., Looking Ahead in Rural Organization. Publication American Sociological Society, Vol. 24, pages 173-197. May, 1930.

Hurt, R. H., New Developments in Spray Materials. Proceedings Virginia State Horticultural Society for 1929, pages 158-169. December, 1929.

Peterson, Arthur G., Wheat and Corn Prices Received by Producers in Virginia, 1801-1928. Journal Economic and Business History, Vol. 2, pages 382-391. February, 1930.

Runnells, Russell A., The Histopathology of Cutaneous Nodules of Cattle. (Thesis at University of Michigan).

Runnells, Russell A . and L. S. Meriwether, Some of the Factors Involved in the Slide-Method Pullorum Test. Journal American Veterinary Medical Association. (New Series), Vol. 29, pages 643-647. 1930.

Schoene, W. J., Peach Insect Investigations Proposed for 1930. Proceedings Virginia State Horticultural Society for 1929, pages 71-74. December, 1929.

Schoene, W. J., Leafhopper Association on Apple. Journal Economic Entomology, Vol. 23, pages 177-182. February, 1930.

Public Service Rendered

From time to time members of the staff attend the various meetings of farm organizations and group meetings of rural people and make addresses pertaining to the results of the work of the station and thus carry these results directly to the people who can make use of them. This procedure has proved to be helpful to the people of the state and at the same time it serves the useful purpose of keeping the members of the staff in touch with the farming problems of Virginia.

Special help is rendered to the fruit growers of the state through the spray service furnished by the Extension Division based upon the experiments carried on by station workers in horticulture, entomology, and plant pathology both at the main station, and at the field laboratories. Thus the fruit growers receive the latest information for their guidance in spraying their orchards.

Extension workers and teachers of vocational agriculture are supplied promptly all the publications of the station.

Members of the station staff correspond with individual farmers in the state in response to requests for information on particular problems; about 18,000 letters were written this year.

Members of the staff assembled material for numerous press articles describing the results of experiments, and made a number of radio addresses on the work of the station.

Future Needs

Looking forward to the future needs of the station, it is clear that the enlargement of the scientific staff is the most important need. In many of the departments additional well-trained workers are urgently needed in order to serve properly the large agricultural interests of Virginia. Additional equipment is required from year to year.

Moreover, the laboratory and office space available is not now adequate for the most efficient service; and especially is this true as to the branch library. A fire-proof building should be provided as soon as possible to house the library, and to provide much needed office and laboratory space.

Respectfully submitted,

A. W. Drinkard, Jr., Director.