1919 Farm Journal Illustrated Rural Directory Of
Genesee County, Michigan
Lime on the Farm


By Holice, Clayton, and Debbie



The use of line on the farm is growing every year. the farmer who uses it finds it pays and uses more; then his neighbor tries it with the same experience. Agricultural Experiment stations have proven its value in records of results over periods of years. All reports agree that the necessity of its presence in the soil is second only to drainage.

Where line is lacking in the soil, it is a waste to supply other fertilizers or even manure, because the full benefit of their application is only attained when the soil if sweet--has a plentiful lime supply. The more green or stable manure put on, the more fertilizer applied, the greater the need of lime, for the decay of anyof these in their change to plant food forms and tends to soil acidity.

All legumes thrive in soils well supplied with lime. Legumes such as alfalfa, red clover, soy beans, etc., are plants having power to take nitrogen from the air; and since the bacteria necessary to their growth will not thrive where lime is lacking, lime becomes the indirect means of supplying nitrogen necessary to all plants.

Not only legume crops are benefited by the application of lime, but corn, oats, wheat, fruit trees, etc. Experiments at Wooster show a net increase for line of more than $20 per acre in a five-year rotation.

Old pastures should be top-dressed with carbonate of line, two to four tons per acre will not hurt. Lime not only adds to the abundance and quality of the grass, but also is of value from a sanitary point, helping destroy germs of infectious diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, hog cholera, etc.

Lime may be had in Ohio in several forms: Lump caustic, ground caustic, hydrated, and ground raw limestone. Lump caustic should be air-slaked before applying tot he soil. Hydrated lime is the caustic line sufficiently slaked with water to take away much of the undesirable qualities in handling, and in the process it is reduced to a fineness which makes it quickly available to do its work in the soil.

Ground limestone, or carbonate of lime, is the raw rock ground or pulverized. In it, fineness is especially desirable.

Limestone quarried or mined in some sections differs in analysis from that of other sections, but the basis of all is calcium carbonate.

All cultivated soil sooner or later needs an application of lime in one or the other of its forms, and the farmer who recognizes this fact and supplies the need will find it profitable. But it is important to remember that lime should never be applied so that it will come into direct contact with manure or nitrogenous fertilizers. Use it at a different time, or in such a way that the two will not mix.


When a man begins to think of testing his cows and keeping a record of them, he is getting on higher ground. Without recording the length of time a cow is in milk, her total milk production and its fat content, no man is able to build up a great and paying herd. Theuse of the Babcock milk-testing machine may be learned by anybody. It is a centrifugal machine which holds annealed glass bottles that are carefully gauged and with measurements marked on their necks. The process was invented by Prof. S. M. Babcock, who gave it to the world without patenting it to make money for himself, and it has made millions of dollars for dairymen.

To test milk, first carefully stir in from the bottom up, or pour it from pail to pail, but do not churn it. this is to mix it well and so get a true sample. As soon as it is quiet, suck up into the mile pipette more than enough to cover the mark, 17.5 centimeters (c.c.), cap the end with the finger and slowly let the milk drip out until its upper level agrees with the mark. Then pipe it into one of the bottles of the machine, where it will be safe from change, if needful, for a week.

If the test is to be made at once, pipe in a similar amount of sulphuric acid, taking care not to get it on the hands or clothes, as it is a powerful acid. When putting it into the milk, let it flow down the inside of the bottle and not run directly into the milks, as this will blacken or born the curd and prevent a clear reading. Acid and milk should be at 60 degrees temperature to produce clear readings. Buy acid with a specific gravity of about 1.82. As soon as the acid is added, take the bottle by the neck and gently swirl the contents until they be fully dissolved. Then close the machine, and whirl the samples for give minutes at a speed of 700 to 1,200 revolutions per minute. Next, fill each bottle to the base of the neck with hot water and whirl for two minutes more. Then fill to about the seven per cent mark and repeat the whirling for two minutes. The measuring of the fat must be made while the sample is hot. Measure from the top of the curved upper level. If the fat extends from 0 to 4 in the neck there if just four per cent fat, or four pounds of fat in too pounds of the milk. If it should run from 2 to 7, the amount if five per cent. The scale is graduated so that tenths of pounds are as easily read as full pounds. A little practice with the machine will readily make any boy an expert in its use.

When testing milk it must not be forgotten that the fat contents do not measure the exact butter production. For instance, if milk is four per cent fats it should make about four and one-half pounds of butter, because in all butter there is some water, salt and minute parts of other things like ash. If there was not loss in churning and the overrun were just sixteen per cent (the law forbids it to be more), the amount would be four and sixty-four one hundredths pounds. The butter maker who is getting but 109 or 110 pounds of butter form 100 pounds o fats is not doing as well as he should. The loss of fats in the churning should never exceed one and one-half per cent in the buttermilk, and may be less.

Any dairyman who does not own and operate a good Babcock milk tester and keep records of allof his individual cows, should not complain if his purse tell shim that "farming doesn't pay," for in all untested herds are cows that eat up the profits which should go to the owner.


FUNGICIDES--Bordeaux mixture is made by taking three pounds of sulphate of copper, four pounds of quicklime, fifty gallons of water. To dissolve the copper sulphate, put it into a coarse cloth bag and suspend the bag in a receptacle partly filled with water. Next, shake the line in a tub, and strain the milk of line thus obtained into another receptacle. Not get some one to help you, and with buckets, simultaneously pour the two liquids into the spraying barrel or tank. Lastly, add sufficient water to make fifty gallons. It is safe to use this full-strength Bordeaux on almost all foliage--except, perhaps,. on extra tender things, such as watermelon vines, peach trees, etc. For these it is wiser to use a half-strength mixture.

FORMALIN--This is also called formaldehyde, and may be purchased at drug stores. Its principal use is to treat seed potatoes to prevent "scab". Soak the whole seed for two hours in a mixture of one-half pint formalin and fifteen gallons of cold water; dry the seed, cut, and plant into ground that has not recently grown potatoes.

BORDEAUX COMBINED WITH INSECT POISON--By adding one-quarter pound of Paris green to each fifty gallons of Bordeaux, the mixture becomes a combined fungicide and insecticide. Or, instead of Paris green, add about two pounds of arsenate of lead. The advantage of arsenate of lead over Paris green are, first, it is not apt to burn foliage even if use in rather excessive quantities; and, second, it "sticks" to the foliage, etc., better and longer.

INSECTICIDES--ARSENATE OF LEAD--this is the best insecticide for chewing insects, and is for sale by seedsmen. Use about two pounds in fifty gallons of water.

WHITE HELLEBORE--this, if fresh, may be used instead of Paris green in some cases--worms on currant and gooseberry bushes, for instance. (It is not such a powerful poison as the arsenites, and would not do so well for tough insects such as potato-bugs.) Steep two ounces in one gallon of hot water, and use as a spray.

FOR SUCKING INSECTS--Now we come to another class of insecticides, suited to insects which suck a plant's juice but do not chew. Arsenic will not kill such pests; therefore we must resort to solutions which fill by contact.

KEROSENE EMULSION--One-half pound of hard or one quart of soft soap; kerosene, two gallons; boiling soft water, one gallon,. If hard soap is used, slice it fine and dissolve it in water by boiling; add the boiling solution (away from the fire) to the kerosene, and stir or violently churn for from five to eight minutes, until the mixture assumes a creamy consistency. If a spray pump is at hand, pump the mixture back upon itself with considerable force for bout five minutes. Keep this as a stock. It must be further diluted with water before using. One part of emulsion to fifteen parts of water, is about right for lice.

CARBOLIC ACID EMULSION--Made by dissolving one pound of hard soap or one quart of soft soap in a gallon of boiling water, to which one pint of crude carbolic acid is added, the whole being stirred into an emulsion. One part of this is added to about thirty-five parts of water and poured around the bases of he plants, about four ounces per plant at each application, beginning when the plants are set out and repeated every week or ten days until the last of May. Used to fight maggots.

WHALE-OIL SOAP SOLUTION--dissolve one pound of whale-oil soap in a gallon of hot water, and dilute with about six gallons of cold water. This is a good application for aphis (lice) on trees or plants. For oyster-shall or scurvy scale use this spray in May or June or when the tiny scale lice are moving about on the bark.

TOBACCO TEA--Take five pounds of tobacco stems in a water-tight vessel, and cover them with three gallons of hot water. Allow to stand several hours; dilute the liquor by adding about seven gallons of water. Strain and apply. Good for lice.

LIME-SULPHUR MIXTURE-- Slake twenty-two pounds of fresh lump lime in the vessel in which the mixture is to be boiled, using only enough water to cover the lime. Add seventeen pounds of sulphur (flowers or powdered), having previously mixed it in a paste with water. Then boil the mixture for about an hour in about ten gallons of water, using an iron but not a copper vessel. Next add enough more water to make, in all, fifty gallons. Strain through wire sieve or netting, and apply while mixture is still warm. A good, high-pressure pump is essential to satisfactory work. Coat every particle of the tree. This is the standard San Jose scale remedy, although some orchardists prefer to use the soluble oil sprays now on the market.

PYRETHRUM, OR PERSIAN INSECT POWDER--It may be dusted on with a powder bellows when the plants are wet; or one ounce of it may be steeped in one gallon of hot water, and sprayed on the plants at any time. It is often used on flowers, in greenhouses, on vegetables, etc.

BISULPHUR OF CARBON--this is used to kill weevils in beans and peas, etc. it comes in liquid form and maybe had of druggists. When exposed to the air it quickly vaporizes into a poisonous and explosive gas which is heavier than air and which will destroy all insect life. (Caution--Do not inhale the vapor, and allow no lights near.)

Tobacco stems, tobacco dust, lainit, soot, freshly-slaked lime, dust, etc., are often used as insect preventives--in the soil around plants to keep away grubs, worms and maggots, or dusted on to discourage the visits of cucumber bugs, etc. (Note--the first four are excellent fertilizers as well as insect preventives.)

Crows and blackbirds frequently pull up planted corn. The best preventive is to tar the seed, as follows: Put the seed into a pail and pour on enough warm water to cover it. Add a teaspoonful of coal-tar to a peck, and stir well. Throw the seed out on a sieve or in a basket to drain, and then stir in a few handfuls of land plaster (gypsum), or air-slaked lime.

A NEW FUNGICIDE-- Some orchardists are now using the following self-boiled lime-sulphur spray, instead of Bordeaux, claiming that it is less liable to spot or burn fruit, and foliage. Put eight pounds of unslaked lump lime in a barrel; add enough water to cover. When the lime begins to heat, throw in eight pounds of flowers of sulphur. Constantly stir and gradually pour on more water until the lime is all slaked; then add the rest of the water to cool the mixture. About fifty gallons of water in all are required. Strain. Two pounds of arsenate of lead may be added, if desired, to the finished mixture, which then becomes a combined fungicide and insecticide, and may be used in the same manner as advised for Bordeaux-arsenate of lead. (Special Note--The self-boiled mixture is not the same as the lime-sulphur advised for San Jose scale, which is too strong for trees in foliage.)

If you do not care to bother with making spraying mixtures at home, they can be purchased, already prepared, of seedsmen. For only a few trees or plants, the extra cost of these factory mixtures is not great.



Published By Wilmer Atkinson Company, Philadelphia, 1919

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