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had for its object the demonstration of the practicability of shipping fruits to foreign countries, fruits of more or less evanescent character, for example, peaches. There may be a glut of peaches in Georgia, and the markets of the United States may not be able to handle them. Many shipments have been made abroad with a view of demonstrating the practical character of the work. The same kind of work has been done in connection with apples, pears, and other fruit, resulting in securing practical information as to how fruit should be handled and packed and stored in order to reach its destination in the best shape, and to bring the highest price.
In spite of all that, there is an enormous loss of our fruits in storage and in transit, and one of our problems has been to work out the cause of the loss of such fruit.
For example, take apples grown in New York. We may gather them one day and put them in storage and they will keep a certain time. We may gather the same apples the next day and they will not keep nearly so well on account of the atmospheric conditions having been different. Apples grown on different soils or even on different parts of the same tree will keep differently. Then the manner in which the apple is brought into storage has its influence, and all those things apply not only to apples but to other fruits as well.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything in the way you gather the apples?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes; there is a good deal in that. We have carried this out with fruits like the apple and the pear and the grape, to a certain extent, but more especially with citrus fruits from the Pacific coast. That is a very long shipment and there are very heavy losses in transit. California ships about 30,000 carloads of citrus fruit every year, and the losses will range from fifteen to as high as forty per cent, depending on the time of year and the way the fruit is handled. There has been constant conflict between the railroad interests and the growers and the packers, the railroads claiming that the loss was due to the methods in which the packers handled the fruit, and the growers claiming that both packers and railroad people were not doing the work in the proper way.
Our object in taking up the work was to find out the real cause of the trouble and prevent it as far as we were able. We took up two years ago the shipment of oranges, and began our demonstrations right in the packing houses. It occurred to our expert that a considerable part of this loss was due to the handling of the fruit as it was taken from the tree. The orange, I may say, is clipped with a little apparatus something like a pair of scissors, with a sharp point. Mr. Powell, who was in charge of that work, called attention to the fact that much of the fruit coming into the packing houses had small wounds in the rind, caused by the clippers. The growers at first did not believe that there was much in the question of clipper-cut injuries.
Experimental boxes of clipper-cut injured fruit and fruit that was not injured were prepared and placed in a storage house where it would be under practically the same conditions as in a car going across the country. After a time the fruit was brought out, and in the presence of the packing house men the boxes were opened, and a 25 per cent loss of the clipper-cut injured fruit was found, while there was only a 2 per cent loss in the other fruit. That was the key
to the situation, and trial shipments were made and the results reported from time to time. To make a long story short, the orange growers and packers were satisfied that they must adopt some means to prevent the injuries in picking the fruit, and the remedy was a simple one, merely turning up the points of the clippers, and that resulted, as stated by a conservative man there, in saving them from three to four hundred thousand dollars worth of fruit alone. By the methods in handling introduced, losses in transit have been reduced $400,000 annually.
Injuries are produced in other ways. The oranges are gathered and brought to the packing houses, where they are run through machinery. One machine brushes the orange and another grades it. No special precautions had been taken to prevent bruises and slight injuries while the fruit was in transit through these machines, and improvements made have resulted in much saving from bruises and rot. The rots are caused by molds or fungi, the spores of which are always in the air. When once infected the fruit rots rapidly in the car where the temperature is high for a number of hours.
I could continue along this line if you so wished, but I have given vou a number of illustrations of the utilitarian purposes served by the Bureau.
The CHAIRMAN. You have given illustrations enough, so that they are typical?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes; they are typical. But I might mention one other line of work that may appeal to you, Mr. Chairman, although not directly because you do not grow any sugar beets in
your section. Practically all of the sugar beets grown in this country are from seed imported from France and Germany. The average sugar content of the beet is about 11 per cent for the whole country. If we could increase that only 2 per cent it would mean an enormous increase in the amount of sugar. We have been endeavoring to demonstrate the feasibility of growing our own sugar beet seed, and have had an expert stationed in Washington State, where the conditions are very favorable for growing the beet seed. We have produced seed there in the last two years that gave us an average of 22 per cent sugar.
This year we have about 15,000 pounds of seed that will give us an average above 19 per cent of sugar. Now, we shall take that seed and distribute it among the sugar beet factories, and they will distribute it among their growers, to be tested alongside of imported seed, so that we have direct comparisons. Where this seed was grown the gentleman who owns the farm has been producing seed commercially, and he has this year about 165,000 pounds. The value of the homegrown sugar-beet seed and methods introduced is estimated at $200,000 annually. That is the largest quantity of American-grown seed that has ever been produced, and he has sold every pound of it without any trouble. He is going more extensively into the work, and we want to continue the experimental phase of it until we grow every pound of our own beet seed in this country.
A still more striking piece of work has for its object the production of a beet seed that will give us only one plant from a seed. All beets grown, including our garden varieties, have a combined seed, a ball that gives six or seven plants. Now, when you plant that sort of seed
(Witnesses: Galloway, Zappone.)
you have to thin the plants, which is an expensive piece of work. Each seed will produce five or six plants, and you must take all out but one. If we can get a seed that will produce only one plant, that would eliminate the cost of thinning. We started our breeding work with a few seed that had but one germ, and we are now producing about 40 per cent of single-germ balls. We also breed for sugar content at the same time, and the results are very encouraging.
The CHAIRMAN. They have been produced commercially?
The CHAIRMAN. I see that Congress appropriated last year $168,000 for domestic seeds for Congressional distribution. I would like to have you state in a general way your view of that appropriation and its propriety and utility?
Doctor GALLOWAY. I have the matter in my mind somewhat differently.
Mr. ŽAPPONE. The full amount for Congressional seed distribution was $206,140. See page 131.
And for foreign seeds $37,780 was appropriated, making a total of $242,920.
Doctor GALLOWAY. Congress appropriates a total of $242,000, in round numbers, for the seed work as a whole. Of that amount $37,000 is specifically appropriated for foreign importations and work of that kind. Of the remaining amount we use about $63,000, in round numbers, for the building up of new industries in this country through the securing and distribution of new, rare, and uncommon domestic seeds and plants, and the remainder, about $135,000, we use wholly and exclusively for the purchase of miscellaneous varieties of vegetable and flower seed, putting them up in packets and packages, the same to be equally divided among Senators and Representatives.
The CHAIRMAN. That $135,000, then, represents seeds purchased in the market?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Seeds purchased in the market; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. There is nothing special or peculiar or unusual about that?
Doctor GALLOWAY. No, sir.
Doctor GALLOWAY. They are commercial seeds. I should say, however, that in getting these seeds we endeavor to get only those of high quality--that is, seeds that will grow; and we endeavor also to send the seeds into localities where they will be adapted to the soil and climatic conditions. But the seeds are of the kinds commonly found in the trade. The bulk seeds aggregate about thirty-five carloads.
We put them up into something like forty million packets, assemble these packets into about seven million packages, and assign to each Senator and Representative twelve thousand packages containing five packets each.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose you state right here what the seeds cost
when they are packed ready for delivery? That involves the cost of preparation and for delivery.
Doctor GallowAY. They cost $135,000. That includes everything.
The CHAIRMAN. The balance is the expense of putting up in packages?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes. We pay a contractor something like $37,000 for packeting, assembling, and mailing, furnishing all bags and packets, and doing all work of that kind connected with them.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any idea what it costs the Government for transportation to distribute that amount of seed through the mail?
Doctor GALLOWAY. It has been estimated somewhere, but I have not the figures in my mind now. It is four or five times more than the actual cost of the seed to us; that is, assuming that the seeds would have to be stamped; or do you mean the cost to the Post-Office Department in handling the seeds?
The CHAIRMAN. The actual cost.
The CHAIRMAN. And then the mailing cost would be another proposition.
Doctor GALLOWAY. I can not follow the seeds out of our own warehouse.
The CHAIRMAN. You never investigated the question as to what the actual expense to the Government was of this distribution !
Doctor GALLOWAY. That is easily ascertainable, because every year we make for the Post-Office Department a weighing of all the seeds that go out, so that it can be determined on the basis of the weight.
The CHAIRMAN. On the basis of the postage it is five or six times as much as the cost of the seeds?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes. It has been stated that the cost should be estimated on a basis of 5 cents per packet, or about $2,000,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Expense to the Government?
Doctor GALLOWAY. No; not expense to the Government. The statement means that much if the seed had to be bought at retail.
The CHAIRMAN. What they get retail ? Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes; it would amount to that. The CHAIRMAN. That is, if the people to whom these seeds are distributed bought these seeds in the way in which they are put out
Doctor GALLOWAY. And paid 5 cents a packet?
The CHAIRMAN. And paid 5 cents a packet, it would be $3,000,000 or $4,000,000.
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes; 40,000,000 packets; it would be $2,000,000.
The CHAIRMAN. So far as the $135,000 is concerned, that is entirely different from the proposition of distributing rare varieties?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. The Government simply goes into the market and buys a lot of seed?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And then turns it over to the Congressmen and Senators who distribute it?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. And the only advantage that a person who uses these seeds has over a person buying them on the market is the advantage of the supervision by the Department of Agriculture over the quality of the seed?
Doctor GALLOWAY. He will sometimes get a variety that is not common in his section, that he could not get unless he sent away for it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is incidental, however!
The CHAIRMAN. Why should the Government distribute seed any more than any other thing?
Doctor GALLOWAY. I do not know that it should.
Doctor GALLOWAY. My own view is that the plan of distributing ordinary varieties of garden seed should be abandoned, and in lieu thereof we should devote our energies to securing, by introduction and breeding, new seeds and plants, and place them in a way to build up American agriculture and agricultural industries.
The CHAIRMAN. Not so much in the line of furnishing a man all the seeds he needs?
Doctor GALLOWAY. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. But furnishing a good sample so that he can use it?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Samples.
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes; to illustrate: We have been engaged for some time in developing strains of very high-grade tobaccos, strains that can not be obtained from seedsmen, because they have not gone into the details of selecting for certain special purposes. We have the seed of that tobacco and can place it in the hands of reputable men who will give it a fair trial, who will test it and compare it with the ordinary seeds. And so with other crops.
For a number of years we have been experimenting with cotton. We have secured some very valuable types of cotton which we have distributed in the Southern States, and those types have added a great deal to the value of agriculture in those sections.
The CHAIRMAN. How about these foreign seeds; are they simply a commercial proposition ?
Doctor GALLOWAY. No, sir. The Japanese matting rush is one of these propositions, and the durum wheat is another.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a question of new varieties?
The CHAIRMAN. And the introduction of new agricultural products?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes. Under that fund we have a man now in Manchuria who is getting grain from the colder regions of Manchuria for the colder regions of this country. He is not only securing grains and cereals, but he has sent in already some 400 or 500 lots