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Upon reviewing the operations of the farm, including the dairy, and considering the benefits derived therefrom, the question arises “Do the farms pay?” Aside from the benefits derived by the inmates from out of door labor, it is loubtful if the farms are paying according to this year's reports. There is no doubt, however, that they can and should be made to pay.
The results from the gardens are generally satisfactory.
The dairy conditions appear to be the most unsatisfactory. It is shown that the total supply of milk produced the past year is nearly 300,000 quarts less than the minimum should be, resulting in a loss of nearly $9,000, In addition to the ordinary cost of producing milk during the past season, there has been expended for feed, independent of home product, $4,578.
There appears to be opportunity for obtaining better results from the farms and to do this several matters should be carefully considered.
The farmers should carefully study the nature and conditions of the soil, in order to determine for what crops it is best adapted, and then decide which crops are most profitable for them to
Beans, hard corn, carrots, hay, oats, onions and potatoes are always profitable crops. It does not appear that wheat can be raised profitably in the State of New York with the price of patent flour at $3.89 per barrel. (This was the quotation of the lowest bidder for supplying flour to the State institutions on February 15, 1906.) Wheat will not yield, upon the average, more than 20 bushels to an acre of land-value $20,000—while beans, which do not require rich soil, yield from 20 to 30 bushels to an acre—value $2 per bushel or $40 to $60 per acre. The raising of beans in larger quantities than at present is highly desirable. During the fiscal years 1904 and 1905, respectively, there were purchased by the institutions 2,586 bushels, costing $5,446.70, and 2,273 bushels, costing $4,282.48, while during the
same year there were raised at the institution farms a total of
only 1,050 bushels valued at $2,100; on this item alone a saving of $9,500 to the State would have been a very simple matter. The institutions that have farms should raise be:ins sufficient to supply the requirements of the other institutions.
Onions, also, are an important and valuable crop. They will yield from 300 to 500 bushels per acre, the value of which is 75 cents per bushel or $225 to $375 per acre. During the past fiscal year the total quantities raised at the institutions was 2,143 bushels.
With the exception of Sonyea and Rochester, a very small quantity of hard corn is raised. Rome and Bath report none. Corn is one of the most important crops that a farmer can raise as it is required for cows, hogs, horses and poultry.
Bath, Elmira, Rome and Sonyea lead on hog products, Elmira coming first with 37,387 pounds. The Elmira hogs were fed almost exclusively with refuse from the kitchens and tables, the only direct expense being 245 bushels of corn, costing $156.15. Rome came next with 25,198 pounds, but, at this institution there was expended for hog feed $1,469.22.
The value placed upon hog product by these two institutions is as follows: Elmira, $6.35 per hundred weight; Rome, 10 4-5 cents per pound; the latter appears to be an excessive valuation. Had the latter institution placed upon its pork product the same valuation as did Elmira, it would have been found that the cost was greater than the market value. Another fact to be taken into consideration in this connection is that Elmira had, at the close of the fiscal year, nearly double the number of hogs that Rome had, the former reporting 400 and the latter 222.
The reports from the various institutions show that the total loss from animals having died, as the result of accident or disease, was about $1,600. Sonyea suffered severely from the loss of sheep and lambs, the institution reporting their loss as due to a disease peculiar to sheep.
It would be of very great advantage to all of the institutions if their farmers would keep in touch with the agricultural experiment stations at Geneva and Ithaca; and, it is to be regretted that so few of them have availed themselves of the advantages that have been thus offered to those who are interested in agriculture and dairy products. Advice is freely given at these stations along all agricultural lines, especially in relation to profitable dairying, the use of spraying mixtures and other means of controlling injurious insects and fungi, the study of fertility and feeding problems, and aid given in the purchase of fertilizers and feeding stuffs.
TYPHOID EPIDEMIC AT SYRACUSE INSTITUTION.
During August and September the Syracuse State Institution for Feeble-Minded Children had a number of cases of typhoid fever, which resulted in one death out of twenty-three cases. This is the fourth epidemic of typhoid at this institution within the past fifteen years. The only theory advanced by the superintendent is that of food contamination by flies from two primitive water-closets located on the playground. To iny mind, this seems hardly a satisfactory theory in view of the fact that during the second week of the epidemic two of the inmates at the institution farm at Fairmount, five miles distant, were taken ill. The fol. lowing review of the epidemic is given by the board of managers in its annual report:
“Since the year 1889 a record has been kept of the diseases treated in the hospital. Within that period not a single year has passed but one or more cases of typhoid fever are found on record. At four different times the disease has taken on an
epidemic form. In 1891 there were twenty cases, in 1892 seventyfour, in 1900 twenty-one, and in the past year. 1905, twenty-three. In the years 1891 and 1892 the disease was reasonably attributed to the waters in use, the institution being then supplied by the Syracuse Water Company with water obtained from the watershed of a certain area at Onondaga Hill. It was collected in a large reservoir in the above locality and conducted therefrom through a pipe to a smaller reservoir about one-half mile distant from the institution. At that time the residents of this institution and of a neighboring one, “ The Shelter," were the only people in the city supplied with water from that particular reservoir, the inhabitants of the rest of the city obtaining water from another reservoir which was filled by pumping from Onondaga