ENSILAGE AND SILOS. Since the intro duction of ensilage into the United States, its im portance and value, especially to the dairyman, was early and carefully examined. Year by year its value came more and more to be acknowledged until now there are few who have tried it but testify to its economy and value. The writer, as long ago as 1869, eight years before other attempts had been made in the United States to preserve green fodder in pits, succeeded perfectly m so preserving beet tops. In November of that year a pit was dug eight feet square and deep, in stiff clay upon a knoll where there was uo danger of seepage of water. Into this the beet tops were thrown and tramped down thoroughly and constantly while being filled. The pit was filled and the material piled up about three feet above the surface. Two feet of earth was then thrown over all and the whole again carefully tramped. When settled, in a few days, additNnal earth was cast on, well beaten down, and the pit was then left until the middle of February. Upon being opened, the ensilage was found blackened somewhat next the upper sides of the pit, and on the top it was blackened for about four inches in depth. This of course hermetically sealed the remainder, and it came out' in perfect condition—what the German workmen on the farm sailed "wine sour." The stock to which it was fed ate it greedily. This crude effort, therefore, demonstrated the fact that fodder could thus be measurably well saved. Previous to this time, however, M. Goffert had experimented in France. In 1873 he obtained' real success. In 1876 Mr. Francis Morris, of Maryland, bricked up three silos inside his stone barn, each ten feet deep, four feet wide, and twenty-four feet long, It was filled by tramping during the filling. If the silo had been a single pit, it would have been better. Nevertheless, the inference is, it was fairly successful, since the record shows that although some animals refused it at first, yet when once tasted all farm animals consumed it. These two experiments, therefore, may be considered as the first success ful attempts in the United States to cure fodder in its green state. The experiment of Mr. Periam, of Illinois, in 1869, is undoubtedly the first fairly successful attempt, either in Europe or America. this time, the saving of ensil age in pits, has been constantly improved on, both in the cost of the silo and the labor of pre paring and putting in the crop. Within the last three years, the extension of silos, especially in the East and West, has been wonderfill ; and in the South this means of saving forage for winter is also receiving attention, especially m Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. In the East many expensive structures have been erected and costly appliances used. In the West, so far, wooden silos with double walls have given the best satisfaction. It has come now also to be generally conceded that Indian corn is the cheap est fodder, and when cut into one-inch lengths, at the time when the small ears produced by thick planting are in the stage where glazing of the kernel has taken place, the most satisfactory results are reached. Many practical men have also found that partially wilted corn is better than that containing the full amount of sap, and also that filling from time to time to allow set tling, allowing the heat of the silo to rise to 130° to 140° Fahrenheit, destroys bacterial germs that, in the presence of air, may cause putrefactive degeneration, one of the most dangerdus forms that can attack ensilage. This, however, is only the case where the cruder forms of silos are erected. In England, fair success has been at tained in stacking green fodder compactly in the open air, and weighting the whole heavily.., The mild, moist climate there seems to prevent undue access of air to the stack. In the United States this means cannot be used, since our strong autumn winds and dry atmosphere will act against success. Ensilage is a French word, the mean ing being to.preserve watery foods by compress ing in air-tight pits to prevent access to air, and hence undue fermentation. The French word, silo, is the place for holding these substances. The canning or putting any substance in sealed jars, for preserving green fruits or vegetables, is simply a most perfect manner of saving such foods Hence the soldered can or sealed jar may be called a miniature silo, and the product ensil age. It is not necessary to enter further into an argument to prove the value of ensilage. It has proved itself to be most valuable. In the East, silos of stone or brick seem yet to be the rule. In the West, wooden silos meet with most favor. However built, we advocate that it should com municate directly with the feeding stable, and if the lay of the land is right, the preference would be that it may be eight feet below and four to six feet above ground.. Above this may 1,e a per manent roof, and a room for storage of many things when the silo is not being filled. In this case the upper portion may be banked against with the excavated earth. On the side next the stable should be double doors, as security against frost, for ease in emptying the silo, and inside all should be planks, fitting into an imset or groove, removable at pleasure, as the ensilage is taken out. It is also preferable, ire think, that the bottom be water tight, with a drainage pipe, coo formed, with the outer end open to the air. The sides should be of stone or brick, laid in water cement, and strong enough to resist the pressure of the ensilage. smoothly plastered within. The superstructure may be of timber and lumber. The ensilage will weigh about fifty pounds per pubic foot. Thus the dimensions of the silo will be easily calculated for the desired number of cattle to be fed. The simplest silos of wood have been estimated as low as fifty cents per ton, and the more elaborate as high as five dollars .per ton of .material contained. Any ma terial that Stock will eat in summer makes good ensilage for winter—clover, alfalfa, millet, Hun garian grass, sorghum] etc.—but when the large leafy Southern corn will mature to come into roasting ears before frost, this will be found the cheapest material. Any material, however, is bet ter when so nearly ripe as to contain its normal of sap ; corn, for instance, at that time when the grain is fairly glazed. Opinions vary as to the relative value'per acre as between ensil age and the ,dry product. Mr. Hiram Smith,
of Wisconsin, than whom there are few more practical men, after using ensilage for dairy cows, believes in it, and believes in corn for this purpose. He puts it in the silo just when the corn begins to glaze. The proper length for cutting the writer believes to be in one-inch lengths, using buts and all of the corn. The corn ensilage is estimated all the way up to 80 or 40 per cent. above the value of corn cut up and dried. The relative value of other material is estimated lower and lower until we come to clov er, which shows a relatively small per cent. of value ensilaged, over the crops cut and cured dry in the best possible manner. But then it must be remembered, that perfectly cured clover is the most digestible of fodder crops, and curing with out loss is most difficult. Siloing is undoubtedly the cheapest as it is the best means of securing arc coarse fodders, like Indian corn and the larger growths of the Sorghum tribe. In relation to the value of ensilage East, the following is re ported as coming from Hon. George B. Loring, ex-Commissioner of Agriculture of the United States, and whose home is in Massachusetts; I know of six silos in my immediate vicin ity at Salem. I think they all give perfect satis faction. They have been in use from four to seven years. They are esteemed more and more highly as time goes on, and none so far as I know have been abandoned. The users of ensilage have made no other change of feeding than is involved in a new system. The cultivation of corn for ensilage has undoubtedly improved since the system of silos was first adopted. It is found that immature corn fodder and frost-bit ten stalks do not make good ensilage. The corn grown in this section is the white Virginia corn which grows to great height and size. It is the best plant known to me for ensilage pur poses, and, according to my judgment and expe rience, far excels green rye or clover, or any other crop. Of the economy of the silo for those who are engaged in feeding cattle during the winter months, for any purpose whatever, there can be no douht. The adoption of the silos constitutes an era in the agriculture of this country. Ensilage should be fed morning and evening with a supply of grain, the intermediate feed at noon being hay. 'It is a good substitute for roots, of which I have fed large quantities ; and while it preserves the health of the animals it increases in milch cows the flow of milk. I suppose ten acres of well-grown corn ensilage will feed forty cows in the way I have suggested through the winter months—if it is well culti vated and of a good variety. A silo well man aged makes all the difference to the farmer between consuming his entire hay-crop and hav ing hay to sell. A silo built of wood is better than a silo built of stone and cement ; and if it is placed in the bays of the barn, and built from the cellar bottom to the plates it can be con structed with great economy." This brings us to the question of silos of wood. The stud. ding should be of 2 x 6, or 2 x 8 stuff, accord ing to the size of the silo. It should be boarded outside and in with matched plank, and then, pre ferably, lined inside with tarred building paper. For taking out the ensilage there should he mov able plank, as heretofore stated. To facilitate filling, the owner must be guided by circum stances. A horse power will furnish means of cutting the fodder, though steam would be pref erable, and the straw carrier of a thrashing ma chine will be found a practical means of elevating the cut material. Professor W. A. Henry, Direc tor of the Experiment Station, University of Wisconsin, at Madison, is well known for his conservative ideas and careful conclusions. Considering the extreme care and, of course, cost in preserving the corn fodder, the conclusions arrived at are distinctly in favor of ensilage; for it is well known that as generally saved in the field, corn fodder has but little value as food, com pared with that of the fresh, green stalks and leaves. In fact the leaf surface of dried stalks is the principal valuable portions of the fodder. In the fourth annual report of the Wisconsin Agricultural. Experiment Station, Professor Henry makes public the following : "The ensil age and fodder corn of the two trials here reported were made by taking an equal number of rows of fodder corn for each lot and shocking one part and cutting and putting the other into a small silo made for the purpose. The varieties were dent corn, sweet corn and southern ensilage corn in equal amounts by weight. The pit in which the ensilage was kept was a small one, made for the purpose of boards and building paper. Most of the ensilage made by slow filling was of excellent quality, having that sweet smell characteristic of good ensilage, but here and there through the mass was a patch of mould. This was carefully separated and only good ensil age fed. It seems much more difficult to keep ensilage in small quantities than in large bulk. The fodder corn was stored in the barn after it was cured, and was run through the fodder cut ter and made fine for feeding. We had then, it will be noted, ensilage and dry fodder corn. from the same field in the same proportions and each cut up fine for feeding trial. Four fresh cows were selected, placed two and two, and one lot fed the other corn fodder for twenty two days. At the close of this trial the feeds were reversed and the trial repeated for twenty two days' The first seven days of each trial were thrown out as preliminary feeding, and only the data of the last fifteen days of each trial here, re ported. It was deemed advisable not to feed the cows a heavy grain ration, as by so doing we might conceal the real value of coarse food ; ac cordingly each cow received daily only two pounds of corn meal and four pounds of bran, fed dry in two feeds. As much fodder and ensil age was fed as the cows would eat up without waste, but no more. The milk and butter from each lot was saved separately, and is given in the accompanying tables. The trial began Novem ber 20, 1886." The tables give the data of the two trials in a condensed form : pounds of milk from fodder were required for one pound of butter. The fodder and ensilage were sampled for analysis, but only the amounts of water were determined. The analysis shows : Water in ensilage as fed 79.28 per cent.