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"little Peaches."

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. The following is the animal report of Edwy C. Reid, the secretary of the State Horticultural Society, whicfa was read at Ihe meeting in this city Wednesday af ternoon : To the officers and members of the Michigan State Horticultural Society: I have the pleasure to report to you a generally prosperous and satisfactory condition of our society This can only be qualifled as to the number of annual membership which we have received during the past year The lack of these is accoTintable entirely to the restricted opportunities we have had. Our meetings have been held in the smaller towns where there were local societies, and inasmuch as our reports are obtainable by the fruit growers in the state without cost the latter fail to feel it a duty to help sustain the state society financially There has been no material change in the number of local societies in the state but there has been a considerable increase of what are commonly known as ehipping associations, being companies formed for the purpose of co-operative packing and marketing of fruit. To some extent, I think, these purely commercial organizations have detracted from the interest feit in the societies that have for so many years done so nmch for the advancement of cultural methods. It is doubltess true that the purely commercial features of horticultura absorb attention iu these associations to the detriment if not the exclusión of the other aims and possibilities of our art. The demand for volumes of our Reports has been more general and active than ever before, and the distribution has been larger and wider. The past season was one of generally satisfactory returns to pomologists. The strawberry erop was excessive, and in the main sold at prices at whioh there was little or no profit to the grower, but this is not a new condition to the berry grower of Michigan. The other small fruits sold at better rates. Prices for grapes left good margins to growerp, while there vvere satisfactory profits in plums, peaches, pears and apples. As to the latter erop, while the product of Michigan was far below what was anticipated in the spring.and in quality was nothing of whieh to be proud, the price obtained was high. Failure of the apple erop was general throughout the country east of the Rocky mountains, Michigan haviug a better erop, poor as it was, than any other section. The poor quality of the erop was due mainly to the prevalence of soab, although the codlin ïnoth played its usual part. Some have estimated the erop at 60 per cent of the great yield of 1896, but early in June, I issued a bulletin of the society, stating the condition of the apple erop at the time, and giving acreages by connties, and reports by counties of the percentage of a full erop which inight be expected, together with a variety of other information. This was distribnted quite generally thronghout the United States, among those to whom it would be of commercial interest and value, with a result, I am sure, of bringing to Michigan a very large nnmber of buyers of the fresh fruit, as well as evaporators, and therefore increasiug the price which was received. But the growers generally parted with their crops too cheaply. Were it not that our president is to treat this subject of the Michigan apple, I would have suggestious to offer as to what course must be taken to revive our apple orchards, or to provide new ones, so that our state may retain the high place it held as an apple producing región. That something must be done is evident to all, and many have very well defined and undoutedly correct ideas as to what that something is. The erop of peaches, which early in the season was expected to be exeeediugly large, proved to be quite otherwise, but there was enough to meet the demand. There was the usual mid-season glut and low prices, followed by very good rates at the close. The long autumn season pennitted the ripeuing of even the very latest sorts that are cultivated here and it was from these that the profits more largely came. There was a noticeablo iiicrease in thoroughness of distributiou of this fruit. The use of refrigerator oars and the making of long shipmeuts thereby was a very marked feature of the season, while the operations of cooperative packing coinpauies, who have established markets for themselves outside the greatsr cities, was another important development. It has become more and more possible for the grower of poaches who sold bis product at the nearest railway station, leceiving a fair price in cash on delivery. This is a conditiou which has long been songht, but whether it is in the end to lead to a better condition as to price thau forïnerly existed, is a matter about which even those now ating nnder it have come to have some doubt. The grape erop was exceedingly abnudant, so mnch so that satisfactory proflts were obtained by those who had large quantities to sell. ïhere probably will not be increased planting of any species of small f mits the coming year. The general improveineut in agiïcultnral conditions will have a tendeney to decrease the acreage of small frnits, especially those held by growers who were not thorough their methods. I believe there will still be mnch planting of pears and peaches, while the plum acreage seems to have reached the limit of profits, if indeed it has not passed that bound. I expect to see a revival of apple culture in Michigan, especially in the northern and newer parts of the state. I saw fruit some weeks ago from certain localities in the north central part of the state, which was extremely fair and perfect in all ways. The growers said that neither codlin moth nor scab had appeared yet in their localities, and that planting of apples would be engaged in largely the coming spirug on this account. There has not been any unusnal increase of disease nor of destructive insects or fungi that has come to ruy atteution unless we may excect the progress of the disease known as "little peaches" which up to the present timo seems confined to the western portions of Allegan county. Prof. Taft, of the Agricnltural College, made some investigations of this malady in 1897, and dnring the past season Dr. E. F. Smith, of the national department of agricul;ure, went into the matter more extensively. He spent some time in the study of the disease bnt the report which he submitted to the Saugatuck ind Ganges Society failed to reveal any lefinite or satisfactory cause, nor conld ie suggest a probable remedy. This is selieved to be infectious ; but whether t is or not, the growers remove all he infected trees, for, once smitten, a ree is worthless from that moment. The receipts of the society the past year from memberships and its invested unds were $187.37. A balance was arried forward from last year of $250. - 50. There was expended from these nnds during the year f 4. 72. The ash balance on hand at present date is 182.6. The details of our fiuancial iïairs will more fuily appear in the rejort of the treasurer.