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Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Forty-seventh annual meeting, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, December 14, 1933. Forty-seventh summer convention, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, August 8, 1933

Chambers, E. L.
Why insect control problems are on the increase in Wisconsin,   pp. 26-33 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 27

ground rather than plowing it is becoming a popular practice for pre-
paring a seed bed for oats but it does not bury eggs sufficiently to
prevent the hoppers from emerging and, consequently, an opportunity
for controlling the infestation in such fields is not taken advantage
of. Down in the southwestern part of our state, we have seven coun-
ties where the pasture land has been almost entirely ruined by white
grubs and the reason for this is faulty cultural practices. In most
of the pastures in that vicinity you will find, instead of a green car-
pet of blue grass and clover, that they are black with a covering of
rag weeds and other serious weeds. At one the hillsides were rich
in the production of pastures and it was possible to develop a very
prosperous dairy industry which has thrived for more than fifty years.
Because of the failure to realize that the soil was being depleted by
using the same fields for pasture land year after year without return-
ing any fertilizer to the soil, the inevitable happened, and with the
disappearing of the covering of grass on the hillsides, erosion set in,
aided by the work of white grubs. Had there been a tight carpet of
thrifty growing grass on these hillsides the June beetle, the adult
stage of the white grub, would not have been able to find ideal condi-
tions for its development and the carpet would have been maintained.
As soon as the carpet began to wear out and large patches were de-
stroyed by white grub, the rains washed great gullies in the hills and
practically ruined many of the valuable farms. At the present time
you doubtlessly are familiar with the activities of the E. C. W. in at-
tempting to save some of these farms by a soil erosion project. A
series of concrete dams are being built to block up the ditches being
formed by the heavy rains. There has been considerable criticism
raised by some of the public that too much money is being expended
in the building of concrete walls compared with the amount of labor
employed. At a conference held in the Commissioner's office recently
with members of the Legislature and agricultural leaders from that
section of the state, we suggested that it might be well to spend some
of the money in re-carpeting the hillsides with blue grass and clover
and spraying oak trees to reduce the June beetle population and cor-
rect this evil at the top of the hill, rather than attempt to block it at
the bottom.
When we consider that one-half of the serious insect pests we have
today are of foreign origin and were brought into this country on
horticultural products from the various foreign shores, we realize the
danger of accidental introduction of new pests by boat and rail. With
the advent of the auto and the airplane we are finding the problem
even more complicated since it makes it possible to move infested ma-
terials long distances in such a short period of time that the chances
of survival of the various insect pests and plant diseases is greater.
The Federal Government issues a report annually showing the in-
terception of foreign pests made during the year and it is astound-
ing to note the enormous number of interceptions of serious pests and
we can not help but wonder whether others possibly have succeeded in
getting by the inspection officials.
During the trip the Graf Zeppelin made to visit the World's Fair by
way of South America, the inspection officials searched the passenger's
baggage and the various compartments and intercepted several very
serious pests that might have become established if the infested veg-
etables and fruit carrying these had been allowed to be disposed of
carelessly in Chicago. This indicates that as long as we have meth-
ods of transportation we are going to have the danger of transporting

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