« PreviousContinue »
competition is equally as destructive as individual competition. Unfortunately, in some instances growers have not realized that the formation of competing organizations, although each of them is cooperative in its nature, is destructive to the best interests of the community as a whole. In fact, the organization and development of factional or competing associations in a community have been one of the favorite devices of those antagonistic to the success of the cooperative movement.
The basis on which the association secures its revenues is an important consideration, as is also the method of settlement with its members. Revenues are essential to meet salaries and legitimate operating expenses. The income of the association may be derived from a commission on sales or from a flat rate per package for goods handled. Either of these systems will prove satisfactory. The one which seems to meet best the requirements of a particular association should be adopted. Purchases should be treated the same as sales. The price to members should include first cost, transportation, handling, and a sufficient profit to yield the necessary revenue to cover the expense to the association. Even when this is done experience proves that a very substantial saving can be made. In some instances the moneys received from the sale of products, less a commission or deduction for the charge of selling, are returned direct to the individual furnishing the products. In other instances, where the products are given a uniform brand and are sold on grade so that the individual's product is lost sight of, the returns for a given period are pooled and are prorated among those contributing to the sales during that particular period. In most instances it will be found best to sell products under brand and grade, and to pool the shipments for a given period-the period necessarily being short, not to exceed two or three days-and to prorate the sales among the shippers on the basis of the number of packages and their grade during that period.
A short pooling interval is desirable in order that growers who succeed in producing early crops, which often command a higher price, may be given the benefit of this advantage. A long pooling period would give the tardy harvest the advantage of a portion of the reward which should go to the early crop. This difficulty in the distribution of the returns, even where crops and returns are pooled, can be overcome by a short pooling period.
The business of the association should be handled by a manager under the direction of a board of directors who really direct. Important transactions should be governed by the concerted judgment of the board of directors and the manager, rather than be left to the judgment of the manager alone. An association which does not
maintain a board of directors of, say, three persons who really manage the business should never find fault if that business is not well transacted. The officer of the association upon whom responsibility devolves should be paid a liberal compensation for the services rendered. The business ability, foresight, and energy of the business manager, under the control of a board of directors, determine the success or failure of any cooperative enterprise as surely as the business ability of the head of any firm determines the success or failure of that firm. The business manager employed should, therefore, be the best man obtainable, and the salary compensation should be adequate to command his entire thought and energy.
Since high-grade talent must be secured in connection with the successful development of the cooperative-marketing system, most organizations have found it advantageous to extend the activities of the institution to the purchase of consumable supplies-in dairy districts, to the purchase of grain and feed; in fruit and truck areas, to the purchase of packages, fertilizers, implements, etc. The object is to provide profitable continuous employment for a competent manager, rather than to attempt to operate on an intermittent plan. Competent executives can not be had except on a permanent basis. It is evident, therefore, that unless the activities are extended few associations will be able to afford high-grade management. All officers handling moneys for the association should be bonded and made responsible in every possible way.
SCOPE OF OPERATION.
The activities of cooperative associations should be extended to cover all important money products of the community, and the territory included should be the extent of the zone or district, as determined by some natural boundary, rather than by arbitrary or community lines. Products which are grown in restricted areas are more easily handled by local exchanges than commodities having a general distribution. With products such as Irish potatoes, cereals, and forage crops, State-wide or district organizations can be made more effective than small local units. The local unit is necessary, but it should be affiliated with and receive its general direction from a central organization, through which the total production of a large area is handled. This will overcome any competition which might arise between small cooperative units. It would prevent the use of methods which, the writer is sorry to say, have been employed by unscrupulous dealers in attempting to disrupt cooperative organizations. Rivalry and competition are not cooperation. Nothing pleases the unscrupulous dealer better than to stimulate competition. where there should be cooperation, and nothing is so destructive to the interests of the community as a whole as the competition which
exists where the independent method of action is in vogue and where competition can be stimulated between local cooperative organizations. To avoid this, all local cooperative organizations should affiliate with community-wide or State-wide organizations.
Experience proves that it is within the power of the producer to cooperate in the sale of vegetable crops to the extent of standardizing the pack and the package and guaranteeing the grade, to reduce the cost of transportation by shipping in carload lots, and to reduce the cost of sales by establishing a reputation for a product, so that it can be sold f. o. b. shipping point.
Cooperative management facilitates business with common carriers and expedites the settlement of claims against both carriers and dealers.
Cooperative action between producers and distributors insures a quicker delivery and decreases the cost to the consumer by saving one freight charge and sometimes also commission or brokerage.
Cooperative interests enable growers to purchase consumable supplies, to secure short-time loans, to provide their own insurance, to conduct a system of crop reporting which will give them an accurate idea of the condition of the crop and of the market at any time, and, when conducted on a broad basis, to prevent depression of the market by unwise distribution and untimely shipments.
THE CHESTNUT BARK DISEASE.
BY HAVEN METCALF,
Pathologist in Charge of Investigations in Forest Pathology,
HISTORY AND DISTRIBUTION.
To Mr. H. W. Merkel, forester of the New York Zoological Park, belongs the credit of first clearly recognizing, in 1904, the potential seriousness of the disease now known as the chestnut bark disease or chestnut blight. Observations reported later by other persons indicate that the disease was present on Long Island some years earlier. Apparently the disease has spread from this general vicinity; at least no centers of infection have been found elsewhere which are as old as those about New York City.
The disease is now distributed from Merrimack County, N. H., and Warren County, N. Y., on the north, to Albemarle County, Va., on the south. In New York the western border of distribution, so far as known at present, is sharply delimited by an area without chestnut trees a natural "immune zone "-which extends southward along the eastern borders of Fulton, Montgomery, and Schoharie Counties nearly to the Pennsylvania line in Delaware County. Consequently in New York the range of the disease is at present practically limited to the valley of the Hudson. In Pennsylvania the western limit of general infection is roughly along a curved line extending from the northwest corner of Susquehanna County to the eastern border of Clearfield County and on to the southwest corner of Fulton County. West of this line the advance infections have been cut out by the Pennsylvania Chestnut Tree Blight Commission. The disease has not yet been found in Ohio or North Carolina. The infections. farthest west, most of which have now been cut out, are those in Livingston County, N. Y., Warren and Somerset Counties, Pa., and Randolph County, W. Va. All of these appear to owe their origin to diseased chestnut nursery stock.
It is difficult to estimate the financial loss which the above distribution represents, as we have no exact statistics on the value of
standing chestnut timber. The estimate of $25,000,000 made in 1911 as representing the loss up to that time was probably much too conservative. But the total loss to date is insignificant compared with the loss which will ensue if the disease once attacks the fine chestnut timber of the South Appalachians. The bark disease has killed all the chestnut trees in those localities where it has been present long enough, and there is not now the slightest indication that it is decreasing in virulence or that the climate of any region to which it has spread is having any appreciable retarding effect upon it.
CAUSE AND SYMPTOMS.
The chestnut bark disease is caused by the growth in the bark and outer wood layers of a parasitic fungus, Endothia parasitica (Murr.) A. and A.
When any spores of this fungus gain entrance into a wound on any part of the trunk or limbs of a chestnut tree they commonly give rise to a concentrically spreading canker which soon girdles the tree. (Pl. XXXIV.) Not only is the bark and cambium destroyed, but the fungus quickly infects the outer layers of sapwood, penetrating more deeply at the center of the canker. If the part attacked happens to be the trunk, the whole tree is killed, sometimes in as short a time as a single season. If the smaller branches are attacked, only those portions beyond the point of attack are killed, and the remainder of the tree may survive for several years. In Plate XXXVI, figure 3, the lower large limb on the left-hand side is still healthy, as the canker which girdled and killed the rest of the tree is situated on the trunk immediately above this branch. Plate XXXVI, figure 1, shows the ragged appearance of the tree, due to the fact that some branches are not yet girdled and still have normal foliage, while others are dead.
Some of the symptoms are quite prominent. Limbs and trunks with smooth bark which are attacked by the fungus soon show cankers in the form of dead, discolored, sunken areas (occasionally with a raised margin), which continue to enlarge and soon become covered more or less thickly with yellow, orange, or reddish brown spots about the size of a pinhead. (Pl. XXXIV.) These spots are the pustules of the fruiting fungus. Following a rain, or in damp situations, masses of minute spores (conidia) are commonly extruded in the form of long, irregularly twisted strings or horns, which are at first bright yellow to greenish yellow, or even buff, becoming darker with age. If the canker is on the trunk or a large limb with very thick bark there is no obvious change in the external appearance of the bark itself, but the pustules show in the cracks, and the bark often sounds hollow when tapped. After the limbs or trunks