Page images

fully attained by any other method as by the adoption of the trunkline system. Among the States adopting this plan of improvement are Maryland, which is to expend $1,000,000 for trunk-line roads in 1910. New Hampshire to spend $430,000, New York to spend $•2,500,000, and "Washington to spend $620,000, while at the recent election a law was ratified in California providing for the issuance of $18,000,000 in bonds for the construction of a system of trunk-line roads throughout that State.


The present trend of road affairs throughout the various States is toward a reform in administration and the adoption of a more progressive policy. The old system of paying road taxes in labor has proved inefficient and is being rapidly discarded for the better plan of requiring all road taxes to be paid in cash. It is also apparent that the State will ultimately be the unit of administration and will largely control and direct road work in the counties and townships. A reduction in the number of road officials is also inevitable, and knowledge and skill in road building will be required of each official. The necessity for skilled supervision is being recognized in every State, and is being met by the appointment of competent highway engineers. In many States the State highway departments employ a corps of highway engineers, and different counties throughout these States also employ county highway engineers, while in many of the States not having State highway departments the counties are engaging the services of skilled engineers to supervise their road work. This step marks one of the greatest strides yet made toward the abandonment of old and inferior methods of highway administration, construction, and maintenance. All of these reforms, as well as other reforms in methods of construction and maintenance and a gradual improvement of road conditions, are being rapidly brought about, and largely through the agitation and work of the United States Office of Public Roads, the State highway departments, and the various highway associations throughout the country.

During the year 1911 the legislatures of 42 States will be in session, and the outlook for road legislation is exceedingly bright. Already members of the legislatures of various States and of various organizations, having for their purpose the improvement of highway conditions throughout the country, are formulating highway bills with the hope of having them enacted into law. In every State the sentiment is strongly in favor of effective highway legislation, and in most of the States not having already adopted it new legislation, either enacted or pressed for enactment, will embrace in some form or other the principle of State aid or State supervision.


By B. D. White,

In charge of Dairy Manufacturing Investigations, Dairy Division, Bureau of

Animal Industry.


There seems to be great need for a change in the methods of paying for cream at many creameries, because competition has driven the creamery men into accepting cream regardless of quality, age, or condition. The methods used in the past and the changes which have taken place in the last two decades are responsible for the deplorable condition under which a large percentage of the cream is being delivered to the creameries in some States at the present time.

Previous to the introduction of the centrifugal separator most creameries were operated on either the gathered-cream or the wholemilk Cooley system.

Under the gathered-cream plan, which was the one generally adopted, the milk was "set" in receptacles, usually tin pans or earthen crocks, and the cream allowed to rise. This was skimmed off and held for the arrival of the cream hauler, who was usually an employee of the creamery. Tn most cases routes were arranged so that the collector started from the creamery in the morning, collecting cream from farmers along one road, and returned another way, arriving at the creamery in the evening with the collection of the day. Collections were made once or twice a week, and enough routes were established to employ all the time of the collector.

This plan was not satisfactory from the standpoint of quality, as the cream in summer always arrived sour, while in the winter months it was usually frozen, especially in the North; and in all seasons it contained the various odors and flavors absorbed from the kitchen, pantry, or cellar. Creameries of those times were not operated on a sound business basis. The system was unsatisfactory to the farmer because of the low price he received for his cream, and the creamery man and the consumer suffered because of the poor quality of butter, which was usually sour or stale and soon became rancid. In those days many people refused to buy creamery butter because the name "creamery" conveyed to them the idea of poor quality and an undesirable product. Dairy butter was sought and generally preferred to that made in a creamery.

In 1879 the power cream separator was introduced and was soon extensively used. This put the creamery business on a new basis. The farmers delivered daily to the creamery the fresh sweet whole milk, from which the cream was at once separated by power, and the cream, after being properly cooled, was churned into butter that was usually of fine quality. The latter system returned much more money to the farmers than the former; consequently no objection was made by them to hauling the milk to the creamery every day. To this new system is perhaps due the large increase in the number of creameries built from 1885 to 1905, during which time approximately 5,000 creameries were established in this country. The attitude of the consumers toward creamery butter was soon changed from prejudice to praise, and this product gradually grew in favor until it became the standard of the United States.

It is a fact to be regretted that there has again been a deterioration in the quality of some creamery butter, which deterioration can be traced, perhaps, to the introduction of the hand separator. Where the hand-separator system has been adopted the cream is separated from the milk at the farm, only the cream being taken to the creamery. Other things being equal, this cream is of as good quality as the cream from a power separator at the creamery; but unfortunately many hand separators do not receive proper care, and the cream, instead of being cooled and churned at once, is often kept from 3 to 10 days on the farm without any cooling and is allowed to stand where foreign odors and flavors are absorbed. Much of the cream handled in this way is sour and tainted, and only poor grades of butter can be churned from it. The cause of poor creamery butter can usually be traced to the poor cream received.

From information obtained at the principal butter markets it appears that only 7 to 10 per cent of the butter received grades "extras," and the other 90 to 93 per cent must be classed as firsts, seconds, and thirds. Of these grades the last two are not considered of high enough quality to satisfy the taste of the average consumer.

In many creameries there has been no incentive for the farmer to deliver good cream, as the price he received was the same for sour, stale, and putrid cream as for perfectly sweet cream delivered daily. In some localities, however, creameries have recognized the demoralizing effect that such a practice has on their business and many of them have instituted a plan for paying on the basis of quality, with the result that much improvement has taken place in the quality of the raw material received. This has caused a much better grade of butter to be made, and has resulted in a material increase in the price paid to the farmers for their cream.


A compilation has been made of the prices paid to creamery patrons in 1909 for butter fat and the price received for the butter in the two classes of creameries—those receiving sweet cream and those receiving sour cream.

/'Wees paid for .sour and sweet cream and prices received for butter at creameries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa in 1009.


It will be seen that the difference in price paid to patrons by the creameries is -2.07 cents per pound of butter fat in favor of the creameries receiving sweet cream, or whole milk. This amount is more than sufficient to pay for the expense of hauling the cream from the farmer's door to the creamery.

In 1909 the three States named produced approximately 300,000.000 pounds of creamery butter. Of the 308 creameries reporting on this investigation 75.7 per cent received sour cream and the butter sold for 0.98 cent less than the butter from those creameries receiving sweet cream. If the ratio between sweet and sour cream be applied to the total production of these States it indicates a loss of $2,225,580. at 0.98 cent per pound, but since 1909 there has been a wider range of the prices in the various grades of butter. If butter is sold on grade, the difference, instead of being 0.98 cent per pound, would be about 6 cents, and the loss would be near $10,000,000, as the difference in price of creamery butter between the highest and lowest grades has increased in the last year, and there is now a variation of 6 cents per pound between the grades of specials and seconds.

Of the 71,591 packages (or 4,438,642 pounds) of creamery butterexamined on the markets of New York and Chicago in eight months

of 1910 by representatives of this Department, 44.2 per cent graded seconds and below, practical!}7 all due to the use of poor cream.

The power to raise the quality of creamery butter lies in the hands of the farmers, especially those who are patrons and shareholders of cooperative creameries, but it will require the combined effort of all the patrons to accomplish the desired results.


It has been urged that inspectors should be sent through the country to instruct the farmers in the care of milk and cream. This, however, would involve much expense and would likely result in but little good. Through the dairy districts, such as Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, etc., the farmers a few years ago delivered to the creameries clean, sweet milk, which was made into a first grade of butter that brought the highest price. Many of the same farmers are to-day delivering cream a week old. This is not done because of lack of knowledge, but because their cream, bad as it is, is accepted by the creamer}'. If one creamery does not accept it another will; the farmer, therefore, is simply following the line of least resistance.


If the creamery men would pay for cream according to its true value there would be a rapid improvement in the quality. The proportion of good table butter that would grade " extras " would probably reach 90 per cent instead of 7 to 10 per cent, as is now the case. This assumption is the results obtained from the introduction of the grading system in the State of Maine. The dairy authorities in that State inform us that at one time at least 90 per cent of the cream was sour when it reached the creameries, but that within a short time after a system of grading was established by which sweet cream received a premium of 2 to 3 cents per pound of butter fat, 95 per cent of the cream was sweet when it reached the creamery, and this condition still prevails. This simple system of grading has proved to be of mutual advantage to the creameries and their patrons in this section. The latter have received a price for their product several cents above market quotations, while the creameries have maintained a high standard for their finished product.

An investigation of the conditions in Maine has brought out the fact that the farmers are delivering their cream only two or three times a week during the summer months, but, as stated above, 95 per cent is sweet when it reaches the creamery. In fact, a large amount of this cream is used to supply the sweet-cream trade in the cities, and is from 4 to 7 days old when consumed. The secret by

« PreviousContinue »