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fiber of seed cotton in storage and beg to state that we regard the test undertaken last fall as inconclusive, for the reason that it was not begun soon enough. We have one series of ginnings where the cotton was ginned immediately after being picked and a quantity of fifty pounds ginned each week thereafter for nine weeks, having received thus far but one report from a cotton grower, in connections with these ginnings.
We have, however, sent samples to several cotton spinning firms in the north and hope to have reports from them within a very few days. The claim is advanced by the advocates of this system of storing cotton that the gain in the length of fiber is very much larger in cases where the cotton has been stored early in the season.
We are thus not desirous of publishing the results obtained from our necessarily late test of this season, preferring to delay this matter until we have had opportunity to make a further test next year, I think it will be possible, however to prepare a statement, showing the results of our test, including all reports, in time for presentation at your meeting on the 16th and 17th of April.
Very truly yours,
The SECRETARY. It is a matter of great importance and further information on this subject will be inserted in the Transactions whenever obtained.
The PRESIDENT. The next paper is upon Egyptain Cotton, by an expert on this subject, one of our members, Mr. P. N. CARIDIA.
P. N. CARIDIA, Boston, Mass.
Egyptian cotton has steadily gained such favor in the markets of the world that information relating to the manner in which the staple is treated until it is shipped and to its principal varieties attracts attention within a much wider circle than would have been the case a few years ago.
Without touching on the question of the constitution of Egyptian soil or the technical side of its culture which have been dealt with by competent specialists it may be pointed out that owing to the unremitting attention of the Government of Egypt and to the efforts and scientific advice of the Khedival Society of Agriculture, each year has marked a step forward in the methods adopted. Agricultural expositions organized by the society in the interior of Egypt have been of great benefit. The Fellah has begun to realize that it is to his interest to follow the path of progress which has established the reputation of Egyptian cotton. It is interesting to follow some of the new cultivators who start cotton growing in some districts without any previous experience. They contrive not only to improve their method of cultivation from year to year, but to give the staple every necessary attention, from the picking, to its delivery to the merchants. It is fair to add that among the large exporting firms, those which have agencies in the interior, have taken a large share in improving the qualities grown in all the districts. Their efforts to select the best seed for sowing purposes and to insure full deliveries of the qualities they buy have given the grower to understand that the only way to obtain a profitable
price is to carefully nurse his crop and to provide a uniform quality.
Irrigation is the corner stone of Egyptian culture and it is only by the organization of irrigation that Egypt has attained its present prosperity. The system has been methodically improved during the last 25 years under the management of English engineers to whom Egypt will for ever owe a debt of gratitude. During the period of the low waters of the Nile, which exactly corresponds with the cotton planting and growing season, the application of a system of rotations insures to each cultivator in turn a prearranged quantity of water fixed by the Department of Irrigation according to the outlook of the condition of the Nile. The application of the system of rotations ceases towards the end of July when the water of the river is plentiful. The government has now turned its attention to Upper Egypt, where the construction of the Assouan dam which was completed a few years ago, was a starting point for supplementary canals. These will insure for Upper Egypt the same advantages as they have given to Lower Egypt.
The area under cotton and the crops produced were for the last two years as follows:
1906. Lower Egypt, Feddans, *1,260,099. Crop, Cantars, †5,899,000
The total average yield per Feddan or acre, was therefore cantars 4.61, say 460 pounds. (For lower Egypt it was cantars 4.68 and for Upper Egypt cantars 4.27.)
1907. Lower Egypt. Feddans, 1,289,315, estimated crop, Cants 5,600,000 Upper" 313,956, Feddans, 1,603,271,
Total average yield cantars 4.63. (For Lower Egypt cantars 4.34 and for Upper Egypt cantars 4.46.
The above figures for the cultivated areas supplied by the Ministry of the Interior are approximate. It is probable that the cultivated areas may be somewhat larger. It will be remarked that a considerable increase is shown for Upper Egypt. This is due to the construction of new canals in that region. It is not probable that production will vary much in Lower Egpyt because growers have already increased the proportion of their land under cotton from one third, which was considered a reasonable proportion, to one half. Any increase will, therefore, be mainly due to the reclamation of new land of which there is a considerable quantity in some districts.
A very important question for the future of Egypt is the fact that the soil is getting poorer. This is attributed to the too frequent rotations of cotton, although the causes of this deterioration have not been clearly defined. It is pointed out that in past years with an area under cotton considerably inferior to the area at present covered, a crop was produced approaching last year's crop in size. There is at present some talk of calling together a commission of competent men to probe this vital subject.
A further serious question arises from the fact that in Egypt each variety of cotton gradually deteriorates in quality and color. The outturn also deteriorates. Fortunately other varieties have appeared in time to take the place of the growths which had. deteriorated.
Since cotton has been grown in Egypt about a century ago, many varieties have appeared and disappeared. Such were the Gallini, the Achmouni, the Bamieh and the white Zifta cotton (which had nothing in common with the Abbassi cotton now grown.) These have been replaced by Mit Afifi, Abbassi, Yannovitz and Nubari. Mit Afifi is the chief product of lower Egypt, whilst upper Egypt grows Achmouni almost exclusively.
Cotton is sown in Egypt from the middle of February, until April according to locality. This year owing to heavy rains, sowing appears to be three weeks late. The principal varieties grown in lower Egypt are the following:
MIT AFIFI. This growth first attracted attention in 1888, although for several years previous to that date it had been grown by the growers of the village called Mit Afifi. The seed from which it sprang was produced by the villagers. The growers took to this variety because they found that it stands drought and attacks by worms better than other varieties. It requires less attention for picking and proportionately to other growths it gives a better outturn in ginning. Its brown color, (which, however, has a tendency to become lighter) the length and strength of its fibre have appealed to spinners.
ABBASSI was produced in 1895 by a Greek named PARAHIMONA who named it after the present Khedive of Egypt. This growth appears to have sprung from imported seed. The cotton is white and its fibre is longer and more silky than Mit Afifi.
YANNOVITZ. This variety was also produced by a Greek who gave it his own name. It is one of the best existing qualities in Egypt. Its fibre is long, strong and silky. The high prices it has commanded have tempted growers and its culture has increased in proportion to the spinner's demand. NUBARRI is the most recent variety amongst the principal growths of Egyptian cotton. Its color is lighter than Mit Afifi.
SULTANI is a very long and silky variety. It has the principal characteristics of Sea Island cotton. The plant requires much attention and is easily affected by climatic conditions. Very little of this expensive variety is grown and it is probable that its production will remain small for the above
ACHMOUNI as above stated is the variety which is grown in upper Egypt. It is lighter in color than Mit Afifi and the fibre is not as long. Efforts to grow the lower Egypt varieties in upper, Egypt, have not been successful and cultivators who have once tried, do not seem willing to renew the attempt. They feel convinced that the Achmouni quality is superior