In place of corn, which is difficult to mature even at moderate
elevations, Professor Buffum has introduced improved emmers and the
various hybrids resulting from crosses with other grains.
Emmer itself is not a new grain, having been grown for centuries in
Russia and southern Europe, and it is believed to have been the corn
of Pliny, which he said was used by the Latins for several centuries
before they knew how to make bread.
Several years ago emmer began receiving attention as a stock food.
The first planting of the grain at Worland resulted in some
exceptional "sports," seemingly of a different type, with coarse
straw and very large heads. With this as a basis, the seed was
replanted and subjected to many experiments to increase its drouth
and winter resisting qualities. Continued selections have shown, a
yield of from a third more to twice as much as corn, that it is
thirty per cent more valuable than oats for feeding horses, and that
for stock fattening it is equal to corn, pound for pound. It is the
most drouth-resistant and prolific of small grains, has been
successfully raised from Montana to Mexico, and is being planted in
Louisiana to replace oats because it is not affected by rust.