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Talks on Manures
by Joseph Harris
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"The superphosphate does not seem to have done much good," said the Deacon; "3-1/2 cwt. per acre gives an increase of less than two bushels per acre. And I suppose it was good superphosphate."

There need be no doubt on that point. Better superphosphate of lime cannot be made. But you must recollect that this is pure superphosphate made from burnt bones. It contains no ammonia or organic matter. Commercial superphosphates contain more or less ammonia, and had they been used in these experiments, they would have shown a better result than the pure article. They would have done good in proportion to the available nitrogen they contained. If these experiments prove anything, they clearly indicate that superphosphate alone is a very poor manure for either wheat or barley.

The second year, the unmanured plot gave 25-3/4 bushels per acre. Potash, soda, and magnesia, (or what the Deacon calls "ashes,") 27-5/8 bushels; superphosphate 33-1/2, and "ashes" and superphosphate, nearly 36 bushels per acre.

50 lbs. of ammonia, alone, gives nearly 39 bushels, and ammonia and superphosphate together, 40 bushels.

The superphosphate and "ashes" give a better account of themselves this year; but it is remarkable that the ammonia alone, gives almost as good a crop as the ammonia and superphosphate, and a better crop than the ammonia and "ashes," or the ammonia, superphosphate, and ashes, together.

The 14 tons farm-yard manure gives over 36 bushels per acre. This plot has now had 28 tons of manure per acre, yet the 50 lbs. of ammonia alone, still gives a better yield than this heavy dressing of manure.

The third season (1854), was quite favorable for the ripening of wheat and barley. The seed on the experimental barley-field, was sown Feb. 24, and the harvest was late; so that the crop had an unusually long season for growth. It was one of the years when even poor land, if clean, gives a good crop. The unmanured plot, it will be seen, yielded over 35 bushels per acre of dressed grain, weighing over 53-1/2 lbs. per bushel. The total weight of grain, was 1,963 lbs. This is over 40 bushels per acre, of 48 lbs. per bushel, which is the standard with us.

The 14 tons of farm-yard manure produce nearly 56-1/2 bushels per acre.

50 lbs. of ammonia, on plot 1a. 47-3/4 bushels per acre. 100 " " " " " 1a.a. 56-5/8 " "

You will see, that though the plot which has received 42 tons of manure per acre, produced a splendid crop; the plot having nothing except 100 lbs. of ammonia per acre, produced a crop equally good. "How much increase do you get from 50 lbs. of ammonia," asked the Deacon, "and how much from 100 lbs.?" Equal Amer. Grain. Straw. Bushels. 50 lbs. of ammonia, gives an increase of 800 lbs. 952 lbs. 16-2/3 bush. 100 " " " " " " " 1,350 " 2,100 " 28 "

If you buy nitrate of soda at 3-3/4 cents a lb., the ammonia will cost 20 cents a lb. In the above experiment, 50 lbs. of ammonia, costing $10, gives an increase of 16-2/3 bushels of barley, and nearly half a ton of straw. If the straw is worth $4.00 per ton, the barley will cost 48 cents a bushel.

Double the quantity of manure, costing $20, gives an increase of 28 bushels of barley, and over one ton of straw. In this case the extra barley costs 57 cents a bushel.

On plot 2a., 50 lbs. of ammonia and 3-1/2 cwt. of superphosphate, give 3,437 lbs. of grain, equal to 71-1/2 of our bushels per acre.

On plot 2a.a., 100 lbs. of ammonia and 3-1/2 cwt. of superphosphate, give 3,643 lbs. of grain, which lacks only 5 lbs. of 76 bushels per acre, and nearly 2-1/2 tons of straw.

"That will do," said the Deacon, "but I see that in 1857, this same plot, with the same manure, produced 66-1/2 bushels of dressed grain per acre, weighing 53-1/2 lbs. to the bushel, or a total weight of 3,696 lbs., equal to just 77 of our bushels per acre."

"And yet," said the Doctor, "this same year, the plot which had 84 tons of farm-yard manure per acre, produced only 2,915 lbs. of grain, or less than 61 of our bushels of barley per acre."

The Squire happened in at this time, and heard the last remark. "What are you saying," he remarked, "about only 61 bushels of barley per acre. I should like to see such a crop. Last year, in this neighborhood, there were hundreds of acres of barley that did not yield 20 bushels per acre, and very little of it would weigh 44 lbs. to the bushel."

This is true. And the maltsters find it almost impossible to get six-rowed barley weighing 48 lbs. per bushel. They told me, that they would pay $1.10 per bushel for good bright barley weighing 48 lbs. per bushel, and for each pound it weighed less than this, they deducted 10 cents a bushel from the price. In other words, they would pay $1.00 a bushel for barley weighing 47 lbs. to the bushel; 90 cents for barley weighing 46 lbs.; 80 cents for barley weighing 45 lbs., and 70 cents for barley weighing 44 lbs.—and at these figures they much preferred the heaviest barley.

It is certainly well worth our while, if we raise barley at all, to see if we cannot manage not only to raise larger crops per acre, but to produce barley of better quality. And these wonderful experiments of Mr. Lawes are well worth careful examination and study.

The Squire put on his spectacles and looked at the tables of figures.

"Like everybody else," said he, "you pick out the big figures, and to hear you talk, one would think you scientific gentlemen never have any poor crops, and yet I see that in 1860, there are three different crops of only 12-1/8, 12-1/4, and 13-1/4 bushels per acre."

"Those," said I, "are the three plots which have grown barley every year without any manure, and you have selected the worst year of the whole twenty."

"Perhaps so," said the Squire, "but we have got to take the bad with the good, and I have often heard you say that a good farmer who has his land rich and clean makes more money in an unfavorable than in a favorable season. Now, this year 1860, seems to have been an unfavorable one, and yet your pet manure, superphosphate, only gives an increase of 148 lbs. of barley—or three bushels and 4 lbs. Yet this plot has had a tremendous dressing of 3-1/2 cwt. of superphosphate yearly since 1852. I always told you you lost money in buying superphosphate."

"That depends on what you do with it. I use it for turnips, and tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, melons, cucumbers, etc., and would not like to be without it; but I have never recommended any one to use it on wheat, barley, oats, Indian corn, or potatoes, except as an experiment. What I have recommended you to get for barley is, nitrate of soda, and superphosphate, or Peruvian guano. And you will see that even in this decidedly unfavorable season, the plot 2a.a., dressed with superphosphate and 275 lbs. of nitrate of soda, produced 2,338 lbs. of barley, or 48-3/4 bushels per acre. This is an increase over the unmanured plots of 33-1/2 bushels per acre, and an increase of 1,872 lbs. of straw. And the plot dressed with superphosphate and 200 lbs. of salts of ammonia, gave equally as good results."

And this, mark you, is the year which the Squire selected as the one most likely to show that artificial manures did not pay.

"I never knew a man except you," said the Squire, "who wanted unfavorable seasons."

I have never said I wanted unfavorable seasons. I should not dare to say so, or even to cherish the wish for one moment. But I do say, that when we have a season so favorable that even poorly worked land will produce a fair crop, we are almost certain to have prices below the average cost of production. But when we have an unfavorable season, such crops as barley, potatoes, and beans, often advance to extravagantly high prices, and the farmer who has good crops in such a season, gets something like adequate pay for his patient waiting, and for his efforts to improve his land.

"That sounds all very well," said the Squire, "but will it pay to use these artificial manures?"

I do not wish to wander too much from the point, but would like to remark before I answer that question, that I am not a special advocate of artificial manures. I think we can often make manures on our farms far cheaper than we can buy them. But as the Squire has asked the question, and as he has selected from Mr. Lawes' results, the year 1860, I will meet him on his own ground. He has selected a season specially unfavorable for the growth of barley. Now, in such an unfavorable year in this country, barley would be likely to bring, at least, $1.25 per bushel, and in a favorable season not over 75 cents a bushel.

Mr. Lawes keeps his land clean, which is more than can be said of many barley-growers. And in this unfavorable season of 1860, he gets on his three unmanured plots an average of 730 lbs. of barley, equal to 15-1/4 bushels per acre, and not quite 800 lbs. of straw.

Many of our farmers frequently do no better than this. And you must recollect that in such careful experiments as those of Mr. Lawes and Dr. Gilbert, great pains would be taken to get all the barley that grew on the land. With us, barley is cut with a reaper, and admirable as our machines are, it is not an easy matter to cut a light, spindling crop of barley perfectly clean. Then, in pitching the crop and drawing it in, more or less barley is scattered, and even after we have been over the field two or three times with a steel-tooth rake, there is still considerable barley left on the ground. I think we may safely assume that at least as much barley is left on the ground as we usually sow—say two bushels per acre. And so, instead of having 15-1/4 bushels per acre, as Mr. Lawes had, we should only harvest 13-1/4 bushels.

Of all our ordinary farm crops, barley is attended with the least labor and expense. We usually sow it after corn or potatoes. On such strong land as that of Mr. Lawes, we ought to plow the land in the autumn and again in the spring, or at least stir up the land thoroughly with a two or three-horse cultivator or gang-plow.

Let us say that the cost of plowing, harrowing, drilling, and rolling, is $5.00 per acre. Seed, $2.00. Harvesting, $2.00. Threshing, 6 cents a bushel.

Receipts:

13-1/4 bushels barley @ 1.25 $16.57 800 lbs. of straw @ $4. per ton 1.60 ——— Putting in and harvesting the crop $9.00 Threshing 13-1/4 bushels @ 6c .80 9.80 ——— Rent and profit per acre $ 8.37

"That is a better showing than I expected," said the Squire, "and as barley occupies the land only a few months, and as we sow wheat after it, we cannot expect large profits."

"Very well," said I, "Now let us take the crop, this same unfavorable year, on plot 2a.a., dressed with superphosphate and nitrate of soda."

The expense of plowing, harrowing, drilling, rolling, seed, and harvesting, would be about the same, or we will say $2.00 an acre more for extra labor in harvesting. And we will allow two bushels per acre for scatterings—though there is nothing like as much barley left on the ground when we have a good crop, as when we have a poor crop. But I want to be liberal.

The yield on plot 2a.a., was 48-3/4 bushels per acre, and 2,715 lbs. of straw.

Receipts:

46-3/4 bushels @ $1.25 $58.43 2,715 lbs. straw @ $4. per ton 5.43 ——— $63.86 Putting in the crop and harvesting $11.00 Threshing 46-3/4 bushels @ 6 c 2.80 275 lbs. nitrate of soda @ 4 c 11.00 392 lbs. superphosphate @ 2 c 7.84 ——— $32.64 ——— Rent and profit $31.22

In ordinary farm practice, I feel sure we can do better than this. Growing barley year after year on the same land, is not the most economical way of getting the full value of the manure. There is much nitrogen and phosphoric acid left in the land, which barley or even wheat does not seem capable of taking up, but which would probably be of great benefit to the clover.

MANURE AND ROTATION OF CROPS.

The old notion that there is any real chemical necessity for a rotation of crops is unfounded. Wheat can be grown after wheat, and barley after barley, and corn after corn, provided we use the necessary manures and get the soil clean and in the right mechanical condition.

"What, then, do we gain by a rotation?" asked the Deacon.

Much every way. A good rotation enables us to clean the land. We can put in different crops at different seasons.

"So we could," broke in the Deacon, "if we sowed wheat after wheat, barley after barley, and corn after corn."

True, but if we sowed winter-wheat after winter-wheat, there would not be time enough to clean the land.

"Just as much as when we sow wheat after oats, or peas, or barley."

"True again, Deacon," I replied, "but we are supposed to have cleaned the land while it was in corn the previous year. I say supposed, because in point of fact, many of our farmers do not half clean their land while it is in corn. It is the weak spot in our agriculture. If our land was as clean as it should be to start with, there is no rotation so convenient in this section, as corn the first year, barley, peas, or oats the second year, followed by winter-wheat seeded down. But to carry out this rotation to the best advantage we need artificial manures."

"But will they pay?" asks the Deacon.

"They will pay well, provided we can get them at a fair price and get fair prices for our produce. If we could get a good superphosphate made from Charleston phosphates for 1-1/2 cent per lb., and nitrate of soda for 3-1/2 or 4 cents per lb., and the German potash-salts for 3/4 cent per lb., and could get on the average $1.25 per bushel for barley, and $1.75 for good white wheat, we could use these manures to great advantage."

"Nothing like barn-yard manure," says the Deacon.

No doubt on that point, provided it is good manure. Barn-yard manure, whether rich or poor, contains all the elements of plant-food, but there is a great difference between rich and poor manure. The rich manure contains twice or three times as much nitrogen and phosphoric acid as ordinary or poor manure. And this is the reason why artificial manures are valuable in proportion to the nitrogen and phosphoric acid that they contain in an available condition. When we use two or three hundred pounds per acre of a good artificial manure we in effect, directly or indirectly, convert poor manure into rich manure. There is manure in our soil, but it is poor. There is manure in our barn-yard, but it is poor also. Nitrogen and phosphoric acid will make these manures rich. This is the reason why a few pounds of a good artificial manure will produce as great an effect as tons of common manure. Depend upon it, the coming farmer will avail himself of the discoveries of science, and will use more artificial fertilizers.

But whether we use artificial fertilizers or farm-yard manure, we shall not get the full effect of the manures unless we adopt a judicious rotation of crops.

When we sow wheat after wheat, or barley after barley, or oats after oats, we certainly do not get the full effect of the manures used. Mr. Lawes' experiments afford conclusive evidence on this point. You will recollect that in 1846, one of the plots of wheat (10b), which had received a liberal dressing of salts of ammonia the year previous, was left without manure, and the yield of wheat on this plot was no greater than on the plot which was continuously unmanured. In other words, the ammonia which was left in the soil from the previous year, had no effect on the wheat.

The following table shows the amount of nitrogen furnished by the manure, and the amount recovered in the crop, when wheat is grown after wheat for a series of years, and also when barley is grown after barley, and oats after oats.

Table Showing the Amount of Nitrogen Recovered, and Not Recovered, in Increase of Produce, for 100 Supplied in Manure.

+ -+ - For 100 Nitrogen P in Manure l Manures Per Acre, Per Annum. + + o Recovered Not Rec'd t in in s Increase. Increase. + -+ + Wheat 20 Years, 1852-1871. + -+ + 6 Mixed Mineral Manure and 200 lbs. Ammonia-salts (= 41 lbs. Nitrogen) 32.4 67.6 7 Mixed Mineral Manure and 400 lbs. Ammonia-salts (= 82 lbs. Nitrogen) 32.9 67.1 8 Mixed Mineral Manure and 600 lbs. Ammonia-salts (= 123 lbs. Nitrogen) 31.5 68.5 16 Mixed Mineral Manure and 800 lbs.[1] Ammonia-salts (= 164 lbs. Nitrogen) 28.5 71.5 9A Mixed Mineral Manure and 550 lbs.[2] Nitrate Soda (= 82 lbs. Nitrogen) 45.3 54.7 2 14 tons Farmyard-Manure every year. 14.6 85.4 + -+ + Barley 20 Years, 1852-1871. + -+ + 4A Mixed Mineral Manure and 200 lbs. Ammonia-salts (= 41 lbs. Nitrogen) 48.1 51.9 4AA Mixed Mineral Manure and 400 lbs. Ammonia-salts (= 82 lbs. Nitrogen) 49.8 50.2 6 years, 1852-'57 Mixed Mineral Manure and 200 lbs. Ammonia-salts (= 41 lbs. Nitrogen) 10 years, 1858-'67 Mixed Mineral Manure and 275 lbs. Nitrate Soda (= 41 lbs. Nitrogen) 4 years, 1868-'71 4C Mixed Mineral Manure and 2000 lbs. Rape-cake (= 95 lbs. Nitrogen) 36.3 63.7 6 years, 1852-'57 Mixed Mineral Manure and 1000 lbs. Rape-cake (= 47.5 lbs. Nitrogen) 14 years, 1858-'71 7 14 tons Farmyard-Manure every year. 10.7 89.3 + -+ + Oats 3 Years, 1869-1871. + -+ + 4 Mixed Mineral Manure and 400 lbs. Ammonia-salts (= 82 lbs. Nitrogen) 51.9 48.1 6 Mixed Mineral Manure and 550 lbs. Nitrate Soda (= 82 lbs. Nitrogen) 50.4 49.6 + -+ +

[Note 1: 13 years only, 1852-1864.]

[Note 2: 475 lbs. Nitrate = 71 lbs. Nitrogen in 1852; 275 lbs. = 41 lbs. Nitrogen in 1853 and 1854; 550 lbs. = 82 lbs. Nitrogen each year afterwards.]

It is not necessary to make any comments on this table. It speaks for itself; but it does not tell half the story. For instance, in the case of wheat and barley, it gives the average result for 20 years. It shows that when 100 lbs. of nitrogen in a soluble and available form, are applied to wheat, about 68 lbs. are left in the soil. But you must recollect that 100 lbs. was applied again the next year, and no account is taken of the 68 lbs. left in the soil—and so on for 20 years. In other words, on plot 8, for instance, 2,460 lbs. of nitrogen have been applied, and only 775 lbs. have been recovered in the total produce of grain, straw, and chaff, and 1,685 lbs. have been left in the soil.

Mr. Lawes estimates, from several analyses, that his farm-yard manure contains 0.637 per cent of nitrogen, 2.76 per cent of mineral matter, and 27.24 per cent of organic matter, and 70 per cent of water.

According to this, the plot dressed with 14 tons of manure every year, for 20 years, has received 3,995 lbs. of nitrogen, of which 583-1/4 lbs. were recovered in the produce, and 3,411-3/4 lbs. were left in the soil.

In the case of barley, 3,995 lbs. of nitrogen was applied during the 20 years to the plot dressed with farm-yard manure, of which 427-1/2 lbs. were recovered in the crop, and 3,567-1/2 lbs. left in the soil.

"I see," said the Deacon, "that barley gets less of the goodness out of farm-yard manure than wheat, but that it gets more out of the salts of ammonia and nitrate of soda. How do you account for that?"

"I suppose, because the manure for wheat was applied in the autumn, and the rains of winter and spring dissolved more of the plant-food than would be the case if the manure was applied in the spring. If the manure had been applied on the surface, instead of plowing it under, I believe the effect would have been still more in favor of the autumn-manuring."

When the nitrogen is in an available condition, spring barley can take up and utilize a larger proportion of the nitrogen than winter wheat. Neither the wheat nor the barley can get at and take up half what is applied, and this, notwithstanding the fact that a heavy dew or a slight rain furnishes water enough on an acre to dissolve a liberal dressing of nitrate of soda or sulphate and muriate of ammonia. The truth is, the soil is very conservative. It does not, fortunately for us, yield up all its plant-food in a year.

We have seen that when wheat or barley is dressed with soluble ammonia-salts or nitrate of soda, a considerable amount of the nitrogen is left in the soil—and yet this nitrogen is of comparatively little benefit to the succeeding crops of wheat or barley, while a fresh dressing of ammonia-salts or nitrate of soda is of great benefit to the crop.

In other words, when wheat is sown after wheat, or barley after barley, we do not get half the benefit from the manure which it is theoretically capable of producing.

Now, the question is, whether by a judicious rotation of crops, we can avoid this great loss of manure?

There was a time when it was thought that the growth of turnips enriched the soil. I have heard it said, again and again, that the reason English farmers grow larger crops of wheat and barley than we do, is because they grow so many acres of turnips.

"So I have often heard," said the Deacon, "and I supposed the broad turnip leaves absorbed nitrogen from the atmosphere."

There is no evidence that leaves have any such power; while there are many facts which point in an opposite direction. The following experiments of Lawes and Gilbert seem to show that the mere growth of turnips does not enrich land for grain crops.

Turnips were grown on the same land, year after year, for ten years. The land was then plowed and sown to barley for three years. The following table gives the results:

Three Years of Barley After Ten Years of Turnips.

+ Produce of Barley per Acre. Particulars of Manures, etc. + + + + - 1853. 1854. 1855. Average 3 years + + + + - bush. bush. bush. bush. Hoos-Field Barley, without manure, after 3 26 35-1/8 34-1/8 31-3/8 corn-crops Barn-Field Barley, after 10 yrs. Turnips manured as under 1. Mineral manures (last 8 years) 20-1/2 19-1/2 20 20 2. Mineral manures (8 yrs.); Ammonia-salts (6 yrs.). 23-1/8 21-1/4 21-3/4 22 3. Mineral manures (8 yrs.); Rape-cake (6 yrs.) 28-3/4 24-5/8 23-1/8 25-3/4 4. Mineral manures (8 yrs.); Ammonia-salts and Rape-cake (6 yrs.) 29-1/8 23-3/4 23-3/4 25-5/8 5. Mineral manures (8 yrs.); Ammonia-salts, for Barley, 1854 (20-1/2) 52-3/8 26-5/8 39-1/2 6. Mineral manures (8 yrs.); Ammonia-salts, for Barley, '54 and '55 (20-1/2) 54-7/8 49-3/8 47-5/8 + + + +

The yield of barley after turnips is less than it is after grain crops, and it is evident that this is due to a lack of available nitrogen in the soil. In other words, the turnips leave less available nitrogen in the soil than grain crops.

After alluding to the facts given in the foregoing table, Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert say:

"There is evidence of another kind that may be cited as showing that it was of available nitrogen that the turnips had rendered the soil so deficient for the after-growth of barley. It may be assumed that, on the average, between 25 and 30 lbs. of nitrogen would be annually removed from the Rothamsted soil by wheat or barley grown year after year without nitrogenous manure. But it is estimated that from the mineral-manured turnip-plots there were, over the 10 years, more than 50 lbs. of nitrogen per acre per annum removed. As, however, on some of the plots, small quantities of ammonia-salts or rape-cake were applied in the first two years of the ten of turnips, it is, perhaps, more to the purpose to take the average over the last 8 years of turnips only; and this would show about 45 lbs. of nitrogen removed per acre per annum. An immaterial proportion of this might be due to the small amounts of nitrogenous manures applied in the first two years. Still, it may be assumed that about 1-1/2 time as much nitrogen was removed from the land for 8, if not for 10 years, in succession, as would have been taken in an equal number of crops of wheat or barley grown without nitrogenous manure. No wonder, then, that considerably less barley has been grown in 3 years after a series of mineral-manured turnip-crops, than was obtained in another field after a less number of corn-crops.

"The results obtained in Barn-field afford a striking illustration of the dependence of the turnip-plant on a supply of available nitrogen within the soil, and of its comparatively great power of exhausting it. They are also perfectly consistent with those in Hoos-field, in showing that mineral manures will not yield fair crops of barley, unless there be, within the soil, a liberal supply of available nitrogen. The results obtained under such very different conditions in the two fields are, in fact, strikingly mutually confirmatory."



CHAPTER XXX.

MANURES FOR OATS.

"What is the use of talking about manure for oats," said the Deacon, "if land is not rich enough to produce oats without manure, it certainly will not pay to manure them. We can use our manure on some crop that will pay better."

"That is precisely what we want to know," said I. "Very likely you are right, but have you any evidence?"

"Evidence of what?"

"Have you any facts that show, for instance, that it will pay better to use manure for wheat or barley than for oats?"

"Can't say that I have, but I think manure will pay better on wheat than on oats."

Mr. Lawes is making a series of experiments on oats. Let us take a hasty glance at the results of the first two seasons:

Experiments on Oats at Rothamsted.

+ -+ -+ - Grain, in Straw, Weight per bushels. cwts. bushel, lbs. Manures per Acre. + + + + + + 1869 1870 1869 1870 1869 1870 + + + + + + 1. No manure 36-5/8 16-3/8 19-1/4 9-1/8 36-3/4 35 2. Mixed Alkalies and Superphosphate of Lime 45 19-1/8 24-1/2 9-5/8 38-1/2 35-1/8 3. 400 lbs. Ammonia-salts 56-1/8 37-1/2 36-7/8 17-1/4 37-1/2 34-1/4 4. Mixed Alkalies and Superphosphate, and 400 lbs. Ammonia-salts 75-1/4 50-5/8 54 28-5/8 39-1/4 36 5. 550 lbs. Nitrate of Soda 62-1/4 36-1/2 42-3/4 23 38-1/2 35-1/4 6. Mixed Alkalies, Superphosphate, and 550 lbs. Nitrate of Soda 69-3/8 50 49-7/8 28-3/4 38-1/2 35-3/4 + + + + + +

It seems clear that, for oats, as for barley and wheat, what we most need in manure, is available nitrogen.

The first year, the no-manure plot produced 36-5/8 bushels of oats per acre, weighing 36-3/4 lbs. per bushel, and plot 3, with ammonia-salts alone, 56-1/8 bushels, and with nitrate of soda alone, on plot 5, 62-1/4 bushels per acre, both weighing 38-1/2 lbs. per bushel. In other words, 82 lbs. of available nitrogen in the salts of ammonia gave an increase of about 20 bushels per acre, and the same quantity of nitrogen in nitrate of soda an increase of 26 bushels per acre.

The next year, the season seems to have been a very unfavorable one for oats. The no-manure plot produced less than 17 bushels per acre; and the "ashes" and superphosphate on plot 2, give an increase of less than 3 bushels per acre. But it will be seen that on plot 3 the ammonia-salts do as much good in this unfavorable season as in the favorable one. They give an increase of over 20 bushels per acre.

"A few such facts as this," said the Deacon, "would almost persuade me that you are right in contending that it is in the unfavorable seasons, when prices are sure to be high in this country, that a good farmer stands the best chance to make money."

"Where mixed alkalies and superphosphate," said the Doctor, "are added to the ammonia, the increase from the ammonia is far greater than where ammonia is used alone. In other words, by comparing plot 2 and plot 4, you will see that the ammonia gives an increase of 30-1/4 bushels per acre in 1869, and 31-1/2 bushels in 1870."

The truth of the matter probably is this: 100 lbs. of available ammonia per acre is an excessive supply, when used alone. And in fact Mr. Lawes himself only recommends about half this quantity.

Whether it will pay us to use artificial manures on oats depends on the price we are likely to get for the oats. When the price of oats per lb. and oat-straw is as high as barley and barley-straw per lb., then it will pay a little better to use manure on oats than on barley. As a rule in this country, however, good barley is worth more per lb. than good oats; and it will usually pay better to use artificial manures on barley than on oats.

Some years ago Mr. Bath, of Virginia, made some experiments on oats with the following results: Bushels of oats per acre. No. 1—200 lbs. Superphosphate 22 No. 2—200 lbs. Peruvian guano 48-3/4 No. 3—100 lbs. Peruvian guano 32

The oats were sown March 13, and the crop harvested July 4.

In 1860, I made some experiments with gypsum, superphosphate, and sulphate of ammonia as a top-dressing on oats.

The land was a clover-sod, plowed about the middle of May, and the oats sown May 20. On the 26th of May, just as the oats were coming up, the manures were sown broadcast. The oats were sown too late to obtain the best results. On another field, where the oats were sown two weeks earlier, the crop was decidedly better. The oats were cut August 28.

The following is the result:

Experiments on Oats at Moreton Farm, Rochester, N.Y.

- - Bushels Weight/ Straw Plots. Manures per Acre. of Oats/ Bushel per acre acre. in lbs. in lbs. - - No. 1 No manure 36 22 1,958 2 600 lbs. Gypsum (Sulphate of Lime) 47 26 2,475 3 300 lbs. Superphosphate of Lime 50 21 2,475 4 300 lbs. Sulphate of Ammonia 50 22 2,730 5 300 lbs. Superphosphate of Lime, and 300 lbs. Sulphate of Ammonia 51 22-1/2 2,575 - -

These experiments were made when my land was not as clean as it is now. I presume the weeds got more benefit from the ammonia than the oats. To top-dress foul land with expensive artificial manures is money thrown away. If the land had been plowed in the autumn, and the seed and manures could have been put in early in the spring, I presume we should have had more favorable results.

"Are you not ashamed to acknowledge," said the Deacon, "that you have ever raised oats weighing only 22 lbs. per bushel."

No. I have raised even worse crops than this—and so has the Deacon. But I made up my mind that such farming did not pay, and I have been trying hard since then to clean my land and get it into better condition. And until this is done, it is useless to talk much of artificial manures.

The most striking result is the effect of the gypsum. It not only gave an increased yield of 11 bushels per acre, but the oats were of decidedly better quality, and there was nearly half a ton more straw per acre than on the plot alongside, where no manure was used.

The superphosphate was a good article, similar to that used in Mr. Lawes' experiments.



CHAPTER XXXI.

MANURES FOR POTATOES.

Some time ago, a farmer in Pennsylvania wrote me that he wanted "to raise a first-rate crop of potatoes." I answered him as follows through the American Agriculturist:

"There are many ways of doing this. But as you only enter on the farm this spring, you will work to disadvantage. To obtain the best results, it is necessary to prepare for the crop two or three years beforehand. All that you can do this year is to select the best land on the farm, put on 400 lbs. of Peruvian guano, cultivate thoroughly, and suffer not a weed to grow. A two or three-year-old clover-sod, on warm, rich, sandy loam, gives a good chance for potatoes. Do not plow until you are ready to plant. Sow the guano broadcast after plowing, and harrow it in, or apply a tablespoonful in each hill, and mix it with the soil. Mark out the rows, both ways, three feet apart, and drop a fair-sized potato in each hill. Start the cultivator as soon as the rows can be distinguished, and repeat every week or ten days until there is danger of disturbing the roots. We usually hill up a little, making a broad, flat hill. A tablespoonful of plaster, dusted on the young plants soon after they come up, will usually do good. We recommend guano, because in our experience it does not increase the rot. But it is only fair to add, that we have not found even barn-yard manure, if thoroughly rotted and well mixed with the soil the fall previous, half so injurious as some people would have us suppose. If any one will put 25 loads per acre on our potato land, we will agree to plant and run the risk of the rot. But we would use some guano as well. The truth is, that it is useless to expect a large crop of potatoes, say 350 bushels per acre, without plenty of manure."

This was written before the potato-beetle made its appearance. But I think I should say the same thing now—only put it a little stronger. The truth is, it will not pay to "fight the bugs" on a poor crop of potatoes. We must select the best land we have and make it as rich as possible.

"But why do you recommend Peruvian guano," asked the Doctor, "rather than superphosphate or ashes? Potatoes contain a large amount of potash, and one would expect considerable benefit from an application of ashes."

"Ashes, plaster, and hen-dung," said the Judge, "will at any rate pay well on potatoes. I have tried this mixture again and again, and always with good effect."

"I believe in the hen-dung," said I, "and possibly in the plaster, but on my land, ashes do not seem to be specially beneficial on potatoes, while I have rarely used Peruvian guano without good effect; and sometimes it has proved wonderfully profitable, owing to the high price of potatoes."

Sometime ago, I had a visit from one of the most enterprising and successful farmers in Western New York.

"What I want to learn," he said, "is how to make manure enough to keep my land in good condition. I sell nothing but beans, potatoes, wheat, and apples. I feed out all my corn, oats, stalks, straw, and hay on the farm, and draw into the barn-yard the potato-vines and everything else that will rot into manure. I make a big pile of it. But the point with me is to find out what is the best stock to feed this straw, stalks, hay, oats, and corn to, so as to make the best manure and return the largest profit. Last year I bought a lot of steers to feed in winter, and lost money. This fall I bought 68 head of cows to winter, intending to sell them in the spring."

"What did they cost you?"

"I went into Wyoming and Cattaraugus Counties, and picked them up among the dairy farmers, and selected a very fair lot of cows at an average of $22 per head. I expect to sell them as new milch cows in the spring. Such cows last spring would have been worth $60 to $70 each."

"That will pay. But it is not often the grain-grower gets such a chance to feed out his straw, stalks, and other fodder to advantage. It cannot be adopted as a permanent system. It is bad for the dairyman, and no real help to the grain-grower. The manure is not rich enough. Straw and stalks alone can not be fed to advantage. And when you winter cows to sell again in the spring, it will not pay to feed grain. If you were going to keep the cows it would pay well. The fat and flesh you put on in the winter would be returned in the form of butter and cheese next summer."

"Why is not the manure good? I am careful to save everything, and expect seven or eight hundred loads of manure in the spring."

"You had 60 acres of wheat that yielded 25 bushels per acre, and have probably about 50 tons of wheat straw. You had also 30 acres oats, that yielded 50 bushels per acre, say 35 tons of straw. Your 20 acres of corn produced 40 bushels of shelled corn per acre; say the stalks weigh 30 tons. And you have 60 tons of hay, half clover and half timothy. Let us see what your manure from this amount of grain and fodder is worth.

Manures from 50 tons wheat-straw, @ $2.68 $ 134.00 35 tons oat-straw, @ $2.90 101.50 30 tons corn-stalks, @ $3.58 107.40 30 tons timothy-hay, @ $6.43 192.90 30 tons clover-hay, @ $9.64 289.20 14 tons oats (1,500 bush.), @ $7.70 107.80 24 tons corn (800 bushels), @ $6.65 159.60 ————- Total 213 tons $1,092.40

"This is the value of the manure on the land. Assuming that there are 600 loads, and that the labor of cleaning out the stables, piling, carting, and spreading the manure is worth 30 cents per load, or $180, we have $912.40 as the net value of the manure.

"Now, your 250-acre farm might be so managed that this amount of manure annually applied would soon greatly increase its fertility. But you do not think you can afford to summer-fallow, and you want to raise thirty or forty acres of potatoes every year."

"I propose to do so," he replied. "Situated as I am, close to a good shipping station, no crop pays me better. My potatoes this year have averaged me over $100 per acre."

"Very good. But it is perfectly clear to my mind that sooner or later, you must either farm slower or feed higher. And in your case, situated close to a village where you can get plenty of help, and with a good shipping station near by, you had better adopt the latter plan. You must feed higher, and make richer manure. You now feed out 213 tons of stuff, and make 600 loads of manure, worth $912.40. By feeding out one third, or 71 tons more, you can more than double the value of the manure.

50 tons of bran or mill-feed would give manure worth $ 729.50 21 tons decorticated cotton-seed cake 585.06 ————- $1,314.56

"Buy and feed out this amount of bran and cake, and you would have 800 loads of manure, worth on the land $2,226.96, or, estimating as before that it cost 30 cents a load to handle it, its net value would be $1,986.96."

I am well aware that comparatively few farmers in this section can afford to adopt this plan of enriching their land. We want better stock. I do not know where I could buy a lot of steers that it would pay to fatten in the winter. Those farmers who raise good grade Shorthorn or Devon cattle are not the men to sell them half-fat at low rates. They can fatten them as well as I can. For some time to come, the farmer who proposes to feed liberally, will have to raise his own stock. He can rarely buy well-bred animals to fatten. A good farmer must be a good farmer throughout. He can not be good in spots. His land must be drained, well-worked, and free from weeds. If he crops heavily he must manure heavily, and to do this he must feed liberally—and he can not afford to feed liberally unless he has good stock.

"I have, myself, no doubt but you are right on this point," said the Doctor, "but all this takes time. Suppose a farmer becomes satisfied that the manure he makes is not rich enough. To tell him, when he is anxious to raise a good crop of potatoes next year, that he must go to work and improve his stock of cattle, sheep, and swine, and then buy bran and oil-cake to make richer manure, is somewhat tantalizing."

This is true, and in such a case, instead of adding nitrogen and phosphoric acid to his manure in the shape of bran, oil-cake, etc., he can buy nitrogen and phosphoric acid in guano or in nitrate of soda and superphosphate. This gives him richer manure; which is precisely what he wants for his potatoes. His poor manure is not so much deficient in potash as in nitrogen and phosphoric acid, and consequently it is nitrogen and phosphoric acid that he will probably need to make his soil capable of producing a large crop of potatoes.

I have seen Peruvian guano extensively used on potatoes, and almost always with good effect. My first experience with it in this country, was in 1852. Four acres of potatoes were planted on a two-year-old clover-sod, plowed in the spring. On two acres, Peruvian guano was sown broadcast at the rate of 300 lbs. per acre and harrowed in. The potatoes were planted May 10. On the other two acres no manure of any kind was used, though treated exactly alike in every other respect. The result was as follows:

No manure 119 bushels per acre. 300 lbs. Peruvian guano 205 " "

The guano cost, here, about 3 cents a lb., and consequently nine dollars' worth of guano gave 84 bushels of potatoes. The potatoes were all sound and good, but where the guano was used, they were larger, with scarcely a small one amongst them.

In 1857, I made the following experiments on potatoes, in the same field on which the preceding experiment was made in 1852.

In this case, as before, the land was a two-year-old clover-sod. It was plowed about the first of May, and harrowed until it was in a good mellow condition. The potatoes were planted in hills 3-1/2 feet apart each way. The following table shows the manures used and the yield of potatoes per acre.

Experiments on Potatoes at Moreton Farm.

P. Number of Plot. Y/A Yield of Potatoes per acre, in bushels. I/A Increase of Potatoes per acre, in bushels, caused by manure.

-+ -+ -+ Description of Manures Used, and Quantities P. Applied per Acre. Y/A I/A -+ -+ -+ 1. No manure 95 2. 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia 140 45 3. 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime 132 37 4. 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia, and 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime 179 84 5. 400 lbs. of unleached wood-ashes 100 5 6. 100 lbs. plaster, (gypsum, or sulphate of lime,) 101 6 7. 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes and 100 lbs. plaster 110 15 8. 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes, 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia and 100 lbs. plaster 109 14 9. 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime, 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia and 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes 138 43 -+ -+ -+

The superphosphate of lime was made expressly for experimental purposes, from calcined bones, ground fine, and mixed with sulphuric acid in the proper proportions to convert all the phosphate of lime of the bones into the soluble superphosphate. It was a purely mineral article, free from ammonia and other organic matter. It cost about two and a half cents per pound.

The manures were deposited in the hill, covered with an inch or two of soil, and the seed then planted on the top. Where superphosphate of lime or sulphate of ammonia was used in conjunction with ashes, the ashes were first deposited in the hill and covered with a little soil, and then the superphosphate or sulphate of ammonia placed on the top and covered with soil before the seed was planted. Notwithstanding this precaution, the rain washed the sulphate of ammonia into the ashes, and decomposition, with loss of ammonia, was the result. This will account for the less yield on plot 8 than on plot 2. It would have been better to have sown the ashes broadcast, but some previous experiments with Peruvian guano on potatoes indicated that it was best to apply guano in the hill, carefully covering it with soil to prevent it injuring the seed, than to sow it broadcast. It was for this reason, and for the greater convenience in sowing, that the manures were applied in the hill.

The ash of potatoes consists of about 50 per cent of potash, and this fact has induced many writers to recommend ashes as a manure for this crop. It will be seen, however, that in this instance, at least, they have very little effect, 400 lbs. giving an increase of only five bushels per acre. One hundred pounds of plaster per acre gave an increase of six bushels. Plaster and ashes combined, an increase per acre of 15 bushels.

One fact is clearly brought out by these experiments: that this soil, which has been under cultivation without manure for many years, is not, relatively to other constituents of crops, deficient in potash. Had such been the case, the sulphate of ammonia and superphosphate of lime—manures which contain no potash—would not have give a an increase of 84 bushels of potatoes per acre. There was sufficient potash in the soil, in an available condition, for 179 bushels of potatoes per acre; and the reason why the soil without manure produced only 95 bushels per acre, was owing to a deficiency of ammonia and phosphates.

Since these experiments were made, Dr. Voelcker and others have made similar ones in England. The results on the whole all point in one direction. They show that the manures most valuable for potatoes are those rich in nitrogen and phosphoric acid, and that occasionally potash is also a useful addition.

"There is one thing I should like to know," said the Doctor. "Admitting that nitrogen and phosphoric acid and potash are the most important elements of plant-food, how many bushels of potatoes should we be likely to get from a judicious application of these manures?"

"There is no way," said I, "of getting at this with any degree of certainty. The numerous experiments that have been made in England seem to show that a given quantity of manure will produce a larger increase on poor land than on land in better condition."

In England potatoes are rarely if ever planted without manure, and the land selected for this crop, even without manure, would usually be in better condition than the average potato land of this section, and consequently a given amount of manure, applied to potatoes here, would be likely to do more good, up to a certain point, than the same amount would in England.

Let us look at some of the experiments that have been made in England:—

In the Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland for 1873 is a prize essay on "Experiments upon Potatoes, with Potash Salts, on Light Land," by Charles D. Hunter, F.C.S., made on the farm of William Lawson, in Cumberland. Mr. Hunter "was charged with the manuring of the farm and the purchasing of chemical manures to the annual value of [L]2,000," or say $10,000.

"Potatoes," says Mr. Hunter, "were largely grown on the farm, and in the absence of a sufficiency of farm-yard manure, potash naturally suggested itself as a necessary constituent of a chemical potato-manure. The soil was light and gravelly, with an open subsoil, and the rainfall from 29 to 38 inches a year."

The first series of experiments was made in 1867. The following are some of the results:— Bushels per acre. No manure 221 4 cwt. mineral superphosphate 225 4 cwt. mineral superphosphate and } 240 4 cwt. of muriate of potash } 15-1/2 tons farm-yard manure 293

"That does not say much for potash and superphosphate," said the Deacon. "The superphosphate only produced four bushels more than the no manure, and the potash and superphosphate only fifteen bushels more than the superphosphate alone."

It may be worth while mentioning that one of the experimental plots this year was on a head-land, "where the cattle frequently stand for shelter." This plot was dressed with only eight and a half tons of manure, and the crop was over 427 bushels per acre, while a plot alongside, without manure, produced only 163 bushels per acre.

"That shows the importance," said the Deacon, "of planting potatoes on rich land, rather than to plant on poor land and try to make it rich by applying manure directly to the crop."

The following are some of the results in 1868:

Bushels per acre. 1. No manure 232 {4 cwt. superphosphate } 2. {2 " muriate of potash } 340 {2 " sulphate of ammonia } 3. 20 tons farm-yard manure 342 4. {4 cwt. superphosphate } 274 {4 " muriate of potash }

"Here again," said the Doctor, "superphosphate and potash alone give an increase of only forty-two bushels per acre, while on plot 2, where two hundred weight of muriate of potash is substituted by two hundred weight of sulphate of ammonia, the increase is 108 bushels per acre. It certainly looks as though a manure for potatoes, so far as yield is concerned, should be rich in available nitrogen."

The following are some of the results in 1869:

Bushels per acre. 1. No manure 176

2. {4 cwt. superphosphate } {3/4 " sulphate of magnesia } 306 {2 " muriate of potash } {2 " sulphate of ammonia }

3. 4 cwt. superphosphate 189

4. {4 cwt. superphosphate } 201 {2 " sulphate of ammonia }

5. {4 cwt. superphosphate } {2 " muriate of potash } 340 {2 " sulphate of ammonia. }

6. {4 cwt. superphosphate } 249 {2 " muriate of potash }

"This is a very interesting experiment," said the Doctor. "Superphosphate alone gives an increase of thirteen bushels. Superphosphate and potash an increase of seventy-three bushels. The potash, therefore, gives an increase of sixty bushels. Superphosphate and ammonia give twelve bushels more than superphosphate alone, and the reason it does not produce a better crop is owing to a deficiency of potash. When this is supplied the ammonia gives an increase (plots 5 and 6) of ninety-one bushels per acre."

In 1870 the above experiments were repeated on the same land, with the same general results.

In 1871 some experiments were made on a sharp, gravelly soil, which had been over-cropped, and was in poor condition. The following are the results:—

Bushels per acre. 1. {9 cwt. superphosphate } 186 {3 " sulphate of ammonia }

2. {9 cwt. superphosphate } {3-1/2 " muriate of potash } 204 {3 " sulphate of ammonia }

3. No manure 70

4. {9 cwt. superphosphate } {3-1/2 " muriate of potash } 205 {3 " sulphate of ammonia }

5. 20 tons farm-yard manure 197

"On this poor soil," said the Doctor, "the ammonia and superphosphate gave an increase of 116 bushels per acre; and 3-1/2 hundred weight of muriate of potash an increase, on one plot, of eighteen bushels, and on the other nineteen bushels per acre."

In the same year, 1871, another set of experiments was made on a better and more loamy soil, which had been in grass for several years. In 1869 it was sown for hay, and in 1870 was broken up and sown to oats, and the next spring planted with potatoes. The following are some of the results:

Bushels per acre.

{6-1/4 cwt. superphosphate } 1. {2-1/2 " muriate of potash } 321 {2-1/2 " sulphate of ammonia }

2. {6-1/4 cwt. superphosphate } 296 {2-1/2 " sulphate of ammonia }

3. No manure 252

4. {6-1/4 cwt. superphosphate } 311 {2-1/2 " muriate of potash }

5. 2-1/2 cwt. sulphate of ammonia 238

6. 15 tons farm-yard manure 365

"It is curious," said the Doctor, "that the plot with sulphate of ammonia alone should produce less than the no-manure plot."

"The sulphate of ammonia," said I, "may have injured the seed, or it may have produced too luxuriant a growth of vine."

Another series of experiments was made on another portion of the same field in 1871. The "no-manure" plot produced 337 bushels per acre. Manures of various kinds were used, but the largest yield, 351 bushels per acre, was from superphosphate and sulphate of ammonia; fourteen tons barn-yard manure produce 340 bushels per acre; and Mr. Hunter remarks: "It is evident that, when the produce of the unmanured soil reaches nine tons [336 bushels] per acre, there is but little scope for manure of any kind."

"I do not see," said the Doctor, "that you have answered my question, but I suppose that, with potatoes at fifty cents a bushel, and wheat at $1.50 per bushel, artificial manures can be more profitably used on potatoes than on wheat, and the same is probably true of oats, barley, corn, etc."

I have long been of the opinion that artificial manures can be applied to potatoes with more profit than to any other ordinary farm-crop, for the simple reason that, in this country, potatoes, on the average, command relatively high prices.

For instance, if average land, without manure, will produce fifteen bushels of wheat per acre and 100 bushels of potatoes, and a given quantity of manure costing, say $25, will double the crop, we have, in the one case, an increase of:—

15 bushels of wheat at $1.50 $22.50 15 cwt. of straw 3.50 ——— $26.00 Cost of manure 25.00 ——— Profit from using manure $1.00

And in the other:—

100 bushels of potatoes at 50 cents $50.00 Cost of manure 25.00 ——— Profit from using manure $25.00

The only question is, whether the same quantity of the right kind of manure is as likely to double the potato crop as to double the wheat crop, when both are raised on average land.

"It is not an easy matter," said the Deacon, "to double the yield of potatoes."

"Neither is it," said I, "to double the yield of wheat, but both can be done, provided you start low enough. If your land is clean, and well worked, and dry, and only produces ten bushels of wheat per acre, there is no difficulty in making it produce twenty bushels; and so of potatoes. If the land be dry and well cultivated, and, barring the bugs, produces without manure 75 bushels per acre, there ought to be no difficulty in making it produce 150 bushels.

"But if your land produces, without manure, 150 bushels, it is not always easy to make it produce 300 bushels. Fortunately, or unfortunately, our land is, in most cases, poor enough to start with, and we ought to be able to use manure on potatoes to great advantage."

"But will not the manure," asked the Deacon, "injure the quality of the potatoes?"

I think not. So far as my experiments and experience go, the judicious use of good manure, on dry land, favors the perfect maturity of the tubers and the formation of starch. I never manured potatoes so highly as I did last year (1877), and never had potatoes of such high quality. They cook white, dry, and mealy. We made furrows two and a half feet apart, and spread rich, well-rotted manure in the furrows, and planted the potatoes on top of the manure, and covered them with a plow. In our climate, I am inclined to think, it would be better to apply the manure to the land for potatoes the autumn previous. If sod land, spread the manure on the surface, and let it lie exposed all winter. If stubble land, plow it in the fall, and then spread the manure in the fall or winter, and plow it under in the spring.



CHAPTER XXXII.

WHAT CROPS SHOULD MANURE BE APPLIED TO.

"It will not do any harm on any crop," said the Deacon, "but on my farm it seems to be most convenient to draw it out in the winter or spring, and plow it under for corn. I do not know any farmer except you who uses it on potatoes."

My own rule is to apply manure to those crops which require the most labor per acre. But I am well aware that this rule will have many exceptions. For instance, it will often pay well to use manure on barley, and yet barley requires far less labor than corn or potatoes.

People who let out, and those who work farms "on shares" seldom understand this matter clearly. I knew a farmer, who last year let out a field of good land, that had been in corn the previous year, to a man to sow to barley, and afterwards to wheat on "the halves." Another part of the farm was taken by a man to plant corn and potatoes on similar terms, and another man put in several acres of cabbage, beets, carrots, and onions on halves. It never seemed to occur to either of them that the conditions were unequal. The expense of digging and harvesting the potato-crop alone was greater than the whole cost of the barley-crop; while, after the barley was off, the land was plowed once, harrowed, and sowed to winter wheat; and nothing more has to be done to it until the next harvest. With the garden crops, the difference is even still more striking. The labor expended on one acre of onions or carrots would put in and harvest a ten-acre field of barley. If the tenant gets pay for his labor, the landlord would get say $5 an acre for his barley land, and $50 for his carrot and onion land. I am pretty sure the tenants did not see the matter in this light, nor the farmer either.

Crops which require a large amount of labor can only be grown on very rich land. Our successful market-gardeners, seed-growers, and nurserymen understand this matter. They must get great crops or they cannot pay their labor bill. And the principle is applicable to ordinary farm crops. Some of them require much more labor than others, and should never be grown unless the land is capable of producing a maximum yield per acre, or a close approximation to it. As a rule, the least-paying crops are those which require the least labor per acre. Farmers are afraid to expend much money for labor. They are wise in this, unless all the conditions are favorable. But when they have land in a high state of cultivation—drained, clean, mellow, and rich—it would usually pay them well to grow crops which require the most labor.

And it should never be forgotten that, as compared with nearly all other countries, our labor is expensive. No matter how cheap our land may be, we can not afford to waste our labor. It is too costly. If men would work for nothing, and board themselves, there are localities where we could perhaps afford to keep sheep that shear two pounds of wool a year; or cows that make 75 lbs. of butter. We might make a profit out of a wheat crop of 8 bushels per acre, or a corn-crop of 15 bushels, or a potato-crop of 50 bushels. But it cannot be done with labor costing from $1.00 to $1.25 per day. And I do not believe labor will cost much less in our time. The only thing we can do is to employ it to the best advantage. Machinery will help us to some extent, but I can see no real escape from our difficulties in this matter, except to raise larger crops per acre.

In ordinary farming, "larger crops per acre" means fewer acres planted or sown with grain. It means more summer fallow, more grass, clover, peas, mustard, coleseed, roots, and other crops that are consumed on the farm. It means more thorough cultivation. It means clean and rich land. It means husbanding the ammonia and nitric acid, which is brought to the soil, as well as that which is developed from the soil, or which the soil attracts from the atmosphere, and using it to grow a crop every second, third, or fourth year, instead of every year. If a piece of land will grow 25 bushels of corn every year, we should aim to so manage it, that it will grow 50 every other year, or 75 every third year, or, if the climate is capable of doing it, of raising 100 bushels per acre every fourth year.

Theoretically this can be done, and in one of Mr. Lawes' experiments he did it practically in the case of a summer-fallow for wheat, the one crop in two years giving a little more than two crops sown in succession. But on sandy land we should probably lose a portion of the liberated plant-food, unless we grew a crop of some kind every year. And the matter organized in the renovating crop could not be rendered completely available for the next crop. In the end, however, we ought to be able to get it with little or no loss. How best to accomplish this result, is one of the most interesting and important fields for scientific investigation and practical experiment. We know enough, however, to be sure that there is a great advantage in waiting until there is a sufficient accumulation of available plant-food in the soil to produce a large yield, before sowing a crop that requires much labor.

If we do not want to wait, we must apply manure. If we have no barn-yard or stable-manure, we must buy artificials.

HOW AND WHEN MANURE SHOULD BE APPLIED.

This is not a merely theoretical or chemical question. We must take into consideration the cost of application. Also, whether we apply it at a busy or a leisure season. I have seen it recommended, for instance, to spread manure on meadow-land immediately after the hay-crop was removed. Now, I think this may be theoretically very good advice. But, on my farm, it would throw the work right into the midst of wheat and barley harvests; and I should make the theory bend a little to my convenience. The meadows would have to wait until we had got in the crops—or until harvest operations were stopped by rain.

I mention this merely to show the complex character of this question. On my own farm, the most leisure season of the year, except the winter, is immediately after wheat harvest. And, as already stated, it is at this time that John Johnston draws out his manure and spreads it on grass-land intended to be plowed up the following spring for corn.

If the manure was free from weed-seeds, many of our best farmers, if they had some well-rotted manure like this of John Johnston's, would draw it out and spread it on their fields prepared for winter-wheat.

In this case, I should draw out the manure in heaps and then spread it carefully. Then harrow it, and if the harrow pulls the manure into heaps, spread them and harrow again. It is of the greatest importance to spread manure evenly and mix it thoroughly with the soil. If this work is well done, and the manure is well-rotted, it will not interfere with the drill. And the manure will be near the surface, where the young roots of the wheat can get hold of it.

"You must recollect," said the Doctor, "that the roots can only take up the manure when in solution."

"It must also be remembered," said I, "that a light rain of, say, only half an inch, pours down on to the manures spread on an acre of land about 14,000 gallons of water, or about 56 tons. If you have put on 8 tons of manure, half an inch of rain would furnish a gallon of water to each pound of manure. It is not difficult to understand, therefore, how manure applied on the surface, or near the surface, can be taken up by the young roots."

"That puts the matter in a new light to me," said the Deacon. "If the manure was plowed under, five or six inches deep, it would require an abundant rain to reach the manure. And it is not one year in five that we get rain enough to thoroughly soak the soil for several weeks after sowing the wheat in August or September. And when it does come, the season is so far advanced that the wheat plants make little growth."

My own opinion is, that on clayey land, manure will act much quicker if applied on, or near the surface, than if plowed under. Clay mixed with manure arrests or checks decomposition. Sand has no such effect. If anything, it favors a more active decomposition, and hence, manure acts much more rapidly on sandy land than on clay land. And I think, as a rule, where a farmer advocates the application of manure on the surface, it will be found that he occupies clay land or a heavy loam; while those who oppose the practice, and think manure should be plowed under, occupy sandy land or sandy loam.

"J. J. Thomas," said I, "once gave me a new idea."

"Is that anything strange," remarked the Deacon. "Are ideas so scarce among you agricultural writers, that you can recollect who first suggested them?"

"Be that as it may," said I, "this idea has had a decided influence on my farm practice. I will not say that the idea originated with Mr. Thomas, but at any rate, it was new to me. I had always been in the habit, when spading in manure in the garden, of putting the manure in the trench and covering it up; and in plowing it in, I thought it was desirable to put it at the bottom of the furrow where the next furrow would cover it up."

"Well," said the Deacon, "and what objection is there to the practice?"

"I am not objecting to the practice. I do not say that it is not a good plan. It may often be the only practicable method of applying manure. But it is well to know that there is sometimes a better plan. The idea that Mr. Thomas gave me, was, that it was very desirable to break up the manure fine, spread it evenly, and thoroughly mix it with the soil.

"After the manure is spread on the soil," said Mr. Thomas, "and before plowing it in, great benefit is derived by thoroughly harrowing the top-soil, thus breaking finely both the manure and the soil, and mixing them well together. Another way for the perfect diffusion of the manure among the particles of earth, is, to spread the manure in autumn, so that, all the rains of this season may dissolve the soluble portions and carry them down among the particles, where they are absorbed and retained for the growing crop.

"In experiments," continues Mr. Thomas, "when the manure for corn was thus applied in autumn, has afforded a yield of about 70 bushels per acre, when the same amount applied in spring, gave only 50 bushels. A thin coating of manure applied to winter-wheat at the time of sowing, and was harrowed in, has increased the crop from 7 to 10 bushels per acre—and in addition to this, by the stronger growth it has caused, as well as by the protection it has afforded to the surface, it has not unfrequently saved the crop from partial or total winter-killing.

"In cases where it is necessary to apply coarse manures at once, much may be done in lessening the evils of coarseness by artificially grinding it into the soil. The instrument called the drag-roller—which is like the common roller set stiff so as not to revolve—has been used to great advantage for this purpose, by passing it over the surface in connection with the harrow. We have known this treatment to effect a thorough intermixture, and to more than double the crop obtained by common management with common manure."

TOP-DRESSING WITH MANURE.

The term "top-dressing" usually refers to sowing or spreading manures on the growing crop. For instance, we top-dress pastures or meadows by spreading manure on the surface. If we sow nitrate of soda, or guano, on our winter-wheat in the spring, that would be top-dressing. We often sow gypsum on clover, and on barley, and peas, while the plants are growing in the spring, and this is top-dressing.

"If the gypsum was sown broadcast on the land before sowing the seed," said the Deacon, "would not that be top-dressing also?"

Strictly speaking, I suppose that would not be top-dressing.

Top-dressing in the sense in which I understand the term, is seldom adopted, except on meadows and pastures as a regular system. It is an after-thought. We have sown wheat on a poor, sandy knoll, and we draw out some manure and spread on it in the winter or early spring; or we top-dress it with hen-manure, or guano, or nitrate of soda and superphosphate. I do not say that this is better than to apply the manure at the time of sowing the wheat, but if we neglect to do so, then top-dressing is a commendable practice.

Dr. Voelcker reports the result of some experiments in top-dressing winter-wheat on the farm of the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, England. The manures were finely sifted and mixed with about ten times their weight of fine soil, and sown broadcast on the growing wheat, March 22. A fine rain occurred the following day, and washed the manure into the soil. The following is the yield per acre:—

No manure 27 bushels and 1984 lbs. of straw. 280 lbs. Peruvian guano 40 " " 2576 " " 195 " nitrate of soda 38 " " 2695 " " 180 " nitrate of soda, and 168 lbs. of common salt 40-1/2 " " 2736 " " 448 lbs. Proctor's wheat-manure 39-1/2 " " 2668 " " 672 " " " " 44-1/4 " " 3032 " " 4 tons chalk-marl 27 " " 1872 " "

The manures in each case cost $7.80 per acre, except the large dose of Proctor's wheat-manure, which cost $11.70 per acre. The wheat was worth $1.26 per bushel. Leaving the value of the straw out of the question, the profit from the use of the top dressing was:

With guano $8.70 per acre. " nitrate of soda 6.00 " nitrate of soda and common salt 9.33 " 448 lbs. wheat-manure 7.94 " 672 " " " 10.16

The marl did no good.

The nitrate of soda and common salt contained no phosphoric acid, and yet produced an excellent effect. The guano and the wheat-manure contained phosphoric acid as well as nitrogen, and the following crop of clover would be likely to get some benefit from it.

John Johnston wrote in 1868, "I have used manure only as a top-dressing for the last 26 years, and I do think one load, used in that way, is worth far more than two loads plowed under on our stiff land."



CHAPTER XXXIII.

MANURES ON PERMANENT MEADOWS AND PASTURES.

In this country, where labor is comparatively high, and hay often commands a good price, a good, permanent meadow frequently affords as much real profit as any other portion of the farm. Now that we have good mowing-machines, tedders, rakes, and loading and unloading apparatus, the labor of hay-making is greatly lessened. The only difficulty is to keep up and increase the annual growth of good grass.

Numerous experiments on top-dressing meadows are reported from year to year. The results, of course, differ considerably, being influenced by the soil and season. The profit of the practice depends very much on the price of hay. In the Eastern States, hay generally commands a higher relative price than grain, and it not unfrequently happens that we can use manure on grass to decided advantage.

The celebrated experiments of Messrs. Lawes & Gilbert with "Manures on Permanent Meadow-land" were commenced in 1856, and have been continued on the same plots every year since that time.

"You need not be afraid, Deacon," said I, as the old gentleman commenced to button up his coat, "I am not going into the details of these wonderful experiments; but I am sure you will be interested in the results of the first six or seven years."

The following table explains itself:

Experiments with Manures on Permanent Meadow land at Rothamsted, England.

Hay/Acre 20th (1875): Hay per Acre the 20th Season, 1875. Total/Acre: Total Hay (per) Acre.

-+ -+ + Annual Produce of Hay per Acre in Lbs. + + + + + + + + Description and Amount of 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 Manures per Acre. -+ -+ + + + + + + + 1 No manure 2433 2724 3116 2558 2822 3074 3238 2{ 400 lbs. ammonia-salts = 82 { lbs. of nitrogen 4028 3774 3982 3644 2940 3808 3854 3 Superphosphate of lime 2828 3176 3400 3252 4{ 400 lbs. ammonia-salts and { superphosphate of lime 4996 4788 4968 4756 5 Mixed mineral manures 3429 3666 4082 3416 3928 4488 4424 6 400 lbs. ammonia-salts and mixed mineral manures 6363 6422 7172 6198 5624 6316 6402 7 800 lbs. ammonia-salts and mixed mineral manures 7054 6940 7508 7150 5744 6710 7108 8 800 lbs. ammonia-salts and mixed mineral manures, including 200 lbs. each silicates, soda, and lime 7120 9 275 lbs. nitrate of soda 2952 3588 3948 4092 4446 10 550 lbs. nitrate of soda = 82 lbs. of nitrogen 3564 4116 4410 4452 4086 11 Mixed mineral manures and 275 lbs. nitrate of soda 4236 4956 4812 5514 5178 12 Mixed mineral manures and 550 lbs. nitrate of soda 5636 6072 5586 5892 5718 13 14 tons farmyard-manure 4030 5328 4164 4584 5208 5052 5060 14 14 tons farmyard-manure and 200 lbs. ammonia-salts 5009 6008 5320 5356 5704 5320 5556 -+ -+ + + + + + + +

+ + Average Hay per Hay/Acre Acre. 20th (1875) -+ + + + + 1st 7 Yrs 20 Years. 1st 2nd Total 1856-62. Crop Crop /Acre -+ + + + + 2824 2534 2436 1491 3927 1 3719 2940 2702 2016 4718 2 (4 yrs.)} (17 yrs.)} 3164 } 2492 } 2352 1722 4074 3 (4 yrs.)} (17 yrs.)} 4877 } 3612 } 4102 1610 5712 4 3919 3948 4564 2688 7252 5 6357 5712 5824 2744 8508 6 6876 6454 6222 5684 10,906 7 7000 6720 4592 11,312 8 1858-62} (18 yrs.)} 3805 } 3794 } 3360 1456 4816 9 (18 yrs.)} 4126 3962 } 3276 1470 4746 10 (18 yrs.)} 4939 5208 } 5040 1862 6902 11 (18 yrs.)} 5783 6384 } 7028 1974 9002 12 4775 4130 2996 1316 4312 13 5468 4816 3766 1960 5726 14 -+ + + + +

These are all the figures I will trouble you with. The "mixed mineral manures" consisted of superphosphate of lime (composed of 150 lbs. bone-ash and 150 lbs. sulphuric acid, sp. gr. 1.7), 300 lbs. sulphate of potash, 200 lbs. sulphate of soda, and 100 lbs. sulphate of magnesia. The ammonia-salts consisted of equal parts sulphate and muriate of ammonia, containing about 25 per cent. of ammonia. The manures were sown as early as possible in the spring, and, if the weather was suitable, sometimes in February. The farmyard-manure was spread on the land, in the first year, in the spring, afterwards in November or December. The hay was cut from the middle to the last of June; and the aftermath was pastured off by sheep in October.

"It is curious," said the Deacon, "that 400 lbs. of ammonia-salts should give as great an increase in the yield of hay the first year as 14 tons of farmyard-manure, but the second year the farmyard-manure comes out decidedly ahead."

"The farmyard-manure," said I, "was applied every year, at the rate of 14 gross tons per acre, for eight years—1856 to 1863. After 1863, this plot was left without manure of any kind. The average yield of this plot, during the first 8 years was 4,800 lbs. of hay per acre."

On the plot dressed with 14 tons of farmyard-manure and 200 lbs. ammonia-salts, the average yield of hay for 8 years was 5,544 lbs. per acre. After the eighth year the farmyard-manure was discontinued, and during the next twelve years the yield of hay averaged 3,683 lbs., or 1,149 lbs. more than the continuously unmanured plot.

In 1859, superphosphate of lime was used alone on plot 3, and has been continued ever since. It seems clear that this land, which had been in pasture or meadow for a hundred years or more, was not deficient in phosphates.

"It does not seem," said the Deacon, "to have been deficient in anything. The twentieth crop, on the continuously unmanured plot was nearly 1-1/4 ton per acre, the first cutting, and nearly 3/4-ton the second cutting. And apparently the land was just as rich in 1875, as it was in 1856, and yet over 25 tons of hay had been cut and removed from the land, without any manure being returned. And yet we are told that hay is a very exhausting crop."

"Superphosphate alone," said the Doctor, "did very little to increase the yield of hay, but superphosphate and ammonia produced the first year, 1859, over a ton more hay per acre than the superphosphate alone, and when potash is added to the manure, the yield is still further increased."

"Answer me one question," said the Deacon, "and let us leave the subject. In the light of these and other experiments, what do you consider the cheapest and best manure to apply to a permanent meadow or pasture?"

"Rich, well-decomposed farmyard or stable manure," said I, "and if it is not rich, apply 200 lbs. of nitrate of soda per acre, in addition. This will make it rich. Poor manure, made from straw, corn-stalks, hay, etc., is poor in nitrogen, and comparatively rich in potash. The nitrate of soda will supply the deficiency of nitrogen. On the sea-shore fish-scrap is a cheaper source of nitrogen, and may be used instead of the nitrate of soda."



CHAPTER XXXIV.

MANURES FOR SPECIAL CROPS.

MANURES FOR HOPS.

"For hops," said the Doctor, "there is nothing better than rich, well-decomposed farmyard-manure—such manure as you are now making from your pigs that are bedded with stable-manure."

"That is so," said I, "and the better you feed your horses and pigs, the better will the manure be for hops. In England, Mr. Paine, of Surrey, made a series of experiments with different manures for hops, and, as the result of four years trial, reported that rape-cake, singly, or in combination, invariably proved the best manure for hops. In this country, cotton-seed, or cotton-seed-cake, would be a good substitute for the rape-cake. Whatever manure is used should be used liberally. Hops require a large amount of labor per acre, and it is, therefore, specially desirable to obtain a large yield per acre. This can be accomplished only by the most lavish expenditure of manure. And all experience seems to show that it must be manure rich in nitrogen. In the hop districts of England, 25 tons of rich farmyard-manure are applied per acre; and in addition to this, soot and rags, both rich in nitrogen, have long been popular auxiliaries. The value of soot is due to the fact that it contains from 12 to 15 per cent of sulphate of ammonia, and the fact that it has been so long used with success as a manure for hops, seems to prove that sulphate of ammonia, which can now be readily obtained, could be used to advantage by our hop-growers—say at the rate, in addition to farm-yard manure, of 500 lbs. per acre, sown broadcast early in the spring."

MANURES FOR TOBACCO.

When tobacco is grown for wrappers, it is desirable to get a large, strong leaf. The richest land is selected for the crop, and large quantities of the richest and most stimulating manures are used.

Like cabbages, this crop requires a large amount of plant-food per acre; and, like them, it can only be grown by constant and high manuring. More manure must be used than the plants can take up out of the soil, and hence it is, that land which has been used for growing tobacco for some years, will be in high condition for other crops without further manuring.

Farm-yard or stable-manure, must be the mainstay of the tobacco-planter. With this, he can use artificial fertilizers to advantage—such as fish-scrap, woollen-rags, Peruvian guano, dried blood, slaughter-house offal, sulphate of ammonia, nitrate of soda, etc.

For choice, high-flavored smoking-tobacco, the grower aims to get quality rather than quantity. This seems to depend more on the land and the climate than on the manures used. Superphosphate of lime would be likely to prove advantageous in favoring the early growth and maturity of the crop. And in raising tobacco-plants in the seed-bed, I should expect good results from the use of superphosphate, raked into the soil at the rate of three or four lbs. per square rod.

MANURES FOR INDIAN CORN.

We know less about the manurial requirements of Indian corn, than of almost any other crop we cultivate. We know that wheat, barley, oats, and grasses, require for their maximum growth a liberal supply of available nitrogen in the soil. And such facts and experiments as we have, seem to indicate that the same is also true of Indian corn. It is, at any rate, reasonable to suppose that, as Indian corn belongs to the same botanical order as wheat, barley, oats, rye, timothy, and other grasses, the general manurial requirements would be the same. Such, I presume, is the case; and yet there seem to be some facts that would incline us to place Indian corn with the leguminous plants, such as clover, peas, and beans, rather than with the cereals, wheat, barley, oats, etc.

"Why so," asked the Deacon, "Indian corn does not have much in common with beans, peas, and clover?"

As we have shown, clover can get more nitrogen out of the soil, than wheat, barley, and oats. And the same is true of beans and peas, though probably not to so great an extent.

Now, it would seem that Indian corn can get more nitrogen out of a soil, than wheat, barley, or oats—and to this extent, at least, we may consider Indian corn as a renovating crop. In other words, the Indian corn can get more nitrogen out of the soil, than wheat, barley, and oats—and when we feed out the corn and stalks on the farm, we have more food and more manure than if we raised and fed out a crop of oats, barley, or wheat. If this idea is correct, then Indian corn, when consumed on the farm, should not be classed with what the English farmers term "white crops," but rather with the "green crops." In other words, Indian corn is what old writers used to call a "fallow crop"—or what we call a renovating crop.

If this is so, then the growth and consumption of Indian corn on the farm, as is the case with clover, should leave the farm richer for wheat, rather than poorer. I do not mean richer absolutely, but richer so far as the available supply of plant-food is concerned.

"It may be that you are right," said the Doctor, "when corn is grown for fodder, but not when grown for the grain. It is the formation of the seed which exhausts the soil."

If I could be sure that it was true of corn-fodder, I should have little doubt that it is true also of corn as ordinarily grown for grain and stalks. For, I think, it is clear that the grain is formed at the expense of the stalks, and not directly from the soil. The corn-fodder will take from the soil as much nitrogen and phosphoric acid as the crop of corn, and the more it will take, the more it approximates in character to clover and other renovating crops. If corn-fodder is a renovating crop, so is the ordinary corn-crop, also, provided it is consumed on the farm.

"But what makes you think," said the Deacon, "that corn can get more nitrogen from the soil, than wheat?"

"That is the real point, Deacon," said I, "and I will ask you this question. Suppose you had a field of wheat seeded down to clover, and the clover failed. After harvest, you plow up half of the field and sow it to wheat again, the other half of the field you plow in the spring, and plant with Indian corn. Now, suppose you get 15 bushels of wheat to the acre, how much corn do you think you would be likely to get?"

"Well, that depends," said the Deacon, "but I should expect at least 30 bushels of shelled corn per acre."

"Exactly, and I think most farmers would tell you the same; you get twice as much corn and stalks to the acre as you would of wheat and straw. In other words, while the wheat cannot find more nitrogen than is necessary to produce 15 bushels of wheat and straw, the corn can find, and does find, take up, and organize, at least twice as much nitrogen as the wheat."

If these are facts, then the remarks we have made in regard to the value of clover as a fertilizing crop, are applicable in some degree to Indian corn. To grow clover and sell it, will in the end impoverish the soil; to grow clover and feed it out, will enrich the land. And the same will be true of Indian corn. It will gather up nitrogen that the wheat-crop can not appropriate; and when the corn and stalks are fed out, some 90 per cent of the nitrogen will be left in the manure.

"You do not think, then," said the Doctor, "that nitrogen is such an important element in manure for corn, as it is in a manure for wheat."

I have not said that. If we want a large crop of corn, we shall usually need a liberal supply of available nitrogen. But this is because a larger crop of corn means a much larger produce per acre, than a large crop of wheat. Forty bushels of wheat per acre is an unusually large crop with us; but 80 bushels of shelled corn can be grown in a favorable season, and on rich, well-cultivated land. As the Deacon has said, 30 bushels of corn per acre can be grown as easily as 15 bushels of wheat; and it is quite probable, in many cases, that a manure containing no nitrogen, might give us a crop of 35 or 40 bushels per acre. In other words, up to a certain point, manures containing mineral, or carbonaceous matter, might frequently, in ordinary agriculture, increase the yield of Indian corn; while on similar land, such manures would have little effect on wheat.

"That is so," said the Deacon, "we all know that plaster frequently increases the growth of corn, while it seldom does much good on wheat."

But, after you have got as large a crop as the land will produce, aided by plaster, ashes, and superphosphate, say 40 bushels of shelled corn per acre, then if you want to raise 70 bushels per acre, you must furnish the soil with manures containing sufficient available nitrogen.

Some years ago, I made some careful experiments with artificial manures on Indian corn.

"Oh, yes," said the Deacon, "they were made on the south lot, in front of my house, and I recollect that the N.Y. State Ag. Society awarded you a prize of $75 for them."

"And I recollect," said I, "how you and some other neighbors laughed at me for spending so much time in measuring the land and applying the manures, and measuring the crop. But I wish I could have afforded to continue them. A single experiment, however carefully made, can not be depended on. However, I will give the results for what they are worth, with some remarks made at the time:

"The soil on which the experiments were made, is a light, sandy loam. It has been under cultivation for upwards of twenty years, and so far as I can ascertain has never been manured. It has been somewhat impoverished by the growth of cereal crops, and it was thought that for this reason, and on account of its light texture and active character, which would cause the manures to act immediately, it was well adapted for the purpose of showing the effect of different manurial substances on the corn-crop.

"The land was clover-sod, two years old, pastured the previous summer. It was plowed early in the spring, and harrowed until in excellent condition. The corn was planted May 23, in hills 3-1/2 feet apart each way.

"The manures were applied in the hill immediately before the seed was planted.

"With superphosphate of lime, and with plaster (gypsum, or sulphate of lime), the seed was placed directly on top of the manure, as it is well known that these manures do not injure the germinating principle of even the smallest seeds.

"The ashes were dropped in the hill, and then covered with soil, and the seed planted on the top, so that it should not come in contact with the ashes.

"Guano and sulphate of ammonia were treated in the same way.

"On the plots where ashes and guano, or ashes and sulphate of ammonia were both used, the ashes were first put in the hill, and covered with soil, and the guano or sulphate of ammonia placed on the top, and also covered with soil before the seed was planted. The ashes and superphosphate of lime was also treated in the same way. It is well known that unleached ashes, mixed either with guano, sulphate of ammonia, or superphosphate, mutually decompose each other, setting free the ammonia of the guano and sulphate of ammonia, and converting the soluble phosphate of the superphosphate of lime into the insoluble form in which it existed before treatment with sulphuric acid. All the plots were planted on the same day, and the manures weighed and applied under my own immediate supervision. Everything was done that was deemed necessary to secure accuracy.

"The following table gives the results of the experiments:

Table Showing the Results of Experiments on Indian Corn.

SdC Bushels of ears of sound corn per acre. SfC Bushels of ears of soft corn per acre. TC Total No. of bushels of ears of corn per acre. ISdC Increase per acre of ears sound corn. ISfC Increase per acre of ears of soft corn. TIC Total increase per acre of ears of corn.

-+ + -+ + -+ + + Descriptions of manures and Plots quantities applied per acre SdC SfC TC ISdC ISfC TIC -+ + -+ + -+ + + 1. No manure 60 7 67 .. .. .. 2. 100 lbs. plaster (gypsum or sulphate of lime) 70 8 78 10 1 11 3. 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes and 100 lbs. plaster (mixed) 68 10 78 8 3 11 4. 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia 90 15 105 30 8 38 5. 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime 70 8 78 10 1 11 6. 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia and 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime (mixed) 85 5 90 25 .. 23 7. 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes, (uncertain) 60 12 72 .. 5 5 8. 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia and 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes (sown separately) 87 10 97 27 3 30 9. 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime, 150 lbs. sulph. ammonia, and 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes 100 8 108 40 1 41 10. 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes 60 8 68 .. 1 1 11. 100 lbs. plaster. 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes, 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime, and 200 lbs. Peruvian guano 95 10 105 35 3 38 12. 75 lbs. sulphate of ammonia 78 10 88 18 3 21 13. 200 lbs. Peruvian guano 88 13 101 28 6 34 14. 400 lbs. unleached wood-ashes, 100 lbs. plaster, and 500 lbs. Peruvian guano 111 14 125 51 7 58 -+ + -+ + -+ + +

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