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Title: Talks on Manures - A Series of Familiar and Practical Talks Between the Author - and the Deacon, the Doctor, and other Neighbors, on the - Whole Subject
Author: Harris, Joseph, 1828-1892
Language: English
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       *       *       *       *       *

               TALKS ON MANURES.

    A Series of Familiar and Practical Talks
 Between the Author and the Deacon, the Doctor,
   and Other Neighbors, on the Whole Subject
          of Manures and Fertilizers.


              JOSEPH HARRIS, M.S.

    Author of “Walks and Talks on the Farm,”
           “Harris on the Pig,” etc.


  Including a Chapter Specially Written for It
by Sir John Bennet Lawes, of Rothamsted, England.

        [Illustration: Publisher’s Logo]

                   New York:

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1883, by the
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Printed in U. S. A.



Farming as a Business.-- High Farming and Good Farming.--
  Summer-fallowing and Plowing under Clover.-- We must raise
  larger Crops per Acre.-- Destruction of Weeds.-- Farming is
  Slow Work.-- It requires Personal Attention.                         9


What is Manure?-- The definitions given by the Deacon and the
  Doctor.                                                             19


Something about Plant-food.-- All soils on which plants grow
  contain it.-- The Season.-- Water, Shade, Light, and Mulch,
  not Manures.-- Several Definitions of Manure.                       21


Natural Manure.-- Accumulated Plant-food in the Soil.-- Exhaustion
  of the Soil.-- Why our Crops are so Poor.-- How to get Larger
  Crops.-- We must Drain, Cultivate thoroughly, and Make Richer
  Manure.                                                             23


Swamp-muck and Peat as Manure.-- Draining Swamp-land.--
  Composition of Peat and Muck.                                       29


What is Potential Ammonia.                                            31


Tillage is Manure.-- The Doctor’s Lecture on Manure.                  32


Summer-fallowing.-- Mr. Lawes’ crop every other year.-- Wheat
  after Barley.-- For Larger Crops raise less frequently, and
  Manure Higher; also keep better Stock, and Feed Higher.             34


How to Restore a Worn-out Farm.-- The Author’s Farm.-- Tillage
  renders the Plant-food stored in the soil available.--
  Cultivated Lands contain less Plant-food, but are more
  productive.-- Grass alone will not make rich land.                  37


How to Make Manure.-- We must get it out of the Land.                 41


The Value of the Manure depends upon the Food--not upon the
  Animal.                                                             43


Foods which Make Rich Manure.-- Table giving the composition of
  31 kinds of Food and the value of the Manure they yield.--
  Cotton-seed Cake.-- English and German Clover.-- Nitrogenous
  matter in Rich and Poor Foods.-- Manure from Corn compared
  with that from Straw.                                               45


Horse-manure and Farm-yard Manure.-- Why the one is richer than
  the other.-- Amount of Manure from a Horse.-- Composition of
  Farm-yard Manure.-- We draw and spread a ton to get 33 lbs. of
  Nitrogen, Phosphoric Acid, and Potash.                              50


Fermenting Manure.-- Composition of Manure when Fresh and in
  its stages of Fermentation.-- Loss in Fermentation and from
  Leaching.-- Tables showing the composition of Manure at
  different stages.-- Fermenting makes Manure more Soluble.           52


Keeping Manure under Cover.-- Dr. Vœlcker’s Experiments.-- Manure
  Fermented Outside and Under Cover.-- Loss from keeping Manure
  spread in the Barn-yard.-- Keeping well-rotted Manure in a
  Heap.-- Conclusions from Dr. Vœlcker’s Experiments.                 59


An English Plan of Keeping Manure.-- Box feeding of Cattle.--
  Spreading Manure at once.-- Piling in Heaps in the Field.--
  Old Sods and Ashes from Charred Sods.                               69


Soluble Phosphates in Farm-yard Manure.-- Fermented, the Manure
  has the most.-- Over 40 per cent. of the Phosphoric Acid is
  Soluble.                                                            72


How the Deacon makes Manure.-- A good plan for making poor Manure.    74


How John Johnston Manages His Manure. Summer-fallows for Wheat.--
  Does not plow under Clover.-- Value of Manure from different
  foods.-- Piling Manure.-- Applies Manure to Grass-land in Fall,
  and Plows under in Spring for Corn.-- His success due to the
  Effect of Manure on Grass.-- It brought in Red Clover.              76


The Author’s Plan of Managing Manure.-- Piles as fast as it is
  Made.-- What it is Made of.-- Horse and Cow Manure Together.--
  Horse Manure for Bedding Pigs.-- To Prevent Freezing.-- Liquid
  Manure from Pigs.-- Bedding Sheep.-- Piling in the Field.--
  Where the Piles should be Made.-- Manure in a Basin.-- Reasons
  for Piling.-- What we Gain by Fermenting Manure.                    83


Management Continued.-- Why We Ferment Manure.-- Dr. Vœlcker’s
  Experiments showing the Loss when Manure is spread in Yards.--
  Fermenting adds Nothing to Manure, but makes it more
  available.-- Mr. Lawes’ Experiments on Wheat and Barley.-- Dr.
  Vœlcker’s Results.-- Ellwander & Barry’s Experience.-- Loss of
  Ammonia by Fermenting.-- Waste from Leaching.-- How to Save the
  Liquid Manure from Cows.                                            94


Manure on Dairy Farms.-- Wheat removes much more Nitrogen than
  Cheese.-- Manures for Dairy Farms.-- Letter from Hon. Harris
  Lewis.-- How to make more and better Manure on Dairy Farms.--
  How to save and apply it.-- Letter from T. L. Harison, Esq.        101


Management of Manures on Grain Farms.-- Letter from Hon. Geo.
  Geddes.-- Grain on Dairy Farms.-- Sheep on Grain Farms.-- Visit
  to John Johnston.-- Mr. Lawes’ Wheat-field.-- Mr. Geddes and
  Clover.-- Gypsum and Clover as Manures.                            111


The Cheapest Manure a Farmer can use.-- Clover vs. Tillage.-- As
  Plant-Food.-- Constituents of a Crop of Clover, as compared with
  one of Wheat.-- Making a Farm Rich by Growing Clover.              127


Dr. Vœlcker’s Experiments on Clover.-- Lawes and Gilbert’s on
  Wheat.-- Clover Roots per Acre.-- Manures for Wheat.-- Liebig’s
  Manure Theory.-- Peruvian Guano on Wheat.-- Manures and the
  Quality of Wheat.-- Ammonia.-- Over 50 Bushels of Wheat to the
  Acre.                                                              135


Experiments on Clover Soils from Burcott Lodge Farm, Leighton
  Buzzard.-- Soil from Part of 11-acre Field twice Mown for Hay.--
  Soil from do. once Mown for Hay and left for Seed.-- Amount of
  Roots left in the Soil by different Crops.-- Manures for Wheat.    149


Lawes and Gilbert’s Experiments on Wheat.-- Most Valuable and
  Instructive Tables now first made accessible to the American
  Farmer.-- The growth of Wheat Year after Year on the same Land,
  unmanured, with Farm-yard Manure, and with various Organic and
  Inorganic Fertilizers.                                             170


Lime as a Manure.-- Prof. Way’s Experiments.-- The uses of Lime in
  the Soil.-- Lime in this Country.-- Composts with Lime.            215


Manures for Barley.-- Composition of Barley, grain and straw.--
  Valuable Tables giving the Results of Lawes and Gilbert’s
  Experiments on the growth of Barley, Year after Year, on the
  same Land, without Manure, and with different kinds of Manure.--
  Manure and Rotation of Crops.                                      227


Manures for Oats.-- Experiments at Rothamsted.-- Experiments of
  Mr. Bath of Virginia.-- At Moreton Farm.                           252


Manures for Potatoes.-- Peruvian Guano for Potatoes.-- Manure from
  different Foods.-- Experiments at Moreton Farm.-- Mr. Hunter’s
  Experiments.                                                       255


What Crops should Manure be Applied to?-- How, and When?-- John
  J. Thomas’ manner of Applying Manure.-- Top Dressing.-- Doct.
  Vœlcker’s Experiments.                                             265


Manures on Permanent Meadows and Pastures.-- Experiments at
  Rothamsted.                                                        271


Manures for Special Crops.-- Hops.-- Indian Corn.-- Turnips.--
  Mangel-Wurzel or Sugar-Beets.-- Cabbages, Parsnips, Lettuce,
  Onions, etc.                                                       274


Manures for Gardens and Orchards.-- Market Gardens.-- Seed-growing
  Farms.-- Private Gardens.-- Hot-beds.-- Manure for Nurserymen.--
  Fruit Growers.-- Hen-Manure.                                       294


Different Kinds of Manures.-- Cow Manure.-- Sheep Manure.-- Buying
  Manure.-- Liquid Manure.-- Nightsoil and Sewage.-- Peruvian
  Guano.-- Salts of Ammonia and Nitrate of Soda.                     302


Bone-Dust and Superphosphate of Lime.-- Bone furnishes Nitrogen
  as well as Phosphate of Lime.-- Increasing the Availability of
  Bone with Sulphuric Acid.                                          314


Special Manures.-- Liebig’s Views.-- Special Manure for Wheat and
  Turnips.-- Rothamsted Experiments.                                 320


Value of Fertilizers.-- Cost per pound of the Essential
  Constituents of Fertilizers.-- Value of Guanos.-- Potash as a
  Manure.                                                            324


Restoring Fertility to the Soil, a Chapter by Sir John Bennet
  Lawes.-- The Treatment of a Poor Farm, to Restore it most
  Profitably.-- Meat-making the Back-bone of the System.-- The
  Use of Sheep to Manure the Soil.-- The Feeding of Cotton-seed
  Cake.-- Artificial Manures not Profitable on Poor Land.--
  The Loss of Nitrogen.-- The Formation of Nitric Acid.              342


Letter from Edward Jessop.-- From Dr. E. L. Sturtevant.-- From
  M. C. Weld.-- From Peter Henderson.-- From J. B. M. anderson.--
  Manure Statistics of Long Island.-- Letter from J. H. Rushmore.--
  Letter from John E. Backus.-- Manure in Philadelphia.-- Various
  other Letters.                                                     352


Sir John Bennet Lawes kindly consented to write a Chapter for the new
edition of this work. The Deacon, the Doctor, the Squire, Charlie and
myself all felt flattered and somewhat bashful at finding ourselves in
such distinguished company. I need not say that this new Chapter from
the pen of the most eminent English agricultural investigator is worthy
of a very careful study. I have read it again and again, and each time
with great and renewed interest. I could wish there was more of it. But
to the intelligent and well-informed reader this Chapter will be valued
not merely for what it contains, but for what it omits. A man who knew
less would write more. Sir John goes straight to the mark, and we have
here his mature views on one of the most important questions in
agricultural science and practice.

Sir John describes a tract of poor land, and tells us that the cheapest
method of improving and enriching it is, to keep a large breeding flock
of sheep, and feed them American cotton-seed cake. We are pleased to
find that this is in accordance with the general teaching of our
“Talks,” as given in this book several years ago.

When this work was first published, some of my friends expressed
surprise that I did not recommend the more extended use of artificial
manures. One thing is certain, since that time the use of superphosphate
has been greatly on the increase. And it seems clear that its use must
be profitable. Where I live, in Western New York, it is sown quite
generally on winter wheat, and also on barley and oats in the spring.
On corn and potatoes, its use is not so common. Whether this is because
its application to these crops is not so easy, or because it does not
produce so marked an increase in the yield per acre, I am unable to say.

Our winter wheat is sown here the first, second, or (rarely) the third
week in September. We sow from one and a half to two and a quarter
bushels per acre. It is almost invariably sown with a drill. The drill
has a fertilizer attachment that distributes the superphosphate at the
same time the wheat is sown. The superphosphate is not mixed with the
wheat, but it drops into the same tubes with the wheat, and is sown with
it in the same drill mark. In this way, the superphosphate is deposited
where the roots of the young plants can immediately find it. For barley
and oats the same method is adopted.

It will be seen that the cost of sowing superphosphate on these crops
is merely nominal. But for corn and potatoes, when planted in hills,
the superphosphate must be dropped in the hill by hand, and, as we are
almost always hurried at that season of the year, we are impatient at
anything which will delay planting even for a day. The boys want to go

This is, undoubtedly, one reason why superphosphate is not used so
generally with us for corn as for wheat, barley, and oats. Another
reason may be, that one hundred pounds of corn will not sell for
anything like as much as one hundred pounds of wheat, barley, and oats.

We are now buying a very good superphosphate, made from Carolina rock
phosphate, for about one and a half cents per pound. We usually drill in
about two hundred pounds per acre at a cost of three dollars. Now, if
this gives us an increase of five bushels of wheat per acre, worth six
dollars, we think it pays. It often does far better than this. Last year
the wheat crop of Western New York was the best in a third of a century,
which is as far back as I have had anything to do with farming here.
From all I can learn, it is doubtful if the wheat crop of Western New
York has ever averaged a larger yield per acre since the land was first
cultivated after the removal of the original forest. Something of this
is due to better methods of cultivation and tillage, and something,
doubtless, to the general use of superphosphate, but much more to the
favorable season.

The present year our wheat crop turned out exceedingly poor. Hundreds of
acres of wheat were plowed up, and the land resown, and hundreds more
would have been plowed up had it not been for the fact that the land
was seeded with timothy grass at the time of sowing the wheat, and with
clover in the spring. We do not like to lose our grass and clover.

Dry weather in the autumn was the real cause of the poor yield of wheat
this year. True, we had a very trying winter, and a still more trying
spring, followed by dry, cold weather. The season was very backward. We
were not able to sow anything in the fields before the first of May, and
our wheat ought to have been ready to harvest in July. On the first of
May, many of our wheat-fields, especially on clay land, looked as bare
as a naked fallow.

There was here and there, a good field of wheat. As a rule, it was on
naturally moist land, or after a good summer-fallow, sown early. I know
of but one exception. A neighboring nursery firm had a very promising
field of wheat, which was sown late. But their land is rich and
unusually well worked. It is, in fact, in the very highest condition,
and, though sown late, the young plants were enabled to make a good
strong growth in the autumn.

In such a dry season, the great point is, to get the seed to germinate,
and to furnish sufficient moisture and food to enable the young plants
to make a strong, vigorous growth of roots in the autumn. I do not say
that two hundred pounds of superphosphate per acre, drilled in with the
seed, will always accomplish this object. But it is undoubtedly a great
help. It does not furnish the nitrogen which the wheat requires, but
if it will stimulate the production of roots in the early autumn, the
plants will be much more likely to find a sufficient supply of nitrogen
in the soil than plants with fewer and smaller roots.

In a season like the past, therefore, an application of two hundred
pounds of superphosphate per acre, costing three dollars, instead of
giving an increase of five or six bushels per acre, may give us an
increase of fifteen or twenty bushels per acre. That is to say, owing
to the dry weather in the autumn, followed by severe weather in the
winter, the weak plants on the unmanured land may either be killed out
altogether, or injured to such an extent that the crop is hardly worth
harvesting, while the wheat where the phosphate was sown may give us
almost an average crop.

Sir John B. Lawes has somewhere compared the owner of land to the owner
of a coal mine. The owner of the coal digs it and gets it to market in
the best way he can. The farmer’s coal mine consists of plant food, and
the object of the farmer is to get this food into such plants, or such
parts of plants, as his customers require. It is hardly worth while for
the owner of the coal mine to trouble his head about the exhaustion of
the supply of coal. His true plan is to dig it as economically as he
can, and get it into market. There is a good deal of coal in the world,
and there is a good deal of plant food in the earth. As long as the
plant food lies dormant in the soil, it is of no value to man. The
object of the farmer is to convert it into products which man and
animals require.

Mining for coal is a very simple matter, but how best to get the
greatest quantity of plant food out of the soil, with the least waste
and the greatest profit, is a much more complex and difficult task.
Plant food consists of a dozen or more different substances. We have
talked about them in the pages of this book, and all I wish to say here
is that some of them are much more abundant, and more readily obtained,
than others. The three substances most difficult to get at are: nitric
acid, phosphoric acid and potash. All these substances are in the soil,
but some soils contain much more than others, and their relative
proportion varies considerably. The substance which is of the greatest
importance, is nitric acid. As a rule, the fertility of a soil is in
proportion to the amount of nitric acid which becomes available for the
use of plants during the growing season. Many of our soils contain large
quantities of nitrogen, united with carbon, but the plants do not take
it up in this form. It has to be converted into nitric acid. Nitric acid
consists of seven pounds of nitrogen and twenty pounds of oxygen. It is
produced by the combustion of nitrogen. Since these “Talks” were
published, several important facts have been discovered in regard to how
plants take up nitrogen, and especially in regard to how organic
nitrogen is converted into nitric acid. It is brought about through the
action of a minute fungoid plant. There are several things necessary for
the growth of this plant. We must have some nitrogenous substance,
a moderate degree of heat, say from seventy to one hundred and twenty
degrees, a moderate amount of moisture, and plenty of oxygen. Shade is
also favorable. If too hot or too cold, or too wet or too dry, the
growth of the plant is checked, and the formation of nitric acid
suspended. The presence of lime, or of some alkali, is also necessary
for the growth of this fungus and the production of nitric acid. The
nitric acid unites with the lime, and forms nitrate of lime, or with
soda to form nitrate of soda, or with potash to form nitrate of potash,
or salt-petre. A water-logged soil, by excluding the oxygen, destroys
this plant, hence one of the advantages of underdraining. I have said
that shade is favorable to the growth of this fungus, and this fact
explains and confirms the common idea that shade is manure.

The great object of agriculture is to convert the nitrogen of our soils,
or of green crops plowed under, or of manure, into nitric acid, and then
to convert this nitric acid into profitable products with as little loss
as possible. Nitrogen, or rather nitric acid, is the most costly
ingredient in plant food, and unfortunately it is very easily washed out
of the soil and lost. Perhaps it is absolutely impossible to entirely
prevent all loss from leaching; but it is certainly well worth our while
to understand the subject, and to know exactly what we are doing. In a
new country, where land is cheap, it may be more profitable to raise as
large crops as possible without any regard to the loss of nitric acid.
But this condition of things does not last long, and it very soon
becomes desirable to adopt less wasteful processes.

In Lawes and Gilbert’s experiments, there is a great loss of nitric
acid from drainage. In no case has as much nitrogen been obtained in the
increased crop as was applied in the manure. There is always a loss and
probably always will be. But we should do all we can to make this loss
as small as possible, consistent with the production of profitable

There are many ways of lessening this loss of nitric acid. Our farmers
sow superphosphate with their wheat in the autumn, and this stimulates,
we think, the growth of roots, which ramify in all directions through
the soil. This increased growth of root brings the plant in contact with
a larger feeding surface, and enables it to take up more nitric acid
from its solution in the soil. Such is also the case during the winter
and early spring, when a good deal of water permeates through the
soil. The application of superphosphate, unquestionably in many cases,
prevents much loss of nitric acid. It does this by giving us a much
greater growth of wheat.

I was at Rothamsted in 1879, and witnessed the injurious effect of an
excessive rainfall, in washing out of the soil nitrate of soda and salts
of ammonia, which were sown with the wheat in the autumn. It was an
exceedingly wet season, and the loss of nitrates on all the different
plots was very great. But where the nitrates or salts of ammonia were
sown in the spring, while the crops were growing, the loss was not
nearly so great as when sown in the autumn.

The sight of that wheat field impressed me, as nothing else could, with
the importance of guarding against the loss of available nitrogen from
leaching, and it has changed my practice in two or three important
respects. I realize, as never before, the importance of applying manure
to crops, rather than to the land. I mean by this, that the object of
applying manure is, not simply to make land rich, but to make crops
grow. Manure is a costly and valuable article, and we want to convert it
into plants, with as little delay as possible, which will, directly or
indirectly, bring in some money.

Our climate is very different from that of England. As a rule, we seldom
have enough rain, from the time corn is planted until it is harvested,
to more than saturate the ground on our upland soils. This year is an
exception. On Sunday night, May 20, 1883, we had a northeast storm which
continued three days. During these three days, from three to five inches
of rain fell, and for the first time in many years, at this season, my
underdrains discharged water to their full capacity. Had nitrate of
soda been sown on bare land previous to this rain, much of it would,
doubtless, have been lost by leaching. This, however, is an exceptional
case. My underdrains usually do not commence to discharge water before
the first of December, or continue later than the first of May. To guard
against loss of nitrogen by leaching, therefore, we should aim to keep
rich land occupied by some crop, during the winter and early spring, and
the earlier the crop is sown in the autumn or late summer, the better,
so that the roots will the more completely fill the ground and take up
all the available nitrogen within their reach. I have said that this
idea had modified my own practice. I grow a considerable quantity of
garden vegetables, principally for seed. It is necessary to make the
land very rich. The plan I have adopted to guard against the loss of
nitrogen is this: As soon as the land is cleared of any crop, after it
is too late to sow turnips, I sow it with rye at the rate of one and a
half to two bushels per acre. On this rich land, especially on the moist
low land, the rye makes a great growth during our warm autumn weather.
The rye checks the growth of weeds, and furnishes a considerable amount
of succulent food for sheep, during the autumn or in the spring. If not
needed for food, it can be turned under in the spring for manure. It
unquestionably prevents the loss of considerable nitric acid from
leaching during the winter and early spring.

Buckwheat, or millet, is sometimes sown on such land for plowing under
as manure, but as these crops are killed out by the winter, they cannot
prevent the loss of nitric acid during the winter and spring months. It
is only on unusually rich land that such precautions are particularly
necessary. It has been thought that these experiments of Lawes and
Gilbert afford a strong argument against the use of summer-fallows. I do
not think so. A summer-fallow, in this country, is usually a piece of
land which has been seeded down one, two, and sometimes three years,
with red clover. The land is plowed in May or June, and occasionally in
July, and is afterwards sown to winter wheat in September. The treatment
of the summer-fallow varies in different localities and on different

Sometimes the land is only plowed once. The clover, or sod, is plowed
under deep and well, and the after-treatment consists in keeping the
surface soil free from weeds, by the frequent use of the harrow, roller,
cultivator or gang-plow. In other cases, especially on heavy clay land,
the first plowing is done early in the spring, and when the sod is
sufficiently rotted, the land is cross-plowed, and afterwards made fine
and mellow by the use of the roller, harrow, and cultivator. Just before
sowing the wheat, many good, old-fashioned farmers, plow the land again.
But in this section, a summer-fallow, plowed two or three times during
the summer, is becoming more and more rare every year.

Those farmers who summer-fallow at all, as a rule, plow their land but
once, and content themselves with mere surface cultivation afterwards.
It is undoubtedly true, also, that summer fallows of all kinds are by
no means as common as formerly. This fact may be considered an argument
against the use of summer-fallowing; but it is not conclusive in my
mind. Patient waiting is not a characteristic of the age. We are
inclined to take risks. We prefer to sow our land to oats, or barley,
and run the chance of getting a good wheat crop after it, rather than to
spend several months in cleaning and mellowing the land, simply to grow
one crop of wheat.

It has always seemed to me entirely unnecessary to urge farmers not to
summer-fallow. We all naturally prefer to see the land occupied by a
good paying crop, rather than to spend time, money, and labor, in
preparing it to produce a crop twelve or fifteen months afterwards. Yet
some of the agricultural editors and many of the agricultural writers,
seem to take delight in deriding the old-fashioned summer-fallow. The
fact that Lawes and Gilbert in England find that, when land contains
considerable nitric acid, the water which percolates through the soil
to the underdrains beneath, contains more nitrate of lime when the land
is not occupied by a crop, than when the roots of growing plants fill
the soil, is deemed positive proof that summer-fallowing is a wasteful

If we summer-fallowed for a spring crop, as I have sometimes done, it
is quite probable that there would be a loss of nitrogen. But, as I have
said before, it is very seldom that any water passes through the soil
from the time we commence the summer-fallow until the wheat is sown in
the autumn, or for many weeks afterwards. The nitrogen, which is
converted into nitric acid by the agency of a good summer-fallow, is
no more liable to be washed out of the soil after the field is sown to
wheat in the autumn, than if we applied the nitrogen in the form of some
readily available manure.

I still believe in summer fallows. If I had my life to live over again,
I would certainly summer-fallow more than I have done. I have been an
agricultural writer for one-third of a century, and have persistently
advocated the more extended use of the summer-fallow. I have nothing
to take back, unless it is what I have said in reference to
“fall-fallowing.” Possibly this practice may result in loss, though
I do not think so.

A good summer-fallow, on rather heavy clay land, if the conditions are
otherwise favorable, is pretty sure to give us a good crop of wheat, and
a good crop of clover and grass afterwards. Of course, a farmer who has
nice, clean sandy soil, will not think of summer-fallowing it. Such
soils are easily worked, and it is not a difficult matter to keep them
clean without summer-fallowing. Such soils, however, seldom contain a
large store of unavailable plant food, and instead of summer-fallowing,
we had better manure. On such soils artificial manures are often very
profitable, though barn-yard manure, or the droppings of animals feeding
on the land, should be the prime basis of all attempts to maintain, or
increase, the productiveness of such soils.

Since this book was first published, I do not know of any new facts
in regard to the important question of, how best to manage and apply
our barn-yard manure, so as to make it more immediately active and
available. It is unquestionably true, that the same amount of nitrogen
in barn-yard manure, will not produce so great an effect as its
theoretical value would indicate. There can be no doubt, however, that
the better we feed our animals, and the more carefully we save the
liquids, the more valuable and active will be the manure.

The conversion of the inert nitrogen of manures and soils, into nitric
acid, as already stated, is now known to be produced by a minute fungus.
I hope it will be found that we can introduce this _bacterium_ into our
manure piles, in such a way as to greatly aid the conversion of inert
nitrogen into nitrates.

Experiments have been made, and are still continued, at Woburn, under
the auspices of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, to ascertain,
among other things, whether manure from sheep receiving an allowance of
cotton-seed cake is any richer than that from sheep, otherwise fed
alike, but having, instead of cotton-seed cake, the same amount of corn
meal. We know that such manure contains more nitrogen, and other plant
food, than that from the corn meal. But the experiments so far, though
they have been continued for several years, do not show any striking
superiority of the manure from cotton-seed cake over that from corn
meal. I saw the wheat on these differently manured plots in 1879. Dr.
Vœlcker and Dr. Gilbert, told me that, one of two plots was dressed with
the cotton-seed manure, and the other with the corn meal manure, and
they wanted me to say which was the most promising crop. I believe the
one I said was the better, was the cotton-seed plot. But the difference
was very slight. The truth is that such experiments must be continued
for many years before they will prove anything. As I said before, we
know that the manure from the cotton-seed cake is richer in nitrogen
than that from the corn meal; but we also know that this nitrogen will
not produce so great an effect, as a much smaller amount of nitrogen in
salts of ammonia, or nitrate of soda.

In going over these experiments, I was struck with the healthy and
vigorous appearance of one of the plots of wheat, and asked how it was
manured. Dr. Vœlcker called out, “clover, Mr. Harris, clover.” In
England, as in America, it requires very little observation and
experience to convince any one of the value of clover. After what I
have said, and what the Deacon, the Doctor, Charley and the Squire have
said, in the pages of this book, I hope no one will think that I do not
appreciate the great value of red clover as a means of enriching our
land. Dr. Vœlcker evidently thought I was skeptical on this point. I am
not. I have great faith in the benefits to be derived from the growth
of clover. But I do not think it originates fertility; it does not get
nitrogen from the atmosphere. Or at any rate, we have no evidence of it.
The facts are all the other way. We have discussed this question at
considerable length in the pages of this book, and it is not necessary
to say more on the subject. I would, however, particularly urge farmers,
especially those who are using phosphates freely, to grow as much clover
as possible, and feed it out on the farm, or plow it under for manure.

The question is frequently asked, whether the use of phosphates will
ultimately impoverish our farms. It may, or it may not. It depends on
our general management. Theoretically, the use of a manure furnishing
only one element of plant food, if it increases the growth of crops
which are sold from the farm, must have a tendency to impoverish the
land of the other elements of plant food. In other words, the use of
superphosphate furnishing only, or principally, phosphoric acid, lime
and sulphuric acid, must have a tendency to impoverish the soil of
nitrogen and potash. Practically, however, it need do nothing of the
kind. If the land is well cultivated, and if our low, rich, alluvial
portions of the farm are drained, and if the hay, grass, clover, straw
and fodder crops are retained, the more phosphates we use, the richer
and more productive will the farm become. And I think it is a fact, that
the farmers who use the most phosphates, are the very men who take the
greatest pains to drain their land, cultivate it thoroughly, and make
the most manure. It follows, therefore, that the use of phosphates is a
national benefit.

Some of our railroad managers take this view of the subject. They
carry superphosphate at a low rate, knowing that its use will increase
the freight the other way. In other words, they bring a ton of
superphosphate from the seaboard, knowing that its use will give them
many tons of freight of produce, from the interior to the seaboard. It
is not an uncommon thing for two hundred pounds of superphosphate, to
give an increase of five tons of turnips per acre. Or, so to speak, the
railroad that brings one ton of superphosphate from the seaboard, might,
as the result of its use, have fifty tons of freight to carry back
again. This is perhaps an exceptionably favorable instance, but it
illustrates the principle. Years ago, before the abolition of tolls on
the English turnpike roads, carriages loaded with lime, and all other
substances intended for manure, were allowed to go free. And our
railroads will find it to their interest to transport manures of all
kinds, at a merely nominal rate.

Many people will be surprised at the recommendation of Sir John B.
Lawes, not to waste time and money in cleaning poor land, before seeding
it down to grass. He thinks that if the land is made rich, the superior
grasses overgrow the bad grasses and weeds. I have no doubt he is right
in this, though the principle may be pushed to an extreme. Our climate,
in this country, is so favorable for killing weeds, that the plow and
the cultivator will probably be a more economical means of making our
land clean, than the liberal use of expensive manures. It depends,
doubtless, on the land and on circumstances. It is well to know that
manure on grass land, will so increase the growth of the good grasses,
as to smother the weeds. Near my house was a piece of land that I wanted
to make into a lawn. I sowed it with grass seed, but the weeds smothered
it out. I plowed it, and hoed it, and re-seeded it, but still the weeds
grew. Mallows came up by the thousand, with other weeds too numerous to
mention. It was an eye-sore. We mowed the weeds, but almost despaired of
ever making a decent bit of grass land out of it. It so happened that,
one year, we placed the chicken coops on this miserable weedy spot. The
hens and chickens were kept there for several weeks. The feed and the
droppings made it look more unsightly than ever, but the next spring,
as if by magic, the weeds were gone and the land was covered with dark
green luxuriant grass.

In regard to the use of potash as a manure, we have still much to learn.
It would seem that our grain crops will use soda, if they cannot get
potash. They much prefer the potash, and will grow much more luxuriantly
where, in the soil or manure, in addition to the other elements of plant
food, potash is abundant. But the increased growth caused by the potash,
is principally, if not entirely, straw, or leaves and stem. Nature makes
a great effort to propagate the species. A plant of wheat or barley,
will produce seed if this is possible, even at the expense of the other
parts of the plant.

For grain crops, grown for seed, therefore, it would seem to be entirely
unprofitable to use potash as a manure. If the soil contains the other
elements of plant food, the addition of potash may give us a much more
luxuriant growth of leaves and stem, but no more grain or seed. For hay,
or grass or fodder crops, the case is very different, and potash may
often be used on these crops to great advantage.

I am inclined to think that considerable nitrate of soda will yet be
used in this country for manure. I do not suppose it will pay as a rule,
on wheat, corn and other standard grain crops. But the gardener, seed
grower, and nurseryman, will find out how to use it with great profit.
Our nurserymen say that they cannot use artificial manures with any
advantage. It is undoubtedly true that a dressing of superphosphate,
sown on a block of nursery trees, will do little good. It never reaches
the roots of the plants. Superphosphate can not be washed down deep into
the soil. Nitrate of soda is readily carried down, as deep as the water
sinks. For trees, therefore, it would seem desirable to apply the
superphosphate before they are planted, and plow it under. And the same
is true of potash; but nitrate of soda would be better applied as a
top-dressing every year, early in the spring.

The most discouraging fact, in Lawes’ and Gilbert’s experiments, is the
great loss of nitrogen. It would seem that, on an average, during the
last forty years, about one-half the nitrogen is washed out of the soil,
or otherwise lost. I can not but hope and believe that, at any rate in
this country, there is no such loss in practical agriculture. In Lawes’
and Gilbert’s experiments on wheat, this grain is grown year after year,
on the same land. Forty annual crops have been removed. No clover is
sown with the wheat, and great pains are taken to keep the land clean.
The crop is hoed while growing, and the weeds are pulled out by hand.
The best wheat season during the forty years, was the year 1863. The
poorest, that of 1879; and it so happened, that after an absence of
thirty years, I was at Rothamsted during this poor year of 1879. The
first thing that struck me, in looking at the experimental wheat, was
the ragged appearance of the crop. My own wheat crop was being cut the
day I left home, July 15. Several men and boys were pulling weeds out
of the experimental wheat, two weeks later. Had the weeds been suffered
to grow, Sir John Bennet Lawes tells us, there would be less loss of
nitrogen. The loss of nitrogen in 1863, was about twenty-four pounds
per acre, and in 1879 fifty pounds per acre--the amount of available
nitrogen, applied in each year, being eighty-seven pounds per acre. As I
said before, the wheat in 1879 had to me a ragged look. It was thin on
the ground. There were not plants enough to take up and evaporate the
large amount of water which fell during the wet season. Such a condition
of things rarely occurs in this country. We sow timothy with our winter
wheat, in the autumn, and red clover in the spring. After the wheat is
harvested, we frequently have a heavy growth of clover in the autumn. In
such circumstances I believe there would be comparatively little loss of

In the summer-fallow experiments, which have now been continued for
twenty-seven years, there has been a great loss of nitrogen. The same
remarks apply to this case. No one ever advocates summer-fallowing land
every other year, and sowing nothing but wheat. When we summer-fallow a
piece of land for wheat, we seed it down with grass and clover. There
is, as a rule, very little loss of nitrogen by drainage while the wheat
is growing on the ground, but after the wheat is cut, the grass and
clover are pretty sure to take up all the available nitrogen within
the range of their roots. This summer-fallow experiment, instead of
affording an argument against the use of summer-fallowing, is an
argument in its favor. The summer-fallow, by exposing the soil to the
decomposing influences of the atmosphere, converts more or less of the
inert nitrogenous organic matter into ammonia and nitric acid. This is
precisely what a farmer wants. It is just what the wheat crop needs. But
we must be very careful, when we render the nitrogen soluble, to have
some plant ready to take it up, and not let it be washed out of the soil
during the winter and early spring.

We have much poor land in the United States, and an immense area of
good land. The poor land will be used to grow timber, or be improved by
converting more or less of it, gradually, into pasture, and stocking it
with sheep and cattle. The main point is, to feed the sheep or cattle
with some rich nitrogenous food, such as cotton-seed cake, malt-sprouts,
bran, shorts, mill-feed, refuse beans, or bean-meal made from beans
injured by the weevil, or bug. In short, the owner of such land must buy
such food as will furnish the most nutriment and make the richest manure
at the least cost--taking both of these objects into consideration.
He will also buy more or less artificial manures, to be used for the
production of fodder crops, such as corn, millet, Hungarian grass, etc.
and, as soon as a portion of the land can be made rich enough, he will
grow more or less mangel wurzels, sugar beets, turnips, and other root
crops. Superphosphate will be found admirably adapted for this purpose,
and two, three, or four hundred pounds of cheap potash salts, per acre,
can frequently be used on fodder crops, in connection with two or three
hundred pounds of superphosphate, with considerable profit. The whole
subject is well worthy of careful study. Never in the history of the
world has there been a grander opportunity for the application of
science to the improvement of agriculture than now.

On the richer lands, the aim of the farmer will be to convert the plant
food lying dormant in the soil into profitable crops. The main point is
_good tillage_. In many cases weeds now run away with half our crops and
all our profits. The weeds which spring up after the grain crops are
harvested, are not an unmixed evil. They retain the nitrogen and other
plant food, and when turned under make manure for the succeeding crops.
But weeds among the growing crop are evil, and only an evil. Thorough
plowing is the remedy, accompanied by drainage where needed.

We have an immense number of farms on which there are both good and poor
land. In such cases we must adopt a combined system. We must grow large
crops on the rich land and use them, at least in part, to make manure
for the poorer portions of the farm. Drainage and good tillage will
convert much of our low, alluvial lands into a perfect mine of wealth.
And much of our high, rolling land consists of strong loam, abounding in
plant food. Such land requires little more than thorough tillage, with
perhaps two hundred pounds of superphosphate per acre, to enable it to
produce good grain crops.

After all is said and done, farming is a business that requires not
merely science, but industry, economy, and common sense. The real basis
of success is faith, accompanied with good works. I cannot illustrate
this better than by alluding to one of my neighbors, a strong, healthy,
intelligent, observing and enterprising German, who commenced life as a
farm laborer, and is to-day worth at least one hundred thousand dollars,
that he has made, not by the advance of suburban property, but by
farming, pure and simple. He first rented a farm, and then bought it,
and in a few years he bought another farm adjoining the first one, and
would to-day buy another if he found one that suited him. He has faith
in farming. Some people think he “runs his land,” and, in fact, such is
the case. He keeps good teams, and good plows, and good harrows, and
good rollers, and good cultivators, and good grade Shorthorn cows. He
acts as though he believed, as Sir John B. Lawes says, that “the soil is
a mine,” out of which he digs money. He runs his land for all it is
worth. He raises wheat, barley, oats, corn, potatoes, and hay, and when
he can get a good price for his timothy hay, he draws it to market and
sells it. Thorough tillage is the basis of his success. He is now using
phosphates for wheat, and will probably increase his herd of cows and
make more manure. He has great faith in manure, but acts as though he
had still greater faith in good plowing, early sowing, and thorough


The Printers have got our “Talks on Manures” in type; and the publishers
want a Preface.

The Deacon is busy hoeing his corn; the Doctor is gone to Rice Lake,
fishing; Charley is cultivating mangels; the Squire is haying, and I am
here alone, with a pencil in hand and a sheet of blank paper before me.
I would far rather be at work. In fact, I have only just come in from
the field.

Now, what shall I say? It will do no good to apologize for the
deficiencies of the book. If the critics condescend to notice it at
all, nothing I can say will propitiate their favor, or moderate their
censure. They are an independent set of fellows! I know them well, I am
an old editor myself, and nothing would please me better than to sit
down and write a slashing criticism of these “Talks on Manures.”

But I am denied that pleasure. The critics have the floor.

All I will say here, is, that the book is what it pretends to be.
Some people seem to think that the “Deacon” is a fictitious character.
Nothing of the kind. He is one of the oldest farmers in town, and
lives on the farm next to me. I have the very highest respect for him.
I have tried to report him fully and correctly. Of my own share in the
conversations I will say little, and of the Doctor’s nothing. My own
views are honestly given. I hold myself responsible for them. I may
contradict in one chapter what I have asserted in another. And so,
probably, has the Deacon. I do not know whether this is or is not the
case. I know very well that on many questions “much can be said on both
sides”--and very likely the Deacon is sometimes on the south side of the
fence and I on the north side; and in the next chapter you may find the
Deacon on the north side, and where would you have me go, except to the
south side? We cannot see both sides of the fence, if both of us walk on
the same side!

I fear some will be disappointed at not finding a particular subject

I have talked about those things which occupy my own thoughts. There are
some things not worth thinking about. There are others beyond my reach.

I have said nothing about manures for cotton or for the sugar-cane--not
because I feel no interest in the matter, but because I have had no
experience in the cultivation of these important crops. I might have
told what the crops contain, and could have given minute directions for
furnishing in manure the exact quantity of plant-food which the crops
remove from the soil. But I have no faith in such a system of farming.
The few cotton-planters I have had the pleasure of seeing were men of
education and rare ability. I cannot undertake to offer them advice. But
I presume they will find that, if they desire to increase the growth of
the cotton-plant, in nine cases out of ten they can do it, provided the
soil is properly worked, by supplying a manure containing available
nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash. But the _proper proportion_ of
these ingredients of plant-food must be ascertained by experiment, and
not from a mere analysis of the cotton-plant.

I have much faith in artificial manures. They will do great things for
American agriculture--directly, and indirectly. Their general use will
lead to a higher system of farming--to better cultivation, more root and
fodder crops, improved stock, higher feeding, and richer manure. But it
has been no part of my object to unduly extol the virtues of commercial
manures. That may be left to the manufacturers.

My sympathy is with the farmer, and especially with the farmer of
moderate means, who finds that improved farming calls for more and more
capital. I would like to encourage such a man. And so, in point of fact,
would the Deacon, though he often talks as though a man who tries to
improve his farm will certainly come to poverty. Such men as the
Deacon are useful neighbors if their doubts, and head-shakings, and
shoulder-shruggings lead a young and enthusiastic farmer to put more
energy, industry, and economy into his business. It is well to listen
to the Deacon--to hear all his objections, and then to keep a sharp
look-out for the dangers and difficulties, and _go-ahead_.




“Farming is a poor business,” said the Deacon. “Take the corn crop.
Thirty bushels per acre is a fair average, worth, at 75 cents per
bushel, $22.50. If we reckon that, for each bushel of corn, we get 100
lbs. of stalks, this would be a ton and a half per acre, worth at $5 per
ton $7.50.”

  Total receipts per acre for corn crop                     $30 00
  Expenses.--Preparing the land for the crop         $5 00
             Planting and seed                        1 50
             Cultivating, three times,
               twice in a row both ways               5 00
             Hoeing twice                             3 00
             Cutting up the corn                      1 50
             Husking and drawing in the corn          4 00
             Drawing in the stalks, etc.              1 00
             Shelling, and drawing to market          2 00
  Total cost of the crop                             -----  $23 00
  Profit per acre                                            $7 00

“And from this,” said the Deacon, “we have to deduct interest on land
and taxes. I tell you, farming is a poor business.”

“Yes,” I replied, “_poor_ farming is a _very_ poor business. But _good_
farming, if we have good prices, is as good a business as I want, and
withal as pleasant. A good farmer raises 75 bushels of corn per acre,
instead of 30. He would get for his crop, including stalks

                                                        $75 00
  Expenses.--Preparing land for the crop         $5 00
             Planting and seed                    1 50
             Cultivating                          5 00
             Hoeing                               3 00
             Cutting up the corn                  1 50
             Husking and drawing                 10 00
             Drawing in the stalks                3 00
             Shelling, etc.                       6 00
                                                 -----  $35 00
  Profit per acre                                       $40 00

Take another case, which actually occurred in this neighborhood. The
Judge is a good farmer, and particularly successful in raising potatoes
and selling them at a good price to hotels and private families. He
cultivates very thoroughly, plants in hills, and puts a handful of
ashes, plaster, and hen-manure, on the hill.

In 1873, his crop of Peachblows was at the rate of 208 bushels per acre.
Of these, 200 bushels were sold at 60 cents per bushel. There were 8
bushels of small potatoes, worth say 12½ cents per bushel, to feed out
to stock.

Mr. Sloe, who lives on an adjoining farm, had three acres of Peachblow
potatoes the same year. The yield was 100 bushels per acre--of which 25
bushels were not large enough for market, he got 50 cents per bushel for
the others.

The account of the two crops stands as follows:

           Expenses Per Acre:              | Mr. Sloe | Judge.
  Plowing, harrowing, rolling, marking,    |          |
      planting and covering                | $ 8 00   | $ 8 00
  Seed                                     |   5 00   |   5 00
  Hoeing, cultivating, etc.                |   7 00   |  10 00
  Digging                                  |  10 00   |  10 00
                                           |  30 00   |  33 00
              _Receipts Per Acre_:         |          |
  75 bushels, @ 50c                        |  37 50   |
  25  ”       @ 12½c                       |   3 12   |
                                           |  40 62   |
  200 bushels, @ 60c                       |          | 120 00
    8   ”      @ 12½c                      |          |   1 00
                                           |          +---------
                                           |          | 121 00
  Profit per acre                          | $10 62   | $98 00

Since then, Mr. Sloe has been making and using more manure, and the year
before last (1875) his crop of potatoes averaged over 200 bushels per
acre, and on the sandy knolls, where more manure was applied, the yield
was at least 250 bushels per acre.

“Nevertheless,” said the Deacon, “I do not believe in ‘high farming.’ It
will not pay.”

“Possibly not,” I replied. “It depends on circumstances; and these we
will talk about presently. High farming aims to get large crops every
year. _Good_ farming produces equally large crops per acre, but not so
many of them. This is what I am trying to do on my own farm. I am aiming
to get 35 bushels of wheat per acre, 80 bushels of shelled corn, 50
bushels of barley, 90 bushels of oats, 300 bushels of potatoes, and
1,200 bushels of mangel-wurzel per acre, on the average. I can see no
way of paying high wages except by raising large crops _per acre_. But
if I get these large crops it does not necessarily follow that I am
practising ‘high farming.’”

To illustrate: Suppose I should succeed in getting such crops by
adopting the following plan. I have a farm of nearly 300 acres, one
quarter of it being low, alluvial land, too wet for cultivation, but
when drained excellent for pasturing cows or for timothy meadows.
I drain this land, and after it is drained I dam up some of the streams
that flow into it or through it, and irrigate wherever I can make the
water flow. So much for the low land.

The upland portion of the farm, containing say 200 acres, exclusive of
fences, roads, buildings, garden, etc., is a naturally fertile loam, as
good as the average wheat land of Western New York. But it is, or was,
badly “run down.” It had been what people call “worked to death;”
although, in point of fact, it had not been half-worked. Some said it
was “wheated to death,” others that it had been “oated to death,” others
that it had been “grassed to death,” and one man said to me, “That field
has had sheep on it until they have gnawed every particle of vegetable
matter out of the soil, and it will not now produce enough to pasture a
flock of geese.” And he was not far from right--notwithstanding the fact
that sheep are thought to be, and are, the best animals to enrich land.
But let me say, in passing, that I have since raised on that same field
50 bushels of barley per acre, 33 bushels of Diehl wheat, a great crop
of clover, and last year, on a part of it, over 1,000 bushels of
mangel-wurzel per acre.

But this is a digression. Let us carry out the illustration. What does
this upland portion of the farm need? It needs underdraining, thorough
cultivation, and _plenty of manure_. If I had plenty of manure, I could
adopt high farming. But where am I to get plenty of manure for 200 acres
of land? “Make it,” says the Deacon. Very good; but what shall I make it
of? “Make it out of your straw and stalks and hay.” So I do, but all the
straw and stalks and hay raised on the farm when I bought it would not
make as much manure as “high farming” requires for five acres of land.
And is this not true of half the farms in the United States to-day? What
then, shall we do?

The best thing to do, _theoretically_, is this: Any land that is
producing a fair crop of grass or clover, let it lie. Pasture it or mow
it for hay. If you have a field of clayey or stiff loamy land, break it
up in the fall, and summer-fallow it the next year, and sow it to wheat
and seed it down with clover. Let it lie two or three years in clover.
Then break it up in July or August, “fall-fallow” it, and sow it with
barley the next spring, and seed it down again with clover.

Sandy or light land, that it will not pay to summer-fallow, should have
all the manure you can make, and be plowed and planted with corn.
Cultivate thoroughly, and either seed it down with the corn in August,
or sow it to barley or oats next spring, and seed it down with clover.
I say, _theoretically_ this is the best plan to adopt. But practically
it may not be so, because it may be absolutely necessary that we should
raise something that we can sell at once, and get money to live upon or
pay interest and taxes. But the gentlemen who so strenuously advocate
high farming, are not perhaps often troubled with considerations of this
kind. Meeting them, therefore, on their own ground, I contend that in my
case “high farming” would not be as profitable as the plan hinted at

The rich alluvial low land is to be pastured or mown; the upland to be
broken up only when necessary, and when it is plowed to be plowed well
and worked thoroughly, and got back again into clover as soon as
possible. The hay and pasture from the low land, and the clover and
straw and stalks from the upland, would enable us to keep a good many
cows and sheep, with more or less pigs, and there would be a big pile of
manure in the yard every spring. And when this is once obtained, you can
get along much more pleasantly and profitably.

“But,” I may be asked, “when you have got this pile of manure can not
you adopt high farming?” No. My manure pile would contain say: 60 tons
of clover-hay; 20 tons wheat-straw; 25 tons oat, barley, and pea-straw;
40 tons meadow-hay; 20 tons corn-stalks; 20 tons corn, oats, and other
grain; 120 tons mangel-wurzel and turnips.

This would give me about 500 tons of well-rotted manure. I should want
200 tons of this for the mangels and turnips, and the 300 tons I should
want to top-dress 20 acres of grass land intended for corn and potatoes
the next year. My pile of manure, therefore, is all used up on 25 to 30
acres of land. In other words, I use the unsold produce of 10 acres to
manure one. Is this “high farming?” I think in my circumstances it is
good farming, but it is not high farming. It gives me large crops per
acre, but I have comparatively few acres in crops that are sold from the

“High farming,” if the term is to have any definite meaning at all
should only be used to express the idea of a farm so managed that the
soil is rich enough to produce maximum crops _every year_. If you adopt
the system of rotation quite general in this section--say, 1st year,
corn on sod; 2d, barley or oats; 3d, wheat; 4th, clover for hay and
afterwards for seed; 5th, timothy and clover for hay; and then the 6th
year plowed up for corn again--it would be necessary to make the land
rich enough to produce say 100 bushels shelled corn, 50 bushels of
barley, 40 bushels of wheat, 3 tons clover-hay, and 5 bushels of
clover-seed, and 3 tons clover and timothy-hay per acre. This would be
_moderate_ high farming. If we introduced lucern, Italian rye-grass,
corn-fodder, and mangel-wurzel into the rotation, we should need still
richer land to produce a maximum growth of these crops. In other words,
we should need more manure.

The point I am endeavoring to get at, is this: Where you want a farm to
be self-supporting--where you depend solely on the produce of the farm
to supply manure--it is a sheer impossibility to adopt high farming _on
the whole of your land_. I want to raise just as large crops per acre as
the high farmers, but there is no way of doing this, unless we go
outside the farm for manure, without raising a smaller area of such
crops as are sold from the farm.

I do not wish any one to suppose that I am opposed to high farming.
There is occasionally a farm where it may be practised with advantage,
but it seems perfectly clear to my mind that as long as there is such an
unlimited supply of _land_, and such a limited supply of fertilizers,
most of us will find it more profitable to develop the latent stores of
plant-food lying dormant in the soil rather than to buy manures. And it
is certain that you can not adopt high farming without either buying
manure directly, or buying food to feed to animals that shall make
manure on the farm.

And you must recollect that high farming requires an increased supply of
labor, and hired help is a luxury almost as costly as artificial

We have heard superficial thinkers object to agricultural papers on the
ground that they were urging farmers to improve their land and produce
larger crops, “while,” say they, “we are producing so much already that
it will not sell for as much as it costs to produce it.” My plan of
improved agriculture does not necessarily imply the production of any
more wheat or of any more grain of any kind that we sell than we raise
at present. I would simply raise it on fewer acres, and thus lessen the
expense for seed, cultivation, harvesting, etc. I would raise 30 bushels
of wheat per acre every third year, instead of 10 bushels every year.

If we summer-fallowed and plowed under clover in order to produce the 30
bushels of wheat once in three years, instead of 10 bushels every year,
no more produce of any kind would be raised. But my plan does not
contemplate such a result. On my own farm I seldom summer-fallow, and
never plow under clover. I think I can enrich the farm nearly as much by
feeding the clover to animals and returning the manure to the land. The
animals do not take out more than from five to ten per cent of the more
valuable elements of plant-food from the clover. And so my plan, while
it produces as much and no more grain to sell, adds greatly to the
fertility of the land, and gives an increased production of beef,
mutton, wool, butter, cheese, and pork.

“But what is a man to do who is poor and has poor land?” If he has good
health, is industrious, economical, and is possessed of a fair share of
good common sense, he need have no doubt as to being able to renovate
his farm and improve his own fortune.

Faith in good farming is the first requisite. If this is weak, it will
be strengthened by exercise. If you have not faith, act as though you

Work hard, but do not be a drudge. A few hours’ vigorous labor will
accomplish a great deal, and encourage you to continued effort. Be
prompt, systematic, cheerful, and enthusiastic. Go to bed early and get
up when you wake. But take sleep enough. A man had better be in bed than
at the tavern or grocery. Let not friends, even, keep you up late;
“manners is manners, but still your elth’s your elth.”

“But what has this to do with good farming?” More than chemistry and all
the science of the schools. Agriculture is an art and must be followed
as such. Science will help--help enormously--but it will never enable us
to dispense with industry. Chemistry throws great light on the art of
cooking, but a farmer’s wife will roast a turkey better than a Liebig.

When Mr. James O. Sheldon, of Geneva. N.Y., bought his farm, his entire
crop of hay the first year was 76 loads. He kept stock, and bought more
or less grain and bran, and in eleven years from that time his farm
produced 430 loads of hay, afforded pasture for his large herd of
Shorthorn cattle, and produced quite as much grain as when he first took

Except in the neighborhood of large cities, “high farming” may not pay,
owing to the fact that we have so much land. But whether this is so or
not, there can be no doubt that the only profitable system of farming is
to raise large crops on such land as we cultivate. High farming gives us
large crops, and _many of them_. At present, while we have so much land
in proportion to population, we must, perhaps, be content with large
crops of grain, and few of them. We must adopt the slower but less
expensive means of enriching our land from natural sources, rather than
the quicker, more artificial, and costly means adopted by many farmers
in England, and by market gardeners, seed-growers, and nurserymen in
this country. Labor is so high that we can not afford to raise a small
crop. If we sow but half the number of acres, and double the yield, we
should quadruple our profits. I have made up my mind to let the land lie
in clover three years, instead of two. This will lessen the number of
acres under cultivation, and enable us to bestow more care in plowing
and cleaning it. And the land will be richer, and produce better crops.
The atmosphere is capable of supplying a certain quantity of ammonia to
the soil in rains and dews every year, and by giving the wheat crop a
three years supply instead of two years, we gain so much. Plaster the
clover, top-dress it in the fall, if you have the manure, and stimulate
its growth in every way possible, and consume all the clover on the
land, or in the barn-yard. Do not sell a single ton; let not a weed
grow, and the land will certainly improve.

The first object should be to destroy weeds. I do not know how it is in
other sections, but with us the majority of farms are completely overrun
with weeds. They are eating out the life of the land, and if something
is not done to destroy them, even exorbitantly high prices can not make
farming profitable. A farmer yesterday was contending that it did not
pay to summer-fallow. He has taken a run-down farm, and a year ago last
spring he plowed up ten acres of a field, and sowed it to barley and
oats. The remainder of the field he summer-fallowed, plowing it four
times, rolling and harrowing thoroughly after each plowing. After the
barley and oats were off, he plowed the land once, harrowed it and sowed
Mediterranean wheat. On the summer-fallow he drilled in Diehl wheat. He
has just threshed, and got 22 bushels per acre of Mediterranean wheat
after the spring crop, at one plowing, and 26 bushels per acre of Diehl
wheat on the summer-fallow. This, he said, would not pay, as it cost him
$20 per acre to summer-fallow, and he lost the use of the land for one
season. Now this may be all true, and yet it is no argument against
summer-fallowing. Wait a few years. Farming is slow work. Mr. George
Geddes remarked to me, when I told him I was trying to renovate a
run-down farm, “you will find it the work of your life.” We ought not to
expect a big crop on poor, run-down land, simply by plowing it three or
four times in as many months. Time is required for the chemical changes
to take place in the soil. But watch the effect on the clover for the
next two years, and when the land is plowed again, see if it is not in
far better condition than the part not summer-fallowed. I should expect
the clover on the summer-fallow to be fully one-third better in
quantity, and of better quality than on the other part, and this extra
quantity of clover will make an extra quantity of good manure, and thus
we have the means of going on with the work of improving the farm.

“Yes,” said the Doctor, “and there will also be more clover-roots in the

“But I can not afford to wait for clover, and summer-fallowing,” writes
an intelligent New York gentleman, a dear lover of good stock, who has
bought an exhausted New England farm, “I must have a portion of it
producing good crops right off.” Very well. A farmer with plenty of
money can do wonders in a short time. Set a gang of ditchers to work,
and put in underdrains where most needed. Have teams and plows enough to
do the work rapidly. As soon as the land is drained and plowed, put on a
heavy roller. Then sow 500 lbs. of Peruvian guano per acre broadcast, or
its equivalent in some other fertilizer. Follow with a Shares’ harrow.
This will mellow the surface and cover the guano without disturbing the
sod. Follow with a forty-toothed harrow, and roll again, if needed,
working the land until there is three or four inches of fine, mellow
surface soil. Then mark off the land in rows as straight as an arrow,
and plant corn. Cultivate thoroughly, and kill every weed. If the
ditchers can not get through until it is too late to plant corn, drill
in beans on the last drained part of the field.

Another good crop to raise on a stock farm is corn-fodder. This can be
drilled in from time to time as the land can be got ready. Put on half a
ton of guano per acre and harrow in, and then mark off the rows three
feet apart, and drill in four bushels of corn per acre. Cultivate
thoroughly, and expect a great crop. By the last of July, the Ayrshire
cows will take kindly to the succulent corn-fodder, and with three or
four quarts of meal a day, it will enable each of them to make 10 lbs.
of butter a week.

For the pigs, sow a few acres of peas. These will do well on sod-land,
sown early or late, or a part early and a part late, as most convenient.
Sow broadcast and harrow in, 500 lbs. of Peruvian guano per acre and 200
lbs. of gypsum. Drill in three bushels of peas per acre, or sow
broadcast, and cover them with a Shares’ harrow. Commence to feed the
crop green as soon as the pods are formed, and continue to feed out the
crop, threshed or unthreshed, until the middle of November. Up to this
time the bugs do comparatively little damage. The pigs will thrive
wonderfully on this crop, and make the richest and best of manure.

I have little faith in any attempt to raise root crops on land not
previously well prepared. But as it is necessary to have some
mangel-wurzel and Swede turnips for the Ayrshire cows and long-wool
sheep next winter and spring, select the cleanest and richest land that
can be found that was under cultivation last season. If fall plowed, the
chances of success will be doubled. Plow the land two or three times,
and cultivate, harrow, and roll until it is as mellow as a garden. Sow
400 lbs. of Peruvian guano and 300 lbs. of good superphosphate per acre
broadcast, and harrow them in. Ridge up the land into ridges 2½ to 3 ft.
apart, with a double mould-board plow. Roll down the ridges with a light
roller, and drill in the seed. Sow the mangel-wurzel in May--the earlier
the better--and the Swedes as soon afterwards as the land can be
thoroughly prepared. Better delay until June rather than sow on rough

The first point on such a farm will be to attend to the grass land. This
affords the most hopeful chance of getting good returns the first year.
But no time is to be lost. Sow 500 lbs. of Peruvian guano per acre on
all the grass land and on the clover, with 200 lbs. of gypsum in
addition on the latter. If this is sown early enough, so that the spring
rains dissolve it and wash it into the soil, great crops of grass may be

“But will it pay?” My friend in New York is a very energetic and
successful business man, and he has a real love for farming, and I have
no sort of doubt that, taking the New York business and the farm
together, they will afford a very handsome profit. Furthermore, I have
no doubt that if, after he has drained it, he would cover the whole farm
with 500 lbs. of Peruvian guano per acre, or its equivalent, it would
pay him better than any other agricultural operation he is likely to
engage in. By the time it was on the land the cost would amount to about
$20 per acre. If he sells no more grass or hay from the farm than he
would sell if he did not use the guano, this $20 may very properly be
added to the permanent capital invested in the farm. And in this aspect
of the case, I have no hesitation in saying it will pay a high rate of
interest. His bill for labor will be as much in one case as in the
other; and if he uses the guano he will probably double his crops. His
grass lands will carry twenty cows instead of ten, and if he raises the
corn-fodder and roots, he can probably keep thirty cows better than he
could otherwise keep a dozen; and, having to keep a herdsman in either
case, the cost of labor will not be much increased. “But you think it
will not pay?” It will probably not pay _him_. I do not think _his_
business would pay me if I lived on my farm, and went to New York only
once or twice a week. If there is one business above all others that
requires constant attention, it is farming--and especially
stock-farming. But my friend is right in saying that he cannot afford to
wait to enrich his land by clover and summer-fallowing. His land costs
too much; he has a large barn and everything requisite to keep a large
stock of cattle and sheep. The interest on farm and buildings, and the
money expended in labor, would run on while the dormant matter in the
soil was slowly becoming available under the influence of good tillage.
The large barn must be filled at once, and the only way to do this is to
apply manure with an unsparing hand. If he lived on the farm, I should
have no doubt that, by adopting this course, and by keeping improved
stock, and feeding liberally, he could make money. Perhaps he can find a
man who will successfully manage the farm under his direction, but the
probabilities are that his present profit and pleasure will come from
the gratification of his early love for country life.



“What is the good of asking such a question as that?” said the Deacon;
“we all know what manure is.”

“Well, then,” I replied, “tell us what it is?”

“_It is anything that will make crops grow better and bigger_,” replied
the Deacon.

“That is not a bad definition,” said I; “but let us see if it is a true
one. You have two rows of cabbage in the garden, and you water one row,
and the plants grow bigger and better. Is _water_ manure? You cover a
plant with a hand-glass, and it grows bigger and better. Is a hand-glass
manure? You shelter a few plants, and they grow bigger and better. Is
shelter manure? You put some pure sand round a few plants, and they grow
bigger and better. Is pure sand manure? I think we shall have to reject
the Deacon’s definition.”

Let us hear what the Doctor has to say on the subject.

“Manure,” replied the Doctor, “is the _food of plants_.”

“That is a better definition,” said I; “but this is really not answering
the question. You say manure is plant-food. But what is plant-food?”

“Plant-food,” said the Doctor, “is composed of twelve elements, and,
possibly, sometimes one or two more, which we need not here talk about.
Four of these elements are gases, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and
nitrogen. When a plant or animal is burnt, these gases are driven off.
The ashes which remain are composed of potash, soda, lime, and magnesia;
sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, chlorine, and silica. In other words,
the ‘food of plants’ is composed of four organic, or gaseous elements,
and eight inorganic, or mineral elements, of which four have acid and
four alkaline properties.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” said the Deacon, “I am glad to know what manure is.
It is the food of plants, and the food of plants is composed of four
gases, four acid and four alkaline elements. I seem to know all about
it. All I have wanted to make my land rich was plenty of manure, and now
I shall know where to get it--oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen;
these four atmospheric elements. Then potash, soda, magnesia, and lime.
I know what these four are. Then sulphur, phosphorous, silica (sand,)
and chlorine (salt). I shall soon have rich land and big crops.”

Charley, who has recently come home from college, where he has been
studying chemistry, looked at the Deacon, and was evidently puzzled to
understand him. Turning to the Doctor, Charley asked modestly if what
the Doctor had said in regard to the composition of plant food could not
be said of the composition of all our animals and plants.

“Certainly,” replied the Doctor, “all our agricultural plants and all
our animals, man included, are composed of these twelve elements,
oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen; phosphorus, sulphur, silica,
chlorine, potash, soda, magnesia, and lime.”

Charley said something about lime, potash, and soda, not being
“elements;” and something about silica and chlorine not being found in

“Yes,” said I, “and he has left out _iron_, which is an important
constituent of all our farm crops and animals.” Neither the Doctor nor
the Deacon heard our remarks. The Deacon, who loves an argument,
exclaimed: “I thought I knew all about it. You told us that manure was
the food of plants, and that the food of plants was composed of the
above twelve elements; and now you tell us that man and beast, fruit and
flower, grain and grass, root, stem, and branch, all are composed or
made up of these same dozen elements. If I ask you what bread is made
of, you say it is composed of the dozen elements aforesaid. If I ask
what wheat-straw is made of, you answer, the _dozen_. If I ask what a
thistle is made of, you say the dozen. There are a good many milk-weeds
in my strawberry patch, and I am glad to know that the milk-weed and the
strawberry are both composed of the same dozen elements. Manure is the
food of plants, and the food of plants is composed of the above dozen
elements, and every plant and animal that we eat is also composed of
these same dozen elements, and so I suppose there is no difference
between an onion and an omelet, or between bread and milk, or between
mangel-wurzel and manure.”

“The difference,” replied the Doctor, “is one of proportion. Mangels and
manure are both composed of the same elements. In fact, mangels make
good manure, and good manure makes good mangels.”

The Deacon and the Doctor sat down to a game of backgammon, and Charley
and I continued the conversation more seriously.



“The Doctor is in the main correct,” said I; “but he does not fully
answer the question, ‘What is manure?’ To say that manure is plant-food,
does not cover the whole ground. All soils on which plants grow, contain
more or less plant-food. A plant can not create an atom of potash. It
can not get it from the atmosphere. We find potash in the plant, and we
know that it got it from the soil and we are certain, therefore, that
the soil contains potash. And so of all the other mineral elements of
plants. A soil that will produce a thistle, or a pig-weed, contains
plant-food. And so the definition of the Doctor is defective, inasmuch
as it makes no distinction between soil and manure. Both contain

“What is your definition of manure?” asked Charley; “it would seem as
though we all knew what manure was. We have got a great heap of it in
the yard, and it is fermenting nicely.”

“Yes,” I replied, “we are making more manure on the farm this winter
than ever before. Two hundred pigs, 120 large sheep, 8 horses, 11 cows,
and a hundred head of poultry make considerable manure; and it is a good
deal of work to clean out the pens, pile the manure, draw it to the
field, and apply it to the crops. We ought to know something about it;
but we might work among manure all our lives, and not know what manure
is. At any rate, we might not be able to define it accurately. I will,
however, try my hand at a definition.

“Let us assume that we have a field that is free from stagnant water at
all seasons of the year; that the soil is clean, mellow, and well worked
seven inches deep, and in good order for putting in a crop. What the
coming ‘_season_’ will be we know not. It may be what we call a hot, dry
summer, or it may be cool and moist, or it may be partly one and partly
the other. The ‘season’ is a great element of uncertainty in all our
farming calculations; but we know that we shall have a season of some
kind. We have the promise of seed-time and harvest, and we have never
known the promise to fail us. Crops, however, vary very much, according
to the season; and it is necessary to bear this fact in mind. Let us say
that the sun and heat, and rain and dews, or what we call ‘the season,’
is capable of producing 50 bushels of wheat per acre, but that the soil
I have described above, does not produce over 20 bushels per acre. There
is no mechanical defect in the soil. The seed is good, it is put in
properly, and at the right time, and in the best manner. No weeds choke
the wheat plants or rob them of their food; but that field does not
produce as much wheat by 30 bushels per acre as the _season_ is capable
of producing. Why? The answer is evident. _Because the wheat plants do
not find food enough in the soil._ Now, anything that will furnish this
food, anything that will cause that field to produce what the climate or
season is capable of producing, is manure. A gardener may increase his
crops by artificial heat, or by an increased supply of water, but this
is not manure. The effect is due to improved climatic conditions. It has
nothing to do with the question of manure. We often read in the
agricultural papers about ‘_shade_ as manure.’ We might just as well
talk about _sunlight_ as ‘manure.’ The effects observed should be
referred to modifications of the climate or season; and so in regard to
mulching. A good mulch may often produce a larger increase of growth
than an application of manure. But mulch, proper, is not manure. It is
climate. It checks evaporation of moisture from the soil. We might as
well speak of rain as manure as to call a mulch manure. In fact, an
ordinary shower in summer is little more than a mulch. It does not reach
the roots of plants; and yet we see the effect of the shower immediately
in the increased vigor of the plants. They are full of sap, and the
drooping leaves look refreshed. We say the rain has revived them, and so
it has; but probably not a particle of the rain has entered into the
circulation of the plant. The rain checked evaporation from the soil and
from the leaves. A cool night refreshes the plants, and fills the leaves
with sap, precisely in the same way. All these fertilizing effects,
however, belong to climate. It is inaccurate to associate either
mulching, sunshine, shade, heat, dews, or rain, with the question of
manure, though the effect may in certain circumstances be precisely the

Charley evidently thought I was wandering from the point. “You think,
then,” said he, “manure is _plant-food that the soil needs?_”

“Yes,” said I, “that is a very good definition--very good, indeed,
though not absolutely accurate, because manure is manure, whether a
particular soil needs it or not.” Unobserved by us, the Deacon and the
Doctor had been listening to our talk. --“I would like,” said the
Deacon, “to hear you give a better definition than Charley has given.”
--“Manure,” said I, “is anything containing an element or elements of
plant-food, which, if the soil needed it, would, if supplied in
sufficient quantity, and in an available condition, produce, according
to soil, season, climate, and variety, a maximum crop.”



We often hear about “natural” manure. I do not like the term, though I
believe it originated with me. It is not accurate; not definite enough.

“I do not know what you mean by natural manure,” said the Deacon,
“unless it is the droppings of animals.” --“To distinguish them,
I suppose,” said the Doctor, “from artificial manures, such as
superphosphate, sulphate of ammonia, and nitrate of soda.” --“No; that
is not how I used the term. A few years ago, we used to hear much in
regard to the ‘exhaustion of soils.’ I thought this phrase conveyed a
wrong idea. When new land produces large crops, and when, after a few
years, the crops get less and less, we were told that the farmers were
exhausting their land. I said, no; the farmers are not exhausting the
_soil_; they are merely exhausting the accumulated plant-food in the
soil. In other words, they are using up the _natural manure_.

“Take my own farm. Fifty years ago, it was covered with a heavy growth
of maple, beech, black walnut, oak, and other trees. These trees had
shed annual crops of leaves for centuries. The leaves rot on the ground;
the trees also, age after age. These leaves and other organic matter
form what I have called natural manure. When the land is cleared up and
plowed, this natural manure decays more rapidly than when the land lies
undisturbed; precisely as a manure-pile will ferment and decay more
rapidly if turned occasionally, and exposed to the air. The plowing and
cultivating renders this natural manure more readily available. The
leaves decompose, and furnish food for the growing crop.”


“You think, then,” said the Doctor, “that when a piece of land is
cleared of the forest, harrowed, and sown to wheat; plowed and planted
to corn, and the process repeated again and again, until the land no
longer yields profitable crops, that it is the ‘natural manure,’ and not
the soil, that is exhausted?”

“I think the _soil_, at any rate, is not exhausted, and I can easily
conceive of a case where even the natural manure is very far from being
all used up.”

“Why, then,” asked the Deacon, “is the land so poor that it will
scarcely support a sheep to the acre?”

“Simply because the natural manure and other plant-food which the soil
contains is not in an available condition. It lies dead and inert. It is
not soluble, and the roots of the plants cannot get enough of it to
enable them to thrive; and in addition to this, you will find as a
matter of fact that these poor ‘exhausted’ farms are infested with
weeds, which rob the growing crops of a large part of the scanty supply
of available plant-food.”

“But these weeds,” said the Deacon, “are not removed from the farm. They
rot on the land; nothing is lost.”

“True,” said I, “but they, nevertheless, rob the growing crops of
available plant-food. The annual supply of plant-food, instead of being
used to grow useful plants, is used to grow weeds.”

“I understand that,” said the Deacon, “but if the weeds are left on the
land, and the useful plants are sold, the farmer who keeps his land
clean would exhaust his land faster than the careless farmer who lets
his land lie until it is overrun with thistles, briars, and pig-weed.
You agricultural writers, who are constantly urging us to farm better
and grow larger crops, seem to overlook this point. As you know, I do
not take much stock in chemical theories as applied to agriculture, but
as you do, here is a little extract I cut from an agricultural paper,
that seems to prove that the better you work your land, and the larger
crops you raise, the sooner you exhaust your land.”

The Deacon put on his spectacles, drew his chair nearer the lamp on the
table, and read the following:

“There is, on an average, about one-fourth of a pound of potash to every
one hundred pounds of soil, and about one-eighth of a pound of
phosphoric acid, and one-sixteenth of a pound of sulphuric acid. If the
potatoes and the tops are continually removed from the soil, it will
soon exhaust the potash. If the wheat and straw are removed, it will
soon exhaust the phosphate of lime; if corn and the stalks, it will soon
exhaust the sulphuric acid. Unless there is a rotation, or the material
the plant requires is supplied from abroad, your crops will soon run
out, though the soil will continue rich for other plants.”

“That extract,” said I, “carries one back twenty-five years. We used to
have article after article in this strain. We were told that ‘always
taking meal out of the tub soon comes to the bottom,’ and always taking
potash and phosphoric acid from the soil will soon exhaust the supply.
But, _practically_, there is really little danger of our exhausting the
land. It does not pay. The farmer’s resources will be exhausted long
before he can exhaust his farm.”

“Assuming,” said the Doctor, who is fond of an argument, “that the above
statement is true, let us look at the facts. An acre of soil, 12 inches
deep, would weigh about 1,600 tons; and if, as the writer quoted by the
Deacon states, the soil contains 4 ozs. of potash in every 100 lbs. of
soil, it follows that an acre of soil, 12 inches deep, contains 8,000
lbs. of potash. Now, potatoes contain about 20 per cent of dry matter,
and this dry matter contains say, 4 per cent of ash, half of which is
potash. It follows, therefore, that 250 bushels of potatoes contain
about 60 lbs. of potash. If we reckon that the tops contain 20 lbs.
more, or 80 lbs. in all, it follows that the acre of soil contains
potash enough to grow an _annual_ crop of 250 bushels of potatoes per
acre for one hundred years.”

“I know farmers,” said Charley, “who do not get over 50 bushels of
potatoes per acre, and in that case the potash would last five hundred
years, as the weeds grown with the crop are left on the land, and do
not, according to the Deacon, exhaust the soil.”

“Good for you, Charley,” said the Doctor. “Now let us see about the
phosphoric acid, of which the soil, according to the above statement,
contains only half as much as it contains of potash, or 4,000 lbs. per

“A crop of wheat of 30 bushels per acre,” continued the Doctor,
“contains in the grain about 26 lbs. of ash, and we will say that half
of this ash is phosphoric acid, or 13 lbs. Allowing that the straw,
chaff, etc., contain 7 lbs. more, we remove from the soil in a crop of
wheat of 30 bushels per acre, 20 lbs. of phosphoric acid, and so,
according to the above estimate, an acre of soil contains phosphoric
acid to produce annually a crop of wheat and straw of 30 bushels per
acre for _two hundred years_.

“The writer of the paragraph quoted by the Deacon,” continued the
Doctor, “selected the crops and elements best suited to his purpose, and
yet, according to his own estimate, there is sufficient potash and
phosphoric acid in the first 12 inches of the soil to enable us to raise
unusually large crops until the next Centennial in 1976.

“But let us take another view of the subject,” continued the Doctor. “No
intelligent farmer removes all the potatoes _and tops_, all the wheat,
straw, and chaff, or all the corn and stalks from his farm. According to
Dr. Salisbury, a crop of corn of 75 bushels per acre removes from the
soil 600 lbs. of ash, but the _grain_ contains only 46 lbs. The other
554 lbs. is contained in the stalks, etc., all of which are usually
retained on the farm. It follows from this, that when only the grain is
sold off the farm, it takes more than thirteen crops to remove as much
mineral matter from the soil as is contained in the whole of one crop.
Again, the ash of the grain contains less than 3 per cent of sulphuric
acid, so that the 46 lbs. of ash, in 75 bushels of corn, contains less
than 1½ lbs. of sulphuric acid, and thus, if an acre of soil contains
2,000 lbs. of sulphuric acid, we have sufficient for an annual crop of
75 bushels per acre for fifteen hundred years!

“As I said before,” continued the Doctor, “intelligent farmers seldom
sell their straw, and they frequently purchase and consume on the farm
nearly as much bran, shorts, etc., as is sent to market with the grain
they sell. In the ‘Natural History of New York,’ it is stated that an
acre of wheat in Western New York, of 30 bushels per acre, including
straw, chaff, etc., removes from the soil 144 lbs. of mineral matter.
Genesee wheat usually yields about 80 per cent. of flour. This flour
contains only 0.7 per cent of mineral matter, while fine middlings
contain 4 per cent; coarse middlings, 5½ per cent; shorts, 8 per cent,
and bran 8½ per cent of mineral matter or ash. It follows from this,
that out of the 144 lbs. of mineral matter in the crop of wheat, less
than 10 lbs. is contained in the flour. The remaining 134 lbs. is found
in the straw, chaff, bran, shorts, etc., which a good farmer is almost
sure to feed out on his farm. But even if the farmer feeds out none of
his wheat-bran, but sells it all with his wheat, the 30 bushels of wheat
remove from the soil only 26 lbs. of mineral matter; and it would take
more than five crops to remove as much mineral matter as one crop of
wheat and straw contains. Allowing that half the ash of wheat is
phosphoric acid, 30 bushels remove only 13 lbs. from the soil, and if
the soil contains 4,000 lbs., it will take three hundred and seven
crops, of 30 bushels each, to exhaust it.”

“That is to say,” said Charley, “if all the straw and chaff is retained
on the farm, and is returned to the land without loss of phosphoric

“Yes,” said the Doctor, “and if all the bran and shorts, etc., were
retained on the farm, it would take eight hundred crops to exhaust the
soil of phosphoric acid; and it is admitted that of all the elements of
plant-food, phosphoric acid is the one first to be exhausted from the

I have sold some timothy hay this winter, and propose to do so whenever
the price suits. But some of my neighbors, who do not hesitate to sell
their own hay, think I ought not to do so, because I “write for the
papers”! It ought to satisfy them to know that I bring back 30 cwt. of
bran for every ton of hay I sell. My rule is to sell nothing but wheat,
barley, beans, potatoes, clover-seed, apples, wool, mutton, beef, pork,
and butter. Everything else is consumed on the farm--corn, peas, oats,
mustard, rape, mangels, clover, straw, stalks, etc. Let us make a rough
estimate of how much is sold and how much retained on a hundred-acre
farm, leaving out the potatoes, beans, and live-stock. We have say:

  15 acres wheat,  @ 40 bushels per acre                  18 tons
   5   ”   barley, @ 50    ”       ”                       6  ”
  15   ”   clover seed, 4  ”       ”                       1¾ ton.
        Total sold                                        25¾ tons.

    Retained on the farm.
  15 acres corn, @ 80 bushels per acre                    33½ tons.
  Corn stalks from do.                                    40   ”
   5 acres barley straw                                    8   ”
  10   ”   oats and peas, equal 80 bushels of oats        12¾  ”
  Straw from do.                                          20   ”
  15 acres wheat-straw                                    25   ”
  15   ”   clover-hay                                     25   ”
  Clover-seed straw                                       10   ”
  15 acres pasture and meadow, equal 40 tons hay          40   ”
   5   ”   mustard, equal 10 tons hay                     10   ”
   5   ”   rape, equal 10 tons hay                        10   ”
   5   ”   mangels, 25 tons per acre,                     15   ”
               equal to 3 tons dry
  Leaves from do.                                          3   ”
          Total retained on the farm                     252¼ tons.

It would take a good many years to exhaust any ordinary soil by such a
course of cropping. Except, perhaps, the sandy knolls, I think there is
not an acre on my farm that would be exhausted in ten thousand years,
and as some portions of the low alluvial soil will grow crops without
manure, there will be an opportunity to give the poor, sandy knolls more
than their share of plant-food. In this way, notwithstanding the fact
that we sell produce and bring nothing back, I believe the whole farm
will gradually increase in productiveness. The plant-food annually
rendered available from the decomposition and disintegration of the
inert organic and mineral matter in the soil, will be more than equal to
that exported from the farm. If the soil becomes deficient in anything,
it is likely that it will be in phosphates, and a little superphosphate
or bone-dust might at any rate be profitably used on the rape, mustard,
and turnips.

The point in good farming is to develop from the latent stores in the
soil, and to accumulate enough available plant-food for the production
of the largest possible yield of those crops which we sell. In other
words, we want enough available plant-food in the soil to grow 40
bushels of wheat and 50 bushels of barley. I think the farmer who raises
10 tons for every ton he sells, will soon reach this point, and when
once reached, it is a comparatively easy matter to maintain this degree
of fertility.


“If the soil is so rich in plant-food,” said the Deacon, “I again ask,
why are our crops so poor?”

The Deacon said this very quietly. He did not seem to know that he had
asked one of the most important questions in the whole range of
agricultural science. It is a fact that a soil may contain enough
plant-food to produce a thousand large crops, and yet the crops we
obtain from it may be so poor as hardly to pay the cost of cultivation.
The plant-food is there, but the plants cannot get at it. It is not in
an available condition; it is not soluble. A case is quoted by Prof.
Johnson, where a soil was analyzed, and found to contain to the depth of
one foot 4,652 lbs. of nitrogen per acre, but only 63 lbs. of this was
in an available condition. And this is equally true of phosphoric acid,
potash, and other elements of plant-food. No matter how much plant-food
there may be in the soil, the only portion that is of any immediate
value is the small amount that is annually available for the growth of


“I am tired of so much talk about plant-food,” said the Deacon; “what we
want to know is how to make our land produce larger crops of wheat,
corn, oats, barley, potatoes, clover, and grass.”

This is precisely what I am trying to show. On my own farm, the three
leading objects are (1) to get the land drained, (2) to make it clean
and mellow, and (3) to get available nitrogen for the cereal crops.
After the first two objects are accomplished, the measure of
productiveness will be determined by the amount of available nitrogen in
the soil. How to get available nitrogen, therefore, is my chief and
ultimate object in all the operations on the farm, and it is here that
science can help me. I know how to get nitrogen, but I want to get it in
the cheapest way, and then to be sure that I do not waste it.

There is one fact fully established by repeated experiment and general
experience--that 80 lbs. of available nitrogen per acre, applied in
manure, will almost invariably give us a greatly increased yield of
grain crops. I should expect, on my farm, that on land which, without
manure, would give me 15 bushels of wheat per acre, such a dressing of
manure would give me, in a favorable season, 35 or 40 bushels per acre,
with a proportional increase of straw; and, in addition to this, there
would be considerable nitrogen left for the following crop of clover. Is
it not worth while making an earnest effort to get this 80 lbs. of
available nitrogen?

I have on my farm many acres of low, mucky land, bordering on the creek,
that probably contain several thousand pounds of nitrogen per acre. So
long as the land is surcharged with water, this nitrogen, and other
plant-food, lies dormant. But drain it, and let in the air, and the
oxygen decomposes the organic matter, and ammonia and nitric acid are
produced. In other words, we get _available_ nitrogen and other
plant-food, and the land becomes capable of producing large crops of
corn and grass; and the crops obtained from this low, rich land, will
make manure for the poorer, upland portions of the farm.



“It would pay you,” said the Deacon, “to draw out 200 or 300 loads of
muck from the swamp every year, and compost it with your manure.”

This may or may not be the case. It depends on the composition of the
muck, and how much labor it takes to handle it.

“What you should do,” said the Doctor, “is to commence at the creek, and
straighten it. Take a gang of men, and be with them with yourself, or
get a good foreman to direct operations. Commence at _a_, and straighten
the creek to _b_, and from _b_ to _c_ (see map on next page). Throw all
the rich, black muck in a heap by itself, separate from the sand. You,
or your foreman, must be there, or you will not get this done. A good
ditcher will throw out a great mass of this loose muck and sand in a
day; and you want him to dig, not think. You must do the thinking, and
tell him which is muck, and which is only sand and dirt. When thrown up,
this muck, in our dry, hot climate, will, in the course of a few months,
part with a large amount of water, and it can then be drawn to the barns
and stables, and used for bedding, or for composting with manure. Or if
you do not want to draw it to the barn, get some refuse lime from the
lime-kiln, and mix it with the muck after it has been thrown up a few
weeks, and is partially dry. Turn over the heap, and put a few bushels
of lime to every cord of the muck, mixing the lime and muck together,
leaving the heap in a compact form, and in good shape, to shed the rain.

“When you have straightened, and cleaned out, and deepened the creek,”
continued the Doctor, “commence at _z_ on the new creek, and cut a ditch
through the swamp to _y_. Throw the muck on one side, and the sand on
the other. This will give you some good, rich muck, and at the same time
drain your swamp. Then cut some _under-drains_ from _y_ towards the
higher land at _w_, _v_, and _h_, and from _f_ to _x_. These will drain
your land, and set free the inert plant-food, and such crops of timothy
as you will get from this swamp will astonish the natives, and your bill
for medical attendance and quinine will sink to zero.”

  [Illustration: Map of Creek.]

The Doctor is right. There is money and health in the plan.

Prof. S. W. Johnson, as chemist to the Conn. State Ag. Society, made
accurate analyses of 33 samples of peat and muck sent him by gentlemen
from different parts of the State. The amount of potential ammonia in
the chemically dry peat was found to vary from 0.58 in the poorest, to
4.06 per cent in the richest samples. In other words, one deposit of
muck may contain seven times as much nitrogen as another, and it would
be well before spending much money in drawing out muck for manure to
send a sample of it to some good chemist. A bed of swamp-muck, easily
accessible, and containing 3 per cent of nitrogen, would be a mine of
wealth to any farmer. One ton of such muck, dry, would contain more
nitrogen than 7 tons of straw.

“It would be capital stuff,” said the Deacon, “to put in your pig-pens
to absorb the urine. It would make rich manure.”

“That is so,” said I, “and the weak point in my pig-breeding is the want
of sufficient straw. Pigs use up more bedding than any other animals.
I have over 200 pigs, and I could use a ton of dry muck to each pig
every winter to great advantage. The pens would be drier, the pigs
healthier, and the manure richer.”

The Doctor here interrupted us. “I see,” said he, “that the average
amount of ammonia in the 33 samples of dry peat analyzed by Professor
Johnson is 2.07 per cent. I had no idea that muck was so rich. Barn-yard
manure, or the manure from the horse stables in the cities, contains
only half a per cent (0.5) of ammonia, and it is an unusually rich
manure that contains one per cent. We are safe in saying that a ton of
dry muck, on the average, contains at least twice as much potential
ammonia as the average of our best and richest stable-manure.”



“You say,” said the Deacon, “that dry muck contains twice as much
‘_potential ammonia_’ as manure?”

“Yes,” said the Doctor, “it contains three or four times as much as the
half-rotted straw and stalks you call manure.”

“But what do you mean,” asked the Deacon, “by ‘_potential_ ammonia?’”

“It is a term,” said the Doctor, “we used to hear much more frequently
than we do now. Ammonia is composed of 14 lbs. of nitrogen and 3 lbs. of
hydrogen; and if, on analysis, a guano or other manure was found to
contain, in whatever form, 7 per cent of nitrogen, the chemist reported
that he found in it 8½ per cent of ‘potential’ ammonia. Dried blood
contains no ammonia, but if it contained 14 per cent of nitrogen, the
chemist would be justified in saying it contained 17 per cent of
potential ammonia, from the fact that the dried blood, by fermentation,
is capable of yielding this amount of ammonia. We say a ton of common
horse-manure contains 10 or 12 lbs. of potential ammonia. If perfectly
fresh, it may not contain a particle of ammonia; but it contains
nitrogen enough to produce, by fermentation, 10 or 12 lbs. of ammonia.
And when it is said that dry swamp-muck contains, on the average, 2.07
per cent of potential ammonia, it simply means that it contains nitrogen
enough to produce this amount of ammonia. In point of fact, I suppose
muck, when dug fresh from the swamp, contains no ammonia. Ammonia is
quite soluble in water, and if there was any ammonia in the swamp-muck,
it would soon be washed out. The nitrogen, or ‘potential ammonia,’ in
the muck exists in an inert, insoluble form, and before the muck will
yield up this nitrogen to plants, it is necessary, in some way, to
ferment or decompose it. But this is a point we will discuss at a future



The Doctor has been invited to deliver a lecture on manure before our
local Farmers’ Club. “The etymological meaning of the word manure,” he
said, “is _hand labor_, from _main_, hand, and _ouvrer_, to work. To
manure the land originally meant to cultivate it, to hoe, to dig, to
plow, to harrow, or stir it in any way so as to expose its particles to
the oxygen of the atmosphere, and thus render its latent elements
assimilable by plants.

“When our first parent,” he continued, “was sent forth from the Garden
of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken, he probably did not
know that the means necessary to kill the thorns and thistles enhanced
the productiveness of the soil, yet such was undoubtedly the case.

“The farmer for centuries was simply a ‘tiller of the ground.’ Guano,
though formed, according to some eminent authorities, long ages before
the creation of man, was not then known. The coprolites lay undisturbed
in countless numbers in the lias, the greensand, and the Suffolk crag.
Charleston phosphates were unknown. Superphosphate, sulphate of ammonia,
nitrate of soda, and kainit were not dreamed of. Nothing was said about
the mineral manure theory, or the exhaustion of the soil. There were no
frauds in artificial fertilizers; no Experiment Stations. The earth,
fresh from the hands of its Creator, needed only to be ‘tickled with a
hoe to laugh with a harvest.’ Nothing was said about the value of the
manure obtained from the consumption of a ton of oil-cake, or
malt-combs, or bran, or clover-hay. For many centuries, the hoe, the
spade, and the rake constituted Adam’s whole stock in trade.

“At length,” continued the Doctor, “a great discovery was made. A Roman
farmer--probably a prominent Granger--stumbled on a mighty truth.
Manuring the land--that is, hoeing and cultivating it--increased its
fertility. This was well known--had been known for ages, and acted upon;
but this Roman farmer, Stercutius, who was a close observer, discovered
that the _droppings of animals_ had the same effect as hoeing. No wonder
these idolatrous people voted him a god. They thought there would be no
more old-fashioned manuring; no more hoeing.

“Of course they were mistaken,” continued the Doctor, “our arable land
will always need plowing and cultivating to kill weeds. Manure, in the
sense in which we now use the term, is only a partial substitute for
tillage, and tillage is only a partial substitute for manure; but it is
well to bear in mind that the words mean the same thing, and the effects
of both are, to a certain extent, identical. Tillage is manure, and
manure is tillage.”



This is not the place to discuss the merits, or demerits, of fallowing.
But an intelligent Ohio farmer writes me: --“I see that you recommend
fallow plowing, what are your reasons? Granting that the _immediate_
result is an increased crop, is not the land impoverished? Will not the
thorough cultivation of corn, or potatoes, answer as well?” And a
distinguished farmer, of this State, in a recent communication expressed
the same idea--that summer-fallowing would soon impoverish the land. But
if this is the case, the fault is not in the practice of
summer-fallowing, but in growing too many grain crops, and selling them,
instead of consuming them on the farm. Take two fields; summer-fallow
one, and sow it to wheat. Plant the other to corn, and sow wheat after
it in the fall. You get, say 35 bushels of wheat per acre from the
summer-fallow. From the other field you get, say, 30 bushels of shelled
corn per acre, and 10 bushels of wheat afterwards. Now, where a farmer
is in the habit of selling all his wheat, and consuming all his corn on
the farm, it is evident that the practice of summer-fallowing will
impoverish the soil more rapidly than the system of growing corn
followed by wheat--and for the simple reason that more wheat is sold
from the farm. If no more grain is sold in one case than in the other,
the summer-fallowing will not impoverish the soil any more than corn

My idea of fallowing is this:--The soil and the atmosphere furnish, on
good, well cultivated land, plant-food sufficient, say, for 15 bushels
of wheat per acre, _every year_. It will be sometimes more, and
sometimes less, according to the season and the character of the soil,
but on good, strong limestone land this may be taken as about the
average. To grow wheat every year in crops of 15 bushels per acre, would
impoverish the soil just as much as to summer-fallow and get 30 bushels
of wheat every other year. It is the same thing in either case. But in
summer-fallowing, we clean the land, and the _profits_ from a crop of 30
bushels per acre every other year, are much more than from two crops of
15 bushels every year. You know that Mr. Lawes has a field of about
thirteen acres that he sows with wheat every year. On the plot that
receives no manure of any kind, the crop, for twenty years, averaged 16¼
bushels per acre. It is plowed twice every year, and the wheat is
hand-hoed in the spring to keep it clean. A few years ago, in a field
adjoining this experimental wheat field, and that is of the same
character of land, he made the following experiment. The land, after
wheat, was fallowed, and then sown to wheat; then fallowed the next
year, and again sown to wheat, and the next year it was sown to wheat
after wheat. The following is the result compared with the yield of the
continuously unmanured plot in the experimental field that is sown to
wheat every year:

  1. Year--No. 1--Fallow                                     No crop.
           No. 2--Wheat after wheat     15 bushels 3½ pecks per acre.
  2. Year--No. 1--Wheat after fallow    37    ”     --     ”       ”
           No. 2--Wheat after wheat     13    ”    3¼      ”       ”
  3. Year--No. 1--Fallow after wheat                         No crop.
           No. 2--Wheat after wheat     15 bushels 3¼ pecks per acre.
  4. Year--No. 1--Wheat after fallow    42    ”     --     ”       ”
           No. 2--Wheat after wheat     21    ”    0¼      ”       ”
  5. Year--No. 1--Wheat after wheat     17    ”    1¼      ”       ”
           No. 2--Wheat after wheat     17    ”     --     ”       ”

Taking the first four years, we have a total yield from the plot sown
every year of 66 bushels 2¼ pecks, and from the two crops alternately
fallowed, a total yield of 79 bushels. The next year, when wheat was
sown after wheat on the land previously fallowed, the yield was almost
identical with the yield from the plot that has grown wheat after wheat
for so many years.

So far, these results do not indicate any exhaustion from the practice
of fallowing. On the other hand, they tend to show that we can get
_more_ wheat by sowing it every other year, than by cropping it every
year in succession. The reason for this may be found in the fact that in
a fallow the land is more frequently exposed to the atmosphere by
repeated plowings and harrowings; and it should be borne in mind that
the effect of stirring the land is not necessarily in proportion to the
total amount of stirring, but is according to the number of times that
fresh particles of soil are exposed to the atmosphere. Two plowings and
two harrowings in one week, will not do as much good as two plowings and
two harrowings, at different times in the course of three or four
months. It is for this reason that I object, theoretically, to sowing
wheat after barley. We often plow the barley stubble twice, and spend
considerable labor in getting the land into good condition; but it is
generally all done in the course of ten days or two weeks. We do not get
any adequate benefit for this labor. We can kill weeds readily at this
season, (August), but the stirring of the soil does not develope the
latent plant-food to the extent it would if the work was not necessarily
done in such a limited period. I say _theoretically_, for in point of
fact I _do_ sow wheat after barley. I do so because it is very
convenient, and because it is more immediately profitable. I am
satisfied, however, that _in the end_ it would be more profitable to
seed down the barley with clover.

We _must_ raise larger crops; and to do this we must raise them less
frequently. This is the key-note of the coming improved system of
American agriculture, in all sections where good land is worth less than
one hundred dollars per acre. In the neighborhood of large cities, and
wherever land commands a high price, we must keep our farms in a high
state of fertility by the purchase of manures or cattle foods. Those of
us in the interior, where we can not buy manure, must raise fewer grain
crops, and more clover. We must aim to raise 40 bushels of wheat, 50
bushels of barley, 80 bushels of oats, and 100 bushels of shelled corn,
and 5 bushels of clover-seed per acre. That this can be done on good,
well-drained land, from the unaided resources of the farm, I have no
doubt. It may give us no more grain to sell than at present, but it will
enable us to produce much more mutton, wool, beef, cheese, butter, and
pork, than at present.

“But, then, will there be a demand for the meat, wool, etc.?” The
present indications are highly favorable. But we must aim to raise
_good_ meat. The low-priced beef and mutton sold in our markets are as
unprofitable to the consumer as they are to the producer. We must feed
higher, and to do this to advantage we must have improved stock. There
is no profit in farming without good tillage, larger crops, improved
stock, and higher feeding. The details will be modified by
circumstances, but the principles are the same wherever agri-_culture_
is practised.



I have never yet seen a “worn-out” or “exhausted farm.” I know many
farms that are “run down.” I bought just such a farm a dozen or more
years ago, and I have been trying hard, ever since, to bring it up to a
profitable standard of productiveness--and am still trying, and expect
to have to keep on trying so long as I keep on farming. The truth is,
there never was a farm so rich, that the farmer did not wish it was

I have succeeded in making the larger part of my farm much more
productive than it ever was before, since it was cleared from the
original forest. But it is far from being as rich as I want it. The
truth is, God sent us into this world to work, and He has given us
plenty to do, if we will only do it. At any rate, this is true of
farming. He has not given us land ready to our hand. The man who first
cleared up my farm, had no easy task. He fairly earned all the good
crops he ever got from it. I have never begrudged him one particle of
the “natural manure” he took out of the land, in the form of wheat,
corn, oats, and hay. On the dry, sandy knolls, he probably got out a
good portion of this natural manure, but on the wetter and heavier
portions of the farm, he probably did not get out one-hundredth part of
the natural manure which the land contained.

Now, when such a farm came into my possession, what was I to do with it?

“Tell us what you did,” said the Doctor, “and then, perhaps, we can tell
you what you ought to have done, and what you ought to have left

“I made many mistakes.”

“Amen,” said the Deacon; “I am glad to hear you acknowledge it.”

“Well,” said the Doctor, “it is better to make mistakes in trying to do
something, than to hug our self-esteem, and fold our hands in indolence.
It has been said that critics are men who have failed in their
undertakings. But I rather think the most disagreeable, and
self-satisfied critics, are men who have never done anything, or tried
to do anything, themselves.”

The Deacon, who, though something of an old fogy, is a good deal of a
man, and possessed of good common sense, and much experience, took these
remarks kindly. “Well,” said he to me, “I must say that your farm has
certainly improved, but you did things so differently from what we
expected, that we could not see what you were driving at.”

“I can tell you what I have been aiming at all along. 1st. To drain the
wet portions of the arable land. 2d. To kill weeds, and make the soil
mellow and clean. 3d. To make more manure.”

“You have also bought some bone-dust, superphosphate, and other
artificial manures.”

“True; and if I had had more money I would have bought more manure. It
would have paid well. I could have made my land as rich as it is now in
half the time.”

I had to depend principally on the natural resources of the land. I got
out of the soil all I could, and kept as much of it as possible on the
farm. One of the mistakes I made was, in breaking up too much land, and
putting in too much wheat, barley, oats, peas, and corn. It would have
been better for my pocket, though possibly not so good for the farm, if
I had left more of the land in grass, and also, if I had summer-fallowed
more, and sown less barley and oats, and planted less corn.

“I do not see how plowing up the grass land,” said the Deacon, “could
possibly be any better for the farm. You agricultural writers are always
telling us that we plow too much land, and do not raise grass and clover

“What I meant by saying that it would have been better for my pocket,
though possibly not so good for the farm, if I had not plowed so much
land, may need explanation. The land had been only half cultivated, and
was very foul. The grass and clover fields did not give more than half a
crop of hay, and the hay was poor in quality, and much of it half
thistles, and other weeds. I plowed this land, planted it to corn, and
cultivated it thoroughly. But the labor of keeping the corn clean was
costly, and absorbed a very large slice of the profits. _But_ the corn
yielded a far larger produce per acre than I should have got had the
land lain in grass. And as all this produce was consumed on the farm, we
made more manure than if we had plowed less land.”

I have great faith in the benefits of thorough tillage--or, in other
words, of breaking up, pulverizing, and exposing the soil to the
decomposing action of the atmosphere. I look upon a good, strong soil
as a kind of storehouse of plant-food. But it is not an easy matter to
render this plant-food soluble. If it were any less soluble than it is,
it would have all leached out of the land centuries ago. Turning over,
and fining a manure-heap, if other conditions are favorable, cause rapid
fermentation with the formation of carbonate of ammonia, and other
soluble salts. Many of our soils, to the depth of eight or ten inches,
contain enough nitrogenous matter in an acre to produce two or three
thousand pounds of ammonia. By stirring the soil, and exposing it to the
atmosphere, a small portion of this nitrogen becomes annually available,
and is taken up by the growing crops. And it is so with the other
elements of plant-food. Stirring the soil, then, is the basis of
agriculture. It has been said that we must return to the soil as much
plant-food as we take from it. If this were true, nothing could be sold
from the farm. What we should aim to do, is to develop as much as
possible of the plant-food that lies latent in the soil, and not to sell
in the form of crops, cheese, wool, or animals, any more of this
plant-food than we annually develop from the soil. In this way the
“condition” of the soil would remain the same. If we sell _less_ than we
develop, the condition of the soil will improve.

By “condition,” I mean the amount of _available_ plant-food in the soil.
Nearly all our farms are poorer in plant-food to-day than when first
cleared of the original forest, or than they were ten, fifteen, or
twenty years later. In other words, the plants and animals that have
been sold from the farm, have carried off a considerable amount of
plant-food. We have taken far more nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash,
etc., out of the soil, than we have returned to it in the shape of
manure. Consequently, the soil must contain less and less of plant-food
every year. And yet, while this is a self-evident fact, it is,
nevertheless, true that many of these self-same farms are more
productive now than when first cleared, or at any rate more productive
than they were twenty-five or thirty years ago.

Sometime ago, the Deacon and I visited the farm of Mr. Dewey, of Monroe
Co., N.Y. He is a good farmer. He does not practice “high farming” in
the sense in which I use that term. His is a good example of what I term
slow farming. He raises large crops, but comparatively few of them. On
his farm of 300 acres, he raises 40 acres of wheat, 17 acres of Indian
corn, and 23 acres of oats, barley, potatoes, roots, etc. In other
words, he has 80 acres in crops, and 220 acres in grass--not permanent
grass. He lets it lie in grass five, six, seven, or eight years, as he
deems best, and then breaks it up, and plants it to corn. The land he
intends to plant to corn next year, has been in grass for seven years.
He will put pretty much all his manure on this land. After corn, it will
be sown to oats, or barley; then sown to wheat, and seeded down again.
It will then lie in grass three, four, five, six, or seven years, until
he needs it again for corn, etc. This is “slow farming,” but it is also
good farming--that is to say, it gives large yields per acre, and a good
return for the labor expended.

The soil of this farm is richer to-day in _available_ plant-food than
when first cleared. It produces larger crops per acre.

Mr. D. called our attention to a fact that establishes this point. An
old fence that had occupied the ground for many years was removed some
years since, and the two fields thrown into one. Every time this field
is in crops, it is easy to see where the old fence was, by the short
straw and poor growth on this strip, as compared with the land on each
side which had been cultivated for years.

This is precisely the result that I should have expected. If Mr. D. was
a poor farmer--if he cropped his land frequently, did not more than
half-cultivate it, sold everything he raised, and drew back no manure--I
think the old fence-strip would have given the best crops.

The strip of land on which the old fence stood in Mr. Dewey’s field,
contained _more_ plant-food than the soil on either side of it. But it
was not available. It was not developed. It was latent, inert,
insoluble, crude, and undecomposed. It was so much dead capital. The
land on either side which had been cultivated for years, produced better
crops. Why? Simply because the stirring of the soil had developed _more_
plant-food than had been removed by the crops. If the stirring of the
soil developed 100 lbs. of plant-food a year, and only 75 lbs. were
carried off in the crops--25 lbs. being left on the land in the form of
roots, stubble, etc.--the land, at the expiration of 40 years, would
contain, provided none of it was lost, 1,000 lbs. more _available_
plant-food than the uncultivated strip. On the other hand, the latter
would contain 3,000 lbs. more actual plant-food per acre than the land
which had been cultivated--but it is in an unavailable condition. It is
dead capital.

I do not know that I make myself understood, though I would like to do
so, because I am sure there is no point in scientific farming of greater
importance. Mr. Geddes calls grass the “pivotal crop” of American
agriculture. He deserves our thanks for the word and the idea connected
with it. But I am inclined to think the _pivot_ on which our agriculture
stands and rotates, lies deeper than this. The grass crop creates
nothing--developes nothing. The untilled and unmanured grass lands of
Herkimer County, in this State, are no richer to-day than they were 50
years ago. The pastures of Cheshire, England, except those that have
been top-dressed with bones, or other manures, are no more productive
than they were centuries back. Grass alone will not make rich land. It
is a good “savings bank.” It gathers up and saves plant-food from
running to waste. It pays a good interest, and is a capital institution.
But the real source of fertility must be looked for _in the stores of
plant-food lying dormant in the soil_. Tillage, underdraining, and
thorough cultivation, are the means by which we develop and render this
plant-food available. Grass, clover, peas, or any other crop consumed on
the farm, merely affords us the means of saving this plant-food and
making it pay a good interest.



If we have the necessary materials, it is not a difficult matter to make
manure; in fact, the manure will make itself. We sometimes need to
hasten the process, and to see that none of the fertilizing matter runs
to waste. This is about all that we can do. We cannot create an atom of
plant-food. It is ready formed to our hands; but we must know where to
look for it, and how to get it in the easiest, cheapest, and best way,
and how to save and use it. The science of manure-making is a profound
study. It is intimately connected with nearly every branch of

If weeds grow and decay on the land, they make manure. If we grow a crop
of buckwheat, or spurry, or mustard, or rape, or clover, and mow it, and
let it lie on the land, it makes manure; or if we plow it under, it
forms manure; or if, after it is mown, we rake up the green crop, and
put it into a heap, it will ferment, heat will be produced by the slow
combustion of a portion of the carbonaceous and nitrogenous matter, and
the result will be a mass of material, which we should all recognize as
“manure.” If, instead of putting the crop into a heap and letting it
ferment, we feed it to animals, the digestible carbonaceous and
nitrogenous matter will be consumed to produce animal heat and to
sustain the vital functions, and the refuse, or the solid and liquid
droppings of the animals, will be manure.

If the crop rots on the ground, nothing is added to it. If it ferments,
and gives out heat, in a heap, nothing is added to it. If it is passed
through an animal, and produces heat, nothing is added to it.

I have heard people say a farmer could not make manure unless he kept
animals. We might with as much truth say a farmer cannot make ashes
unless he keeps stoves; and it would be just as sensible to take a lot
of stoves into the woods to make ashes, as it is to keep a lot of
animals merely to make manure. You can make the ashes by throwing the
wood into a pile, and burning it; and you can make the manure by
throwing the material out of which the manure is to be made into a pile,
and letting it ferment. On a farm where neither food nor manure of any
kind is purchased, the only way to make manure is to _get it out of the

“From the land and from the atmosphere,” remarked the Doctor. “Plants
get a large portion of the material of which they are composed from the

“Yes,” I replied, “but it is principally carbonaceous matter, which is
of little or no value as manure. A small amount of ammonia and nitric
acid are also brought to the soil by rains and dews, and a
freshly-stirred soil may also sometimes absorb more or less ammonia from
the atmosphere; but while this is true, so far as making manure is
concerned, we must look to the plant-food existing in the soil itself.

“Take such a farm as Mr. Dewey’s, that we have already referred to. No
manure or food has been purchased; or at any rate, not one-tenth as much
as has been sold, and yet the farm is more productive to-day than when
it was first cleared of the forest. He has developed the manure from the
stores of latent plant-food previously existing in the soil and this is
the way farmers generally make manure.”



“If,” said I, “you should put a ton of cut straw in a heap, wet it, and
let it rot down into manure; and should place in another heap a ton of
cut corn-fodder, and in another heap a ton of cut clover-hay, wet them,
and let them also rot down into manure; and in another heap a ton of
pulped-turnips, and in another heap a ton of corn-meal, and in another
heap a ton of bran, and in another a ton of malt-sprouts, and let them
be mixed with water, and so treated that they will ferment without loss
of ammonia or other valuable plant-food, I think no one will say that
all these different heaps of manure will have the same value. And if
not, why not?”

“Because,” said Charley, “the ton of straw does not contain as much
valuable plant-food as the ton of corn-fodder, nor the ton of
corn-fodder as much as the ton of clover-hay.”

“Now then,” said I, “instead of putting a ton of straw in one heap to
rot, and a ton of corn-fodder in another heap, and a ton of clover in
another heap, we feed the ton of straw to a cow, and the ton of
corn-fodder to another cow, and the ton of clover to another cow, and
save _all_ the solid and liquid excrements, will the manure made from
the ton of straw be worth as much as the manure made from the ton of
corn-fodder or clover-hay?”

“No,” said Charley. --“Certainly not,” said the Doctor. --“I am not so
sure about it,” said the Deacon; “I think you will get more manure from
the corn-fodder than from the straw or clover-hay.”

“We are not talking about bulk,” said the Doctor, “but value.” “Suppose,
Deacon,” said he, “you were to shut up a lot of your Brahma hens, and
feed them a ton of corn-meal, and should also feed a ton of corn-meal
made into slops to a lot of pigs, and should save _all_ the liquid and
solid excrements from the pigs, and all the manure from the hens, which
would be worth the most?” --“The hen-manure, of course,” said the
Deacon, who has great faith in this kind of “guano,” as he calls it.

“And yet,” said the Doctor, “you would probably not get more than half a
ton of manure from the hens, while the liquid and solid excrements from
the pigs, if the corn-meal was made into a thin slop, would weigh two or
three tons.”

“More, too,” said the Deacon, “the way you feed your store pigs.”

“Very well; and yet you say that the half ton of hen-manure made from a
ton of corn is worth more than the two or three tons of pig-manure made
from a ton of corn. You do not seem to think, after all, that mere bulk
or weight adds anything to the value of the manure. Why then should you
say that the manure from a ton of corn-fodder is worth more than from a
ton of straw, because it is more bulky?”

“You, yourself,” said the Deacon, “also say the manure from the ton of
corn-fodder is worth more than from the ton of straw.” --“True,” said I
“but _not_ because it is more bulky. It is worth more because the ton of
corn-fodder contains a greater quantity of valuable plant-food than the
ton of straw. The clover is still richer in this valuable plant-food,
and the manure is much more valuable; in fact, the manure from the ton
of clover is worth as much as the manure from the ton of straw and the
ton of corn-fodder together.”

“I would like to see you prove that,” said the Deacon, “for if it is
true, I will sell no more clover-hay. I can’t get as much for clover-hay
in the market as I can for rye-straw.”

“I will not attempt to _prove_ it at present,” said the Doctor; “but the
evidence is so strong and so conclusive that no rational man, who will
study the subject, can fail to be thoroughly convinced of its truth.”

“The value of manure,” said I, “does not depend on the quantity of water
which it contains, or on the quantity of sand, or silica, or on the
amount of woody fibre or carbonaceous matter. These things add little or
nothing to its fertilizing value, except in rare cases; and the
sulphuric acid and lime are worth no more than the same quantity of
sulphate of lime or gypsum, and the chlorine and soda are probably worth
no more than so much common salt. The real chemical value of the manure,
other things being equal, is in proportion to the nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, and potash, that the manure contains.

“And the quantity of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash found in the
manure is determined, other things being equal, by the quantity of the
nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash contained in the food consumed by
the animals making the manure.”



The amount of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, contained in
different foods, has been accurately determined by many able and
reliable chemists.

The following table was prepared by Dr. J. B. Lawes, of Rothamsted,
England, and was first published in this country in the “Genesee
Farmer,” for May, 1860. Since then, it has been repeatedly published in
nearly all the leading agricultural journals of the world, and has given
rise to much discussion. The following is the table, with some recent

  TD: Total dry matter.
  TM: Total mineral matter (ash).
  Ph: Phosphoric acid reckoned as phosphate of lime.
  P:  Potash.
  N:  Nitrogen.
  V:  Value of manure in dollars and cents from 1 ton (2,000 lbs.)
      of food.

                         |             Per Cent.            |
                         | TD   | TM   | Ph   |  P   |  N   |   V
   1. Linseed cake       | 88.0 | 7.00 | 4.92 | 1.65 | 4.75 | 19.72
   2. Cotton-seed cake*  | 89.0 | 8.00 | 7.00 | 3.12 | 6.50 | 27.86
   3. Rape-cake          | 89.0 | 8.00 | 5.75 | 1.76 | 5.00 | 21.01
   4. Linseed            | 90.0 | 4.00 | 3.38 | 1.37 | 3.80 | 15.65
   5. Beans              | 84.0 | 3.00 | 2.20 | 1.27 | 4.00 | 15.75
   6. Peas               | 84.5 | 2.40 | 1.84 | 0.96 | 3.40 | 13.38
   7. Tares              | 84.0 | 2.00 | 1.63 | 0.66 | 4.20 | 16.75
   8. Lentils            | 88.0 | 3.00 | 1.89 | 0.96 | 4.30 | 16.51
   9. Malt-dust          | 94.0 | 8.50 | 5.23 | 2.12 | 4.20 | 18.21
  10. Locust beans       | 85.0 | 1.75 | .... | .... | 1.25 |  4.81
  11. Indian-meal        | 88.0 | 1.30 | 1.13 | 0.35 | 1.80 |  6.65
  12. Wheat              | 85.0 | 1.70 | 1.87 | 0.50 | 1.80 |  7.08
  13. Barley             | 84.0 | 2.20 | 1.35 | 0.55 | 1.65 |  6.32
  14. Malt               | 95.0 | 2.60 | 1.60 | 0.65 | 1.70 |  6.65
  15. Oats               | 86.0 | 2.85 | 1.17 | 0.50 | 2.00 |  7.70
  16. Fine pollard†      | 86.0 | 5.60 | 6.44 | 1.46 | 2.00 | 13.53
  17. Coarse pollard‡    | 86.0 | 6.20 | 7.52 | 1.49 | 2.58 | 14.36
  18. Wheat-bran         | 86.0 | 6.60 | 7.95 | 1.45 | 2.55 | 14.59
  19. Clover-hay         | 84.0 | 7.50 | 1.25 | 1.30 | 2.50 |  9.64
  20. Meadow-hay         | 84.0 | 6.00 | 0.88 | 1.50 | 1.50 |  6.43
  21. Bean-straw         | 82.5 | 5.55 | 0.90 | 1.11 | 0.90 |  3.87
  22. Pea-straw          | 82.0 | 5.95 | 0.85 | 0.89 | .... |  3.74
  23. Wheat-straw        | 84.0 | 5.00 | 0.55 | 0.65 | 0.60 |  2.68
  24. Barley-straw       | 85.0 | 4.50 | 0.37 | 0.63 | 0.50 |  2.25
  25. Oat-straw          | 83.0 | 5.50 | 0.48 | 0.93 | 0.60 |  2.90
  26. Mangel-wurzel      | 12.5 | 1.00 | 0.09 | 0.25 | 0.25 |  1.07
  27. Swedish turnips    | 11.0 | 0.68 | 0.13 | 0.18 | 0.22 |  0.91
  28. Common turnips     |  8.0 | 0.68 | 0.11 | 0.29 | 0.18 |  0.86
  29. Potatoes           | 24.0 | 1.00 | 0.32 | 0.43 | 0.35 |  1.50
  30. Carrots            | 13.5 | 0.70 | 0.13 | 0.23 | 0.20 |  0.80
  31. Parsnips           | 15.0 | 1.00 | 0.42 | 0.36 | 0.22 |  1.14

  * The manure from a ton of undecorticated cotton-seed cake is worth
  $15.74; that from a ton of cotton-seed, after being ground and sifted,
  is worth $13.25. The grinding and sifting in Mr. Lawes’ experiments,
  removed about 8 per cent of husk and cotton. Cotton-seed, so treated,
  proved to be a very rich and economical food.

  † Middlings, Canielle.

  ‡ Shipstuff.

Of all vegetable substances used for food, it will be seen that
decorticated cotton-seed cake is the richest in nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, and potash, and consequently makes the richest and most valuable
manure. According to Mr. Lawes’ estimate, the manure from a ton of
decorticated cotton-seed cake is worth $27.86 in gold.

Rape-cake comes next. Twenty-five to thirty years ago, rape-cake, ground
as fine as corn-meal, was used quite extensively on many of the
light-land farms of England as a manure for turnips, and not
unfrequently as a manure for wheat. Mr. Lawes used it for many years in
his experiments on turnips and on wheat.

Of late years, however, it has been fed to sheep and cattle. In other
words, it has been used, not as formerly, for manure alone, but for food
first, and manure afterwards. The oil and other carbonaceous matter
which the cake contains is of little value for manure, while it is of
great value as food. The animals take out this carbonaceous matter, and
leave nearly all the nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash in the
manure. Farmers who had found it profitable to use on wheat and turnips
for manure alone, found it still more profitable to use it first for
food, and then for manure afterwards. Mr. Lawes, it will be seen,
estimates the manure produced from the consumption of a ton of rape-cake
at $21.01.

Linseed-oil cake comes next. Pure linseed-cake is exceedingly valuable,
both for food and manure. It is a favorite food with all cattle and
sheep breeders and feeders. It has a wonderful effect in improving the
appearance of cattle and sheep. An English farmer thinks he cannot get
along without “cake” for his calves, lambs, cattle, and sheep. In this
country, it is not so extensively used, except by the breeders of
improved stock. It is so popular in England that the price is fully up
to its intrinsic value, and not unfrequently other foods, in proportion
to the nutritive and manurial value, can be bought cheaper. This fact
shows the value of a good reputation. Linseed-cake, however, is often
adulterated, and farmers need to be cautious who they deal with. When
pure, it will be seen that the manure made by the consumption of a ton
of linseed-cake is worth $19.72.

Malt-dust stands next on the list. This article is known by different
names. In England, it is often called “malt-combs;” here it is known as
“malt-_sprouts_,” or “malt-_roots_.” In making barley into malt, the
barley is soaked in water, and afterwards kept in a warm room until it
germinates, and throws out sprouts and roots. It is then dried, and
before the malt is used, these dried sprouts and roots are sifted out,
and are sold for cattle-food. They weigh from 22 to 25 lbs. per bushel
of 40 quarts. They are frequently mixed at the breweries with the
“grains,” and are sold to milkmen at the same price--from 12 to 15 cents
per bushel. Where their value is not known, they can, doubtless, be
sometimes obtained at a mere nominal price. Milkmen, I believe, prefer
the “grains” to the malt-dust. The latter, however, is a good food for
sheep. It has one advantage over brewer’s “grains.” The latter contain
76 per cent of water, while the malt-dust contains only 6 per cent of
water. We can afford, therefore, to transport malt-dust to a greater
distance than the grains. We do not want to carry _water_ many miles.
There is another advantage: brewer’s grains soon ferment, and become
sour; while the malt-dust, being dry, will keep for any length of time.
It will be seen that Mr. Lawes estimates the value of the manure left
from the consumption of a ton of malt-dust at $18.21.

Tares or vetches, lentils, linseed or flaxseed, beans, wheat, bran,
middlings, fine mill-feed, undecorticated cotton-seed cake, peas, and
cotton-seed, stand next on the list. The value of these for manure
ranging from $13.25 to $16.75 per ton.

Then comes clover-hay. Mr. Lawes estimates the value of the manure from
the consumption of a ton of clover-hay at $9.64. This is from early cut

When clover is allowed to grow until it is nearly out of flower, the hay
would not contain so much nitrogen, and would not be worth quite so much
per ton for manure. When mixed with timothy or other grasses, or with
weeds, it would not be so valuable. The above estimate is for the
average quality of good pure English clover-hay. Our best farmers raise
clover equally as good; but I have seen much clover-hay that certainly
would not come up to this standard. Still, even our common clover-hay
makes rich manure. In Wolff’s Table, given in the appendix, it will be
seen that clover-hay contains only 1.97 per cent of nitrogen and 5.7 per
cent of ash. Mr. Lawes’ clover contains more nitrogen and ash. This
means richer land and a less mature condition of the crop.

The cereal grains, wheat, barley, oats, and Indian corn, stand next on
the list, being worth from $6.32 to $7.70 per ton for manure.

“Meadow-hay,” which in the table is estimated as worth $6.43 per ton for
manure, is the hay from permanent meadows. It is a quite different
article from the “English Meadow-hay” of New England. It is, in fact,
the perfection of hay. The meadows are frequently top-dressed with
composted manure or artificial fertilizers, and the hay is composed of a
number of the best grasses, cut early and carefully cured. It will be
noticed, however, that even this choice meadow-hay is not as valuable
for manure as clover-hay.

English bean-straw is estimated as worth $3.87 per ton for manure. The
English “horse bean,” which is the kind here alluded to, has a very
stiff, coarse long straw, and looks as though it was much inferior as
fodder, to the straw of our ordinary white beans. See Wolff’s table in
the appendix.

Pea-straw is estimated at $3.74 per ton. When the peas are not allowed
to grow until dead ripe, and when the straw is carefully cured, it makes
capital food for sheep. Taking the grain and straw together, it will be
seen that peas are an unusually valuable crop to grow for the purpose of
making rich manure.

The straw of oats, wheat, and barley, is worth from $2.25 to $2.90 per
ton. Barley straw being the poorest for manure, and oat straw the

Potatoes are worth $1.50 per ton, or nearly 5 cents a bushel for manure.

The manurial value of roots varies from 80 cents a ton for carrots, to
$1.07 for mangel-wurzel, and $1.14 for parsnips.

I am very anxious that there should be no misapprehension as to the
meaning of these figures. I am sure they are well worth the careful
study of every intelligent farmer. Mr. Lawes has been engaged in making
experiments for over thirty years. There is no man more competent to
speak with authority on such a subject. The figures showing the money
value of the manure made from the different foods, are based on the
amount of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, which they contain. Mr.
Lawes has been buying and using artificial manures for many years, and
is quite competent to form a correct conclusion as to the cheapest
sources of obtaining nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash. He has
certainly not overestimated their _cost_. They can not be bought at
lower rates, either in England or America. But of course it does not
follow from this that these manures are worth to the farmer the price
charged for them; that is a matter depending on many conditions. All
that can be said is, that if you are going to buy commercial manures,
you will have to pay at least as much for the nitrogen, phosphoric acid,
and potash, as the price fixed upon by Mr. Lawes. And you should
recollect that there are other ingredients in the manure obtained from
the food of animals, which are not estimated as of any value in the
table. For instance, there is a large amount of carbonaceous matter in
the manure of animals, which, for some crops, is not without value, but
which is not here taken into account.

Viewed from a farmer’s stand-point, the table of money values must be
taken only in a comparative sense. It is not claimed that the manure
from a ton of wheat-straw is worth $2.68. This may, or may not, be the
case. But _if_ the manure from a ton of wheat-straw is worth $2.08,
_then_ the manure from a ton of pea-straw is worth $3.74, and the manure
from a ton of corn-meal is worth $6.65, and the manure from a ton of
clover-hay is worth $9.64, and the manure from a ton of wheat-bran is
worth $14.59. _If_ the manure from a ton of corn meal is _not_ worth
$6.65, then the manure from a ton of bran is not worth $14.59. If the
manure from the ton of corn is worth _more_ than $6.65, then the manure
from a ton of bran is worth _more_ than $14.59. There need be no doubt
on this point.

Settle in your own mind what the manure from a ton of any one of the
foods mentioned is worth on your farm, and you can easily calculate what
the manure is worth from all the others. If you say that the manure from
a ton of wheat-straw is worth $1.34, then the manure from a ton of
Indian corn is worth $3.33, and the manure from a ton of bran is worth
$7.30, and the manure from a ton of clover-hay is worth $4.82.

In this section, however, few good farmers are willing to sell straw,
though they can get from $8.00 to $10.00 per ton for it. They think it
must be consumed on the farm, or used for bedding, or their land will
run down. I do not say they are wrong, but I do say, that if a ton of
straw is worth $2.68 for manure alone, then a ton of clover-hay is worth
$9.64 for manure alone. This may be accepted as a general truth, and one
which a farmer can act upon. And so, too, in regard to the value of
corn-meal, bran, and all the other articles given in the table.

There is another point of great importance which should be mentioned in
this connection. The nitrogen in the better class of foods is worth more
for manure than the nitrogen in straw, corn-stalks, and other coarse
fodder. Nearly all the nitrogen in grain, and other rich foods, is
digested by the animals, and is voided in solution in the urine. In
other words, the nitrogen in the manure is in an active and available
condition. On the other hand, only about half the nitrogen in the coarse
fodders and straw is digestible. The other half passes off in a crude
and comparatively unavailable condition, in the solid excrement. In
estimating the value of the manure from a ton of food, these facts
should be remembered.

I have said that if the manure from a ton of straw is worth $2.68, the
manure from a ton of corn is worth $6.65; but I will not reverse the
proposition, and say that if the manure from a ton of corn is worth
$6.65, the manure from a ton of straw is worth $2.68. The manure from
the grain is nearly all in an available condition, while that from the
straw is not. A pound of nitrogen in rich manure is worth more than a
pound of nitrogen in poor manure. This is another reason why we should
try to make rich manure.



The manure from horses is generally considered richer and better than
that from cows. This is not always the case, though it is probably so as
a rule. There are three principal reasons for this. 1st. The horse is
usually fed more grain and hay than the cow. In other words, the food of
the horse is usually richer in the valuable elements of plant-food than
the ordinary food of the cow. 2d. The milk of the cow abstracts
considerable nitrogen, phosphoric acid, etc., from the food, and to this
extent there is less of these valuable substances in the excrements. 3d.
The excrements of the cow contain much more water than those of the
horse. And consequently a ton of cow-dung, other things being equal,
would not contain as much actual manure as a ton of horse-dung.

Boussingault, who is eminently trustworthy, gives us the following
interesting facts:

A horse consumed in 24 hours, 20 lbs. of hay, 6 lbs. of oats, and 43
lbs. of water, and voided during the same period, 3 lbs. 7 ozs. of
urine, and 38 lbs. 2 ozs. of solid excrements.

The solid excrements contained 23½ lbs. of water, and the urine 2 lbs. 6
ozs. of water.

According to this, a horse, eating 20 lbs. of hay, and 6 lbs. of oats,
per day, voids in a year nearly seven tons of solid excrements, and
1,255 lbs. of urine.

It would seem that there must have been some mistake in collecting the
urine, or what was probably the case, that some of it must have been
absorbed by the dung; for 3½ pints of urine per day is certainly much
less than is usually voided by a horse.

Stockard gives the amount of urine voided by a horse in a year at 3,000
lbs.; a cow, 8,000 lbs.; sheep, 380 lbs.; pig, 1,200 lbs.

Dr. Vœlcker, at the Royal Agricultural College, at Cirencester, England,
made some valuable investigations in regard to the composition of
farm-yard manure, and the changes which take place during fermentation.

The manure was composed of horse, cow, and pig-dung, mixed with the
straw used for bedding in the stalls, pig-pens, sheds, etc.

On the 3d of November, 1854, a sample of what Dr. Vœlcker calls “Fresh
Long Dung,” was taken from the “manure-pit” for analysis. It had lain in
the pit or heap about 14 days.

The following is the result of the analysis:

  Fresh Farm-Yard Manure.
  Half A Ton, Or 1,000 Lbs.

  Water                   661.7  lbs.
  Organic matter          282.4   ”
  Ash                      55.9   ”
                        1,000.0  lbs.
  Nitrogen                  6.43  ”

“Before you go any farther,” said the Deacon, “let me understand what
these figures mean? Do you mean that a ton of manure contains only 12¾
lbs. of nitrogen, and 111 lbs. of ash, and that all the rest is
carbonaceous matter and water, of little or no value?” --“That is it
precisely, Deacon,” said I, “and furthermore, a large part of the ash
has very little fertilizing value, as seen from the following:

  Detailed Composition of the Ash of Fresh Barn-Yard Manure.

  Soluble silica                             21.59
  Insoluble silicious matter (sand)          10.04
  Phosphate of lime                           5.35
  Oxide of iron, alumina, with phosphate      8.47
  Containing phosphoric acid                  3.18
  Lime                                       21.31
  Magnesia                                    2.76
  Potash                                     12.04
  Soda                                        1.30
  Chloride of sodium                          0.54
  Sulphuric acid                              1.49
  Carbonic acid and loss                     15.11

Nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, are the most valuable ingredients
in manure. It will be seen that a ton of fresh barn-yard manure, of
probably good average quality, contains:

  Nitrogen            12¾ lbs.
  Phosphoric acid      6½  ”
  Potash              13½  ”

I do not say that these are the only ingredients of any value in a ton
of manure. Nearly all the other ingredients are indispensable to the
growth of plants, and if we should use manures containing nothing but
nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, the time would come when the
crops would fail, from lack of a sufficient quantity of, perhaps,
magnesia, or lime, sulphuric acid, or soluble silica, or iron. But it is
not necessary to make provision for such a contingency. It would be a
very exceptional case. Farmers who depend mainly on barn-yard manure, or
on plowing under green crops for keeping up the fertility of the land,
may safely calculate that the value of the manure is in proportion to
the amount of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, it contains.

We draw out a ton of fresh manure and spread it on the land, therefore,
in order to furnish the growing crops with 12¾ lbs. of nitrogen, 6½ lbs.
of phosphoric acid, and 13½ lbs. of potash. Less than 33 lbs. in all!

We cannot dispense with farm-yard manure. We can seldom buy nitrogen,
phosphoric acid, and potash, as cheaply as we can get them in home-made
manures. But we should clearly understand the fact that we draw out
2,000 lbs. of matter in order to get 33 lbs. of these fertilizing
ingredients. We should _try to make richer manure_. A ton of manure
containing 60 lbs. of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, costs no
more to draw out and spread, than a ton containing only 30 lbs., and it
would be worth nearly or quite double the money.

How to make richer manure we will not discuss at this time. It is a
question of food. But it is worth while to enquire if we can not take
such manure as we have, and reduce its weight and bulk without losing
any of its nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash.



Dr. Vœlcker placed 2,838 lbs. of fresh mixed manure in a heap Nov. 3,
1854, and the next spring, April 30, it weighed 2,026 lbs., a shrinkage
in weight of 28.6 per cent. In other words 100 tons of such manure would
be reduced to less than 71½ tons.

The heap was weighed again, August 23d, and contained 1,994 lbs. It was
again weighed Nov. 15, and contained 1,974 lbs.

The following table shows the composition of the heap when first put up,
and also at the three subsequent periods:

  Table Showing Composition of the Whole Heap; Fresh Farm-Yard Manure
  (No. I.) Exposed--Expressed in Lbs.

                              |When put |April 30,|Aug. 23, |Nov. 15,
                              |up, Nov. |1855.    |1855.    |1855.
                              |3, 1854. |         |         |
  Weight of manure in lbs.    | 2,838   | 2,026   | 1,994   | 1,974
  Amt. of water in the manure | 1,877.9 | 1,336.1 | 1,505.3 | 1,466.5
  Amt. of dry matter in the   |         |         |         |
        manure                |   960.1 |   689.9 |   488.7 |   507.5
    Consisting of--           |         |         |         |
  Soluble organic matter    { |    70.38|    86.51|    58.83|    54.04
  Soluble mineral matter    { |    43.71|    57.88|    39.16|    36.89
  Insoluble organic matter  { |   731.07|   389.74|   243.22|   214.92
  Insoluble mineral matter  { |   114.92|   155.77|   147.49|   201.65
                              | --------| --------| --------| --------
                              |   960.1 |   689.9 |   488.7 |   507.5
                              |         |         |         |
  Containing nitrogen         |     4.22|     6.07|     3.76|     3.65
  Equal to ammonia            |     5.12|     7.37|     4.56|     4.36
  Containing nitrogen         |    14.01|    12.07|     9.38|     9.38
  Equal to ammonia            |    17.02|    14.65|    11.40|    11.39
                              | --------| --------| --------| --------
  Total amount of nitrogen in |         |         |         |
    manure                    |    18.23|    18.14|    13.14|    13.03
  Equal to ammonia            |    22.14|    22.02|    15.96|    15.75
                              |         |         |         |
  The manure contains ammonia |         |         |         |
    in free state             |      .96|      .15|      .20|      .11
  The manure contains ammonia |         |         |         |
    in form of salts, easily  |         |         |         |
    decomposed by quicklime   |     2.49|     1.71|      .75|      .80
  Total amount of organic     |         |         |         |
    matters                   |   801.45|   476.25|   302.05|   268.96
  Total amount of mineral     |         |         |         |
    matters                   |   158.15|   213.65|   186.65|   238.54

“It will be remarked,” says Dr. Vœlcker, “that in the first experimental
period, the fermentation of the dung, as might have been expected,
proceeded most rapidly, but that, notwithstanding, very little nitrogen
was dissipated in the form of volatile ammonia; and that on the whole,
the loss which the manure sustained was inconsiderable when compared
with the enormous waste to which it was subject in the subsequent warmer
and more rainy seasons of the year. Thus we find at the end of April
very nearly the same amount of nitrogen which is contained in the fresh;
whereas, at the end of August, 27.9 per cent of the total nitrogen, or
nearly one-third of the nitrogen in the manure, has been wasted in one
way or the other.

“It is worthy of observation,” continues Dr. Vœlcker, “that, during a
well-regulated fermentation of dung, the loss in intrinsically valuable
constituents is inconsiderable, and that in such a preparatory process
the _efficacy of the manure becomes greatly enhanced_. For certain
purposes fresh dung can never take the place of well-rotted dung. * *
The farmer will, therefore, always be compelled to submit a portion of
home-made dung to fermentation, and will find satisfaction in knowing
that this process, when well regulated, is not attended with any serious
depreciation of the value of the manure. In the foregoing analyses he
will find the direct proof that as long as heavy showers of rain are
excluded from manure-heaps, or the manure is kept in water-proof pits,
the most valuable fertilizing matters are preserved.”

This experiment of Dr. Vœlcker proves conclusively that manure can be
kept in a rapid state of fermentation for six months during winter, with
little loss of nitrogen or other fertilizing matter.

During fermentation a portion of the insoluble matter of the dung
becomes soluble, and if the manure is then kept in a heap exposed to
rain, there is a great loss of fertilizing matter. This is precisely
what we should expect. We ferment manure to make it more readily
available as plant-food, and when we have attained our object, the
manure should be applied to the land. We keep winter apples in the
cellar until they get ripe. As soon as they are ripe, they should be
eaten, or they will rapidly decay. This is well understood. And it
should be equally well known that manure, after it has been fermenting
in a heap for six months, cannot safely be kept for another six months
exposed to the weather.

The following table shows the composition of 100 lbs. of the farm-yard
manure, at different periods of the year:

  Composition of 100 Lbs. of Fresh Farm-Yard Manure (No. I.) Exposed in
  Natural State, at Different Periods of the Year.

                           |When put|Feb. 14,|Apr. 30,|Aug. 23,|Nov. 15,
                           |up, Nov.|1855.   |1855.   |1855.   |1855.
                           |3, 1854.|        |        |        |
  Water                    |  66.17 | 69.83  | 65.95  | 75.49  | 74.29
  Soluble organic matter   |   2.48 |  3.86  |  4.27  |  2.95  |  2.74
  Soluble inorganic matter |   1.54 |  2.97  |  2.86  |  1.97  |  1.87
  Insoluble organic matter |  25.76 | 18.44  | 19.23  | 12.20  | 10.89
  Insoluble mineral matter |   4.05 |  4.90  |  7.69  |  7.39  | 10.21
                           | 100.00 |100.00  |100.00  |100.00  |100.00
  Containing nitrogen      |    .149|   .27  |   .30  |   .19  |   .18
  Equal to ammonia         |    .181|   .32  |   .36  |   .23  |   .21
  Containing nitrogen      |    .494|   .47  |   .59  |   .47  |   .47
  Equal to ammonia         |    .599|   .57  |   .71  |   .62  |   .57
  Total amount of nitrogen |    .643|   .74  |   .89  |   .66  |   .65
  Equal to ammonia         |    .780|   .89  |  1.07  |   .85  |   .78
  Ammonia in a free state  |    .034|   .049 |   .008 |   .010 |   .006
  Ammonia in form of salts |        |        |        |        |
    easily  decomposed     |        |        |        |        |
    by quicklime           |    .088|   .064 |   .085 |   .038 |   .041
  Total amt. of organic    |  28.24 | 22.30  | 23.50  | 15.15  | 13.63
    matter                 |        |        |        |        |
  Total amt. of mineral    |   5.59 |  7.87  | 10.55  |  9.36  | 12.08
    substances             |        |        |        |        |

It will be seen that two-thirds of the fresh manure is water. After
fermenting in an exposed heap for six months, it still contains about
the same _percentage_ of water. When kept in the heap until August, the
percentage of water is much greater. Of four tons of such manure, three
tons are water.

Of _Nitrogen_, the most valuable ingredient of the manure, the fresh
dung, contained 0.64 per cent; after fermenting six months, it contained
0.89 per cent. Six months later, it contained 0.65 per cent, or about
the same amount as the fresh manure.

Of mineral matter, or ash, this fresh farm-yard manure contained 5.59
per cent; of which 1.54 was soluble in water, and 4.05 insoluble. After
fermenting in the heap for six months, the manure contained 10.55 per
cent of ash, of which 2.86 was soluble, and 7.69 insoluble. Six months
later, the soluble ash had decreased to 1.97 per cent.

The following table shows the composition of the manure, at different
periods, in the _dry state_. In other words, supposing all the water to
be removed from the manure, its composition would be as follows:

  Composition of Fresh Farm-Yard Manure (No. I.) Exposed.
  Calculated Dry.

                           |When put|Feb. 14,|Apr. 30,|Aug. 23,|Nov. 15,
                           |up, Nov.|1855.   |1855.   |1855.   |1855.
                           |3, 1854.|        |        |        |
  Soluble organic matter   |   7.33 |  12.79 |  12.54 |  12.04 |  10.65
  Soluble inorganic matter |   4.55 |   9.84 |   8.39 |   8.03 |   7.27
  Insoluble organic matter |  76.15 |  61.12 |  56.49 |  49.77 |  42.35
  Insoluble mineral matter |  11.97 |  16.25 |  22.58 |  30.16 |  39.73
                           | 100.00 | 100.00 | 100.00 | 100.00 | 100.00
                           |        |        |        |        |
  Containing nitrogen      |    .44 |    .91 |    .88 |    .77 |    .72
  Equal to ammonia         |    .53 |   1.10 |   1.06 |    .93 |    .88
  Containing nitrogen      |   1.46 |   1.55 |   1.75 |   1.92 |   1.85
  Equal to ammonia         |   1.77 |   1.88 |   2.12 |   2.33 |   2.24
  Total amount of nitrogen |   1.90 |   2.46 |   2.63 |   2.69 |   2.57
  Equal to ammonia         |   2.30 |   2.98 |   3.18 |   3.26 |   3.12
  Ammonia in free state    |    .10 |    .062|    .023|    .041|    .023
  Ammonia in form of salts |        |        |        |        |
    easily decomposed by   |        |        |        |        |
    quicklime              |    .26 |    .212|    .249|    .154|    .159
  Total amount of organic  |        |        |        |        |
    matter                 |  83.48 |  73.91 |  69.03 |  61.81 |  53.00
  Total amount of mineral  |        |        |        |        |
    substances             |  16.52 |  26.09 |  30.97 |  38.19 |  47.00

“A comparison of these different analyses,” says Dr. Vœlcker, “points
out clearly the changes which fresh farm-yard manure undergoes on
keeping in a heap, exposed to the influence of the weather during a
period of twelve months and twelve days.

“1. It will be perceived that the proportion of organic matter steadily
diminishes from month to month, until the original percentage of organic
matter in the dry manure, amounting to 83.48 per cent, becomes reduced
to 53 per cent.

“2. On the other hand, the total percentage of mineral matter rises as
steadily as that of the organic matter falls.

“3. It will be seen that the loss in organic matter affects the
percentage of insoluble organic matters more than the percentage of
soluble organic substances.

“4. The percentage of soluble organic matters, indeed, increased
considerably during the first experimental period; it rose, namely, from
7.33 per cent to 12.79 per cent. Examined again on the 30th of April,
very nearly the same percentage of soluble organic matter, as on
February the 14th, was found. The August analysis shows but a slight
decrease in the percentage of soluble organic matters, while there is a
decrease of 2 per cent of soluble organic matters when the November
analysis is compared with the February analysis.

“5. The soluble mineral matters in this manure rise or fall in the
different experimental periods in the same order as the soluble organic
matters. Thus, in February, 9.84 per cent of soluble mineral matters
were found, whilst the manure contained only 4.55 per cent, when put up
into a heap in November, 1854. Gradually, however, the proportion of
soluble mineral matters again diminished, and became reduced to 7.27 per
cent, on the examination of the manure in November, 1855.

“6. A similar regularity will be observed in the percentage of nitrogen
contained in the soluble organic matters.

“7. In the insoluble organic matters, the percentage of nitrogen
regularly increased from November, 1854, up to the 23d of August,
notwithstanding the rapid diminution of the percentage of insoluble
organic matter. For the last experimental period, the percentage of
nitrogen in the insoluble matter is nearly the same as on August 23d.

“8. With respect to the total percentage of nitrogen in the fresh
manure, examined at different periods of the year, it will be seen that
the February manure contains about one-half per cent more of nitrogen
than the manure in a perfectly fresh state. On the 30th of April, the
percentage of nitrogen again slightly increased; on August 23d, it
remained stationary, and had sunk but very little when last examined on
the 15th of November, 1855.

“This series of analyses thus shows that fresh farm-yard manure rapidly
becomes more soluble in water, but that this desirable change is
realized at the expense of a large proportion of organic matters. It
likewise proves, in an unmistakable manner, that there is no advantage
in keeping farm-yard manure for too long a period; for, after February,
neither the percentage of soluble organic, nor that of soluble mineral
matter, has become greater, and the percentage of nitrogen in the manure
of April and August is only a very little higher than in February.”

“Before you go any further,” said the Deacon, “answer me this question:
Suppose I take five tons of farm-yard manure, and put it in a heap on
the 3d of November, tell me, 1st, what that heap will contain when first
made; 2d, what the heap will contain April 30th; and, 3d, what the heap
will contain August 23d.”

Here is the table:

  Contents of a Heap of Manure at Different Periods, Exposed to
  Rain, etc.

                                 |When     |Apr. 30. |Aug. 23. |Nov. 15.
                                 |put up,  |         |         |
                                 |Nov. 3.  |         |         |
  Total weight of manure in heap |10,000   | 7,138   | 7,025   | 6,954
  Water in the heap of manure    | 6,617   | 4,707   | 5,304   | 5,167
  Total organic matter           | 2,824   | 1,678   | 1,034   |   947
  Total inorganic matter         |   559   |   753   |   657   |   840
  Total nitrogen in heap         |    64.3 |    63.9 |    46.3 |    46.0
  Total soluble organic matter   |   248   |   305   |   207   |   190
  Total insoluble organic matter | 2,576   | 1,373   |   857   |   757
  Soluble mineral matter         |   154   |   204   |   138   |   130
  Insoluble mineral matter       |   405   |   549   |   519   |   710
  Nitrogen in soluble matter     |    14.9 |    21.4 |    13.2 |    12.9
  Nitrogen in insoluble matter   |    49.4 |    42.5 |    33.1 |    33.1

The Deacon put on his spectacles and studied the above table carefully
for some time. “That tells the whole story,” said he, “you put five tons
of fresh manure in a heap, it ferments and gets warm, and nearly one ton
of water is driven off by the heat.”

“Yes,” said the Doctor, “you see that over half a ton (1,146 lbs.) of
dry organic matter has been slowly burnt up in the heap; giving out as
much heat as half a ton of coal burnt in a stove. But this is not all.
The manure is cooked, and steamed, and softened by the process. The
organic matter burnt up is of no value. There is little or no loss of
nitrogen. The heap contained 64.3 lbs. of nitrogen when put up, and 63.9
lbs. after fermenting six months. And it is evident that the manure is
in a much more active and available condition than if it had been
applied to the land in the fresh state. There was 14.9 lbs. of nitrogen
in a soluble condition in the fresh manure, and 21.4 lbs. in the
fermented manure. And what is equally important, you will notice that
there is 154 lbs. of soluble ash in the heap of fresh manure, and 204
lbs. in the heap of fermented manure. In other words, 50 lbs. of the
insoluble mineral matter had, by the fermentation of the manure, been
rendered soluble, and consequently immediately available as plant-food.
This is a very important fact.”

The Doctor is right. There is clearly a great advantage in fermenting
manure, provided it is done in such a manner as to prevent loss. We have
not only less manure to draw out and spread, but the plant-food which it
contains, is more soluble and active.

The table we have given shows that there is little or no loss of
valuable constituents, even when manure is fermented in the open air and
exposed to ordinary rain and snows during an English winter. But it also
shows that when the manure has been fermented for six months, and is
then turned and left exposed to the rain of spring and summer, the loss
is very considerable.

The five tons (10,000 lbs.,) of fresh manure placed in a heap on the 3d
of November, are reduced to 7,138 lbs. by the 30th of April. Of this
4,707 lbs. is water. By the 23d of August, the heap is reduced to 7,025
lbs., of which 5,304 lbs. is water. There is nearly 600 lbs. more water
in the heap in August than in April.

Of total nitrogen in the heap, there is 64.3 lbs. in the fresh manure,
63.9 lbs. in April, and only 46.3 lbs. in August. This is a great loss,
and there is no compensating gain.

We have seen that, when five tons of manure is fermented for six months,
in winter, the nitrogen in the soluble organic matter is increased from
14.9 lbs. to 21.4 lbs. This is a decided advantage. But when the manure
is kept for another six months, this soluble nitrogen is decreased from
21.4 lbs. to 13.2 lbs. We lose over 8 lbs. of the most active and
available nitrogen.

And the same remarks will apply to the valuable soluble mineral matter.
In the five tons of fresh manure there is 154 lbs. of soluble mineral
matter. By fermenting the heap six months, we get 204 lbs., but by
keeping the manure six months longer, the soluble mineral matter is
reduced to 138 lbs. We lose 66 lbs. of valuable soluble mineral matter.

By fermenting manure for six months in winter, we greatly improve its
condition; by keeping it six months longer, we lose largely of the very
best and most active parts of the manure.



Dr. Vœlcker, at the same time he made the experiments alluded to in the
preceding chapter, placed another heap of manure _under cover_, in a
shed. It was the same kind of manure, and was treated precisely as the
other--the only difference being that one heap was exposed to the rain,
and the other not. The following table gives the results of the
weighings of the heap at different times, and also the percentage of

  Manure Fermented Under Cover in Shed.

  Table Showing the Actual Weighings, and Percentage of Loss in Weight,
  of Experimental Heap (No. II.) Fresh Farm-Yard Manure Under Shed,
  at Different Periods of the Year.

                                      |Weight  |Loss in |Percentage
                                      |  of    |original| of Loss.
                                      |Manure  |weight  |
                                      |in Lbs. |in Lbs. |
  Put up on the 3d of November, 1854  |  3,258 |        |
  Weighed on the 30th of April, 1855, |        |        |
    or after a lapse of 6 months      |  1,613 |  1,645 |   50.4
  Weighed on the 23d of August,       |        |        |
    1855, or after a lapse of         |        |        |
    9 months and 20 days              |  1,297 |  1,961 |   60.0
  Weighed on the 15th of November,    |        |        |
    1855, or after a lapse of         |        |        |
    12 months and 12 days             |  1,235 |  2,023 |   62.1

It will be seen that 100 tons of manure, kept in a heap under cover for
six months, would be reduced to 49.6-10 tons. Whereas, when the same
manure was fermented for the same length of time in the open air, the
100 tons was reduced to only 71.4-10 tons. The difference is due
principally to the fact that the heap exposed contained more water,
derived from rain and snow, than the heap kept under cover. This, of
course, is what we should expect. Let us look at the results of Dr.
Vœlcker’s analyses:

  Table Showing the Composition of Experimental Heap (No. II.) Fresh
  Farmyard Manure Under Shed, in Natural State at Different Periods
  of the Year.

                           |When put|Feb. 14,|Apr. 30,|Aug. 23,|Nov. 15,
                           |up, Nov.|1855.   |1855.   |1855.   |1855.
                           |3, 1854.|        |        |        |
  Water                    | 66.17  | 67.32  | 56.89  | 43.43  | 41.66
  * Soluble organic matter |  2.48  |  2.63  |  4.63  |  4.13  |  5.37
  Soluble inorganic matter |  1.54  |  2.12  |  3.38  |  3.05  |  4.43
  † Insoluble organic      |        |        |        |        |
    matter                 | 25.76  | 20.46  | 25.43  | 26.01  | 27.69
  Insoluble mineral matter |  4.05  |  7.47  |  9.67  | 23.38  | 20.85
                           |100.00  |100.00  |100.00  |100.00  |100.00
                           |        |        |        |        |
  * Containing nitrogen    |   .149 |   .17  |   .27  |   .26  |   .42
  Equal to ammonia         |   .181 |   .20  |   .32  |   .31  |   .51
  † Containing nitrogen    |   .494 |   .58  |   .92  |  1.01  |  1.09
  Equal to ammonia         |   .599 |   .70  |  1.11  |  1.23  |  1.31
  Total amount of nitrogen |   .643 |   .75  |  1.19  |  1.27  |  1.51
  Equal to ammonia         |   .780 |   .90  |  1.43  |  1.54  |  1.82
  Ammonia in free state    |   .034 |   .022 |   .055 |   .015 |   .019
  Ammonia in form of salts |        |        |        |        |
    easily decomposed      |        |        |        |        |
    by quicklime           |   .088 |   .054 |   .101 |   .103 |   .146
  Total amount of organic  |        |        |        |        |
    matter                 | 28.24  | 23.09  | 30.06  | 30.14  | 33.06
  Total amount of mineral  |        |        |        |        |
    substance              |  5.59  |  9.59  | 13.05  | 26.43  | 25.28

  Table Showing the Composition of Experimental Heap (No. II.) Fresh
  Farmyard Manure Under Shed, Calculated Dry, at Different Periods
  of the Year.

                           |When put|Feb. 14,|Apr. 30,|Aug. 23,|Nov. 15,
                           |up, Nov.|1855.   |1855.   |1855.   |1855.
                           |3, 1854.|        |        |        |
  * Soluble organic matter |  7.33  |  8.04  | 10.74  |  7.30  |  9.20
  Soluble inorganic matter |  4.55  |  6.48  |  7.84  |  5.39  |  7.59
  † Insoluble organic      |        |        |        |        |
    matter                 | 76.15  | 62.60  | 58.99  | 45.97  | 47.46
  Insoluble mineral matter | 11.97  | 22.88  | 22.43  | 41.34  | 35.75
                           |100.00  |100.00  |100.00  |100.00  |100.00
                           |        |        |        |        |
  * Containing nitrogen    |   .44  |   .53  |   .63  |   .46  |   .72
  Equal to ammonia         |   .53  |   .66  |   .75  |   .56  |   .88
  † Containing nitrogen    |  1.46  |  1.77  |  2.14  |  1.78  |  1.88
  Equal to ammonia         |  1.77  |  2.14  |  2.59  |  2.16  |  2.26
  Total amount of nitrogen |  1.90  |  2.30  |  2.77  |  2.24  |  2.60
  Equal to ammonia         |  2.30  |  2.80  |  3.35  |  2.72  |  3.08
  Ammonia in free state    |   .10  |   .067 |   .127 |   .026 |   .033
  Ammonia in form of salts,|        |        |        |        |
    easily decomposed      |        |        |        |        |
    by quicklime           |   .26  |   .165 |   .234 |   .182 |   .250
  Total amount of organic  |        |        |        |        |
    matter                 | 83.48  | 70.64  | 69.73  | 53.27  | 56.66
  Total amount of mineral  |        |        |        |        |
    substance              | 16.52  | 29.36  | 30.27  | 46.73  | 43.34

The above analyses are of value to those who buy fresh and fermented
manure. They can form some idea of what they are getting. If they buy a
ton of fresh manure in November, they get 12¾ lbs. of nitrogen, and 30¾
lbs. of soluble mineral matter. If they buy a ton of the same manure
that has been kept under cover until February, they get, nitrogen, 15
lbs.; soluble minerals, 42½ lbs. In April, they get, nitrogen, 23¾ lbs.;
soluble minerals, 67½ lbs. In August, they get, nitrogen, 25½ lbs.;
soluble minerals, 61 lbs. In November, when the manure is over one year
old, they get, in a ton, nitrogen, 30¼ lbs.; soluble minerals, 88½ lbs.

When manure has not been exposed, it is clear that a purchaser can
afford to pay considerably more for a ton of rotted manure than for a
ton of fresh manure. But waiving this point for the present, let us see
how the matter stands with the farmer who makes and uses the manure.
What does he gain by keeping and fermenting the manure under cover?

The following table shows the weight and composition of the entire heap
of manure, kept under cover, at different times:

  Table Showing Composition of Entire Experimental Heap (No. II.)
  Fresh Farm-Yard Manure, Under Shed.

                                 |When put |April 30,|Aug. 23, |Nov. 15,
                                 |up, Nov. |1855.    |1855.    |1855.
                                 |3, 1854. |         |         |
                                 |   lbs.  |  lbs.   |  lbs.   |  lbs.
  Weight of manure               | 3,258.  |1,613.   |1,297.   |1,235.
  Amount of water in the manure  | 2,156.  |  917.6  |  563.2  |  514.5
  Amount of dry matter           | 1,102.  |  695.4  |  733.8  |  720.5
  * Consisting of soluble        |         |         |         |
    organic matter               |    80.77|   74.68 |   53.56 |  66.28
      Soluble mineral matter     |    50.14|   54.51 |   39.55 |  54.68
      † Insoluble organic matter |   839.17|  410.24 |  337.32 | 341.97
      Insoluble mineral matter   |   131.92|  155.97 |  303.37 | 257.57
                                 | 1,102.  |  695.4  |  733.8  |  720.5
                                 |         |         |         |
  * Containing nitrogen          |     4.85|    4.38 |    3.46 |   5.25
  Equal to ammonia               |     5.88|    5.33 |    4.20 |   6.37
  † Containing nitrogen          |    16.08|   14.88 |   13.08 |  13.54
  Equal to ammonia               |    19.59|   17.46 |   15.88 |  16.44
  Total amount of nitrogen       |         |         |         |
    in manure                    |    20.93|   19.26 |   16.54 |  18.79
  Equal to ammonia               |    25.40|   22.79 |   20.08 |  22.81
  The manure contains ammonia    |         |         |         |
    in free state                |     1.10|     .88 |     .19 |   .23
  The manure contains ammonia    |         |         |         |
    in form of salts, easily     |         |         |         |
    decomposed by quicklime      |     2.86|    1.62 |    1.33 |  1.80
  Total amount of organic matter |   919.94|  484.92 |  390.88 | 408.25
  Total amount of mineral matter |   182.06|  210.48 |  342.92 | 312.35

This is the table, as given by Dr. Vœlcker. For the sake of comparison,
we will figure out what the changes would be in a heap of five tons
(10,000 lbs.) of manure, when fermented under cover, precisely in the
same way as we did with the heap fermented in the open air, exposed to
the rain. The following is the table:

  Contents of a Heap Of Manure at Different Periods. Fermented Under

                                 |When put |April 30,|Aug. 23, |Nov. 15,
                                 |up, Nov. |1855.    |1855.    |1855.
                                 |3, 1854. |         |         |
                                 |  lbs.   |   lbs.  |   lbs.  |   lbs.
  Total weight of manure in heap | 10,000  |  4,960  |  4,000  |3,790
  Water in the heap of manure    |  6,617  |  2,822  |  1,737  |1,579
  Total organic matter           |  2,824  |  1,490  |  1,205  |1,253
  Total inorganic matter         |    559  |    646  |  1,057  |  958
  Total nitrogen in heap         |     64.3|     59  |     50.8|   57.2
  Total soluble organic matter   |    248  |    230  |    165  |  203.5
  Insoluble organic matter       |  2,576  |  1,260  |  1,040  |1,049
  Soluble mineral matter         |    154  |    167  |    122  |  168
  Insoluble mineral matter       |    405  |    479  |    935  |  790
  Nitrogen in soluble matter     |     14.9|     13.4|     10.4|   15.9
  Nitrogen in insoluble matter   |     49.4|     45.6|     40.4|   41.3
  Total dry matter in heap       |  3,383  |  2,038  |  2,263  |2,211

It will be seen that the heap of manure kept under cover contained, on
the 30th of April, _less_ soluble organic matter, _less_ soluble mineral
matter, _less_ soluble nitrogenous matter, and _less_ total nitrogen
than the heap of manure exposed to the weather. This is precisely what I
should have expected. The heap of manure in the shed probably fermented
more rapidly than the heap out of doors, and there was not water enough
in the manure to retain the carbonate of ammonia, or to favor the
production of organic acids. _The heap was too dry._ If it could have
received enough of the liquid from the stables to have kept it
moderately moist, the result would have been very different.

We will postpone further consideration of this point at present, and
look at the results of another of Dr. Vœlcker’s interesting experiments.

Dr. Vœlcker wished to ascertain the effect of three common methods of
managing manure:

1st. Keeping it in a _heap_ in the open air in the barn-yard, or field.

2d. Keeping it in a _heap_ under cover in a shed.

3d. Keeping it _spread out_ over the barn-yard.

“You say these are common methods of managing manure,” remarked the
Deacon, “but I never knew any one in this country take the trouble to
spread manure over the yard.”

“Perhaps not,” I replied, “but you have known a good many farmers who
adopt this very method of keeping their manure. They do not spread
it--but they let it lie spread out over the yards, just wherever it
happens to be.”

Let us see what the effect of this treatment is on the composition and
value of the manure.

We have examined the effect of keeping manure in a heap in the open air,
and also of keeping it in a heap under cover. Now let us see how these
methods compare with the practice of leaving it exposed to the rains,
spread out in the yard.

On the 3rd of November, 1854, Dr. Vœlcker weighed out 1,652 lbs. of
manure similar to that used in the preceding experiments, and spread it
out in the yard. It was weighed April 30, and again August 23, and
November 15.

The following table gives the actual weight of the manure at the
different periods, also the actual amount of the water, organic matter,
ash, nitrogen, etc.:

  Table Showing the Weight and Composition of Entire Mass of
  Experimental Manure (No. Iii.), Fresh Farm-Yard Manure, Spread
  in Open Yard at Different Periods of the Year. In Natural State.

                                 |When put |April 30,|Aug. 23, |Nov. 15,
                                 |up, Nov. |1855.    |1855.    |1855.
                                 |3, 1854. |         |         |
                                 |  lbs.   |  lbs.   |  lbs.   |  lbs.
  Weight of manure               |1,652.   |1,429.   |1,012.   |950.
  Amount of water in the manure  |1,093.   |1,143.   |  709.3  |622.8
  Amount of dry matter           |  559.   |  285.5  |  302.7  |327.2
  * Consisting of soluble        |         |         |         |
    organic matter               |   40.97 |   16.55 |    4.96 |  3.95
      Soluble mineral matter     |   25.43 |   14.41 |    6.47 |  5.52
      † Insoluble organic matter |  425.67 |  163.79 |  106.81 | 94.45
      Insoluble mineral matter   |   66.93 |   90.75 |  184.46 |223.28
                                 |  559.00 |  285.50 |  302.70 |327.20
                                 |         |         |         |
  * Containing nitrogen          |    3.28 |    1.19 |     .60 |   .32
  Equal to ammonia               |    3.98 |    1.44 |     .73 |   .39
  † Containing nitrogen          |    6.21 |    6.51 |    3.54 |  3.56
  Equal to ammonia               |    7.54 |    7.90 |    4.29 |  4.25
  Total amount of nitrogen in    |         |         |         |
    manure                       |    9.19 |    7.70 |    4.14 |  3.88
  Equal to ammonia               |   11.52 |    9.34 |    5.02 |  4.64
  The manure contains ammonia    |         |         |         |
    in free state                |     .55 |     .14 |     .13 |   .0055
  The manure contains ammonia    |         |         |         |
    in form of salts, easily     |         |         |         |
    decomposed by quicklime      |    1.45 |     .62 |     .55 |   .28
  Total amount of organic matter |  466.64 |  180.34 |  111.77 | 98.40
  Total amount of mineral matter |   92.36 |  105.16 |  190.93 |228.80

“One moment,” said the Deacon. “These tables are a little confusing. The
table you have just given shows the actual weight of the manure in the
heap, and what it contained at different periods.” --“Yes,” said I, “and
the table following shows what 100 lbs. of this manure, spread out in
the yard, contained at the different dates mentioned. It shows how
greatly manure deteriorates by being exposed to rain, spread out on the
surface of the yard. The table merits careful study.”

  Table Showing Composition of Experimental Heap (No. III.). Fresh Farm
  Yard Manure, Spread in Open Yard, at Different Periods of the Year.
  In Natural State.

                                 |When put |April 30,|Aug. 23,|Nov. 15,
                                 |up, Nov. |1855.    |1855.   |1855.
                                 |3, 1854. |         |        |
  Water                          |  66.17  |  80.02  |  70.09 |  65.56
  * Soluble organic matter       |   2.48  |   1.16  |    .49 |    .42
  Soluble inorganic matter       |   1.54  |   1.01  |    .64 |    .57
  † Insoluble organic matter     |  25.76  |  11.46  |  10.56 |   9.94
  Insoluble mineral matter       |   4.05  |   6.35  |  18.22 |  23.51
                                 | 100.00  | 100.00  | 100.00 | 100.00
                                 |         |         |        |
  * Containing nitrogen          |    .149 |    .08  |    .06 |    .03
  Equal to ammonia               |    .181 |    .69  |    .07 |    .036
  † Containing nitrogen          |    .494 |    .45  |    .35 |    .36
  Equal to ammonia               |    .599 |    .54  |    .42 |    .46
  Total amount of nitrogen       |    .643 |    .53  |    .41 |    .39
  Equal to ammonia               |    .780 |    .63  |    .49 |    .496
  Ammonia in free state          |    .034 |    .010 |    .012|    .0006
  Ammonia in form of salts,      |         |         |        |
    easily decomposed by         |         |         |        |
    quicklime                    |    .088 |    .045 |    .051|    .030
  Total amount of organic matter |  28.24  |  12.62  |  11.05 |   10.36
  Total amount of mineral        |         |         |        |
    substance                    |   5.59  |   7.36  |  18.86 |   24.08

The following table shows the composition of the manure, calculated dry:

  Table Showing Composition of Experimental Heap (No. III.), Fresh Farm
  Yard Manure, Spread in Open Yard, at Different Periods of the Year.
  Calculated Dry.

                                 |When put |April 30,|Aug. 23,|Nov. 15,
                                 |up, Nov. |1855.    |1855.   |1855.
                                 |3, 1854. |         |        |
  * Soluble organic matter       |   7.33  |   5.80  |   1.64 |   1.21
  Soluble inorganic matter       |   4.55  |   5.05  |   2.14 |   1.69
  † Insoluble organic matter     |  76.15  |  57.37  |  35.30 |  28.86
  Insoluble mineral matter       |  11.97  |  31.78  |  60.92 |  68.24
                                 | 100.00  | 100.00  | 100.00 | 100.00
                                 |         |         |        |
  * Containing nitrogen          |    .44  |    .42  |    .20 |    .10
  Equal to ammonia               |    .53  |    .51  |    .24 |    .12
  † Containing nitrogen          |   1.46  |   2.28  |   1.17 |   1.09
  Equal to ammonia               |   1.77  |   2.76  |   1.41 |   1.32
  Total amount of nitrogen       |   1.90  |   2.70  |   1.37 |   1.19
  Equal to ammonia               |   2.30  |   3.27  |   1.65 |   1.44
  Ammonia in free state          |    .10  |    .05  |    .040|    .0017
  Ammonia in form of salts,      |         |         |        |
    easily decomposed by         |         |         |        |
    quicklime                    |    .26  |    .225 |    .171|    .087
  Total amount of organic matter |  83.48  |  63.17  |  36.94 |  30.07
  Total amount of mineral        |         |         |        |
    substance                    |  16.52  |  36.83  |  63.06 |  69.93

I have made out the following table, showing what would be the changes
in a heap of 5 tons (10,000 lbs.) of manure, spread out in the yard, so
that we can readily see the effect of this method of management as
compared with the other two methods of keeping the manure in compact
heaps, one exposed, the other under cover.

The following is the table:

  Contents of the Mass of Manure, Spread Out in Farm-Yard, and Exposed
  to Rain, Etc.

                                |When       |Apr. 30.|Aug. 23. |Nov. 15.
                                |spread out,|        |         |
                                |Nov. 3.    |        |         |
                                |  lbs.     |  lbs.  |  lbs.   |  lbs.
  Total weight of manure        | 10,000    | 8,350  | 6,130   | 5,750
  Water in the manure           |  6,617    | 6,922  | 4,297   | 3,771
  Total organic matter          |  2,824    | 1,092  |   677   |   595
  Total inorganic matter        |    559    |   636  | 1,155   | 1,384
  Total nitrogen in manure      |     64.3  |   45.9 |    25   |    22.4
  Total soluble organic matter  |    248    |  100   |    30   |    24
  Insoluble organic matter      |  2,576    |  992   |   647   |   571
  Soluble mineral matter        |    154    |   87   |    39   |    33
  Insoluble mineral matter      |    405    |  549   | 1,116   | 1,351
  Nitrogen in soluble matter    |     14.9  |    6.9 |     3.6 |     1.7
  Nitrogen in insoluble matter  |     49.4  |   39   |    21.4 |    20.7

It is not necessary to make many remarks on this table. The facts speak
for themselves. It will be seen that there is considerable loss even by
letting the manure lie spread out until spring; but, serious as this
loss is, it is small compared to the loss sustained by allowing the
manure to lie exposed in the yard during the summer.

In the five tons of fresh manure, we have, November 3, 64.3 lbs. of
nitrogen; April 30, we have 46 lbs.; August 23, only 25 lbs. This is a
great loss of the most valuable constituent of the manure. Of soluble
mineral matter, the next most valuable ingredient, we have in the five
tons of fresh manure, November 3, 154 lbs.; April 30, 87 lbs.; and
August 23, only 39 lbs. Of soluble nitrogen, the most active and
valuable part of the manure, we have, November 3, nearly 15 lbs.; April
30, not quite 7 lbs.; August 23, 3½ lbs.; and November 15, not quite 1¾

Dr. Vœlcker made still another experiment. He took 1,613 lbs. of
_well-rotted_ dung (mixed manure from horses, cows, and pigs,) and kept
it in a heap, exposed to the weather, from December 5 to April 30,
August 23, and November 15, weighing it and analyzing it at these
different dates. I think it is not necessary to give the results in
detail. From the 5th of December to the 30th of April, there was _no
loss_ of nitrogen in the heap, and comparatively little loss of soluble
mineral matters; but from April 30 to August 23, there was considerable
loss in both these valuable ingredients, which were washed out of the
heap by rain.

Dr. Vœlcker draws the following conclusions from his experiments:

“Having described at length my experiments with farm-yard manure,” he
says, “it may not be amiss to state briefly the more prominent and
practically interesting points which have been developed in the course
of this investigation. I would, therefore, observe:

“1. Perfectly fresh farm yard manure contains but a small proportion of
free ammonia.

“2. The nitrogen in fresh dung exists principally in the state of
insoluble nitrogenized matters.

“3. The soluble organic and mineral constituents of dung are much more
valuable fertilizers than the insoluble. Particular care, therefore,
should be bestowed upon the preservation of the liquid excrements of
animals, and for the same reason the manure should be kept in perfectly
water-proof pits of sufficient capacity to render the setting up of
dung-heaps in the corner of fields, as much as it is possible,

“4. Farm-yard manure, even in quite a fresh state, contains phosphate of
lime, which is much more soluble than has hitherto been suspected.

“5. The urine of the horse, cow, and pig, does not contain any
appreciable quantity of phosphate of lime, whilst the drainings of
dung-heaps contain considerable quantities of this valuable fertilizer.
The drainings of dung-heaps, partly for this reason, are more valuable
than the urine of our domestic animals, and, therefore, ought to be
prevented by all available means from running to waste.

“6. The most effectual means of preventing loss in fertilizing matters
is to cart the manure directly on the field whenever circumstances allow
this to be done.

“7. On all soils with a moderate proportion of clay, no fear need to be
entertained of valuable fertilizing substances becoming wasted if the
manure cannot be plowed in at once. Fresh, and even well-rotten, dung
contains very little free ammonia; and since active fermentation, and
with it the further evolution of free ammonia, is stopped by spreading
out the manure on the field, valuable volatile manuring matters can not
escape into the air by adopting this plan.

“As all soils with a moderate proportion of clay possess in a remarkable
degree the power of absorbing and retaining manuring matters, none of
the saline and soluble organic constituents are wasted even by a heavy
fall of rain. It may, indeed, be questioned whether it is more advisable
to plow in the manure at once, or to let it lie for some time on the
surface, and to give the rain full opportunity to wash it into the soil.

“It appears to me a matter of the greatest importance to regulate the
application of manure to our fields, so that its constituents may become
properly diluted and uniformly distributed amongst a large mass of soil.
By plowing in the manure at once, it appears to me, this desirable end
can not be reached so perfectly as by allowing the rain to wash in
gradually the manure evenly spread on the surface of the field.

“By adopting such a course, in case practical experience should confirm
my theoretical reasoning, the objection could no longer be maintained
that the land is not ready for carting manure upon it. I am inclined to
recommend, as a general rule: Cart the manure on the field, spread it at
once, and wait for a favorable opportunity to plow it in. In the case of
clay soils, I have no hesitation to say the manure may be spread even
six months before it is plowed in, without losing any appreciable
quantity in manuring matter.

“I am perfectly aware, that on stiff clay land, farm-yard manure, more
especially long dung, when plowed in before the frost sets in, exercises
a most beneficial action by keeping the soil loose, and admitting the
free access of frost, which pulverizes the land, and would, therefore,
by no means recommend to leave the manure spread on the surface without
plowing it in. All I wish to enforce is, that when no other choice is
left but either to set up the manure in a heap in a corner of the field,
or to spread it on the field, without plowing it in directly, to adopt
the latter plan. In the case of very light sandy soils, it may perhaps
not be advisable to spread out the manure a long time before it is
plowed in, since such soils do not possess the power of retaining
manuring matters in any marked degree. On light sandy soils, I would
suggest to manure with well-fermented dung, shortly before the crop
intended to be grown is sown.

“8. Well-rotten dung contains, likewise, little free ammonia, but a very
much larger proportion of soluble organic and saline mineral matters
than fresh manure.

“9. Rotten dung is richer in nitrogen than fresh.

“10. Weight for weight, rotten dung is more valuable than fresh.

“11. In the fermentation of dung, a very considerable proportion of the
organic matters in fresh manure is dissipated into the air in the form
of carbonic acid and other gases.

“12. Properly regulated, however, the fermentation of dung is not
attended with any great loss of nitrogen, nor of saline mineral matters.

“13. During the fermentation of dung, ulmic, humic, and other organic
acids are formed, as well as gypsum, which fix the ammonia generated in
the decomposition of the nitrogenized constituents of dung.

“14. During the fermentation of dung, the phosphate of lime which it
contains is rendered more soluble than in fresh manure.

“15. In the interior and heated portions of manure-heaps, ammonia is
given off; but, on passing into the external and cold layers of
dung-heaps, the free ammonia is retained in the heap.

“16. Ammonia is not given off from the surface of well-compressed
dung-heaps, but on turning manure-heaps, it is wasted in appreciable
quantities. Dung-heaps, for this reason, should not be turned more
frequently than absolutely necessary.

“17. No advantage appears to result from carrying on the fermentation of
dung too far, but every disadvantage.

“18. Farm-yard manure becomes deteriorated in value, when kept in heaps
exposed to the weather, the more the longer it is kept.

“19. The loss in manuring matters, which is incurred in keeping
manure-heaps exposed to the weather, is not so much due to the
volatilization of ammonia as to the removal of ammoniacal salts, soluble
nitrogenized organic matters, and valuable mineral matters, by the rain
which falls in the period during which the manure is kept.

“20. If rain is excluded from dung-heaps, or little rain falls at a
time, the loss in ammonia is trifling, and no saline matters, of course,
are removed; but, if much rain falls, especially if it descends in heavy
showers upon the dung-heap, a serious loss in ammonia, soluble organic
matter, phosphate of lime, and salts of potash is incurred, and the
manure becomes rapidly deteriorated in value, whilst at the same time it
is diminished in weight.

“21. Well-rotten dung is more readily affected by the deteriorating
influence of rain than fresh manure.

“22. Practically speaking, all the essentially valuable manuring
constituents are preserved by keeping farm-yard manure under cover.

“23. If the animals have been supplied with plenty of litter, fresh dung
contains an insufficient quantity of water to induce an active
fermentation. In this case, fresh dung can not be properly fermented
under cover, except water or liquid manure is pumped over the heap from
time to time.

“Where much straw is used in the manufacture of dung, and no provision
is made to supply the manure in the pit at any time with the requisite
amount of moisture, it may not be advisable to put up a roof over the
dung-pit. On the other hand, on farms where there is a deficiency of
straw, so that the moisture of the excrements of our domestic animals is
barely absorbed by the litter, the advantage of erecting a roof over the
dung-pit will be found very great.

“24. The worst method of making manure is to produce it by animals kept
in open yards, since a large proportion of valuable fertilizing matters
is wasted in a short time; and after a lapse of twelve months, at least
two-thirds of the substance of the manure is wasted, and only one-third,
inferior in quality to an equal weight of fresh dung, is left behind.

“25. The most rational plan of keeping manure in heaps appears to me
that adopted by Mr. Lawrence, of Cirencester, and described by him at
length in Morton’s ‘Cyclopædia of Agriculture,’ under the head of



“I would like to know,” said the Deacon, “how Mr. Lawrence manages his
manure, especially as his method has received such high commendation.”

Charley got the second volume of “Morton’s Cyclopædia of Agriculture,”
from the book shelves, and turned to the article on “Manure.” He found
that Mr. Lawrence adopted the “Box System” of feeding cattle, and used
cut or chaffed straw for bedding. And Mr. Lawrence claims that by this
plan “manure will have been made under the most perfect conditions.” And
“when the boxes are full at those periods of the year at which manure is
required for the succeeding crops, it will be most advantageously
disposed of by being transferred at once to the land, and covered in.”

“Good,” said the Deacon, “I think he is right there.” Charley continued,
and read as follows:

“But there will be accumulations of manure requiring removal from the
homestead at other seasons, at which it cannot be so applied, and when
it must be stored for future use. The following has been found an
effectual and economical mode of accomplishing this; more particularly
when cut litter is used, it saves the cost of repeated turnings, and
effectually prevents the decomposition and waste of the most active and
volatile principle.

“Some three or more spots are selected according to the size of the
farm, in convenient positions for access to the land under tillage, and
by the side of the farm roads. The sites fixed on are then excavated
about two feet under the surrounding surface. In the bottom is laid some
three or four inches of earth to absorb any moisture, on which the
manure is emptied from the carts. This is evenly spread, and well
trodden as the heap is forming. As soon as this is about a foot above
the ground level, to allow for sinking, the heap is gradually gathered
in, until it is completed in the form of an ordinary steep roof,
slightly rounded at the top by the final treading. In the course of
building this up, about a bushel of salt, to two cart-loads of dung is
sprinkled amongst it. The base laid out at any one time should not
exceed that required by the manure ready for the complete formation of
the heap as far as it goes; and within a day or two after such portion
is built up, and it has settled into shape, a thin coat of earth in a
moist state is plastered _entirely_ over the surface. Under these
conditions decomposition does not take place, in consequence of the
exclusion of the air; or at any rate to so limited an extent, that the
ammonia is absorbed by the earth, for there is not a trace of it
perceptible about the heap; though, when put together without such
covering, this is perceptible enough to leeward at a hundred yards’

“When heaps thus formed are resorted to in the autumn, either for the
young seeds, or for plowing in on the stubbles after preparing for the
succeeding root crop, the manure will be found undiminished in quantity
and unimpaired in quality; in fact, simply consolidated. Decomposition
then proceeds within the soil, where all its results are appropriated,
and rendered available for the succeeding cereal as well as the root

“It would be inconvenient to plaster the heap, were the ridge, when
settled, above six or seven feet from the ground level; the base may be
formed about ten to twelve feet wide, and the ridge about nine feet from
the base, which settles down to about seven feet; this may be extended
to any length as further supplies of manure require removal. One man is
sufficient to form the heap, and it is expedient to employ the same man
for this service, who soon gets into the way of performing the work
neatly and quickly. It has been asked where a farmer is to get the earth
to cover his heaps--it may be answered, keep your roads scraped when
they get muddy on the surface during rainy weather--in itself good
economy--and leave this in small heaps beyond the margin of your roads.
This, in the course of the year, will be found an ample provision for
the purpose, for it is unnecessary to lay on a coat more than one or two
inches in thickness, which should be done when in a moist state. At any
rate, there will always be found an accumulation on headlands that may
be drawn upon if need be.

“Farmers who have not been in the habit of bestowing care on the
manufacture and subsequent preservation of their manure, and watching
results, have no conception of the importance of this. A barrowful of
such manure as has been described, would produce a greater weight of
roots and corn, than that so graphically described by the most talented
and accomplished of our agricultural authors--as the contents of
‘neighbour Drychaff’s dung-cart, that creaking hearse, that is carrying
to the field the dead body whose spirit has departed.’

“There is a source of valuable and extremely useful manure on every
farm, of which very few farmers avail themselves--the gathering together
in one spot of all combustible waste and rubbish, the clippings of
hedges, scouring of ditches, grassy accumulation on the sides of roads
and fences, etc., combined with a good deal of earth. If these are
carted at leisure times into a large circle, or in two rows, to supply
the fire kindled in the center, in a spot which is frequented by the
laborers on the farm, with a three-pronged fork and a shovel attendant,
and each passer-by is encouraged to add to the pile whenever he sees the
smoke passing away so freely as to indicate rapid combustion, a very
large quantity of valuable ashes are collected between March and
October. In the latter month the fire should be allowed to go out; the
ashes are then thrown into a long ridge, as high as they will stand, and
thatched while dry. This will be found an invaluable store in April,
May, and June, capable of supplying from twenty to forty bushels of
ashes per acre, according to the care and industry of the collector, to
drill with the seeds of the root crop.”

The Deacon got sleepy before Charley finished reading. “We can not
afford to be at so much trouble in this country,” he said, and took up
his hat and left.

The Deacon is not altogether wrong. Our climate is very different from
that of England, and it is seldom that farmers need to draw out manure,
and pile it in the field, except in winter, and then it is not
necessary, I think, either to dig a pit or to cover the heap. Those who
draw manure from the city in summer, may probably adopt some of Mr.
Lawrence’s suggestions with advantage.

The plan of collecting rubbish, brush, old wood, and sods, and
converting them into ashes or charcoal, is one which we could often
adopt with decided advantage. Our premises would be cleaner, and we
should have less fungus to speck and crack our apples and pears, and, in
addition, we should have a quantity of ashes or burnt earth, that is not
only a manure itself, but is specially useful to mix with moist
superphosphate and other artificial manures, to make them dry enough and
bulky enough to be easily and evenly distributed by the drill.
Artificial manures, so mixed with these ashes, or dry, charred earth,
are less likely to injure the seed than when sown with the seed in the
drill-rows, unmixed with some such material. Sifted coal ashes are also
very useful for this purpose.



There is one thing in these experiments of Dr. Vœlcker’s which deserves
special attention, and that is the comparatively large amount of
_soluble phosphate of lime_ in the ash of farm-yard manure. I do not
think the fact is generally known. In estimating the value of animal
manures, as compared with artificial manures, it is usually assumed that
the phosphates in the former are insoluble, and, therefore, of less
value than the soluble phosphates in superphosphate of lime and other
artificial manures.

Dr. Vœlcker found in the ash of _fresh_ farm-yard manure, phosphoric
acid equal to 12.23 per cent of phosphate of lime, and of this 5.35 was
_soluble_ phosphate of lime.

In the ash of well-rotted manure, he found phosphoric acid equal to
12.11 per cent of phosphate of lime, and of this, 4.75 was soluble
phosphate of lime.

“That is, indeed, an important fact,” said the Doctor, “but I thought
Professor Vœlcker claimed that ‘during the fermentation of dung, the
phosphate of lime which it contains is rendered more soluble than in
fresh manure.’”

“He did say so,” I replied, “and it may be true, but the above figures
do not seem to prove it. When he wrote the sentence you have quoted, he
probably had reference to the fact that he found more soluble phosphate
of lime in rotted manure than in fresh manure. Thus, he found in 5 tons
of fresh and 5 tons of rotted, manure, the following ingredients:

  SP:  Soluble Phosphate of Lime.
  IP:  Insoluble phosphates.
  TP:  Total Phosphates.
  TSA: Total Soluble Ash.
  TIA: Total Insoluble Ash.
  TA:  Total Ash.

                |     |     |     |   Potash    |     |     |
     5 Tons.    | SP  | IP  | TP  +------+------+ TSA | TIA | TA
  (10,000 LBS.) |     |     |     | Sol. |Insol.|     |     |
  Fresh manure  | 29.9| 38.6| 68.5| 57.3 |  9.9 | 154 | 405 | 559
  Rotted manure | 38.2|57.3 |95.5 | 44.6 |  4.5 | 147 | 658 | 805

“It will be seen from the above figures that _rotted manure contains
more soluble phosphate of lime than fresh manure_.

“But it does not follow from this fact that any of the insoluble
phosphates in fresh manure have been rendered soluble during the
fermentation of the manure.

“There are more insoluble phosphates in the rotted manure than in the
fresh, but we do not conclude from this fact that any of the phosphates
have been rendered insoluble during the process of fermentation--neither
are we warranted in concluding that any of them have been rendered
soluble, simply because we find more soluble phosphates in the rotted

“Very true,” said the Doctor, “but it has been shown that _in the heap_
of manure, during fermentation, there was an _actual increase_ of
soluble mineral matter during the first six months, and, to say the
least, it is highly probable that some of this increase of soluble
mineral matter contained more or less soluble phosphates, and perhaps
Dr. Vœlcker had some facts to show that such was the case, although he
may not have published them. At any rate, he evidently thinks that the
phosphates in manure are rendered more soluble by fermentation.”

“Perhaps,” said I, “we can not do better than to let the matter rest in
that form. I am merely anxious not to draw definite conclusions from the
facts which the facts do not positively prove. I am strongly in favor of
fermenting manure, and should be glad to have it shown that fermentation
does actually convert insoluble phosphates into a soluble form.”

There is one thing, however, that these experiments clearly prove, and
that is, that there is a far larger quantity of _soluble_ phosphates in
manure than is generally supposed. Of the total phosphoric acid in the
fresh manure, 43 per cent is in a soluble condition; and in the rotted
manure, 40 per cent is soluble.

This is an important fact, and one which is generally overlooked. It
enhances the value of farm-yard or stable manure, as compared with
artificial manures. But of this we may have more to say when we come to
that part of the subject. I want to make one remark. I think there can
be little doubt that the proportion of soluble phosphates is greater in
rich manure, made from grain-fed animals, than in poor manure made
principally from straw. In other words, of 100 lbs. of total phosphoric
acid, more of it would be in a soluble condition in the rich than in the
poor manure.



“I think,” said the Deacon, “you are talking too much about the science
of manure making. Science is all well enough, but practice is better.”

“That depends,” said I, “on the practice. Suppose you tell us how you
manage your manure.”

“Well,” said the Deacon, “I do not know much about plant-food, and
nitrogen, and phosphoric acid, but I think manure is a good thing, and
the more you have of it the better. I do not believe in your practice of
spreading manure on the land and letting it lie exposed to the sun and
winds. I want to draw it out in the spring and plow it under for corn.
I think this long, coarse manure loosens the soil and makes it light,
and warm, and porous. And then my plan saves labor. More than half of my
manure is handled but once. It is made in the yard and sheds, and lies
there until it is drawn to the field in the spring. The manure from the
cow and horse stables, and from the pig-pens, is thrown into the yard,
and nothing is done to it except to level it down occasionally. In
proportion to the stock kept, I think I make twice as much manure as you

“Yes,” said I, “twice as much _in bulk_, but one load of my manure is
worth four loads of your long, coarse manure, composed principally of
corn-stalks, straw, and water. I think you are wise in not spending much
time in piling and working over such manure.”

The Deacon and I have a standing quarrel about manure. We differ on all
points. He is a good man, but not what we call a good farmer. He cleared
up his farm from the original forest, and he has always been content to
receive what his land would give him. If he gets good crops, well, if
not, his expenses are moderate, and he manages to make both ends meet.
I tell him he could double his crops, and quadruple his profits, by
better farming--but though he cannot disprove the facts, he is unwilling
to make any change in his system of farming. And so he continues to make
just as much manure as the crops he is obliged to feed out leave in his
yards, and no more. He does not, in fact, _make_ any manure. He takes
what comes, and gets it on to his land with as little labor as possible.

It is no use arguing with such a man. And it certainly will not do to
contend that his method of _managing_ manure is all wrong. His error is
in making such poor manure. But with such poor stuff as he has in his
yard, I believe he is right to get rid of it with the least expense

I presume, too, that the Deacon is not altogether wrong in regard to the
good mechanical effects of manure on undrained and indifferently
cultivated land. I have no doubt that he bases his opinion on
experience. The good effects of such manure as he makes must be largely
due to its mechanical action--it can do little towards supplying the
more important and valuable elements of plant-food.

I commend the Deacon’s system of managing manure to all such as make a
similar article. But I think there is a more excellent way. Feed the
stock better, make richer manure, and then it will pay to bestow a
little labor in taking care of it.



One of the oldest and most successful farmers, in the State of New York,
is John Johnston, of Geneva. He has a farm on the borders of Seneca
Lake. It is high, rolling land, but needed underdraining. This has been
thoroughly done--and done with great profit and advantage. The soil is a
heavy clay loam. Mr. Johnston has been in the habit of summer-fallowing
largely for wheat, generally plowing three, and sometimes four times. He
has been a very successful wheat-grower, almost invariably obtaining
large crops of wheat, both of grain and straw. The straw he feeds to
sheep in winter, putting more straw in the racks than the sheep can eat
up clean, and using what they leave for bedding. The sheep run in yards
enclosed with tight board fences, and have sheds under the barn to lie
in at pleasure.

Although the soil is rather heavy for Indian corn, Mr. Johnston succeeds
in growing large crops of this great American cereal. Corn and stalks
are both fed out on the farm. Mr. J. has not yet practised cutting up
his straw and stalks into chaff.

The land is admirably adapted to the growth of red clover, and great
crops of clover and timothy-hay are raised, and fed out on the farm.
Gypsum, or plaster, is sown quite freely on the clover in the spring.
Comparatively few roots are raised--not to exceed an acre--and these
only quite recently. The main crops are winter wheat, spring barley,
Indian corn, clover, and timothy-hay, and clover-seed.

The materials for making manure, then, are wheat and barley straw,
Indian corn, corn-stalks, clover, and timothy-hay. These are all raised
on the farm. But Mr. Johnston has for many years purchased linseed-oil
cake, to feed to his sheep and cattle.

This last fact must not be overlooked. Mr. J. commenced to feed oil-cake
when its value was little known here, and when he bought it for,
I think, seven or eight dollars a ton. He continued to use it even when
he had to pay fifty dollars per ton. Mr. J. has great faith in
manure--and it is a faith resting on good evidence and long experience.
If he had not fed out so much oil-cake and clover-hay, he would not have
found his manure so valuable.

“How much oil-cake does he use?” asked the Deacon.

“He gives his sheep, on the average, about 1 lb. each per day.”

If he feeds out a ton of clover-hay, two tons of straw, (for feed and
bedding,) and one ton of oil-cake, the manure obtained from this
quantity of food and litter, would be worth, according to Mr. Lawes’
table, given on page 45, $34.72.

On the other hand, if he fed out one ton of corn, one ton of clover-hay,
and two tons of straw, for feed and bedding, the manure would be worth

If he fed one ton of corn, and three tons of straw, the manure would be
worth only $14.69.

He would get _as much manure_ from the three tons of straw and one ton
of corn, as from the two tons of straw, one ton of clover-hay, and one
ton of oil-cake, while, as before said, the manure in the one case would
be worth $14.69, and in the other $34.72.

In other words, a load of the good manure would be worth, when spread
out on the land in the field or garden, more than two loads of the straw
and corn manure.

To get the same amount of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, you
have to spend more than twice the labor in cleaning out the stables or
yards, more than twice the labor of throwing or wheeling it to the
manure pile, more than twice the labor of turning the manure in the
pile, more than twice the labor of loading it on the carts or wagons,
more than twice the labor of drawing it to the field, more than twice
the labor of unloading it into heaps, and more than twice the labor of
spreading it in the one case than in the other, and, after all, twenty
tons of this poor manure would not produce as good an effect the first
season as ten tons of the richer manure.

“Why so?” asked the Deacon.

“Simply because the poor manure is not so active as the richer manure.
It will not decompose so readily. Its nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and
potash, are not so available. The twenty tons, _may_, in the long run,
do as much good as the ten tons, but I very much doubt it. At any rate,
I would greatly prefer the ten tons of the good manure to twenty tons of
the poor--even when spread out on the land, ready to plow under. What
the difference would be in the value of the manure _in the yard_, you
can figure for yourself. It would depend on the cost of handling,
drawing, and spreading the extra ten tons.”

The Deacon estimates the cost of loading, drawing, unloading, and
spreading, at fifty cents a ton. This is probably not far out of the
way, though much depends on the distance the manure has to be drawn, and
also on the condition of the manure, etc.

The four tons of feed and bedding will make, at a rough estimate about
ten tons of manure.

This ten tons of straw and corn manure, according to Mr. Lawes’
estimate, is worth, _in the field_, $14.69. And if it costs fifty cents
a load to get it on the land, its value, _in the yard_, would be
$9.69--or nearly ninety-seven cents a ton.

The ten tons of good manure, according to the same estimate, is worth,
_in the field_, $34.72, and, consequently, would be worth, _in the
yard_, $29.72. In other words, a ton of poor manure is worth, in the
yard, ninety-seven cents a ton, and the good manure $2.97.

And so in describing John Johnston’s method of managing manure, this
fact must be borne in mind. It might not pay the Deacon to spend much
labor on manure worth only ninety-seven cents a ton, while it might pay
John Johnston to bestow some considerable time and labor on manure worth
$2.97 per ton.

“But is it really worth this sum?” asked the Deacon.

“In reply to that,” said I, “all I claim is that the figures are
comparative. If your manure, made as above described, is worth
ninety-seven cents a ton in the yard, _then_ John Johnston’s manure,
made as stated, is _certainly_ worth, at least, $2.97 per ton in the

Of this there can be no doubt.

“If you think,” I continued, “your manure, so made, is worth only half
as much as Mr. Lawes’ estimate; in other words, if your ten tons of
manure, instead of being worth $14.69 in the field, is worth only $7.35;
then John Johnston’s ten tons of manure, instead of being worth $34.72
in the field, is worth only $17.36.”

“That looks a little more reasonable,” said the Deacon, “John Johnston’s
manure, instead of being worth $2.97 per ton in the yard, is worth only
$1.48 per ton, and mine, instead of being worth ninety-seven cents a
ton, is worth forty-eight and a half cents a ton.”

The Deacon sat for a few minutes looking at these figures. “They do not
seem so extravagantly high as I thought them at first,” he said, “and if
you will reduce the figures in Mr. Lawes’ table one-half all through, it
will be much nearer the truth. I think my manure is worth forty-eight
and a half cents a ton in the yard, and if your figures are correct,
I suppose I must admit that John Johnston’s manure is worth $1.48 per
ton in the yard.”

I was very glad to get such an admission from the Deacon. He did not see
that he had made a mistake in the figures, and so I got him to go over
the calculation again.

“You take a pencil, Deacon,” said I, “and write down the figures:

  Manure from a ton of oil-cake                   $19.72
  Manure from a ton of clover-hay                   9.64
  Manure from two tons of straw                     5.36

“This would make about ten tons of manure. We have agreed to reduce the
estimate one-half, and consequently we have $17.36 as the value of the
ten tons of manure.

“This is John Johnston’s manure. It is worth $1.73 per ton in the field.

“It costs, we have estimated, 50 cents a ton to handle the manure, and
consequently it is worth in the yard $1.23 per ton.”

“This is less than we made it before,” said the Deacon.

“Never mind that,” said I, “the figures are correct. Now write down what
your manure is worth:

  Manure from 1 ton of corn                        $6.65
  Manure from 3 tons of straw                       8.04

“This will make about ten tons of manure. In this case, as in the other,
we are to reduce the estimate one-half. Consequently, we have $7.35 as
the value of this ten tons of manure in the field, or 73½ cents a ton.
It costs, we have estimated, 50 cents a ton to handle the manure, and,
therefore, it is worth _in the yard_, 23½ cents a ton.”

“John Johnston’s manure is worth in the yard, $1.23 per ton. The
Deacon’s manure is worth in the yard, 23½ cents per ton.”

“There is some mistake,” exclaimed the Deacon, “you said, at first, that
one load of John Johnston’s manure was worth as much as two of my loads.
Now you make one load of his manure worth more than five loads of my
manure. This is absurd.”

“Not at all, Deacon,” said I, “you made the figures yourself. You
thought Mr. Lawes’ estimate too high. You reduced it one-half. The
figures are correct, and you must accept the conclusion. If John
Johnston’s manure is only worth $1.23 per ton in the yard, yours, made
from 1 ton of corn and 3 tons of straw, is only worth 23½ cents per

“And now, Deacon,” I continued, “while you have a pencil in your hand,
I want you to make one more calculation. Assuming that Mr. Lawes’
estimate is too high, and we reduce it one-half, figure up what manure
is worth when made from straw alone. You take 4 tons of wheat straw,
feed out part, and use part for bedding. It will give you about 10 tons
of manure. And this 10 tons cost you 50 cents a ton to load, draw out,
and spread. Now figure:

“Four tons of straw is worth, for manure, according to Mr. Lawes’ table,
$2.68 per ton. We have agreed to reduce the figures one half, and so the

  10 tons of manure from the 4 tons of straw is worth   $5.36
  Drawing out 10 tons of manure at 50 cents              5.00
  Value of 10 tons of straw-manure _in yard_            $0.36

“In other words, if John Johnston’s manure is worth only $1.23 per ton
in the yard, the straw-made manure is worth only a little over 3½ cents
a ton in the yard.”

“That is _too_ absurd,” said the Deacon.

“Very well,” I replied, “for once I am glad to agree with you. But if
this is absurd, then it follows that Mr. Lawes’ estimate of the value of
certain foods for manure is not so extravagant as you supposed--which is
precisely what I wished to prove.”

“You have not told us how Mr. Johnston manages his manure,” said the

“There is nothing very remarkable about it,” I replied. “There are many
farmers in this neighborhood who adopt the same method. I think,
however, John Johnston was the first to recommend it, and subjected
himself to some criticism from some of the so-called scientific writers
at the time.

“His general plan is to leave the manure in the yards, basements, and
sheds, under the sheep, until spring. He usually sells his fat sheep in
March. As soon as the sheep are removed, the manure is either thrown up
into loose heaps in the yard, or drawn directly to the field, where it
is to be used, and made into a heap there. The manure is not spread on
the land until the autumn. It remains in the heaps or piles all summer,
being usually turned once, and sometimes twice. The manure becomes
thoroughly rotted.”

Mr. Johnston, like the Deacon, applies his manure to the corn crop. But
the Deacon draws out his fresh green manure in the spring, on sod-land,
and plows it under. Mr. Johnston, on the other hand, keeps his manure in
a heap through the summer, spreads it on the sod in September, or the
first week in October. Here it lies until next spring. The grass and
clover grow up through manure, and the grass and manure are turned under
next spring, and the land planted to corn.

Mr. Johnston is thoroughly convinced that he gets far more benefit from
the manure when applied on the surface, and left exposed for several
months, than if he plowed it under at once.

I like to write and talk about John Johnston. I like to visit him. He is
so delightfully enthusiastic, believes so thoroughly in good farming,
and has been so eminently successful, that a day spent in his company
can not fail to encourage any farmer to renewed efforts in improving his
soil. “You _must_ drain,” he wrote to me; “when I first commenced
farming, I never made any money until I began to underdrain.” But it is
not underdraining alone that is the cause of his eminent success. When
he bought his farm, “near Geneva,” over fifty years ago, there was a
pile of manure in the yard that had lain there year after year, until it
was, as he said, “as black as my hat.” The former owner regarded it as a
nuisance, and a few months before young Johnston bought the farm, had
given some darkies a cow on condition that they would draw out this
manure. They drew out six loads, took the cow--and that was the last
seen of them. Johnston drew out this manure, raised a good crop of
wheat, and that gave him a start. He says he has been asked a great many
times to what he owes his success as a farmer, and he has replied that
he could not tell whether it was “dung or credit.” It was probably
neither. It was the man--his intelligence, industry, and good common
sense. That heap of black mould was merely an instrument in his hands
that he could turn to good account.

His first crop of wheat gave him “credit” and this also he used to
advantage. He believed that good farming would pay, and it was this
faith in a generous soil that made him willing to spend the money
obtained from the first crop of wheat in enriching the land, and to
avail himself of his credit. Had he lacked this faith--had he hoarded
every sixpence he could have ground out of the soil, who would have ever
heard of John Johnston? He has been liberal with his crops and his
animals, and has ever found them grateful. This is the real lesson which
his life teaches.

He once wrote me he had something to show me. He did not tell me what it
was, and when I got there, he took me to a field of grass that was to be
mown for hay. The field had been in winter wheat the year before. At the
time of sowing the wheat, the whole field was seeded down with timothy.
No clover was sown, either then or in the spring; but after the wheat
was sown, he put on a slight dressing of manure on two portions of the
field that he thought were poor. He told the man to spread it out of the
wagon just as thin as he could distribute it evenly over the land. It
was a very light manuring, but the manure was rich, and thoroughly
rotted. I do not recollect whether the effect of the manure was
particularly noticed on the wheat; but on the grass, the following
spring, the effect was sufficiently striking. Those two portions of the
field where the manure was spread were _covered with a splendid crop of
red clover_. You could see the exact line, in both cases, where the
manure reached. It looked quite curious. No clover-seed was sown, and
yet there was as fine a crop of clover as one could desire.

On looking into the matter more closely, we found that there was more or
less clover all over the field, but where the manure was not used, it
could hardly be seen. The plants were small, and the timothy hid them
from view. But where the manure was used, these plants of clover had
been stimulated in their growth until they covered the ground. The
leaves were broad and vigorous, while in the other case they were small,
and almost dried up. This is probably the right explanation. The manure
did not “bring in the clover;” it simply increased the growth of that
already in the soil. It shows the value of manure for grass.

This is what Mr. Johnston wanted to show me. “I might have written and
told you, but you would not have got a clear idea of the matter.” This
is true. One had to see the great luxuriance of that piece of clover to
fully appreciate the effect of the manure. Mr. J. said the manure on
that grass was worth $30 an acre--that is, on the three crops of grass,
before the field is again plowed. I have no doubt that this is true, and
that the future crops on the land will also be benefited--not directly
from the manure, perhaps, but from the clover-roots in the soil. And if
the field were pastured, the effect on future crops would be very



One of the charms and the advantages of agriculture is that a farmer
must think for himself. He should study principles, and apply them in
practice, as best suits his circumstances.

My own method of managing manure gives me many of the advantages claimed
for the Deacon’s method, and John Johnston’s, also.

“I do not understand what you mean,” said the Deacon; “my method differs
essentially from that of John Johnston.”

“True,” I replied, “you use your winter-made manure in the spring; while
Mr. Johnston piles his, and gets it thoroughly fermented; but to do
this, he has to keep it until the autumn, and it does not benefit his
corn-crop before the next summer. He loses the use of his manure for a

I think my method secures both these advantages. I get my winter-made
manure fermented and in good condition, and yet have it ready for spring

In the first place, I should remark that my usual plan is to cut up all
the fodder for horses, cows, and sheep. For horses, I sometimes use long
straw for bedding, but, as a rule, I prefer to run everything through a
feed-cutter. We do not steam the food, and we let the cows and sheep
have a liberal supply of cut corn-stalks and straw, and what they do not
eat is thrown out of the mangers and racks, and used for bedding.

I should state, too, that I keep a good many pigs, seldom having less
than 50 breeding sows. My pigs are mostly sold at from two to four
months old, but we probably average 150 head the year round. A good deal
of my manure, therefore, comes from the pig-pens, and from two basement
cellars, where my store hogs sleep in winter.

In addition to the pigs, we have on the farm from 150 to 200 Cotswold
and grade sheep; 10 cows, and 8 horses. These are our manure makers.

The raw material from which the manure is manufactured consists of
wheat, barley, rye, and oat-straw, corn-stalks, corn-fodder, clover and
timothy-hay, clover seed-hay, bean-straw, pea-straw, potato-tops,
mangel-wurzel, turnips, rape, and mustard. These are all raised on the
farm; and, in addition to the home-grown oats, peas, and corn, we buy
and feed out considerable quantities of bran, shorts, fine-middlings,
malt-combs, corn-meal, and a little oil-cake. I sell wheat, rye, barley,
and clover-seed, apples, and potatoes, and sometimes cabbages and
turnips. Probably, on the average, for each $100 I receive from the sale
of these crops, I purchase $25 worth of bran, malt-combs, corn-meal, and
other feed for animals. My farm is now rapidly increasing in fertility
and productiveness. The crops, on the average, are certainly at least
double what they were when I bought the farm thirteen years ago; and
much of this increase has taken place during the last five or six years,
and I expect to see still greater improvement year by year.

“Never mind all that,” said the Deacon; “we all know that manure will
enrich land, and I will concede that your farm has greatly improved, and
can not help but improve if you continue to make and use as much

“I expect to make more and more manure every year,” said I. “The larger
the crops, the more manure we can make; and the more manure we make, the
larger the crops.”

The real point of difference between my plan of managing manure, and the
plan adopted by the Deacon, is essentially this: I aim to keep all my
manure in a compact pile, where it will slowly ferment all winter. The
Deacon throws his horse-manure into a heap, just outside the stable
door, and the cow-manure into another heap, and the pig-manure into
another heap. These heaps are more or less scattered, and are exposed to
the rain, and snow, and frost. The horse-manure is quite likely to
ferment too rapidly, and if in a large heap, and the weather is warm, it
not unlikely “fire-fangs” in the center of the heap. On the other hand,
the cow-manure lies cold and dead, and during the winter freezes into
solid lumps.

I wheel or cart all my manure into one central heap. The main object is
to keep it as compact as possible. There are two advantages in this:
1st, the manure is less exposed to the rain, and (2d), when freezing
weather sets in, only a few inches of the external portion of the heap
is frozen. I have practised this plan for several years, and can keep my
heap of manure slowly fermenting during the whole winter.

But in order to ensure this result, it is necessary to begin making the
heap before winter sets in. The plan is this:

Having selected the spot in the yard most convenient for making the
heap, collect all the manure that can be found in the sheepyards, sheds,
cow and horse stables, pig-pens, and hen-house, together with leaves,
weeds, and refuse from the garden, and wheel or cart it to the intended
heap. If you set a farm-man to do the work, tell him you want to make a
hot-bed about five feet high, six feet wide, and six feet long. I do not
think I have ever seen a farm where enough material could not be found,
say in November, to make such a heap. And this is all that is needed. If
the manure is rich, if it is obtained from animals eating clover-hay,
bran, grain, or other food rich in nitrogen, it will soon ferment. But
if the manure is poor, consisting largely of straw, it will be very
desirable to make it richer by mixing with it bone-dust, blood,
hen-droppings, woollen rags, chamber-lye, and animal matter of any kind
that you can find.

The richer you can make the manure, the more readily will it ferment.
A good plan is to take the horse or sheep manure, a few weeks previous,
and use it for bedding the pigs. It will absorb the liquid of the pigs,
and make rich manure, which will soon ferment when placed in a heap.

If the manure in the heap is too dry, it is a good plan, when you are
killing hogs, to throw on to the manure all the warm water, hair, blood,
intestines, etc. You may think I am making too much of such a simple
matter, but I have had letters from farmers who have tried this plan of
managing manure, and they say that they can not keep it from freezing.
One reason for this is, that they do not start the heap early enough,
and do not take pains to get the manure into an active fermentation
before winter sets in. Much depends on this. In starting a fire, you
take pains to get a little fine, dry wood, that will burn readily, and
when the fire is fairly going, put on larger sticks, and presently you
have such a fire that you can burn wood, coal, stubble, sods, or
anything you wish. And so it is with a manure-heap. Get the fire, or
fermentation, or, more strictly speaking, putrefaction fairly started,
and there will be little trouble, if the heap is large enough, and fresh
material is added from time to time, of continuing the fermentation all

Another point to be observed, and especially in cold weather, is to keep
the sides of the heap straight, and the _top level_. You must expose the
manure in the heap as little as possible to frost and cold winds. The
rule should be to spread every wheel-barrowful of manure as soon as it
is put on the heap. If left unspread on top of the heap, it will freeze;
and if afterwards covered with other manure, it will require
considerable heat to melt it, and thus reduce the temperature of the
whole heap.

It is far less work to manage a heap of manure in this way than may be
supposed from my description of the plan. The truth is, I find, in point
of fact, that it is _not_ an easy thing to manage manure in this way;
and I fear not one farmer in ten will succeed the first winter he
undertakes it, unless he gives it his personal attention. It is well
worth trying, however, because if your heap should freeze up, it will
be, at any rate, in no worse condition than if managed in the ordinary
way; and if you do succeed, even in part, you will have manure in good
condition for immediate use in the spring.

As I have said before, I keep a good many pigs. Now pigs, if fed on
slops, void a large quantity of liquid manure, and it is not always easy
to furnish straw enough to absorb it. When straw and stalks are cut into
chaff, they will absorb much more liquid than when used whole. For this
reason we usually cut all our straw and stalks. We also use the litter
from the horse-stable for bedding the store hogs, and also sometimes,
when comparatively dry, we use the refuse sheep bedding for the same
purpose. Where the sheep barn is contiguous to the pig-pens, and when
the sheep bedding can be thrown at once into the pig-pens or cellar, it
is well to use bedding freely for the sheep and lambs, and remove it
frequently, throwing it into the pig-pens. I do not want my sheep to be
compelled to eat up the straw and corn-stalks too close. I want them to
pick out what they like, and then throw away what they leave in the
troughs for bedding. Sometimes we take out a five-bushel basketful of
these direct from the troughs, for bedding young pigs, or sows and pigs
in the pens, but as a rule, we use them first for bedding the sheep, and
then afterwards use the sheep bedding in the fattening or store

“And sometimes,” remarked the Deacon, “you use a little long straw for
your young pigs to sleep on, so that they can bury themselves in the
straw and keep warm.”

“True,” I replied, “and it is not a bad plan, but we are not now talking
about the management of pigs, but how we treat our manure, and how we
manage to have it ferment all winter.”

A good deal of our pig-manure is, to borrow a phrase from the
pomologists, “double-worked.” It is horse or sheep-manure, used for
bedding pigs and cows. It is saturated with urine, and is much richer in
nitrogenous material than ordinary manure, and consequently will ferment
or putrefy much more rapidly. Usually pig-manure is considered “cold,”
or sluggish, but this doubleworked pig-manure will ferment even more
rapidly than sheep or horse-manure alone.

Unmixed cow-manure is heavy and cold, and when kept in a heap by itself
out of doors, is almost certain to freeze up solid during the winter.

We usually wheel out our cow-dung every day, and spread on the manure

This is one of the things that needs attention. There will be a constant
tendency to put all the cow-dung together, instead of mixing it with the
lighter and more active manure from the horses, sheep, and pigs. Spread
it out and cover it with some of the more strawy manure, which is not so
liable to freeze.

Should it so happen--as will most likely be the case--that on looking at
your heap some morning when the thermometer is below zero, you find that
several wheel-barrowfuls of manure that were put on the heap the day
before, were not spread, and are now crusted over with ice, it will be
well to break up the barrowfuls, even if necessary to use a crowbar, and
place the frozen lumps of manure on the outside of the heap, rather than
to let them lie in the center of the pile. Your aim should be always to
keep the center of the heap warm and in a state of fermentation. You do
not want the fire to go out, and it will not go out if the heap is
properly managed, even should all the sides and top be crusted over with
a layer of frozen manure.

During very severe weather, and when the top is frozen, it is a good
plan, when you are about to wheel some fresh manure on to the heap, to
remove a portion of the frozen crust on top of the heap, near the
center, and make a hole for the fresh manure, which should be spread and
covered up.

When the heap is high enough, say five feet, we commence another heap
alongside. In doing this, our plan is to clean out some of the
sheep-sheds or pig-pens, where the manure has accumulated for some time.
This gives us much more than the daily supply. Place this manure on the
outside of the new heap, and then take a quantity of hot, fermenting,
manure from the middle of the old heap, and throw it into the center of
the new heap, and then cover it up with the fresh manure. I would put in
eight or ten bushels, or as much as will warm up the center of the new
heap, and start fermentation. The colder the weather, the more of this
hot manure should you take from the old heap--the more the better. Fresh
manure should be added to the old heap to fill up the hole made by the
removal of the hot manure.

“You draw out a great many loads of manure during the winter,” said the
Deacon, “and pile it in the field, and I have always thought it a good
plan, as you do the work when there is little else to do, and when the
ground is frozen.”

Yes, this is an improvement on my old plan. I formerly used to turn over
the heap of manure in the barn-yard in March, or as soon as fermentation
had ceased.

The object of turning the heap is (1st,) to mix the manure and make it
of uniform quality; (2d,) to break the lumps and make the manure fine;
and (3d,) to lighten up the manure and make it loose, thus letting in
the air and inducing a second fermentation. It is a good plan, and well
repays for the labor. In doing the work, build up the end and sides of
the new heap straight, and keep the top flat. Have an eye on the man
doing the work, and see that he breaks up the manure and mixes it
thoroughly, and that he _goes to the bottom of the heap_.

My new plan that the Deacon alludes to, is, instead of turning the heap
in the yard, to draw the manure from the heap in the yard, and pile it
up in another heap in the field where it is to be used. This has all the
effects of turning, and at the same time saves a good deal of team-work
in the spring.

  [Illustration: _A, B, Manure Heaps; C, D, E, Ridges, 2½ ft. apart._]

The location of the manure-heap in the field deserves some
consideration. If the manure is to be used for root-crops or potatoes,
and if the land is to be ridged, and the manure put in the ridges, then
it will be desirable to put the heap on the headland, or, better still,
to make two heaps, one on the headland top of the field, and the other
on the headland at the bottom of the field, as shown in the annexed

We draw the manure with a cart, the horse walking between two of the
ridges (D), and the wheels of the cart going in C and E. The manure is
pulled out at the back end of the cart into small heaps, about five
paces apart.

“That is what I object to with you agricultural writers,” said the
Doctor; “you say ‘about five paces,’ and sometimes ‘about five paces’
would mean 4 yards, and sometimes 6 yards; and if you put 10 tons of
manure per acre in the one case, you would put 15 tons in the
other--which makes quite a difference in the dose.”

The Doctor is right. Let us figure a little. If your cart holds 20
bushels, and if the manure weighs 75 lbs. to the bushel, and you wish to
put on 10 tons of manure per acre, or 1,500 bushels, or 13⅓ cart-loads,
then, as there are 43,560 square feet in an acre, you want a bushel of
manure to 29 square feet, or say a space 2 yards long, by nearly 5 feet

Now, as our ridges are 2½ feet apart, and as our usual plan is to manure
5 ridges at a time, or 12½ feet wide, a load of 20 bushels of manure
will go over a space 46½ feet long, nearly, or say 15½ yards; and so,
a load would make 3 heaps, 15½ feet apart, and there would be 6⅔ bushels
in each heap.

If the manure is to be spread on the surface of the land, there is no
necessity for placing the heap on the headland. You can make the heap or
heaps. --“Where most convenient,” broke in the Deacon. --“No, not by any
means,” I replied; “for if that was the rule, the men would certainly
put the heap just where it happened to be the least trouble for them to
draw and throw off the loads.”

The aim should be to put the heap just where it will require the least
labor to draw the manure on to the land in the spring.

On what we call “rolling,” or hilly land, I would put the heap on the
highest land, so that in the spring the horses would be going down hill
with the full carts or wagons. Of course, it would be very unwise to
adopt this plan if the manure was not drawn from the yards until spring,
when the land was soft; but I am now speaking of drawing out the manure
in the winter, when there is sleighing, or when the ground is frozen. No
farmer will object to a little extra labor for the teams in the winter,
if it will save work and time in the spring.

  [Illustration: _Field, 40×20 Rods, showing Position of two Heaps of
  Manure, a, a._]

If the land is level, then the heap or heaps should be placed where the
least distance will have to be traveled in drawing the manure from the
heap to the land. If there is only one heap, the best point would be in
the center of the field. If two heaps, and the field is longer than it
is broad, say 20 rods wide, and 40 rods long, then the heaps should be
made as shown on the previous page.

If the field is square, say 40 × 40 rods, and we can have four heaps of
manure, then, other things being equal, the best points for the heaps
are shown in the annexed figure:

  [Illustration: _Field, 40×40 Rods, showing Position of four Heaps of
  Manure, a, a, a, a._]

Having determined where to make the heaps, the next question is in
regard to size. We make one about 8 feet wide and 6 feet high, the
length being determined by the quantity of the manure we have to draw.
In cold weather, it is well to finish the heap each day as far as you
go, so that the sloping side at the end of the heap will not be frozen
during the night. Build up the sides square, so that the top of the heap
shall be as broad as the bottom. You will have to see that this is done,
for the average farm-man, if left to himself, will certainly narrow up
the heap like the roof of a house. The reason he does this is that he
throws the manure from the load into the center of the heap, and he can
not build up the sides straight and square without getting on to the
heap occasionally, and placing a layer round the outsides. He should be
instructed, too, to break up the lumps, and mix the manure, working it
over until it is loose and fine. It there are any frozen masses of
manure, place them on the east or south outside, and not in the middle
of the heap.

If there is any manure in the sheds, or basements, or cellars, or
pig-pens, clean it out, and draw it at once to the pile in the field,
and mix it with the manure you are drawing from the heap in the yard.

We generally draw with two teams and three wagons. We have one man to
fill the wagon in the yard, and two men to drive and unload. When the
man comes back from the field, he places his empty wagon by the side of
the heap in the yard, and takes off the horses and puts them to the
loaded wagon, and drives to the heap in the field. If we have men and
teams enough, we draw with three teams and three wagons. In this case,
we put a reliable man at the heap, who helps the driver to unload, and
sees that the heap is built properly. The driver helps the man in the
yard to load up. In the former plan, we have two teams and three men; in
the latter case, we have three teams and five men, and as we have two
men loading and unloading, instead of one, we ought to draw out double
the quantity of manure in a day. If the weather is cold and windy, we
put the blankets on the horses under the harness, so that they will not
be chilled while standing at the heap in the yard or field. They will
trot back lively with the empty wagon or sleigh, and the work will
proceed briskly, and the manure be less exposed to the cold.

“You do not,” said the Doctor, “draw the manure on to the heap with a
cart, and dump it, as I have seen it done in England?”

I did so a few years ago, and might do so again if I was piling manure
in the spring, to be kept over summer for use in the fall. The
compression caused by drawing the cart over the manure, has a tendency
to exclude the air and thus retard fermentation. In the winter there is
certainly no necessity for resorting to any means for checking
fermentation. In the spring or summer it may be well to compress the
heap a little, but not more, I think, than can be done by the trampling
of the workman in spreading the manure on the heap.

“You do not,” said the Doctor, “adopt the old-fashioned English plan of
keeping your manure in a basin in the barn-yard, and yet I should think
it has some advantages.”

“I practised it here,” said I, “for some years. I plowed and scraped a
large hole or basin in the yard four or five feet deep, with a gradual
slope at one end for convenience in drawing out the loads--the other
sides being much steeper. I also made a tank at the bottom to hold the
drainage, and had a pump in it to pump the liquid back on to the heap in
dry weather. We threw or wheeled the manure from the stables and
pig-pens into this basin, but I did not like the plan, for two reasons:
(1,) the manure being spread over so large a surface froze during
winter, and (2,) during the spring there was so much water in the basin
that it checked fermentation.”

Now, instead of spreading it all over the basin, we commenced a small
heap on one of the sloping sides of the basin; with a horse and cart we
drew to this heap, just as winter set in, every bit of manure that could
be found on the premises, and everything that would make manure. When
got all together, it made a heap seven or eight feet wide, twenty feet
long, and three or four feet high. We then laid planks on the heap, and
every day, as the pig-pens, cow and horse stables were cleaned out, the
manure was wheeled on to the heap and shaken out and spread about. The
heap soon commenced to ferment, and when the cold weather set in,
although the sides and some parts of the top froze a little, the inside
kept quite warm. Little chimneys were formed in the heap, where the heat
and steam escaped. Other parts of the heap would be covered with a thin
crust of frozen manure. By taking a few forkfuls of the latter, and
placing them on the top of the “chimneys,” they checked the escape of
steam, and had a tendency to distribute the heat to other parts of the
heap. In this way the fermentation became more general throughout all
the mass, and not so violent at any one spot.

“But why be at all this trouble?”--For several reasons. First. It saves
labor in the end. Two hours’ work, in winter, will save three hours’
work in the spring. And three hours’ work in the spring is worth more
than four hours’ work in the winter. So that we save half the expense of
handling the manure. 2d. When manure is allowed to lie scattered about
over a large surface, it is liable to have much of its value washed out
by the rain. In a compact heap of this kind, the rain or snow that falls
on it is not more than the manure needs to keep it moist enough for
fermentation. 3d. There is as much fascination in this fermenting heap
of manure as there is in having money in a savings bank. One is
continually trying to add to it. Many a cart-load or wheel-barrowful of
material will be deposited that would otherwise be allowed to run to
waste. 4th. The manure, if turned over in February or March, will be in
capital order for applying to root crops; or if your hay and straw
contains weed-seeds, the manure will be in good condition to spread as a
top-dressing on grass-land early in the spring. This, I think, is better
than keeping it in the yards all summer, and then drawing it out on the
grass land in September. You gain six months’ or a year’s time. You get
a splendid growth of rich grass, and the red-root seeds will germinate
next September just as well as if the manure was drawn out at that time.
If the manure is drawn out early in the spring, and spread out
immediately, and then harrowed two or three times with a Thomas’
smoothing-harrow, there is no danger of its imparting a rank flavor to
the grass. I know from repeated trials that when part of a pasture is
top-dressed, cows and sheep will keep it much more closely cropped down
than the part which has not been manured. The idea to the contrary
originated from not spreading the manure evenly.

“But why ferment the manure at all? Why not draw it out fresh from the
yards? Does fermentation increase the amount of plant-food in the
manure?”--No. But it renders the plant-food in the manure more
immediately available. It makes it more soluble. We ferment manure for
the same reason that we decompose bone-dust or mineral phosphates with
sulphuric acid, and convert them into superphosphate, or for the same
reason that we grind our corn and cook the meal. These processes add
nothing to the amount of plant-food in the bones or the nutriment in the
corn. They only increase its availability. So in fermenting manure. When
the liquid and solid excrements from well-fed animals, with the straw
necessary to absorb the liquid, are placed in a heap, fermentation sets
in and soon effects very important changes in the nature and composition
of the materials. The insoluble woody fibre of the straw is decomposed
and converted into humic and ulmic acids. These are insoluble; and when
manure consists almost wholly of straw or corn stalks, there would be
little gained by fermenting it. But when there is a good proportion of
manure from well fed animals in the heap, carbonate of ammonia is formed
from the nitrogenous compounds in the manure, and this ammonia unites
with the humic and ulmic acids and forms humate and ulmate of ammonia.
These ammoniacal salts are soluble in water--as the brown color of the
drainings of a manure heap sufficiently indicates.

Properly fermented manure, therefore, of good quality, is a much more
active and immediately useful fertilizer than fresh, unfermented manure.
There need be no loss of ammonia from evaporation, and the manure is far
less bulky, and costs far less labor to draw out and spread. The only
loss that is likely to occur is from leaching, and this must be
specially guarded against.




However much farmers may differ in regard to the advantages or
disadvantages of fermenting manure, I have never met with one who
contended that it was good, either in theory or practice, to leave
manure for months, scattered over a barn-yard, exposed to the spring and
autumn rains, and to the summer’s sun and wind. All admit that, if it is
necessary to leave manure in the yards, it should be either thrown into
a basin, or put into a pile or heap, where it will be compact, and not
much exposed.

We did not need the experiments of Dr. Vœlcker to convince us that there
was great waste in leaving manure exposed to the leaching action of our
heavy rains. We did not know exactly how much we lost, but we knew it
must be considerable. No one advocates the practice of exposing manure,
and it is of no use to discuss the matter. All will admit that it is
unwise and wasteful to allow manure to lie scattered and exposed over
the barn-yards any longer than is absolutely necessary.

We should either draw it directly to the field and use it, or we should
make it into a compact heap, where it will not receive more rain than is
needed to keep it moist.

One reason for piling manure, therefore, is to preserve it from loss,
until we wish to use it on the land.

“We all admit that,” said the Deacon, “but is there anything actually
gained by fermenting it in the heap?”--In one sense, no; but in another,
and very important sense, yes. When we cook corn-meal for our little
pigs, we add nothing to it. We have no more meal after it is cooked than
before. There are no more starch, or oil, or nitrogenous matters in the
meal, but we think the pigs can digest the food more readily. And so, in
fermenting manure, we add nothing to it; there is no more actual
nitrogen, or phosphoric acid, or potash, or any other ingredient after
fermentation than there was before, but these ingredients are rendered
more soluble, and can be more rapidly taken up by the plants. In this
sense, therefore, there is a great gain.

One thing is certain, we do not, in many cases, get anything like as
much benefit from our manure as the ingredients it contains would lead
us to expect.

Mr. Lawes, on his clayey soil at Rothamsted, England, has grown over
thirty crops of wheat, year after year, on the same land. One plot has
received 14 tons of barn-yard manure per acre every year, and yet the
produce from this plot is no larger, and, in fact, is frequently much
less, than from a few hundred pounds of artificial manure containing far
less nitrogen.

For nineteen years, 1852 to 1870, some of the plots have received the
same manure year after year. The following shows the _average_ yield for
the nineteen years:
                                              _Wheat       _Straw
                                              per acre._   per acre._
  Plot 5.--Mixed mineral manure, alone         17 bus.      15 cwt.
    ”  6.--Mixed mineral manure, and 200
             lbs. ammoniacal salts             27 bus.      25 cwt.
    ”  7.--Mixed mineral manure, and 400
             lbs. ammoniacal salts             36 bus.      36 cwt.
    ”  9.--Mixed mineral manure, and 550
             lbs. nitrate of soda              37 bus.      41 cwt.
    ”  2.--14 tons farm-yard dung              36 bus.      34 cwt.

The 14 tons (31,360 lbs.) of farm-yard manure contained about 8,540 lbs.
organic matter, 868 lbs. mineral matter, and 200 lbs. nitrogen. The 400
lbs. of ammoniacal salts, and the 550 lbs. nitrate of soda, each
contained 82 lbs. of nitrogen; and it will be seen that this 82 lbs. of
nitrogen produced as great an effect as the 200 lbs. of nitrogen in
barn-yard manure.

Similar experiments have been made on barley, with even more striking
results. The plot dressed with 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime, and 200
lbs. ammoniacal salts per acre, produced as large a crop as 14 tons of
farm-yard manure. The average yield of barley for nineteen crops grown
on the same land each year was 48 bus. and 28 cwt. of straw per acre on
both plots. In other words, 41 lbs. of nitrogen, in ammoniacal salts,
produced as great an effect as 200 lbs. of nitrogen in farm-yard manure!
During the nineteen years, one plot had received 162,260 lbs. of organic
matter, 16,492 lbs. of mineral matter, and 3,800 lbs. of nitrogen; while
the other had received only 5,700 lbs. mineral matter, and 779 lbs. of
nitrogen--and yet one has produced as large a crop as the other.

Why this difference? It will not do to say that more nitrogen was
applied in the farm-yard manure than was needed. Mr. Lawes says: “For
some years, an amount of ammonia-salts, containing 82 lbs. of nitrogen,
was applied to one series of plots (of barley), but this was found to be
too much, the crop generally being too heavy and laid. Yet probably
about 200 lbs. of nitrogen was annually supplied in the dung, but with
it there was no over-luxuriance, and no more crop, than where 41 lbs. of
nitrogen was supplied in the form of ammonia or nitric acid.”

It would seem that there can be but one explanation of these
accurately-ascertained facts. The nitrogenous matter in the manure is
not in an available condition. It is in the manure, but the plants can
not take it up until it is decomposed and rendered soluble. Dr. Vœlcker
analyzed “perfectly fresh horse-dung,” and found that of _free_ ammonia
there was not more than one pound in 15 tons! And yet these 15 tons
contained nitrogen enough to furnish 140 lbs. of ammonia.

“But,” it may be asked, “will not this fresh manure decompose in the
soil, and furnish ammonia?” In light, sandy soil, I presume it will do
so to a considerable extent. We know that clay mixed with manure retards
fermentation, but sand mixed with manure accelerates fermentation. This,
at any rate, is the case when sand is added in small quantities to a
heap of fermenting manure. But I do not suppose it would have the same
effect when a small quantity of manure is mixed with a large amount of
sand, as is the case when manure is applied to land, and plowed under.
At any rate, practical farmers, with almost entire unanimity, think
well-rotted manure is better for sandy land than fresh manure.

As to how rapidly, or rather how slowly, manure decomposes in a rather
heavy loamy soil, the above experiments of Mr. Lawes afford very
conclusive, but at the same time very discouraging evidence. During the
19 years, 3,800 lbs. of nitrogen, and 16,492 lbs. of mineral matter, in
the form of farm-yard manure, were applied to an acre of land, and the
19 crops of barley in grain and straw removed only 3,724 lbs. of mineral
matter, and 1,064 lbs. of nitrogen. The soil now contains, unless it has
drained away, 1,736 lbs. more nitrogen per acre than it did when the
experiments commenced. And yet 41 lbs. of nitrogen in an _available
condition_ is sufficient to produce a good large crop of barley, and 82
lbs. per acre furnished more than the plants could organize.

“Those are very interesting experiments,” said the Doctor, “and show why
it is that our farmers can afford to pay a higher price for nitrogen and
phosphoric acid in superphosphate, and other artificial manures, than
for the same amount of nitrogen and phosphoric acid in stable-manure.”

We will not discuss this point at present. What I want to ascertain is,
whether we can not find some method of making our farm-yard manure more
readily available. Piling it up, and letting it ferment, is one method
of doing this, though I think other methods will yet be discovered.
Possibly it will be found that spreading well-rotted manure on the
surface of the land will be one of the most practical and simplest
methods of accomplishing this object.

“We pile the manure, therefore,” said Charley, “first, because we do not
wish it to lie exposed to the rain in the yards, and, second, because
fermenting it in the heap renders it more soluble, and otherwise more
available for the crops, when applied to the land.”

That is it exactly, and another reason for piling manure is, that the
fermentation greatly reduces its bulk, and we have less labor to perform
in drawing it out and spreading it. Ellwanger & Barry, who draw several
thousand loads of stable-manure every year, and pile it up to ferment,
tell me that it takes three loads of fresh manure to make one load of
rotted manure. This, of course, has reference to bulk, and not weight.
Three tons of fresh barn-yard manure, according to the experiments of
Dr. Vœlcker, will make about two tons when well rotted. Even this is a
great saving of labor, and the rotted manure can be more easily spread,
and mixed more thoroughly with the soil--a point of great importance.

“Another reason for fermenting manure,” said the Squire, “is the
destruction of weed-seeds.”

“That is true,” said I, “and a very important reason; but I try not to
think about this method of killing weed-seeds. It is a great deal better
to kill the weeds. There can be no doubt that a fermenting manure-heap
will kill many of the weed-seeds, but enough will usually escape to
re-seed the land.”

It is fortunate, however, that the best means to kill weed-seeds in the
manure, are also the best for rendering the manure most efficient. I was
talking to John Johnston on this subject a few days ago. He told me how
he piled manure in his yards.

“I commence,” he said, “where the heap is intended to be, and throw the
manure on one side, until the bare ground is reached.”

“What is the use of that?” I asked.

“If you do not do so,” he replied, “there will be some portion of the
manure under the heap that will be so compact that it will not ferment,
and the weed-seeds will not be killed.”

“You think,” said I, “that weed-seeds can be killed in this way?”

“I know they can,” he replied, “but the heap must be carefully made, so
that it will ferment evenly, and when the pile is turned, the bottom and
sides should be thrown into the center of the heap.”


If you throw a quantity of fresh horse-manure into a loose heap,
fermentation proceeds with great rapidity. Much heat is produced, and if
the manure is under cover, or there is not rain enough to keep the heap
moist, the manure will “fire-fang” and a large proportion of the
carbonate of ammonia produced by the fermentation will escape into the
atmosphere and be lost.

As I have said before, we use our horse-manure for bedding the store and
fattening pigs. We throw the manure every morning and evening, when the
stable is cleaned out, into an empty stall near the door of the stable,
and there it remains until wanted to bed the pigs. We find it is
necessary to remove it frequently, especially in the summer, as
fermentation soon sets in, and the escape of the ammonia is detected by
its well known pungent smell. Throw this manure into the pig-cellar and
let the pigs trample it down, and there is no longer any escape of
ammonia. At any rate, I have never perceived any. Litmus paper will
detect ammonia in an atmosphere containing only one seventy-five
thousandth part of it; and, as Prof. S. W. Johnson once remarked, “It is
certain that a healthy nose is not far inferior in delicacy to litmus
paper.” I feel sure that no ammonia escapes from this horse-manure after
it is trampled down by the pigs, although it contains an additional
quantity of “potential ammonia” from the liquid and solid droppings of
these animals.

Water has a strong attraction for ammonia. One gallon of ice-cold water
will absorb 1,150 gallons of ammonia.

If the manure, therefore, is moderately moist, the ammonia is not likely
to escape. Furthermore, as Dr. Vœlcker has shown us, during the
fermentation of the manure in a heap, ulmic and humic, crenic and
apocrenic acids are produced, and these unite with the ammonia and “fix”
it--in other words, they change it from a volatile gas into a
non-volatile salt.

If the heap of manure, therefore, is moist enough and large enough, all
the evidence goes to show, that there is little or no loss of ammonia.
If the centre of the heap gets so hot and so dry that the ammonia is not
retained, there is still no necessity for loss.

The sides of the heap are cool and moist, and will retain the carbonate
of ammonia, the acids mentioned also coming into play.

The ammonia is much more likely to escape from the top of the heap than
from the sides. The heat and steam form little chimneys, and when a
fermenting manure-heap is covered with snow, these little chimneys are
readily seen. If you think the manure is fermenting too rapidly, and
that the ammonia is escaping, trample the manure down firmly about the
chimneys, thus closing them up, and if need be, or if convenient, throw
more manure on top, or throw on a few pailfuls of water.

It is a good plan, too, where convenient, to cover the heap with soil.
I sometimes do this when piling manure in the field, not from fear of
losing ammonia, but in order to retain moisture in the heap. With proper
precautions, I think we may safely dismiss the idea of any serious loss
of ammonia from fermenting manure.


As we have endeavored to show, there is little danger of losing ammonia
by keeping and fermenting manure. But this is not the only question to
be considered. We have seen that in 10,000 lbs. of fresh farm-yard
manure, there is about 64 lbs. of nitrogen. Of this, about 15 lbs. are
soluble, and 49 lbs. insoluble. Of mineral matter, we have in this
quantity of manure, 559 lbs., of which 154 lbs. are soluble in water,
and 405 lbs. insoluble. If we had a heap of five tons of fermenting
manure in a stable, the escape of half an ounce of carbonate of ammonia
would make a tremendous smell, and we should at once use means to check
the escape of this precious substance. But it will be seen that we have
in this five tons of fresh manure, nitrogenous matter, capable of
forming over 180 lbs. of carbonate of ammonia, over 42 lbs. of which is
in a soluble condition. This may be leached day after day, slowly and
imperceptibly, with no heat, or smell, to attract attention.

How often do we see manure lying under the eaves of an unspouted shed or
barn, where one of our heavy showers will saturate it in a few minutes,
and yet where it will lie for hours, and days, and weeks, until it would
seem that a large proportion of its soluble matter would be washed out
of it! The loss is unquestionably very great, and would be greater if it
were not for the coarse nature of the material, which allows the water
to pass through it rapidly and without coming in direct contact with
only the outside portions of the particles of hay, straw, etc., of which
the manure is largely composed. If the manure was ground up very fine,
as it would be when prepared for analysis, the loss of soluble matter
would be still more serious. Or, if the manure was first fermented, so
that the particles of matter would be more or less decomposed and broken
up fine, the rain would wash out a large amount of soluble matter, and
prove much more injurious than if the manure was fresh and unfermented.

“That is an argument,” said the Deacon, “against your plan of piling and
fermenting manure.”

“Not at all,” I replied; “it is a strong reason for not letting manure
lie under the eaves of an unspouted building--especially _good_ manure,
that is made from rich food. The better the manure, the more it will
lose from bad management. I have never recommended any one to pile their
manure where it would receive from ten to twenty times as much water as
would fall on the surface of the heap.”

“But you do recommend piling manure and fermenting it in the open air
and keeping the top flat, so that it will catch all the rain, and I
think your heaps must sometimes get pretty well soaked.”

“Soaking the heap of manure,” I replied, “does not wash out any of its
soluble matter, _provided_ you carry the matter no further than the
point of saturation. The water may, and doubtless does, wash out the
soluble matter from some portions of the manure, but if the water does
not filter through the heap, but is all absorbed by the manure, there is
no loss. It is when the water passes through the heap that it runs away
with our soluble nitrogenous and mineral matter, and with any ready
formed ammonia it may find in the manure.”

How to keep cows tied up in the barn, and at the same time save all the
urine, is one of the most difficult problems I have to deal with in the
management of manure on my farm. The best plan I have yet tried is, to
throw horse-manure, or sheep-manure, back of the cows, where it will
receive and absorb the urine. The plan works well, but it is a question
of labor, and the answer will depend on the arrangement of the
buildings. If the horses are kept near the cows, it will be little
trouble to throw the horse-litter, every day, under or back of the cows.

In my own case, my cows are kept in a basement, with a tight barn-floor
overhead. When this barn-floor is occupied with sheep, we keep them
well-bedded with straw, and it is an easy matter to throw this soiled
bedding down to the cow-stable below, where it is used to absorb the
urine of the cows, and is then wheeled out to the manure-heap in the

At other times, we use dry earth as an absorbent.



Farms devoted principally to dairying ought to be richer and more
productive than farms largely devoted to the production of grain.

Nearly all the produce of the farm is used to feed the cows, and little
is sold but milk, or cheese, or butter.

When butter alone is sold, there ought to be no loss of fertilizing
matter--as pure butter or oil contains no nitrogen, phosphoric acid, or
potash. It contains nothing but carbonaceous matter, which can be
removed from the farm without detriment.

And even in the case of milk, or cheese, the advantage is all on the
side of the dairyman, as compared with the grain-grower. A dollar’s
worth of milk or cheese removes far less nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and
potash, than a dollar’s worth of wheat or other grain. Five hundred lbs.
of cheese contains about 25 lbs. of nitrogen, and 20 lbs. of mineral
matter. A cow that would make this amount of cheese would eat not less
than six tons of hay, or its equivalent in grass or grain, in a year.
And this amount of food, supposing it to be half clover and half
ordinary meadow-hay, would contain 240 lbs. of nitrogen and 810 lbs. of
mineral matter. In other words, a cow eats 240 lbs. of nitrogen, and 25
lbs. are removed in the cheese, or not quite 10½ per cent, and of
mineral matter not quite 2½ per cent is removed. If it takes three acres
to produce this amount of food, there will be 8⅓ lbs. of nitrogen
removed by the cheese, per acre, while 30 bushels of wheat would remove
in the grain 32 lbs. of nitrogen, and 10 to 15 lbs. in the straw. So
that a crop of wheat removes from five to six times as much nitrogen per
acre as a crop of cheese; and the removal of mineral matter in cheese is
quite insignificant as compared with the amount removed in a crop of
wheat or corn. If our grain-growing farmers can keep up the fertility of
their land, as they undoubtedly can, the dairymen ought to be making
theirs richer and more productive every year.

“All that is quite true,” said the Doctor, “and yet from what I have
seen and heard, the farms in the dairy districts, do not, as a rule,
show any rapid improvement. In fact, we hear it often alleged that the
soil is becoming exhausted of phosphates, and that the quantity and
quality of the grass is deteriorating.”

“There may be some truth in this,” said I, “and yet I will hazard the
prediction that in no other branch of agriculture shall we witness a
more decided improvement during the next twenty-five years than on farms
largely devoted to the dairy. Grain-growing farmers, like our friend the
Deacon, here, who sells his grain and never brings home a load of
manure, and rarely buys even a ton of bran to feed to stock, and who
sells more or less hay, must certainly be impoverishing their soils of
phosphates much more rapidly than the dairyman who consumes nearly all
his produce on the farm, and sells little except milk, butter, cheese,
young calves, and old cows.”

“Bones had a wonderful effect,” said the Doctor, “on the old pastures in
the dairy district of Cheshire in England.”

“Undoubtedly,” I replied, “and so they will here, and so would
well-rotted manure. There is nothing in this fact to prove that dairying
specially robs the soil of phosphates. It is not phosphates that the
dairyman needs so much as richer manure.”

“What would you add to the manure to make it richer?” asked the Doctor.

“Nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash,” I replied.

“But how?” asked the Deacon.

“I suppose,” said the Doctor, “by buying guano and the German potash

“That would be a good plan,” said I; “but I would do it by buying bran,
mill-feed, brewer’s-grains, malt-combs, corn-meal, oil-cake, or whatever
was best and cheapest in proportion to value. Bran or mill-feed can
often be bought at a price at which it will pay to use it freely for
manure. A few tons of bran worked into a pile of cow-dung would warm it
up and add considerably to its value. It would supply the nitrogen,
phosphoric acid, and potash, in which ordinary manure is deficient. In
short, it would convert poor manure into rich manure.”

“Well, well,” exclaimed the Deacon, “I knew you talked of mixing
dried-blood and bone-dust with your manure, but I did not think you
would advocate anything quite so extravagant as taking good, wholesome
bran and spout-feed and throwing it on to your manure-pile.”

“Why, Deacon,” said I, “we do it every day. I am putting about a ton of
spout-feed, malt-combs and corn-meal each week into my manure-pile, and
that is the reason why it ferments so readily even in the winter. It
converts my poor manure into good, rich, well-decomposed dung, one load
of which is worth three loads of your long, strawy manure.”

“Do you not wet it and let it ferment before putting it in the pile?”

“No, Deacon,” said I, “I feed the bran, malt-combs and corn-meal to the
cows, pigs, and sheep, and let them do the mixing. They work it up fine,
moisten it, break up the particles, take out the carbonaceous matter,
which we do not need for manure, and the cows and sheep and horses mix
it up thoroughly with the hay, straw, and corn-stalks, leaving the whole
in just the right condition to put into a pile to ferment or to apply
directly to the land.”

“Oh! I see,” said the Deacon, “I did not think you used bran for

“Yes, I do, Deacon,” said I, “but I use it for food _first_, and this is
precisely what I would urge you and all others to do. I feel sure that
our dairymen can well afford to buy more mill-feed, corn-meal, oil-cake,
etc., and mix it with their cow-dung--or rather, let the cows do the


I wrote to the Hon. Harris Lewis, the well-known dairyman of Herkimer
Co., N.Y., asking him some questions in regard to making and managing
manure on dairy farms. The questions will be understood from the
answers. He writes as follows:

“My Friend Harris.--This being the first leisure time I have had since
the receipt of your last letter, I devote it to answering your

“1st. I have no manure cellar.

“I bed my cows with dry basswood sawdust, saving all the liquid manure,
keeping the cows clean, and the stable odors down to a tolerable degree.
This bedding breaks up the tenacity of the cow-manure, rendering it as
easy to pulverize and manage as clear horse-manure. I would say it is
just lovely to bed cows with dry basswood sawdust. This manure, if left
in a large pile, will ferment and burn like horse-manure in about 10
days. Hence I draw it out as made where I desire to use it, leaving it
in small heaps, convenient to spread.

“My pigs and calves are bedded with straw, and this is piled and rotted
before using.

“I use most of my manure on grass land, and mangels, some on corn and
potatoes; but it pays me best, when in proper condition, to apply all I
do not need for mangels, on meadow and pasture.

“Forty loads, or about 18 to 20 cords is a homœopathic dose for an acre,
and this quantity, or more, applied once in three years to grass land,
agrees with it first rate.

“The land where I grow mangels gets about this dose every year.

“I would say that my up-land meadows have been mown twice each year for
a great many years.

“I have been using refuse salt from Syracuse, on my mangels, at the rate
of about six bushels per acre, applied broadcast in two applications. My
hen-manure is pulverized, and sifted through a common coal sieve. The
fine I use for dusting the mangels after they have been singled out, and
the lumps, if any, are used to warm up the red peppers.

“I have sometimes mixed my hen-manure with dry muck, in the proportion
of one bushel of hen-manure to 10 of muck, and received a profit from it
too big to tell of, on corn, and on mangels.

“I have sprinkled the refuse salt on my cow-stable floors sometimes, but
where all the liquid is saved, I think we have salt enough for most

“I have abandoned the use of plaster on my pastures for the reason that
milk produced on green-clover is not so good as that produced on the
grasses proper. I use all the wood ashes I can get, on my mangels as a
duster, and consider their value greater than the burners do who sell
them to me for 15 cts. a bushel. I have never used much lime, and have
not received the expected benefits from its use so far. But wood ashes
agree with my land as well as manure does. The last question you ask,
but one, is this: ‘What is the usual plan of managing manure in the
dairy districts?’ The usual method is to cut holes in the sides of the
stable, about every ten feet along the whole length of the barn behind
the cows, and pitch the manure out through these holes, under the eaves
of the barn, where it remains until too much in the way, when it is
drawn out and commonly applied to grass land in lumps as big as your
head. This practice is getting out of fashion a little now, but nearly
one-half of all the cow-manure made in Herkimer Co. is lost, wasted.

“Your last question, ‘What improvement would you suggest,’ I answer by
saying it is of no use to make any to these men, it would be wasted like
their manure.

“The market value of manure in this county is 50 cts. per big load, or
about one dollar per cord.”

“That is a capital letter,” said the Deacon. “It is right to the point,
and no nonsense about it.”

“He must make a good deal of manure,” said the Doctor, “to be able to
use 40 loads to the acre on his meadows and pastures once in three
years, and the same quantity every year on his field of mangel-wurzel.”

“That is precisely what I have been contending for,” I replied; “the
dairymen _can_ make large quantities of manure if they make an effort to
do it, and their farms ought to be constantly improving. Two crops of
hay on the same meadow, each year, will enable a farmer to keep a large
herd of cows, and make a great quantity of manure--and when you have
once got the manure, there is no difficulty in keeping up and increasing
the productiveness of the land.”


“You are right,” said the Doctor, “in saying that there is no difficulty
in keeping up and increasing the productiveness of our dairy farms, when
you have once got plenty of manure--but the difficulty is to get a good
supply of manure to start with.”

This is true, and it is comparatively slow work to bring up a farm,
unless you have plenty of capital and can buy all the artificial manure
you want. By the free use of artificial manures, you could make a farm
very productive in one or two years. But the slower and cheaper method
will be the one adopted by most of our young and intelligent dairymen.
Few of us are born with silver spoons in our mouths. We have to earn our
money before we can spend it, and we are none the worse for the

Suppose a young man has a farm of 100 acres, devoted principally to
dairying. Some of the land lies on a creek or river, while other
portions are higher and drier. In the spring of the year, a stream of
water runs through a part of the farm from the adjoining hills down to
the creek or river. The farm now supports ten head of cows, three
horses, half a dozen sheep, and a few pigs. The land is worth $75 per
acre, but does not pay the interest on half that sum. It is getting
worse instead of better. Weeds are multiplying, and the more valuable
grasses are dying out. What is to be done?

In the first place, let it be distinctly understood that the land is
_not_ exhausted. As I have before said, the productiveness of a farm
does not depend so much on the absolute amount of plant-food which the
soil contains, as on the amount of plant-food which is immediately
available for the use of the plants. An acre of land that produces half
a ton of hay, may contain as much plant-food as an acre that produces
three tons of hay. In the one case the plant-food is locked up in such a
form that the crops cannot absorb it, while in the other it is in an
available condition. I have no doubt there are fields on the farm I am
alluding to, that contain 3,000 lbs. of nitrogen, and an equal amount of
phosphoric acid, per acre, in the first six inches of the surface soil.
This is as much nitrogen as is contained in 100 tons of meadow-hay, and
more phosphoric acid than is contained in 350 tons of meadow-hay. These
are the two ingredients on which the fertility of our farms mainly
depend. And yet there are soils containing this quantity of plant-food
that do not produce more than half a ton of hay per acre.

In some fields, or parts of fields, the land is wet and the plants
cannot take up the food, even while an abundance of it is within reach.
The remedy in this case is under-draining. On other fields, the
plant-food is locked up in insoluble combinations. In this case we must
plow up the soil, pulverize it, and expose it to the oxygen of the
atmosphere. We must treat the soil as my mother used to tell me to treat
my coffee, when I complained that it was not sweet enough. “I put plenty
of sugar in,” she said, “and if you will stir it up, the coffee will be
sweeter.” The sugar lay undissolved at the bottom of the cup; and so it
is with many of our soils. There is plenty of plant-food in them, but it
needs stirring up. They contain, it may be, 3,000 lbs. of nitrogen, and
other plant-food in still greater proportion, and we are only getting a
crop that contains 18 lbs. of nitrogen a year, and of this probably the
rain supplies 9 lbs. Let us stir up the soil and see if we cannot set
100 lbs. of this 3,000 lbs. of nitrogen free, and get three tons of hay
per acre instead of half a ton. There are men who own a large amount of
valuable property in vacant city lots, who do not get enough from them
to pay their taxes. If they would sell half of them, and put buildings
on the other half, they might soon have a handsome income. And so it is
with many farmers. They have the elements of 100 tons of hay lying
dormant in every acre of their land, while they are content to receive
half a ton a year. They have property enough, but it is unproductive,
while they pay high taxes for the privilege of holding it, and high
wages for the pleasure of boarding two or three hired men.

We have, say, 3,000 lbs. of nitrogen locked up in each acre of our soil,
and we get 8 or 10 lbs. every year in rain and dew, and yet,
practically, all that we want, to make our farms highly productive, is
100 lbs. of nitrogen per acre per annum. And furthermore, it should be
remembered, that to keep our farms rich, after we have once got them
rich, it is not necessary to develope this amount of nitrogen from the
soil every year. In the case of clover-hay, the entire loss of nitrogen
in the animal and in the milk would not exceed 15 per cent, so that,
when we feed out 100 lbs. of nitrogen, we have 85 lbs. left in the
manure. We want to develope 100 lbs. of nitrogen in the soil, to enable
us to raise a good crop to start with, and when this is once done, an
annual development of 15 lbs. per acre in addition to the manure, would
keep up the productiveness of the soil. Is it not worth while,
therefore, to make an earnest effort to get started?--to get 100 lbs. of
nitrogen in the most available condition in the soil?

As I said before, this is practically all that is needed to give us
large crops. This amount of nitrogen represents about twelve tons of
average barn-yard manure--that is to say, twelve tons contains 100 lbs.
of nitrogen. But in point of fact it is not in an immediately available
condition. It would probably take at least two years before all the
nitrogen it contains would be given up to the plants. We want,
therefore, in order to give us a good start, 24 tons of barn-yard manure
on every acre of land. How to get this is the great problem which our
young dairy farmer has to solve. In the grain-growing districts we get
it in part by summer-fallowing, and I believe the dairyman might often
do the same thing with advantage. A thorough summer-fallow would not
only clean the land, but would render some of the latent plant-food
available. This will be organized in the next crop, and when the
dairyman has once got the plant-food, he has decidedly the advantage
over the grain-growing farmer in his ability to retain it. He need not
lose over 16 per cent a year of nitrogen, and not one per cent _of the
other elements of plant-food_.

The land lying on the borders of the creek could be greatly benefited by
cutting surface ditches to let off the water; and later, probably it
will be found that a few underdrains can be put in to advantage. These
alluvial soils on the borders of creeks and rivers are grand sources of
nitrogen and other plant-food. I do not know the fact, but it is quite
probable that the meadows which Harris Lewis mows twice a year, are on
the banks of the river, and are perhaps flooded in the spring. But, be
this as it may, there is a field on the farm I am alluding to, lying on
the creek, which now produces a bountiful growth of weeds, rushes, and
coarse grasses, which I am sure could easily be made to produce great
crops of hay. The creek overflows in the spring, and the water lies on
some of the lower parts of the field until it is evaporated. A few
ditches would allow all the water to pass off, and this alone would be a
great improvement. If the field was flooded in May or June, and
thoroughly cultivated and harrowed, the sod would be sufficiently rotted
to plow again in August. Then a thorough harrowing, rolling, and
cultivating, would make it as mellow as a garden, and it could be seeded
down with timothy and other good grasses the last of August, or
beginning of September, and produce a good crop of hay the next year.
Or, if thought better, it might be sown to rye and seeded down with it.
In either case the land would be greatly improved, and would be a
productive meadow or pasture for years to come--or until our young
dairyman could afford to give it one of Harris Lewis’ “homœopathic”
doses of 40 loads of good manure per acre. He would then be able to cut
two crops of hay a year--and such hay! But we are anticipating.

That stream which runs through the farm in the spring, and then dries
up, could be made to irrigate several acres of the land adjoining. This
would double, or treble, or quadruple, (“hold on,” said the Deacon,) the
crops of grass as far as the water reached. The Deacon does not seem to
credit this statement; but I have seen wonderful effects produced by
such a plan.

What I am endeavoring to show, is, that these and similar means will
give us larger crops of hay and grass, and these in turn will enable us
to keep more cows, and make more manure, and the manure will enable us
to grow larger crops on other portions of the farm.

I am aware that many will object to plowing up old grass land, and I do
not wish to be misunderstood on this point. If a farmer has a meadow
that will produce two or three tons of hay, or support a cow, to the
acre, it would be folly to break it up. It is already doing all, or
nearly all, that can be asked or desired. But suppose you have a piece
of naturally good land that does not produce a ton of hay per acre, or
pasture a cow on three acres, if such land can be plowed without great
difficulty, I would break it up as early in the fall as possible, and
summer-fallow it thoroughly, and seed it down again, heavily, with grass
seeds the next August. If the land does not need draining, it will not
forget this treatment for many years, and it will be the farmer’s own
fault if it ever runs down again.

In this country, where wages are so high, we must raise large crops per
acre, or not raise any. Where land is cheap, it may sometimes pay to
compel a cow to travel over three or four acres to get her food, but we
cannot afford to raise our hay in half ton crops; it costs too much to
harvest them. High wages, high taxes, and high-priced land, necessitate
high farming; and by high farming, I mean growing large crops every
year, and on every portion of the farm; but high wages and _low-priced
land_ do not necessarily demand high farming. If the land is cheap we
can suffer it to lie idle without much loss. But when we _raise_ crops,
whether on high-priced land or on low-priced land, we must raise good
crops, or the expense of cultivating and harvesting them will eat up all
the profits. In the dairy districts, I believe land, in proportion to
its quality and nearness to market, commands a higher price than land in
the grain-growing districts. Hence it follows that high farming should
be the aim of the American dairyman.

I am told that there are farms in the dairy districts of this State
worth from one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars per acre, on
which a cow to four acres for the year is considered a good average. At
a meeting of the Little Falls Farmers’ Club, the Hon. Josiah Shull, gave
a statement of the receipts and expenses of his farm of 81½ acres. The
farm cost $130 per acre. He kept twenty cows, and fatted one for beef.
The receipts were as follows:

  Twenty cows yielding 8,337 lbs. of cheese,
    at about 14¼ cents per pound                        $1,186.33
  Increase on beef cow                                      40.00
  Calves                                                    45.00
  Total receipts                                        $1,271.33
  Boy, six months and board                               $180.00
  Man by the year, and board                               360.00
  Carting milk and manufacturing cheese                    215.00
  Total cost of labor                                     $755.00
                      The Other Expenses Were:
  Fertilizers, plants, etc.                               $ 18.00
  Horse-shoeing and other repairs of farming
    implements, (which is certainly pretty cheap,)          50.00
  Wear and tear of implements                               65.00
  Average repairs of place and buildings                   175.00
  Average depreciation and interest on stock               180.00
  Insurance                                                  4.00
  Incidentals, (also pretty low,)                           50.00
             Total receipts                   $1,271.33.
             Total expenses                    1,375.00.

This statement, it is said, the Club considered a very fair estimate.

Now, here is a farm costing $10,595, the receipts from which, saying
nothing about interest, are less than the expenses. And if you add two
cents per pound more to the price of the cheese, the profit would still
be only about $50 per year. The trouble is not so much in the low price
of cheese, _as in the low product per acre_. I know some grain-growing
farmers who have done no better than this for a few years past.

Mr. Shull places the annual depreciation and interest on stock at $180,
equal to nearly one-seventh of the total receipts of the farm. It would
pay the wages and board of another man for six months. Can not it be
avoided? Good beef is relatively much higher in this State than good
cheese. Some of the dairy authorities tell us that cheese is the
cheapest animal food in the world, while beef is the dearest. Why, then,
should our dairymen confine their attention to the production of the
cheapest of farm products, and neglect almost entirely the production of
the dearest? If beef is high and cheese low, why not raise more beef? On
low-priced land it may be profitable to raise and keep cows solely for
the production of cheese, and when the cows are no longer profitable for
this purpose, to sacrifice them--to throw them aside as we do a worn-out
machine. And in similar circumstances we may be able to keep sheep
solely for their wool, but on high-priced land we can not afford to keep
sheep merely for their wool. We must adopt a higher system of farming
and feeding, and keep sheep that will give us wool, lambs, and mutton.
In parts of South America, where land costs nothing, cattle can be kept
for their bones, tallow, and hides, but where food is costly we must
make better use of it. A cow is a machine for converting vegetable food
into veal, butter, cheese, and beef. The first cost of the machine, if a
good one, is considerable--say $100. This machine has to be kept running
night and day, summer and winter, week days and Sundays. If we were
running a steam-flouring mill that could never be allowed to stop, we
should be careful to lay in a good supply of coal and also have plenty
of grain on hand to grind, so that the mill would never have to run
empty. No sensible man would keep up steam merely to run the mill. He
would want to grind all the time, and as much as possible; and yet coal
is a much cheaper source of power than the hay and corn with which we
run our milk-producing machine. How often is the latter allowed to run
empty? The machine is running night and day--must run, but is it always
running to advantage? Do we furnish fuel enough to enable it to do full
work, or only little more than enough to run the machinery?

“What has all this to do with making manure on dairy farms?” asked the
Deacon; “you are wandering from the point.”

“I hope not; I am trying to show that good feeding will pay better than
poor feeding--and better food means better manure.”

I estimate that it takes from 15 to 18 lbs. of ordinary hay per day to
run this cow-machine, which we have been talking about, even when kept
warm and comfortable; and if exposed to cold storms, probably not less
than 20 lbs. of hay a day, or its equivalent, and this merely to keep
the machine running, without doing any work. It requires this to keep
the cow alive, and to prevent her losing flesh. If not supplied with the
requisite amount of food for this purpose, she will take enough fat and
flesh from her own body to make up the deficiency; and if she cannot get
it, the machine will stop--in other words, the cow will die.

We have, then, a machine that costs say $100; that will last on an
average eight years; that requires careful management; that must have
constant watching, or it will be liable to get out of order, and that
requires, merely to keep it running, say 20 lbs. of hay per day. Now,
what do we get in return? If we furnish only 20 lbs. of hay per day we
get--_nothing_ except manure. If we furnish 25 lbs. of hay per day, or
its equivalent, we get, say half a pound of cheese per day. If we
furnish 30 lbs. we get one pound of cheese per day, or 365 lbs. a year.
We may not get the one pound of cheese every day in the year; sometimes
the cow, instead of giving milk, is furnishing food for her embryo calf,
or storing up fat and flesh; and this fat and flesh will be used by and
by to produce milk. But it all comes from the food eaten by the cow; and
is equal to one pound of cheese per day for 30 lbs. of hay or its
equivalent consumed; 20 lbs. of hay gives us nothing; 25 lbs. of hay
gives us half a pound of cheese, or 40 lbs. of cheese from one ton of
hay; 30 lbs. gives us one pound, or 66⅔ lbs. of cheese from one ton of
hay; 35 lbs. gives us 1½ lbs., or 85 5/7 lbs. of cheese to one ton of
hay; 40 lbs. gives us 2 lbs. of cheese, or 100 lbs. of cheese from one
ton of hay; 45 lbs. gives us 2⅓ lbs. of cheese, or 111 lbs. of cheese
from one ton of hay; 50 lbs. gives us 3 lbs. of cheese, or 120 lbs. of
cheese from one ton of hay.

On this basis, one ton of hay, _in excess of the amount required to keep
up the animal heat and sustain the vital functions_, gives us 200 lbs.
of cheese. The point I wish to illustrate by these figures, which are of
course hypothetical, is, that it is exceedingly desirable to get animals
that will eat, digest, and assimilate a large amount of food, over and
above that required to keep up the heat of the body and sustain the
vital functions. When a cow eats only 25 lbs. of hay a day, it requires
one ton of hay to produce 40 lbs. of cheese. But if we could induce her
to eat, digest, and assimilate 50 lbs. a day, one ton would produce 120
lbs. of cheese. If a cow eats 33 lbs. of hay per day, or its equivalent
in grass, it will require four acres of land, with a productive capacity
equal to 1½ tons of hay per acre, to keep her a year. Such a cow,
according to the figures given above, will produce 401½ lbs. of cheese a
year, or its equivalent in growth. A farm of 80 acres, on this basis,
would support 20 cows, yielding, say 8,000 lbs. of cheese. Increase the
productive power of the farm one half, (I hope the Deacon has not gone
to sleep), and keep 20 cows that will eat half as much again food, and
we should then get 21,600 lbs. of cheese. If cheese is worth 15 cents
per lb., a farm of 80 acres, producing 1½ tons of hay, or its
equivalent, per acre, and supporting 20 cows, would give us a gross
return of $1,204.50. The same farm so improved as to produce 2¼ tons of
hay or its equivalent, per acre--fed to 20 cows _capable of eating,
digesting, and assimilating it_--would give a gross return of $3,240.

In presenting these figures, I hope you will not think me a visionary.
I do not think it is possible to get a cow to produce 3 lbs. of cheese a
day throughout the whole year. But I do think it quite possible to so
breed and feed a cow that she will produce 3 lbs. of cheese per day, _or
its equivalent_ in veal, flesh, or fat. We frequently have cows that
produce 3 lbs. of cheese a day for several weeks; and a cow _can_ be so
fed that she will produce 3 lbs. of cheese a day without losing weight.
And if she can extract this amount of matter out of the food for a part
of the year, why can not she do so for the whole year? Are the powers of
digestion weaker in the fall and winter than in spring and summer? If
not, we unquestionably sustain great loss by allowing this digestive
power to run to waste. This digestive power costs us 20 lbs. of hay a
day. We can ill afford to let it lie dormant. But the Deacon will tell
me that the cows are allowed all the food they will eat, winter and
summer. Then we must, if they have digestive power to spare, endeavor to
persuade them to eat more. If they eat as much hay or grass as their
stomachs are capable of holding, we must endeavor to give them richer
hay or grass. Not one farmer in a thousand seems to appreciate the
advantage of having hay or grass containing a high percentage of
nutriment. I have endeavored to show that a cow eating six tons of hay,
or its equivalent, in a year, would produce 400 lbs. of cheese, worth
$60. While a cow capable of eating, digesting, and turning to good
account, nine tons of hay, or its equivalent, would produce 1,090 lbs.
of cheese, or its equivalent in other products, worth $162.

“I am sorry to interrupt the gentleman,” said the Deacon with mock

“Then pray don’t,” said I; “I will not detain you long, and the subject
is one which ought to interest you and every other farmer who keeps his
cows on poor grass in summer, and corn-stalks and straw in winter.”

I was going to say, when the Deacon interrupted me, that the stomach of
a cow may not allow her to eat nine tons of hay a year, but it will
allow her to eat six tons; and if these six tons contain as much
nutriment as the nine tons, what is the real difference in its value?
Ordinarily we should probably estimate the one at $10 per ton, and the
other at $15. But according to the above figures, one is worth $10 per
ton and the other $27. To get rich grass, therefore, should be the aim
of the American dairyman. I hope the Deacon begins to see what
connection this has with a large pile of rich manure.

I do not mean merely a heavy growth of grass, but grass containing a
high percentage of nutriment. Our long winters and heavy snows are a
great advantage to us in this respect. Our grass in the spring, after
its long rest, ought to start up like asparagus, and, under the
organizing influence of our clear skies, and powerful sun, ought to be
exceedingly nutritious. Comparatively few farmers, however, live up to
their privileges in this respect. Our climate is better than our
farming, the sun richer than our neglected soil. England may be able to
produce more grass per acre in a year than we can, but we ought to
produce richer grass, and, consequently, more cheese to a cow. And I
believe, in fact, that such is often the case. The English dairyman has
the advantage of a longer season of growth. We have a shorter season but
a brighter sun, and if we do not have richer grass it is due to the want
of draining, clean culture, and manuring. The object of American
dairymen should be, not only to obtain more grass per acre, but to
increase its nutriment in a given bulk. If we could increase it
one-half, making six tons equal to nine tons, we have shown that it is
nearly three times as valuable. Whether this can be done, I have not now
time to consider; but at any rate if your land produces as many weeds as
do some fields on my farm, not to say the Deacon’s, and if the
plant-food that these weeds absorb, could be organized by nutritious
grasses, this alone would do a good deal towards accomplishing the
object. Whether this can be done or not, we want cows that can eat and
turn to good account as much food per annum as is contained in nine tons
of ordinary meadow-hay; and we want this nutriment in a bulk not
exceeding six tons of hay. _If possible_, we should get this amount of
nutriment in grass or hay. But if we can not do this, we must _feed
enough concentrated food_ to bring it up to the desired standard.

“But will it pay?” asked the Deacon; “I have not much faith in buying
feed. A farmer ought to raise everything he feeds out.”

“As a rule, this may be true,” I replied, “but there are many
exceptions. I am trying to show that it will often pay a dairyman well
to buy feed rich in nitrogen and phosphates, so as to make rich manure,
and give him a start. After he gets his land rich, there is little
difficulty in keeping up its productiveness.

“Now, I have said--and the figures, if anything, are too low--that if a
cow, eating six tons of hay, or its equivalent, a year, produces 400
lbs. of cheese, a cow capable of eating, digesting, and turning to good
account nine tons of hay, or its equivalent, a year, would produce 1,090
lbs. of cheese, or its equivalent in other products.”

I would like to say much more on this subject, but I hope enough has
been said to show that there is great advantage in feeding rich food,
even so far as the production of milk or beef is concerned; and if this
is the case, then there is no difficulty in making rich manure on a
dairy farm.

And I am delighted to know that many farmers in the dairy districts are
purchasing more and more bran and meal every year. Taking milk, and
beef, and manure all into the account, I feel sure that it will be found
highly profitable; but you must have good cows--cows that can turn their
extra food to good account.

This is not the place to discuss the merits of the different breeds of
cows. All I wish to show is, that to make better manure, we must use
richer food; and to feed this to advantage, we must have animals that
can turn a large amount of food, over and above the amount required to
sustain the vital functions, into milk, flesh, etc.

“You do not think,” said the Deacon, “that a well-bred cow makes any
richer manure than a common cow?”

Of course not; but to make rich manure, we must feed well; and we can
not afford to feed well unless we have good animals.


We can not go into details on this subject. The truth is, there are
several good methods of saving manure, and which is best depends
entirely on circumstances. The real point is to save the urine, and keep
the cow-stable clean and sweet. There are three prominent methods

1st. To throw all the liquid and solid excrements into a manure-cellar
underneath the cow-stable. In this cellar, dry swamp-muck, dry earth, or
other absorbent material, is mixed with the manure in sufficient
quantity to keep down offensive odors. A little dry earth or muck is
also used in the stable, scattering it twice a day in the gutters and
under the hind legs of the cows. Where this is carried out, it has many
and decided advantages.

2d. To wheel or throw out the solid parts of the manure, and to have a
drain for carrying the liquid into a tank, where it can be pumped on to
the heap of manure in the yard. Where many horses or sheep are kept, and
only a few cows, this plan can often be used to advantage, as the heap
of manure in the yard, consisting of horse-manure, sheep-manure, and a
small portion of cow-dung, will be able to absorb all the urine of the

3d. To use sufficient bedding to absorb all the urine in the stable. In
my own case, as I have said before, we usually chaff all our straw and
stalks. The orts are used for bedding, and we also use a little dry
earth--or, to be more exact, I use it when I attend to the matter
myself, but have always found more or less trouble in getting the work
done properly, unless I give it personal attention. To use “dirt” to
keep the stable clean, is not a popular plan in this neighborhood. Where
there is an abundance of straw, and especially if cut into chaff, the
easiest way to keep the stable clean, and the cows comfortable, is to
use enough of this chaffed straw to absorb all the liquid. Clean out the
stable twice a day, and wheel the manure directly to the heap, and
spread it.

In regard to the application of manure on a dairy-farm, we have seen
what Harris Lewis does with his. I also wrote to T. L. Harison, Esq.,
of St. Lawrence Co., N.Y.; and knowing that he is not only a very
intelligent farmer and breeder, but also one of our best agricultural
writers, I asked him if he had written anything on the subject of

“St. Lawrence Co.,” said the Deacon, “produces capital grass, oats, and
barley, but is, I should think, too far north for winter wheat; but what
did Mr Harison say?”--Here is his letter:

“I never wrote anything about manure. Catch me at it! Nor do I know
anything about the management of barn-yard manure worth telling. My own
practice is dictated quite as much by convenience as by considerations
of economy.”

“Good,” said the Deacon; “he writes like a sensible man.”

“My rotation,” he continues, “is such that the bulk of the manure made
is applied to _one crop_; that is, to my hoed crops, corn, potatoes, and
roots, in the second year.

“The manure from the stables is thrown or wheeled out under the sheds
adjoining, and as fast as it becomes so large a quantity as to be in the
way, or whenever there is an opportunity, it is hauled out to the field,
where it is to be used, and put in large piles. It is turned once, if
possible, in the spring, and then spread.

“The quantity applied, is, as near as may be, 25 loads per acre; but as
we use a great deal of straw, we haul out 30 loads, and estimate that in
the spring it will be about 25 loads.

“If we have any more (and occasionally we have 100 loads over), we pile
it near the barn, and turn it once or twice during the summer, and use
it as seems most profitable--sometimes to top-dress an old grass-field,
that for some reason we prefer not to break for another year. Sometimes
it goes on a piece of fall wheat, and sometimes is kept over for a
barley field the following spring, and harrowed in just before sowing.

“I should spread the manure as it comes from the sheds, instead of
piling it, but the great quantity of snow we usually have, has always
seemed to be an insuperable obstacle. It is an advantage to pile it, and
to give it one turning, but, on the other hand, the piles made in cold
weather freeze through, and they take a provokingly long time to thaw
out in the spring. I never found manure _piled_ out of doors to get too
much water from rain.

“I have given up using gypsum, except a little in the stables, because
the clover grows too strong without it, and so long as this is the case,
I do not need gypsum. But I sometimes have a piece of oats or barley
that stands still, and looks sick, and a dose of gypsum helps it very

“That is a fact worth remembering,” said the Deacon.

“I use some superphosphate,” continues Mr. Harison, “and some ground
bones on my turnips. We also use superphosphate on oats, barley, and
wheat (about 200 lbs. per acre), and find it pays. Last year, our
estimate was, on 10 acres of oats, comparing with a strip in the middle,
left for the purpose, that the 200 lbs. of superphosphate increased the
crop 15 bushels per acre, and gave a gain in quality. It was the
“Manhattan,” which has about three per cent ammonia, and seven to eight
per cent soluble phosphoric acid.

“My rotation, which I stick to as close as I can, is: 1, oats; 2, corn,
and potatoes, and roots; 3, barley or spring wheat; 4, 5, and 6, grass
(clover or timothy, with a little mixture occasionally).

“I am trying to get to 4, fall wheat, but it is mighty risky.”

“That is a very sensible letter,” said the Deacon; “but it is evident
that he raises more grain than I supposed was generally the case in the
dairy districts; and the fact that his clover is so heavy that he does
not need plaster, indicates that his land is rich.”

It merely confirms what I have said all along, and that is, that the
dairymen, if they will feed their animals liberally, and cultivate their
soil thoroughly, can soon have productive farms. There are very few of
us in this section who can make manure enough to give all our corn,
potatoes, and roots, 25 loads of rotted manure per acre, and have some
to spare.

In the spring of 1877, Mr. Harison wrote: “I have been hauling out
manure all winter as fast as made, and putting it on the land. At first
we spread it; but when deep snows came, we put it in small heaps. The
field looks as if there had been a grain crop on it left uncut.”

“That last remark,” said the Doctor, “indicates that the manure looks
more like straw than well-rotted dung, and is an argument in favor of
your plan of piling the manure in the yard or field, instead of
spreading it on the land, or putting it in small heaps.”



“I am surprised to find,” said the Deacon, “that Mr. Harison, living as
he does in the great grass and dairy district of this State, should
raise so much grain. He has nearly as large a proportion of his land
under the plow as some of the best wheat-growers of Western New York.”

This remark of the Deacon is right to the point. The truth is, that some
of our best wheat-growers are plowing less land, and are raising more
grass, and keeping more stock; and some of the dairymen, though not
keeping less stock, are plowing more land. The better farmers of both
sections are approaching each other.

At all events, it is certain that the wheat growers will keep more
stock. I wrote to the Hon. Geo. Geddes, of Onondaga Co., N.Y., well
known as a large wheat-grower, and as a life-long advocate of keeping up
the fertility of our farms by growing clover. He replies as follows:

“I regret that I have not time to give your letter the consideration it
deserves. The subject you have undertaken is truly a difficult one. The
circumstances of a grain-raiser and a dairyman are so unlike, that their
views in regard to the treatment of the manure produced on the farm
would vary as greatly as the lines of farming they follow.

“The grain-grower has straw in excess; he tries hard to get it into such
form that he can draw it to his fields, and get it at work, at the least
cost in labor. So he covers his barn-yards deep with straw, after each
snow-storm, and gets his cattle, sheep, and horses, to trample it under
foot; and he makes his pigs convert all he can into such form that it
will do to apply it to his pastures, etc., in winter or early spring.

“A load of such manure is large, perhaps, but of no very great value, as
compared with well-rotted stable-manure from grain-fed horses; but it is
as good as much that I have seen drawn from city stables, and carried
far, to restore the worn-out hay-fields on the shores of the North
River--in fact, quite like it.

“The dairyman, generally, has but little straw, and his manure is mostly
dung of cows, worth much more, per cord, than the straw-litter of the

“The grain-grower will want no sheds for keeping off the rain, but,
rather, he will desire more water than will fall on an open yard. The
milkman will wish to protect his cow-dung from all rains, or even snows;
so he is a great advocate of manure-sheds. These two classes of farmers
will adopt quite unlike methods of applying their manure to crops.

“I have cited these two classes of farmers, simply to show the
difficulty of making any universal laws in regard to the treatment and
use of barn-yard manure. * * *

“I think you and I are fully agreed in regard to the farm being the true
source of the manure that is to make the land grow better with use, and
still produce crops--perhaps you will go with me so far as to say, the
greater the crops, the more manure they will make--and the more manure,
the larger the crops.

“Now, I object to any special farming, when applied to a whole great
division of country, such as merely raising grain, or devoted entirely
to dairying.

“I saw at Rome, N.Y., these two leading branches of New York farming
united on the Huntington tract of 1,300 acres. Three or four farms (I
forget which) had separate and distinct management, conducted by
different families, but each had a dairy combined with the raising of
large crops of grain, such as wheat, corn, oats, etc. These grain-crops,
with suitable areas of meadow and pasture, sustained the dairy, and the
cows converted much of the grain, and all of the forage, into manure.
Thus was combined, to mutual advantage, these two important branches of
New York farming. Wheat and cheese to sell, and constant improvement in

“In our own case, sheep have been combined with grain-raising. So we
have sold wool, wheat, and barley, and, in all my life, not five tons of
hay. Clover, you know, has been our great forage-crop. We have wintered
our sheep mostly on clover-hay, having some timothy mixed with it, that
was necessarily cut (to make into hay with the medium, or early clover,)
when it was but grass. We have fed such hay to our cows and horses, and
have usually worked into manure the corn-stalks of about 20 acres of
good corn, each winter, and we have worked all the straw into shape to
apply as manure that we could, spreading it thickly on pastures and such
other fields as were convenient. Some straw we have sold, mostly to

“That,” said the Deacon, “is good, old-fashioned farming. Plenty of
straw for bedding, and good clover and timothy-hay for feed, with wool,
wheat, and barley to sell. No talk about oil-cake, malt-combs, and
mangels; nothing about superphosphate, guano, or swamp-muck.”

Mr. Geddes and Mr. Johnston are both representative farmers; both are
large wheat-growers; both keep their land clean and thoroughly
cultivated; both use gypsum freely; both raise large crops of clover and
timothy; both keep sheep, and yet they represent two entirely different
systems of farming. One is the great advocate of clover; the other is
the great advocate of manure.

I once wrote to Mr. Geddes, asking his opinion as to the best time to
plow under clover for wheat. He replied as follows:

“Plow under the clover when it is at full growth. But your question can
much better be answered at the end of a long, free talk, which can best
be had here. I have many times asked you to come here, not to see fine
farming, for we have none to show, but to see land that has been used to
test the effects of clover for nearly 70 years. On the ground, I could
talk to a willing auditor long, if not wisely. I am getting tired of
being misunderstood, and of having my statements doubted when I talk
about clover as the great renovator of land. You preach agricultural
truth, and the facts you would gather in this neighborhood are worth
your knowing, and worth giving to the world. So come here and gather
some facts about clover. All that I shall try to prove to you is, that
the fact that clover and plaster are by far the cheapest manures that
can be had for our lands, has been demonstrated by many farmers beyond a
doubt--so much cheaper than barn-yard manure that the mere loading of
and spreading costs more than the plaster and clover. Do not quote me as
saying this, but come and see the farms hereabouts, and talk with our

Of course I went, and had a capital time. Mr. Geddes has a magnificent
farm of about 400 acres, some four miles from Syracuse. It is in high
condition, and is continually improving, and this is due to growing
large and frequent crops of clover, and _to good, deep plowing, and
clean and thorough culture_.

We drove round among the farmers. “Here is a man,” said Mr. G., “who run
in debt $45 per acre for his farm. He has educated his family, paid off
his debt, and reports his net profits at from $2,000 to $2,500 a year on
a farm of 90 acres; and this is due to clover. You see he is building a
new barn, and that does not look as though his land was running down
under the system.” The next farmer we came to was also putting up a new
barn, and another farmer was enlarging an old one. “Now, these farmers
have never paid a dollar for manure of any kind except plaster, and
their lands certainly do not deteriorate.”

From Syracuse, I went to Geneva, to see our old friend John Johnston.
“Why did you not tell me you were coming?” he said. “I would have met
you at the cars. But I am right glad to see you. I want to show you my
wheat, where I put on 250 lbs. of guano per acre last fall. People here
don’t know that I used it, and you must not mention it. It is grand.”

I do not know that I ever saw a finer piece of wheat. It was the Diehl
variety, sown 14th September, at the rate of 1¼ bushels per acre. It was
quite thick enough. One breadth of the drill was sown at the rate of two
bushels per acre. This is earlier. “But,” said Mr. J., “the other will
have larger heads, and will yield more.” After examining the wheat, we
went to look at the piles of muck and manure in the barn-yard, and from
these to a splendid crop of timothy. “It will go 2½ tons of hay per
acre,” said Mr. J., “and now look at this adjoining field. It is just as
good land naturally, and there is merely a fence between, and yet the
grass and clover are so poor as hardly to be worth cutting.”

“What makes the difference?” I asked.

Mr. Johnston, emphatically, “Manure.”

The poor field did not belong to him!

Mr. Johnston’s farm was originally a cold, wet, clayey soil. Mr. Geddes’
land did not need draining, or very little. Of course, land that needs
draining, is richer after it is drained, than land that is naturally
drained. And though Mr. Johnston was always a good farmer, yet he says
he “never made money until he commenced to drain.” The accumulated
fertility in the land could then be made available by good tillage, and
from that day to this, his land has been growing richer and richer. And,
in fact, the same is true of Mr. Geddes’ farm. It is richer land to-day
than when first plowed, while there is one field that for seventy years
has had no manure applied to it, except plaster. How is this to be
explained? Mr. Geddes would say it was due to clover and plaster. But
this does not fully satisfy those who claim, (and truly), that “always
taking out of the meal-tub and never putting in, soon comes to the
bottom.” The clover can add nothing to the land, that it did not get
from the soil, except organic matter obtained from the atmosphere, and
the plaster furnishes little or nothing except lime and sulphuric acid.
There are all the other ingredients of plant-food to be accounted
for--phosphoric acid, potash, soda, magnesia, etc. A crop of clover, or
corn, or wheat, or barley, or oats, will not come to perfection unless
every one of these elements is present in the soil in an available
condition. Mr. Geddes has not furnished a single ounce of any one of

“Where do they come from?”

I answer, _from the soil itself_. There is probably enough of these
elements in the soil to last ten thousand years; and if we return to the
soil all the straw, chaff, and bran, and sell nothing but fine flour,
meat, butter, etc., there is probably enough to last a million years,
and you and I need not trouble ourselves with speculations as to what
will happen after that time. Nearly all our soils are practically
inexhaustible. But of course these elements are not in an available
condition. If they were, the rains would wash them all into the ocean.
They are rendered available by a kind of fermentation. A manure-heap
packed as hard and solid as a rock would not decay; but break it up,
make it fine, turn it occasionally so as to expose it to the atmosphere,
and with the proper degree of moisture and heat it will ferment rapidly,
and all its elements will soon become available food for plants. Nothing
has been created by the process. It was all there. We have simply made
it _available_. So it is with the soil. Break it up, make it fine, turn
it occasionally, expose it to the atmosphere, and the elements it
contains become available.

I do not think that Mr. Geddes’ land is any better, naturally, than
yours or mine. We can all raise fair crops by cultivating the land
thoroughly, and by never allowing a weed to grow. On Mr. Lawes’
experimental wheat-field, the plot that has never received a particle of
manure, produces _every year_ an average of about 15 bushels per acre.
And the whole crop is removed--grain, straw, and chaff. Nothing is
returned. And that the land is not remarkably rich, is evident from the
fact that some of the farms in the neighborhood, produce, under the
ordinary system of management, but little more wheat, once in four or
five years than is raised _every year_ on this experimental plot without
any manure.

Why? Because these farmers do not half work their land, and the manure
they make is little better than rotten straw. Mr. Lawes’ wheat-field is
plowed twice every year, and when I was there, the crop was hand-hoed
two or three times in the spring. Not a weed is suffered to grow. And
this is all there is to it.

Now, of course, instead of raising 15 bushels of wheat every year, it is
a good deal better to raise a crop of 30 bushels every other year, and
still better to raise 45 bushels every third year. And it is here that
clover comes to our aid. It will enable us to do this very thing, and
the land runs no greater risk of exhaustion than Mr. Lawes’ unmanured
wheat crop.

Mr. Geddes and I do not differ as much as you suppose. In fact, I do not
believe that we differ at all. He has for years been an earnest advocate
for growing clover as a renovating crop. He thinks it by far the
cheapest manure that can be obtained in this section. I agree with him
most fully in all these particulars. He formed his opinion from
experience and observation. I derived mine from the Rothamsted
experiments. And the more I see of practical farming, the more am I
satisfied of their truth. Clover is, unquestionably, the great
renovating crop of American agriculture. A crop of clover, equal to two
tons of hay, when plowed under, will furnish more ammonia to the soil
than twenty tons of straw-made manure, drawn out fresh and wet in the
spring, or than twelve tons of our ordinary barn-yard manure. No wonder
Mr. Geddes and other intelligent farmers recommend plowing under clover
as manure. I differ from them in no respect except this: that it is not
absolutely essential to plow clover under in the green state in order to
get its fertilizing effect; but, if made into hay, and this hay is fed
to animals, and all the manure carefully saved, and returned to the
land, there need be comparatively little loss. The animals will seldom
take out more than from five to ten per cent of all the nitrogen
furnished in the food--and less still of mineral matter. I advocate
growing all the clover you possibly can--so does Mr. Geddes. He says,
plow it under for manure. So say I--unless you can make more from
feeding out the clover-hay, than will pay you for waiting a year, and
for cutting and curing the clover and drawing back the manure. If you
plow it under, you are sure of it. There is no loss. In feeding it out,
you may lose more or less from leaching, and injurious fermentation.
But, of course, you need not lose anything, except the little that is
retained in the flesh, or wool, or milk, of the animals. As things _are_
on many farms, it is perhaps best to plow under the clover for manure at
once. As things ought to be, it is a most wasteful practice. If you know
how to feed out the hay to advantage, and take pains to save the manure
(and to add to its value by feeding oil-cake, bran, etc., with it), it
is far better to mow your clover, once for hay, and once for seed, than
to plow it under. Buy oil-cake and bran with the money got from the
seed, and growing clover-seed will not injure the land.

I am glad to hear that Mr. Geddes occasionally sells straw. I once sold
15 tons of straw to the paper-makers for $150, they drawing it
themselves, and some of my neighbors criticised me severely for doing
so. It is not considered an orthodox practice. I do not advocate selling
straw as a rule; but, if you have more than you can use to advantage,
and it is bringing a good price, sell part of the straw and buy bran,
oil-cake, etc., with the money. To feed nothing but straw to stock is
poor economy; and to rot it down for manure is no better. Straw itself
is not worth $3.00 a ton for manure; and as one ton of straw, spread in
an open yard to rot, will make, in spring, about four tons of so-called
manure, and if it costs 50 cents a ton to draw out and spread it, the
straw, even at this comparatively high estimate of its value, nets you,
when fed out alone, or rotted down, only $1.00 a ton.

I had about 30 tons of straw. Fed out alone or rotted down it would make
120 tons of manure. After deducting the expense of hauling, and
spreading, it nets me on the land, $30. Now sell half the straw for
$150, and buy three tons of oil-cake to feed out with the other half,
and you would have about seventy tons of manure. The manure from the
fifteen tons of straw is worth, say $45, and from the three tons of
oil-cake, $60, or $105. It will cost $35 to draw and spread it, and will
thus net on the land, $70. So far as the manure question is concerned,
therefore, it is far better to sell half your straw, and buy oil-cake
with the money, than to feed it out alone--and I think it is also far
better for the stock. Of course, it would be better for the farm, not to
sell any of the straw, and to buy six tons of oil-cake to feed out with
it; but those of us who are short of capital, must be content to bring
up our land by slow degrees.

“I am at a loss to understand,” wrote Mr. Geddes, “what you mean, when
you say that a ton of straw will make, in the spring of the year, four
tons of so-called manure. If you had said that four tons of straw would
make one ton of manure, I should have thought nothing of it. But how you
can turn one ton of straw into four tons of anything that anybody will
call manure, I do not see. In a conversation I had with Hon. Lewis F.
Allen, of Black Rock, more than a year ago, he told me that he had
enquired of the man who furnished hay for feeding cattle at the Central
Yards, in Buffalo, as to the loads of manure he sold, and though I can
not now say the exact quantity to a ton of hay, I remember that it was
very little--far less than I had before supposed. Please explain this
straw-manure matter.”

Boussingault, the great French chemist-farmer, repeatedly analyzed the
manure from his barn-yard. “The animals which had produced this dung,
were 30 horses, 30 oxen, and from 10 to 20 pigs. The absolute quantity
of moisture was ascertained, by first drying in the air a considerable
weight of dung, and after pounding, continuing and completing, the
drying of a given quantity.” No one can doubt the accuracy of the
results. The dung made in the

  Winter of 1837-8, contained 79.6 per cent of water.
    ”     ” 1838-9,     ”     77.8  ”   ”    ”   ”
  Autumn  ” 1839,       ”     80.4  ”   ”    ”   ”

Fresh solid cow-dung contains, according to the same authority, 90 per
cent of water.

I have frequently seen manure drawn out in the spring, that had not been
decomposed at all, and with more or less snow among it, and with water
dripping from the wagon, while it was being loaded. It was, in fact,
straw saturated with water, and discolored by the droppings of animals.
Now, how much of such manure would a ton of dry straw make? If we should
take 20 lbs. of straw, trample it down, and from time to time sprinkle
it with water and snow, until we had got on 80 lbs., and then put on 20
lbs. more straw, and 80 lbs. more water, and keep on until we had used
up a ton of straw, how much “so-called manure,” should we have to draw

  2,000 lbs. of straw, and 8,000 lbs. water
      = 10,000 lbs. so-called manure.

In other words, we get five tons of such manure from one ton of straw.
This is, perhaps, an extreme case, but there can be little doubt, that a
ton of straw, trampled down by cattle, and sheep, in an open barn-yard,
exposed to snow and rain, would weigh four tons when drawn out wet in
the spring.

Yes, it is quite an argument in favor of manure cellars. I have always
had a prejudice against them--probably, because the first one I saw was
badly managed. There is, however, no necessity, even in an ordinary open
barn-yard, with more or less sheds and stables, of having so much water
in the manure when drawn out. The real point of my remarks, which so
surprised Mr. Geddes, was this: We have to draw out so much water with
our manure, under any circumstances, that we should try to have it as
rich as possible. It is certainly true, that, _if_ the manure from a ton
of straw is worth $3, that from a ton of clover-hay, is worth $10. And
it costs no more to draw out and spread the one than the other. I have
never yet found a farmer who would believe that a ton of clover-hay,
rotted down in the barn-yard, would make three or four tons of manure;
but he would readily assent to the proposition, that it took four or
five tons of green clover to make a ton of hay; and that if these four
or five tons of green-clover were rotted in the yard, it would make
three or four tons of manure. And yet, the only difference between the
green-clover and the hay, is, that the latter has lost some 60 or 70 per
cent of water in curing. Add that amount of water to the hay, and it
will make as much manure as the green-clover from which the hay was


A good farmer came in while we were talking. “Nothing like plaster and
clover,” he said, “for keeping up a wheat-farm.” And you will find this
the general opinion of nearly all American wheat-growers. It must be
accepted as a fact. But the deductions drawn from the fact are as
various as they are numerous.

Let us look first at the fact. And, if you like, we will take my own
farm as an example. About 60 years ago, it was covered with the primeval
forest. The trees, on the higher and drier land, were first cut down,
and many of them burnt on the land. Wheat was sown among the stumps. The
crop varied in different years, from 10 to 30 bushels per acre. When 30
bushels were grown, the fact was remembered. When 10 bushels only were
grown, little was said about it in after years, until now there is a
general impression that our wheat crops were formerly much larger per
acre than now. I doubt it; but we will not discuss the point. One thing
is certain, the land would produce good crops of clover; and when this
clover was plowed under for manure, we got better crops of wheat
afterwards. This was the rule. Later, we commenced to use gypsum as a
top-dressing on clover. The effect was often wonderful. Farmers will
tell you that they sowed 200 lbs. of plaster per acre, on their young
clover, in the spring, and it _doubled the crop_. This statement
expresses an agricultural, and not an arithmetical fact. We do not know
that the crop on the plastered portion was twice as heavy as on the
unplastered. We know that it was larger, and more luxuriant. There was a
greater, and more vigorous growth. And this extra growth was caused by
the small top-dressing of powdered gypsum rock. It was a great fact in
agriculture. I will call it fact, No. 1.

Then, when the clover was turned under, we usually got good wheat. This
is fact, No. 2. On these two facts, hang many of our agricultural
theories. We may state these facts in many ways. Still, it all comes to
this: Clover is good for wheat; plaster is good for clover.

There is another fact, which is a matter of general observation and
remark. You rarely find a good farmer who does not pay special attention
to his clover-crop. When I was riding with Mr. Geddes, among the farmers
of Onondaga County, on passing a farm where everything looked
thrifty--good fences, good buildings, good garden, good stock, and the
land clean and in good condition--I would ask who lived there, or some
other question. No matter what. The answer was always the same. “Oh! he
is another of our clover men.” We will call this fact, No. 3.

And when, a year afterwards, Mr. Geddes returned my visit, and I drove
him around among the farmers of Monroe County, he found precisely the
same state of facts. All our good farmers were clover men. Among the
good wheat-growers in Michigan, you will find the same state of things.

These are the facts. Let us not quarrel over them.



I do not know who first said, “The cheapest manure a farmer can use
is--clover-seed,” but the saying has become part of our agricultural
literature, and deserves a passing remark.

I have heard good farmers in Western New York say, that if they had a
field sown with wheat that they were going to plow the spring after the
crop was harvested, they would sow 10 lbs. of clover-seed on the wheat
in the spring. They thought that the growth of the clover in the fall,
after the wheat was cut, and the growth the next spring, before the land
was plowed, would afford manure worth much more than the cost of the

“I do not doubt it,” said the Deacon; “but would it not be better to let
the crop grow a few months longer, and then plow it under?”

“But that is not the point,” I remarked; “we sometimes adopt a rotation
when Indian-corn follows a crop of wheat. In such a case, good farmers
sometimes plow the land in the fall, and again the next spring, and then
plant corn. This is one method. But I have known, as I said before, good
farmers to seed down the wheat with clover; and the following spring,
say the third week in May, plow under the young clover, and plant
immediately on the furrow. If the land is warm, and in good condition,
you will frequently get clover, by this time, a foot high, and will have
two or three tons of succulent vegetation to turn under; and the farmer
who first recommended the practice to me, said that the cut-worms were
so fond of this green-clover that they did not molest the young
corn-plants. I once tried the plan myself, and found it to work well;
but since then, I have kept so many pigs and sheep, that clover has been
too useful to plow under. But we will not discuss this point at present.

“What I wanted to say is this: Here we have a field in wheat. Half of it
(A) we seed down with 12 lbs. of clover-seed per acre; the other half
(B) not. The clover-seed and sowing on A, cost, say, $2 per acre. We
plow B in the fall; this will cost us about as much as the clover seed
sown on A. In the spring, A and B are both plowed and planted to corn.
Now, which half of the field will be in the cleanest and best condition,
and which will produce the best corn, and the best barley, or oats,

“I vote for A,” said the Deacon.

“I vote for A,” said the Doctor.

“I vote for A,” said the Squire.

“I should think,” modestly suggested Charley, “that it would depend
somewhat on the soil,” and Charley is right. On a clean, moderately rich
piece of light, sandy soil, I should certainly expect much better corn,
and better barley or oats, on A, where the clover was grown, than on B.
But if the field was a strong loam, that needed thorough cultivation to
get it mellow enough for corn, I am inclined to think that B would come
out ahead. At any rate, I am sure that on my own farm, moderately stiff
land, if I was going to plant corn after wheat, I should _not_ seed it
down with clover. I would plow the wheat stubble immediately after
harvest, and harrow and cultivate it to kill the weeds, and then, six
weeks or two months later, I would plow it again. I would draw out
manure in the winter, pile it up in the field to ferment, and the next
spring spread it, and plow it under, and then--

“And then what?” asked the Deacon. --“Why the truth is,” said I, “then I
would not plant corn at all. I should either sow the field to barley, or
drill in mangel-wurzel or Swede-turnips. But if I _did_ plant corn,
I should expect better corn than if I had sown clover with the wheat;
and the land, if the corn was well cultivated, would be remarkably
clean, and in fine condition; and the next time the land was seeded down
with clover, we could reasonably expect a great crop.”

The truth is, that clover-seed is sometimes a very cheap manure, and
farmers are in no danger of sowing too much of it. I do not mean sowing
too much seed per acre, but they are in no danger of sowing too many
acres with clover. On this point, there is no difference of opinion. It
is only when we come to explain the action of clover--when we draw
deductions from the facts of the case--that we enter a field bristling
all over with controversy.

“You have just finished threshing,” said the Deacon, “and for my part,
I would rather hear how your wheat turned out, than to listen to any of
your chemical talk about nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash.”

“The wheat,” said I, “turned out full as well as I expected. Fourteen
acres of it was after wheat, and eight acres of it after oats. Both
these fields were seeded down with clover last year, but the clover
failed, and there was nothing to be done but to risk them again with
wheat. The remainder was after barley. In all, there was not quite 40
acres, and we had 954 bushels of Diehl wheat. This is not bad in the
circumstances; but I shall not be content until I can average, taking
one year with another, 35 to 40 bushels per acre. If the land had been
rich enough, there would unquestionably have been 40 bushels per acre
this year. That is to say, the _season_ was quite capable of producing
this amount; and I think the mechanical condition of the land was also
equal to it; all that was needed was sufficient available plant-food in
the soil.”

“I can see no reason,” said the Doctor, “why you may not average 40
bushels of wheat per acre in a good season.”

“The field of 14 acres,” said I, “where wheat followed wheat, yielded 23
bushels per acre. Last year it yielded 22 bushels per acre; and so we
got in the two years 45 bushels per acre.”

This field has had no manure of any kind for years. In fact, since the
land was cleared, 40 or 50 years ago, I presume that all the manure that
has been applied would not, in the aggregate, be equal to more than a
good crop of clover-hay. The available plant-food required to produce
these two crops of wheat came from the soil itself, and from the rain,
dews, and atmosphere. The land is now seeded down with clover, and with
the aid of a bushel or two of plaster per acre, next spring, it is not
improbable that, if mown twice for hay next year, it will yield in the
two crops three tons of hay per acre.

Now, three tons of clover-hay contain about 33 lbs. of phosphoric acid,
90 lbs. of potash, and 150 lbs. of nitrogen.

The last crop of wheat, of 22 bushels per acre, and say 1,500 lbs. of
straw, would contain:

                   In the grain.     In the straw.   In total crop.
  Phosphoric acid   11½ lbs.          3¾ lbs.         15¼ lbs.
  Potash             6¾     ”         9¾     ”        16½     ”
  Nitrogen          23      ”         9½     ”        32½     ”

It seems very unkind in the wheat-plants not to give me more than 22
bushels per acre, when the clover-plants coming after will find
phosphoric acid enough for 40 bushels of wheat, and potash and nitrogen
enough for nearly 100 bushels of wheat per acre. And these are the three
important constituents of plant-food.

Why, then, did I get only 22 bushels of wheat per acre? I got 23 bushels
on the same land the year previous, and it is not improbable that if I
had sown the same land to wheat again this fall, I should get 12 or 15
bushels per acre again next year. But the clover will find plant-food
enough for 40 bushels of wheat.

“There is not much doubt,” said the Deacon, “that you will get a good
crop of clover, if you will keep the sheep off of the land this fall.
But I do not see what you mean by the clover-plants finding food enough
for 40 bushels of wheat, while in point of fact, if you had sown the
field again to wheat this fall, you would not, as you say, probably get
more than 12 or 15 bushels of wheat.”

“He means this,” said the Doctor. “If he had sown the land to wheat this
fall, without manure, he would probably not get over 15 bushels of wheat
per acre, and yet you both agree that the land will, in all probability,
produce next year, if mown twice, three tons of clover-hay per acre,
without any manure.

“Now, if we admit that the clover gets no more nitrogen from the rain
and dews, and from the atmosphere, than the wheat will get, then it
follows that this soil, which will only produce 15 bushels of wheat per
acre, does, in point of fact, contain plant-food enough for 40 bushels
of wheat, and the usual proportion of straw.

“The two crops take up from the soil as follows:

                              Phosphoric acid.  Potash.    Nitrogen.
  15 bushels wheat and straw     10¼ lbs.       11¼ lbs.    22 lbs.
  3 tons clover-hay              33   ”         90   ”     150  ”

“These facts and figures,” continued the Doctor, “are worth looking at
and thinking about. Why can not the wheat get as much phosphoric acid
out of the soil as the clover?”

“Because,” said the Deacon, “the roots of the clover go down deeper into
the subsoil than the roots of wheat.”

“That is a very good reason, so far as it goes,” said I, “but does not
include all the facts. I have no sort of doubt, that if I had sown this
land to wheat, and put on 75 lbs. of nitrogen per acre, I should have
got a wheat-crop containing, in grain and straw, 30 lbs. of phosphoric
acid. And so the reason I got 15 bushels of wheat per acre, instead of
40 bushels, is not because the roots of wheat do not go deep enough to
find sufficient soluble phosphoric acid.”

“Possibly,” said the Doctor, “the nitrogen you apply may render the
phosphoric acid in the soil more soluble.”

“That is true,” said I; “and this was the answer Liebig gave to Mr.
Lawes. Of which more at some future time. But this answer, like the
Deacon’s, does not cover all the facts of the case; for a supply of
soluble phosphoric acid would not, in all probability, give me a large
crop of wheat. I will give you some facts presently bearing on this

“What we want to find out is, why the clover can get so much more
phosphoric acid, potash, and nitrogen, than the wheat, from the same


The Deacon seemed to think the Doctor was going to give a scientific
answer to the question. “If the clover _can_ get more nitrogen,
phosphoric acid, and potash, from the same soil than wheat,” said he,
“why not accept the fact, and act accordingly? You scientific gentlemen
want to explain everything, and sometimes make confusion worse
confounded. We know that a sheep will grow fat in a pasture where a cow
would starve.”

“True,” said the Doctor, “and that is because the cow gathers food with
her tongue, and must have the grass long enough for her to get hold of
it; while a sheep picks up the grass with her teeth and gums, and,
consequently, the sheep can eat the grass down into the very ground.”

“Very well,” said the Deacon; “and how do you know but that the roots of
the clover gather up their food sheep-fashion, while the wheat-roots eat
like a cow?”

“That is not a very scientific way of putting it,” said the Doctor; “but
I am inclined to think the Deacon has the right idea.”

“Perhaps, then,” said I, “we had better let it go at that until we get
more light on the subject. We must conclude that the wheat can not get
food enough from the soil to yield a maximum crop, not because there is
not food enough in the field, but the roots of the wheat are so
constituted that they can not gather it up; while clover-roots, foraging
in the same soil, can find all they want.”

“Clover,” said the Deacon, “is the scavenger of the farm; like a pig, it
gathers up what would otherwise be wasted.”

“Of course, these illustrations,” said the Doctor, “do not give us any
clear idea of _how_ the clover-plants take up food. We must recollect
that the roots of plants take up their food in solution; and it has just
occurred to me that, possibly, Mr. Lawes’ experiments on the amount of
water given off by plants during their growth, may throw some light on
the subject we are discussing.”

“Mr. Lawes found,” continued the Doctor, “that a wheat-plant, from March
19 to June 28, or 101 days, evaporated through its leaves, etc., 45,713
grains of water; while a clover-plant, standing alongside, and in
precisely similar condition, evaporated 55,093 grains. The clover was
cut June 28, when in full bloom. The wheat-plant was allowed to grow
until ripe, Sept. 7. From June 28 to Sept. 7, or 72 days, the
wheat-plant evaporated 67,814 grains.”

“One moment,” said the Deacon; “as I understand, the clover-plant
evaporated more water than the wheat-plant, until the 28th of June, but
that during the next 71 days, the wheat-plant evaporated more water than
it had during the previous 101 days.”

“Yes,” said I, “and if these facts prove nothing else, they at least
show that there is a great difference between wheat and clover. I was at
Rothamsted when these experiments were made. During the first nine days
of the experiment, the clover-plant evaporated 399.6 grains of water;
while the wheat-plant, standing alongside, evaporated only 128.7 grains.
In other words, the clover-plant evaporated three times as much water as
the wheat-plant. During the next 31 days, the wheat-plant evaporated
1,267.8 grains, and the clover-plant 1,643.0 grains; but during the next
27 days, from April 28 to May 25, the wheat-plant evaporated 162.4
grains of water per day, while the clover-plant only evaporated 109.2
grains per day. During the next 34 days, from May 25 to June 28, the
wheat-plant evaporated 1,177.4 grains per day, and the clover-plant
1,473.5 grains per day.”

“In June,” said the Deacon, “the clover evaporates ten times as much
water per day as it did in May. How much water would an acre of clover

“Let Charley figure it out,” said the Doctor. “Suppose each plant
occupies 10 square inches of land; there are 6,272,640 square inches in
an acre, and, consequently, there would be 627,264 clover-plants on an
acre. Each plant evaporated 1,473.5 grains per day, and there are 7,000
grains in a pound.”

Charley made the calculation, and found that an acre of clover, from May
25 to June 28, evaporated 528,598 lbs. of water, or 15,547 lbs. per day.

A much more accurate way of ascertaining how much water an acre of
clover evaporates is afforded us by these experiments. After the plants
were cut, they were weighed and analyzed; and it being known exactly how
much water each plant had given off during its growth, we have all the
facts necessary to tell us just how much a crop of a given weight would
evaporate. In brief, it was found that for each pound of dry substance
in the wheat-plant, 247.4 lbs. of water had been evaporated; and for
each pound in the clover-plant, 269.1 lbs.

An acre of wheat of 15 bushels per acre of grain, and an equal weight of
straw, would exhale during the spring and summer 177¾ tons of water, or
calculated on 172 days, the duration of the experiment, 2,055 lbs. per

An acre of clover that would make two tons of hay, would pass off
through its leaves, in 101 days, 430 tons of water, or 8,600 lbs. per
day--more than four times as much as the wheat.

These figures show that, from an agricultural point of view, there is a
great difference between, wheat and clover; and yet I think the figures
do not show the whole of the difference. The clover was cut just at the
time when the wheat-plant was entering on its period of most rapid
growth and exhalation, and, consequently, the figures given above
probably exaggerate the amount of water given off by the wheat during
the early part of the season. It is, at any rate, quite clear, and this
is all I want to show, that an acre of good clover exhales a much larger
amount of water from spring to hay-harvest than an acre of wheat.

“And what,” said the Deacon, who was evidently getting tired of the
figures, “does all this prove?”

The figures prove that clover can drink a much greater quantity of water
during March, April, May, and June, than wheat; and, consequently, to
get the same amount of food, it is not necessary that the clover should
have as much nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash, etc., in the water as
the wheat-plant requires. I do not know that I make myself understood.

“You want to show,” said the Deacon, “that the wheat-plant requires
richer food than clover.”

Yes, I want to show that, though clover requires _more_ food per day
than wheat, yet the clover can drink such a large amount of water, that
it is not necessary to make the “sap of the soil” so rich in nitrogen,
phosphoric acid, and potash, for clover, as it is for wheat. I think
this tells the whole story.

Clover is, or may be, the grandest renovating and enriching crop
commonly grown on our farms. It owes its great value, not to any power
it may or may not possess of getting nitrogen from the atmosphere, or
phosphoric acid and potash from the subsoil, but principally, if not
entirely, to the fact that the roots can drink up such a large amount of
water, and live and thrive on very weak food.


Not by growing the clover, and selling it. Nothing would exhaust the
land so rapidly as such a practice. We must either plow under the
clover, let it rot on the surface, or pasture it, or use it for soiling,
or make it into hay, feed it out to stock, and return the manure to the
land. If clover got its nitrogen from the atmosphere, we might sell the
clover, and depend on the roots left in the ground, to enrich the soil
for the next crop. But if, as I have endeavored to show, clover gets its
nitrogen from a weak solution in the soil, it is clear, that though for
a year or two we might raise good crops from the plant-food left in the
clover-roots, yet we should soon find that growing a crop of clover, and
leaving only the roots in the soil, is no way to permanently enrich

I do not say that such a practice will “exhaust” the land. Fortunately,
while it is an easy matter to impoverish land, we should have to call in
the aid of the most advanced agricultural science, before we could
“exhaust” land of its plant-food. The free use of Nitrate of Soda, or
Sulphate of Ammonia, might enable us to do something in the way of
exhausting our farms, but it would reduce our balance at a bank, or send
us to the poor-house, before we had fully robbed the land of its

To exhaust land, by growing and selling clover, is an agricultural
impossibility, for the simple reason that, long before the soil is
exhausted, the clover would produce such a poverty-stricken crop, that
we should give up the attempt.

We can make our land poor, by growing clover, and selling it; or, we can
make our land rich, by growing clover, and feeding it out on the farm.
Or, rather, we can make our land rich, by draining it where needed,
cultivating it thoroughly, so as to develope the latent plant-food
existing in the soil, and then by growing clover to take up and organize
this plant-food. This is how to make land rich by growing clover. It is
not, in one sense, the clover that makes the land rich; it is the
draining and cultivation, that furnishes the food for the clover. The
clover takes up this food and concentrates it. The clover does not
create the plant-food; it merely saves it. It is the thorough
cultivation that enriches the land, not the clover.

“I wish,” writes a distinguished New York gentleman, who has a farm of
barren sand, “you would tell us whether it is best to let clover ripen
and rot on the surface, or plow it under when in blossom? I have heard
that it gave more nitrogen to the land to let it ripen and rot on it,
but as I am no chemist, I do not know.”

If, instead of plowing under the clover--say the last of June, it was
left to grow a month longer, it is quite possible that the clover-roots
and seed would contain more nitrogen than they did a month earlier. It
was formerly thought that there was a loss of nitrogen during the
ripening process, but the evidence is not altogether conclusive on the
point. Still, if I had a piece of sandy land that I wished to enrich by
clover, I do not think I should plow it under in June, on the one hand,
or let it grow until maturity, and rot down, on the other. I should
rather prefer to mow the crop just as it commenced to blossom, and let
the clover lie, spread out on the land, as left by the machine. There
would, I think, be no loss of fertilizing elements by evaporation, while
the clover-hay would act as a mulch, and the second growth of clover
would be encouraged by it. Mow this second crop again, about the first
week in August. Then, unless it was desirable to continue the process
another year, the land might be plowed up in two or three weeks, turning
under the two previous crops of clover that are on the surface, together
with the green-clover still growing. I believe this would be better than
to let the clover exhaust itself by running to seed.



In the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, for 1868,
Dr. Vœlcker, the able chemist of the Society, and formerly Professor
of Agricultural Chemistry, at the Royal Agricultural College at
Cirencester, England, has given us a paper “On the Causes of the
Benefits of Clover, as a preparatory Crop for Wheat.” The paper has been
repeatedly and extensively quoted in this country, but has not been as
critically studied as the importance of the subject demands.

“Never mind all that,” said the Deacon, “tell us what Dr. Vœlcker says.”

“Here is the paper,” said I, “and Charley will read it to us.” Charley
read as follows:

“Agricultural chemists inform us, that in order to maintain the
productive powers of the land unimpaired, we must restore to it the
phosphoric acid, potash, nitrogen, and other substances, which enter
into the composition of our farm crops; the constant removal of organic
and inorganic soil constituents, by the crops usually sold off the farm,
leading, as is well known, to more or less rapid deterioration and
gradual exhaustion of the land. Even the best wheat soils of this
and other countries, become more and more impoverished, and sustain a
loss of wheat-yielding power, when corn-crops are grown in too rapid
succession without manure. Hence, the universal practice of manuring,
and that also of consuming oil-cake, corn, and similar purchased food on
land naturally poor, or partially exhausted by previous cropping.

“Whilst, however, it holds good as a general rule, that no soil can be
cropped for any length of time, without gradually becoming more and more
infertile, if no manure be applied to it, or if the fertilizing elements
removed by the crops grown thereon, be not by some means or other
restored, it is, nevertheless, a fact, that after a heavy crop of clover
carried off as hay, the land, far from being less fertile than before,
is peculiarly well adapted, even without the addition of manure, to bear
a good crop of wheat in the following year, provided the season be
favorable to its growth. This fact, indeed, is so well known, that many
farmers justly regard the growth of clover as one of the best
preparatory operations which the land can undergo, in order to its
producing an abundant crop of wheat in the following year. It has
further been noticed, that clover mown twice, leaves the land in a
better condition, as regards its wheat-producing capabilities, than when
mown once only for hay, and the second crop fed off on the land by
sheep; for, notwithstanding that in the latter instance the fertilizing
elements in the clover-crop are in part restored in the sheep
excrements, yet, contrary to expectation, this partial restoration of
the elements of fertility to the land has not the effect of producing
more or better wheat in the following year, than is reaped on land from
off which the whole clover-crop has been carried, and to which no manure
whatever has been applied.

“Again, in the opinion of several good, practical agriculturists, with
whom I have conversed on the subject, land whereon clover has been grown
for seed in the preceding year, yields a better crop of wheat than it
does when the clover is mown twice for hay, or even only once, and
afterwards fed off by sheep.”

“I do not think,” said the Deacon, “that this agrees with our experience
here. A good crop of clover-seed is profitable, but it is thought to be
rather hard on land.”

“Such,” said I, “is the opinion of John Johnston. He thinks allowing
clover to go to seed, impoverishes the soil.”

Charley, continued to read:

“Whatever may be the true explanation of the apparent anomalies
connected with the growth and chemical history of the clover-plant, the
facts just mentioned, having been noticed, not once or twice only, or by
a solitary observer, but repeatedly, and by numbers of intelligent
farmers, are certainly entitled to credit; and little wisdom, as it
strikes me, is displayed by calling them into question, because they
happen to contradict the prevailing theory, according to which a soil is
said to become more or less impoverished, in proportion to the large or
small amount of organic and mineral soil constituents carried off in the

“That is well said,” I remarked, “and very truly; but I will not
interrupt the reading.”

“In the course of a long residence,” continues Dr. Vœlcker, “in a purely
agricultural district, I have often been struck with the remarkably
healthy appearance and good yield of wheat, on land from which a heavy
crop of clover-hay was obtained in the preceding year. I have likewise
had frequent opportunities of observing, that, as a rule, wheat grown on
part of a field whereon clover has been twice mown for hay, is better
than the produce of that on the part of the same field on which the
clover has been mown only once for hay, and afterwards fed off by sheep.
These observations, extending over a number of years, led me to inquire
into the reasons why clover is specially well fitted to prepare land for
wheat; and in this paper, I shall endeavor, as the result of my
experiments on the subject, to give an intelligible explanation of the
fact, that clover is so excellent a preparatory crop for wheat, as it is
practically known to be.

“By those taking a superficial view of the subject, it may be suggested
that any injury likely to be caused by the removal of a certain amount
of fertilizing matter, is altogether insignificant, and more than
compensated for, by the benefit which results from the abundant growth
of clover-roots, and the physical improvement in the soil, which takes
place in their decomposition. Looking, however, more closely into the
matter, it will be found that in a good crop of clover-hay, a very
considerable amount of both mineral and organic substances is carried
off the land, and that, if the total amount of such constituents in a
crop had to be regarded exclusively as a measure for determining the
relative degrees in which different farm crops exhaust the soil, clover
would have to be described as about the most exhausting crop in the
entire rotation.

“Clover-hay, on an average, and in round numbers, contains in 100 parts:

  Water                                       17.0
  Nitrogenous substances,
    (flesh-forming matters)*                  15.6
  Non-nitrogenous compounds                   59.9
  Mineral matter, (ash)                        7.5
    * Containing nitrogen                      2.5

“The mineral portion, or ash, in 100 parts of clover-hay, consists of:

  Phosphoric acid                              7.5
  Sulphuric acid                               4.3
  Carbonic acid                               18.0
  Silica                                       3.0
  Lime                                        30.0
  Magnesia                                     8.5
  Potash                                      20.0
  Soda, chloride of sodium,
    oxide of iron, sand, loss, etc.            8.7

“Let us suppose the land to have yielded four tons of clover-hay per
acre. According to the preceding data, we find that such a crop includes
224 lbs. of nitrogen, equal to 272 lbs. of ammonia, and 672 lbs. of
mineral matter or ash constituents.

”In 672 lbs. of clover-ash, we find:

  Phosphoric acid                        51½ lbs.
  Sulphuric acid                         29      ”
  Carbonic acid                         121      ”
  Silica                                 20      ”
  Lime                                  201      ”
  Magnesia                               57      ”
  Potash                                134½     ”
  Soda, chloride of sodium,
     oxide of iron, sand, etc.           58      ”
                                        672     lbs.

“Four tons of clover-hay, the produce of one acre, thus contain a large
amount of nitrogen, and remove from the soil an enormous quantity of
mineral matters, abounding in lime and potash, and containing also a
good deal of phosphoric acid.

“Leaving for a moment the question untouched, whether the nitrogen
contained in the clover, is derived from the soil, or from the
atmosphere, or partly from the one, and partly from the other, no
question can arise as to the original source from which the mineral
matters in the clover produce are derived. In relation, therefore, to
the ash-constituents, clover must be regarded as one of the most
exhausting crops usually cultivated in this country. This appears
strikingly to be the case, when we compare the preceding figures with
the quantity of mineral matters which an average crop of wheat removes
from an acre of land.

“The grain and straw of wheat contain, in round numbers, in 100 parts:

                                Grains of
                                 Wheat.     Straw.

  Water                           15.0        16.0
  Nitrogenous substances,
    (flesh-forming matter)*       11.1         4.0
  Non-nitrogenous substances      72.2        74.9
  Mineral matter, (ash)            1.7         5.1
                                  -----      ------
                                 100.0       100.0
                                  =====      ======
  * Containing nitrogen            1.78         .64

“The ash of wheat contains, in 100 parts:

                                 Grain.      Straw.
  Phosphoric acid                 50.0         5.0
  Sulphuric acid                   0.5         2.7
  Carbonic acid
  Silica                           2.5        67.0
  Lime                             3.5         5.5
  Magnesia                        11.5         2.9
  Potash                          30.0        13.0
  Soda, chloride of sodium,
     oxide of iron, sand, etc.     2.0         4.8
                                 -----       -----
      Total                      100.0       100.0
                                 =====       =====

“The mean produce of wheat, per acre, may be estimated at 25 bushels,
which, at 60 lbs. per bushel, gives 1,500 lbs.; and as the weight of the
straw is generally twice that of the grain, its produce will be 3,000
lbs. According, therefore, to the preceding data, there will be carried
away from the soil:

  In 1,500 lbs. of the grain     25 lbs. of mineral food,
                                     (in round numbers).
  In 3,000 lbs. of the straw    150 lbs. of mineral food,
                                     (in round numbers).
      Total                     175 lbs.

“On the average of the analyses, it will be found that the composition
of these 175 lbs. is as follows:

                                |  In the   |  In the   |
                                |  grain.   |  straw.   | Total.
  Phosphoric acid               | 12.5 lbs. |  7.5 lbs. | 20.0 lbs.
  Sulphuric acid                |  0.1  ”   |  4.0  ”   |  4.1  ”
  Carbonic acid                 |           |           |
  Silica                        |  0.6  ”   |100.5  ”   |101.1  ”
  Lime                          |  0.9  ”   |  8.2  ”   |  9.1  ”
  Magnesia                      |  2.9  ”   |  3.0  ”   |  5.9  ”
  Potash                        |  7.5  ”   | 19.5  ”   | 27.0  ”
  Soda, chloride of sodium,     |           |           |
    oxide of iron, sand, etc.   |  0.5  ”   |  7.3  ”   |  7.8  ”
                                | 25.  lbs. |150.  lbs. |175.  lbs.

“The total quantity of ash constituents carried off the land, in an
average crop of wheat, thus amounts to only 175 lbs. per acre, whilst a
good crop of clover removes as much as 672 lbs.

“Nearly two-thirds of the total amount of mineral in the grain and straw
of one acre of wheat, consists of silica, of which there is an ample
supply in almost every soil. The restoration of silica, therefore, need
not trouble us in any way, especially as there is not a single instance
on record, proving that silica, even in a soluble condition, has ever
been applied to land, with the slightest advantage to corn, or
grass-crops, which are rich in silica, and which, for this reason, may
be assumed to be particularly grateful for it in a soluble state.
Silica, indeed, if at all capable of producing a beneficial effect,
ought to be useful to these crops, either by strengthening the straw, or
stems of graminaceous plants, or otherwise benefiting them; but, after
deducting the amount of silica from the total amount of mineral matters
in the wheat produced from one acre, only a trifling quantity of other
and more valuable fertilizing ash constituents of plants will be left.
On comparing the relative amounts of phosphoric acid, and potash, in an
average crop of wheat, and a good crop of clover-hay, it will be seen
that one acre of clover-hay contains as much phosphoric acid, as two and
one-half acres of wheat, and as much potash as the produce from five
acres of the same crop. Clover thus unquestionably removes from the land
very much more mineral matter than does wheat; wheat, notwithstanding,
succeeds remarkably well after clover.

“Four tons of clover-hay, or the produce of an acre, contains, as
already stated, 224 lbs. of nitrogen, or calculated as ammonia, 272 lbs.

“Assuming the grain of wheat to furnish 1.78 per cent of nitrogen, and
wheat-straw, .64 per cent, and assuming also that 1,500 lbs. of corn,
and 3,000 lbs. of straw, represent the average produce per acre, there
will be in the grain of wheat, per acre, 26.7 lbs. of nitrogen, and in
the straw, 19.2 lbs., or in both together, 46 lbs. of nitrogen; in round
numbers, equal to about 55 lbs. of ammonia, which is only about
one-fifth the quantity of nitrogen in the produce of an acre of clover.
Wheat, it is well known, is specially benefited by the application of
nitrogenous manures, and as clover carries off so large a quantity of
nitrogen, it is natural to expect the yield of wheat, after clover, to
fall short of what the land might be presumed to produce without manure,
before a crop of clover was taken from it. Experience, however, has
proved the fallacy of this presumption, for the result is exactly the
opposite, inasmuch as a better and heavier crop of wheat is produced
than without the intercalation of clover. What, it may be asked, is the
explanation of this apparent anomaly?

“In taking up this inquiry, I was led to pass in review the celebrated
and highly important experiments, undertaken by Mr. Lawes and Dr.
Gilbert, on the continued growth of wheat on the same soil, for a long
succession of years, and to examine, likewise carefully, many points, to
which attention is drawn, by the same authors in their memoirs on the
growth of red clover by different manures, and on the Lois Weedon plan
of growing wheat. Abundant and most convincing evidence is supplied by
these indefatigable experimenters, that the wheat-producing powers of a
soil are not increased in any sensible degree by the liberal supply of
all the mineral matters, which enter into the composition of the ash of
wheat, and that the abstraction of these mineral matters from the soil,
in any much larger proportions than can possibly take place under
ordinary cultivation, in no wise affects the yield of wheat, provided
there be at the same time a liberal supply of available nitrogen within
the soil itself. The amount of the latter, therefore, is regarded by
Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert, as the measure of the increased produce of
grain which a soil furnishes.

“In conformity with these views, the farmer, when he wishes to increase
the yield of his wheat, finds it to his advantage to have recourse to
ammoniacal, or other nitrogenous manures, and depends more or less
entirely upon the soil, for the supply of the necessary mineral or
ash-constituents of wheat, having found such a supply to be amply
sufficient for his requirements. As far, therefore, as the removal from
the soil of a large amount of mineral soil-constituents, by the
clover-crop, is concerned, the fact viewed in the light of the
Rothamsted experiments, becomes at once intelligible; for,
notwithstanding the abstraction of over 600 lbs. of mineral matter by a
crop of clover, the succeeding wheat-crop does not suffer. Inasmuch,
however, as we have seen, that not only much mineral matter is carried
off the land in a crop of clover, but also much nitrogen, we might, in
the absence of direct evidence to the contrary, be led to suspect that
wheat, after clover, would not be a good crop; whereas, the fact is
exactly the reverse.

“It is worthy of notice, that nitrogenous manures, which have such a
marked and beneficial effect upon wheat, do no good, but in certain
combinations, in some seasons, do positive harm to clover. Thus, Messrs.
Lawes and Gilbert, in a series of experiments on the growth of
red-clover, by different manures, obtained 14 tons of fresh green
produce, equal to about three and three-fourths tons of clover hay, from
the unmanured portion of the experimental field; and where sulphates of
potash, soda, and magnesia, or sulphate of potash and superphosphate of
lime were employed, 17 to 18 tons, (equal to from about four and
one-half to nearly five tons of hay), were obtained. When salts of
ammonia were added to the mineral manures, the produce of clover-hay
was, upon the whole, less than where the mineral manures were used
alone. The wheat, grown after the clover, on the unmanured plot, gave,
however, 29½ bushels of corn, whilst in the adjoining field, where wheat
was grown after wheat, without manure, only 15½ bushels of corn per acre
were obtained. Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert notice especially, that in the
clover-crop of the preceding year, very much larger quantities, both of
mineral matters and of nitrogen, were taken from the land, than were
removed in the unmanured wheat-crop in the same year, in the adjoining
field. Notwithstanding this, the soil from which the clover had been
taken, was in a condition to yield 14 bushels more wheat, per acre, than
that upon which wheat had been previously grown; the yield of wheat,
after clover, in these experiments, being fully equal to that in another
field, where large quantities of manure were used.

“Taking all these circumstances into account, is there not presumptive
evidence, that, notwithstanding the removal of a large amount of
nitrogen in the clover-hay, an abundant store of available nitrogen is
left in the soil, and also that in its relations towards nitrogen in the
soil, clover differs essentially from wheat? The results of our
experience in the growth of the two crops, appear to indicate that,
whereas the growth of the wheat rapidly exhausts the land of its
available nitrogen, that of clover, on the contrary, tends somehow or
other to accumulate nitrogen within the soil itself. If this can be
shown to be the case, an intelligible explanation of the fact that
clover is so useful as a preparatory crop for wheat, will be found in
the circumstance, that, during the growth of clover, nitrogenous food,
for which wheat is particularly grateful, is either stored up or
rendered available in the soil.

“An explanation, however plausible, can hardly be accepted as correct,
if based mainly on data, which, although highly probable, are not proved
to be based on fact. In chemical inquiries, especially, nothing must be
taken for granted, that has not been proved by direct experiment. The
following questions naturally suggest themselves in reference to this
subject: What is the amount of nitrogen in soils of different
characters? What is the amount more particularly after a good, and after
an indifferent crop of clover? Why is the amount of nitrogen in soils,
larger after clover, than after wheat and other crops? Is the nitrogen
present in a condition in which it is available and useful to wheat? And
lastly, are there any other circumstances, apart from the supply of
nitrogenous matter in the soil, which help to account for the beneficial
effects of clover as a preparatory crop for wheat?

“In order to throw some light on these questions, and, if possible, to
give distinct answers to at least some of them, I, years ago, when
residing at Cirencester, began a series of experiments; and more
recently, I have been fortunate enough to obtain the co-operation of Mr.
Robert Valentine, of Leighton Buzzard, who kindly undertook to supply me
with materials for my analysis.

“My first experiments were made on a thin, calcareous, clay soil,
resting on oolitic limestone, and producing generally a fair crop of
red-clover. The clover-field formed the slope of a rather steep hillock,
and varied much in depth. At the top of the hill, the soil became very
stony at a depth of four inches, so that it could only with difficulty
be excavated to a depth of six inches, when the bare limestone-rock made
its appearance. At the bottom of the field the soil was much deeper, and
the clover stronger, than at the upper part. On the brow of the hill,
where the clover appeared to be strong, a square yard was measured out;
and at a little distance off, where the clover was very bad, a second
square yard was measured; in both plots, the soil being taken up to a
depth of six inches. The soil, where the clover was good, may be
distinguished from the other, by being marked as No. 1, and that where
it was bad, as No. 2.


“The roots having first been shaken out to free them as much as possible
from the soil, were then washed once or twice with cold distilled water,
and, after having been dried for a little while in the sun, were
weighed, when the square yard produced 1 lb. 10½ oz. of cleaned
clover-roots, in an air-dry state; an acre of land, or 4,840 square
yards, accordingly yielded, in a depth of six inches, 3.44 tons, or 3½
tons in round numbers, of clover-roots.

“Fully dried in a water-bath, the roots were found to contain altogether
44.67 per cent of water, and on being burnt in a platinum capsule,
yielded 6.089 of ash. A portion of the dried, finely powdered and well
mixed roots, was burned with soda lime, in a combustion tube, and the
nitrogen contained in the roots otherwise determined in the usual way.
Accordingly, the following is the general composition of the roots from
the soil No. 1:

  Water                                 44.675
  Organic matter*                       49.236
  Mineral matter                         6.089
       * Containing nitrogen             1.297
         Equal to ammonia                1.575

“Assuming the whole field to have produced 3½ tons of clover-roots, per
acre, there will be 99.636 lbs., or in round numbers, 100 lbs. of
nitrogen in the clover-roots from one acre; or, about twice as much
nitrogen as is present in the average produce of an acre of wheat.”

“That is a remarkable fact,” said the Deacon, “as I understand nitrogen
is the great thing needed by wheat, and yet the _roots_ alone of the
clover, contain twice as much nitrogen as an average crop of wheat. Go
on Charley, it is quite interesting.”

“The soil,” continues Dr. Vœlcker, “which had been separated from the
roots, was passed through a sieve to deprive it of any stones it might
contain. It was then partially dried, and the nitrogen in it determined
in the usual manner, by combustion with soda-lime, when it yielded .313
per cent of nitrogen, equal to .38 of ammonia, in one combustion; and
.373 per cent of nitrogen, equal to .46 of ammonia, in a second

“That the reader may have some idea of the character of this soil, it
may be stated, that it was further submitted to a general analysis,
according to which, it was found to have the following composition:

  General Composition of Soil, No. 1. (Good Clover).

  Moisture                                               18.73
  Organic matter*                                         9.72
  Oxide of iron and alumina                              13.24
  Carbonate of lime                                       8.82
  Magnesia, alkalies, etc.                                1.72
  Insoluble silicious matter, (chiefly clay)             47.77
  * Containing nitrogen                                .313
     Equal to ammonia                                  .380

“The second square yard from the brow of the hill, where the clover was
bad, produced 13 ounces of air-dry, and partially clean roots, or 1.75
tons per acre. On analysis, they were found to have the following

  Clover-Roots, No. 2. (Bad Clover).

  Water                            55.732
  Organic matter*                  39.408
  Mineral matter, (ash)             4.860
        * Containing nitrogen    .792
          Equal to ammonia       .901

“The roots on the spot where the clover was very bad, yielded only 31
lbs. of nitrogen per acre, or scarcely one-third of the quantity which
was obtained from the roots where the clover was good.

“The soil from the second square yard, on analysis, was found, when
freed from stones by sifting, to contain in 100 parts:

  Composition of Soil, No. 2. (Bad Clover).

  Water                           17.24
  Organic matter*                  9.64
  Oxide of iron and alumina       11.89
  Carbonate of lime               14.50
  Magnesia, alkalies, etc.         1.53
  Insoluble silicious matter      45.20
        * Containing nitrogen       .306           .380
          Equal to ammonia          .370           .470

“Both portions of the clover-soil thus contained about the same
percentage of organic matter, and yielded nearly the same amount of

“In addition, however, to the nitrogen in the clover-roots, a good deal
of nitrogen, in the shape of root-fibres, decayed leaves, and similar
organic matters, was disseminated throughout the fine soil in which it
occurred, and from which it could not be separated; but unfortunately,
I neglected to weigh the soil from a square yard, and am, therefore,
unable to state how much nitrogen per acre was present in the shape of
small root-fibres and other organic matters.

“Before mentioning the details of the experiments made in the next
season, I will here give the composition of the ash of the partially
cleaned clover-roots:

  Composition Of Ash Of Clover-Roots, (Partially Cleaned).

  Oxide of iron and alumina              11.73
  Lime                                   18.49
  Magnesia                                3.03
  Potash                                  6.88
  Soda                                    1.93
  Phosphoric acid                         3.61
  Sulphuric acid                          2.24
  Soluble silica                         19.01
  Insoluble silicious matter             24.83
  Carbonic acid, chlorine, and loss       8.25

“This ash was obtained from clover-roots, which yielded, when perfectly
dry, in round numbers, eight per cent of ash. Clover-roots, washed quite
clean, and separated from all soil, yield about five per cent of ash;
but it is extremely difficult to clean a large quantity of fibrous roots
from all dirt, and the preceding analysis distinctly shows, that the ash
of the clover-roots, analyzed by me, was mechanically mixed with a good
deal of fine soil, for oxide of iron, and alumina, and insoluble
silicious matter in any quantity, are not normal constituents of
plant-ashes. Making allowance for soil contamination, the ash of
clover-roots, it will be noticed, contains much lime and potash, as well
as an appreciable amount of phosphoric and sulphuric acid. On the decay
of the clover-roots, these and other mineral fertilizing matters are
left in the surface-soil in a readily available condition, and in
considerable proportions, when the clover stands well. Although a crop
of clover removes much mineral matter from the soil, it must be borne in
mind, that its roots extract from the land, soluble mineral fertilizing
matters, which, on the decay of the roots, remain in the land in a
prepared and more readily available form, than that in which they
originally occur. The benefits arising to wheat, from the growth of
clover, may thus be due partly to this preparation and concentration of
mineral food in the surface-soil.

“The clover on the hillside field, on the whole, turned out a very good
crop; and, as the plant stood the winter well, and this field was left
another season in clover, without being plowed up, I availed myself of
the opportunity of making, during the following season, a number of
experiments similar to those of the preceding year. This time, however,
I selected for examination, a square yard of soil, from a spot on the
brow of the hill, where the clover was thin, and the soil itself stony
at a depth of four inches; and another plot of one square yard at the
bottom of the hill, from a place where the clover was stronger than that
on the brow of the hill, and the soil at a depth of six inches contained
no large stones.


“The roots in a square yard, six inches deep, when picked out by hand,
and cleaned as much as possible, weighed, in their natural state, 2 lbs.
11 oz.; and when dried on the top of a water-bath, for the purpose of
getting them brittle and fit for reduction into fine powder, 1 lb. 12
oz. 31 grains. In this state they were submitted as before to analysis,
when they yielded in 100 parts:

  Composition Of Clover-Roots, No. 1, (From Brow Of Hill).

  Moisture                             4.34
  Organic matter*                     26.53
  Mineral matter                      69.13
        * Containing nitrogen       .816
          Equal to ammonia          .991

“According to these data, an acre of land will yield three tons 12 cwts.
of nearly dry clover-roots, and in this quantity there will be about 66
lbs. of nitrogen. The whole of the soil from which the roots have been
picked out, was passed through a half-inch sieve. The stones left in the
sieve weighed 141 lbs.; the soil which passed through weighing 218 lbs.

“The soil was next dried by artificial heat, when the 218 lbs. became
reduced to 185.487 lbs.

“In this partially dried state it contained:

  Moisture                                   4.21
  Organic matter*                            9.78
  Mineral matter†                           86.01
      * Containing nitrogen               .391
        Equal to ammonia                  .475
      † Including phosphoric acid         .264

“I also determined the phosphoric acid in the ash of the clover-roots.
Calculated for the roots in a nearly dry state, the phosphoric acid
amounts to .287 per cent.

“An acre of soil, according to the data, furnished by the six inches on
the spot where the clover was thin, produced the following quantity of

                                         Ton.  Cwts.  Lbs.

  In the fine soil                        1     11     33
  In the clover-roots                     0      0     66
                                         --     --     --
    Total quantity of nitrogen per acre   1     11     99
                                         ==     ==     ==

“The organic matter in an acre of this soil, which can not be picked out
by hand, it will be seen, contains an enormous quantity of nitrogen; and
although, probably, the greater part of the roots and other remains from
the clover-crop may not be decomposed so thoroughly as to yield
nitrogenous food to the succeeding wheat-crop, it can scarcely be
doubted that a considerable quantity of nitrogen will become available
by the time the wheat is sown, and that one of the chief reasons why
clover benefits the succeeding wheat-crop, is to be found in the
abundant supply of available nitrogenous food furnished by the decaying
clover-roots and leaves.


“A square yard of the soil from the bottom of the hill, where the clover
was stronger than on the brow of the hill, produced 2 lbs. 8 oz. of
fresh clover-roots; or 1 lb. 11 oz. 47 grains of partially dried roots;
61 lbs. 9 oz. of limestones, and 239.96 lbs. of nearly dry soil.

“The partially dried roots contained:

  Moisture                             5.06
  Organic matter*                     31.94
  Mineral matter                      63.00
        * Containing nitrogen       .804

“An acre of this soil, six inches deep, produced 3 tons, 7 cwts. 65 lbs.
of clover-roots, containing 61 lbs. of nitrogen; that is, there was very
nearly the same quantity of roots and nitrogen in them, as that
furnished in the soil from the brow of the hill.

“The roots, moreover, yielded .365 per cent of phosphoric acid; or,
calculated per acre, 27 lbs.

“In the partially dried soil, I found:

  Moisture                              4.70
  Organic matter*                      10.87
  Mineral matter†                      84.43
        * Containing nitrogen            .405
          Equal to ammonia               .491
        † Including phosphoric acid      .321

“According to these determinations, an acre of soil from the bottom of
the hill, contains:

                                               Tons  Cwts.  Lbs.
  Nitrogen in the organic matter of the soil     2      2     0
  Nitrogen in clover-roots of the soil           0      0    61
                                                ---    ---  ---
  Total amount of nitrogen per acre              2      2    61
                                                ===    ===  ===

“Compared with the amount of nitrogen in the soil from the brow of the
hill, about 11 cwt. more nitrogen was obtained in the soil and roots
from the bottom of the hill, where the clover was more luxuriant.

“The increased amount of nitrogen occurred in fine root-fibres and other
organic matters of the soil, and not in the coarser bits of roots which
were picked out by the hand. It may be assumed that the finer particles
of organic matter are more readily decomposed than the coarser roots;
and as there was a larger amount of nitrogen in this than in the
preceding soil, it may be expected that the land at the bottom of the
hill, after removal of the clover, was in a better agricultural
condition for wheat, than that on the brow of the hill.”



“The soils for the next experiments, were kindly supplied to me, in
1866, by Robert Valentine, of Burcott Lodge, who also sent me some notes
respecting the growth and yield of clover-hay and seed on this soil.

“Foreign seed, at the rate of 12 lbs. per acre, was sown with a crop of
wheat, which yielded five quarters per acre the previous year.

“The first crop of clover was cut down on the 25th of June, 1866, and
carried on June 30th. The weather was very warm, from the time of
cutting until the clover was carted, the thermometer standing at 80
Fahr. every day. The clover was turned in the swath, on the second day
after it was cut; on the fourth day, it was turned over and put into
small heaps of about 10 lbs. each; and on the fifth day, these were
collected into larger cocks, and then stacked.

“The best part of an 11-acre field, produced nearly three tons of
clover-hay, sun-dried, per acre; the whole field yielding on an average,
2½ tons per acre. This result was obtained by weighing the stack three
months after the clover was carted. The second crop was cut on the 21st
of August, and carried on the 27th, the weight being nearly 30 cwt. of
hay per acre. Thus the two cuttings produced just about four tons of
clover-hay per acre.

“The 11 acres were divided into two parts. About one-half was mown for
hay a second time, and the other part left for seed. The produce of the
second half of the 11-acre field, was cut on the 8th of October, and
carried on the 10th. It yielded in round numbers, 3 cwt. of clover-seed
per acre, the season being very unfavorable for clover-seed. The second
crop of clover, mown for hay, was rather too ripe, and just beginning to
show seed.

“A square foot of soil, 18 inches deep, was dug from the second portion
of the land which produced the clover-hay and clover-seed.


“The upper six inches of soil, one foot square, contained all the main
roots of 18 strong plants; the next six inches, only small root fibres,
and in the third section, a six-inch slice cut down at a depth of 12
inches from the surface, no distinct fibres could be found. The soil was
almost completely saturated with rain when it was dug up on the 13th of
September, 1866:
  The upper six inches of soil, one foot square, weighed   60
  The second       ”              ”          ”             61
  The third        ”              ”          ”             63

“These three portions of one foot of soil, 18 inches deep, were dried
nearly completely, and weighed again; when the first six inches weighed
51¼ lbs.; the second six inches, 51 lbs. 5 oz.; and the third section,
54 lbs. 2 oz.

“The first six inches contained 3 lbs. of silicious stones, (flints),
which were rejected in preparing a sample for analysis; in the two
remaining sections there were no large sized stones. The soils were
pounded down, and passed through a wire sieve.

“The three layers of soil, dried and reduced to powder, were mixed
together, and a prepared average sample, when submitted to analysis,
yielded the following results:

  Composition of Clover-Soil, 18 Inches Deep, From Part of 11-Acre
  Field, Twice Mown for Hay.

                       {Organic matter                        5.86
                       {Oxides of iron                        6.83
                       {Alumina                               7.12
                       {Carbonate of lime                     2.13
  Soluble in           {Magnesia                              2.01
    hydrochloric acid. {Potash                                 .67
                       {Soda                                   .08
                       {Chloride of sodium                     .02
                       {Phosphoric acid                        .18
                       {Sulphuric acid                         .17

                       {Insoluble silicious matter, 74.61.
                       {  Consisting of:
                       {Alumina                               4.37
                       {Lime, (in a state of silicate)        4.07
  Insoluble in acid    {Magnesia                               .46
                       {Potash                                 .19
                       {Soda                                   .23
                       {Silica                               65.29

“This soil, it will be seen, contained, in appreciable quantities, not
only potash and phosphoric acid, but all the elements of fertility which
enter into the composition of good arable land. It may be briefly
described as a stiff clay soil, containing a sufficiency of lime,
potash, and phosphoric acid, to meet all the requirements of the
clover-crop. Originally, rather unproductive, it has been much, improved
by deep culture; by being smashed up into rough clods, early in autumn,
and by being exposed in this state to the crumbling effects of the air,
it now yields good corn and forage crops.

“In separate portions of the three layers of soil, the proportions of
nitrogen and phosphoric acid contained in each layer of six inches, were
determined and found to be as follows:

                                     Soil dried at 212 deg. Fahr.

                                     1st six   2d six    3d six
                                     inches.   inches.   inches.
  Percentage of phosphoric acid        .249      .134      .172
  Nitrogen                            1.62       .092      .064
  Equal to ammonia                     .198      .112      .078

“In the upper six inches, as will be seen, the percentage of both
phosphoric acid and nitrogen, was larger than in the two following
layers, while the proportion of nitrogen in the six inches of surface
soil, was much larger than in the next six inches; and in the third
section, containing no visible particles of root-fibres, only very
little nitrogen occurred.

“In their natural state, the three layers of soil contained:

                                     1st six    2d six     3d six
                                     inches.    inches.    inches.
  Moisture                            17.16      18.24     16.62
  Phosphoric acid                       .198       .109      .143
  Nitrogen                              .134       .075      .053
  Equal to ammonia                      .162       .091      .064
                                       Lbs.       Lbs.      Lbs.
  Weight of one foot square of soil     60         61        63

“Calculated per acre, the absolute weight of one acre of this land, six
inches deep, weighs:

  1st six inches              2,613,600
  2d six inches               2,657,160
  3d six inches               2,746,280

“No great error, therefore, will be made, if we assume in the subsequent
calculations, that six inches of this soil weighs two and one-half
millions of pounds per acre.

“An acre of land, according to the preceding determinations, contains:

                                     1st six    2d six    3d six
                                     inches,    inches,   inches,
                                      Lbs.      Lbs.      Lbs.
  Phosphoric acid                     4,950     2,725     3,575
  Nitrogen                            3,350     1,875     1,325
  Equal to ammonia                    4,050     2,275     1,600
                                      =====     =====     =====

“The proportion of phosphoric acid in six inches of surface soil, it
will be seen, amounted to about two-tenths per cent; a proportion of the
whole soil, so small that it may appear insufficient for the production
of a good corn-crop. However, when calculated to the acre, we find that
six inches of surface soil in an acre of land, actually contain over two
tons of phosphoric acid. An average crop of wheat, assumed to be 25
bushels of grain, at 60 lbs. per bushel, and 3,000 lbs. of straw,
removes from the land on which it is grown, 20 lbs. of phosphoric acid.
The clover-soil analyzed by me, consequently contains an amount of
phosphoric acid in a depth of only six inches, which is equal to that
present in 247½ average crops of wheat; or supposing that, by good
cultivation and in favorable seasons, the average yield of wheat could
be doubled, and 50 bushels of grain, at 60 lbs. a bushel, and 6,000 lbs.
of straw could be raised, 124 of such heavy wheat-crops would contain no
more phosphoric acid than actually occurred in six inches of this
clover-soil per acre.

“The mere presence of such an amount of phosphoric acid in a soil,
however, by no means proves its sufficiency for the production of so
many crops of wheat; for, in the first place, it can not be shown that
the whole of the phosphoric acid found by analysis, occurs in the soil
in a readily available combination; and, in the second place, it is
quite certain that the root-fibres of the wheat-plant can not reach and
pick up, so to speak, every particle of phosphoric acid, even supposing
it to occur in the soil in a form most conducive to ‘ready assimilation
by the plant.’

“The calculation is not given in proof of a conclusion which would be
manifestly absurd, but simply as an illustration of the enormous
quantity in an acre of soil six inches deep, of a constituent forming
the smaller proportions of the whole weight of an acre of soil of that
limited depth. It shows the existence of a practically unlimited amount
of the most important mineral constituents of plants, and clearly points
out the propriety of rendering available to plants, the natural
resources of the soil in plant-food; to draw, in fact, up the mineral
wealth of the soil, by thoroughly working the land, and not leaving it
unutilized as so much dead capital.”

“Good,” said the Deacon, “that is the right doctrine.”

“The roots,” continues Dr. Vœlcker, “from one square foot of soil were
cleaned as much as possible, dried completely at 212°, and in that state
weighed 240 grains. An acre consequently contained 1,493½ lbs. of dried

“The clover-roots contained, dried at 212° Fahr.,

  Organic matter*                         81.33
  Mineral matter,† (ash)                  18.67
        * Yielding nitrogen               1.635
          Equal to ammonia                1.985
        † Including insoluble silicious
            matter, (clay and sand)      11.67

“Accordingly the clover-roots in an acre of land furnished 24½ lbs. of
nitrogen. We have thus:

                                                Lbs. of
  In the six inches of surface soil               3,350
  In large clover-roots                              24½
  In second six inches of soil                    1,875
  Total amount of nitrogen in one acre of
      soil 12 inches deep                         5,249½
  Equal to ammonia                                6,374½

Or in round numbers, two tons six cwt. of nitrogen per acre; an enormous
quantity, which must have a powerful influence in encouraging the
luxuriant development of the succeeding wheat-crop, although only a
fraction of the total amount of nitrogen in the clover remains may
become sufficiently decomposed in time to be available to the young


“Produce 2½ tons of clover-hay, and 3 cwt. of seed per acre.

“This soil was obtained within a distance of five yards from the part of
the field where the soil was dug up after the two cuttings of hay. After
the seed there was some difficulty in finding a square foot containing
the same number of large clover-roots, as that on the field twice mown;
however, at last, in the beginning of November, a square foot containing
exactly 18 strong roots, was found and dug up to a depth of 18 inches.
The soil dug after the seed was much drier than that dug after the two
cuttings of hay:

  The upper six inches deep, one foot square, weighed    56 lbs.
  The next      ”               ”                ”       58  ”
  The third     ”               ”                ”       60  ”

“After drying by exposure to hot air, the three layers of soil weighed:

  The upper six inches, one foot square    49¾ lbs.
  The next      ”               ”          50½     ”
  The third     ”               ”          51¼     ”

“Equal portions of the dried soil from each six-inch section were mixed
together and reduced to a fine powder. An average sample thus prepared,
on analysis, was found to have the following composition:

  Composition of Clover-Soil Once Mown for Hay, and Afterwards Left for
  Seed. Dried at 212° Fahr.

                     { Organic matter                   5.34
                     { Oxides of iron                   6.07
                     { Alumina                          4.51
                     { Carbonate of lime                7.51
  Soluble in         { Magnesia                         1.27
   hydrochloric Acid { Potash                            .52
                     { Soda                              .16
                     { Chloride of sodium                .03
                     { Phosphoric acid                   .15
                     { Sulphuric acid                    .19

                    { Insoluble silicious matter,
                    {   73.84. Consisting of:
                    { Alumina                           4.14
                    { Lime (in a state of silicate)     2.69
  Insoluble in acid { Magnesia                           .68
                    { Potash                             .24
                    { Soda                               .21
                    { Silica                           65.88

“The soil, it will be seen, in general character, resembles the
preceding sample; it contains a good deal of potash and phosphoric
acid, and may be presumed to be well suited to the growth of clover. It
contains more carbonate of lime, and is somewhat lighter than the sample
from the part of the field twice mown for hay, and may be termed heavy
calcareous clay.

“An acre of this land, 18 inches deep, weighed, when very nearly dry:

  Surface, six inches        2,407,900
  Next        ”              2,444,200
  Third       ”              2,480,500

“Or in round numbers, every six inches of soil weighed per acre 2½
millions of pounds, which agrees tolerably well with the actual weight
per acre of the preceding soil.

“The amount of phosphoric acid and nitrogen in each six-inch layer was
determined separately, as before, when the following results were
                            In Dried Soil.

                                  First six   Second        Third six
                                  inches.     six inches.   inches.
  Percentage of phosphoric acid     .159        .166          .140
  Nitrogen                          .189        .134          .089
  Equal to ammonia                  .229        .162          .108

“An acre, according to these determinations, contains in the three
separate sections:

                     First six    Second         Third six
                     inches.      six inches.    inches.
                     lbs.         lbs.           lbs.

  Phosphoric acid     3,975        4,150         3,500
  Nitrogen            4,725        3,350         2,225
  Equal to ammonia    5,725        4,050         2,700

“Here, again, as might naturally be expected, the proportion of nitrogen
is largest in the surface, where all the decaying leaves dropped during
the growth of the clover for seed are found, and wherein root-fibres are
more abundant than in the lower strata. The first six inches of soil, it
will be seen, contained in round numbers, 2½ tons of nitrogen per acre,
that is, considerably more than was found in the same section of the
soil where the clover was mown twice for hay; showing plainly, that
during the ripening of the clover seed, the surface is much enriched by
the nitrogenous matter in the dropping leaves of the clover-plant.

“_Clover-roots_.--The roots from one square foot of this soil, freed as
much as possible from adhering soil, were dried at 212°, and when
weighed and reduced to a fine powder, gave, on analysis, the following

  Organic matter*                        64.76
  Mineral matter†                        35.24
    * Containing nitrogen                 1.702
      Equal to ammonia                    2.066
    † Including clay and sand
       (insoluble silicious matter)      26.04

“A square foot of this soil produced 582 grains of dried clover-roots,
consequently an acre yielded 3,622 lbs. of roots, or more than twice the
weight of roots obtained from the soil of the same field where the
clover was twice mown for hay.

“In round numbers, the 3,622 lbs. of clover-roots from the land mown
once, and afterwards left for seed, contained 51½ lbs. of nitrogen.

“The roots from the soil after clover-seed, it will be noticed, were not
so clean as the preceding sample, nevertheless, they yielded more
nitrogen. In 64.76 of organic matter, we have here 1.702 of nitrogen,
whereas, in the case of the roots from the part of the field where the
clover was twice mown for hay, we have in 81.33 parts, that is, much
more organic matter, and 1.635, or rather less of nitrogen. It is
evident, therefore, that the organic matter in the soil after
clover-seed, occurs in a more advanced stage of decomposition, than
found in the clover-roots from the part of the field twice mown. In the
manure, in which the decay of such and similar organic remains proceeds,
much of the non-nitrogenous, or carbonaceous matters, of which these
remains chiefly, though not entirely, consist, is transformed into
gaseous carbonic acid, and what remains behind, becomes richer in
nitrogen and mineral matters. A parallel case, showing the dissipation
of carbonaceous matter, and the increase in the percentage of nitrogen
and mineral matter in what is left behind, is presented to us in fresh
and rotten dung; in long or fresh dung, the percentage of organic
matter, consisting chiefly of very imperfectly decomposed straw, being
larger, and that of nitrogen and mineral matter smaller, than in
well-rotted dung.

“The roots from the field after clover-seed, it will be borne in mind,
were dug up in November, whilst those obtained from the land twice mown,
were dug up in September; the former, therefore, may be expected to be
in a more advanced state of decay than the latter, and richer in

“In an acre of soil, after clover-seed, we have:

  Nitrogen in first six inches of soil          4,725
  Nitrogen in roots                                51½
  Nitrogen in second six inches of soil         3,350
    Total amount of nitrogen, per acre, in
      twelve inches of soil                     8,126½

“Equal to ammonia, 9,867 lbs.: or, in round numbers, 3 tons and 12½
cwts. of nitrogen per acre; equal to 4 tons 8 cwts. of ammonia.

“This is a very much larger amount of nitrogen than occurred in the
other soil, and shows plainly that the total amount of nitrogen
accumulates especially in the surface-soil, when clover is grown for
seed; thus explaining intelligibly, as it appears to me, why wheat, as
stated by many practical men, succeeds better on land where clover is
grown for seed, than where it is mown for hay.

“All the three layers of the soil, after clover-seed, are richer in
nitrogen than the same sections of the soil where the clover was twice
mown, as will be seen by the following comparative statement of results:

                |           I.             |            II.
                |    Clover-Soil twice     |  Clover-Soil once mown
                |        mown.             |  and then left for seed.
                |        |        |        |        |        |
                | Upper  | Second | Third  | Upper  |  Next  | Lowest
                |6 inches|6 inches|6 inches|6 inches|6 inches|6 inches
  Percentage of |        |        |        |        |        |
    nitrogen in |  .168  |  .092  |  .064  |  .189  |  .134  |  .089
    dried soil  |        |        |        |        |        |
  Equal to      |        |        |        |        |        |
    ammonia     |  .198  |  .112  |  .078  |  .229  |  .162  |  .108

“This difference in the amount of accumulated nitrogen in clover-land,
appears still more strikingly on comparing the total amounts of nitrogen
per acre in the different sections of the two portions of the 11-acre

  Percentage of Nitrogen Per Acre.

                               First six  Second       Third six
                               inches.    six inches.  inches.
                               Lbs.       Lbs.         Lbs.
   I. In soil, clover twice  }
         mown*               } 3,350      1,875        1,325
  II. In soil, clover once   }
        mown and seeded      }
        afterwards†          } 4,725      3,350        2,225
                               =====      =====        =====
     Equal to ammonia:
     *  I. Clover twice mown } 4,050      2,275        1,600
     † II. Clover seeded     } 5,725      4,050        2,700

   I. Nitrogen in roots of clover twice mown      }    24½
  II. Nitrogen in clover, once mown, and grown    }
      for seed afterwards                         }    51½
   I. Weight of dry roots per acre from Soil I    } 1,493½
  II. Weight of dry roots per acre from Soil II   } 3,622
  Total amount of nitrogen in 1 acre, 12 inches   }
    deep of Soil I*                               } 5,249¼
  Total amount of nitrogen in 1 acre, 12 inches   }
    deep of Soil II†                              } 8,126¼
  Excess of nitrogen in an acre of soil 12        }
    inches deep, calculated as ammonia in part    }
    of field, mown once and then seeded           } 3,592½
            * Equal to ammonia                    } 6,374½
            † Equal to ammonia                    } 9,867

“It will be seen that not only was the amount of large clover-roots
greater in the part where clover was grown for seed, but that likewise
the different layers of soil were in every instance richer in nitrogen
after clover-seed, than after clover mown twice for hay.

“Reasons are given in the beginning of this paper which it is hoped will
have convinced the reader, that the fertility of land is not so much
measured by the amount of ash constituents of plants which it contains,
as by the amount of nitrogen, which, together with an excess of such ash
constituents, it contains in an available form. It has been shown
likewise, that the removal from the soil of a large amount of mineral
matter in a good clover-crop, in conformity with many direct field
experiments, is not likely in any degree to affect the wheat-crop, and
that the yield of wheat on soils under ordinary cultivation, according
to the experience of many farmers, and the direct and numerous
experiments of Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert, rises or falls, other
circumstances being equal, with the supply of available nitrogenous food
which is given to the wheat. This being the case, we can not doubt that
the benefits arising from the growth of clover to the succeeding wheat,
are mainly due to the fact that an immense amount of nitrogenous food
accumulates in the soil during the growth of clover.

“This accumulation of nitrogenous plant-food, specially useful to cereal
crops, is, as shown in the preceding experiments, much greater when
clover is grown for seed, than when it is made into hay. This affords an
intelligible explanation of a fact long observed by good practical men,
although denied by others who decline to accept their experience as
resting upon trustworthy evidence, because, as they say, land cannot
become more fertile when a crop is grown upon it for seed, which is
carried off, than when that crop is cut down and the produce consumed on
the land. The chemical points brought forward in the course of this
inquiry, show plainly that mere speculation as to what can take place in
a soil, and what not, do not much advance the true theory of certain
agricultural practices. It is only by carefully investigating subjects
like the one under consideration, that positive proofs are given,
showing the correctness of intelligent observers in the fields. Many
years ago, I made a great many experiments relative to the chemistry of
farm-yard manure, and then showed, amongst other particulars, that
manure, spread at once on the land, need not there and then be plowed
in, inasmuch as neither a broiling sun, nor a sweeping and drying wind
will cause the slightest loss of ammonia; and that, therefore, the
old-fashioned farmer who carts his manure on the land as soon as he can,
and spreads it at once, but who plows it in at his convenience, acts in
perfect accordance with correct chemical principles involved in the
management of farm-yard manure. On the present occasion, my main object
has been to show, not merely by reasoning on the subject, but by actual
experiments, that the larger the amounts of nitrogen, potash, soda,
lime, phosphoric acid, etc., which are removed from the land in a
clover-crop, the better it is, nevertheless, made thereby for producing
in the succeeding year an abundant crop of wheat, other circumstances
being favorable to its growth.

“Indeed, no kind of manure can be compared in point of efficacy for
wheat, to the manuring which the land gets in a really good crop of
clover. The farmer who wishes to derive the full benefit from his
clover-lay, should plow it up for wheat as soon as possible in the
autumn, and leave it in a rough state as long as is admissible, in order
that the air may find free access into the land, and the organic remains
left in so much abundance in a good crop of clover be changed into
plant-food; more especially, in other words, in order that the crude
nitrogenous organic matter in the clover-roots and decaying leaves, may
have time to become transformed into ammoniacal compounds, and these, in
the course of time, into nitrates, which I am strongly inclined to think
is the form in which nitrogen is assimilated, par excellence by cereal
crops, and in which, at all events, it is more efficacious than in any
other state of combination wherein it may be used as a fertilizer.

“When the clover-lay is plowed up early, the decay of the clover is
sufficiently advanced by the time the young wheat-plant stands in need
of readily available nitrogenous food, and this being uniformly
distributed through the whole of the cultivated soil, is ready to
benefit every single plant. This equal and abundant distribution of
food, peculiarly valuable to cereals, is a great advantage, and speaks
strongly in favor of clover as a preparatory crop for wheat.

“Nitrate of soda, an excellent spring top-dressing for wheat and cereals
in general, in some seasons fails to produce as good an effect as in
others. In very dry springs, the rainfall is not sufficient to wash it
properly into the soil and to distribute it equally, and in very wet
seasons it is apt to be washed either into the drains or into a stratum
of the soil not accessible to the roots of the young wheat. As,
therefore, the character of the approaching season can not usually be
predicted, the application of nitrate of soda to wheat is always
attended with more or less uncertainty.

“The case is different, when a good crop of clover-hay has been obtained
from the land on which wheat is intended to be grown afterwards. An
enormous quantity of nitrogenous organic matter, as we have seen, is
left in the land after the removal of the clover-crop; and these remains
gradually decay and furnish ammonia, which at first and during the
colder months of the year, is retained by the well known absorbing
properties which all good wheat-soils possess. In spring, when warmer
weather sets in, and the wheat begins to make a push, these ammonia
compounds in the soil are by degrees oxidized into nitrates; and as this
change into food peculiarly favorable to young cereal plants, proceeds
slowly but steadily, we have in the soil itself, after clover, a source
from which nitrates are continuously produced; so that it does not much
affect the final yield of wheat, whether heavy rains remove some or all
of the nitrate present in the soil. The clover remains thus afford a
more continuous source from which nitrates are produced, and greater
certainty for a good crop of wheat than when recourse is had to
nitrogenous top-dressings in the spring.


“The following are some of the chief points of interest which I have
endeavored fully to develope in the preceding pages:

“1. A good crop of clover removes from the soil more potash, phosphoric
acid, lime, and other mineral matters, which enter into the composition
of the ashes of our cultivated crops, than any other crop usually grown
in this country.

“2. There is fully three times as much nitrogen in a crop of clover as
in the average produce of the grain and straw of wheat per acre.

“3. Notwithstanding the large amount of nitrogenous matter and of
ash-constituents of plants, in the produce of an acre, clover is an
excellent preparatory crop for wheat.

“4. During the growth of clover, a large amount of nitrogenous matter
accumulates in the soil.

“5. This accumulation, which is greatest in the surface soil, is due to
decaying leaves dropped during the growth of clover, and to an abundance
of roots, containing, when dry, from one and three-fourths to two per
cent of nitrogen.

“6. The clover-roots are stronger and more numerous, and more leaves
fall on the ground when clover is grown for seed, than when it is mown
for hay; in consequence, more nitrogen is left after clover-seed, than
after hay, which accounts for wheat yielding a better crop after
clover-seed than after hay.

“7. The development of roots being checked, when the produce, in a green
condition, is fed off by sheep, in all probability, leaves still less
nitrogenous matter in the soil than when clover is allowed to get riper
and is mown for hay; thus, no doubt, accounting for the observation made
by practical men, that, notwithstanding the return of the produce in the
sheep excrements, wheat is generally stronger, and yields better, after
clover mown for hay, than when the clover is fed off green by sheep.

“8. The nitrogenous matters in the clover remains, on their gradual
decay, are finally transformed into nitrates, thus affording a
continuous source of food on which cereal crops specially delight to

“9. There is strong presumptive evidence that the nitrogen which exists
in the air, in shape of ammonia and nitric acid, and descends, in these
combinations, with the rain which falls on the ground, satisfies, under
ordinary circumstances, the requirements of the clover-crop. This crop
causes a large accumulation of nitrogenous matters, which are gradually
changed in the soil into nitrates. The atmosphere thus furnishes
nitrogenous food to the succeeding wheat indirectly, and, so to say,

“10. Clover not only provides abundance of nitrogenous food, but
delivers this food in a readily available form (as nitrates), more
gradually and continuously, and, consequently, with more certainty of a
good result, than such food can be applied to the land in the shape of
nitrogenous spring top-dressings.”

“Thank you Charley,” said the Doctor, “_that is the most remarkable
paper I ever listened to_. I do not quite know what to think of it. We
shall have to examine it carefully.”

“The first three propositions in the Summary,” said I, “are
unquestionably true. Proposition No. 4, is equally true, but we must be
careful what meaning we attach to the word ‘accumulate.’ The idea is,
that clover gathers up the nitrogen in the soil. It does not _increase_
the absolute amount of nitrogen. It accumulates it--brings it together.

“Proposition No. 5, will not be disputed; and I think we may accept No.
6, also, though we can not be sure that allowing clover to go to seed,
had anything to do with the increased quantity of clover-roots.

“Proposition No. 7, may or may not be true. We have no proof, only a
‘probability;’ and the same may be said in regard to propositions Nos.
8, 9, and 10.”

The Deacon seemed uneasy. He did not like these remarks. He had got the
impression, while Charley was reading, that much more was proved than
Dr. Vœlcker claims in his Summary.

“I thought,” said he, “that on the part of the field where the clover
was allowed to go to seed, Dr. Vœlcker found a great increase in the
amount of nitrogen.”

“That seems to be the general impression,” said the Doctor, “but in
point of fact, we have no proof that the growth of clover, either for
hay or for seed, had anything to do with the quantity of nitrogen and
phosphoric acid found in the soil. The _facts_ given by Dr. Vœlcker, are
exceedingly interesting. Let us look at them:

“A field of 11 acres was sown to winter-wheat, and seeded down in the
spring, with 13 lbs. per acre of clover. The wheat yielded 40 bushels
per acre. The next year, on the 25th of June, the clover was mown for
hay. We are told that ‘the _best part_ of the field yielded three tons
(6,720 lbs.) of clover-hay per acre; the whole field averaging 2½ tons
(5,600 lbs.) per acre.’

“We are not informed how much land there was of the ‘best part,’ but
assuming that it was half the field, the poorer part must have yielded
only 4,480 lbs. of hay per acre, or only two-thirds as much as the
other. This shows that there was considerable difference in the quality
or condition of the land.

“After the field was mown for hay, it was divided into two parts: one
part was mown again for hay, August 21st, and yielded about 30 cwt.
(3,360 lbs.) of hay per acre; the other half was allowed to grow six or
seven weeks longer, and was then (October 8th), cut for seed. The yield
was a little over 5½ bushels of seed per acre. Whether the clover
allowed to grow for seed, was on the richer or poorer half of the field,
we are not informed.

“Dr. Vœlcker then analyzed the soil. That from the part of the field
mown twice for hay, contained per acre:

                    First six   Second six   Third six   Total, 18
                    inches.     inches.      inches.    inches deep.
  Phosphoric acid    4,950       2,725        3,575      11,250
  Nitrogen           3,350       1,875        1,325       6,550

“The soil _from the part mown once for hay, and then for seed_,
contained per acre:

                     First six   Second six   Third six   Total, 18
                     inches.     inches.      inches.    inches deep.
  Phosphoric acid     3,975       4,150        3,500      11,625
  Nitrogen            4,725       3,350        2,225      10,300

“Dr. Vœlcker also ascertained the amount and composition of the
clover-_roots_ growing in the soil on the two parts of the field. On the
_part mown twice for hay_, the roots contained per acre 24½ lbs. of
nitrogen. On the _part mown once for hay, and then for seed_, the roots
contained 51½ lbs. of nitrogen per acre.”

“Now,” said the Doctor, “these facts are very interesting, _but there is
no sort of evidence tending to show that the clover has anything to do
with increasing or decreasing the quantity of nitrogen or phosphoric
acid found in the soil_.”

“There was more clover-roots per acre, where the clover was allowed to
go to seed. But that may be because the soil happened to be richer on
this part of the field. There was, in the first six inches of the soil,
3,350 lbs. of nitrogen per acre, on one-half of the field, and 4,725
lbs. on the other half; and it is not at all surprising that on the
latter half there should be a greater growth of clover and clover-roots.
To suppose that during the six or seven weeks while the clover was
maturing its seed, the clover-plants could accumulate 1,375 lbs. of
nitrogen, is absurd.”

“But Dr. Vœlcker,” said the Deacon, “states, and states truly, that
‘more leaves fall on the ground when clover is grown for seed, than when
it is mown for hay; and, consequently, more nitrogen is left after
clover-seed than after hay, which accounts for wheat yielding a better
crop after clover-seed than after hay.’”

“This is all true,” said the Doctor, “but we can not accept Dr.
Vœlcker’s analyses as proving it. To account in this way for the 1,375
lbs. of nitrogen, we should have to suppose that the clover-plants, in
going to seed, shed _one hundred tons_ of dry clover-leaves per acre!
The truth of the matter seems to be, that the part of the field on which
the clover was allowed to go to seed, was naturally much richer than the
other part, and consequently produced a greater growth of clover and

We can not find anything in these experiments tending to show that we
can make land rich by growing clover and selling the crop. The analyses
of the soil show that in the first eighteen inches of the surface-soil,
there was 6,550 lbs. of nitrogen per acre, on one part of the field, and
10,300 lbs. on the other part. The clover did not create this nitrogen,
or bring it from the atmosphere. The wheat with which the clover was
seeded down, yielded 40 bushels per acre. If the field had been sown to
wheat again, it probably would not have yielded over 25 bushels per
acre--and that for want of available nitrogen. And yet the clover got
nitrogen enough for over four tons of clover-hay; or as much nitrogen as
a crop of wheat of 125 bushels per acre, and 7½ tons of straw would
remove from the land.

Now what does this prove? There was, in 18 inches of the soil on the
poorest part of the field, 6,550 lbs. of nitrogen per acre. A crop of
wheat of 50 bushels per acre, and twice that weight of straw, would
require about 92 lbs. of nitrogen. But the wheat can not get this amount
from the soil, while the clover can get _double the quantity_. And the
only explanation I can give, is, that the clover-roots can take up
nitrogen from a weaker solution in the soil than wheat-roots can.

“These experiments of Dr. Vœlcker,” said I, “give me great
encouragement. Here is a soil, ‘originally rather unproductive, but much
improved by deep culture; by being smashed up into rough clods early in
autumn, and by being exposed in this state to the crumbling effects of
the air.’ It now produces 40 bushels of wheat per acre, and part of the
field yielded three tons of clover-hay, per acre, the first cutting, and
5½ bushels of clover-seed afterwards--and that in a very unfavorable
season for clover-seed.”

You will find that the farmers in England do not expect to make their
land rich, by growing clover and selling the produce. After they have
got their land rich, by good cultivation, and the liberal use of animal
and artificial manures, they may expect a good crop of wheat from the
roots of the clover. But they take good care to feed out the clover
itself on the farm, in connection with turnips and oil-cake, and thus
make rich manure.

And so it is in this country. Much as we hear about the value of clover
for manure, even those who extol it the highest do not depend upon it
alone for bringing up and maintaining the fertility of their farms. The
men who raise the largest crops and make the most money by farming, do
not sell clover-hay. They do not look to the roots of the clover for
making a poor soil rich. They are, to a man, good cultivators. They work
their land thoroughly and kill the weeds. They keep good stock, and feed
liberally, and make good manure. They use lime, ashes, and plaster, and
are glad to draw manure from the cities and villages, and muck from the
swamps, and not a few of them buy artificial manures. In the hands of
such farmers, clover is a grand renovating crop. It gathers up the
fertility of the soil, and the roots alone of a large crop, often
furnish food enough for a good crop of corn, potatoes, or wheat. But if
your land was not in good heart to start with, you would not get the
large crop of clover; and if you depend on the clover-roots alone, the
time is not far distant when your large crops of clover will be things
of the past.


“We have seen that Dr. Vœlcker made four separate determinations of the
amount of clover-roots left in the soil to the depth of six inches. It
may be well to tabulate the figures obtained:

  Clover-Roots, in Six Inches of Soil, Per Acre.

        |                                |Air-dry  |Nitrogen |Phosphoric
        |                                |roots,   |in roots,|acid in
        |                                |per acre.|per acre.|roots,
        |                                |         |         |per acre.
        |1st Year.                       |         |         |
  No. 1.|  Good Clover from brow         |   7705  |   100   |
        |      of the hill               |         |         |
   ”  2.|  Bad    ”     ”    ”           |   3920  |    31   |
        |       ”  ”   ”                 |         |         |
        |                                |         |         |
        |2d Year.                        |         |         |
   ”  3.|  Good Clover from bottom       |   7569  |    61   |   27
        |      of the field              |         |         |
   ”  4.|  Thin   ”     ”   brow         |   8064  |    66   |
        |      ”   ”   hill              |         |         |
        |                                |         |         |
   ”  5.|Heavy crop of first-year clover |         |         |
        |  mown twice for hay            |         |    24½  |
   ”  6.|Heavy crop of first-year clover |         |         |
        |  mown once for hay,            |         |    51½  |
        |  and then for seed             |         |         |
   ”  7.|German experiment,              |         |         |
        |  10¼ inches deep               |   8921  |   191½  |   74¾

I have not much confidence in experiments of this kind. It is so easy to
make a little mistake; and when you take only a square foot of land, as
was the case with Nos. 5 and 6, the mistake is multiplied by 43,560.
Still, I give the table for what it is worth.

Nos. 1 and 2 are from a one-year-old crop of clover. The field was a
calcareous clay soil. It was somewhat hilly; or, perhaps, what we here,
in Western New York, should call “rolling land.” The soil on the brow of
the hill, “was very stony at a depth of four inches, so that it could
only with difficulty be excavated to six inches, when the bare
limestone-rock made its appearance.”

A square yard was selected on this shallow soil, where the clover was
good; and the roots, air-dried, weighed at the rate of 7,705 lbs. per
acre, and contained 100 lbs. of nitrogen. A few yards distance, on the
same soil, where the clover was bad, the acre of roots contained only 31
lbs. of nitrogen per acre.

So far, so good. We can well understand this result. Chemistry has
little to do with it. There was a good stand of clover on the one plot,
and a poor one on the other. And the conclusion to be drawn from it is,
that it is well worth our while to try to secure a good catch of clover.

“But, suppose,” said the Doctor, “No. 2 had happened to have been
pastured by sheep, and No. 1 allowed to go to seed, what magic there
would have been in the above figures!”

Nos. 3 and 4 are from the same field, the second year. No. 4 is from a
square yard of thin clover on the brow of the hill, and No. 3, from the
richer, deeper land towards the bottom of the hill.

There is very little difference between them. The roots of thin clover
from the brow of the hill, contain five lbs. more nitrogen per acre,
than the roots on the deeper soil.

If we can depend on the figures, we may conclude that on our poor stony
“knolls,” the clover has larger and longer roots than on the richer
parts of the field. We know that roots will run long distances and great
depths in search of food and water.

Nos. 5 and 6 are from a heavy crop of one-year-old clover. No. 5 was
mown twice for hay, producing, in the two cuttings, over four tons of
hay per acre. No. 6 was in the same field, the only difference being
that the clover, instead of being cut the second time for hay, was
allowed to stand a few weeks longer to ripen its seed. You will see that
the latter has more roots than the former.

There are 24½ lbs. of nitrogen per acre in the one case, and 51½ lbs. in
the other. How far this is due to difference in the condition of the
land, or to the difficulties in the way of getting out all the roots
from the square yard, is a matter of conjecture.

Truth to tell, I have very little confidence in any of these figures. It
will be observed that I have put at the bottom of the table, the result
of an examination made in Germany. In this case, the nitrogen in the
roots of an acre of clover, amounted to 191½ lbs. per acre. If we can
depend on the figures, we must conclude that there were nearly eight
times as much clover-roots per acre in the German field, as in the
remarkably heavy crop of clover in the English field No. 5.

“Yes,” said the Deacon, “but the one was 10¼ inches deep, and the other
only six inches deep; and besides, the German experiment includes the
‘stubble’ with the roots.”

The Deacon is right; and it will be well to give the complete table, as
published in the _American Agriculturist_:

  Table Showing the Amount of Roots and Stubble Left Per Acre by
  Different Crops, and the Amount of Ingredients Which They Contain
  Per Acre.

                           |No. of lbs. of |            |
                           |stubble & roots|            |  No. of lbs.
                           |(dry) per acre |No. of lbs. |  of ash, free
                           |to a depth of  |of Nitrogen | from carbonic
                           |10¼ inches.    | per acre.  |acid, per acre.
  Lucern (4 years old)     |   9,678.1     |   136.4    |   1,201.6
  Red-Clover (1 year old,) |   8,921.6     |   191.6    |   1,919.9
  Esparsette (3 years old) |   5,930.9     |   123.2    |   1,023.4
  Rye                      |   5,264.6     |    65.3    |   1,747.8
  Swedish Clover           |   5,004.3     |   102.3    |     974.6
  Rape                     |   4,477.      |    56.5    |     622.3
  Oats                     |   3,331.9     |    26.6    |   1,444.7
  Lupine                   |   3,520.9     |    62.2    |     550.
  Wheat                    |   3,476.      |    23.5    |   1,089.8
  Peas                     |   3,222.5     |    55.6    |     670.7
  Serradella               |   3,120.1     |    64.8    |     545.6
  Buckwheat                |   2,195.6     |    47.9    |     465.5
  Barley                   |   1,991.4     |    22.8    |     391.1

  Contents of the Ashes, in Pounds, Per Acre.

                 | Lime. |Magnesia.|Potash.| Soda. |Sulphuric|Phosphoric
                 |       |         |       |       |  Acid.  |   Acid.
  Lucern         | 197.7 |   24.2  |  36.7 |  26.4 |   18.7  |   38.5
  Red-Clover     | 262.9 |   48.4  |  58.3 |  20.0 |   26.1  |   74.8
  Esparsette     | 132.8 |   28.7  |  42.6 |  13.8 |   20.6  |   29.7
  Rye            |  73.2 |   14.3  |  31.2 |  43.3 |   11.8  |   24.4
  Swedish Clover | 136.1 |   17.6  |  25.9 |   5.7 |   13.2  |   24.2
  Rape           | 163.9 |   12.9  |  34.7 |  20.9 |   30.8  |   31.9
  Oats           |  85.5 |   11.2  |  24.8 |  18.  |    8.8  |   29.
  Lupine         |  80.5 |   11.2  |  16.5 |   3.5 |    7.   |   13.8
  Wheat          |  76.7 |   10.1  |  28.4 |  11.  |    7.4  |   11.8
  Peas           |  71.7 |   11.   |  11.2 |   7.  |    9.4  |   14.3
  Serradella     |  79.8 |   13.4  |   8.8 |   4.8 |    9.   |   18.4
  Buckwheat      |  80.  |    7.2  |   8.8 |   4.2 |    6.6  |   11.
  Barley         |  42.2 |    5.5  |   9.5 |   3.5 |    5.5  |   11.2

It may be presumed, that, while these figures are not _absolutely_, they
are _relatively_, correct. In other words, we may conclude, that
red-clover leaves more nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, in the
roots and stubble per acre, than any other of the crops named.

The gross amount of dry substance in the roots, and the gross amount of
ash per acre, are considerably exaggerated, owing to the evidently large
quantity of dirt attached to the roots and stubble. For instance, the
gross amount of ash in Lucern is given as 1,201.6 lbs. per acre; while
the total amount of lime, magnesia, potash, soda, sulphuric and
phosphoric acids, is only 342.2 lbs. per acre, leaving 859.4 lbs. as
sand, clay, iron, etc. Of the 1,919.9 lbs. of ash in the acre of
clover-roots and stubble, there are 1,429.4 lbs. of sand, clay, etc. But
even after deducting this amount of impurities from a gross total of dry
matter per acre, we still have 7,492.2 lbs. of dry roots and stubble per
acre, or nearly 3¼ tons of _dry_ roots per acre. This is a very large
quantity. It is as much dry matter as is contained in 13 tons of
ordinary farm-yard, or stable-manure. And these 3¼ tons of dry
clover-roots contain 191½ lbs. of nitrogen, which is as much as is
contained in 19 tons of ordinary stable-manure. The clover-roots also
contain 74¾ lbs. of phosphoric acid per acre, or as much as is contained
in from 500 to 600 lbs. of No. 1 rectified Peruvian guano.

“But the phosphoric acid,” said the Doctor, “is not soluble in the
roots.” True, but it was soluble when the roots gathered it up out of
the soil.

“These figures,” said the Deacon, “have a very pleasant look. Those of
us who have nearly one-quarter of our land in clover every year, ought
to be making our farms very rich.”

“It would seem, at any rate,” said I, “that those of us who have good,
clean, well-drained, and well-worked land, that is now producing a good
growth of clover, may reasonably expect a fair crop of wheat, barley,
oats, corn, or potatoes, when we break it up and plow under all the
roots, which are equal to 13 or 19 tons of stable-manure per acre.
Whether we can or can not depend on these figures, one thing is clearly
proven, both by the chemist and the farmer, that a good clover-sod, on
well-worked soil, is a good preparation for corn and potatoes.”


Probably nine-tenths of all the wheat grown in Western New York, or the
“Genesee country,” from the time the land was first cleared until 1870,
was raised without any manure being directly applied to the land for
this crop. Tillage and clover were what the farmers depended on. There
certainly has been no systematic manuring. The manure made during the
winter, was drawn out in the spring, and plowed under for corn. Any
manure made during the summer, in the yards, was, by the best farmers,
scraped up and spread on portions of the land sown, or to be sown, with
wheat. Even so good a farmer and wheat-grower as John Johnston, rarely
used manure, (except lime, and latterly, a little guano), directly for
wheat. Clover and summer-fallowing were for many years the dependence of
the Western New York wheat-growers.

“One of the oldest and most experienced millers of Western New York,”
remarked the Doctor, “once told me that ‘ever since our farmers began to
_manure their land_, the wheat-crop had deteriorated, not only in the
yield per acre, but in the quality and quantity of the flour obtained
from it.’ It seemed a strange remark to make; but when he explained that
the farmers had given up summer-fallowing and plowing in clover, and now
sow spring crops, to be followed by winter wheat with an occasional
dressing of poor manure, it is easy to see how it may be true.”

“Yes,” said I, “it is not the _manure_ that hurts the wheat, but the
growth of spring crops and weeds that rob the soil of far more
plant-food than the poor, strawy manure can supply. We do not now,
really, furnish the wheat-crop as much manure or plant-food as we
formerly did when little or no manure was used, and when we depended on
summer-fallowing and plowing in clover.”

We must either give up the practice of sowing a spring crop, before
wheat, or we must make more and richer manure, or we must plow in more
clover. The rotation, which many of us now adopt--corn, barley,
wheat--is profitable, provided we can make our land rich enough to
produce 75 bushels of shelled corn, 50 bushels of barley, and 35 bushels
of wheat, per acre, in three years.

This can be done, but we shall either require a number of acres of rich
low land, or irrigated meadow, the produce of which will make manure for
the upland, or we shall have to purchase oil-cake, bran, malt-combs, or
refuse beans, to feed out with our straw and clover-hay, or we must
purchase artificial manures. Unless this is done, we must summer-fallow
more, on the heavier clay soils, sow less oats and barley; or we must,
on the lighter soils, raise and plow under more clover, or feed it out
on the farm, being careful to save and apply the manure.

“Better do both,” said the Doctor.

“How?” asked the Deacon.

“You had better make all the manure you can,” continued the Doctor, “and
buy artificial manures besides.”

“The Doctor is right,” said I, “and in point of fact, our best farmers
are doing this very thing. They are making more manure and buying more
manure than ever before; or, to state the matter correctly, they are
buying artificial manures; and these increase the crops, and the extra
quantity of straw, corn, and clover, so obtained, enables them to make
more manure. They get cheated sometimes in their purchases; but, on the
whole, the movement is a good one, and will result in a higher and
better system of farming.”

I am amused at the interest and enthusiasm manifested by some of our
farmers who have used artificial manures for a year or two. They seem to
regard me as a sad old fogy, because I am now depending almost entirely
on the manures made on the farm. Years ago, I was laughed at because I
used guano and superphosphate. It was only yesterday, that a young
farmer, who is the local agent of this neighborhood, for a manure
manufacturer, remarked to me, “You have never used superphosphate. We
sowed it on our wheat last year, and could see to the very drill mark
how far it went. I would like to take your order for a ton. I am sure it
would pay.”

“We are making manure cheaper than you can sell it to me,” I replied,
“and besides, I do not think superphosphate is a good manure for
wheat.” --“Oh,” he exclaimed, “you would not say so if you had ever used
it.” --“Why, my dear sir,” said I, “I made tons of superphosphate, and
used large quantities of guano before you were born; and if you will
come into the house, I will show you a silver goblet I got for a prize
essay on the use of superphosphate of lime, that I wrote more than a
quarter of a century ago. I sent to New York for two tons of guano, and
published the result of its use on this farm, before you were out of
your cradle. And I had a ton or more of superphosphate made for me in
1856, and some before that. I have also used on this farm, many tons of
superphosphate and other artificial manures from different
manufacturers, and one year I used 15 tons of bone-dust.”

With ready tact, he turned the tables on me by saying: “Now I can
understand why your land is improving. It is because you have used
superphosphate and bone-dust. Order a few tons.”

By employing agents of this kind, the manufacturers have succeeded in
selling the farmers of Western New York thousands of tons of
superphosphate. Some farmers think it pays, and some that it does not.
We are more likely to hear of the successes than of failures. Still
there can be no doubt that superphosphate has, in many instances, proved
a valuable and profitable manure for wheat in Western New York.

From 200 to 300 lbs. are used per acre, and the evidence seems to show
that it is far better to _drill in the manure with the seed_ than to sow
it broadcast.

My own opinion is, that these superphosphates are not the most
economical artificial manures that could be used for wheat. They contain
too little nitrogen. Peruvian guano containing nitrogen equal to 10 per
cent of ammonia, would be, I think, a much more effective and profitable
manure. But before we discuss this question, it will be necessary to
study the results of actual experiments in the use of various
fertilizers for wheat.



I hardly know how to commence an account of the wonderful experiments
made at Rothamsted, England, by John Bennett Lawes, Esq., and Dr. Joseph
H. Gilbert. Mr. Lawes’ first systematic experiment on wheat, commenced
in the autumn of 1843. A field of 14 acres of rather heavy clay soil,
resting on chalk, was selected for the purpose. Nineteen plots were
accurately measured and staked off. The plots ran the long way of the
field, and up a slight ascent. On each side of the field, alongside the
plots, there was some land not included, the first year, in the
experiment proper. This land was either left without manure, or a
mixture of the manures used in the experiments was sown on it.

I have heard it said that Mr. Lawes, at this time, was a believer in
what was called “Liebig’s Mineral Manure Theory.” Liebig had said that
“The crops on a field, diminish or increase in exact proportion to the
diminution or increase of the mineral substances conveyed to it in
manure.” And enthusiastic gentlemen have been known to tell farmers who
were engaged in drawing out farm-yard manure to their land, that they
were wasting their strength; all they needed was the mineral elements of
the manure. “And you might,” they said, “burn your manure, and sow the
ashes, and thus save much time and labor. The ashes will do just as much
good as the manure itself.”

Whether Mr. Lawes did, or did not entertain such an opinion, I do not
know. It looks as though the experiments the first year or two, were
made with the expectation that mineral manures, or the ashes of plants,
were what the wheat needed.

The following table gives the kind and quantities of manures used per
acre, and the yield of wheat per acre, as carefully cleaned for market.
Also the total weight of grain per acre, and the weight of straw and
chaff per acre.

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table 1.--Manures And Produce; 1st Season, 1843-4. Manures and Seed
  (Old Red Lammas) Sown Autumn 1843.

  FM  Farmyard Manure.
  FMA Farmyard Manure Ashes.[1]
  SiP Silicate of Potass.[2]
  PhP Phosphate of Potass.[3]
  PhS Phosphate of Soda.[3]
  PhM Phosphate of Magnesia.[3]
  SPL Superphosphate of Lime.[3]
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  RC  Rape Cake.

     |                                                           |
   P |                 Manures per Acre.                         |
   l +-----+-----+-----+-------+-------+-----+-------+-----+-----+
   o |     |     |     |       |       |     |       |     |     |
   t |     |     |     |       |       |     |       |     |     |
   s | FM  | FMA | SiP | PhP   |  PhS  | PhM |  SPL  | SA  | RC  |
     |Tons.|Cwts.|lbs. | lbs.  | lbs.  |lbs. |lbs.   |lbs. |lbs. |
   0 |   Mixture of the residue of most of the other manures.    |
   1 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. | 700   |  .. | 154 |
   2 |  14 |  .. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. |  ..   |  .. |  .. |
   3 |Unmanured. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. |  ..   |  .. |  .. |
   4 |  .. |32[1]|  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. |  ..   |  .. |  .. |
   5 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. | 700   |  .. |  .. |
   6 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   | 420 | 350   |  .. |  .. |
   7 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..   | 325   |  .. | 350   |  .. |  .. |
   8 |  .. |  .. |  .. | 375   |  ..   |  .. | 350   |  .. |  .. |
   9 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. | 630   |  65 |  .. |
  10 |  .. |  .. | 220 |  ..   |  ..   |  .. | 560   |  .. |  .. |
  11 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. | 350   |  .. | 308 |
  12 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..   | 162½  | 210 | 350   |  .. |  .. |
  13 |  .. |  .. |  .. | 187½  |  ..   | 210 | 350   |  .. |  .. |
  14 |  .. |  .. | 275 |  ..   |  ..   | 210 | 350   |  .. |  .. |
  15 |  .. |  .. | 110 | 150   |  ..   | 168 | 350   |  .. |  .. |
  16 |  .. |  .. | 110 |  75   |  65   |  84 | 350   |  65 |  .. |
  17 |  .. |  .. | 110 |  75   |  65   |  84 | 350[4]|  65 |  .. |
  18 |  .. |  .. | 110 |  75   |  65   |  84 | 350   |  65 | 154 |
  19 |  .. |  .. | 110 |  ..   |  81   | 105 | 350   |  81 |  .. |
  20 |Unmanured. |  .. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. |  ..   |  .. |  .. |
  21 |Mixture of the residue of most of the  |  ..   |  .. |  .. |
  22 |  other manures. |  ..   |  ..   |  .. |  ..   |  .. |  .. |

  Wt/Bu Weight per Bushel.
  OC    Offal Corn.[5]
  C     Corn.
  TC    Total Corn.
  S&C   Straw and Chaff.
  TP    Total Produce.
  TP    Total Produce (Corn and Straw).
  C100  Corn to 100 Straw.

                                        | Increase per    |     |
       Produce per Acre, etc.           | Acre by Manure. |     | P
  ---------------+----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+ l
  Dressed corn.  |    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     | o
  ---------+-----+    |     |     |     |     |     |     |     | t
  Qty.[5]  |Wt/Bu| OC | TC  | S&C | TP  |  C  | S&C | TP  |C100 | s
  Bu.  Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. | lbs.| lbs.|lbs. |     |
  19   3¾  |58.5 | 61 |1228 |1436 |2664 | 305 | 316 | 621 |85.5 | 0
  16   3   |59.0 | 52 |1040 |1203 |2243 | 117 |  83 | 200 |86.4 | 1
  20   1¾  |59.3 | 64 |1276 |1476 |2752 | 353 | 356 | 709 |86.4 | 2
  15   0   |58.5 | 46 | 923 |1120 |2043 | ..  | ..  | ..  |82.4 | 3
  14   2¼  |58.0 | 44 | 888 |1104 |1992 | -35 | -16 | -51 |80.4 | 4
  15   2¼  |58.3 | 48 | 956 |1116 |2072 |  33 |  -4 |  29 |85.6 | 5
  15   1   |60.0 | 48 | 964 |1100 |2064 |  41 | -20 |  21 |87.6 | 6
  15   2   |60.3 | 49 | 984 |1172 |2156 |  61 |  52 | 113 |84.0 | 7
  15   0¾  |61.3 | 49 | 980 |1160 |2140 |  57 |  40 |  97 |84.5 | 8
  19   2¼  |62.3 | 54 |1280 |1368 |2048 | 357 | 248 | 605 |93.5 | 9
  15   1¾  |62.0 | 50 |1008 |1112 |2120 |  85 |  -8 |  77 |90.6 |10
  17   0¾  |61.8 | 56 |1116 |1200 |2316 | 193 |  80 | 273 |93.0 |11
  15   2   |61.5 | 50 |1004 |1116 |2120 |  81 |  -4 |  77 |90.0 |12
  16   1¼  |62.5 | 54 |1072 |1204 |2276 | 149 |  84 | 233 |89.0 |13
  15   3   |61.3 | 51 |1016 |1176 |2192 |  93 |  56 | 149 |86.4 |14
  16   3¼  |62.0 | 58 |1096 |1240 |2336 | 173 | 120 | 293 |88.4 |15
  19   3¼  |62.5 | 65 |1304 |1480 |2784 | 381 | 360 | 741 |88.1 |16
  18   3¾  |62.3 | 62 |1240 |1422 |2662 | 317 | 302 | 619 |87.2 |17
  20   3¾  |62.0 | 63 |1368 |1768 |3136 | 415 | 618 |1093 |77.4 |18
  24   1¼  |61.8 | 79 |1580 |1772 |3352 | 657 | 652 |1309 |89.2 |19
  ..   ..  | ..  | .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |20
  ..   ..  | ..  | .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |21
  ..   ..  | ..  | .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |22

  [Note 1: The farmyard dung was burnt slowly in a heap in the open
  air to an imperfect or coaly ash, and 32 cwts. of ash represent 14
  tons of dung.]

  [Note 2: The silicate of potass was manufactured at a glass-house,
  by fusing equal parts of pearl-ash and sand. The product was a
  transparent glass, slightly deliquescent in the air, which was ground
  to a powder under edge-stones.]

  [Note 3: The manures termed superphosphate of lime, phosphate of
  potass, phosphate of soda, and phosphate of magnesia, were made by
  acting upon bone-ash by means of sulphuric acid in the first instance,
  and in the case-of the alkali salts and the magnesian one neutralizing
  the compound thus obtained by means of cheap preparations of the
  respective bases. For the superphosphate of lime, the proportions were
  5 parts bone-ash, 3 parts water, and 3 parts sulphuric acid of sp. gr.
  1.84; and for the phosphates of potass, soda, and magnesia, they were
  4 parts bone-ash, water as needed, 3 parts sulphuric acid of sp. gr.
  1.84, and equivalent amounts, respectively, of pearl-ash, soda-ash, or
  a mixture of 1 part medicinal carbonate of magnesia, and 4 parts
  magnesian limestone. The mixtures, of course, all lost weight
  considerably by the evolution of water and carbonic acid.]

  [Note 4: Made with unburnt bones.]

  [Note 5: In this first season, neither the weight nor the measure
  of the offal corn was recorded separately; and in former papers, the
  bushels and pecks of total corn (including offal) have erroneously
  been given as dressed corn. To bring the records more in conformity
  with those relating to the other years, 5 per cent, by weight, has
  been deducted from the total corn previously stated as dressed corn,
  and is recorded as offal corn; this being about the probable
  proportion, judging from the character of the season, the bulk of
  the crop, and the weight per bushel of the dressed corn. Although not
  strictly correct, the statements of dressed corn, as amended in this
  somewhat arbitrary way, will approximate more nearly to the truth, and
  be more comparable with those relating to other seasons, than those
  hitherto recorded.]

These were the results of the harvest of 1844. The first year of these
since celebrated experiments.

If Mr. Lawes expected that the crops would be in proportion to the
minerals supplied in the manure, he must have been greatly disappointed.
The plot without manure of any kind, gave 15 bushels of wheat per acre;
700 lbs. of superphosphate of lime, made from burnt bones, produced only
38 lbs. or about half a bushel more grain per acre, and 4 lbs. _less_
straw than was obtained without manure. 640 lbs. of superphosphate, and
65 lbs. of commercial sulphate of ammonia (equal to about 14 lbs. of
ammonia), gave a little over 19½ bushels of dressed wheat per acre. As
compared with the plot having 700 lbs. of superphosphate per acre, this
14 lbs. of available ammonia per acre, or, say 11½ lbs. nitrogen, gave
an increase of 324 lbs. of grain, and 252 lbs. of straw, or a total
increase of 576 lbs. of grain and straw.

On plot No. 19, 81 lbs. of sulphate ammonia, with minerals, produces 24¼
bushels per acre. This yield is clearly due to the ammonia.

The rape-cake contains about 5 per cent of nitrogen, and is also rich in
minerals and _carbonaceous matter_. It gives an increase, but not as
large in proportion to the nitrogen furnished, as the sulphate of
ammonia. And the same remarks apply to the 14 tons of farm-yard manure.

We should have expected a greater increase from such a liberal dressing
of barn-yard manure. I think the explanation is this: The manure had not
been piled. It was probably taken out fresh from the yard (this, at any
rate, was the case when I was at Rothamsted), and plowed under late in
the season. And on this heavy land, manure will lie buried in the soil
for months, or, if undisturbed, for years, without decomposition. In
other words, while this 14 tons of barn-yard manure, contained at least
150 lbs. of nitrogen, and a large quantity of minerals and carbonaceous
matter, it did not produce a bushel per acre more than a manure
containing less than 12 lbs. of nitrogen. And on plot 19, a manure
containing less than 15 lbs. of available nitrogen, produced nearly 4
bushels per acre more wheat than the barn-yard manure containing at
least _ten times_ as much nitrogen.

There can be but one explanation of this fact. The nitrogen in the
manure lay dormant in this heavy soil. Had it been a light sandy soil,
it would have decomposed more rapidly and produced a better effect.

As we have before stated, John Johnston finds, on his clay-land, a far
greater effect from manure spread on the surface, where it decomposes
rapidly, than when the manure is plowed under.

The Deacon was looking at the figures in the table, and not paying much
attention to our talk. “What could a man be thinking about,” he said,
“to burn 14 tons of good manure! It was a great waste, and I am glad the
ashes did no sort of good.”

After the wheat was harvested in 1844, the land was immediately plowed,
harrowed, etc.; and in a few weeks was plowed again and sown to wheat,
the different plots being kept separate, as before.

The following table shows the manures used this second year, and the
yield per acre:

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on The Same Land.

  Table II.--Manures and Produce; 2nd Season, 1845. Manures and Seed
  (Old Red Lammas) Sown March 1845.

  FM  Farmyard Manure.
  SiP Silicate of Potass.[1]
  PhP Phosphate of Potass.[2]
  SPL Superphosphate of Lime.[2]
  B-A Bone-ash.
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  G   Guano.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  CAm Carbonate of Ammonia.
  RC  Rape Cake.
  T   Tapioca.

   |                                                                    |
 P |                       Manures per Acre.                            |
 l +-----+----+----+----+----+----+------+------+------+------+----+----+
 o |     |    |    |    |    |    |      |      |      |      |    |    |
 t |     |    |    |    |    |    |      |      |      |      |    |    |
 s | FM  | SiP|PhP |SPL |B-A | MAc|  G   | SAm  | MAm  | CAm  | RC |  T |
   |Tons.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.| lbs. | lbs. | lbs. | lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|
 0 |      Mixture of the residue of most of the other manures.          |
 1 |  .. |112 | .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |224   |  ..  |  ..  |560 | .. |
 2 |  14 | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
 3 |Unmanured.| .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
 4 |  .. | .. | .. | .. |112 |112 |  ..  |112   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
5[4]{1 Unmanured.  | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
    {2 ..| .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |252[3]| .. | .. |
 6 |  .. | .. | .. |112 | .. | .. |  ..  |112   |  ..  |  ..  |560 | .. |
 7 |  .. | .. | .. |112 | .. | .. |  ..  |112   |  ..  |  ..  | .. |560 |
 8 |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |112   |  ..  |  ..  |560 | .. |
 9 |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |168[5]|166[5]|  ..  | .. | .. |
10 |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |168[6]|168[6]|  ..  | .. | .. |
11 |  .. | .. | .. |280 | .. | .. |  ..  |224   |  ..  |  ..  |560 | .. |
12 |  .. | .. |280 | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |224   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
13 |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |336[7]|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
14 |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |672[8]|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
15 |  .. | .. | .. | .. |224 |224 |  ..  |224   |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
16 |  .. | .. | .. |224 | .. | .. |  ..  | 56   | 56   |  ..  |560 | .. |
17 |  .. | .. | .. |224 | .. | .. |  ..  |112   |112   |  ..  |280 | .. |
18 |  .. | .. | .. |336 | .. | .. |  ..  |112   |112   |  ..  | .. | .. |
19 |  .. | .. | .. | .. |112 |112 |  ..  |112   |  ..  |  ..  |390 | .. |
20 |Unmanured.| .. | .. | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
21}|Mixture of the residue of most of the|  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |
22}|  other manures. .. | .. | .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | .. | .. |

  Wt/Bu  Weight per Bushel.
  OC     Offal Corn.[5]
  C      Corn.
  TC     Total Corn.
  S&C    Straw and Chaff.
  TP     Total Produce.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).
  OCD    Offal Corn to 100 Dressed.
  C100   Corn to 100 Straw.

                                    | Increase per  |     |    |
       Produce  per Acre, etc.      |Acre by Manure.|     |    |  P
  --------------+----+----+----+----+---------------+     |    |  l
  Dressed corn. |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |     |    |  o
  --------+-----+    |    |    |    |    |     | TP |     |    |  t
  Qty.[5] |Wt/Bu| OC | TC | S&C| TP |  C | S&C | C&S| OCD |C100|  s
  Bu. Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.| lbs| lbs.|lbs.|     |    |
  32  0   |56.5 |159 |1967|3977|5944| 526| 1265|1791|10.9 |49.5|  0
  26  1¼  |54.8 |248 |1689|3699|5388| 248|  987|1235|17.3 |45.7|  1
  32  0   |56.8 |151 |1967|3915|5882| 526| 1203|1729| 8.9 |50.2|  2
  23  0¾  |56.5 |131 |1441|2712|4153| .. |  .. | .. | 8.7 |53.1|  3
  29  2½  |58.0 |161 |1879|3663|5542| 438|  951|1389| 9.4 |51.3|  4
  22  2¼  |57.5 |134 |1431|2684|4115| -10|  -28| -38|10.1 |53.3|1}5
  26  3¾  |57.3 |190 |1732|3599|5331| 291|  887|1178|14.2 |48.1|2}
  28  2¾  |57.8 |214 |1871|3644|5515| 430|  932|1362|14.1 |57.3|  6
  26  2¾  |57.0 |161 |1682|3243|4925| 241|  531| 772|11.3 |51.9|  7
  27  0½  |56.3 |164 |1716|3663|5379| 275|  951|1226|14.0 |46.9|  8
  33  1½  |58.3 |187 |2131|4058|6189| 690| 1346|2036|10.2 |52.5|  9
  31  3¼  |56.3 |191 |1980|4266|6216| 539| 1554|2093|12.3 |46.4| 10
  30  3   |56.0 |158 |1880|4101|5981| 439| 1392|1831|11.3 |45.8| 11
  28  2¼  |55.8 |264 |1842|4134|5976| 401| 1422|1823|17.8 |44.5| 12
  25  0   |56.3 |152 |1558|3355|4913| 117|  643| 760|12.0 |46.4| 13
  27  1   |57.5 |176 |1743|3696|5439| 302|  981|1286|16.2 |47.1| 14
  32  3¾  |57.3 |209 |2103|4044|6147| 662| 1332|1994|11.8 |52.0| 15
  32  2¼  |56.3 |182 |2028|4191|6219| 587| 1479|2066|11.1 |48.4| 16
  32  0¾  |55.8 |299 |2093|3826|5919| 652| 1114|1766|15.2 |54.7| 17
  33  1¼  |56.5 |180 |2948|3819|3867| 607| 1107|1714|11.2 |53.6| 18
  34  3   |57.0 |133 |2114|4215|6329| 673| 1503|2176| 9.1 |50.2| 19
  24  2¾  |56.0 |113 |1495|3104|4599|  54|  392| 446| 9.7 |48.2| 20
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |  .. | .. |  .. | .. | 21
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. |  .. | .. |  .. | .. | 22

  [Note 1: The silicate of potass was manufactured at a glass-house,
  by fusing equal parts of pearl-ash and sand. The product was a
  transparent glass, slightly deliquescent in the air; it was ground
  to powder under edge-stones.]

  [Note 2: The manures termed superphosphate of lime and phosphate
  of potass, were made by acting upon bone-ash by means of sulphuric
  acid, and in the case of the potass salt neutralizing the compound
  thus obtained, by means of pearl-ash. For the superphosphate of lime,
  the proportions were, 5 parts bone-ash, 3 parts water, and 3 parts
  sulphuric acid of sp. gr. 1.84; and for the phosphate of potass,
  4 parts bone ash, water as needed, 3 parts sulphuric acid of sp. gr.
  1.84; and an equivalent amount of pearl-ash. The mixtures, of course,
  lost weight considerably by the evolution of water and carbonic acid.]

  [Note 3: The medicinal carbonate of ammonia; it was dissolved in
  water and top-dressed.]

  [Note 4: Plot 5, was 2 lands wide (in after years, respectively,
  5_a_ and 5_b_); 5.1 consisting of 2 alternate one-fourth lengths
  across both lands, and 5.2 of the 2 remaining one-fourth lengths.]

  [Note 5: Top-dressed at once.]

  [Note 6: Top-dressed at 4 intervals.]

  [Note 7: Peruvian.]

  [Note 8: Ichaboe.]

The season of 1845 was more favorable for wheat, than that of 1844, and
the crops on all the plots were better. On plot No. 3, which had no
manure last year, or this, the yield is 23 bushels per acre, against 15
bushels last year.

Last year, the 14 tons of barn-yard manure gave an _increase_ of only 5¼
bushels per acre. This year it gives an increase of nearly 9 bushels per

“Do you mean,” said the Deacon, “that this plot, No. 2, had 14 tons of
manure in 1844, and 14 tons of manure again in 1845?”

“Precisely that, Deacon,” said I, “and this same plot has received this
amount of manure every year since, up to the present time--for these
same experiments are still continued from year to year at Rothamsted.”

“It is poor farming,” said the Deacon, “and I should think the land
would get too rich to grow wheat.”

“It is not so,” said I, “and the fact is an interesting one, and teaches
a most important lesson, of which, more hereafter.”

Plot 5, last year, received 700 lbs. of superphosphate per acre. This
year, this plot was divided; one half was left without manure, and the
other dressed with 252 lbs. of pure carbonate of ammonia per acre. The
half without manure, (5a), did not produce quite as much grain and straw
as the plot which had received no manure for two years in succession.
But the wheat was of better quality, weighing 1 lb. more per bushel than
the other. Still it is sufficiently evident that superphosphate of lime
did no good so far as increasing the growth was concerned, either the
first year it was applied, or the year following.

The carbonate of ammonia was dissolved in water and sprinkled over the
growing wheat at three different times during the spring. You see this
manure, which contains no _mineral_ matter at all, gives an increase of
nearly 4 bushels of grain per acre, and an increase of 887 lbs. of

“Wait a moment,” said the Deacon, “is not 887 lbs. of straw to 4 bushels
of grain an unusually large proportion of straw to grain? I have heard
you say that 100 lbs. of straw to each bushel of wheat is about the
average. And according to this experiment, the carbonate of ammonia
produced over 200 lbs. of straw to a bushel of grain. How do you account
for this.”

“It is a general rule,” said I, “that the heavier the crop, the greater
is the proportion of straw to grain. On the no-manure plot, we have,
this year, 118 lbs. of straw to a bushel of dressed grain. Taking this
as the standard, you will find that the _increase_ from manures is
proportionally greater in straw than in grain. Thus in the increase of
barn-yard manure, this year, we have about 133 lbs. of straw to a bushel
of grain. I do not believe there is any manure that will give us a large
crop of grain without a still larger crop of straw. There is
considerable difference, in this respect, between different varieties of
wheat. Still, I like to see a good growth of straw.”

“It is curious,” said the Doctor, “that 3 cwt. of ammonia-salts alone on
plots 9 and 10 should produce as much wheat as was obtained from plot 2,
where 14 tons of barn-yard manure had been applied two years in
succession. I notice that on one plot, the ammonia-salts were applied at
once, in the spring, while on the other plot they were sown at four
different times--and that the former gave the best results.”

The only conclusion to be drawn from this, is, that it is desirable to
apply the manure _early_ in the spring--or better still, in the autumn.

“You are a great advocate of Peruvian guano,” said the Deacon, “and yet
3 cwt. of Peruvian guano on Plot 13, only produced an increase of two
bushels and 643 lbs. of straw per acre. The guano at $60 per ton, would
cost $9.00 per acre. This will not pay.”

This is an unusually small increase. The reason, probably, is to be
found in the fact that the manure and seed were not sown until March,
instead of in the autumn. The salts of ammonia are quite soluble and act
quickly; while the Peruvian guano has to decompose in the soil, and
consequently needs to be applied earlier, especially on clay land.

“I do not want you,” said the Deacon, “to dodge the question why an
application of 14 tons of farmyard-manure per acre, every year for over
thirty years, does not make the land too rich for wheat.”

“Possibly,” said I, “on light, sandy soil, such an annual dressing of
manure _would_ in the course of a few years make the land too rich for
wheat. But on a clayey soil, such is evidently not the case. And the
fact is a very important one. When we apply manure, our object should be
to make it as available as possible. Nature preserves or conserves the
food of plants. The object of agriculture is to use the food of plants
for our own advantage.”

“Please be a little more definite,” said the Deacon, “for I must confess
I do not quite see the significance of your remarks.”

“What he means,” said the Doctor, “is this: If you put a quantity of
soluble and available manure on land, and do not sow any crop, the
manure will not be wasted. The soil will retain it. It will change it
from a soluble into a comparatively insoluble form. Had a crop been sown
the first year, the manure would do far more good than it will the next
year, and yet it may be that none of the manure is lost. It is merely
locked up in the soil in such a form as will prevent it from running to
waste. If it was not for this principle, our lands would have been long
ago exhausted of all their available plant-food.”

“I think I understand,” said the Deacon; “but if what you say is true,
it upsets many of our old notions. We have thought it desirable to plow
under manure, in order to prevent the ammonia from escaping. You claim,
I believe, that there is little danger of any loss from spreading manure
on the surface, and I suppose you would have us conclude that we make a
mistake in plowing it under, as the soil renders it insoluble.”

“It depends a good deal,” said I, “on the character of the soil.
A light, sandy soil will not preserve manure like a clay soil. But it is
undoubtedly true that our aim in all cases should be to apply manure in
such a form and to such a crop as will give us the greatest _immediate_
benefit. Plowing under fresh manure every year for wheat is evidently
not the best way to get the greatest benefit from it. But this is not
the place to discuss this matter. Let us look at the result of Mr.
Lawes’ experiments on wheat the third year:”

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table III.--Manures and Produce; 3rd Season, 1845-6. Manures and Seed
  (Old Red Lammas), Sown Autumn, 1845.

  FM  Farmyard Manure.
  A3W Ash from 3 loads (3,888 lbs.) Wheat-straw.
  LWM Liebig’s Wheat-manure.
  PG  Peruvian Guano.
  SPL Superphosphate of Lime.
  SiP Silicate of Potass.[1]
  P-A Pearl-ash.
  S-A Soda-ash.
  MLS Magnesian Lime-stone.
  B-A Bone-ash.
  SAc Sulphuric Acid (Sp. gr. 1-7.)
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  RC  Rape-Cake.

       |                                                              |
       |                      Manures per Acre.                       |
    P  +-----+-----+---+---+-----------+---+---+---+---+------+---+---+
    l  |     |     |   |   |           |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
    o  |     |     |   |   |    SPL    |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
    t  |     |     |   |   +-----------+   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
    s  | FM  | A3W |LWM|PG |SiP|P-A|S-A|MLS|B-A|SAc|MAc| SAm  |MAm|RC |
       |Tons.|lbs. |lbs|lbs|bs.|lbs|lbs|lbs|lbs|lbs|lbs|lbs.  |lbs|lbs|
   0   |  .. |  .. | ..|336| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
   1   |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
   2   |  14 |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
   3   |Unmanured. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
       |     |     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
   4   |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224| ..|224| 224  | ..| ..|
       |     |     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
   5a{1|  ..}|     |{..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
     {2|  ..}|Straw|{..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224[1]| ..| ..|
   5b{1|  ..}| Ash |{..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
     {2|  ..}|     |{..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224[1]| ..|448|
   6a  |  .. |  .. |448| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
   6b  |  .. |  .. |448| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| 112  |112| ..|
   7a  |  .. |  .. |448| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
   7b  |  .. |  .. |448| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| 112  |112|448|
       |     |     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
   8a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224| ..| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
   8b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224| ..| ..| 112  |112| ..|
   9a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
   9b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| 224  | ..|448|
  10a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| 224  | ..| ..|
  10b  |Unmanured. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
       |     |     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
  11a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224|224| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
  11b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224|224| ..| 112  |112| ..|
  12a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..|180| ..|224|224| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
  12b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..|180| ..|224|224| ..| 112  |112| ..|
  13a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..|200| ..| ..|224|224| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
  13b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..|200| ..| ..|224|224| ..| 112  |112| ..|
  14a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| 84|224|224| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
  14b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| 84|224|224| ..| 112  |112| ..|
       |     |     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
  15a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|224| ..|224| 224  | ..|448|
  15b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..|224| ..| ..| ..|224| ..|224| 224  | ..|448|
       |     |     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
  16a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| 67| 60| 84|224|224| ..|  ..  | ..|448|
  16b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| 67| 60| 84|224|224| ..| 224  | ..|448|
  17a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| 67| 60| 84|224|224| ..| 112  | 11|448|
  17b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| 67| 60| 84|224|224| ..| 224  | ..| ..|
  18a  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| 67| 60| 84|224|224| ..| 112  | 11| ..|
  18b  |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| 67| 60| 84|224|224| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
       |     |     |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
  19   |  .. |  .. | ..| ..| ..| ..| ..| ..|112| ..|112| 112  | ..|448|
  20  }|                                   |   |   |   |      |   |   |
  21  }| Mixture of the residue of         | ..| ..| ..|  ..  | ..| ..|
  22  }|  most of the other manures.       |   |   |   |      |   |   |

  Wt/Bu Weight per Bushel.
  OC    Offal Corn.
  TC    Total Corn.
  S&C   Straw and Chaff.
  TP    Total Produce (Corn and Straw).
  C     Corn.
  TP    Total Produce.
  OCD   Offal Corn to 100 Dressed.
  C100  Corn to 100 Straw.

                                    | Increase per     |     |     |
        Produce per Acre, etc.      | Acre by Manure.  |     |     |  P
  --------------+----+----+----+----+-----+-----+------+     |     |  l
   Dressed Corn.|    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |  o
  --------+-----+    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |  t
    Qty.  |Wt/Bu| OC | TC |S&C | TP | C   | S&C |  TP  | OCD |C100 |  s
  Bu. Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs. | lbs. |     |     |
  28  1¾  |62.3 |134 |1906|2561|4467| 699 |1048 | 1747 | 7.3 |74.4 |  0
  22  0¾  |62.6 |120 |1509|1953|3462| 302 | 440 |  742 | 8.1 |77.3 |  1
  27  0¾  |63.0 |113 |1826|2454|4280| 619 | 941 | 1560 | 6.6 |74.4 |  2
  17  3¾  |63.8 | 64 |1207|1513|2720| ..  | ..  |  ..  | 7.4 |79.7 |  3
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |
  25  3¾  |63.5 |130 |1777|2390|4167| 570 | 877 | 1447 | 7.8 |74.3 |  4
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |
  19  0½  |63.7 | 87 |1305|1541|2846|  98 |  28 |  126 |  .. |84.6 |1}5a
  27  0   |63.0 |126 |1827|2309|4136| 620 | 796 | 1416 |  .. |79.1 |2}
  23  2½  |63.4 |100 |1598|1721|3319| 391 | 208 |  599 |  .. |92.8 |1}5b
  30  0¾  |63.3 |165 |2076|2901|4977| 869 |1388 | 2257 |  .. |71.6 |2}
  20  1½  |63.7 |102 |1400|1676|3076| 193 | 163 |  356 | 7.0 |83.6 |  6a
  29  0¾  |63.5 |114 |1967|2571|4538| 760 |1058 | 1818 | 5.3 |76.5 |  6b
  22  3¼  |63.0 | 97 |1534|1968|3502| 327 | 405 |  732 | 6.8 |77.9 |  7a
  31  3   |63.4 |150 |2163|3007|5170| 956 |1494 | 2450 | 7.5 |72.6 |  7b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |
  22  3¾  |63.5 |101 |1549|1963|3512| 342 | 450 |  792 | 7.1 |78.9 |  8a
  29  0¾  |63.6 |132 |1988|2575|4563| 781 |1062 | 1843 | 7.2 |77.2 |  8b
  23  2¾  |63.0 |122 |1614|2033|3647| 407 | 520 |  927 | 7.9 |79.4 |  9a
  28  3½  |63.3 |114 |1942|2603|4545| 735 |1090 | 1825 | 7.0 |74.6 |  9b
  27  1½  |63.6 |109 |1850|2244|4094  643 | 731 | 1374 | 6.4 |82.4 | 10a
  17  2½  |63.8 | 92 |1216|1455|2671|   9 | -58 |  -49 | 7.8 |83.6 | 10b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |
  23  1¾  |63.3 |145 |1628|2133|3761| 421 | 620 | 1041 | 9.8 |76.3 | 11a
  30  0¼  |63.2 |155 |2055|2715|4770| 848 |1202 | 2050 | 6.1 |75.7 | 11b
  24  1½  |63.0 |125 |1661|2163|3824| 454 | 650 | 1104 | 7.9 |76.8 | 12a
  28  2¾  |63.4 |136 |1955|2554|4509| 748 |1041 | 1789 | 7.4 |76.5 | 12b
  24  0   |63.5 |136 |1660|2327|3987| 453 | 814 | 1267 | 9.1 |71.3 | 13a
  29  1¾  |63.2 |138 |1998|2755|4753| 791 |1242 | 2033 | 7.3 |72.5 | 13b
  23  2½  |63.0 |117 |1605|2031|3636| 398 | 518 |  916 | 7.7 |79.0 | 14a
  26  2½  |63.4 |124 |1812|2534|4356| 605 |1021 | 1626 | 7.4 |71.5 | 14b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |
  31  1¾  |62.5 |147 |2112|2936|5048| 905 |1423 | 2328 | 7.5 |71.9 | 15a
  27  2¾  |63.0 |117 |1861|2513|4374| 654 |1000 | 1654 | 5.9 |74.0 | 15b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |
  23  3   |62.5 |108 |1592|2967|3659| 385 | 554 |  939 | 7.0 |77.0 | 16a
  30  1   |62.7 |122 |2019|2836|4855| 812 |1323 | 2135 | 6.6 |71.2 | 16b
  33  2¾  |62.8 |129 |2241|3278|5519|1034 |1765 | 2799 | 5.8 |68.3 | 17a
  30  2   |63.0 |113 |2034|2784|4818| 827 |1271 | 2098 | 5.9 |73.0 | 17b
  31  0   |62.8 |103 |2048|2838|4886| 841 |1325 | 2166 | 5.1 |72.2 | 18a
  21  1   |62.0 |157 |1474|1893|3367| 267 | 380 |  647 | 6.6 |77.1 | 18b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |
  28  3   |62.0 |107 |1889|2425|4314| 682 | 912 | 1594 | 5.8 |77.9 | 19
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |{20
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. |  .. |  .. |  ..  | ..  | ..  |{21
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |      |     |     |{22

  [Note 1: Top-dressed in the Spring.]

This year, the seed and manures were sown in the autumn. And I want the
Deacon to look at plot 0. 3 cwt. of Peruvian guano here gives an
increase of 10½ bushels of wheat, and 1,948 lbs. of straw per acre. This
will pay _well_, even on the wheat alone. But in addition to this, we
may expect, in our ordinary rotation of crops, a far better crop of
clover where the guano was used.

In regard to some of the results this year, Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert
have the following concise and interesting remarks:

“At this third experimental harvest, we have on the continuously
unmanured plot, namely, No. 3, not quite 18 bushels of dressed corn, as
the normal produce of the season; and by its side we have on plot
10_b_--comprising one-half of the plot 10 of the previous years, and so
highly manured by ammoniacal salts in 1845, but now unmanured--rather
more than 17½ bushels. The near approach, again, to identity of result
from the two unmanured plots, at once gives confidence in the accuracy
of the experiments, and shows us how effectually the preceding crop had,
in a practical point of view, reduced the plots, previously so
differently circumstanced both as to manure and produce, to something
like an uniform standard as regards their grain-producing qualities.

“Plot 2 has, as before, 14 tons of farm-yard manure, and the produce is
27¼ bushels, or between 9 and 10 bushels more than without manure of any

“On plot 10_a_, which in the previous year gave by ammoniacal salts
alone, a produce equal to that of the farm-yard manure, we have again a
similar result: for two cwts. of sulphate of ammonia has now given 1,850
lbs. of total corn, instead of 1,826 lbs., which is the produce on plot
2. The straw of the latter, is, however, slightly heavier than that by
the ammoniacal salt.

“Again, plot 5_a_, which was in the previous season _unmanured_, was
now subdivided: on one-half of it (namely, 5_a_1) we have the ashes of
wheat-straw alone, by which there is an increase of rather more than one
bushel per acre of dressed corn; on the other half (or 5_a_2) we have,
besides the straw-ashes, two cwts. of sulphate of ammonia put on as a
top-dressing: two cwts. of sulphate of ammonia have, in this case, only
increased the produce beyond that of 5_a_1 by 7⅞ bushels of corn and
768 lbs. of straw, instead of by 9¾ bushels of corn and 789 lbs. of
straw, which was the increase obtained by the same amount of ammoniacal
salt on 10_a_, as compared with 10_b_.

“It will be observed, however, that in the former case the ammoniacal
salts were top-dressed, but in the latter they were drilled at the time
of sowing the seed; and it will be remembered that in 1845 the result
was better _as to corn_ on plot 9, where the salts were sown earlier,
than on plot 10, where the top-dressing extended far into the spring. We
have had several direct instances of this kind in our experience, and we
would give it as a suggestion, in most cases applicable, that manures
for wheat, and especially ammoniacal ones, should be applied before or
at the time the seed is sown; for, although the apparent luxuriance of
the crop is greater, and the produce of straw really heavier, by spring
rather than autumn sowings of Peruvian guano and other ammoniacal
manures, yet we believe that that of the _corn_ will not be increased in
an equivalent degree. Indeed, the success of the crop undoubtedly
depends very materially on the progress of the underground growth during
the winter months; and this again, other things being equal, upon the
quantity of available nitrogenous constituents within the soil, without
a liberal provision of which, the range of the fibrous feeders of the
plant will not be such, as to take up the minerals which the soil is
competent to supply, and in such quantity as will be required during the
after progress of the plant for its healthy and favorable growth.”

These remarks are very suggestive and deserve special attention.

“The next result to be noticed,” continue Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert, “is
that obtained on plot 6, now also divided into two equal portions
designated respectively 6_a_ and 6_b_. Plot No. 6 had for the crop of
1844, superphosphate of lime and the phosphate of magnesia manure, and
for that of 1845, superphosphate of lime, rape-cake, and ammoniacal
salts. For this, the third season, it was devoted to the trial of the
wheat-manure manufactured under the sanction of Professor Liebig, and
patented in this country.

“Upon plots 6_a_, four cwts. per acre of the patent wheat-manure were
used, which gave 20¼ bushels, or rather more than two bushels beyond the
produce of the unmanured plot; but as the manure contained, besides the
minerals peculiar to it, some nitrogenous compounds, giving off a very
perceptible odor of ammonia, some, at least, of the increase would be
due to that substance. On plot 6_b_, however, the further addition of
one cwt. each of sulphate and muriate of ammonia to this so-called
‘Mineral Manure,’ gives a produce of 29¼ bushels. In other words, the
addition of ammoniacal salt, to Liebig’s mineral manure has increased
the produce by very nearly 9 bushels per acre beyond that of the mineral
manure alone, whilst the increase obtained over the unmanured plot, by
14 tons of farm-yard manure, was only 9¼ bushels!

The following table gives the results of the experiments the _fourth_
year, 1846-7.

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table IV.--Manures and Produce; 4th Season, 1846-7. Manures and Seed
  (Old Red Lammas), Sown End of October, 1846.

  FM  Farm-yard Manure.
  PG  Peruvian Guano.
  B-A Bone-ash.
  SAc Sulphuric Acid (Sp. gr. 1-7.)
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  R   Rice.

       |               Manures per Acre.                        |
    P  +-------+------+--------------------+------+------+------+
    l  |       |      |   Superphosphate   |      |      |      |
    o  |       |      |       of Lime      |      |      |      |
    t  |       |      +------+------+------+      |      |      |
    s  |  FM   |  PG  | B-A  | SAc  | MAc  | SAm  | MAm  |  R   |
       | Tons. | lbs. | lbs. | lbs. | lbs. | lbs. | lbs. | lbs. |
   0   |   ..  | 500  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |
   1   |   ..  |  ..  | 200  |  ..  | 200  | 350  |  50  |  ..  |
   2   |   14  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |
   3   | Unmanured.   |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |
       |       |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
   4   |   ..  |  ..  | 200  |  ..  | 200  | 300  |  ..  |  ..  |
       |       |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
   5a  |   ..  |  ..  | 200  | 200  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
   5b  |   ..  |  ..  | 200  | 200  |  ..  | 150  | 150  | 500  |
   6a  |   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
   6b  |   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
   7a  |   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
   7b  |   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
       |       |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
   8a  |   ..  |  ..  | 200  | 200  |  ..  | 150  | 150  | 500  |
   8b  |   ..  |  ..  | 200  | 200  |  ..  | 200  | 200  |  ..  |
   9a{1|   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |2240  |
     {2|   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
   9b  |   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  10a  |   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  10b  |   ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
       |       |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  11a  |   ..  |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  11b  |   ..  |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  12a  |   ..  |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  12b  |   ..  |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  13a  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  13b  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  14a  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  14b  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
       |       |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  15a  |  ..   |  ..  | 200  |  ..  | 200  | 300  |  ..  | 500  |
  15b  |  ..   |  ..  | 200  |  ..  | 200  | 300  |  ..  | 500  |
       |       |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  16a  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  16b  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  17a  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  17b  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 200  | 200  |  ..  |
  18a  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
  18b  |  ..   |  ..  | 100  | 100  |  ..  | 150  | 150  |  ..  |
       |       |      |      |      |      |      |      |      |
  19   |  ..   |  ..  | 100  |  ..  | 100  | 300  |  ..  | 500  |
  20   | Unmanured.   |  ..  |  ..  |   .. |  ..  |  ..  |  ..  |
  21  }| Mixture of the residue of most of the    |  ..  |  ..  |
  22  }| other manures.                           |  ..  |  ..  |

  Wt/Bu  Weight per Bushel.
  OC     Offal Corn.
  TC     Total Corn.
  S&C    Straw and Chaff.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw.)
  C      Corn.
  TP     Total Produce.
  OCD    Offal Corn to 100 Dressed.
  C100   Corn to 100 Straw.

                                     |  Increase per   |     |     |
       Produce per Acre, &c.         | Acre By Manure. |     |     |  P
  --------------+----+----+-----+----+-----+-----+-----+     |     |  l
   Dressed Corn.|    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |  o
  --------+-----+    |    |     | TP |     |     |     |     |     |  t
    Qty.  |Wt/Bu| OC | TC | S&C |C&S |  C  | S&C | TP  | OCD |C100 |  s
  Bu. Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |     |     |
  30   2¾ |61.1 | 156|2031|3277 |5308| 908 |1375 |2283 | 8.2 |61.9 |  0
  32   1  |61.2 | 147|2119|3735 |5854| 996 |1833 |2829 | 7.2 |56.7 |  1
  29   3¾ |62.3 | 117|1981|3628 |5609| 858 |1726 |2584 | 6.2 |54.6 |  2
  16   3½ |61.0 |  95|1123|1902 |3025|  .. |  .. |  .. | 8.9 |59.0 |  3
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |
  27   1¾ |61.9 |  82|1780|2948 |4728| 657 |1046 |1703 | 4.7 |60.3 |  4
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |
  29   0  |61.8 | 130|1921|3412 |5333| 798 |1510 |2309 | 7.1 |56.3 |  5a
  32   2  |61.4 | 136|2132|3721 |5853|1009 |1819 |2827 | 6.6 |57.2 |  5b
  24   3¼ |62.1 | 122|1663|2786 |4449| 540 | 884 |1124 | 7.8 |59.6 |  6a
  24   1¾ |61.6 | 127|1632|2803 |4435| 509 | 901 |1410 | 8.2 |58.2 |  6b
  27   3¼ |61.7 | 118|1834|3151 |4985| 711 |1249 |1960 | 6.8 |58.2 |  7a
  25   1¼ |61.5 | 125|1682|2953 |4635| 559 |1051 |1610 | 7.9 |56.9 |  7b
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |
  32   1¾ |62.1 | 102|2115|3683 |5798| 992 |1781 |2773 | 5.5 |57.4 |  8a
  30   3  |61.7 | 123|2020|3720 |5740| 897 |1818 |2715 | 6.5 |54.3 |  8b
  22   3  |62.5 | .. |1477|2506 |3983| 228 | 604 |  .. |  .. |53.9 |1}9a
  26   2  |61.0 | .. |1755|3052 |4807| 632 |1150 |  .. |  .. |57.5 |2}
  26   0  |61.3 | 123|1717|2858 |4575| 594 | 956 |1550 |  .. |60.1 |  9b
  25   3  |61.5 | 118|1702|2891 |4593| 579 | 989 |1568 | 7.3 |58.8 | 10a
  25   2¾ |61.2 | 133|1705|2874 |4579| 582 | 972 |1554 | 8.2 |59.3 | 10b
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |
  30   3½ |61.6 | 142|2044|3517 |5561| 921 |1615 |2536 | 6.3 |59.5 | 11a
  29   1¾ |61.8 | 123|1941|3203 |5144| 818 |1301 |2119 | 6.7 |60.6 | 11b
  29   2  |62.0 | 124|1953|3452 |5405| 830 |1550 |2380 | 6.6 |57.1 | 12a
  27   0½ |61.8 | 121|1796|3124 |4920| 673 |1222 |1895 | 7.1 |57.4 | 12b
  20   2½ |62.5 | 108|1959|3306 |5265| 836 |1404 |2240 | 5.5 |57.3 | 13a
  27   1¼ |62.3 |  96|1801|3171 |4972| 678 |1269 |1947 | 5.3 |56.7 | 13b
  28   0¾ |62.8 | 175|1944|3362 |5306| 821 |1460 |2281 | 9.7 |59.5 | 14a
  26   3¾ |62.8 | 166|1856|3006 |4862| 733 |1104 |1837 | 9.8 |61.7 | 14b
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |
  32   3  |63.0 | 151|2214|3876 |6090|1091 |1974 |3065 | 7.2 |57.1 | 15a
  32   0  |62.6 | 137|2140|3617 |5757|1017 |1715 |2732 | 6.6 |59.1 | 15b
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |
  29   1¼ |62.3 | 132|1959|3417 |5376| 836 |1515 |2351 | 6.9 |57.3 | 16a
  34   2¼ |62.6 | 119|2283|4012 |6295|1160 |2110 |3270 | 5.2 |56.9 | 16b
  33   3  |62.3 | 119|2222|4027 |6249|1099 |2125 |3224 | 5.6 |55.1 | 17a
  35   1¼ |62.0 | 117|2314|4261 |6575|1191 |2359 |3550 | 6.4 |54.3 | 17b
  32   0¾ |62.7 | 142|2160|3852 |6012|1037 |1950 |2987 | 6.9 |56.0 | 18a
  29   1½ |62.9 | 181|2029|4164 |6193| 906 |2262 |3168 | 9.7 |48.7 | 18b
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |
  32   3  |62.8 | 140|2195|4202 |6397|1072 |2300 |3372 | 6.7 |52.2 | 19
  20   0¾ |62.5 |  70|1332|2074 |3406| 209 | 172 | 381 | 4.9 |64.2 | 20
  ..   .. | ..  | .. | .. |  .. | .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |}21
          |     |    |    |     |    |     |     |     |     |     |}22

Here again, I want the Deacon to look at plot 0, where 500 lbs. Peruvian
guano, sown in October, gives an _increase_ of nearly 14 bushels of
dressed wheat and 1,375 lbs. of straw per acre. On plot 2, where 14 tons
of barn-yard manure have now been applied four years in succession (56
tons in all), there is a little more straw, but not quite so much grain,
as from the 500 lbs. of guano.

“But will the guano,” said the Deacon, “be as lasting as the manure?”

“Not for wheat,” said I. “But if you seed the wheat down with clover, as
would be the case in this section, we should get considerable benefit,
probably, from the guano. If wheat was sown after the wheat, the guano
applied the previous season would do little good on the second crop of
wheat. And yet it is a matter of fact that there would be a considerable
proportion of the guano left in the soil. The wheat cannot take it up.
But the clover can. And we all know that if we can grow good crops of
clover, plowing it under, or feeding it out on the land, or making it
into hay and saving the manure obtained from it, we shall thus be
enabled to raise good crops of wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and corn,
and in this sense guano is a ‘lasting’ manure.”

“Barnyard-manure,” said the Doctor, “is altogether too ‘lasting.’ Here
we have had 56 tons of manure on an acre of land in four years, and yet
an acre dressed with 500 lbs. of guano produces just as good a crop. The
manure contains far more plant-food, of all kinds, than the guano, but
it is so ‘lasting’ that it does not do half as much good as its
composition would lead us to expect. Its ‘lasting’ properties are a
decided objection, rather than an advantage. If we could make it less
lasting--in other words, if we could make it act quicker, it would
produce a greater effect, and possess a greater value. In proportion to
its constituents, the barn-yard manure is far cheaper than the guano,
but it has a less beneficial effect, because these constituents are not
more completely decomposed and rendered available.”

“That,” said I, “opens up a very important question. We have more real
value in manure than most of us are as yet able to bring out and turn to
good account. The sandy-land farmer has an advantage over the clay-land
farmer in this respect. The latter has a naturally richer soil, but it
costs him more to work it, and manure does not act so rapidly. The
clay-land farmer should use his best endeavors to decompose his manure.”

“Yes,” said the Doctor, “and, like John Johnston, he will probably find
it to his advantage to use it largely as a top-dressing on the surface.
Exposing manure to the atmosphere, spread out on the land for several
months, and harrowing it occasionally, will do much to render its
constituents available. But let us return to Mr. Lawes’ wonderful

“On eight plots,” said I, “300 lbs. of ammonia-salts were used without
any other manures, and the _average_ yield on these eight plots was
nearly 26 bushels per acre, or an average increase of 9 bushels per
acre. The same amount of ammonia-salts, with the addition of
superphosphate of lime, gave an increase of 13 bushels per acre. 400
lbs. ammonia salts, with superphosphate of lime, gave an _increase_ of
nearly 16 bushels per acre, or three bushels per acre more than where 14
tons of barn-yard manure had been used four years in succession.

“I hope, after this, the Deacon will forgive me for dwelling on the
value of available nitrogen or ammonia as a manure for wheat.”

“I see,” said the Deacon, “that ground _rice_ was used this year for
manure; and in 1845, _tapioca_ was also used as a manure. The
Connecticut Tobacco growers a few years since used _corn-meal_ for
manure, and you thought it a great waste of good food.”

I think so still. But we will not discuss the matter now. Mr. Lawes
wanted to ascertain whether _carbonaceous_ matter was needed by the
growing wheat-plants, or whether they could get all they needed from the
soil and the atmosphere. The enormous quantities of carbonaceous matter
supplied by the barn-yard manure, it is quite evident, are of little
value as a manure for wheat. And the rice seems to have done very little
more good than we should expect from the 22 lbs. of nitrogen which it
contained. The large quantity of carbonaceous matter evidently did
little good. Available carbonaceous matter, such as starch, sugar, and
oil, was intended as food for man and beast--not as food for wheat or

The following table gives the results of the experiments the _fifth_
year, 1847-8.

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table V.--Manures and Produce; 5th Season, 1847-8. Manures and Seed
  (Old Red Lammas), Sown Autumn, 1847.

  FM  Farm-yard Manure.
  P-A Pearl-ash.
  S-A Soda-ash.
  SMg Sulphate of Magnesia.
  SPL Superphosphate of Lime.
  B-A Bone-ash.
  SAc Sulphuric Acid (Sp. gr. 1.7.)
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  RC  Rape-Cake.

     |              Manure per Acre, etc.                              |
   P +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----------------------+-----+-----+
   l |     |     |     |     |     |   Superphosphate      |     |     |
   o |     |     |     |     |     |       of Lime.        |     |     |
   t |     |     |     |     |     +-----+-----+-----+-----+     |     |
   s |  FM | P-A | S-A | SMg | SPL | B-A | SAc | MAc | SAm | MAm | RC  |
     | Tons|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |
   0 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  |2240 | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
   1 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
   2 |   14| ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
   3 | Unmanured.| ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
   4 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | ..  |
     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
   5 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 250 | 250 | ..  |
   5 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | 500 |
   6 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 400 | 300 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
   6 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
   7 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 400 | 300 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
   7 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
   8 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
   8 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
   9 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
   9 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | ..  |
  10 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 150 | 150 | ..  |
  10 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | ..  |
     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     | ..  |
  11 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
  11 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
  12 |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
  12 |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
  13 |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
  13 |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
  14 |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
  14 |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  15 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | ..  |
  15 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | ..  |
     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  16 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
  16 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | 500 |
  17 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
  17 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | ..  |
  18 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | ..  |
  18 |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 150 | 150 | ..  |
     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  19 |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | 500 |
  20 | Unmanured.| ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
  21}|  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  |
  22}|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |

  Wt/Bu  Weight per Bushel.
  OC     Offal Corn.
  TC     Total Corn.
  S&C    Straw and Chaff.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw.)
  C      Corn.
  TP     Total Produce.
  OCD    Offal Corn to 100 Dressed.
  C100   Corn to 100 Straw.

                                    |  Increase per   |    |     |
        Produce per Acre, &c.       | Acre By Manure. |    |     |  P
  --------------+----+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+    |     |  l
   Dressed Corn.|    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |  o
  --------+-----+    |    |    | TP |     |     |     |    |     |  t
    Qty.  |Wt/Bu|OC  | TC |S&C |C&S |  C  | S&C | TP  |OCD |C100 |  s
  Bu. Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |    |     |
  19  0¾  |53.4 |138 |1259|2074|3333| 307 | 362 |  669|13.4| 60.7|  0
  16  0¾  |59.6 |160 |1124|1735|2859| 172 |  23 |  195|16.3| 64.7|  1
  23  2¾  |58.2 |210 |1705|3041|4746| 753 |1329 | 2082|13.8| 56.0|  2
  14  3   |57.3 |106 | 952|1712|2664|  .. |  .. |  .. |12.1| 55.6|  3
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |
  24  0½  |58.5 |172 |1583|2713|4296| 631 |1001 | 1632|12.0| 58.3|  4
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |
  29  3½  |59.2 |144 |1911|3266|5177| 959 |1554 | 2513| 7.9| 58.5|  5a
  39  3½  |59.1 |107 |1932|3533|5465| 980 |1821 | 2801| 5.8| 57.5|  5b
  24  3¼  |58.8 |214 |1672|2878|4550| 720 |1166 | 1886|14.6| 58.0|  6a
  26  3   |56.9 |216 |1737|2968|4705| 785 |1256 | 2041|14.0| 58.5|  6b
  30  3¼  |59.4 |106 |1936|3088|5024| 984 |1376 | 2360| 5.7| 62.6|  7a
  29  3¼  |59.6 |187 |1963|3413|5376|1011 |1701 | 2712|10.3| 57.5|  7b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |
  19  3   |56.2 |154 |1263|2317|3580| 311 | 605 |  916|13.6| 54.5|  8a
  19  0¾  |59.4 |127 |1267|2148|3415| 315 | 436 |  751|11.1| 58.8|  8b
  18  2½  |56.7 |125 |1181|1945|3126| 229 | 233 |  462|11.6| 60.7|  9a
  25  0¼  |53.3 |208 |1669|2918|4587| 717 |1206 | 1923|13.9| 57.1|  9b
  19  1   |58.1 |215 |1334|2367|3701| 382 | 655 | 1037|19.0| 56.3| 10a
  25  0¼  |57.8 |155 |1604|2926|4530| 652 |1214 | 1866|10.6| 54.8| 10b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |
  29  1½  |59.6 |233 |1984|3274|5258|1032 |1562 | 2594|13.1| 60.6| 11a
  24  3   |57.9 |207 |1641|2898|4539| 689 |1186 | 1875|14.1| 56.4| 11b
  29  3   |59.3 |174 |1938|3390|5328| 986 |1678 | 2664| 9.3| 57.2| 12a
  26  0¾  |59.2 |167 |1717|2880|4597| 765 |1168 | 1933|10.7| 59.6| 12b
  29  1½  |57.9 |253 |1955|3290|5245|1003 |1578 | 2581|14.7| 59.4| 13a
  25  3¼  |58.4 |224 |1730|3072|4802| 778 |1360 | 2138|14.6| 56.3| 13b
  28  0¼  |58.8 |184 |1834|3257|5091| 882 |1545 | 2427|11.1| 56.3| 14a
  25  2½  |58.5 |227 |1726|2897|4623| 774 |1185 | 1959|15.1| 59.5| 14b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |
  22  3½  |58.1 |242 |1571|2937|4508| 619 |1225 | 1844|18.1| 53.4| 15a
  24  2¾  |56.9 |202 |1607|3016|4623| 655 |1304 | 1959|14.1| 53.2| 15b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |
  29  3¼  |60.0 |184 |1973|3115|5088|1021 |1403 | 2424|10.2| 63.3| 16a
  30  1¾  |58.4 |171 |1948|3380|5328| 996 |1668 | 2664| 9.4| 57.6| 16b
  27  2½  |59.7 |285 |1933|3296|5229| 981 |1584 | 2565|17.0| 58.6| 17a
  28  3½  |59.7 |222 |1946|3324|5270| 994 |1612 | 2606|12.6| 58.5| 17b
  26  3   |59.2 |150 |1734|2935|4669| 782 |1223 | 2005| 9.2| 59.0| 18a
  26  2¾  |59.6 |215 |1804|3056|4860| 852 |1344 | 2196|13.3| 58.7| 18b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |
  29  1¾  |56.2 |185 |1838|3295|5133| 886 |1583 | 2469|10.4| 55.7| 19
  16  0½  |58.3 |111 |1050|1721|2771|  98 |   9 |  107|11.3| 61.0| 20
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. |  .. |  .. |  .. | .. |  .. |}21
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |     |}22

This season was considered unfavorable for wheat. The continuously
unmanured plot produced 14¾ bushels, and the plot receiving 14 tons of
barn yard manure, 25¾ bushels per acre nearly.

300 lbs. of ammonia-salts alone on plot 10_a_, gave 19¼ bushels per
acre, while the same quantity of ammonia, with superphosphate in
addition, gave, on plot 9_b_, 25 bushels per acre.

The addition to the above manures of 300 lbs. of potash, 200 lbs. soda,
and 100 lbs. sulphate of magnesia, on plot 10_b_, gave precisely the
same yield per acre as the ammonia and the superphosphate alone. _The
potash, soda, and magnesia, therefore, did no good._

400 lbs. of ammonia-salts, with superphosphate, potash, etc., gave, on
plot 17_b_, nearly 29 bushels per acre, or 3½ bushels more than the plot
which has now received 70 tons of barn-yard manure in five successive

“I see that, on plot 0,” said the Deacon, “one ton of superphosphate was
used per acre, and it gave only half a bushel per acre more than 350
lbs. on 9_a_.”

“This proves,” said I, “that an excessive dose of superphosphate will do
no harm. I am not sure that 100 lbs. of a good superphosphate _drilled
in with the seed_, would not have done _as much good_ as a ton per

“You say,” remarked the Deacon, “that the season was unfavorable for
wheat. And yet the no-manure plot produced nearly 15 bushels of wheat
per acre.”

“That is all true,” said I, “and yet the season was undoubtedly an
unfavorable one. This is shown not only in the less yield, but in the
inferior quality of the grain. The ‘dressed corn’ on the no-manure plot
this year only weighed 57⅓ lbs. per bushel, while last year it weighed
61 lbs. per bushel.”

“By the way,” said the Doctor, “what do Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert mean
by ‘dressed corn’?”

“By ‘corn,’” said I, “they mean wheat; and by ‘dressed corn’ they mean
wheat that has been run through a fanning-mill until all the light and
shrunken grain is blown or sieved out. In other words, ‘dressed corn’ is
wheat carefully cleaned for market. The English farmers take more pains
in cleaning their grain than we do. And this ‘dressed corn’ was as clean
as a good fanning-mill could make it. You will observe that there was
more ‘offal corn’ this year than last. This also indicates an
unfavorable season.”

“It would have been very interesting,” said the Doctor, “if Messrs.
Lawes and Gilbert had analyzed the wheat produced by the different
manures, so that we might have known something in regard to the quality
of the flour as influenced by the use of different fertilizers.”

“They did that very thing,” said I, “and not only that, but they made
the wheat grown on different plots, into flour, and ascertained the
yield of flour from a given weight of wheat, and the amount of bran,
middlings, etc., etc. They obtained some very interesting and important
results. I was there at the time. But this is not the place to discuss
the question. I am often amused, however, at the remarks we often hear
in regard to the inferior quality of our wheat as compared to what it
was when the country was new. Many seem to think that ‘there is
something lacking in the soil’--some say potash, and some phosphates,
and some this, and some that. I believe nothing of the kind. Depend upon
it, the variety of the wheat and the soil and season have much more to
do with the quality or strength of the flour, than the chemical
composition of the manures applied to the land.”

“At any rate,” said the Doctor, “we may be satisfied that anything that
will produce a vigorous, healthy growth of wheat is favorable to
quality. We may use manures in excess, and thus produce over-luxuriance
and an unhealthy growth, and have poor, shrunken grain. In this case, it
is not the use, but the abuse of the manure that does the mischief. We
must not manure higher than the season will bear. As yet, this question
rarely troubles us. Hitherto, as a rule, our seasons are better than our
farming. It may not always be so. We may find the liberal use of manure
so profitable that we shall occasionally use it in excess. At present,
however, the tendency is all the other way. We have more grain of
inferior quality from lack of fertility than from an excess of

“That may be true,” said I, “but we have more poor, inferior wheat from
lack of draining and good culture, than from lack of plant-food.
Red-root, thistles, cockle, and chess, have done more to injure the
reputation of ‘Genesee Flour,’ than any other one thing, and I should
like to hear more said about thorough cultivation, and the destruction
of weeds, and less about soil exhaustion.”

The following table shows the results of the experiments the _sixth
year_, 1848-9.

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table VI.--Manures and Produce; 6th Season, 1848-9. Manures and Seed
  (Red Cluster), Sown Autumn, 1848.

  FM  Farm-yard Manure.
  P-A Pearl-ash.
  S-A Soda-ash.
  SMg Sulphate of Magnesia.
  B-A Bone-ash.
  SAc Sulphuric Acid. (Sp. gr. 1.7)
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  RC  Rape-cake.

      |                                                          |
      |         Manures per Acre.                                |
   P  +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----------------+-----+-----+----+
   l  |     |     |     |     |  Superphosphate |     |     |    |
   o  |     |     |     |     |     of Lime.    |     |     |    |
   t  |     |     |     |     +-----+-----+-----+     |     |    |
   s  | FM  | P-A | S-A | SMg | B-A | SAc | MAc | SAm | MAm | RC |
      |Tons.|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs.|
   0  | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. | 600 | 450 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..|
   1  | ..  | 600 | 400 | 200 |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..|
   2  | 14  |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..|
   3  |Unmanured. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
   4  | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. | 200 |  .. | 200 | 300 |  .. |  ..|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
   5a | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 250 | 250 |  ..|
   5b | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 | 500|
   6a | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
   6b | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
   7a | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
   7b | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
   8a |Unmanured. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..|
   8b | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |2000|
   9a | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |2000|
   9b |Unmanured. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..|
  10a | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  10b | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  11a | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  11b | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  12a | ..  | 300 |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  12b | ..  | 300 |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  13a | ..  | 300 |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  13b | ..  | 300 |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  14a | ..  | 300 |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  14b | ..  | 300 |  .. |  .. | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  15a | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 |  .. | 200 | 300 |  .. |  ..|
  15b | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 |  .. | 200 | 300 |  .. | 500|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  16a | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  16b | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  17a | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  17b | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  18a | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
  18b | ..  | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 |  .. | 200 | 200 |  ..|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  19  | ..  |  .. |  .. |  .. | 200 |  .. | 200 | 300 |  .. | 500|
  20  |Unmanured. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  .. |  ..|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  21 }|Mixture of the residue of most of the other    |  .. |  ..|
  22 }|    manures.                                   |     |    |

  Wt/Bu  Weight per Bushel.
  OC     Offal Corn.
  TC     Total Corn.
  S&C    Straw and Chaff.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw.)
  C      Corn.
  TP     Total Produce.
  OCD    Offal Corn to 100 Dressed.
  C100   Corn to 100 Straw.

                                    |  Increase per   |    |    |
        Produce per Acre, &c.       |  Acre By Manure.|    |    |  P
  --------------+----+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+    |    |  l
   Dressed Corn.|    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |  o
  --------+-----+    |    |    | TP |     |     |     |    |    |  t
    Qty.  |Wt/Bu| OC | TC |S&C |C&S |  C  | S&C | TP  |OCD |C100|  s
  Bu  Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |    |    |
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. |  0
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. |  1
  31  0   |63.8 |107 |2068|3029|5097|  839|1415 | 2254|4.7 |68.3|  2
  19  1   |61.4 | 47 |1229|1614|2843| ..  | ..  | ..  |3.9 |76.1|  3
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  30  0   |63.0 |110 |2063|2645|4708|  834|1031 | 1865|5.6 |78.0|  4
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  37  1¼  |63.1 | 89 |2446|3589|6035| 1217|1975 | 3192|3.7 |68.1|  5a
  39  3½  |63.4 | 97 |2651|3824|6475| 1422|2210 | 3632|5.0 |69.3|  5b
  36  1½  |63.0 |117 |2410|3072|5482| 1181|1458 | 2639|5.1 |78.4|  6a
  37  3¾  |63.0 | 94 |2484|3516|6000| 1255|1902 | 3157|3.9 |70.6|  6b
  38  2¼  |63.1 |137 |2576|3584|6160| 1347|1970 | 3317|5.6 |71.9|  7a
  37  3¾  |62.9 |141 |2531|3396|5927| 1302|1782 | 3084|5.9 |74.5|  7b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  22  3   |61.7 | 76 |1481|1815|3296|  252| 201 |  453|5.3 |81.6|  8a
  31  2½  |63.0 | 85 |2080|3166|5246|  851|1552 | 2403|4.3 |65.7|  8b
  30  2¾  |62.8 |111 |2035|2683|4718|  806|1069 | 1875|5.8 |75.8|  9a
  22  1½  |62.3 | 80 |1475|1810|3285|  246| 196 |  432|5.7 |81.5|  9b
  32  2¼  |62.3 |112 |2141|2851|4992|  912|1237 | 2149|5.5 |75.1| 10a
  32  1¼  |63.3 |110 |2157|2960|5117|  928|1346 | 2274|5.3 |72.9| 10b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  35  0½  |62.6 |121 |2317|2892|5209| 1088|1278 | 2366|5.6 |80.1| 11a
  32  1¼  |63.0 |112 |2149|2942|5091|  920|1328 | 2248|5.5 |73.0| 11b
  35  3¼  |64.3 | 93 |2396|3371|5767| 1167|1757 | 2924|4.1 |71.1| 12a
  34  1¼  |64.3 | 71 |2277|3300|5577| 1048|1687 | 2735|3.2 |69.0| 12b
  34  3¾  |64.1 |101 |2340|3236|5576| 1111|1622 | 2733|4.5 |72.3| 13a
  34  2¼  |64.1 |129 |2346|3246|5592| 1117|1632 | 2749|5.8 |72.3| 13b
  34  1½  |64.3 | 56 |2266|3211|5477| 1037|1597 | 2634|2.5 |70.6| 14a
  31  1¼  |64.3 |112 |2123|3218|5341|  894|1604 | 2498|5.5 |66.0| 14b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  31  3¼  |64.2 | 65 |2109|3038|5147|  880|1424 | 2304|3.2 |69.4| 15a
  30  0¾  |64.1 | 68 |2005|3262|5267|  776|1648 | 2424|3.5 |61.5| 15b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  33  1½  |64.5 |101 |2254|3384|5638| 1025|1770 | 2795|4.7 |66.6| 16a
  33  3¾  |64.6 | 75 |2268|3559|5827| 1039|1945 | 2984|3.4 |63.7| 16b
  34  1   |64.3 |111 |2316|3891|6207| 1087|2277 | 3364|5.1 |59.4| 17a
  33  1½  |64.4 |112 |2259|3858|6117| 1030|2244 | 3274|5.2 |58.5| 17b
  32  1¼  |64.0 | 93 |2163|3592|5755|  934|1978 | 2912|4.5 |60.2| 18a
  33  2¼  |64.0 | 95 |2243|3779|6022| 1014|2165 | 3179|4.4 |59.3| 18b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  29  2¼  |63.9 |102 |1994|3270|5264|  765|1656 | 2421|5.4 |61.0| 19
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | 20
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. |}21
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |}22

“This was my last year at Rothamsted,” said I, “and I feel a peculiar
interest in looking over the results after such a lapse of time. When
this crop was growing, my father, a good practical farmer, but with
little faith in chemical manures, paid me a visit. We went to the
experimental wheat-field. The first two plots, 0 and 1, had been
dressed, the one with superphosphate, the other with potash, soda, and
magnesia. My father did not seem much impressed with this kind of
chemical manuring. Stepping to the next plot, where 14 tons of barn-yard
manure had been used, he remarked, “this is good, what have you here?”

“Never mind,” said I, “we have better crops farther on.”

The next plot, No. 3, was the one continuously unmanured. “I can beat
this myself,” said he, and passed on to the next. “This is better,” said
he, “what have you here?”

“Superphosphate and sulphate of ammonia.”

“Well, it is a good crop, and the straw is bright and stiff.”--It turned
out 30 bushels per acre, 63 lbs. to the bushel.

The next six plots had received very heavy dressings of ammonia-salts,
with superphosphate, potash, soda, and magnesia. He examined them with
the greatest interest. “What have you here?” he asked, while he was
examining 5_a_, which afterwards turned out 37¼ bushels per
acre. --“Potash, soda, epsom-salts, superphosphate, and ammonia--but it
is the ammonia that does the good.”

He passed to the next plot, and was very enthusiastic over it. “What
have you here?” --“Rape-cake and ammonia,” said I. --“It is a grand
crop,” said he, and after examining it with great interest, he passed to
the next, 6_a_. --“What have you here?” --“Ammonia,” said I; and at 6_b_
he asked the same question, and I replied “ammonia.” At 7_a_, the same
question and the same answer. Standing between 7_b_ and 8_a_, he was of
course struck with the difference in the crop; 8_a_ was left this year
without any manure, and though it had received a liberal supply of
mineral manures the year before, and minerals and ammonia-salts, and
rape-cake, the year previous, it only produced this year, 3½ bushels
more than the plot continuously unmanured. The contrast between the
wheat on this plot and the next one might well interest a practical
farmer. There was over 15 bushels per acre more wheat on the one plot
than on the other, and 1,581 lbs. more straw.

Passing to the next plot, he exclaimed “this is better, but not so
good as some that we have passed.” --“It has had a heavy dressing of
rape-cake,” said I, “equal to about 100 lbs. of ammonia per acre, and
the next plot was manured this year in the same way. The only difference
being that one had superphosphate and potash, soda, and magnesia, the
year before, while the other had superphosphate alone.” It turned out,
as you see from the table, that the potash, etc., only gave half a
bushel more wheat per acre the year it was used, and this year, with
2,000 lbs. of rape-cake on each plot, there is only a bushel per acre in
favor of the potash, soda, and magnesia.

The next plot, 9_b_, was also unmanured and was passed by my father
without comment. “Ah,” said he, on coming to the two next plots, 10_a_
and 10_b_, “this is better, what have you here?” --“_Nothing but
ammonia_,” said I, “and I wish you would tell me which is the best of
the two? Last year 10_b_ had a heavy dressing of minerals and
superphosphate with ammonia, and 10_a_ the same quantity of ammonia
alone, without superphosphate or other mineral manures. And this year
both plots have had a dressing of 400 lbs. each of ammonia-salts. Now,
which is the best--the plot that had superphosphate and minerals last
year, or the one without?” --“Well,” said he, “I can’t see any
difference. Both are good crops.”

You will see from the table, that the plot which had the superphosphate,
potash, etc., the year before, gives a peck _less_ wheat this year than
the other plot which had none. Practically, the yield is the same. There
is an increase of 13 bushels of wheat per acre--and this increase _is
clearly due to the ammonia-salts alone_.

The next plot was also a splendid crop.

“What have you here?”

“Superphosphate and ammonia.”

This plot (11_a_), turned out 35 bushels per acre. The next plot, with
phosphates and ammonia, was nearly as good. The next plot, with potash,
phosphates, and ammonia, equally good, but no better than 11_a_. There
was little or no benefit from the potash, except a little more _straw_.
The next plot was good and I did not wait for the question, but simply
said, “ammonia,” and the next “ammonia,” and the next “ammonia.”
--Standing still and looking at the wheat, my father asked, “Joe, where
can I get this ammonia?” He had previously been a little skeptical as to
the value of chemistry, and had not a high opinion of “book farmers,”
but that wheat-crop compelled him to admit “that perhaps, after all,
there might be some good in it.” At any rate, he wanted to know where
he could get ammonia. And, now, as then, every good farmer asks the same
question: “Where can I get ammonia?” Before we attempt to answer the
question, let us look at the next year’s experiments.--The following
is the results of the experiments the _seventh_ year, 1849-50.

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table VII.--Manures and Produce; 7th Season, 1849-50. After the
  Harvest of 1849 the Field Was Tile-Drained in Every Alternate Furrow,
  2 to 3 Feet Deep. Manures and Seed (Red Cluster), Sown Autumn, 1849.

  FM  Farm-yard Manure.
  P-A Pearl-ash.
  S-A Soda-ash.
  SMg Sulphate of Magnesia.
  B-A Bone-ash.
  SAc Sulphuric Acid. (Sp. gr. 1.7)
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  RC  Rape-cake.

      |                                                          |
      |         Manures per Acre.                                |
   P  +-----+-----+-----+-----+-----------------+-----+-----+----+
   l  |     |     |     |     | Superphosphate  |     |     |    |
   o  |     |     |     |     |    of Lime.     |     |     |    |
   t  |     |     |     |     +-----+-----+-----+     |     |    |
   s  | FM  | P-A | S-A | SMg | B-A | SAc | MAc | SAm | MAm | RC |
      |Tons.|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |lbs.|
   0  |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | 600 | 450 | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. |
   1  |  .. | 600 | 400 | 200 | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. |
   2  |  14 | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. |
   3  |Unmanured. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. |
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
   4  |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | .. |
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
   5a |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 250 | 250 | .. |
   5b |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 250 | 250 | .. |
   6a |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
   6b |  .. | *00 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
   7a |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | 500|
   7b |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | 500|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
   8a |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
   8b |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
   9a |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
   9b |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  10a |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  10b |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. |
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  11a |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  11b |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  12a |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  12b |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  13a |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  13b |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  14a |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  14b |  .. | 300 | ..  | ..  | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  15a |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | .. |
  15b |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | 500|
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  16a |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  16b |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  17a |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  17b |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  18a |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
  18b |  .. | 300 | 200 | 100 | 200 | 150 | ..  | 200 | 200 | .. |
      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  19  |  .. | ..  | ..  | ..  | 200 | ..  | 200 | 300 | ..  | 500|
  20  |Unmanured. | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | ..  | .. |
  21} |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  22} |Mixture of the residue of most of the other manures. | .. |

  Wt/Bu  Weight per Bushel.
  OC     Offal Corn.
  TC     Total Corn.
  S&C    Straw and Chaff.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw.)
  C      Corn.
  TP     Total Produce.
  OCD    Offal Corn to 100 Dressed.
  C100   Corn to 100 Straw.

                                    |  Increase per   |    |    |
       Produce per Acre, &c.        | Acre By Manure. |    |    |  P
  --------------+----+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+    |    |  l
   Dressed Corn.|    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |  o
  --------+-----+    |    |    | TP |     |     |     |    |    |  t
    Qty.  |Wt/Bu| OC | TC |S&C |C&S |  C  | S&C | TP  |OCD |C100|  s
  Bu. Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs. |lbs. |    |    |
  19  1½  |60.8 | 42 |1220|2037|3257|  218| 318 |  536|3.5 |59.9|  0
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. |  .. |  .. |  .. | .. | .. |  1
  28  2   |61.9 | 98 |1861|3245|5106|  859|1526 | 2385|5.4 |57.3|  2
  15  3¼  |60.6 | 44 |1002|1719|2721|  .. |  .. |  .. |4.5 |58.2|  3
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  27  3   |61.2 | 87 |1785|3312|5097|  783|1593 | 2376|5.1 |53.9|  4
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  29  3½  |60.4 |171 |1974|4504|6478|  972|2785 | 3757|9.5 |43.8|  5a
  30  3   |60.4 |160 |2018|4379|6397| 1016|2660 | 3676|8.6 |46.1|  5b
  30  0½  |61.1 |119 |1960|3927|5887|  958|2208 | 3166|6.3 |49.9|  6a
  29  3½  |61.3 |148 |1980|3959|5939|  978|2240 | 3218|8.0 |50.0|  6b
  32  1   |61.0 |167 |2134|4485|6619| 1132|2766 | 3898|8.4 |47.9|  7a
  32  0¼  |61.2 |150 |2112|4280|6392| 1110|2561 | 3671|7.6 |49.4|  7b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  28  3   |61.1 |101 |1856|3407|5263|  854|1688 | 2542|5.5 |54.5|  8a
  30  1   |61.0 |103 |1948|3591|5539|  946|1872 | 2818|5.6 |54.2|  8b
  30  1½  |60.4 |118 |1951|3550|5501|  949|1831 | 2780|6.3 |55.0|  9a
  27  2¾  |60.8 | 80 |1762|3165|4927|  760|1446 | 2206|4.7 |55.7|  9b
  26  3¾  |60.2 |100 |1721|3089|4810|  719|1370 | 2089|6.1 |55.7| 10a
  17  3¾  |61.1 | 76 |1171|1949|3120|  169| 230 |  399|6.8 |60.1| 10b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  30  3¼  |61.0 |121 |2001|3806|5807|  999|2087 | 3086|6.4 |52.6| 11a
  29  1½  |61.1 |145 |1940|3741|5681|  938|2022 | 2960|8.0 |51.9| 11b
  29  3¾  |61.5 | 94 |1935|3921|5856|  933|2202 | 3135|5.1 |49.4| 12a
  30  3¾  |61.4 |115 |2013|3905|5918| 1011|2186 | 3197|5.9 |51.5| 12b
  31  3¾  |60.2 |105 |2027|4026|6053| 1025|2307 | 3332|5.4 |50.3| 13a
  30  1½  |61.0 |111 |1964|4008|5972|  962|2289 | 3251|6.0 |49.0| 13b
  31  1¾  |61.1 |102 |2023|4052|6075| 1021|2333 | 3354|5.3 |49.9| 14a
  31  1½  |61.5 | 65 |1995|4015|6010|  993|2296 | 3289|3.2 |49.7| 14b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  26  0¼  |61.5 | 90 |1693|3321|5014|  691|1602 | 2293|5.7 |51.0| 15a
  30  3½  |61.0 | 59 |1942|3926|5868|  940|2207 | 3147|3.0 |49.5| 15b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  33  2½  |60.3 |108 |2134|5103|7237| 1132|3384 | 4516|5.3 |41.8| 16a
  33  3   |60.4 |122 |2159|4615|6774| 1157|2896 | 4053|6.0 |46.8| 16b
  31  1   |61.2 | 73 |1985|4126|6111|  983|2407 | 3390|3.8 |48.1| 17a
  29  2½  |61.5 |139 |1961|4034|5995|  959|2315 | 3274|7.7 |48.6| 17b
  29  3¼  |61.2 |110 |1934|3927|5861|  932|2208 | 3140|6.1 |49.3| 18a
  28  2½  |60.9 |103 |1845|3844|5689|  843|2125 | 2968|5.7 |48.0| 18b
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |
  29  0   |60.8 | 88 |1850|3527|5377|  848|1808 | 2656|4.9 |52.4| 19
  14  0   |59.1 | 40 | 868|1639|2507| -134| -80 | -214|4.5 |53.0| 20
  ..  ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. |  .. | ..  |  .. | .. | .. |}21
          |     |    |    |    |    |     |     |     |    |    |}22
  --------+---- +----+----+----+----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----

The summer of 1850 was unusually cool and unfavorable for wheat. It will
be seen that on all the plots the yield of grain is considerably lower
than last year, with a greater growth of straw.

You will notice that 10_b_, which last year gave, with ammonia-salts
alone, 32¼ bushels, this year, with superphosphate, potash, soda, and
sulphate of magnesia, gives less than 18 bushels, while the adjoining
plot, dressed with ammonia, gives nearly 27 bushels. In other words, the
ammonia alone gives 9 bushels per acre more than this large dressing of
superphosphate, potash, etc.

On the three plots, 8_a_, 8_b_ and 9_a_, a dressing of ammonia-salts
alone gives in _each case_, a larger yield, both of grain and straw,
than the 14 tons of barn-yard manure on plot 2. And recollect that this
plot has now received 98 tons of manure in seven years.

“That,” said the Doctor, “is certainly a very remarkable fact.”

“It is so,” said the Deacon.

“But what of it?” asked the Squire, “even the Professor, here, does not
advise the use of ammonia-salts for wheat.”

“That is so,” said I, “but perhaps I am mistaken. Such facts as those
just given, though I have been acquainted with them for many years,
sometimes incline me to doubt the soundness of my conclusions. Still, on
the whole, I think I am right.”

“We all know,” said the Deacon, “that you have great respect for your
own opinions.”

“Never mind all that,” said the Doctor, “but tell us just what you think
on this subject.”

“In brief,” said I, “my opinion is this. We need ammonia for wheat. But
though ammonia-salts and nitrate of soda can often be used with decided
profit, yet I feel sure that we can get ammonia or nitrogen at a less
cost per lb. by buying bran, malt-roots, cotton-seed cake, and other
foods, and using them for the double purpose of feeding stock and making

“I admit that such is the case,” said the Doctor, “but here is a plot of
land that has now had 14 tons of manure every year for seven years, and
yet there is a plot along side, dressed with ammonia-salts furnishing
less than half the ammonia contained in the 14 tons of manure, that
produces a better yield of wheat.”

“That,” said I, “is simply because the nitrogen in the manure is not in
an available condition. And the practical question is, how to make the
nitrogen in our manure more immediately available. It is one of the most
important questions which agricultural science is called upon to answer.
Until we get more light, I feel sure in saying that one of the best
methods is, to feed our animals on richer and more easily digested

The following table gives the results of the _eighth_ season of 1850-51.

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table VIII.--Manures and Produce; 8th Season, 1850-51. Manures and
  Seed (Red Cluster), Sown Autumn, 1850.

  FM Farm-yard Manure.
  WSC Cut Wheat-straw and Chaff.
  CS  Common Salt.
  SP Sulphate of Potass.
  S-A Soda-ash.
  SMg Sulphate of Magnesia.
  B-A Bone-ash.
  SAc Sulphuric Acid. (Sp. gr. 1.7)
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  RC Rape-cake.

      |                                                               |
      |                    Manures per Acre.                          |
    P +-----+----+------+----+----+----+---------------+----+----+----+
    l |     |    |      |    |    |    | Superphosphate|    |    |    |
    o |     |    |      |    |    |    |    of Lime.   |    |    |    |
    t |     |    |      |    |    |    +----+----+-----+    |    |    |
    s | FM  |WSC |  CS  | SP |S-A |SMg |B-A |SAc | MAc |SAm |MAm | RC |
      |Tons.|lbs.| lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|
   0  |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. |600 |450 | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
   1  |  .. | .. |  ..  |600 |400 |200 | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
   2  |  14 | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
   3  |Unmanured.|  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
      |     |    |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |
   4  |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. |200 | .. | 200 |400 | .. | .. |
      |     |    |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |
   5a |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |300 |300 | .. |
   5b |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |300 |300 | .. |
   6a |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
   6b |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
   7a |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 |1000|
   7b |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 |1000|
      |     |    |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |
   8a |  .. |5000|  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
   8b |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |100 |100 | .. |
   9a |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
   9b |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  10a |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  10b |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
      |     |    |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |
  11a |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  11b |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  12a |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 |100 | .. |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  12b |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 |100 | .. |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  13a |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 | .. | .. |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  13b |  .. | .. |  ..  |300 | .. | .. |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  14a |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 | .. |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  14b |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 | .. |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
      |     |    |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |
  15a |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 |100 |100 |200 | .. | 200 |400 | .. | .. |
  15b |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 |100 |100 |200 | .. | 200 |400 | .. |500 |
      |     |    |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |
  16a |  .. | .. |336[1]|200 |100 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |300 |300 | .. |
  16b |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 |100 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |300 |300 | .. |
  17a |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 |100 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  17b |  .. | .. |  ..  |200 |100 |100 |200 |150 | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  18a |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
  18b |  .. | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  |200 |200 | .. |
      |     |    |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |
  19  | ..  | .. |  ..  | .. | .. | .. |200 | .. | 200 |300 | .. |500 |
  20} |         {|  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
  21} |Unmanured{|  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
  22} |         {|  ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |

  [Note 1: Top-dressed in March, 1851.]

  Wt/Bu  Weight per Bushel.
  OC     Offal Corn.
  TC     Total Corn.
  S&C    Straw and Chaff.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).
  C      Corn.
  S&C    Straw and Chaff.
  TP     Total Produce.
  OCD    Offal Corn to 100 Dressed.
  C100   Corn to 100 Straw.

                                    |  Increase per     |    |    |
        Produce per Acre, etc.      |  Acre By Manure   |    |    | P
  --------------+----+----+----+----+------+-----+------+    |    | l
   Dressed Corn.|    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    | o
  --------+-----+    |    |    | TP |      |     |      |    |    | t
    Qty.  |Wt/Bu| OC | TC | S&C|C&S |  C   | S&C |  TP  |OCD |C100| s
  Bu. Pks.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs. |    |    |
  18  3½  |61.9 |125 |1296|1862|3158|  213 |  235|  448 |10.7|69.6| 0
  18  1¼  |61.7 |124 |1251|1845|3096|  168 |  218|  386 |11.0|67.8| 1
  29  2½  |63.6 |166 |2049|3094|5143|  966 | 1467| 2433 | 8.8|66.2| 2
  15  3½  |61.1 |114 |1083|1627|2710|  ..  |  .. |  ..  |11.8|66.6| 3
          |     |    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |
  28  0½  |62.6 |159 |1919|2949|4868|  836 | 1322| 2158 | 9.0|65.1| 4
          |     |    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |
  36  0   |63.3 |194 |2473|4131|6604| 1390 | 2504| 3894 | 8.6|59.9| 5a
  37  3¾  |63.3 |213 |2611|4294|6905| 1528 | 2667| 4195 | 8.9|60.8| 5b
  33  1¾  |63.3 |154 |2271|3624|5895| 1188 | 1997| 3185 | 7.2|62.6| 6a
  31  0¼  |62.3 |189 |2119|3507|5626| 1036 | 1880| 2916 | 9.8|60.4| 6b
  36  3½  |63.0 |201 |2524|4587|7111| 1441 | 2960| 4401 | 8.7|55.0| 7a
  37  1½  |63.0 |178 |2532|4302|6834| 1449 | 2675| 4124 | 7.6|58.8| 7b
          |     |    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |
  26  0¾  |62.8 |141 |1785|2769|4554|  702 | 1142| 1844 | 8.6|64.5| 8a
  27  2¼  |62.6 |137 |1863|2830|4693|  780 | 1203| 1983 | 7.9|65.8| 8b
  31  1½  |62.4 |182 |2142|3252|5394| 1059 | 1625| 2684 | 9.3|65.9| 9a
  29  0¾  |62.0 |170 |1970|2942|4912|  887 | 1315| 2202 | 9.5|67.0| 9b
  28  3½  |61.9 |179 |1966|3070|5036|  883 | 1443| 2326 |10.0|64.0|10a
  28  2½  |62.5 |149 |1937|3048|4985|  854 | 1421| 2275 | 8.3|63.5|10b
          |     |    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |
  32  2¾  |62.3 |181 |2216|3386|5602| 1133 | 1759| 2892 | 8.9|65.4|11a
  31  2¾  |62.5 |181 |2163|3302|5465| 1080 | 1675| 2755 | 9.1|65.5|11b
  32  3   |63.1 |165 |2234|3600|5834| 1151 | 1973| 3124 | 8.0|62.0|12a
  32  2¼  |62.5 |166 |2203|3581|5784| 1120 | 1954| 3074 | 8.2|61.5|12b
  30  2¾  |62.6 |180 |2102|3544|5646| 1019 | 1917| 2936 | 9.4|59.3|13a
  30  3¼  |62.3 |160 |2083|3440|5523| 1000 | 1813| 2813 | 8.3|60.5|13b
  31  0¼  |62.9 |168 |2120|3605|5725| 1037 | 1978| 3015 | 8.6|58.8|14a
  31  0½  |62.8 |165 |2121|3537|5658| 1038 | 1910| 2948 | 8.4|59.9|14b
          |          |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |
  27  0½  |62.7 |138 |1839|3041|4880|  756 | 1414| 2170 | 8.1|60.5|15a
  30  2½  |62.9 |148 |2077|3432|5509|  994 | 1805| 2799 | 7.6|60.5|15b
          |     |    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |
  36  3¼  |63.5 |161 |2499|4234|6733| 1416 | 2607| 4023 | 6.9|59.0|16a
  36  2¾  |63.4 |176 |2501|4332|6833| 1418 | 2705| 4123 | 7.6|57.7|16b
  31  3½  |63.3 |131 |2149|3597|5746| 1066 | 1970| 3036 | 6.5|59.7|17a
  30  2¼  |63.1 |152 |2079|3406|5485|  996 | 1779| 2775 | 7.9|61.0|17b
  30  3¼  |63.0 |139 |2083|3390|5473| 1000 | 1763| 2763 | 7.2|64.1|18a
  31  0¾  |62.4 |143 |2090|3586|5676| 1007 | 1959| 2966 | 7.3|58.3|18b
          |     |    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |
  30  1   |62.4 |144 |2031|3348|5379|  948 | 1721| 2669 | 7.7|60.7|19
  14  1   |60.8 | 89 | 956|1609|2565| -127 |  -18| -145 |10.2|59.4|20
          |     |    |    |    |    |      |     |      |    |    |21}
  17  3¼  |61.9 |127 |1232|1763|2995|  149 |  136|  285 |11.5|69.9|22}

The plot continuously unmanured, gives about 16 bushels of wheat per

The plot with barn-yard manure, nearly 30 bushels per acre.

400 lbs. of ammonia-salts _alone_, on plot 9_a_, 31¼ bushels; on 9_b_,
29 bushels; on 10_a_ and 10_b_, nearly 29 bushels each. This is
remarkable uniformity.

400 lbs. ammonia-salts and a large quantity of mineral manures in
addition, on _twelve_ different plots, average not quite 32 bushels per

“The superphosphate and minerals,” said the Deacon, “do not seem to do
much good, that is a fact.”

You will notice that 336 lbs. of common salt was sown on plot 16_a_. It
does not seem to have done the slightest good. Where the salt was used,
there is 2 lbs. less grain and 98 lbs. less straw than on the adjoining
plot 16_b_, where no salt was used, but otherwise manured alike. It
would seem, however, that the quality of the grain was slightly improved
by the salt. The salt was sown in March as a top-dressing.

“It would have been better,” said the Deacon. “to have sown it in autumn
with the other manures.”

“The Deacon is right,” said I, “but it so happens that the next year and
the year after, the salt _was_ applied at the same time as the other
manures. It gave an increase of 94 lbs. of grain and 61 lbs. of straw in
1851, but the following year the same quantity of salt used on the same
plot did more harm than good.”

Before we leave the results of this year, it should be observed that on
8_a_, 5,000 lbs. of cut straw and chaff were used per acre. I do not
recollect seeing anything in regard to it. And yet the result was very
remarkable--so much so indeed, that it is a matter of regret that the
experiment was not repeated.

This 5,000 lbs. of straw and chaff gave an increase of more than 10
bushels per acre over the continuously unmanured plot.

“Good,” said the Deacon, “I have always told you that you
under-estimated the value of straw, especially in regard to its
_mechanical_ action.”

I did not reply to this remark of the good Deacon. I have never doubted
the good effects of anything that lightens up a clay soil and renders it
warmer and more porous. I suppose the great benefit derived from this
application of straw must be attributed to its ameliorating action on
the soil. The 5,000 lbs. of straw and chaff produced a crop within
nearly 3 bushels per acre of the plot manured every year with 14 tons of
barn-yard manure.

“I am surprised,” said the Doctor, “that salt did no good. I have seen
many instances in which it has had a wonderful effect on wheat.”

“Yes,” said I, “and our experienced friend, John Johnston, is very
decidedly of the opinion that its use is highly profitable. He sows a
barrel of salt per acre broadcast on the land at the time he sows his
wheat, and I have myself seen it produce a decided improvement in the

We have now given the results of the first _eight_ years of the
experiments. From this time forward, the _same manures_ were used year
after year on the same plot.

The results are given in the accompanying tables for the following
twelve years--harvests for 1852-53-54-55-56-57-58-59-60-61-62 and 1863.
Such another set of experiments are not to be found in the world, and
they deserve and will receive the careful study of every intelligent
American farmer.

“I am with you there,” said the Deacon. “You seem to think that I do not
appreciate the labors of scientific men. I do. Such experiments as these
we are examining command the respect of every intelligent farmer. I may
not fully understand them, but I can see clearly enough that they are of
great value.”

  Experiments at Rothamsted on the Growth of Wheat, Year After Year,
  on the Same Land.

  Table IX.--Manures per Acre per Annum (with the exceptions explained
  in the Notes on p. 203), for 12 Years in succession--namely, for the
  9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and
  20th Seasons: that is, for the crops of Harvests 1852- 53- 54- 55- 56-
  57- 58- 59- 60- 61- 62 and 1863.*

  FM  Farm-yard Manure.
  CS  Common Salt.
  SP  Sulphate of Potass.[1]
  SS  Sulphate of Soda.[1]
  SMg Sulphate of Magnesia.[1]
  B-A Bone-ash.
  SAc Sulphuric Acid. (Sp. gr. 1.7)
  MAc Muriatic Acid.
  SAm Sulphate of Ammonia.
  MAm Muriate of Ammonia.
  NS  Nitrate of Soda.
  RC  Rape-cake.

        | Manures per Acre per Annum for 12 Years, 1851-2 to           |
        | 1862-3 inclusive, except in the cases explained in the       |
        | Notes on p. 203.                                             |
    P   +-----+-----+----+----+----+----+---------------+----+----+----+
    l   |     |     |    |    |    |    | Superphosphate|    |    |    |
    o   |     |     |    |    |    |    |  of Lime.     |    |    |    |
    t   |     |     |    |    |    |    +----+----+-----+    |    |    |
    s   | FM  |  CS | SP | SS |SMg |B-A |SAc |MAc | SAm |MAm | NS | RC |
        |Tons.| lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|
     0  | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. |600 |450 | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
     1  | ..  |  .. |600 |400 |200 | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
     2  | 14  |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
     3  |Unmanured  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
     4  |Unmanured  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
     5a | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
     5b | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
     6a | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 100 |100 | .. | .. |
     6b | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 100 |100 | .. | .. |
     7a | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
     7b | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
     8a | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 300 |300 | .. | .. |
     8b | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 300 |300 | .. | .. |
[2]  9a | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | ..  | .. |550 | .. |
[3]  9b | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. |550 | .. |
    10a | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    10b | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    11a | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    11b | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    12a | ..  |  .. | .. |550 | .. |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    12b | ..  |  .. | .. |550 | .. |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    13a | ..  |  .. |300 | .. | .. |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    13b | ..  |  .. |300 | .. | .. |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    14a | ..  |  .. | .. | .. |420 |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    14b | ..  |  .. | .. | .. |420 |200 |150 | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
    15a | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 | .. |200 | 400 | .. | .. | .. |
    15b | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 | .. |200 | 300 | .. | .. |500 |
    16a | .. |336[4]|300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 400 |400 | .. | .. |
    16b | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | 400 |400 | .. | .. |
[5]{17a | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
   {17b | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 200 |200 | .. | .. |
[5]{18a | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
   {18b | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 |200 |150 | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
    19  | ..  |  .. | .. | .. | .. |200 | .. |200 | 300 | .. | .. |500 |
    20  |Unmanured  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | .. | .. | .. |
    21  | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 | .. | .. | .. | ..  |100 | .. | .. |
    22  | ..  |  .. |300 |200 |100 | .. | .. | .. | 100 | .. | .. | .. |

  * For the particulars of the produce of each separate season,
  see Tables X.-XXI. inclusive.

  [Note 1: For the _16th and succeeding seasons_--the sulphate of
  potass was reduced from 600 to 400 lbs. per acre per annum on Plot 1,
  and from 300 to 200 lbs. on all the other Plots where it was used; the
  sulphate of soda from 400 to 200 lbs. on Plot 1, to 100 lbs. on all
  the Plots on which 200 lbs. had previously been applied, and from 550
  to 336½ lbs. (two-thirds the amount) on Plots 12_a_ and 12_b_; and the
  sulphate of magnesia from 420 to 280 lbs. (two-thirds the amount) on
  Plots 14_a_ and 14_b_.]

  [Note 2: _Plot 9a_--the sulphates of potass, soda, and magnesia,
  and the superphosphate of lime, were applied in the 12th and
  succeeding seasons, but not in the 9th, 10th, and 11th; and the amount
  of nitrate of soda was for the 9th season only 475 lbs. per acre, and
  for the 10th and 11th seasons only 275 lbs.]

  [Note 3: _Plot 9b_--in the 9th season only 475 lbs. of nitrate of
  soda were applied.]

  [Note 4: _Common salt_--not applied after the 10th season.]

  [Note 5: _Plots 17a and 17b, and 18a and 18b_--the manures on
  these plots alternate: that is, Plots 17 were manured with
  ammonia-salts in the 9th season; with the sulphates of potass, soda,
  and magnesia, and superphosphate of lime, in the 10th; ammonia-salts
  again in the 11th; the sulphates of potass, soda, and magnesia, and
  superphosphate of lime, again in the 12th, and so on. Plots 18, on the
  other hand, had the sulphates of potass, soda, and magnesia, and
  superphosphate of lime, in the 9th season; ammonia-salts in the 10th,
  and so on, alternately.]

  Table X.--Produce of the 9th Season, 1851-2. Seed (Red Cluster)
  sown November 7, 1851; Crop cut August 24, 1852.

  Table XI.--Produce of the 10th Season, 1853. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown March 16; Crop cut September 10, and carted September 20, 1853.

  Qty.   Quantity.
  Wt/Bu. Weight per Bushel.
  TC     Total Corn.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).

       |  Produce per Acre,         ||     |  Produce per Acre,
       |  etc. (For the Manures     ||     |  etc. (For the Manures
    P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)     ||  P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)
    l  +----------------+-----+-----||  l  +----------------+-----+-----
    o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |     ||  o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |
    t  +---------+------+     | TP  ||  t  +---------+------+     | TP
    s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S ||  s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S
       | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.||     | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.
    0  | 15   0¾ | 55.8 |  919| 2625||  0  |  9   0¾ | 49.1 |  599| 2406
    1  | 13   1  | 56.9 |  825| 2322||  1  |  6   1¾ | 46.1 |  404| 2036
    2  | 27   2¼ | 58.2 | 1716| 5173||  2  | 19   0½ | 51.1 | 1120| 4492
    3  | 13   3¼ | 56.6 |  860| 2457||  3  |  5   3¼ | 45.1 |  359| 1772
    4  | 13   1¼ | 57.3 |  870| 2441||  4  |  7   1  | 46.1 |  446| 2116
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    5a | 16   3  | 57.5 | 1038| 2941||  5a | 10   0  | 48.9 |  587| 2538
    5b | 17   0¼ | 57.3 | 1065| 3097||  5b | 10   1  | 48.9 |  611| 2741
    6a | 20   3  | 57.6 | 1288| 3869||  6a | 16   3¼ | 51.8 |  978| 3755
    6b | 20   3½ | 57.5 | 1300| 3904||  6b | 19   1  | 51.8 | 1072| 3870
    7a | 26   2½ | 56.0 | 1615| 5465||  7a | 23   2½ | 52.2 | 1369| 5110
    7b | 26   3¾ | 55.8 | 1613| 5415||  7b | 23   2¼ | 51.1 | 1357| 5091
    8a | 27   3½ | 55.9 | 1699| 5505||  8a | 22   1¼ | 51.1 | 1346| 5312
    8b | 27   0½ | 55.9 | 1651| 5423||  8b | 24   2¼ | 51.1 | 1425| 5352
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    9a | 25   2  | 55.6 | 1591| 5305||  9a | 11   1  | 47.7 |  691| 3090
    9b | 24   1¾ | 55.3 | 1509| 4883||  9b | 10   1¾ | 46.1 |  649| 2902
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   10a | 21   3½ | 55.9 | 1320| 4107|| 10a |  9   3¾ | 48.9 |  642| 2691
   10b | 22   0¼ | 57.3 | 1343| 4162|| 10b | 15   2  | 49.8 |  896| 3578
   11a | 24   0¾ | 55.6 | 1472| 4553|| 11a | 17   2  | 50.1 | 1015| 3539
   11b | 22   1½ | 55.9 | 1387| 4299|| 11b | 18   2¾ | 51.1 | 1073| 3780
   12a | 24   1¾ | 57.4 | 1503| 4760|| 12a | 22   0  | 52.0 | 1283| 4948
   12b | 24   1¼ | 57.3 | 1492| 4721|| 12b | 23   3¼ | 51.1 | 1375| 5079
   13a | 24   0  | 57.5 | 1480| 4702|| 13a | 22   1¼ | 52.1 | 1341| 5045
   13b | 23   3¾ | 57.1 | 1476| 4765|| 13b | 23   2½ | 51.1 | 1396| 5308
   14a | 24   1¾ | 56.9 | 1507| 5054|| 14a | 21   2  | 51.2 | 1322| 4793
   14b | 25   0¼ | 56.7 | 1530| 5137|| 14b | 23   0¾ | 52.6 | 1347| 5108
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   15a | 23   1¼ | 57.4 | 1451| 4663|| 15a | 19   0  | 51.1 | 1143| 4504
   15b | 25   0½ | 56.8 | 1520| 4941|| 15b | 23   2½ | 51.1 | 1351| 5107
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   16a | 28   3½ | 55.0 | 1794| 6471|| 16a | 24   1½ | 52.5 | 1496| 6400
   16b | 28   0  | 54.5 | 1700| 6316|| 16b | 25   3¼ | 52.5 | 1537| 6556
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   17a | 25   2  | 56.5 | 1577| 5311|| 17a |  8   1¾ | 49.8 |  520| 2516
   17b | 24   1½ | 56.9 | 1520| 4986|| 17b |  8   3¾ | 48.9 |  539| 2551
   18a | 13   3  | 57.0 |  869| 2556|| 18a | 17   3¼ | 52.9 | 1111| 4496
   18b | 14   3¾ | 56.7 |  921| 2685|| 18b | 20   3  | 52.1 | 1256| 5052
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   19  | 24   3¾ | 56.1 | 1582| 4979|| 19  | 19   1¼ | 52.6 | 1160| 4373
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   20  | 14   0¾ | 56.6 |  875| 2452|| 20  |  5   3¼ | 47.8 |  425| 2084
   21  | 19   1¾ | 56.9 | 1177| 3285|| 21  | 12   3¾ | 50.4 |  753| 2934
   22  | 19   2¼ | 55.9 | 1176| 3355|| 22  | 10   1  | 49.4 |  592| 2452

  Table XII.--Produce of the 11th Season, 1853-4. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 12, 1853; Crop cut August 21, and carted August 31,

  Table XIII.--Produce of the 12th Season, 1854-5. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 9, 1854; Crop cut August 26, and carted September 2,

  Qty.   Quantity.
  Wt/Bu. Weight per Bushel.
  TC     Total Corn.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).

       |  Produce per Acre,         ||     |  Produce per Acre,
       |  etc. (For the Manures     ||     |  etc. (For the Manures
    P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)     ||  P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)
    l  +----------------+-----+-----||  l  +----------------+-----+-----
    o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |     ||  o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |
    t  +---------+------+     | TP  ||  t  +---------+------+     | TP
    s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S ||  s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S
       | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.||     | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.
    0  | 26   1¾ | 61.0 | 1672| 3786||  0  | 17   0  | 60.7 | 1096| 2822
    1  | 24   1½ | 60.2 | 1529| 4060||  1  | 18   2  | 60.5 | 1179| 3069
    2  | 41   0½ | 62.5 | 2675| 7125||  2  | 34   2½ | 62.0 | 2237| 6082
    3  | 21   0¼ | 60.6 | 1359| 3496||  3  | 17   0  | 59.2 | 1072| 2859
    4  | 23   3½ | 61.1 | 1521| 3859||  4  | 18   2½ | 59.5 | 1168| 3000
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    5a | 24   1½ | 61.0 | 1578| 4098||  5a | 18   2  | 59.9 | 1157| 2976
    5b | 24   0  | 61.6 | 1532| 4035||  5b | 18   0½ | 60.1 | 1143| 2943
    6a | 33   2¾ | 61.8 | 2186| 6031||  6a | 27   3  | 60.3 | 1753| 4590
    6b | 34   2¼ | 61.8 | 2239| 6294||  6b | 28   1  | 60.9 | 1811| 4848
    7a | 45   2¼ | 61.9 | 2950| 8553||  7a | 32   2¾ | 59.4 | 2084| 5995
    7b | 45   1½ | 61.8 | 2944| 8440||  7b | 33   1¼ | 59.5 | 2138| 6296
    8a | 47   1¾ | 61.4 | 3065| 9200||  8a | 29   3  | 58.8 | 1909| 5747
    8b | 49   2½ | 61.8 | 3208| 9325||  8b | 33   0¾ | 58.7 | 2153| 6495
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    9a | 38   3  | 60.7 | 2456| 6598||  9a | 29   2½ | 58.3 | 1932| 5878
    9b | 38   3½ | 60.7 | 2480| 6723||  9b | 25   1½ | 57.3 | 1605| 4817
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   10a | 34   1½ | 60.5 | 2211| 5808|| 10a | 19   3¾ | 57.1 | 1285| 3797
   10b | 39   0¾ | 61.6 | 2535| 7003|| 10b | 28   0½ | 58.9 | 1805| 5073
   11a | 44   2  | 61.1 | 2859| 8006|| 11a | 18   3  | 55.3 | 1210| 3694
   11b | 43   0½ | 61.2 | 2756| 7776|| 11b | 24   2½ | 56.3 | 1580| 4733
   12a | 45   3¼ | 62.2 | 2966| 8469|| 12a | 30   0¼ | 59.5 | 1940| 5478
   12b | 45   1½ | 62.2 | 2939| 8412|| 12b | 33   2  | 60.2 | 2172| 6182
   13a | 45   0½ | 62.2 | 2913| 8311|| 13a | 29   0  | 59.9 | 1924| 5427
   13b | 43   3½ | 62.2 | 2858| 8403|| 13b | 32   2  | 60.4 | 2110| 5980
   14a | 45   1¼ | 62.2 | 2946| 8498|| 14a | 29   3  | 60.0 | 1954| 5531
   14b | 44   0½ | 62.2 | 2863| 8281|| 14b | 33   1¾ | 60.0 | 2158| 5161
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   15a | 43   1¼ | 62.1 | 2801| 7699|| 15a | 31   3¼ | 60.0 | 2030| 5855
   15b | 43   1  | 62.4 | 2810| 8083|| 15b | 33   3  | 60.6 | 2193| 6415
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   16a | 49   2¼ | 61.7 | 3230| 9932|| 16a | 33   1¼ | 58.2 | 2100| 6634
   16b | 50   0¾ | 61.7 | 3293| 9928|| 16  | 32   2  | 58.2 | 2115| 7106
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   17a | 45   3  | 62.1 | 2948| 8218|| 17a | 18   3¾ | 60.8 | 1227| 3203
   17b | 42   2¼ | 62.2 | 2732| 7629|| 17b | 17   0½ | 60.3 | 1110| 2914
   18a | 24   0  | 61.2 | 1526| 3944|| 18a | 32   3¾ | 60.9 | 2127| 6144
   18b | 23   2¾ | 61.0 | 1511| 3888|| 18b | 33   1¾ | 60.8 | 2170| 6385
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   19  | 41   0¾ | 61.7 | 2666| 7343|| 19  | 30   0½ | 58.7 | 1967| 5818
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   20  | 22   3  | 60.8 | 1445| 3662|| 20  | 17   2½ | 61.1 | 1155| 2986
   21  | 32   0½ | 61.2 | 2030| 5470|| 21  | 24   1¾ | 60.8 | 1533| 3952
   22  | 31   3  | 61.0 | 1994| 5334|| 22  | 24   2½ | 60.1 | 1553| 4010

  Table XIV.--Produce of the 13th Season, 1855-6. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 13, 1855; Crop cut August 26, and carted September 3,

  Table XV.--Produce of the 14th Season, 1856-7. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 6, 1856; Crop cut August 13, and carted August 22, 1857.

  Qty.   Quantity.
  Wt/Bu. Weight per Bushel.
  TC     Total Corn.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).

       |  Produce per Acre,         ||     |  Produce per Acre,
       |  etc. (For the Manures     ||     |  etc. (For the Manures
    P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)     ||  P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)
    l  +----------------+-----+-----||  l  +----------------+-----+-----
    o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |     ||  o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |
    t  +---------+------+     | TP  ||  t  +---------+------+     | TP
    s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S ||  s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S
       | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.||     | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.
    0  | 18   1½ | 56.8 | 1179| 3148||  0  | 18   2¼ | 59.0 | 1181| 2726
    1  | 17   0¾ | 56.3 | 1102| 3035||  1  | 17   2½ | 59.0 | 1118| 2650
    2  | 36   1¼ | 58.6 | 2277| 6594||  2  | 41   0¾ | 60.4 | 2587| 5910
    3  | 14   2  | 54.3 |  892| 2450||  3  | 19   3¾ | 58.3 | 1236| 2813
    4  | 16   1½ | 55.5 | 1026| 2757||  4  | 22   1¾ | 58.8 | 1386| 2958
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    5a | 18   3¼ | 56.5 | 1167| 3179||  5a | 22   3¾ | 59.0 | 1409| 3026
    5b | 20   1¼ | 56.2 | 1247| 3369||  5b | 24   2¼ | 58.8 | 1512| 3247
    6a | 27   1¼ | 58.2 | 1717| 4767||  6a | 35   1½ | 59.9 | 2211| 4968
    6b | 28   0½ | 58.5 | 1755| 4848||  6b | 35   1¼ | 59.8 | 2193| 4950
    7a | 37   1  | 58.0 | 2312| 6872||  7a | 43   1¼ | 60.5 | 2782| 6462
    7b | 36   2¼ | 57.6 | 2244| 6642||  7b | 46   1½ | 60.3 | 2902| 6793
    8a | 40   0½ | 56.8 | 2507| 7689||  8a | 47   3  | 60.8 | 3058| 7355
    8b | 37   3¾ | 57.1 | 2400| 7489||  8b | 48   3¼ | 60.6 | 3129| 7579
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    9a | 32   1½ | 57.2 | 2019| 5894||  9a | 43   3  | 60.1 | 2767| 6634
    9b | 26   0  | 56.3 | 1679| 4831||  9b | 36   0¾ | 58.0 | 2220| 5203
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   10a | 24   0¾ | 55.6 | 1505| 4323|| 10a | 29   0½ | 58.0 | 1816| 4208
   10b | 27   2¾ | 57.2 | 1727| 4895|| 10b | 34   2  | 58.6 | 2185| 5060
   11a | 31   3½ | 57.3 | 2001| 5518|| 11a | 39   0  | 58.5 | 2432| 5375
   11b | 30   2½ | 57.5 | 1946| 5389|| 11b | 39   0¾ | 58.0 | 2397| 5317
   12a | 33   3½ | 58.7 | 2102| 5949|| 12a | 43   3½ | 60.4 | 2747| 6394
   12b | 32   3½ | 58.8 | 2079| 5804|| 12b | 43   2  | 60.4 | 2729| 6312
   13a | 32   1¾ | 58.6 | 2036| 5779|| 13a | 42   3  | 60.6 | 2714| 6421
   13b | 30   3¼ | 58.9 | 2008| 5659|| 13b | 43   2  | 60.5 | 2739| 6386
   14a | 35   0¼ | 58.6 | 2195| 6397|| 14a | 43   3  | 60.5 | 2781| 6439
   14b | 34   0¾ | 59.0 | 2162| 6279|| 14b | 42   3½ | 60.3 | 2699| 6351
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   15a | 30   0½ | 59.1 | 1923| 5444|| 15a | 42   1¼ | 60.4 | 2681| 6368
   15b | 32   0  | 59.4 | 2045| 5797|| 15b | 44   1¾ | 60.0 | 2765| 6543
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   16a | 38   0½ | 58.5 | 2426| 7955|| 16a | 48   3¼ | 60.5 | 3131| 7814
   16b | 37   3  | 58.7 | 2450| 7917|| 16b | 50   0  | 60.5 | 3194| 7897
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   17a | 31   2½ | 59.0 | 1983| 5541|| 17a | 26   2¾ | 59.1 | 1642| 3700
   17b | 30   1½ | 59.1 | 1935| 5400|| 17b | 25   3¾ | 58.8 | 1583| 3523
   18a | 17   3½ | 57.8 | 1140| 3152|| 18a | 41   0¼ | 59.7 | 2566| 6009
   18b | 18   0  | 57.7 | 1131| 3069|| 18b | 40   0¼ | 59.8 | 2519| 5884
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   19  | 32   1  | 58.9 | 2059| 5621|| 19  | 41   2½ | 59.5 | 2600| 5793
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   20  | 17   0¾ | 57.7 | 1075| 2963|| 20  | 19   2¾ | 58.4 | 1213| 2777
   21  | 22   1½ | 58.0 | 1398| 3927|| 21  | 24   0  | 60.6 | 1538| 3353
   22  | 21   1¾ | 57.8 | 1351| 3849|| 22  | 23   0½ | 60.6 | 1491| 3298

  Table XVI.--Produce of the 15th Season, 1857-8. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 3 and 11, 1857; Crop cut August 9, and carted August 20,

  Table XVII.--Produce of the 16th Season, 1858-9. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 4, 1858; Crop cut August 4, and carted August 20, 1859.

  Qty.   Quantity.
  Wt/Bu. Weight per Bushel.
  TC     Total Corn.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).

       |  Produce per Acre,         ||     |  Produce per Acre,
       |  etc. (For the Manures     ||     |  etc. (For the Manures
    P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)     ||  P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)
    l  +----------------+-----+-----||  l  +----------------+-----+-----
    o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |     ||  o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |
    t  +---------+------+     | TP  ||  t  +---------+------+     | TP
    s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S ||  s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S
       | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.||     | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.
    0  | 20   3  | 61.2 | 1332| 3234||  0  | 21   2¼ | 54.0 | 1254| 3564
    1  | 16   1¼ | 60.7 | 1055| 2685||  1  | 19   3  | 55.0 | 1189| 3489
    2  | 38   3¼ | 62.6 | 2512| 6349||  2  | 36   0¾ | 56.5 | 2263| 7073
    3  | 18   0  | 60.4 | 1141| 2811||  3  | 18   1¼ | 52.5 | 1051| 3226
    4  | 19   0½ | 61.1 | 1206| 2879||  4  | 19   0¾ | 55.0 | 1188| 3418
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    5a | 18   2¾ | 61.5 | 1187| 2719||  5a | 20   2¼ | 56.0 | 1277| 3600
    5b | 19   1  | 61.4 | 1227| 2870||  5b | 20   2½ | 56.0 | 1273| 3666
    6a | 28   2¼ | 62.1 | 1818| 4395||  6a | 29   2½ | 56.5 | 1808| 5555
    6b | 29   0½ | 62.1 | 1850| 4563||  6b | 30   0½ | 56.5 | 1855| 5708
    7a | 38   2¼ | 61.9 | 2450| 6415||  7a | 34   2¾ | 55.9 | 2097| 6774
    7b | 39   2¼ | 62.3 | 2530| 6622||  7b | 34   2½ | 55.9 | 2089| 6892
    8a | 41   3¾ | 61.8 | 2680| 7347||  8a | 34   3¼ | 54.0 | 2068| 7421
    8b | 41   3¼ | 61.7 | 2675| 7342||  8b | 34   0¾ | 53.4 | 2007| 7604
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    9a | 37   2¼ | 60.8 | 2384| 6701||  9a | 30   0  | 54.5 | 1806| 7076
    9b | 23   2  | 58.8 | 1470| 4158||  9b | 24   2¼ | 50.5 | 1412| 5002
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   10a | 22   3½ | 59.6 | 1439| 3569|| 10a | 18   3¾ | 51.5 | 1207| 3937
   10b | 27   3  | 61.4 | 1775| 4390|| 10b | 25   2  | 52.5 | 1500| 4920
   11a | 30   3½ | 60.5 | 1977| 4774|| 11a | 26   3½ | 51.4 | 1628| 5155
   11b | 33   0¼ | 60.4 | 2099| 5117|| 11b | 27   3¼ | 51.3 | 1698| 5275
   12a | 37   3¾ | 62.1 | 2437| 6100|| 12a | 34   2½ | 54.5 | 2060| 6610
   12b | 37   0¾ | 62.1 | 2387| 6060|| 12b | 34   3½ | 54.8 | 2115| 6858
   13a | 37   0¾ | 62.1 | 2384| 6077|| 13a | 34   0¾ | 55.0 | 2037| 6774
   13b | 37   0¾ | 62.7 | 2397| 6074|| 13b | 34   3½ | 55.0 | 2087| 6894
   14a | 37   3¼ | 62.1 | 2413| 6150|| 14a | 34   1¾ | 54.5 | 2054| 6817
   14b | 38   1¼ | 62.0 | 2436| 6146|| 14b | 34   2¼ | 54.5 | 2074| 6774
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   15a | 35   1½ | 62.6 | 2285| 5800|| 15a | 34   0¾ | 55.0 | 2053| 6826
   15b | 37   2  | 62.8 | 2436| 6134|| 15a | 35   0¼ | 55.0 | 2095| 7088
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   16a | 41   3  | 62.1 | 2702| 7499|| 16a | 34   3¾ | 52.6 | 2026| 7953
   16b | 42   0½ | 62.1 | 2717| 7530|| 16b | 34   1¾ | 52.6 | 2005| 7798
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   17a | 33   1¼ | 62.5 | 2150| 5353|| 17a | 21   1¼ | 55.0 | 1247| 3730
   17b | 33   3¼ | 62.5 | 2181| 5455|| 17b | 19   3  | 54.5 | 1168| 3541
   18a | 22   3¾ | 62.3 | 1472| 3480|| 18a | 32   3¼ | 55.5 | 1973| 6506
   18b | 20   2¾ | 62.4 | 1338| 3305|| 18b | 32   2  | 56.0 | 1980| 6630
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   19  | 33   1¼ | 62.5 | 2177| 5362|| 19  | 30   2  | 55.5 | 1903| 5926
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   20  | 17   0  | 60.3 | 1089| 2819|| 20  | 17   3¼ | 52.5 | 1039| 3256
   21  | 24   1¾ | 61.5 | 1574| 3947|| 21  | 26   1½ | 54.0 | 1538| 4723
   22  | 22   0  | 61.5 | 1412| 3592|| 22  | 24   0¾ | 55.0 | 1460| 4440

  Table XVIII.--Produce of the 17th Season, 1859-60. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 17, 1859; Crop cut September 17 and 19, and carted
  October 5, 1858.

  Table XIX.--Produce of the 18th Season, 1860-1. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 5, 1860; Crop cut August 20, and carted August 27, 1861.

  Qty.   Quantity.
  Wt/Bu. Weight per Bushel.
  TC     Total Corn.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).

       |  Produce per Acre,         ||     |  Produce per Acre,
       |  etc. (For the Manures     ||     |  etc. (For the Manures
    P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)     ||  P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)
    l  +----------------+-----+-----||  l  +----------------+-----+-----
    o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |     ||  o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |
    t  +---------+------+     | TP  ||  t  +---------+------+     | TP
    s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S ||  s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S
       | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.||     | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.
     0 | 14   1¼ | 53.5 |  826| 2271||  0  | 15   1½ | 57.6 | 1001| 2769
     1 | 12   1¾ | 52.8 |  717| 2097||  1  | 12   3¾ | 57.6 |  828| 2215
     2 | 32   1¼ | 55.5 | 1864| 5304||  2  | 34   3½ | 60.5 | 2202| 5303
     3 | 12   3½ | 52.6 |  738| 2197||  3  | 11   1¼ | 57.4 |  736| 1990
     4 | 14   2  | 53.0 |  832| 2352||  4  | 11   3½ | 58.0 |  863| 2193
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    5a | 15   2¾ | 54.0 |  903| 2483||  5a | 15   1¾ | 59.1 | 1047| 2540
    5b | 16   0½ | 53.1 |  935| 2595||  5b | 15   1½ | 59.0 | 1082| 2692
    6a | 21   0½ | 53.7 | 1210| 3393||  6a | 27   1¼ | 59.5 | 1755| 4328
    6b | 22   3¼ | 54.2 | 1326| 3719||  6b | 27   3¼ | 59.4 | 1818| 4501
    7a | 27   3½ | 54.3 | 1612| 4615||  7a | 35   2¼ | 59.0 | 2263| 5764
    7b | 27   2¼ | 54.3 | 1597| 4734||  7b | 34   1¼ | 59.0 | 2183| 5738
    8a | 30   3  | 52.8 | 1759| 5639||  8a | 36   0  | 58.3 | 2290| 6203
    8b | 31   2¾ | 52.3 | 1787| 5600||  8b | 34   0¼ | 58.5 | 2190| 5985
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    9a | 32   2½ | 51.5 | 1858| 6635||  9a | 33   3  | 56.8 | 2162| 6607
    9b | 19   2¼ | 48.5 | 1155| 4285||  9b | 13   3  | 53.9 |  909| 3079
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   10a | 15   0½ | 49.5 |  905| 3118|| 10a | 12   3½ | 55.0 |  854| 2784
   10b | 18   2½ | 51.0 | 1060| 3420|| 10b | 15   3¾ | 55.5 | 1033| 3196
   11a | 22   1½ | 51.0 | 1270| 3773|| 11a | 23   1¾ | 55.3 | 1455| 4032
   11b | 22   1½ | 51.2 | 1307| 4000|| 11b | 25   0¾ | 55.8 | 1578| 4223
   12a | 28   0½ | 53.4 | 1648| 4878|| 12a | 32   1¼ | 58.1 | 2009| 5201
   12b | 26   2¼ | 53.5 | 1577| 4664|| 12b | 33   1¾ | 58.7 | 2144| 5481
   13a | 26   0¾ | 54.3 | 1575| 4568|| 13a | 33   1¼ | 59.9 | 2168| 5486
   13b | 27   0½ | 53.8 | 1600| 4637|| 13b | 35   0  | 60.0 | 2304| 5794
   14a | 27   1½ | 53.7 | 1583| 4636|| 14a | 33   0¼ | 59.1 | 2125| 5502
   14b | 27   0¼ | 53.2 | 1563| 4666|| 14b | 33   3¾ | 59.3 | 2173| 5476
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   15a | 25   1½ | 53.8 | 1510| 4387|| 15a | 34   1¾ | 60.0 | 2188| 5506
   15b | 28   0  | 54.0 | 1614| 4704|| 15b | 34   3  | 60.2 | 2249| 5727
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   16a | 32   2  | 52.0 | 1856| 5973|| 16a | 36   1¾ | 58.0 | 2338| 6761
   16b | 32   3  | 51.7 | 1889| 6096|| 16b | 37   2  | 58.6 | 2432| 6775
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   17a | 24   0¼ | 54.1 | 1409| 4109|| 17a | 19   1  | 59.3 | 1229| 2982
   17b | 26   1½ | 54.3 | 1548| 4518|| 17b | 18   0¾ | 59.1 | 1166| 2829
   18a | 15   1¼ | 54.5 |  929| 2649|| 18a | 32   1½ | 59.6 | 2650| 5144
   18b | 16   1¼ | 54.6 |  963| 2706|| 18b | 33   1½ | 59.5 | 2122| 5446
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   19  | 24   0½ | 53.0 | 1435| 4178|| 19  | 32   2  | 58.8 | 2107| 5345
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   20  | 12   0¼ | 51.5 |  722| 2155|| 20  | 13   0½ | 57.9 |  872| 2340
   21  | 15   2  | 52.5 |  893| 2639|| 21  | 16   1¾ | 58.2 | 1109| 2749
   22  | 13   3¼ | 53.8 |  847| 2414|| 22  | 19   2¾ | 58.5 | 1306| 3263

  Table XX.--Produce of the 19th Season, 1861-2. Seed (Red Rostock) sown
  October 25, 1861; Crop cut August 29, and carted September 12, 1862.

  Table XXI.--Produce of the 20th Season, 1862-3. Seed (Red Rostock)
  sown November 17, 1862; Crop cut August 10, and carted August 18,

  Qty.   Quantity.
  Wt/Bu. Weight per Bushel.
  TC     Total Corn.
  TP/C&S Total Produce (Corn and Straw).

       |  Produce per Acre,         ||     |  Produce per Acre,
       |  etc. (For the Manures     ||     |  etc. (For the Manures
    P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)     ||  P  |  see pp. 202 and 203.)
    l  +----------------+-----+-----||  l  +----------------+-----+-----
    o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |     ||  o  |  Dressed Corn. |     |
    t  +---------+------+     | TP  ||  t  +---------+------+     | TP
    s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S ||  s  |   Qty.  |Wt/Bu.|  TC | C&S
       | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.||     | Bu. Pks.| lbs. | lbs.| lbs.
    0  | 19   3½ | 58.5 | 1228| 3258||  0  | 22   0½ | 62.6 | 1429| 3254
    1  | 16   2¾ | 58.0 | 1024| 2772||  1  | 20   3  | 62.8 | 1334| 3079
    2  | 38   1½ | 61.0 | 2447| 6642||  2  | 44   0  | 63.1 | 2886| 7165
    3  | 16   0  | 57.8 |  996| 2709||  3  | 17   1  | 62.7 | 1127| 2727
    4  | 16   2½ | 58.5 | 1049| 2711||  4  | 20   1  | 62.3 | 1303| 2957
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    5a | 17   3¾ | 59.0 | 1119| 2959||  5a | 19   2½ | 63.0 | 1283| 2970
    5b | 17   2½ | 59.0 | 1101| 2961||  5b | 19   3  | 63.0 | 1296| 3064
    6a | 27   2  | 59.5 | 1715| 4554||  6a | 39   1½ | 62.3 | 2522| 6236
    6b | 28   3¼ | 59.8 | 1797| 4897||  6b | 39   3  | 62.3 | 2534| 6250
    7a | 35   2¼ | 59.3 | 2200| 6106||  7a | 53   1¼ | 62.6 | 3477| 9330
    7b | 36   0¾ | 59.5 | 2265| 6178||  7b | 54   0  | 62.5 | 3507| 9385
    8a | 39   3  | 59.2 | 2477| 7200||  8a | 56   2¼ | 62.3 | 3668|10383
    8b | 39   0½ | 59.0 | 2452| 7087||  8b | 54   3¼ | 62.3 | 3559|10048
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
    9a | 43   1¾ | 59.5 | 2688| 8738||  9a | 55   2¼ | 62.1 | 3576| 9888
    9b | 25   3½ | 56.3 | 1641| 4897||  9b | 41   1¾ | 62.5 | 2723| 6920
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   10a | 23   0¼ | 56.5 | 1457| 4050|| 10a | 39   0½ | 62.6 | 2587| 6068
   10b | 24   3¼ | 57.5 | 1600| 4443|| 10b | 43   2¼ | 62.8 | 2858| 6914
   11a | 26   2¾ | 58.0 | 1706| 4548|| 11a | 45   0  | 62.5 | 2979| 7212
   11b | 27   0¼ | 58.0 | 1734| 4607|| 11b | 46   2  | 62.1 | 3060| 7519
   12a | 34   1¼ | 58.0 | 2096| 5745|| 12a | 54   2¾ | 62.1 | 3533| 8976
   12b | 33   0¾ | 58.0 | 2025| 5634|| 12b | 53   1  | 62.2 | 3454| 8819
   13a | 31   3¾ | 58.0 | 1953| 5542|| 13a | 53   1  | 62.6 | 3453| 9192
   13b | 32   2¾ | 58.0 | 2019| 5691|| 13b | 53   1¼ | 62.5 | 3439| 9238
   14a | 30   1¾ | 58.0 | 1886| 5283|| 14a | 54   1¾ | 62.5 | 3527| 8986
   14b | 32   0¼ | 58.1 | 2008| 5558|| 14b | 53   1¾ | 62.5 | 3450| 8749
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   15a | 30   1¾ | 58.3 | 1872| 5268|| 15a | 48   1¼ | 62.5 | 3114| 8276
   15b | 32   2¾ | 58.3 | 2029| 5787|| 15b | 48   0  | 62.9 | 3127| 8240
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   16a | 36   1¼ | 58.0 | 2225| 6752|| 16a | 56   2¾ | 62.4 | 3710|10717
   16b | 36   0½ | 57.5 | 2233| 6730|| 16b | 55   0¼ | 62.3 | 3607|10332
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   17a | 27   3½ | 58.1 | 1747| 4827|| 17a | 21   0½ | 62.8 | 1370| 3288
   17b | 27   2¼ | 58.1 | 1685| 4762|| 17b | 21   1½ | 62.8 | 1389| 3292
   18a | 18   1½ | 58.5 | 1168| 3161|| 18a | 46   1½ | 62.6 | 3006| 7889
   18b | 18   2¾ | 58.5 | 1195| 3335|| 18b | 46   0¾ | 62.8 | 3009| 7737
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   19  | 23   1½ | 57.2 | 1479| 4132|| 19  | 46   2¾ | 62.9 | 3054| 7577
       |         |      |     |     ||     |         |      |     |
   20  | 12   1½ | 57.3 |  818| 2335|| 20  | 17   2¾ | 62.5 | 1137| 2609
   21  | 20   1½ | 58.1 | 1273| 3465|| 21  | 27   2½ | 62.5 | 1796| 4279
   22  | 20   0¼ | 58.0 | 1250| 3430|| 22  | 29   3  | 62.4 | 1907| 4599

The _ninth_ season (1851-2), was unusually cold in June and wet in
August. It will be seen that the wheat, both in quantity and quality, is
the poorest since the commencement of the experiments. The unmanured
plot gave less than 14 bushels of dressed grain per acre; the plot with
barn-yard manure, less than 28 bushels, and the best yield in the whole
series was not quite 29 bushels per acre, and only weighed 55 lbs. per
bushel. On the same plot, the year before, with precisely the same
manure, the yield was nearly 37 bushels per acre, and the weight per
bushel, 63½ lbs. So much for a favorable and an unfavorable season.

The _tenth_ season (1852-3), was still more unfavorable. The autumn of
1852 was so wet that it was impossible to work the land and sow the
wheat until the 16th of March 1853.

You will see that the produce on the unmanured plot was less than 6
bushels per acre. With barn-yard manure, 19 bushels, and with a heavy
dressing of ammonia-salts and minerals, not quite 26 bushels per acre.
With a heavy dressing of superphosphate, not quite 9¼ bushels per acre,
and with a full dressing of mixed mineral manures and superphosphate, 10
bushels per acre.

The weight per bushel on the unmanured plot was 45 lbs.; with mixed
mineral manures, 48½ lbs.; with ammonia-salts alone, 48½ lbs.; with
barn-yard manure, 51 lbs.; and with ammonia-salts and mixed mineral
manures, 52¼ lbs.

Farmers are greatly dependent on the season, but the good farmer, who
keeps up the fertility of his land stands a better chance of making
money (or of losing less), than the farmer who depends on the unaided
products of the soil. The one gets 6 bushels per acre, and 1,413 lbs. of
straw of very inferior quality; the other gets 20 to 26 bushels per
acre, and 5,000 lbs. of straw. And you must recollect that in an
unfavorable season we are pretty certain to get high prices.

The _eleventh_ season (1853-4,) gives us much more attractive-looking
figures! We have over 21 bushels per acre on the plot which has grown
eleven crops of wheat in eleven years without any manure.

With barn-yard manure, over 41 bushels per acre. With ammonia-salts
alone (17_a_), 45¾ bushels. With ammonia-salts and mixed minerals,
(16_b_), over 50 bushels per acre, and 6,635 lbs. of straw. A total
produce of nearly 5½ tons per acre.

The _twelfth_ season (1854-5), gives us 17 bushels of wheat per acre on
the continuously unmanured plot. Over 34½ bushels on the plot manured
with barn-yard manure. And I think, for the first time since the
commencement of the experiments, this plot produces the largest yield of
any plot in the field. And well it may, for it has now had, in twelve
years, 168 tons of barn-yard manure per acre!

Several of the plots with ammonia-salts and mixed minerals, are nearly
up to it in grain, and ahead of it in straw.

The _thirteenth_ season (1855-6), gives 14½ bushels on the unmanured
plot; over 36¼ bushels on the plot manured with barn-yard manure; and
over 40 bushels on 8_a_, dressed with 600 lbs. ammonia-salts and mixed
mineral manures. It will be noticed that 800 lbs. ammonia-salts does not
give quite as large a yield this year as 600 lbs. I suppose 40 bushels
per acre was all that the _season_ was capable of producing, and an
extra quantity of ammonia did no good. 400 lbs. of ammonia-salts, on
7_a_, produced 37¼ bushels per acre, and 800 lbs. on 16_b_, only 37¾
bushels. That extra half bushel of wheat was produced at considerable

The _fourteenth_ season (1856-7), gives 20 bushels per acre on the
unmanured plot, and 41 bushels on the plot with barn-yard manure. Mixed
mineral manures alone on 5_a_ gives nearly 23 bushels per acre. Mixed
mineral manures and 200 lbs. ammonia-salts, on 6_a_, give 35¼ bushels.
In other words the ammonia gives us over 12 extra bushels of wheat, and
1,140 lbs. of straw. Mineral manures and 400 lbs. ammonia-salts, on
7_b_, give 46¼ bushels per acre. Mineral manures and 600 lbs.
ammonia-salts, on 8_b_, give nearly 49 bushels per acre. Mineral manures
and 800 lbs. of ammonia-salts, on 16_b_, give 50 bushels per acre, and
4,703 lbs. of straw.

“This exceedingly heavy manuring,” said the Deacon, “does not pay. For

  “200 lbs. ammonia-salts give an increase of 12¼ bushels per acre.
   400  ”      ”     ”           ”            23¼      ”     ”
   600  ”      ”     ”           ”            26       ”     ”
   800  ”      ”     ”           ”            27       ”     ”

The Deacon is right, and Mr. Lawes and Dr. Gilbert call especial
attention to this point. The 200 lbs. of ammonia-salts contain about 50
lbs. of ammonia, and the 400 lbs., 100 lbs. of ammonia. And as I have
said, 100 lbs. of ammonia per acre is an unusually heavy dressing. It is
as much ammonia as is contained in 1,000 lbs. of average Peruvian guano.
We will recur to this subject.

The _fifteenth_ season (1857-8,) gives a yield of 18 bushels of wheat
per acre on the continuously unmanured plot, and nearly 39 bushels on
the plot continuously manured with 14 tons of barnyard manure. Mixed
mineral manures on 5_a_ and 5_b_, give a mean yield of less than 19
bushels per acre.

Mixed mineral manures and 100 lbs. ammonia-salts, on plots 21 and 22,
give 23¼ bushels per acre. In other words:

   25 lbs. ammonia,           gives an _increase_ of  4¼ bush.
     (100 lbs. ammonia-salts)
   50  ”      ”   ,             ”   ”       ”     ”  10       ”
     (200  ”      ”      ”  )
  100  ”      ”   ,             ”   ”       ”     ”  20       ”
     (400  ”      ”      ”  )
  150  ”      ”   ,             ”   ”       ”     ”  23       ”
     (600  ”      ”      ”  )
  200  ”      ”   ,             ”   ”       ”     ”  23       ”
     (800  ”      ”      ”  )

“It takes,” said the Deacon, “about 5 lbs. of ammonia to produce a
bushel of wheat. And according to this, 500 lbs. of Peruvian guano,
guaranteed to contain 10 per cent of ammonia, would give an increase of
10 bushels of wheat.”

“This is a very interesting matter,” said I, “but we will not discuss it
at present. Let us continue the examination of the subject. I do not
propose to make many remarks on the tables. You must study them for
yourself. I have spent hours and days and weeks making and pondering
over these tables. The more you study them the more interesting and
instructive they become.”

The _sixteenth_ season (1858-9), gives us a little over 18¼ bushels on
the unmanured plot. On the plot manured with 14 tons farmyard manure,
36¼ bushels; and this is the highest yield this season in the
wheat-field. Mixed mineral manures alone, (mean of plot 5_a_ and 5_b_),
give 20½ bushels.

25 lbs. ammonia (100 lbs. ammonia-salts), and mixed minerals, give 25¼
bushels, or an _increase_ over minerals alone of 4¾ bushels.

   50 lbs. ammonia, an increase of  9¼ bushels.
  100  ”      ”     ”     ”     ”  14        ”
  150  ”      ”     ”     ”     ”  14        ”
  200  ”      ”     ”     ”     ”  14¼       ”

The season was an unfavorable one for excessive manuring. It was too wet
and the crops of wheat when highly manured were much laid. The quality
of the grain was inferior, as will be seen from the light weight per

The _seventeenth_ season (1859-60,) gives less than 13 bushels per acre
on the unmanured plot; and 32¼ bushels on the plot manured with 14 tons
farm-yard manure. This season (1860), was a miserable year for wheat in
England. It was both cold and wet. Mixed mineral manures, on plots 5_a_
and 5_b_, gave nearly 16 bushels per acre. 25 lbs. ammonia, in addition
to the above, gave less than 15 bushels. In other words it gave no
_increase_ at all.

   50 lbs. ammonia, gave an _increase_ of  6  bushels.
  100  ”      ”      ”   ”    ”        ”  11¾    ”
  150  ”      ”      ”   ”    ”        ”  15¼    ”
  200  ”      ”      ”   ”    ”        ”  16¾    ”

It was a poor year for the wheat-grower, and that, whether he manured
excessively, liberally, moderately, or not at all.

“I do not quite see that,” said the Deacon, “the farm-yard manure gave
an _increase_ of nearly 20 bushels per acre. And the quality of the
grain must have been much better, as it weighed 3½ lbs. per bushel more
than the plot unmanured. If the wheat doubled in price, as it ought to
do in such a poor year, I do not see but that the good farmer who had in
previous years made his land rich, would come out ahead.”

“Good for the Deacon,” said I. “‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’” If
the Deacon continues to study these experiments much longer, we shall
have him advocating chemical manures and high farming!

The _eighteenth_ season (1860-1,) gave less than 11½ bushels per acre on
the unmanured plot; and nearly 35 bushels on the manured plot.

  The mixed mineral manures, gave nearly            15½ bushels.
        ”      ”        ”    and  25 lbs. ammonia   18¼      ”
        ”      ”        ”     ”   50   ”     ”      27¾      ”
        ”      ”        ”     ”  100   ”     ”      35       ”
        ”      ”        ”     ”  150   ”     ”      35       ”
        ”      ”        ”     ”  200   ”     ”      37       ”

The _nineteenth_ season (1861-2,) gave 16 bushels per acre on the
unmanured plot, and over 38¼ bushels on the plot manured with farm-yard

  Mixed mineral manures, gave nearly            18  bushels per acre.
    ”      ”       ”   and  25 lbs. ammonia     20¼    ”       ”
    ”      ”       ”    ”   50  ”      ”        28¼    ”       ”
    ”      ”       ”    ”  100  ”      ”        36     ”       ”
    ”      ”       ”    ”  150  ”      ”        39½    ”       ”
    ”      ”       ”    ”  200  ”      ”        36¼    ”       ”

The _twentieth_ season (1862-3), gave 17¼ bushels on the unmanured plot,
and 44 bushels per acre on the manured plot.

  Mixed mineral manures alone gave            19¾ bushels per acre.
    ”      ”       ”    and  25 lbs. ammonia  28¾        ”      ”
    ”      ”       ”     ”   50  ”       ”    39¾        ”      ”
    ”      ”       ”     ”  100  ”       ”    53¾        ”      ”
    ”      ”       ”     ”  150  ”       ”    55¾        ”      ”
    ”      ”       ”     ”  200  ”       ”    56         ”      ”

When we consider that this is the twentieth wheat-crop in succession on
the same land, these figures are certainly remarkable.

“They are so,” said the Deacon, “and what to me is the most surprising
thing about the whole matter is, that the plot which has had no manure
of any kind for 25 years, and has grown 20 wheat-crops in 20 successive
years, should still produce a crop of wheat of 17¼ bushels per acre.
Many of our farmers do not average 10 bushels per acre. Mr. Lawes must
either have very good land, or else the climate of England is better
adapted for wheat-growing than Western New York.”

“I do not think,” said I, “that Mr. Lawes’ land is any better than yours
or mine; and I do not think the climate of England is any more favorable
for growing wheat without manure than our climate. If there is any
difference it is in our favor.”

“Why, then,” asked the Doctor, “do we not grow as much wheat per acre as
Mr. Lawes gets from his continuously unmanured plot?”

This is a question not difficult to answer.

1st. _We grow too many weeds._ Mr. Lawes plowed the land twice every
year; and the crop was hoed once or twice in the spring to kill the

2d. We do not half work our heavy land. We do not plow it enough--do not
cultivate, harrow, and roll enough. I have put wheat in on my own farm,
and have seen others do the same thing, when the drill on the clay-spots
could not deposit the seed an inch deep. There is “plant-food” enough in
these “clay-spots” to give 17 bushels of wheat per acre--or perhaps 40
bushels--but we shall not get ten bushels. The wheat will not come up
until late in the autumn--the plants will be weak and thin on the
ground; and if they escape the winter they will not get a fair hold of
the ground until April or May. You know the result. The straw is full of
sap, and is almost sure to rust; the grain shrinks up, and we harvest
the crop, not because it is worth the labor, but because we cannot cut
the wheat with a machine on the better parts of the field without
cutting these poor spots also. An acre or two of poor spots pull down
the average yield of the field below the average of Mr. Lawes’
well-worked but unmanured land.

3d. Much of our wheat is seriously injured by stagnant water _in the
soil_, and standing water on the surface. I think we may safely say that
one-third the wheat-crop of this county (Monroe Co., N.Y.), is lost for
want of better tillage and better draining--and yet we think we have as
good wheat-land and are as good farmers as can be found in this country
or any other!

Unless we drain land, where drainage is needed, and unless we work land
thoroughly that needs working, and unless we kill the weeds or check
their excessive growth, it is poor economy to sow expensive manures on
our wheat-crops.

But I do not think there is much danger of our falling into this error.
The farmers who try artificial manures are the men who usually take the
greatest pains to make the best and most manure from the animals kept on
the farm. They know what manures cost and what they are worth. As a
rule, too, such men are good farmers, and endeavor to work their land
thoroughly and keep it clean. When this is the case, there can be little
doubt that we can often use artificial manures to great advantage.

“You say,” said the Deacon, who had been looking over the tables while I
was talking, “that mixed mineral manures and 50 lbs. of ammonia give 39¾
bushels per acre. Now these mixed mineral manures contain potash, soda,
magnesia, and superphosphate. And I see where superphosphate was used
without any potash, soda, and magnesia, but with the same amount of
ammonia, the yield is nearly 46 bushels per acre. This does not say much
in favor of potash, soda, and magnesia, as manures, for wheat. Again,
I see, on plot 10_b_, 50 lbs. of ammonia, _alone_, gives over 43½
bushels per acre. On plot 11_b_, 50 lbs. ammonia _and_ superphosphate,
give 46½ bushels. Like your father, I am inclined to ask, ‘_Where can I
get this ammonia?_’”



These careful, systematic, and long-continued experiments of Lawes and
Gilbert seem to prove that if you have a piece of land well prepared for
wheat, which will produce, without manure, say 15 bushels per acre,
there is no way of making that land produce 30 bushels of wheat per
acre, without directly or indirectly furnishing the soil with a liberal
supply of available nitrogen or ammonia.

“What do you mean by directly or indirectly?” asked the Deacon.

“What I had in my mind,” said I, “was the fact that I have seen a good
dressing of lime double the yield of wheat. In such a case I suppose the
lime decomposes the organic matter in the soil, or in some other way
sets free the nitrogen or ammonia already in the soil; or the lime forms
compounds in the soil which attract ammonia from the atmosphere. Be this
as it may, the facts brought out by Mr. Lawes’ experiments warrant us in
concluding that the increased growth of wheat was connected in some way
with an increased supply of available nitrogen or ammonia.”

My father used great quantities of lime as manure. He drew it a distance
of 13 miles, and usually applied it on land intended for wheat,
spreading it broad-cast, after the land had received its last plowing,
and harrowing it in, a few days or weeks before sowing the wheat.
He rarely applied less than 100 bushels of stone-lime to the
acre--generally 150 bushels. He used to say that a small dose of lime
did little or no good. He wanted to use enough to change the general
character of the land--to make the light land firmer and the heavy land

While I was with Mr. Lawes and Dr. Gilbert at Rothamsted, I went home on
a visit. My father had a four-horse team drawing lime every day, and
putting it in large heaps in the field to slake, before spreading it on
the land for wheat.

“I do not believe it pays you to draw so much lime,” said I, with the
confidence which a young man who has learned a little of agricultural
chemistry, is apt to feel in his newly acquired knowledge.

“Perhaps not,” said my father, “but we have got to do something for the
land, or the crops will be poor, and poor crops do not pay these times.
What would you use instead of lime?” --“Lime is not a manure, strictly
speaking,” said I; “a bushel to the acre would furnish all the lime the
crops require, even if there was not an abundant supply already in the
soil. If you mix lime with guano, it sets free the ammonia; and when you
mix lime with the soil it probably decomposes some compounds containing
ammonia or the elements of ammonia, and thus furnishes a supply of
ammonia for the plants. I think it would be cheaper to buy ammonia in
the shape of Peruvian guano.”

After dinner, my father asked me to take a walk over the farm. We came
to a field of barley. Standing at one end of the field, about the
middle, he asked me if I could see any difference in the crop. “Oh,
yes,” I replied, “the barley on the right-hand is far better than on the
left hand. The straw is stiffer and brighter, and the heads larger and
heavier. I should think the right half of the field will be ten bushels
per acre better than the other.”

“So I think,” he said, “and now can you tell me why?” --“Probably you
manured one half the field for turnips, and not the other half.” --“No.”
--“You may have drawn off the turnips from half the field, and fed them
off by sheep on the other half.” --“No, both sides were treated
precisely alike.” --I gave it up --“Well,” said he, “this half the
field on the right-hand was limed, thirty years ago, and that is the
only reason I know for the difference. And now you need not tell me that
lime does not pay.”

I can well understand how this might happen. The system of rotation
adopted was, 1st clover, 2d wheat, 3d turnips, 4th barley, seeded with

Now, you put on, say 150 bushels of lime for wheat. After the wheat the
land is manured and sown with turnips. The turnips are eaten off on the
land by sheep; and it is reasonable to suppose that on the half of the
field dressed with lime there would be a much heavier crop of turnips.
These turnips being eaten off by the sheep would furnish more manure for
this half than the other half. Then again, when the land was in grass or
clover, the limed half would afford more and sweeter grass and clover
than the other half, and the sheep would remain on it longer. They would
eat it close into the ground, going only on to the other half when they
could not get enough to eat on the limed half. More of their droppings
would be left on the limed half of the field. The lime, too, would
continue to act for several years; but even after all direct benefit
from the lime had ceased, it is easy to understand why the crops might
be better for a long period of time.

“Do you think lime would do any good,” asked the Deacon, “on our
limestone land?”--I certainly do. So far as I have seen, it does just as
much good here in Western New York, as it did on my father’s farm.
I should use it very freely if we could get it cheap enough--but we are
charged from 25 to 30 cts. a bushel for it, and I do not think at these
rates it will pay to use it. Even gold may be bought too dear.

“You should burn your own lime,” said the Deacon, “you have plenty of
limestone on the farm, and could use up your down wood.”--I believe it
would pay me to do so, but one man cannot do everything. I think if
farmers would use more lime for manure we should get it cheaper. The
demand would increase with competition, and we should soon get it at its
real value. At 10 to 15 cents a bushel, I feel sure that we could use
lime as a manure with very great benefit.

“I was much interested some years ago,” said the Doctor, “in the results
of Prof. Way’s investigations in regard to the absorptive powers of

His experiments, since repeated and confirmed by other chemists, formed
a new epoch in agricultural chemistry. They afforded some new
suggestions in regard to how lime may benefit land.

Prof. Way found that ordinary soils possessed the power of separating,
from solution in water, the different earthy and alkaline substances
presented to them in manure; thus, when solutions of salts of ammonia,
of potash, magnesia, etc., were made to filter slowly through a bed of
dry soil, five or six inches deep, arranged in a flower-pot, or other
suitable vessel, it was observed that the liquid which ran through, no
longer contained any of the ammonia or other salt employed. The soil
had, in some form or other, retained the alkaline substance, while the
water in which it was previously dissolved passed through.

Further, this power of the soil was found not to extend to the whole
salt of ammonia or potash, but only to the alkali itself. If, for
instance, sulphate of ammonia were the compound used in the experiments,
the ammonia would be removed from solution, but the filtered liquid
would contain sulphuric acid in abundance--not in the free or uncombined
form, but united to lime; instead of sulphate of ammonia we should find
sulphate of lime in the solution; and this result was obtained, whatever
the acid of the salt experimented upon might be.

It was found, moreover, that the process of filtration was by no means
necessary; by the mere mixing of an alkaline solution with a proper
quantity of soil, as by shaking them together in a bottle, and allowing
the soil to subside, the same result was obtained. The action,
therefore, was in no way referable to any physical law brought into
operation by the process of filtration.

It was also found that the combination between the soil and the alkaline
substance was rapid, if not instantaneous, partaking of the nature of
the ordinary union between an acid and an alkali.

In the course of these experiments, several different soils were
operated upon, and it was found that all soils capable of profitable
cultivation possessed this property in a greater or less degree.

Pure sand, it was found, did not possess this property. The organic
matter of the soil, it was proved, had nothing to do with it. The
addition of carbonate of lime to a soil did not increase its absorptive
power, and indeed it was found that a soil in which carbonate of lime
did not exist, possessed in a high degree the power of removing ammonia
or potash from solution.

To what, then, is the power of soils to arrest ammonia, potash,
magnesia, phosphoric acid, etc., owing? The above experiments lead to
the conclusion that it is due to the _clay_ which they contain. In the
language of Prof. Way, however,

“It still remained to be considered, whether the whole clay took any
active part in these changes, or whether there existed in clay some
chemical compound in small quantity to which the action was due. This
question was to be decided by the extent to which clay was able to unite
with ammonia, or other alkaline bases; and it soon became evident that
the idea of the clay as a whole, being the cause of the absorptive
property, was inconsistent with all the ascertained laws of chemical

After a series of experiments, Prof. Way came to the conclusion that
there is in clays a peculiar class of double silicates to which the
absorptive properties of soil are due. He found that the double silicate
of alumina and lime, or soda, whether found naturally in soils or
produced artificially, would be decomposed when a salt of ammonia, or
potash, etc., was mixed with it, the ammonia, or potash, taking the
place of the lime or soda.

Prof. Way’s discovery, then, is not that soils have “absorptive
properties”--that has been long known--but that they absorb ammonia,
potash, phosphoric acid, etc., by virtue of the double silicate of
alumina and soda, or lime, etc., which they contain.

Soils are also found to have the power of absorbing ammonia, or rather
_carbonate_ of ammonia, from the air.

“It has long been known,” says Prof. Way, “that soils acquire fertility
by exposure to the influence of the atmosphere--hence one of the uses of
fallows. * * I find that clay is so greedy of ammonia, that if air,
charged with carbonate of ammonia, so as to be highly pungent, is passed
through a tube filled with small fragments of dry clay, _every particle
of the gas is arrested_.”

This power of the soil to absorb ammonia, is also due to the double
silicates. But there is this remarkable difference, that while either
the lime, soda, or potash silicate is capable of removing the ammonia
from _solution_, the _lime_ silicate alone _has the power of absorbing
it from the air_.

This is an important fact. Lime may act beneficially on many or most
soils by converting the soda silicate into a lime silicate, or, in other
words, converting a salt that will not absorb carbonate of ammonia from
the air, into a salt that has this important property.

There is no manure that has been so extensively used, and with such
general success as lime, and yet, “who among us,” remarks Prof. Way,
“can say that he perfectly understands the mode in which lime acts?” We
are told that lime sweetens the soil, by neutralizing any acid character
that it may possess; that it assists the decomposition of inert organic
matters, and therefore increases the supply of vegetable food to plants:
that it decomposes the remains of ancient rocks containing potash, soda,
magnesia, etc., occurring in most soils, and that at the same time it
liberates silica from these rocks; and lastly, that lime is one of the
substances found uniformly and in considerable quantity in the ashes of
plants, that therefore its application may be beneficial simply as
furnishing a material indispensable to the substance of a plant.

These explanations are no doubt good as far as they go, but experience
furnishes many facts which cannot be explained by any one, or all, of
these suppositions. Lime, we all know, does much good on soils abounding
in organic matter, and so it frequently does on soils almost destitute
of it. It may liberate potash, soda, silica, etc., from clay soils, but
the application of potash, soda, and silica has little beneficial effect
on the soil, and therefore we cannot account for the action of lime on
the supposition that it renders the potash, soda, etc., of the soil
available to plants. Furthermore, lime effects great good on soils
abounding in salts of lime, and therefore it cannot be that it operates
as a source of lime for the structure of the plant.

None of the existing theories, therefore, satisfactorily account for the
action of lime. Prof. Way’s views are most consistent with the facts of
practical experience; but they are confessedly hypothetical; and his
more recent investigations do not confirm the idea that lime acts
beneficially by converting the soda silicate into the lime silicate.

Thus, six soils were treated with lime water until they had absorbed
from one and a half to two per cent of their weight of lime. This,
supposing the soil to be six inches deep, would be at the rate of about
300 bushels of lime per acre. The amount of ammonia in the soil was
determined before liming, after liming, and then after being exposed to
the fumes of carbonate ammonia until it had absorbed as much as it
would. The following table exhibits the results:

                              |No. 1.|No. 2.|No. 3.|No. 4.|No. 5.|No. 6.
  Ammonia in 1,000 grains     |      |      |      |      |      |
    of natural soil           | 0.293| 0.181| 0.085| 0.109| 0.127| 0.083
  Ammonia in 1,000 grains     |      |      |      |      |      |
    of soil after liming      | 0.169| 0.102| 0.040| 0.050|  ... | 0.051
  Ammonia in 1,000 grains of  |      |      |      |      |      |
    soil after liming and     |      |      |      |      |      |
    exposure to the vapor     |      |      |      |      |      |
    of ammonia                | 2.226| 2.066| 3.297| 1.076| 3.265| 1.827
  Ammonia in 1,000 grains     |      |      |      |      |      |
    of soil after exposure to |      |      |      |      |      |
    ammonia without liming.   | 1.906| 2.557| 3.286| 1.097| 2.615| 2.028

    No. 1. Surface soil of London clay.
    No. 2. Same soil from 1½ to 2 feet below the surface.
    No. 3. Same soil 3½ feet below the surface.
    No. 4. Loam of tertiary drift 4 feet below the surface.
    No. 5. Gault clay--surface soil.
    No. 6. Gault clay 4 feet below the surface.

It is evident that lime neither assisted nor interfered with the
absorption of ammonia, and hence the beneficial effect of liming on such
soils must be accounted for on some other supposition. This negative
result, however, does not disprove the truth of Prof. Way’s hypothesis,
for it may be that the silicate salt in the natural soils was that of
lime and not that of soda. Indeed, the extent to which the natural soils
absorbed ammonia--equal, in No. 3, to about 7,000 lbs. of ammonia per
acre, equivalent to the quantity contained in 700 tons of barn-yard
manure--shows this to have been the case.

_The lime liberated one-half the ammonia contained in the soil._

“This result,” says Prof. Way, “is so nearly the same in all cases, that
we are justified in believing it to be due to some special cause, and
probably it arises from the existence of some compound silicates
containing ammonia, of which lime under the circumstances can replace
one-half--forming, for instance, a double silicate of alumina, with half
lime and half ammonia--such compounds are not unusual or new to the

This loss of ammonia from a heavy dressing of lime is very great. A soil
five inches deep, weighs, in round numbers, 500 tons, or 1,000,000 lbs.
The soil, No. 1, contained .0293 per cent of ammonia, or in an acre,
five inches deep, 293 lbs. After liming, it contained .0169 per cent, or
in an acre, five inches deep, 169 lbs. The loss by liming is 124 lbs. of
ammonia per acre. This is equal to the quantity contained in 1200 lbs.
of good Peruvian guano, or 12½ tons of barn-yard manure.

In commenting on this great loss of ammonia from liming, Prof. Way

“Is it not possible, that for the profitable agricultural use, the
ammonia of the soil is too tightly locked up in it? Can we suppose that
the very powers of the soil to unite with and preserve the elements of
manure are, however excellent a provision of nature, yet in some degree
opposed to the growth of the abnormal crops which it is the business of
the farmer to cultivate? There is no absolute reason why such should not
be the case. A provision of nature must relate to natural circumstances;
for instance, compounds of ammonia may be found in the soil, capable of
giving out to the agencies of water and air quite enough of ammonia for
the growth of ordinary plants and the preservation of their species;
but this supply may be totally inadequate to the necessities of man.
*  *  * Now it is not impossible that the laws which preserve the
supply of vegetable nutrition in the soil, are too stringent for the
requirements of an unusual and excessive vegetation, such as the
cultivator must promote.

“In the case of ammonia locked up in the soil, lime may be the remedy at
the command of the farmer--his means of rendering immediately available
stores of wealth, which can otherwise only slowly be brought into use.

“In this view, lime would well deserve the somewhat vague name that has
been given it, namely, that of a ‘stimulant’; for its application would
be in some sort an application of ammonia, while its excessive
application, by driving off ammonia, would lead to all the disastrous
effects which are so justly attributed to it.

“I do not wish to push this assumption too far,” says Prof. Way, in
conclusion, “but if there be any truth in it, it points out the
importance of employing lime in small quantities at short intervals,
rather than in large doses once in many years.”

“The Squire, last year,” said the Deacon, “drew several hundred bushels
of refuse lime from the kiln, and mixed it with his manure. It made a
powerful smell, and not an agreeable one, to the passers by. He put the
mixture on a twenty-acre field of wheat, and he said he was going to
beat you.”

“Yes,” said I, “so I understood--but he did not do it. If he had applied
the lime and the manure separately, he would have stood a better chance;
still, there are two sides to the question. I should not think of mixing
lime with good, rich farm-yard manure; but with long, coarse, strawy
manure, there would be less injury, and possibly some advantage.”

“The Squire,” said the Deacon, “got one advantage. He had not much
trouble in drawing the manure about the land. There was not much of it

Lime does not always decompose organic matter. In certain conditions, it
will _preserve_ vegetable substances. We do not want to mix lime with
manure in order to preserve it; and if our object is to increase
fermentation, we must be careful to mix sufficient soil with the manure
to keep it moist enough to retain the liberated ammonia.

Many farmers who use lime for the first time on wheat, are apt to feel a
little discouraged in the spring. I have frequently seen limed wheat in
the spring look worse than where no lime was used. But wait a little,
and you will see a change for the better, and at harvest, the lime will
generally give a good account of itself.

There is one thing about lime which, if generally true, is an important
matter to our wheat-growers. Lime is believed to hasten the maturity of
the crop. “It is true of nearly all our cultivated crops,” says the late
Professor Johnston, “but especially of those of wheat, that their full
growth is attained more speedily when the land is limed, and that they
are ready for the harvest from ten to fourteen days earlier. This is the
case even with buckwheat, which becomes sooner ripe, though it yields no
larger a return when lime is applied to the land on which it is grown.”

In districts where the midge affects the wheat, it is exceedingly
important to get a variety of wheat that ripens early; and if lime will
favor early maturity, without checking the growth, it will be of great

A correspondent in Delaware writes: “I have used lime as a manure in
various ways. For low land, the best way is, to sow it broadcast while
the vegetation is in a green state, at the rate of 40 or 50 bushels to
the acre; but if I can not use it before the frost kills the vegetation,
I wait until the land is plowed in the spring, when I spread it on the
plowed ground in about the same quantity as before. Last year, I tried
it both ways, and the result was, my crop was increased at least
fourfold in each instance, but that used on the vegetation was best. The
soil is a low, black sand.”

A farmer writes from New Jersey, that he has used over 6,000 bushels of
lime on his farm, and also considerable guano and phosphates, but
considers that the lime has paid the best. His farm has more than
doubled in real value, and he attributes this principally to the use of

“We lime,” he says, “whenever it is convenient, but prefer to put it on
at least one year before plowing the land. We spread from 25 to 40
bushels of lime on the sod in the fall; plant with corn the following
summer; next spring, sow with oats and clover; and the next summer, plow
under the clover, and sow with wheat and timothy. We have a variety of
soils, from a sandy loam to a stiff clay, and are certain that lime will
pay on all or any of them. Some of the best farmers in our County
commenced liming when the lime cost 25 cts. a bushel, and their farms
are ahead yet, more in value, I judge, than the lime cost. The man who
first commences using lime, will get so far ahead, while his neighbors
are looking on, that they will never catch up.”

Another correspondent in Hunterdon Co., N.J., writes: “Experience has
taught me that the best and most profitable mode of applying lime is on
grass land. If the grass seed is sown in the fall with the wheat or rye,
which is the common practice with us in New Jersey, as soon as the
harvest comes off the next year, we apply the lime with the least delay,
and while fresh slacked and in a dry and mealy state. It can be spread
more evenly on the ground, and is in a state to be more readily taken up
by the fine roots of the plants, than if allowed to get wet and clammy.
It is found most beneficial to keep it as near the surface of the ground
as practicable, as the specific gravity or weight of this mineral manure
is so great, that we soon find it too deep in the ground for the fibrous
roots of plants to derive the greatest possible benefit from its use.
With this method of application are connected several advantages. The
lime can be hauled in the fall, after the busy season is over, and when
spread on the sod in this way, comes in more immediate contact with the
grass and grass-roots than when the land is first plowed. In fields that
have been limed in part in this manner, and then plowed, and lime
applied to the remainder at the time of planting with corn, I always
observe a great difference in the corn-crop; and in plowing up the
stubble the next season, the part limed on the sod is much mellower than
that limed after the sod was broken, presenting a rich vegetable mould
not observed in the other part of the field.”

A farmer in Chester Co., Pa., also prefers to apply lime to newly-seeded
grass or clover. He puts on 100 bushels of slaked lime per acre, either
in the fall or in the spring, as most convenient. He limes one field
every year, and as the farm is laid off into eleven fields, all the land
receives a dressing of lime once in eleven years.

In some sections of the country, where lime has been used for many
years, it is possible that part of the money might better be used in the
purchase of guano, phosphates, fish-manure, etc.; while in this section,
where we seldom use lime, we might find it greatly to our interest to
give our land an occasional dressing of lime.

The value of quick-lime as a manure is not merely in supplying an actual
constituent of the plant. If it was, a few pounds per acre would be
sufficient. Its value consists in changing the chemical and physical
character of the soil--in developing the latent mineral plant-food, and
in decomposing and rendering available organic matter, and in forming
compounds which attract ammonia from the atmosphere. It may be that we
can purchase this ammonia and other plant-food cheaper than we can get
it by using lime. It depends a good deal on the nature and composition
of the soil. At present, this question can not be definitely settled,
except by actual trial on the farm. In England, where lime was formerly
used in large quantities, the tendency for some time has been towards a
more liberal and direct use of ammonia and phosphates in manures, rather
than to develop them out of the soil by the use of lime. A judicious
combination of the two systems will probably be found the most

Making composts with old sods, lime, and barn-yard manure, is a
time-honored practice in Europe. I have seen excellent results from the
application of such a compost on meadow-land. The usual plan is, to
select an old hedge-row or headland, which has lain waste for many
years. Plow it up, and cart the soil, sods, etc., into a long, narrow
heap. Mix lime with it, and let it lie six months or a year. Then turn
it, and as soon as it is fine and mellow, draw it on to the land. I have
assisted at making many a heap of this kind, but do not recollect the
proportion of lime used; in fact, I question if we had any definite
rule. If we wanted to use lime on the land, we put more in the heap; if
not, less. The manure was usually put in when the heap was turned.

Dr. Vœlcker analyzed the dry earth used in the closets at the prison in
Wakefield, England. He found that:
                                                Nitrogen.    Acid.
   10 tons of dry earth before using
       contained                                   63 lbs.    36 lbs.
   10 tons of dry earth after being used once
       contained                                   74  ”      50  ”
   10 tons of dry earth after being used twice
       contained                                   84  ”      88  ”
   10 tons of dry earth after being used thrice
       contained                                  102  ”     102  ”

After looking at the above figures, the Deacon remarked: “You say 10
tons of dry earth before being used in the closet contained 62 lbs. of
nitrogen. How much nitrogen does 10 tons of barn-yard manure contain?”

“That depends a good deal on what food the animals eat. Ten tons of
average fresh manure would contain about 80 lbs. of nitrogen.”

“Great are the mysteries of chemistry!” exclaimed the Deacon. “Ten tons
of dry earth contain almost as much nitrogen as 10 tons of barn-yard
manure, and yet you think that nitrogen is the most valuable thing in
manure. What shall we be told next?”

“You will be told, Deacon, that the nitrogen in the soil is in such a
form that the plants can take up only a small portion of it. But if you
will plow such land in the fall, and expose it to the disintegrating
effects of the frost, and plow it again in the spring, and let the sun
and air act upon it, more or less of the organic matter in the soil will
be decomposed, and the nitrogen rendered soluble. And then if you sow
this land to wheat after a good summer-fallow, you will stand a chance
of having a great crop.”

This dry earth which Dr. Vœlcker analyzed appeared, he says, “to be
ordinary garden soil, containing a considerable portion of clay.” After
it had been passed once through the closet, one ton of it was spread on
an acre of grass-land, which produced 2 tons 8 cwt. of hay. In a second
experiment, one ton, once passed through the closet, produced 2 tons 7
cwt. of hay per acre. We are not told how much hay the land produced
without any dressing at all. Still we may infer that this top-dressing
did considerable good. Of one thing, however, there can be no doubt.
This one ton of earth manure contained only 1¼ lb. more nitrogen and 1½
lb. more phosphoric acid than a ton of the dry earth itself. Why then
did it prove so valuable as a top-dressing for grass? I will not say
that it was due solely to the decomposition of the nitrogenous matter
and other plant-food in the earth, caused by the working over and
sifting and exposure to the air, and to the action of the night-soil.
Still it would seem that, so far as the beneficial effect was due to the
supply of plant-food, we must attribute it to the earth itself rather
than to the small amount of night-soil which it contained.

It is a very common thing in England, as I have said before, for farmers
to make a compost of the sods and earth from an old hedge-row, ditch, or
fence, and mix with it some lime or barn-yard manure. Then, after
turning it once or twice, and allowing it to remain in the heap for a
few months, to spread it on meadow-land. I have seen great benefit
apparently derived from such a top-dressing. The young grass in the
spring assumed a rich, dark green color. I have observed the same effect
where coal-ashes were spread on grass-land; and I have thought that the
apparent benefit was due largely to the material acting as a kind of
mulch, rather than to its supplying plant-food to the grass.

I doubt very much whether we can afford to make such a compost of earth
with lime, ashes, or manure in this country. But I feel sure that those
of us having rich clay land containing, in an inert form, as much
nitrogen and phosphoric acid as Dr. Vœlcker found in the soil to be used
in the earth-closet at Wakefield, can well afford to stir it freely, and
expose it to the disintegrating and decomposing action of the

An acre of dry soil six inches deep weighs about 1,000 tons; and
consequently an acre of such soil as we are talking about would contain
6,200 lbs. of nitrogen, and 3,600 lbs. of phosphoric acid. In other
words, it contains to the depth of only six inches as much nitrogen as
would be furnished by 775 tons of common barn-yard manure, and as much
phosphoric acid as 900 tons of manure. With such facts as these before
us, am I to blame for urging farmers to cultivate their land more
thoroughly? I do not know that my land or the Deacon’s is as rich as
this English soil; but, at any rate, I see no reason why such should not
be the case.



Messrs. Lawes and Gilbert have published the results of experiments with
different manures on barley grown annually on the same land for twenty
years in succession. The experiments commenced in 1852.

The soil is of the same general character as that in the field on the
same farm where wheat was grown annually for so many years, and of which
we have given such a full account. It is what we should call a
calcareous clay loam. On my farm, we have what the men used to call
“clay spots.” These spots vary in size from two acres down to the tenth
of an acre. They rarely produced even a fair crop of corn or potatoes,
and the barley was seldom worth harvesting. Since I have drained the
land and taken special pains to bestow extra care in plowing and working
these hard and intractable portions of the fields, the “clay spots” have
disappeared, and are now nothing more than good, rather stiff, clay
loam, admirably adapted for wheat, barley, and oats, and capable of
producing good crops of corn, potatoes, and mangel-wurzels.

The land on which Mr. Lawes’ wheat and barley experiments were made is
not dissimilar in general character from these “clay spots.” If the land
was only half-worked, we should call it clay; but being thoroughly
cultivated, it is a good clay loam. Mr. Lawes describes it as “a
somewhat heavy loam, with a subsoil of raw, yellowish red clay, but
resting in its turn upon chalk, which provides good natural drainage.”

The part of the field devoted to the experiments was divided into 24
plots, about the fifth of an acre each.

Two plots were left without manure of any kind.

One plot was manured every year with 14 tons per acre of farm-yard
manure, and the other plots “with manures,” to quote Dr. Gilbert
“which respectively supplied certain constituents of farm-yard manure,
separately or in combination.”

In England, the best barley soils are usually lighter than the best
wheat soils. This is probably due to the fact that barley usually
follows a crop of turnips--more or less of which are eaten off on the
land by sheep. The trampling of the sheep compresses the soil, and makes
even a light, sandy one firmer in texture.

In this country, our best wheat land is also our best barley land,
_provided_ it is in good heart, and is very thoroughly worked. It is no
use sowing barley on heavy land half worked. It will do better on light
soils; but if the clayey soils are made fine and mellow, they produce
with us the best barley.

In chemical composition, barley is quite similar to wheat. Mr. Lawes and
Dr. Gilbert give the composition of a wheat-crop of 30 bushels per acre,
1,800 lbs. of grain, and 3,000 lbs. of straw; and of a crop of barley,
40 bushels per acre, 2,080 lbs. grain, and 2,500 lbs. of straw, as

                  | In Grain.      | In Straw.      | In Total Produce.
                  | Wheat | Barley | Wheat | Barley |  Wheat   | Barley
                  |  lbs. |   lbs. |  lbs. |   lbs. |    lbs.  |   lbs.
  Nitrogen        |  32.  |   33.  |  13.  |   12.  |    45.   |   45.
  Phosphoric acid |  16.  |   17.  |   7.  |    5.  |    23.   |   22.
  Potash          |   9.5 |   11.5 |  20.5 |   18.5 |    30.   |   30.
  Lime            |   1.  |    1.5 |   9.  |   10.5 |    10.   |   12.
  Magnesia        |   3.5 |    4.  |   3.  |    2.5 |     6.5  |    6.5
  Silica          |   0.5 |   12.  |  99.5 |   63.  |   100.   |   75.

A few years ago, when the midge destroyed our wheat, many farmers in
Western New York raised “winter barley,” instead of “winter wheat,” and
I have seen remarkably heavy crops of this winter barley. It is not now
grown with us. The maltsters would not pay as much for it as for spring
barley, and as the midge troubles us less, our farmers are raising
winter wheat again.

Where, as with us, we raise winter wheat and spring barley, the
difference between the two crops, taking the above estimate of yield and
proportion of grain to straw, would be:

1st. Almost identical composition in regard to nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, potash, lime, and magnesia; but as it has more straw, the
wheat-crop removes a larger amount of silica than barley.

2d. The greatest difference is in the length of time the two crops are
in the ground. We sow our winter wheat the last of August, or the first
and second week in September. Before winter sets in, the wheat-plant
often throws out a bunch of roots a foot in length. During the winter,
though the thermometer goes down frequently to zero, and sometimes 10°
to 15° below zero, yet if the land is well covered with snow, it is not
improbable that the roots continue to absorb more or less food from the
ground, and store it up for future use. In the spring, the wheat
commences to grow before we can get the barley into the ground, though
not to any considerable extent. I have several times sown barley as soon
as the surface-soil was thawed out five or six inches deep, but with a
bed of solid frozen earth beneath.

3d. Two-rowed barley does not ripen as early as winter wheat, but our
ordinary six-rowed barley is ready to harvest the same time as our
winter wheat.

4th. We sow our barley usually in May, and harvest it in July. The
barley, therefore, has to take up its food rapidly. If we expect a good
growth, we must provide a good supply of food, and have it in the proper
condition for the roots to reach it and absorb it; in other words, the
land must be not only rich, but it must be so well worked that the roots
can spread out easily and rapidly in search of food and water. In this
country, you will find ten good wheat-growers to one good barley grower.

“That is so,” said the Deacon; “but tell us about Mr. Lawes’
experiments. I have more confidence in them than in your speculations.
And first of all what kind of land was the barley grown on?”

“It is,” said I, “rather heavy land--as heavy as what the men call
‘clay-spots,’ on my farm.”

“And on those clay-spots,” said the Deacon, “you either get very good
barley, or a crop not worth harvesting.”

“You have hit it exactly, Deacon,” said I. “The best barley I have this
year (1878) is on these clay-spots. And the reason is, that we gave them
an extra plowing last fall with a three-horse plow. That extra plowing
has probably given me an extra 30 bushels of barley per acre. The barley
on some of the lighter portions of the field will not yield over 25
bushels per acre. On the clay-spots, it looks now (June 13) as though
there would be over 50 bushels per acre. It is all headed out handsomely
on the clay-spots, and has a strong, dark, luxuriant appearance, while
on the sand, the crop is later and has a yellow, sickly look.”

“You ought,” said the Doctor, “to have top-dressed these poor, sandy
parts of the field with a little superphosphate and nitrate of soda.”

“It would have paid wonderfully well,” said I, “or, perhaps, more
correctly speaking, the loss would have been considerably less. We have
recently been advised by a distinguished writer, to apply manure to our
best land, and let the poor land take care of itself. But where the poor
land is in the same field with the good, we are obliged to plow, harrow,
cultivate, sow, and harvest the poor spots, and the question is, whether
we shall make them capable of producing a good crop by the application
of manure, or be at all the labor and expense of putting in and
harvesting a crop of chicken-feed and weeds. Artificial manures give us
a grand chance to make our crops more uniform.”

“You are certainly right there,” said the Doctor, “but let us examine
the Rothamsted experiments on barley.”

You will find the results in the following tables. The manures used,
are in many respects the same as were adopted in the wheat experiments
already given. The mineral or ash constituents were supplied as follows:

  _Potash_--as sulphate of potash.
  _Soda_--as sulphate of soda.
  _Magnesia_--as sulphate of magnesia.
  _Lime_--as sulphate, phosphate, and superphosphate.
  _Phosphoric acid_--as bone-ash, mixed with sufficient sulphuric
    acid to convert most of the insoluble earthy phosphate of
    lime into sulphate and soluble superphosphate of lime.
  _Sulphuric acid_--in the phosphatic mixture just mentioned; in
    sulphates of potash, soda, and magnesia; in sulphate of ammonia,
  _Chlorine_--in muriate of ammonia.
  _Silica_--as artificial silicate of soda.

Other constituents were supplied as under:

  _Nitrogen_--as sulphate and muriate of ammonia; as nitrate of
    soda; in farm-yard manure; in rape-cake.
  _Non-nitrogenous organic matter, yielding by decomposition, carbonic
    acid, and other products_--in yard manure, in rape-cake.

The artificial manure or mixture for each plot was ground up, or
otherwise mixed, with a sufficient quantity of soil and turf-ashes to
make it up to a convenient measure for equal distribution over the land.
The mixtures so prepared were, with proper precautions, sown broadcast
by hand; as it has been found that the application of an exact amount of
manure, to a limited area of land, can be best accomplished in that way.

The same manures were used on the same plot each year. Any exceptions to
this rule are mentioned in foot-notes.

  Experiments on the Growth of Barley, Year After Year, on the Same
  Land, Without Manure, and With Different Descriptions of Manure, Hoos
  Field, Rothamsted, England.

  Table I.--Showing, _taken together with the foot-notes,_ the
  description and quantities of the manures applied per acre on each
  plot, in each year of the twenty, 1852-1871 inclusive.

  [N.B. This table has reference to all the succeeding Tables].

           |Manures per Acre, per Annum (unless otherwise
   Plots   |             stated in the foot-notes).
     1 O.  |Unmanured continuously
     2 O.  |3½ cwts. Superphosphate of Lime*
     3 O.  |200 lbs. †Sulphate of Potass, 100 lbs. ‡Sulphate
           |  Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia
     4 O.  |200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass. 100 lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda,
           |  100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia, 3½ cwts. Superphosphate
     1 A.  |200 lbs. Ammonia-salts§
     2 A.  |200 lbs. Ammonia-salts, 3½ cwts. Superphosphate
     3 A.  |200 lbs. Ammonia-salts, 200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass,
           |  100 lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia
     4 A.  |200 lbs. Ammonia salts 200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass,
           |  100  lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia,
           |  3½ cwts. Superphosphate
    {1 AA. |275 lbs. Nitrate Soda
    {2 AA. |275 lbs. Nitrate Soda, 3½ cwts. Superphosphate
   ‖{3 AA. |275 lbs. Nitrate Soda, 200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass,
    {      |  100  lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia
    {4 AA. |275 lbs. Nitrate Soda, 200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass,
           |  100  lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia,
           |  3½ cwts. Superphosphate
    {1 AAS.|275 lbs. Nitrate Soda, 400 lbs. ¶Silicate Soda
    {2 AAS.|275 lbs. Nitrate Soda, 400 lbs. ¶Silicate Soda,
    {      |  3½ cwts. Superphosphate
    {3 AAS.|275 lbs. Nitrate Soda, 400 lbs. ¶Silicate Soda,
    {      |  200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass, 100 lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda,
    {      |  100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia
    {4 AAS.|275 lbs. Nitrate Soda, 400 lbs. ¶Silicate Soda,
           |  200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass, 100 lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda
           |  100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia, 3½ cwts. Superphosphate
    {1 C.  |1000 lbs. Rape-cake
    {2 C.  |1000 lbs. Rape-cake, 3½ cwts. Superphosphate
  **{3 C.  |1000 lbs. Rape-cake, 200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass,
    {      |  100 lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia,
    {4 C.  |1000 lbs. Rape-cake, 200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass,
           |  100 lbs. ‡Sulphate Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia,
           |  3½ cwts. Superphosphate
    {1 N.  |275 lbs. Nitrate Soda
  ††{2 N.  |275 lbs. Nitrate Soda (550 lbs. Nitrate for 5 years,
           |  1853, 4, 5, 6, and 7)
       M.  |100 lbs. ‡‡Sulphate Soda, 100 lbs. Sulphate Magnesia,
           |  3½ cwts. Superphosphate (commencing 1855; 1852, 3,
           |  and 4, unmanured
     5 O.  |200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass, 3½ cwts. Superphosphate
           |  (200 lbs. Ammonia-salts also, for the first year,
           |  1852, only)
     5 A.  |200 lbs. †Sulphate Potass, 3½ cwts. Superphosphate,
           |  200 lbs. Ammonia-salts
     6 {1  |Unmanured continuously
       {2  |Ashes (burnt-soil and turf)
     7     |14 Tons Farmyard-Manure

  [*: “3½ cwts. Superphosphate of Lime”--in all cases, made from 200
  lbs. Bone ash, 150 lbs. Sulphuric acid sp. gr. 1.7 (and water).]

  [†: Sulphate Potass--300 lbs. per annum for the first 6 years,

  [‡: Sulphate Soda--200 lbs. per annum for the first 6 years, 1852-7.]

  [§: The “Ammonia-salts”--in all cases equal parts of Sulphate and
  Muriate of Ammonia of Commerce.]

  [‖: Plots “AA” and “AAS”--first 6 years, 1852-7, instead of Nitrate
  of Soda, 400 lbs. Ammonia-salts per annum; next 10 years, 1858-67,
  200 lbs. Ammonia-salts per annum; 1868, and since, 275 lbs. Nitrate
  of Soda per annum. 275 lbs. Nitrate of Soda is reckoned to contain the
  same amount of Nitrogen as 200 lbs. “Ammonia-salts.”]

  [¶: Plots “AAS”--the application of Silicates did not commence until
  1864; in ‘64-5-6, and 7, 200 lbs. Silicate of Soda and 200 lbs.
  Silicate of Lime were applied per acre, but in 1868, and since, 400
  lbs. Silicate of Soda, and no Silicate of Lime.  These plots comprise,
  respectively, one half of the original “AA” plots, and, excepting the
  addition of the Silicates, have been, and are, in other respects,
  manured in the same way as the “AA” plots.]

  [**: 2000 lbs. Rape-cake per annum for the first 6 years, and 1000
  lbs. only, each year since.]

  [††: 300 lbs. Sulphate Potass, and 3½ cwts. Superphosphate of Lime,
  without Nitrate of Soda, the first year (1852); Nitrate alone each
  year since.]

  [‡‡: Sulphate Soda--200 lbs. per annum 1855, 6, and 7.]

  [Transcriber’s Note:
  The following is an alternative version of the same table, giving the
  information in the form used in all earlier tables.]

  FM  Farm-yard Manure.
  ABT Ashes (burnt-soil and turf).
  SiS Silicate of Soda.
  SPh Superphosphate.
  SMg Sulphate of Magnesia.
  SP  Sulphate of Potass.
  SS  Sulphate of Soda.
  NS  Nitrate of Soda.
  RC  Rape-Cake.
  A-S Ammonia-salts.

 Plots | FM  | ABT | SiS| SPh|SMg | SP | SS | NS | RC  |A-S
       |Tons.| lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs.
 1 O.  | ..  | ..  |    -- unmanured continuously--    | ..
 2 O.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..
 3 O.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | 100| 200| 100| .. | ..  | ..
 4 O.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| 100| 200| 100| .. | ..  | ..
 1 A.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | 200
 2 A.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | 200
 3 A.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | 100| 200| 100| .. | ..  | 200
 4 A.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| 100| 200| 100| .. | ..  | 200
{1 AA. | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 275| ..  | ..
{2 AA. | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| .. | .. | .. | 275| ..  | ..
{3 AA. | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | 100| 200| 100| 275| ..  | ..
{4 AA. | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| 100| 200| 100| 275| ..  | ..
{1 AAS.| ..  | ..  | 400| .. | .. | .. | .. | 275| ..  | ..
{2 AAS.| ..  | ..  | 400| 350| .. | .. | .. | 275| ..  | ..
{3 AAS.| ..  | ..  | 400| .. | 100| 200| 100| 275| ..  | ..
{4 AAS.| ..  | ..  | 400| 350| 100| 200| 100| 275| ..  | ..
 1 C.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 1000| ..
 2 C.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| .. | .. | .. | .. | 1000| ..
 3 C.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | 100| 200| 100| .. | 1000| ..
 4 C.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| 100| 200| 100| .. | 1000| ..
 1 N.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 275| ..  | ..
 2 N.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | 275| ..  | ..
   M.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| 100| .. | 100| .. | ..  | ..
 5 O.  | ..  | ..  | .. | 350| .. | 200| .. | .. | ..  | ..
 5 A.  | ..  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..
 6{1   | ..  | ..  |    -- unmanured continuously--    | ..
  {2*  | ..  |<..> | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..
 7     | 14  | ..  | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..  | ..

  * 6.2: No amount given for ashes

  Experiments on the Growth of Barley, Year After Year, on the Same
  Land, Without Manure, and With Different Descriptions of Manure, Hoos
  Field, Rothamsted, England.

  Table II.--Dressed Corn Per Acre--bushels.

  [N.B. The double vertical lines ‖ show that there was a change in the
  description, or quantity, of Manure, at the period indicated, for
  particulars of which see _Table I._, and foot-notes thereto, p. 231.]

      |      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
      |      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Plots | 1852 |1853|1854|1855|1856|1857|1858|1859|1860|1861|1862|1863|
      |  bu. | bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.|
1 O.  |  27¼ | 25¾| 35 | 31 | 13⅞| 26⅛| 21⅛| 13½| 13¼| 16¼| 16½| 22⅞|
2 O.  |  28⅝ | 33½| 40⅝| 36¼| 17¾| 33¼| 28¾| 19⅝| 15¾| 25 | 21⅞| 32⅜|
3 O.  |  26⅛ | 27⅝| 36½| 34¾| 16⅝| 32 ‖ 24¼| 15⅞| 15¼| 18⅞| 19¾| 27⅝|
4 O.  |  32¾ | 35⅝| 42 | 37⅛| 19¾| 39¾‖ 30⅞| 19¾| 18¼| 29⅜| 25⅛| 33 |
Means |  28¾ | 30⅝| 38½| 34¾| 17 | 32¾| 26¼| 17¼| 15⅝| 22⅜| 20¾| 28⅞|
1 A.  |  36⅞ | 38⅝| 47¾| 44½| 25 | 38⅞| 31½| 15⅜| 26⅝| 30½| 31⅜| 42⅝|
2 A.  |  38⅝ | 40⅛| 60½| 47¾| 29⅛| 56½| 51⅜| 34½| 43⅜| 55 | 48⅝| 61⅝|
3 A.  |  36  | 36½| 50 | 44½| 28⅜| 42⅜‖ 34¼| 16⅞| 28 | 32¾| 35¼| 48⅝|
4 A.  |  40¾ | 38¼| 60⅝| 48⅜| 31¾| 57⅜‖ 51½| 34⅝| 43½| 54⅝| 47⅝| 55⅜|
Means |  38⅛ | 38⅜| 54¾| 46¼| 28½| 48¾| 42⅛| 25⅜| 35⅜| 43¼| 40¾| 52⅛|
1 AA. |  44½ | 40¾| 56⅝| 48 | 36¼| 49¾‖ 39⅜| 21½| 25⅜| 35 | 31½| 49 |
2 AA. |  43¾ | 42¼| 63¼| 50⅜| 31½| 66½‖ 56¼| 35⅞| 43¼| 55¾| 51 | 60½|
3 AA. |  41¾ | 41¼| 51½| 47¾| 25⅜| 49⅞‖|40⅝| 20⅜| 30¾| 36⅞| 36¼| 54 |
4 AA. |  45⅛ | 44½| 62¾| 49⅝| 37⅝| 64⅞‖|56¼| 35¾| 46¼| 55⅞| 48¾| 59½|
Means |  43¾ | 42⅛| 58½| 48⅞| 32⅝| 57¾| 48⅛| 28⅜| 36⅜| 45⅞| 41⅞| 55¾|
1 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
2 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
3 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
4 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Means |      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
1 C.  |  39⅛ | 39⅞| 60¾| 48½| 36¾| 64⅛‖ 53¾| 38¾| 31¾| 56½| 41 | 51⅞|
2 C.  |  36½ | 36⅛| 60⅝| 53¼| 37⅛| 62¼‖ 57⅜| 41 | 36¾| 56⅞| 45 | 55 |
3 C.  |  33½ | 35¼| 56½| 48⅞| 32⅝| 60¼‖|52 | 34⅛| 35¼| 51⅛| 36 | 53⅛|
4 C.  |  38  | 40⅛| 60¼| 51¾| 35⅜| 62¼‖|57⅛| 35 | 40¾| 53⅝| 45½| 54½|
Means |  36¾ | 37⅞| 59½| 50⅝| 35½| 62¼| 55 | 37¼| 36⅛| 54½| 41⅞| 53⅝|
1 N.  }(25⅞){‖ 34⅜| 49⅜| 50 | 28½| 47⅞| 37¾| 24⅞| 27⅜| 38¼| 35½| 51½|
2 N.  }     {‖ 37⅛| 53¼| 49⅜| 42 | 58 ‖ 43⅞| 26½| 29¾| 41⅝| 38⅜| 53⅞|
      |      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
M.    |      |    |    ‖ 32⅛| 18¾| 24½| 25⅞‖ 19½| 10⅝| 27⅝| 23⅜| 28⅛|
5 O.  | (36½)‖ 27½| 30¾| 32⅜| 19⅛| 31⅛| 25⅜‖ 16½| 10⅛| 28⅝| 17⅜| 29½|
5 A.  |  36½ | 40⅛| 51⅞| 47⅞| 33⅛| 54⅞| 48⅛‖ 33⅛| 39 | 49⅜| 46⅝| 51½|
      |      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
6{1   |  29  | 26¼| 35⅛| 37¼| 15⅛| 34⅞| 26½| 17⅛| 12¼| 16⅝| 18½| 27¼|
 {2   |  25⅛ | 27⅜| 33¼| 36¼| 15⅞| 31⅛| 25¼| 14¾| 12⅛| 17⅞| 19 | 28⅝|
      |      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
7     |  33  | 36⅛| 56⅜| 50⅛| 32⅛| 51¼| 55 | 40 | 41⅝| 54⅜| 49¾| 59½|

  1st ten: First ten Years, 1852-’61.
  2nd ten: Second ten Years, 1862-’71.
  Total Period: Total Period 20 Years, 1852-’71.

                Harvests                ||   Average Annual.  ||
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||  1st  |2nd | Total ||
|1864|1865|1866|1867|1868|1869|1870|1871||  ten  |ten |Period || Plots
| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.| bu.|| bush.| bu.|bushels ||
| 24 | 18 | 15⅞| 17⅛| 15⅝| 15⅛| 13½| 16¾||    22⅜| 17½|20     || 1 O.
| 30¼| 22½| 22⅜| 24⅝| 18½| 18¼| 18 | 23⅛||    27⅞| 23¼|25½    || 2 O.
| 26⅛| 22 | 19⅛| 17 | 14¼| 18¾| 16¾| 19⅜||    24¾| 20⅛|22⅜    || 3 O.
| 33¼| 24⅜| 24 | 20⅞| 17⅝| 22¼| 18½| 25 ||    30½| 24⅜|27½    || 4 O.
| 28⅜| 21¾| 20⅜| 19⅞| 16½| 18⅝| 16¾| 21⅛||    26⅜| 21¼|23⅞    || Means
| 38⅞| 29⅞| 27⅛| 30⅝| 20⅜| 27⅞| 27¾| 36⅜||    33⅝| 31¼|32½    || 1 A.
| 58½| 48⅜| 50½| 44 | 37⅝| 48 | 41½| 45⅛||    45⅝| 48⅜|47     || 2 A.
| 43⅞| 33¼| 27½| 33 | 25 | 34¾| 30⅞| 38⅛||    35 | 35 |35     || 3 A.
| 55⅜| 46½| 47 | 43⅞| 34⅝| 49¼| 38 | 46½||    46⅛| 46⅜|46¼    || 4 A.
| 49⅛| 39½| 38⅛| 37⅞| 29⅜| 39⅞| 34½| 41½||    40⅛| 40¼|40¼    || Means
| 41¾| 33¾| 29⅛| 29¾‖ 27 | 32⅛| 29¼| 39⅛||    39¾| 34¼|37     || 1 AA.
| 56⅞| 47½| 50⅞| 44¼‖ 44 | 48¼| 46¼| 46½||    48⅞| 49⅝|49¼    || 2 AA.
| 44⅝| 34⅛| 29¾| 32⅞‖ 27½| 33⅞| 32⅜| 36⅛||    38⅝| 36⅛|37⅜    || 3 AA.
| 56⅜| 48⅞| 50⅞| 45 ‖ 45⅜| 49⅞| 44½| 46 ||    49⅞| 49½|49¾    || 4 AA.
| 49⅞| 41⅛| 40⅛| 38 | 36 | 41 | 38⅛| 42 ||    44¼| 42⅜|43⅜    || Means
‖ 44⅛| 34⅞| 37⅞| 32¼‖ 29⅜| 34¾| 35 | 48⅛||   {37¼| 36⅞|37 }   || 1 AAS.
‖ 54⅞| 47¼| 51⅛| 44 ‖ 44⅞| 49⅞| 44¾| 49½||[1]{49¼| 47¼|48¼}[1]|| 2 AAS.
‖ 50 | 41 | 41⅞| 39½‖ 36⅜| 40½| 42¾| 48⅜||   {43⅛| 42  |42⅝}   || 3 AAS.
‖ 59⅛| 50½| 50¾| 45¼‖ 46⅝| 51¾| 47¼| 48⅞||   {51⅜| 48⅝|50 }   || 4 AAS.
| 52 | 43⅜| 45⅜| 40¼| 39⅜| 44¼| 42½| 48¾||    45¼| 43¾|44½    || Means
| 48⅛| 45 | 45⅞| 38⅝| 37 | 42½| 41¾| 44 ||    47 | 43⅝|45¼    || 1 C.
| 51¾| 46⅛| 47½| 45½| 35¼| 48¼| 41¾| 41¾||    47¾| 45¾|46¾    || 2 C.
| 49⅛| 48¾| 43⅞| 38⅞| 35⅛| 43⅝| 38½| 45⅜||    44 | 43¼|43⅝    || 3 C.
| 53 | 48⅛| 48⅝| 42⅝| 36¼| 52⅛| 43¾| 47½||    47⅜| 47¼|47⅜    || 4 C.
| 50½| 47 | 46½| 41⅜| 35⅞| 46⅝| 41½| 44⅝||    46½| 45 |45¾    || Means
| 40¾| 37 | 34⅜| 33 | 25½| 35¼| 34¾| 43⅛||[2]{37⅝| 37⅛|37⅜}[2]|| 1 N.
| 46¼| 39⅞| 41 | 36⅜| 25⅜| 38⅜| 40¼| 45⅜||   {42⅜| 40½|41⅜}   || 2 N.
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |    |       ||
| 25⅞| 19¾| 19 | 20½| 14¾| 16⅝| 16⅛| 22⅛||[3](22⅝| 20⅝|21½)[3]||   M.
| 26½| 23 | 22½| 19½| 15 | 23⅜| 14½| 20 ||[4](24⅝| 21⅛|22¾)[4]|| 5 O.
| 50¾| 48¼| 43⅞| 34⅞| 36⅛| 49⅞| 41¾| 44¼||    43⅜| 44¾|44⅛    || 5 A.
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |    |       ||
| 25⅛| 21 | 16⅛| 16⅜| 15¼| 14⅞| 15¼| 18¾||    25 | 18⅞|22     ||[1]}6
| 25⅛| 19¼| 17¼| 19¾| 15⅞| 15⅜| 15⅛| 24¼||    23⅞| 20 |21⅞    ||[2]}
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |    |       ||
| 62 | 52¾| 53⅛| 45⅝| 43⅝| 46⅞| 47½| 54¼||    45 | 51½|48¼    ||    7

  [Note 1: Averages of 4 years, 4 years, and 8 years.]

  [Note 2: Averages of 9 years, (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

  [Note 3: Averages of 7 years (1855-’61), last 10 years, and total
  17 years.]

  [Note 4: Averages of 9 years (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

  Experiments on the Growth of Barley, Year After Year, on the Same
  Land, Without Manure, and With Different Descriptions of Manure, Hoos
  Field, Rothamsted, England.

  Table III.--Weight per Bushel of Dressed Corn--lbs.

  [N.B. The double vertical lines show that there was a change in the
  description, or quantity, of Manure, at the period indicated, for
  particulars of which see _Table I._, and foot-notes thereto, p. 231.]

      |        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
      |        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
Plots |  1852  |1853|1854|1855|1856|1857 |1858|1859|1860|1861|1862|1863
      |  lbs.  |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.
1 O.  |  52.1  |51.4|53.6|52.4|49.1|52.0 |53.0|49.0|50.8|52.3|50.3|53.6
2 O.  |  52.6  |52.6|54.0|52.5|46.5|52.8 |54.0|52.0|50.5|53.8|52.0|54.2
3 O.  |  52.5  |51.9|53.6|52.9|48.5|52.5 ‖53.5|49.5|50.3|52.8|51.8|54.5
4 O.  |  51.5  |52.1|54.0|53.1|47.0|53.7 ‖54.0|52.5|51.3|54.0|52.0|54.8
Means |  52.2  |52.0|53.8|52.7|47.8|52.8 |53.6|50.8|50.7|53.1|51.5|54.3
1 A.  |  50.7  |52.4|53.6|51.8|48.5|51.9 |53.0|47.5|50.8|51.5|49.4|53.6
2 A.  |  50.5  |52.5|54.3|51.3|46.3|54.3 |53.8|51.0|51.0|53.5|53.5|55.3
3 A.  |  50.9  |52.6|54.0|52.2|49.1|52.1 ‖54.0|47.5|50.8|51.5|50.5|54.3
4 A.  |  51.4  |53.1|54.3|52.0|46.4|54.8 ‖54.0|51.0|51.1|54.0|54.0|56.5
Means |  50.9  |52.7|54.1|51.8|47.6|53.3 |53.7|49.3|50.9|52.6|51.9|54.9
1 AA. |  49.1  |51.3|52.8|50.6|48.3|52.0 ‖53.5|47.5|50.7|51.8|50.0|53.9
2 AA. |  49.5  |51.7|52.4|50.1|46.1|53.5 ‖53.3|50.7|51.3|53.5|54.4|55.7
3 AA. |  50.6  |51.3|53.1|50.2|47.3|52.1‖|53.9|47.5|50.4|51.5|51.5|54.5
4 AA. |  50.6  |51.4|52.1|48.9|45.4|53.9‖|53.5|50.5|51.0|53.5|54.0|56.4
Means |  50.0  |51.4|52.6|50.0|46.8|52.9 |53.6|49.1|50.9|52.6|52.5|55.1
1 AAS.|        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
2 AAS.|        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
3 AAS.|        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
4 AAS.|        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
Means |        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
1 C.  |  51.7  |51.3|52.9|50.5|46.1|53.2 ‖53.5|52.0|52.0|54.0|54.5|56.3
2 C.  |  51.8  |51.6|52.8|50.0|47.3|53.8 ‖52.8|51.5|51.5|54.1|55.3|56.4
3 C.  |  51.3  |51.5|52.6|50.6|46.6|54.1‖|53.5|51.7|51.8|53.5|53.5|56.8
4 C.  |  51.4  |50.4|52.8|49.5|46.3|54.1‖|53.1|51.0|51.1|54.3|54.0|56.7
Means |  51.6  |51.2|52.8|50.2|46.6|53.8 |53.2|51.6|51.6|54.0|54.3|56.6
1 N.  |}{51.7}{‖51.3|53.3|52.0|50.0|52.9 |53.5|48.0|51.0|52.0|51.5|53.4
2 N.  |}      {‖49.7|53.1|50.1|48.4|53.0 ‖54.0|48.5|51.1|51.8|51.3|53.9
      |        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
  M.  |        |    |    ‖52.6|49.3|52.6 ‖53.6|49.5|51.0|53.8|52.8|53.8
5 O.  | (51.0) ‖51.8|53.1|52.6|47.5|53.4 ‖54.0|51.0|51.0|53.3|51.5|54.1
5 A.  |  51.0  |52.3|53.8|51.5|46.6|54.5 ‖54.0|51.0|51.2|53.0|52.0|55.6
      |        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
6{1   |  52.0  |50.3|52.8|52.5|50.0|52.3 |53.1|48.5|51.3|52.0|51.8|54.0
 {2   |  53.0  |50.9|53.6|52.6|50.0|52.3 |53.1|47.5|51.0|52.0|52.0|54.1
      |        |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |
7     |  52.8  |51.6|53.9|52.9|47.1|54.2 |54.5|52.5|52.1|54.8|54.8|57.2

  1st ten: First ten Years, 1852-’61.
  2nd ten: Second ten Years, 1862-’71.
  Total Period: Total Period 20 Years, 1852-’71.

|             Harvests                  ||   Average Annual.   ||
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||   1st  | 2nd | Total||
|1864|1865|1866|1867|1868|1869|1870|1871||   ten  | ten |Period||Plots
|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.||   lbs. | lbs.| lbs. ||
|55.7|53.9|51.1|51.8|54.3|52.4|52.9|55.0||   51.6 | 53.1| 52.3 ||1 O.
|56.8|53.8|53.2|53.9|55.8|54.3|53.6|56.0||   52.0 | 54.4| 53.2 ||2 O.
|56.9|54.5|52.3|52.9|55.7|54.7|54.3|55.4||   51.8 | 54.3| 53.0 ||3 O.
|57.3|54.0|52.7|53.6|55.3|54.6|55.6|55.6||   52.3 | 54.6| 53.4 ||4 O.
|56.7|54.1|52.3|53.1|55.3|54.0|54.1|55.5||   52.0 | 54.1| 53.0 ||Means
|55.4|53.8|50.9|51.3|53.3|52.4|54.6|55.6||   51.2 | 53.0| 52.1 ||1 A.
|57.0|52.7|54.4|54.1|54.6|57.0|57.2|55.0||   51.8 | 55.1| 53.5 ||2 A.
|56.4|54.7|52.1|51.9|54.8|54.6|55.4|56.1||   51.5 | 54.1| 52.8 ||3 A.
|57.6|53.5|54.7|54.3|55.6|57.4|57.1|56.5||   52.2 | 55.7| 54.0 ||4 A.
|56.6|53.7|53.0|52.9|54.6|55.4|56.1|55.8||   51.6 | 54.5| 53.1 ||Means
|55.5|53.5|50.9|52.4‖53.7|53.1|54.5|54.1||   50.8 | 53.2| 52.0 ||1 AA.
|57.2|52.3|55.0|54.1‖55.6|57.2|56.9|55.9||   51.2 | 55.4| 53.3 ||2 AA.
|56.5|54.8|51.4|51.9‖55.1|53.7|54.6|54.3||   50.8 | 53.8| 52.3 ||3 AA.
|57.6|53.3|55.4|54.6‖56.0|57.1|57.1|56.3||   51.1 | 55.8| 53.4 ||4 AA.
|56.7|53.5|53.2|53.3|55.1|55.3|55.8|55.2||   51.0 | 54.6| 52.8 ||Means
‖56.1|54.2|51.8|53.5‖54.2|54.8|55.0|54.6||   {53.9| 54.6| 54.3}||1 AAS.
‖57.2|52.4|55.6|55.1‖56.2|57.4|57.4|55.6||[1]{55.1| 56.7| 55.9}||2 AAS.
‖57.2|54.8|52.5|53.0‖55.5|56.6|55.9|53.8||   {54.4| 55.5| 55.0}||3 AAS.
‖57.0|53.1|55.3|54.1‖56.2|57.8|57.8|55.4||   {54.9| 56.8| 55.8}||4 AAS.
|56.9|53.6|53.8|53.9|55.5|56.7|56.5|54.9||   54.6 | 55.9| 55.2 ||Means
|57.1|53.8|55.1|54.4|56.2|56.7|57.5|56.3||   51.7 | 55.8| 53.8 ||1 C.
|57.0|53.3|55.7|55.0|56.1|57.1|57.8|56.4||   51.7 | 56.0| 53.9 ||2 C.
|57.3|53.3|55.3|54.7|55.8|57.1|57.6|56.3||   51.7 | 55.8| 53.7 ||3 C.
|57.2|53.5|55.6|54.8|55.4|57.4|58.0|56.4||   51.4 | 55.9| 53.6 ||4 C.
|57.1|53.5|55.4|54.7|55.9|57.1|57.7|56.4||   51.6 | 55.9| 53.8 ||Means
|56.0|54.1|52.0|52.9|52.8|54.3|55.6|54.6||[2]{51.6| 53.7| 52.7}||1 N.
|56.5|53.8|52.8|52.7|55.5|54.8|55.8|54.6||   {51.1| 54.2| 52.7}||2 N.
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||
|56.3|54.4|52.9|53.9|54.0|54.0|55.3|55.0||[3](51.8| 54.2| 53.2)||  M.
|57.6|54.5|53.4|54.0|56.4|55.6|55.9|55.1||[4](52.0| 54.8| 53.4)||5 O.
|57.5|54.1|54.8|55.2|57.5|57.5|57.3|55.5||   51.9 | 55.7| 53.8 ||5 A.
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||
|56.0|53.9|51.3|52.0|53.5|52.8|54.0|55.4||   51.5 | 53.5| 52.5 ||1}6
|55.8|53.9|51.8|52.5|53.8|52.9|54.6|54.9||   51.6 | 53.6| 52.6 ||2}
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||
|57.4|54.4|54.9|54.8|57.1|56.4|57.1|56.6||   52.6 | 56.0| 54.3 ||  7

  [Note 1: Averages of 4 years, 4 years, and 8 years.]

  [Note 2: Averages of 9 years, (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

  [Note 3: Averages of 7 years (1855-’61), last 10 years, and total
  17 years.]

  [Note 4: Averages of 9 years (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

  Experiments on the Growth of Barley, Year After Year, on the Same
  Land, Without Manure, and With Different Descriptions of Manure, Hoos
  Field, Rothamsted, England.

  Table IV.--Offal Corn per Acre--lbs.

  [N.B. The double vertical lines show that there was a change in the
  description, or quantity, of Manure, at the period indicated, for
  particulars of which see _Table I._, and foot-notes thereto, p. 231.]

Plots | 1852 |1853|1854|1855|1856|1857| 1858|1859|1860|1861|1862|1863
      | lbs. |lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.| lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.
1 O.  | 164  |225 | 84 |144 |131 | 93 |  86 |110 | 78 | 88 | 64 | 49
2 O.  | 100  |101 |101 | 69 | 58 |106 | 103 |159 | 84 | 78 |114 | 58
3 O.  | 183  |151 | 64 | 76 |129 | 61 ‖  96 | 83 | 78 | 88 | 73 | 54
4 O.  | 136  |160 |105 | 94 | 88 | 53 ‖ 108 |160 | 74 | 58 |117 | 57
Means | 146  |159 | 89 | 96 |102 | 78 |  98 |129 | 78 | 78 | 92 | 55
1 A.  | 218  |253 |201 |138 |219 |113 |  98 |184 |150 |170 |269 |116
2 A.  | 260  |214 |150 |184 |121 | 88 | 114 |274 |159 |130 |191 | 99
3 A.  | 252  |336 |197 |177 |180 | 91 ‖  96 |175 |115 |109 |269 |108
4 A.  | 273  |274 |138 |142 |125 | 70 ‖ 117 |253 |150 |110 |150 | 81
Means | 251  |277 |172 |160 |161 | 91 | 106 |222 |143 |130 |220 |101
1 AA. | 299  |303 |326 |204 |310 |135 ‖  88 |215 |109 |173 |296 |110
2 AA. | 315  |251 |329 |181 |233 |133 ‖ 134 |320 |118 |190 |133 |143
3 AA. | 318  |236 |334 |212 |290 |108 ‖|118 |265 |122 |138 |364 | 95
4 AA. | 246  |301 |273 |150 |176 |183 ‖|143 |285 |141 |179 |191 | 66
Means | 294  |273 |316 |187 |252 |140 | 121 |271 |123 |170 |246 |103
1 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
2 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
3 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
4 AAS.|      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
Means |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
1 C.  | 170  |268 |178 |219 |173 |135 ‖ 103 |225 |120 |154 |154 | 85
2 C.  | 164  |316 |238 |195 |161 |169 ‖ 148 |171 |156 |150 |128 |109
3 C.  | 190  |296 |248 |183 |189 |156 ‖|105 |236 |115 |204 |190 | 71
4 C.  | 144  |277 |227 |222 |205 |168 ‖|125 |350 |153 |204 |174 | 66
Means | 167  |304 |223 |205 |182 |157 | 120 |246 |136 |178 |161 | 83
1 N.  |}(94){|283 ‖109 |128 |245 | 99 | 119 |205 |146 |225 |245 |120
2 N.  |}    {|228 ‖286 |224 |193 |151 ‖ 110 |235 |179 |190 |216 |114
      |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
  M.  |      |    |    ‖ 36 | 94 | 90 ‖  84 | 85 | 75 | 78 |198 | 46
5 O.  |(173) ‖ 68 |113 | 50 | 96 |101 ‖  71 |110 | 73 | 73 |193 | 41
5 A.  | 173  |210 |170 |126 |151 | 68 ‖ 154 |168 |193 |188 |210 | 81
      |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
6 {1  | 120  |200 |144 |116 |152 | 72 |  84 |121 | 88 | 73 | 75 | 51
  {2  | 118  |161 |119 | 73 |125 |105 |  81 |127 | 95 | 67 |194 | 65
      |      |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |
7     | 101  |269 | 86 |109 |141 |134 | 121 |260 |147 |190 |208 | 66

1st ten: First ten Years, 1852-’61.
2nd ten: Second ten Years, 1862-’71.
Total Period: Total Period 20 Years, 1852-’71.

|                   Harvests            ||   Average Annual.   ||
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||   1st | 2nd| Total  ||
|1864|1865|1866|1867|1868|1869|1870|1871||   ten | ten| Period ||Plots
|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.|lbs.||   lbs.| lbs| lbs.   ||
| 42 | 47 | 41 | 90 | 21 | 44 | 31 | 48 ||    120|  48|  84    || 1 O.
| 69 | 38 | 21 | 53 | 29 | 89 | 18 | 33 ||     96|  52|  74    || 2 O.
| 43 | 38 | 38 | 64 | 27 | 70 | 18 | 35 ||    101|  46|  74    || 3 O.
| 41 | 28 | 55 | 60 | 25 | 69 | 26 | 48 ||    104|  53|  78    || 4 O.
| 49 | 38 | 39 | 67 | 25 | 68 | 23 | 41 ||    105|  50|  78    ||Means
| 99 | 58 | 94 |115 | 49 |139 | 23 |105 ||    174| 107| 141    || 1 A.
| 63 | 84 | 64 | 76 | 38 |113 | 26 |189 ||    174| 107| 141    || 2 A.
| 83 | 51 |106 | 94 | 34 | 95 | 24 | 89 ||    173|  95| 134    || 3 A.
|110 | 60 | 63 | 71 | 50 | 21 | 27 |146 ||    165|  78| 122    || 4 A.
| 89 | 63 | 82 | 89 | 43 | 92 | 25 |132 ||    171|  94| 133    ||Means
|110 | 64 |148 |110 ‖ 46 | 64 | 33 |133 ||    216| 111| 164    || 1 AA.
| 50 |113 |111 | 69 ‖ 46 | 89 | 24 |168 ||    220|  95| 158    || 2 AA.
| 76 | 48 |103 |106 ‖ 59 |111 | 36 |133 ||    214| 113| 164    || 3 AA.
| 46 | 76 |133 |119 ‖ 43 | 78 | 30 | 90 ||    208|  87| 148    || 4 AA.
| 71 | 75 |124 |101 | 48 | 86 | 31 |131 ||    215| 102| 159    ||Means
‖ 94 | 55 | 88 | 85 ‖ 49 |121 | 33 | 94 ||    {81|  74|  77}   || 1 AAS.
‖ 53 | 86 | 96 | 66 ‖ 64 | 60 | 23 |153 || [1]{75|  75|  75}[1]|| 2 AAS.
‖ 70 | 50 |141 | 79 ‖ 39 |136 | 29 |130 ||    {85|  84|  85}   || 3 AAS.
‖ 93 | 70 | 80 | 93 ‖ 46 |125 | 26 |175 ||    {84|  93|  89}   || 4 AAS.
| 77 | 65 |101 | 81 | 50 |111 | 28 |138 ||     81|  82|  82    ||Means
| 78 | 83 |104 |109 | 43 | 69 | 25 | 78 ||    175|  83| 129    || 1 C.
| 92 | 44 | 89 | 89 | 64 |111 | 24 | 88 ||    193|  84| 138    || 2 C.
| 90 | 66 | 94 | 91 | 39 | 91 | 37 |141 ||    192|  91| 142    || 3 C.
|123 | 69 |128 | 72 | 42 | 67 | 28 |124 ||    208|  89| 149    || 4 C.
| 96 | 66 |104 | 90 | 47 | 85 | 28 |108 ||    192|  87| 139    ||Means
| 74 | 98 |124 |119 | 61 |150 | 33 | 99 ||   {173| 112| 141}   || 1 N.
| 95 | 84 |104 | 88 | 35 | 98 | 33 |171 ||[2]{199| 104| 149}[2]|| 2 N.
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |    |        ||
| 58 | 69 | 44 | 56 | 26 | 61 | 25 | 58 || [3](77|  64|  69)[3]||   M.
| 78 | 35 | 48 | 56 | 20 | 75 | 23 | 41 || [4](84|  61|  72)[4]|| 5 O.
| 91 | 94 | 53 | 74 | 33 | 63 | 30 |144 ||    160|  87| 124    || 5 A.
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |    |        ||
| 51 | 45 | 72 |103 | 27 | 71 | 26 | 50 ||    117|  57|  87    ||1}
| 54 | 47 | 51 | 83 | 21 | 57 | 23 | 41 ||    107|  64|  85    ||2}6
|    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |    |        ||
|117 | 56 |148 |111 | 48 |100 | 26 |171 ||    156| 105| 130    || 7

  [Note 1: Averages of 4 years, 4 years, and 8 years.]

  [Note 2: Averages of 9 years, (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

  [Note 3: Averages of 7 years (1855-’61), last 10 years, and total
  17 years.]

  [Note 4: Averages of 9 years (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

  Experiments on the Growth of Barley, Year After Year, on the Same
  Land, Without Manure, and With Different Descriptions of Manure, Hoos
  Field, Rothamsted, England.

  Table V.--Straw (and chaff) per Acre--cwts.

  [N.B. The double vertical lines show that there was a change in the
  description, or quantity, of Manure, at the period indicated, for
  particulars of which see _Table I._, and foot-notes thereto, p. 231.]

      |       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Plots | 1852  |1853|1854|1855|1856|1857|1858|1859|1860|1861|1862|1863|
      | Cwts. |cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|
1 O.  |  16⅝  | 18 | 21¾| 17⅝|  8¾| 12¾| 10⅞|  9⅛|  7½| 11 |  9¾| 11⅜|
2 O.  |  16½  | 17⅛| 23¼| 17¾|  8¾| 15⅝| 14⅞| 12¼|  8⅞| 13¼| 12⅞| 15⅝|
3 O.  |  16½  | 17¼| 20⅞| 17½|  9⅛| 15 ‖ 12 |  9¾|  8½| 11½| 10⅞| 13⅜|
4 O.  |  19½  | 20½| 23⅛| 18 |  9⅜| 17⅛‖ 16 | 12¼|  9⅛| 15⅜| 13½| 15⅜|
Means |  17¼  | 18¼| 22¼| 17⅝|  9 | 15⅛| 13½| 10⅝|  8⅝| 12¾| 11½| 13⅞|
1 A.  |  22⅞  | 23¾| 30¼| 24⅛| 17⅛| 17¾| 15½| 11½| 14⅞| 19⅝| 20⅜| 21⅜|
2 A.  |  26   | 25½| 40⅞| 29⅜| 21½| 26¾| 28¾| 24⅞| 25¼| 29¾| 32⅜| 34 |
3 A.  |  23⅝  | 25⅛| 33¾| 27½| 17⅞| 21⅜‖ 17 | 13½| 16¼| 21½| 23¼| 26¼|
4 A.  |  27⅞  | 26⅝| 40½| 31 | 21¼| 27⅞‖ 29 | 27¼| 26⅝| 30½| 31⅝| 32 |
Means |  25⅛  | 25¼| 36⅜| 28 | 19½| 23½| 22⅛| 19¼| 20¾| 25⅜| 26¾| 28⅜|
1 AA. |  26⅞  | 26⅛| 37⅞| 32⅛| 24½| 23½‖ 19⅛| 14½| 13½| 22 | 21¼| 25⅛|
2 AA. |  28⅜  | 28⅜| 44⅜| 38⅝| 31⅝| 32⅞‖ 32⅝| 26½| 24¼| 31⅝| 31½| 32½|
3 AA. |  26⅜  | 27¼| 37⅞| 34 | 26⅛| 26 ‖|22⅛| 16⅛| 18⅛| 24⅛| 24¾| 27⅞|
4 AA. |  28⅜  | 31⅝| 49 | 39⅞| 33 | 36¼‖|35¼| 30⅝| 29 | 33⅝| 33⅛| 34¾|
Means |  27½  | 28⅜| 42¼| 36⅛| 28¾| 29⅝| 27½| 21⅞| 21¼| 27⅞| 27⅝| 30 |
1 AAS.|       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
2 AAS.|       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
3 AAS.|       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
4 AAS.|       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Means |       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
1 C.  |  24⅝  | 26⅞| 43¼| 36⅛| 26 | 33⅛‖ 30¾| 26⅞| 17⅞| 27⅞| 26 | 28⅝|
2 C.  |  23¾  | 25⅝| 44⅛| 36⅛| 31½| 33⅛‖ 33⅞| 28¾| 20⅝| 30⅜| 27¼| 30⅛|
3 C.  |  21⅞  | 25¼| 41¼| 35⅞| 26½| 30⅞‖ 30¾| 25⅝| 20⅛| 30¾| 23⅞| 29⅞|
4 C.  |  24⅛  | 27½| 42⅛| 37⅝| 30½| 33⅛‖ 35 | 29½| 22¾| 31 | 28⅞| 30¾|
Means |  23½  | 26¼| 42¾| 36½| 28⅝| 32⅝| 32⅝| 27¾| 20⅜| 30 | 26½| 29⅞|
1 N.  |}(15¼){| 23⅛| 33⅜| 27 | 19⅝| 24⅝| 20⅛| 18¾| 16¾| 27¼| 24¼| 30¼|
2 N.  |}     {| 25⅜| 38¼| 33¼| 28¾| 32 ‖ 23⅝| 21¼| 18⅝| 29⅝| 24¾| 29⅞|
      |       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  M.  |       |    |    ‖ 15¼| 10⅝| 10⅜ ‖12⅜| 10⅞|  7¼| 15⅛| 14½| 19½|
5 O.  | (25⅛) ‖ 15¾| 20¼| 14⅝| 10⅜| 13¼ ‖12½| 10½|  6⅞| 17½| 10½| 15¼|
5 A.  |  25⅛  | 24 | 35¾| 31 | 22¾| 27⅝ ‖28⅝| 26⅛| 25½| 31⅞| 31⅝| 34 |
      |       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
6{1   |  17⅛  | 16½| 22½| 18½|  9¼| 16⅛| 12 | 11¼|  7½|  9⅞| 10⅜| 13½|
 {2   |  14⅛  | 15⅞| 20¾| 16¾|  9½| 14⅝| 11⅜| 10 |  7¾| 10 | 11⅝| 14⅜|
      |       |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
7     |  18½  | 22¾| 37¼| 27½| 19¾| 23⅝| 31⅜| 28½| 25⅜| 31⅝| 34¼| 33⅛|

  1st ten: First ten Years, 1852-’61.
  2nd ten: Second ten Years, 1862-’71.
  Total Period: Total Period 20 Years, 1852-’71.

            Harvests                   ||   Average Annual.    ||
    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||  1st  | 2nd  |Total  ||
1864|1865|1866|1867|1868|1869|1870|1871||  ten  | ten  |Period ||Plots
cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|cwt.|| cwts. | cwts.| cwts. ||
 12¾|  8⅛|  9½| 10¼| 11⅝| 11 |  6⅝| 11 ||  13⅜  | 10¼  |11¾    ||1 O.
 15⅝|  9⅛| 12⅝| 12¼|  9⅜| 10⅜|  8 | 12¼||  14⅞  | 11⅞  |13⅜    ||2 O.
 13⅝|  9¾| 10¼| 10⅛|  8⅝| 11 |  8½| 11¼||  13⅞  | 10¾  |12¼    ||3 O.
 16¾| 10 | 12⅞| 12 | 10⅛| 12⅞|  9⅜| 14 ||  16⅛  | 12⅝  |14⅜    ||4 O.
 14⅝|  9¼| 11¼| 11⅛|  9⅞| 11¼|  8⅛| 12⅛||  14½  | 11⅜  |12⅞    ||Means
 20⅜| 13 | 15⅜| 17¼| 12¼| 18¼| 12½| 23⅛||  19¾  | 17⅜  |18½    ||1 A.
 32½| 21⅝| 28⅛| 28⅝| 19⅜| 32 | 17⅞| 28⅛||  27⅞  | 27½  |27⅝    ||2 A.
 19¼| 16 | 16¾| 19⅜| 14⅞| 20¾| 15 | 25⅜||  21⅞  | 19¾  |20¾    ||3 A.
 34⅞| 22½| 27⅜| 25½| 20⅞| 34⅜| 18⅝| 32½||  28⅞  | 28   |28½    ||4 A.
 26¾| 18¼| 21¾| 22⅝| 16¾| 26⅜| 16 | 27¼||  24½  | 23⅛  |23¾    ||Means
 23¼| 16 | 17¾| 17⅛‖ 14½| 21½| 17⅞| 26¾||  24   | 20⅛  |22⅛    ||1 AA.
 33⅛| 23 | 28⅛| 30⅞‖ 21⅞| 34⅞| 23¾| 32⅛||  31⅞  | 29⅛  |30½    ||2 AA.
 26⅞| 17 | 18⅛| 20¾‖ 16¼| 22¾| 20⅞| 25⅜||  25¾  | 22¼  |24     ||3 AA.
 37¼| 24⅞| 28¼| 28⅜‖ 25⅝| 38⅛| 18¼| 32⅝||  34¾  | 30⅛  |32⅜    ||4 AA.
 30⅛| 20¼| 23⅛| 24¼| 19⅝| 29¼| 20¼| 29¼||  29   | 25⅜  |27¼    ||Means
‖26⅛| 22⅜| 20⅝| 18½‖ 16⅞| 23¾| 17 | 29¾||   {21⅞| 21⅞  |21⅞}   ||1 AAS.
‖33½| 23¼| 30¼| 29½‖ 25¼| 37⅛| 20⅛| 36⅛||[1]{29⅛| 29⅝  |29⅜}[1]||2 AAS.
‖30¼| 20⅜| 25 | 23⅜‖ 22 | 30⅝| 20½| 31⅛||   {24¾| 26⅛  |25⅜}   ||3 AAS.
‖40¾| 25½| 29½| 28¼‖ 26⅝| 42½| 20¾| 38 ||   {31 | 32   |31½}   ||4 AAS.
 32⅝| 22⅞| 26⅜| 24⅞| 22⅝| 33½| 19⅝| 33¾||  26⅝  | 27⅜  |27     ||Means
 26⅛| 21½| 24⅛| 25½| 19⅛| 27 | 17¼| 27½||  29⅜  | 24¼  |26⅞    ||1 C.
 31⅞| 21⅞| 24½| 25⅝| 19⅝| 33⅛| 17⅞| 27⅞||  30⅞  | 26   |28⅜    ||2 C.
 31 | 22 | 24⅜| 22¼| 10¾| 30½| 18⅜| 30⅞||  28⅞  | 25¼  |27⅛    ||3 C.
 34⅞| 22 | 27⅝| 24¼| 21⅛| 35⅛| 20⅜| 32 ||  31¼  | 27¾  |29½    ||4 C.
 31 | 21⅞| 25⅛| 24⅜| 19⅞| 31⅜| 18½| 29⅝||  30⅛  | 25¾  |28     ||Means
 24⅛| 18½| 21⅛| 21⅛| 18⅞| 24 | 13¼| 29¼||[2]{23⅜| 22½  |22⅞}[2]||1 N.
 27¾| 21½| 23⅞| 21¾| 17⅛| 27⅝| 19⅛| 31½||   {27⅞| 24½  |26⅛}   ||2 N.
    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |      |       ||
 13⅞|  9⅜| 12⅜| 12 | 10⅛| 11⅝|  8⅞| 14¾||[3](11¾| 12¾  |12⅜)[3]||  M.
 14⅞| 10¾| 10⅝| 10⅜|  8½| 15½|  4⅜| 13⅛||[4](13⅝| 11⅜  |12⅜)[4]||5 O.
 33⅞| 24⅞| 28 | 22⅜| 20⅝| 36⅛| 21⅜| 29⅝||    27⅞| 28¼  |28     ||5 A.
    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |      |       ||
 13⅝|  8¾| 10½|  9⅜| 10½|  9⅞|  7¾| 13 ||    14 | 10¾  |12⅜    ||1}6
 13⅞|  8⅞|  9½| 10⅞| 10⅞| 10⅜|  7⅞| 13⅝||    13 | 11¼  |12⅛    ||2}
    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    ||       |      |       ||
 37⅜| 25⅜| 31½| 27⅛| 24½| 28¾| 19¾| 37⅛||    26⅝| 29⅞  |28¼    ||    7

  [Note 1: Averages of 4 years, 4 years, and 8 years.]

  [Note 2: Averages of 9 years, (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

  [Note 3: Averages of 7 years (1855-’61), last 10 years, and total
  17 years.]

  [Note 4: Averages of 9 years (1853-’61), last 10 years, and total
  19 years.]

The produce of barley the first season (1852), was, per acre:

  On the unmanured plot                                  27¼ bushels
  With superphosphate of lime                            28⅝      ”
    ” potash, soda, and magnesia                         26¼      ”
    ”  ”       ”          ”     and superphosphate       32¾      ”
    ”  14 tons barn-yard manure                          33       ”
    ”  200 lbs. ammonia-salts alone                      36⅞      ”
    ”     ”            ”  and superphosphate             38⅝      ”
    ”     ”            ”  and potash, soda, and magnesia 36       ”
    ”     ”            ”  and superphosphate, potash,
                            soda, and magnesia           40¾      ”
    ”  400 lbs. ammonia-salts alone                      44½      ”

The 200 lbs. of ammonia-salts contain 50 lbs. of ammonia = 41 lbs.

It will be seen that this 50 lbs. of ammonia alone, on plot 1_a_, gives
an increase of nearly 10 bushels per acre, or to be more accurate, it
gives an increase over the unmanured plot of 503 lbs. of grain, and 329
lbs. of straw, while double the quantity of ammonia on plot 1_a.a._,
gives an increase of 17¼ bushels per acre--or an increase of 901 lbs. of
grain, and 1,144 lbs. of straw.

“Put that fact in separate lines, side by side,” said the Deacon, “so
that we can see it.”
                                           Grain    Straw     Produce.
   50 lbs. of ammonia gives an increase of 503 lbs.  704 lbs. 1207 lbs.
  100 ”    ”   ”       ”    ”    ”     ”   901  ”   1144  ”   2045  ”
  The first 50 lbs. of ammonia gives an
    increase of                            503  ”    704  ”   1207  ”
  The second 50 lbs. of ammonia gives an
    increase of                            398  ”    540  ”    738  ”

“That shows,” said the Deacon, “that a dressing of 50 lbs. per acre pays
better than a dressing of 100 lbs. per acre. I wish Mr. Lawes had sown
75 lbs. on one plot.”

I wish so, too, but it is quite probable that in our climate, 50 lbs. of
available ammonia per acre is all that it will usually be profitable to
apply per acre to the barley crop. It is equal to a dressing of 500 lbs.
guaranteed Peruvian guano, or 275 lbs. nitrate of soda. --“Or to how
much manure?” asked the Deacon.

To about 5 tons of average stable-manure, or say three tons of good,
well-rotted manure from grain-fed animals.

“And yet,” said the Deacon, “Mr. Lawes put on 14 tons of yard manure per
acre, and the yield of barley was not as much as from the 50 lbs. of
ammonia alone. How do you account for that?”

Simply because the ammonia in the manure is _not_ ammonia. It is what
the chemists used to call “potential ammonia.” A good deal of it is in
the form of undigested straw and hay. The nitrogenous matter of the food
which has been digested by the animal and thrown off in the liquid
excrements, is in such a form that it will readily ferment and produce
ammonia, while the nitrogenous matter in the undigested food and in the
straw used for bedding, decomposes slowly even under the most favorable
conditions; and if buried while fresh in a clay soil, it probably would
not all decompose in many years. But we will not discuss this at

“The superphosphate does not seem to have done much good,” said the
Deacon; “3½ 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 25¾ bushels per acre. Potash,
soda, and magnesia, (or what the Deacon calls “ashes,”) 27⅝ bushels;
superphosphate 33½, 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,

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 53½ 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 56½ bushels per acre.

   50 lbs. of ammonia, on plot 1_a._    47¾ bushels per acre.
  100  ”   ”    ”      ”    ”  1_a.a._  56⅝      ”        ”

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.  16⅔ bush.
  100  ”   ”    ”
           ”   ”     ”     ”     1,350  ”    2,100  ”    28      ”

If you buy nitrate of soda at 3¾ 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 16⅔ 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 2_a._, 50 lbs. of ammonia and 3½ cwt. of superphosphate, give
3,437 lbs. of grain, equal to 71½ of our bushels per acre.

On plot 2_a.a._, 100 lbs. of ammonia and 3½ cwt. of superphosphate, give
3,643 lbs. of grain, which lacks only 5 lbs. of 76 bushels per acre, and
nearly 2½ tons of straw.

“That will do,” said the Deacon, “but I see that in 1857, this same
plot, with the same manure, produced 66½ bushels of dressed grain per
acre, weighing 53½ 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 12⅛, 12¼, and 13¼ 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

“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 3½ 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 2_a.a._, dressed with
superphosphate and 275 lbs. of nitrate of soda, produced 2,338 lbs. of
barley, or 48¾ bushels per acre. This is an _increase_ over the
unmanured plots of 33½ 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

“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 15¼
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 15¼ bushels per
acre, as Mr. Lawes had, we should only harvest 13¼ 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


  13¼ bushels barley @ 1.25                   $16.57
  800 lbs. of straw @ $4. per ton               1.60
  Putting in and harvesting the crop   $9.00
  Threshing 13¼ 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 2_a.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 2_a.a._, was 48¾ bushels per acre, and 2,715 lbs. of


  46¾ bushels @ $1.25                            $58.43
  2,715 lbs. straw @ $4. per ton                   5.43
  Putting in the crop and harvesting    $11.00
  Threshing 46¾ bushels @ 6 c             2.80
  275 lbs. nitrate of soda @ 4 c         11.00
  392 lbs. superphosphate @ 2 c           7.84
  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.


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 1½ cent per lb., and nitrate of soda for
3½ or 4 cents per lb., and the German potash-salts for ¾ 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 (10_b_), 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 583¼ lbs.
were recovered in the produce, and 3,411¾ 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 427½ lbs. were
recovered in the crop, and 3,567½ 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

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   | 35⅛  | 34⅛  | 31⅜
      corn-crops                      |      |      |      |
  Barn-Field--                        |      |      |      |
    Barley, after 10 yrs. Turnips     |      |      |      |
      manured as under--              |      |      |      |
  1.--Mineral manures (last 8 years)  | 20½  | 19½  | 20   | 20
  2.--Mineral manures (8 yrs.);       |      |      |      |
      Ammonia-salts (6 yrs.).         | 23⅛  | 21¼  | 21¾  | 22
  3.--Mineral manures (8 yrs.);       |      |      |      |
      Rape-cake (6 yrs.)              | 28¾  | 24⅝  | 23⅛  | 25¾
  4.--Mineral manures (8 yrs.);       |      |      |      |
      Ammonia-salts and Rape-cake     |      |      |      |
          (6 yrs.)                    | 29⅛  | 23¾  | 23¾  | 25⅝
  5.--Mineral manures (8 yrs.);       |      |      |      |
      Ammonia-salts, for Barley, 1854 |(20½) | 52⅜  | 26⅝  | 39½
  6.--Mineral manures (8 yrs.);       |      |      |      |
          Ammonia-salts, for Barley,  |      |      |      |
          ’54 and ’55                 |(20½) | 54⅞  | 49⅜  | 47⅝

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 1½ 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.”



“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               | 36⅝ | 16⅜ | 19¼ | 9⅛  | 36¾ | 35
  2.--Mixed Alkalies and      |     |     |     |     |     |
      Superphosphate of Lime  | 45  | 19⅛ | 24½ | 9⅝  | 38½ | 35⅛
  3.--400 lbs. Ammonia-salts  | 56⅛ | 37½ | 36⅞ | 17¼ | 37½ | 34¼
  4.--Mixed Alkalies and      |     |     |     |     |     |
      Superphosphate, and 400 |     |     |     |     |     |
      lbs. Ammonia-salts      | 75¼ | 50⅝ | 54  | 28⅝ | 39¼ | 36
  5.--550 lbs. Nitrate of Soda| 62¼ | 36½ | 42¾ | 23  | 38½ | 35¼
  6.--Mixed Alkalies,         |     |     |     |     |     |
      Superphosphate, and 550 |     |     |     |     |     |
      lbs. Nitrate of Soda    | 69⅜ | 50  | 49⅞ | 28¾ | 38½ | 35¾

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 36⅝ bushels of oats per
acre, weighing 36¾ lbs. per bushel, and plot 3, with ammonia-salts
alone, 56⅛ bushels, and with nitrate of soda alone, on plot 5, 62¼
bushels per acre, both weighing 38½ 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 30¼ bushels
per acre in 1869, and 31½ 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        48¾
  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   |  22½  |  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.



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

“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

“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

“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

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 3½ 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

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. Vœlcker 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 £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        }
  15½ 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        }
     {¾  ”   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

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

  2. {9  cwt. superphosphate       }
     {3½  ”   muriate of potash    } 204
     {3   ”   sulphate of ammonia  }

  3.  No manure                       70

  4. {9  cwt. superphosphate       }
     {3½  ”   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 3½ 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

                                   Bushels per acre.

     {6¼ cwt. superphosphate       }
  1. {2½  ”   muriate of potash    } 321
     {2½  ”   sulphate of ammonia  }

  2. {6¼ cwt. superphosphate       } 296
     {2½  ”   sulphate of ammonia  }

  3.  No manure                      252

  4. {6¼ cwt. superphosphate       } 311
     {2½  ”   muriate of potash    }

  5.  2½ 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

“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
    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

“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

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.



“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.


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.”


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. Vœlcker 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        40½     ”      ”  2736  ”        ”
  448 lbs. Proctor’s wheat-manure  39½     ”      ”  2668  ”        ”
  672  ”       ”        ”   ”      44¼     ”      ”  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.”



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,

  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

“It does not seem,” said the Deacon, “to have been deficient in
anything. The twentieth crop, on the continuously unmanured plot was
nearly 1¼ ton per acre, the first cutting, and nearly ¾-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

“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

“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.”




“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.”


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

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.


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

“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 3½ feet apart each way.

“The manures were applied in the hill immediately before the seed was

“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

“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

“The superphosphate of lime was made on purpose for these experiments,
and was a pure mineral manure of superior quality, made from calcined
bones; it cost about 2½ cents per pound. The sulphate of ammonia was a
good, commercial article, obtained from London, at a cost of about seven
cents per pound. The ashes were made from beech and hard maple (_Acer
saccharinum_) wood, and were sifted through a fine sieve before being
weighed. The guano was the best Peruvian, costing about three cents per
pound. It was crushed and sifted before using. In sowing the ashes on
plot 7, an error occurred in their application, and for the purpose of
checking the result, it was deemed advisable to repeat the experiment on
plot 10.

“On plot 5, with 300 lbs. of superphosphate of lime per acre, the plants
came up first, and exhibited a healthy, dark-green appearance, which
they retained for some time. This result was not anticipated, though it
is well known that superphosphate of lime has the effect of stimulating
the germination of turnip-seed, and the early growth of the plants to an
astonishing degree; yet, as it has no such effect on wheat, it appeared
probable that it would not produce this effect on Indian corn, which, in
chemical composition, is very similar to wheat. The result shows how
uncertain are all speculations in regard to the manurial requirements of
plants. This immediate effect of superphosphate of lime on corn was so
marked, that the men (who were, at the time of planting, somewhat
inclined to be skeptical, in regard to the value of such small doses of
manure), declared that ‘superphosphate beats all creation for corn.’ The
difference in favor of superphosphate, at the time of hoeing, was very
perceptible, even at some distance.

“Although every precaution was taken that was deemed necessary, to
prevent the manures from mixing in the hill, or from injuring the seed,
yet, it was found, that those plots dressed with ashes and guano, or
with ashes and sulphate of ammonia, were injured to some extent. Shortly
after the corn was planted, heavy rain set in, and washed the sulphate
of ammonia and guano, down into the ashes, and mutual decomposition took
place, with more or less loss of ammonia. In addition to this loss of
ammonia, these manures came up to the surface of the ground in the form
of an excrescence, so hard that the plants could with difficulty
penetrate through it.

“It will be seen, by examining the table, that although the
superphosphate of lime had a good effect during the early stages of the
growth of the plants, yet the increase of ears of corn in the end did
not come up to these early indications. On plot 5, with 300 lbs. of
superphosphate of lime per acre, the yield is precisely the same as on
plot 2, with 100 lbs. of plaster (_sulphate of lime_), per acre. Now,
superphosphate of lime is composed necessarily of soluble phosphate of
lime and plaster, or sulphate of lime, formed from a combination of the
sulphuric acid, employed in the manufacture of superphosphate, with the
lime of the bones. In the 300 lbs. of superphosphate of lime, sown on
plot 5, there would be about 100 lbs. of plaster; and as the effect of
this dressing is no greater than was obtained from the 100 lbs. of
plaster, sown on plot 2, it follows, that the good effect of the
superphosphate of lime was due to the plaster that it contained.

“Again, on plot 4, with 150 lbs. of sulphate of ammonia per acre, we
have 90 bushels of ears of sound corn, and 15 bushels of ears of soft
corn, (‘nubbins,’) per acre; or a total increase over the plot without
manure, of 38 bushels. Now, the sulphate of ammonia contains no
phosphate of lime, and the fact that such a manure gives a considerable
increase of crop, confirms the conclusion we have arrived at, from a
comparison of the results on plots 2 and 5; that the increase from the
superphosphate of lime, is not due to the phosphate of lime which it
contains, unless we are to conclude that the sulphate of ammonia
rendered the phosphate of lime in the soil more readily soluble, and
thus furnished an increased quantity in an available form for
assimilation by the plants--a conclusion, which the results with
superphosphate alone, on plot 5, and with superphosphate and sulphate of
ammonia, combined, on plot 6, do not sustain.

“On plot 12, half the quantity of sulphate of ammonia, was used as on
plot 4, and the increase is a little more than half what it is where
double the quantity was used. Again, on plot 13, 200 lbs. of Peruvian
guano per acre, gives nearly as great an increase of sound corn, as the
150 lbs. of sulphate of ammonia. Now, 200 lbs. of Peruvian guano
contains nearly as much ammonia as 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia, and the
increase in both cases is evidently due to the ammonia of these manures.
The 200 lbs. of Peruvian guano, contained about 50 lbs. of phosphate of
lime; but as the sulphate of ammonia, which contains no phosphate of
lime, gives as great an increase as the guano, it follows, that the
phosphate of lime in the guano, had little, if any effect; a result
precisely similar to that obtained with superphosphate of lime.

“We may conclude, therefore, that on this soil, which has never been
manured, and which has been cultivated for many years with the
_Ceralia_--or, in other words, with crops which remove a large quantity
of phosphate of lime from the soil--the phosphate of lime, relatively to
the ammonia, is not deficient. If such was not the case, an application
of soluble phosphate of lime would have given an increase of crop, which
we have shown was not the case in any one of these experiments.

“Plot 10, with 400 lbs. of unleached wood-ashes per acre, produces the
same quantity of _sound corn_, with an extra bushel of ‘nubbins’ per
acre, as plot 1, without any manure at all; ashes, therefore, applied
alone, may be said to have had no effect whatever. On plot 3, 400 lbs.
of ashes, and 100 lbs. of plaster, give the same total number of bushels
per acre, as plot 2, with 100 lbs. of plaster alone. Plot 8, with 400
lbs. ashes, and 150 lbs. of sulphate of ammonia, yields three bushels of
sound corn, and five bushels of ‘nubbins’ per acre, _less_ than plot 4,
with 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia alone. This result may be ascribed to
the fact previously alluded to--the ashes dissipated some of the

“Plot 11, with 100 lbs. of plaster, 400 lbs. ashes, 300 lbs. of
superphosphate of lime, and 200 lbs. Peruvian guano (which contains
about as much ammonia as 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia), produced
precisely the same number of total bushels per acre, as plot 4, with 150
lbs. sulphate of ammonia alone, and but 4 bushels more per acre, than
plot 13, with 200 lbs. Peruvian guano alone. It is evident, from these
results, that neither ashes nor phosphates had much effect on Indian
corn, on this impoverished soil. Plot 14 received the largest dressing
of ammonia (500 lbs. Peruvian guano), and produced much the largest
crop; though the increase is not so great in proportion to the guano, as
where smaller quantities were used.

“The manure which produced the most profitable result, was the 100 lbs.
of plaster, on plot 2. The 200 lbs. of Peruvian guano, on plot 13, and
which cost about $6, gave an increase of 14 bushels of shelled corn, and
6 bushels of ‘nubbins.’ This will pay at the present price of corn in
Rochester, although the profit is not very great. The superphosphate of
lime, although a very superior article, and estimated at cost price, in
no case paid for itself. The same is true of the ashes.

“But the object of the experiment was not so much to ascertain what
manures will pay, but to ascertain, if possible, what constituents of
manures are required, in greatest quantity, for the maximum growth of
corn.  *  *  Hitherto, no experiments have been made in this country, on
Indian corn, that afforded any certain information on this point.
Indeed, we believe no satisfactory experiments have been made on Indian
corn, in any country, that throw any definite light on this interesting
and important question. A few years ago, Mr. Lawes made similar
experiments to those given above, on his farm, at Rothamsted, England;
but owing to the coolness of the English climate, the crop did not
arrive at maturity.

“Numerous experiments have been made in this country, with guano and
superphosphate of lime; but the superphosphates used were commercial
articles, containing more or less ammonia, and if they are of any
benefit to those crops to which they are applied, it is a matter of
uncertainty whether the beneficial effect of the application is due to
the soluble phosphate of lime, or to the ammonia. On the other hand,
guano contains both ammonia and phosphate; and we are equally at a loss
to determine, whether the effect is attributable to the ammonia or
phosphate, or both. In order, therefore, to determine satisfactorily,
which of the several ingredients of plants is required in greatest
proportion, for the maximum growth of any particular crop, we must apply
these ingredients separately, or in such definite compounds, as will
enable us to determine to what particular element or compounds the
beneficial effect is to be ascribed. It was for this reason, that
sulphate of ammonia, and a purely mineral superphosphate of lime, were
used in the above experiments. No one would think of using sulphate of
ammonia at its price, [sulphate of ammonia is now cheaper, while
Peruvian guano is more costly and less rich in ammonia], as an ordinary
manure, for the reason, that the same quantity of ammonia can be
obtained in other substances, such as barnyard-manure, Peruvian guano,
etc., at a much cheaper rate. But these manures contain _all_ the
elements of plants, and we can not know whether the effect produced by
them is due to the ammonia, phosphates, or any other ingredients. For
the purpose of experiment, therefore, we must use a manure that
furnishes ammonia without any admixture of phosphates, potash, soda,
lime, magnesia, etc., even though it cost much more than we could obtain
the same amount of ammonia in other manures. I make these remarks in
order to correct a very common opinion, that if experiments do not
_pay_, they are useless. The ultimate object, indeed, is to ascertain
the most profitable method of manuring; but the _means_ of obtaining
this information, can not in all cases be profitable.

“Similar experiments to those made on Indian corn, were made on soil of
a similar character, on about an acre of Chinese sugar-cane. I do not
propose to give the results in detail, at this time, and allude to them
merely to mention one very important fact, _the superphosphate of lime
had a very marked effect_. This manure was applied in the hill on one
plot (the twentieth of an acre,) at the rate of 400 lbs. per acre, and
the plants on this plot came up first, and outgrew all the others from
the start, and ultimately attained the height of about ten feet; while
on the plot receiving no manure, the plants were not five feet high.
This is a result entirely different from what I should have expected. It
has been supposed, from the fact that superphosphate of lime had no
effect on wheat, that it would probably have little effect on corn, or
on the sugar-cane, or other _ceralia_; and that, as ammonia is so
beneficial for wheat, it would probably be beneficial for corn and
sugar-cane. The above experiments indicate that such is the case, in
regard to Indian corn, so far as the production of grain is concerned,
though, as we have stated, it is not true in reference to the early
growth of the plants. The superphosphate of lime on Indian corn,
stimulated the growth of the plants, in a very decided manner at first,
so much so, that we were led to suppose, for some time, that it would
give the largest crop; but at harvest, it was found that it produced no
more corn than plaster. These results seem to indicate, that
superphosphate of lime stimulates the growth of stalks and leaves, and
has little effect in increasing the production of seed. In raising
Indian corn, for fodder or for soiling purposes, superphosphate of lime
may be beneficial, as well as in growing the sorghum for sugar-making
purposes, or for fodder--though, perhaps, not for seed.”

“In addition to the experiments given above, I also made the same
season, on an adjoining field, another set of experiments on Indian
corn, the results of which are given below.

“The land on which these experiments were made, is of a somewhat firmer
texture than that on which the other set of experiments was made. It is
situated about a mile from the barn-yard, and on this account, has
seldom, if ever been manured. It has been cultivated for many years with
ordinary farm crops. It was plowed early in the spring, and it was
harrowed until quite mellow. The corn was planted May 30, 1857. Each
experiment occupied one-tenth of an acre, consisting of 4 rows 3½ feet
apart, and the same distance between the hills in the rows, with one row
without manure between each experimental plot.

“The manure was applied in the hill, in the same manner as in the first
set of experiments.

“The barnyard-manure was well-rotted, and consisted principally of
cow-dung with a little horse-dung. Twenty two-horse wagon loads of this
was applied per acre, and each load would probably weigh about one ton.
It was put in the hill and covered with soil, and the seed then planted
on the top.

“The following table gives the results of the experiments:

  Table Showing the Results of Experiments on Indian Corn, Made Near
  Rochester, N.Y., in the Year 1857.

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                        | 75  | 12 |  87 | .. | .. | ..
  2. | 20 loads barn-yard manure        | 82½ | 10 |  92½| 5½ | .. |  5½
  3. | 150 lbs. sulphate of ammonia     | 85  | 30 | 115 | 10 | 18 | 28
  4. | 300 lbs. superphosphate of lime  | 88  | 10 |  98 | 11 | .. | 11
  5. | 400 lbs. Peruvian guano          | 90  | 30 | 120 | 15 | 18 | 33
  6. | 400 lbs. of “Cancerine,” or fish | 85  | 20 | 105 | 10 | 8  | 18
     |   manure                         |     |    |     |    |    |

“As before stated, the land was of a stronger nature than that on which
the first set of experiments was made, and it was evidently in better
condition, as the plot having no manure produced 20 bushels of ears of
corn per acre more than the plot without manure in the other field.

“On plot 4, 300 lbs. of superphosphate of lime gives a total increase of
11 bushels of ears of corn per acre over the unmanured plot, agreeing
exactly with the increase obtained from the same quantity of the same
manure on plot 5, in the first set of experiments.

“Plot 3, dressed with 150 lbs. of sulphate of ammonia per acre, gives a
total increase of 28 bushels of ears of corn per acre, over the
unmanured plot; and an increase of 22½ bushels of ears per acre over
plot 2, which received 20 loads of good, well-rotted barnyard-dung per

“Plot 5, with 400 lbs. of Peruvian guano per acre gives the best crop of
this series viz: an increase of 33 bushels of corn per acre over the
unmanured plot, and 27½ over the plot manured with 20 loads of
barnyard-dung. The 400 lbs. of ‘Cancerine’--an artificial manure made in
New Jersey from fish--gives a total increase of 18 bushels of ears per
acre over the unmanured plot, and 12½ bushels more than that manured
with barn-yard dung, though 5 bushels of ears of sound corn and 10
bushels of ‘nubbins’ per acre _less_ than the same quantity of Peruvian


To raise a large crop of turnips, especially of ruta-bagas, there is
nothing better than a liberal application of rich, well-rotted
farm-yard-manure, and 250 to 300 lbs. of good superphosphate of lime per
acre, _drilled in with the seed_.

I have seen capital crops of common turnips grown with no other manure
except 300 lbs. of superphosphate per acre, drilled with the seed.
Superphosphate has a wonderful effect on the development of the roots of
the turnip. And this is the secret of its great value for this crop. It
increases the growth of the young plant, developing the formation of the
roots, and when the turnip once gets full possession of the soil, it
appropriates all the plant-food it can find. A turnip-crop grown with
superphosphate, can get from the soil much more nitrogen than a crop of
wheat. The turnip-crop, when supplied with superphosphate, is a good
“scavenger.” It will gather up and organize into good food the refuse
plant-food left in the soil. It is to the surface soil, what clover is
to the subsoil. To the market gardener, or to a farmer who manures
heavily common turnips drilled in with superphosphate will prove a
valuable crop. On such land no other manure will be needed. I cannot too
earnestly recommend the use of superphosphate as a manure for turnips.

For Swede turnips or ruta-bagas, it will usually be necessary, in order
to secure a maximum crop, to use a manure which, in addition to
superphosphate, contains available nitrogen. A good dressing of rich,
well-rotted manure, spread on the land, and plowed under, and then 300
lbs. of superphosphate drilled in with the seed, would be likely to give
a good crop.

In the absence of manure, there is probably nothing better for the
ruta-bagas than 300 lbs. of so-called “rectified” Peruvian guano, that
is, guano treated with sulphuric acid, to render the phosphates soluble.
Such a guano is guaranteed to contain 10 per cent of ammonia, and 10 per
cent of soluble phosphoric acid, and would be a good dressing for Swede

The best way to use guano for turnips is to sow it broadcast on the
land, and harrow it in, and then either drill in the turnip-seed on the
flat, or on ridges. The latter is decidedly the better plan, provided
you have the necessary implements to do the work expeditiously. A double
mould-board plow will ridge up four acres a day, and the guano being
previously sown on the surface, will be turned up with the mellow
surface-soil into the ridge, where the seed is to be sown. The young
plants get hold of it and grow so rapidly as to be soon out of danger
from the turnip-beetle.


When sugar-beets are grown for feeding to stock, there is probably
little or no difference in the manurial requirements of sugar-beets and
mangel-wurzel. Our object is to get as large a growth as possible
consistent with quality.

“Large roots,” said the Deacon, “have been proved to contain less
nutriment than small roots.”

True, but it does not follow from this that rich land, or heavy manuring
is the chief cause of this difference. It is much more likely to be due
to the variety selected. The seed-growers have been breeding solely for
size and shape. They have succeeded to such an extent that 84 gross tons
of roots have been grown on an acre. This is equal to over 94 of our
tons per acre. “That is an enormous crop,” said the Deacon; “and it
would require some labor to put 10 acres of them in a cellar.”

“If they were as nutritious as ordinary mangels,” said I, “that would be
no argument against them. But such is not the case. In a letter just
received from Mr. Lawes, (May, 1878,) he characterizes them as ‘bladders
of water and salts.’”

Had the seed-growers bred for _quality_, the roots would have been of
less size, but they would contain more nutriment.

What we want is a variety that has been bred with reference to quality;
and when this is secured, we need not fear to make the land rich and
otherwise aim to secure great growth and large-sized roots.

It certainly is not good economy to select a variety which has been bred
for years to produce large-sized roots, and then sow this seed on poor
land for the purpose of obtaining small-sized roots. Better take a
variety bred for quality, and then make the land rich enough to produce
a good crop.

We are not likely to err in making the land too rich for mangel-wurzel
or for sugar-beets grown for stock. When sugar-beets are grown for
sugar, we must aim to use manures favorable for the production of sugar,
or rather to avoid using those which are unfavorable. But where
sugar-beets are grown for food, our aim is to get a large amount of
nutriment to the acre. And it is by no means clear to my mind that there
is much to be gained by selecting the sugar-beet instead of a good
variety of mangel-wurzel. It is not a difficult matter, by selecting the
largest roots for seed, and by liberal manuring, and continuously
selecting the largest roots, to convert the sugar-beet into a

When sugar-beets are grown for food, we may safely manure them as we
would mangel-wurzel, and treat the two crops precisely alike.

I usually raise from ten to fifteen acres of mangel-wurzel every year.
I grow them in rotation with other crops, and not as the Hon. Harris
Lewis and some others do, continuously on the same land. We manure
liberally, but not extravagantly, and get a fair yield, and the land is
left in admirable condition for future crops.

I mean by this, not that the land is specially rich, but that it is very
clean and mellow.

“In 1877,” said the Deacon, “you had potatoes on the land where you grew
mangels the previous year, and had the best crop in the neighborhood.”

This is true, but still I do not think it a good rotation. A barley crop
seeded with clover would be better, especially if the mangels were
heavily manured. The clover would get the manure which had been washed
into the subsoil, or left in such a condition that potatoes or grain
could not take it up.

There is one thing in relation to my mangels of 1876 which has escaped
the Deacon. The whole piece was manured and well prepared, and dibbled
in with mangels, the rows being 2½ feet apart, and the seed dropped 15
inches apart in the rows. Owing to poor seed, the mangels failed on
about three acres, and we plowed up the land and drilled in corn for
fodder, in rows 2½ feet apart, and at the rate of over three bushels of
seed per acre. We had a _great crop_ of corn-fodder.

The next year, as I said before, the whole piece was planted with
potatoes, and if it was true that mangels are an “enriching crop,” while
corn is an “exhausting” crop, we ought to have had much better potatoes
after the mangels than after corn. This was certainly not the case; if
there was any difference, it was in favor of the corn. But I do not
place any confidence in an experiment of this kind, where the crops were
not weighed and the results carefully ascertained.

Mr. Lawes has made some most thorough experiments with different manures
on sugar-beets, and in 1876 he commenced a series of experiments with

The land is a rather stiff clay loam, similar to that on which the wheat
and barley experiments were made. It is better suited to the growth of
beets than of turnips.

“Why so,” asked the Deacon, “I thought that black, bottom land was best
for mangels.”

“Not so, Deacon,” said I, “we can, it is true, grow large crops of
mangels on well-drained and well-manured swampy or bottom land, but the
best soil for mangels, especially in regard to quality, is a good,
stiff, well-worked, and well-manured loam.”

“And yet,” said the Deacon, “you had a better crop last year on the
lower and blacker portions of the field than on the heavy, clayey land.”

In one sense, this is true. We had dry weather in the spring, and the
mangel seed on the dry, clayey land did not come up as well as on the
cooler and moister bottom-land. We had more plants to the acre, but the
roots on the clayey land, when they once got fair hold of the soil and
the manure, grew larger and better than on the lighter and moister land.
The great point is to get this heavy land into a fine, mellow condition.

But to Mr. Lawes’ experiments. They are remarkably interesting and
instructive. But it is not necessary to go into all the details. Suffice
it to say that the experiments seem to prove, very conclusively, that
beets require a liberal supply of available nitrogen. Thus, without
manure, the yield of beets was about 7½ tons of bulbs per acre.

With 550 lbs. nitrate of soda per acre, the yield was a little over 22
tons per acre. With 14 tons of farmyard-manure, 18 tons per acre. With
14 tons of farmyard manure and 550 lbs. nitrate of soda, over 27½ tons
per acre.

Superphosphate of lime, sulphates of potash, soda, and magnesia, and
common salt, alone, or with other manures, had comparatively little

Practically, when we want to grow a good crop of beets or mangels, these
experiments prove that what we need is the richest kind of

If our manure is not rich, then we should use, in addition to the
manure, a dressing of nitrate of soda--say 400 or 500 lbs. per acre.

If the land is in pretty good condition, and we have no barnyard-manure,
we may look for a fair crop from a dressing of nitrate of soda alone.

“I see,” said the Deacon, “that 550 lbs. of nitrate of soda alone, gave
an increase of 14½ tons per acre. And the following year, on the same
land, it gave an increase of 13½ tons; and the next year, on the same
land, over 9 tons.”

“Yes,” said I, “the first three years of the experiments (1871-2-3), 550
lbs. of nitrate of soda alone, applied every year, gave an average yield
of 19¼ tons of bulbs per acre. During the same three years, the plot
dressed with 14 tons of barnyard-manure, gave an average yield of 16¼
tons. But now mark. The next year (1874) all the plots were left without
any manure, and the plot which had been previously dressed with nitrate
of soda, alone, fell off to 3 tons per acre, while the plot which had
been previously manured with barnyard-manure, produced 10¾ tons per

“Good,” said the Deacon, “there is nothing like manure.”


I class these plants together, because, though differing widely in many
respects, they have one feature in common. They are all artificial

A distinguished amateur horticulturist once said to me, “I do not see
why it is I have so much trouble with lettuce. My land is rich, and the
lettuce grow well, but do not head. They have a tendency to run up to
seed, and soon get tough and bitter.”

I advised him to raise his own seed from the best plants--and especially
to reject all plants that showed any tendency to go prematurely to seed.
Furthermore, I told him I thought if he would sow a little
superphosphate of lime with the seed, it would greatly stimulate the
_early_ growth of the lettuce.

As I have said before, superphosphate, when drilled in with the seed,
has a wonderful effect in developing the root-growth of the young plants
of turnips, and I thought it would have the same effect on lettuce,
cabbage, cauliflowers, etc.

“But,” said he, “it is not _roots_ that I want, but heads.”

“Exactly,” said I, “you do not want the plants to follow out their
natural disposition and run up to seed. You want to induce them to throw
out a great abundance of tender leaves. In other words, you want them to
‘head.’ Just as in the turnip, you do not want them to run up to seed,
but to produce an unnatural development of ‘bulb.’”

Thirty years ago, Dr. Gilbert threw out the suggestion, that while it
was evident that turnips required a larger proportion of soluble
phosphates in the soil than wheat; while wheat required a larger
proportion of available nitrogen in the soil, than turnips, it was quite
probable, if we were growing turnips _for seed_, that then, turnips
would require the same kind of manures as wheat.

We want exceedingly rich land for cabbage, especially for an early crop.
This is not merely because a large crop of cabbage takes a large amount
of plant-food out of the soil, but because the cultivated cabbage is an
artificial plant, that requires its food in a concentrated shape. In
popular language, the plants have to be “forced.”

According to the analyses of Dr. Anderson, the outside leaves of
cabbage, contain, in round numbers, 91 per cent of water; and the heart
leaves, 94½ per cent. In other words, the green leaves contain 3½ per
cent more dry matter than the heart leaves.

Dr. Vœlcker, who analyzed more recently some “cattle-cabbage,” found 89½
per cent of water in the green leaves, and 83¾ per cent in the heart and
inner leaves--thus confirming previous analyses, and showing also that
the composition of cabbages varies considerably.

Dr. Vœlcker found much less water in the cabbage than Dr. Anderson.

The specimen analyzed by Dr. V., was grown on the farm of the Royal Ag.
College of England, and I infer from some incidental remarks, that the
crop was grown on rather poor land. And it is probably true that a large
crop of cabbage grown on rich land, contains a higher percentage of
water than cabbage grown on poorer land. On the poor land, the cabbage
would not be likely to head so well as on the rich land, and the green
leaves of cabbage contain more than half as much again real dry
substance as the heart leaves.

The dry matter of the heart leaves, however, contains more actual
nutriment than the dry matter of the green leaves.

It would seem very desirable, therefore, whether we are raising cabbage
for market or for home consumption, to make the land rich enough to grow
good heads. Dr. Vœlcker says, “In ordinary seasons, the average produce
of Swedes on our poorer fields is about 15 tons per acre. On weighing
the produce of an acre of cabbage, grown under similar circumstances,
I found that it amounted to 17½ tons per acre. On good, well-manured
fields, however, we have had a much larger produce.”

In a report on the “Cultivation of Cabbage, and its comparative Value
for Feeding purposes,” by J. M. M’Laren, of Scotland, the yield of Swede
turnips, was 29¾ tons per acre, and the yield of cabbage, 47¾ tons per

“It is very evident,” said the Deacon, “that if you grow cabbage you
should make the land rich enough to produce a good crop--and I take it
that is all you want to show.”

“I want to show,” I replied, “that our market gardeners have reason for
applying such apparently excessive dressings of rich manure to the
cabbage-crop. They find it safer to put far more manure into the land
than the crop can possibly use, rather than run any risk of getting an
inferior crop. An important practical question is, whether they can not
grow some crop or crops after the cabbage, that can profitably take up
the manure left in the soil.”

Prof. E. Wolff, in the last edition of “Praktische Düngerlehre,” gives
the composition of cabbage. For the details of which, see Appendix, page

From this it appears that 50 tons of cabbage contain 240 lbs. of
nitrogen, and 1,600 lbs. of ash. Included in the ash is 630 lbs. of
potash; 90 lbs. of soda; 310 lbs. of lime; 60 lbs. of magnesia; 140 lbs.
of phosphoric acid; 240 lbs. of sulphuric acid, and 20 lbs. of silica.

Henderson, in “Gardening for Profit,” advises the application of 75 tons
of stable or barn-yard manure per acre, for early cabbage. For late
cabbage, after peas or early potatoes, he says about 10 tons per acre
are used.

Brill, in “Farm Gardening and Seed Growing,” also makes the same
distinction in regard to the quantity of manure used for early and late
cabbage. He speaks of 70 to 80 tons or more, per acre, of well-rotted
stable-manure as not an unusual or excessive dressing every year.

Now, according to Wolff’s table, 75 tons of fresh stable-manure, with
straw, contains 820 lbs. of nitrogen; 795 lbs. of potash; 150 lbs. soda;
315 lbs. of lime; 210 lbs. of magnesia; 420 lbs. of phosphoric acid; 105
lbs. sulphuric acid; 2,655 lbs. of silica, and 60 lbs. of chlorine.

“Put the figures side by side,” said the Deacon, “so that we can compare

Here they are:

                    |  _75 tons    |
                    | Fresh Horse  | _50 tons
                    |  Manure._    |  Cabbage._
  Nitrogen          |   820 lbs.   |   240 lbs.
  Potash            |   795  ”     |   630  ”
  Phosphoric acid   |   420  ”     |   140  ”
  Soda              |   150  ”     |    90  ”
  Lime              |   315  ”     |   310  ”
  Magnesia          |   210  ”     |    60  ”

“That is rather an interesting table,” said the Doctor. “In the case of
lime, the crop takes about all that this heavy dressing of manure
supplies--but I suppose the soil is usually capable of furnishing a
considerable quantity.”

“That may be so,” said the Deacon, “but all the authorities on market
gardening speak of the importance of either growing cabbage on land
containing lime, or else of applying lime as a manure. Quinn, who writes
like a sensible man, says in his book, ‘Money in the Garden,’ ‘A
top-dressing of lime every third year, thirty or forty bushels per acre,
spread broadcast, and harrowed in, just before planting, pays

Henderson thinks cabbage can only be grown successfully on land
containing abundance of lime. He has used heavy dressings of lime on
land which did not contain shells, and the result was satisfactory for a
time, but he found it too expensive.

Experience seems to show that to grow large crops of perfect cabbage,
the soil must be liberally furnished with manures rich in nitrogen and
phosphoric acid.

In saying this, I do not overlook the fact that cabbage require a large
quantity of potash. I think, however, that when large quantities of
stable or barn-yard manure is used, it will rarely be found that the
soil lacks potash.

What we need to grow a large crop of cabbage, is manure from well-fed
animals. Such manure can rarely be purchased. Now, the difference
between rich manure and ordinary stable or barnyard-manure, consists
principally in this: The rich manure contains more nitrogen and
phosphoric acid than the ordinary stable-manure--and it is in a more
available condition.

To convert common manure into rich manure, therefore, we must add
nitrogen and phosphoric acid. In other words, we must use Peruvian
guano, or nitrate of soda and superphosphate, or bone-dust, or some
other substance that will furnish available nitrogen and phosphoric

Or it may well be, where stable-manure can be bought for $1.00 per
two-horse load, that it will be cheaper to use it in larger quantity
rather than to try to make it rich. In this case, however, we must
endeavor to follow the cabbage by some crop that has the power of taking
up the large quantity of nitrogen and other plant-food that will be left
in the soil.

The cabbage needs a large supply of nitrogen in the soil, but removes
comparatively little of it. We see that when 75 tons of manure is used,
a crop of 50 tons of cabbage takes out of the soil less than 30 per cent
of the nitrogen. And yet, if you plant cabbage on this land, the next
year, without manure, you would get a small crop.

“It cannot be for want of nitrogen,” said the Deacon.

“Yes it can,” said I. “The cabbage, especially the early kinds, must
have in the soil a much larger quantity of available nitrogen than the
plants can use.”

I do not mean by this that a large crop of cabbage could be raised, year
after year, if furnished only with a large supply of available nitrogen.
In such a case, the soil would soon lack the necessary inorganic
ingredients. But, what I mean, is this: Where land has been heavily
manured for some years, we could often raise a good crop of cabbage by a
liberal dressing of available nitrogen, and still more frequently, if
nitrogen and phosphoric acid were both used.

You may use what would be considered an excessive quantity of ordinary
stable-manure, and grow a large crop of cabbage; but still, if you plant
cabbage the next year, without manure of any kind, you will get a small
crop; but dress it with a manure containing the necessary amount of
nitrogen, and you will, so far as the supply of plant-food is concerned,
be likely to get a good crop.

In such circumstances, I think an application of 800 lbs. of nitrate of
soda per acre, costing, say $32, would be likely to afford a very
handsome profit.

For lettuce, in addition to well prepared rich land, I should sow
3 lbs. of superphosphate to each square rod, scattered in the rows
before drilling in the seed. It will favor the formation of fibrous
roots and stimulate the growth of the young plants.

In raising onions from seed, we require an abundance of rich,
well-rotted manure, clean land, and early sowing.

Onions are often raised year after year on the same land. That this
entails a great waste of manure, is highly probable, but it is not an
easy matter to get ordinary farm-land properly prepared for onions. It
needs to be clean and free from stones and rubbish of all kinds, and
when once it is in good condition, it is thought better to continue it
in onions, even though it may entail more or less loss of fertility.

“What do you mean,” asked the Deacon, “by loss of manure?”

“Simply this,” said I. “We use a far greater amount of plant-food in the
shape of manure than is removed by the crop of onions. And yet,
notwithstanding this fact, it is found, as a matter of experience, that
it is absolutely necessary, if we would raise a large and profitable
crop, to manure it every year.”

A few experiments would throw much light on this matter. I should
expect, when land had been heavily dressed every year for a few years,
with stable-manure, and annually sown to onions, that 800 lbs. of
sulphate of ammonia, or of nitrate of soda, or 1,200 lbs. of Peruvian
guano would give as good a crop as 25 or 30 tons of manure. Or perhaps a
better plan would be to apply 10 or 15 loads of manure, and 600 lbs. of
guano, or 400 lbs. sulphate of ammonia.




The chief dependence of the market gardener must be on the stable-manure
which he can obtain from the city or village. The chief defect of this
manure is that it is not rich enough in available nitrogen. The active
nitrogen exists principally in the urine, and this in our city stables
is largely lost. A ton of fresh, unmixed horse-dung contains about 9
lbs. of nitrogen. A ton of horse-urine, 31 lbs. But this does not tell
the whole story. The nitrogen in the dung is contained in the crude,
undigested portions of the food. It is to a large extent insoluble and
unavailable, while the nitrogen in the urine is soluble and active.

The market-gardener, of course, has to take such manure as he can get,
and the only points to be considered are (1), whether he had better
continue to use an excessive quantity of the manure, or (2), to buy
substances rich in available nitrogen, and either mix them with the
manure, or apply them separately to the soil, or (3), whether he can use
this horse-manure as bedding for pigs to be fed on rich nitrogenous

The latter plan I adopt on my own farm, and in this way I get a very
rich and active manure. I get available nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and
potash, at far cheaper rates than they can be purchased in the best
commercial fertilizers.

Pigs void a large amount of urine, and as pigs are ordinarily kept, much
of this liquid is lost for want of sufficient bedding to absorb it. With
the market-gardener or nurseryman, who draws large quantities of
horse-manure from the city, this need not be the case. The necessary
buildings can be constructed at little cost, and the horse-manure can be
used freely. The pigs should be fed on food rich in nitrogen, such as
bran, malt-combs, brewers’ grains, the refuse animal matter from the
slaughter-houses or butchers’ stores, fish scrap, pea or lentil-meal,
palm-nut cake, or such food as will furnish the most nitrogenous food,
other things being equal, at the cheapest rate.

The market-gardener not only requires large quantities of rich manure,
but he wants them to act quickly. The nurseryman who sets out a block of
trees which will occupy the ground for three, four, or five years, may
want a “lasting manure,” but such is not the case with the gardener who
grows crops which he takes off the land in a few months. As long as he
continues to use horse or cow-manure freely, he need not trouble himself
to get a slow or lasting manure. His great aim should be to make the
manure as active and available as possible. And this is especially the
case if he occupies clayey or loamy land. On sandy land the manure will
decompose more rapidly and act quicker.

“There are many facts,” said the Doctor, “that show that an artificial
application of water is equivalent to an application of manure. It has
been shown that market-gardeners find it necessary to apply a much
larger amount of plant-food to the soil than the crops can take up. This
they have to do year after year. And it may well be that, when a supply
of water can be had at slight cost, it will be cheaper to irrigate the
land, or water the plants, rather than to furnish such an excess of
manure, as is now found necessary. Even with ordinary farm-crops, we
know that they feel the effects of drouth far less on rich land than on
poor land. In other words, a liberal supply of plant-food enables the
crops to flourish with less water; and, on the other hand, a greater
supply of water will enable the crops to flourish with a less supply of
plant-food. The market-gardeners should look into this question of


In growing garden and vegetable seeds, much labor is necessarily
employed per acre, and consequently it is of great importance to produce
a good yield. The best and cleanest land is necessary to start with, and
then manures must be appropriately and freely used.

“But not too freely,” said the Doctor, “for I am told it is quite
possible to have land too rich for seed-growing.”

It is not often that the land is too rich. Still, it may well be that
for some crops too much stable-manure is used. But in nine cases out of
ten, when such manure gives too much growth and too little or too poor
seed, the trouble is in the quality of the manure. It contains too much
carbonaceous matter. In other words, it is so poor in nitrogen and
phosphoric acid, that an excessive quantity has to be used.

The remedy consists in making richer manures and using a less quantity,
or use half the quantity of stable-manure, and apply the rectified or
prepared Peruvian guano, at the rate of 300 lbs. or 400 lbs. per acre,
or say 200 lbs. superphosphate and 200 lbs. nitrate of soda per acre.

Where it is very important to have the seeds ripen early, a liberal
dressing, say 400 lbs. per acre, of superphosphate of lime, will be
likely to prove beneficial.


I once had a small garden in the city, and having no manure, I depended
entirely on thorough cultivation and artificial fertilizers, such as
superphosphate and sulphate of ammonia. It was cultivated not for
profit, but for pleasure, but I never saw a more productive piece of
land. I had in almost every case two crops a year on the same land, and
on some plots three crops. No manure was used, except the superphosphate
and sulphate of ammonia, and coal and wood ashes from the house.

About 5 lbs. of sulphate of ammonia was sown broadcast to the square
rod, or worked into the soil very thoroughly in the rows where the seed
was to be sown. Superphosphate was applied at the same rate, but instead
of sowing it broadcast, I aimed to get it as near the seed or the roots
of plants as possible.

Half a teaspoonful of the mixture, consisting of equal parts of
superphosphate and sulphate of ammonia, stirred into a large three
gallon can of water, and sprinkled on to a bed of verbenas, seemed to
have a remarkable effect on the size and brilliancy of the flowers.

Even to this day, although I have a good supply of rich barnyard-manure,
I do not like to be without some good artificial manure for the garden.


The best manure for hot-beds is horse or sheep-dung that has been used
as bedding for pigs.

When fresh stable-manure is used, great pains should be taken to save
all the urine. In other words, you want the horse-dung thoroughly
saturated with urine.

The heat is produced principally from the carbon in the manure and
straw, but you need active nitrogenous matter to start the fire. And the
richer the manure is in nitrogenous matter, and the more thoroughly this
is distributed through the manure, the more readily will it ferment.
There is also another advantage in having rich manure, or manure well
saturated with urine. You can make the heap more compact. Poor manure
has to be made in a loose heap, or it will not ferment; but such manure
as we are talking about can be trodden down quite firm, and still
ferment rapid enough to give out the necessary heat, and this compact
heap will continue to ferment longer and give out a steadier heat, than
the loose heap of poor manure.


Our successful nurserymen purchase large quantities of stable and other
manures from the cities, drawing it as fast as it is made, and putting
it in piles until wanted. They usually turn the piles once or twice, and
often three times. This favors fermentation, greatly reducing it in
bulk, and rendering the manure much more soluble and active. It also
makes the manure in the heap more uniform in quality.

Messrs. Ellwanger & Barry tell me that they often ferment the manure
that they draw from the stables in the city, and make it so fine and
rich, that they get but one load of rotted manure from three loads as
drawn from the stables. For some crops, they use at least 20 loads of
this rotted manure per acre, and they estimate that each load of this
rotted manure costs at least $5.00.

H. E. Hooker places the cost of manure equally high, but seems willing
to use all he can get, and does not think we can profitably employ
artificial manures as a substitute.

In this I agree with him. But while I should not expect artificial
manures, when used alone, to prove as cheap or as valuable as
stable-manure at present prices, I think it may well be that a little
nitrate of soda, sulphate of ammonia, and superphosphate of lime, or
dissolved Peruvian guano, might be used as an _auxiliary_ manure to
great advantage.

Mr. H. E. Hooker, once sowed, at my suggestion, some sulphate of ammonia
and superphosphate on part of a block of nursery trees, and he could not
perceive that these manures did any good. Ellwanger & Barry also tried
them, and reported the same negative result. This was several years ago,
and I do not think any similar experiments have been made since.

“And yet,” said the Deacon, “you used these self same manures on
farm-crops, and they greatly increased the growth.”

“There are several reasons,” said the Doctor, “why these manures may
have failed to produce any marked effect on the nursery trees. In the
first place, there was considerable prejudice against them, and the
nurserymen would hardly feel like relying on these manures alone. They
probably sowed them on land already well manured; and I think they sowed
them too late in the season. I should like to see them fairly tried.”

So would I. It seems to me that nitrate of soda, and superphosphate, or
dissolved Peruvian guano, could be used with very great advantage and
profit by the nurserymen. Of course, it would hardly be safe to depend
upon them alone. They should be used either in connection with
stable-manure, or on land that had previously been frequently dressed
with stable-manure.


How to keep up the fertility of our apple-orchards, is becoming an
important question, and is attracting considerable attention.

There are two methods generally recommended--I dare not say generally
practised. The one, is to keep the orchard in bare-fallow; the other, to
keep it in grass, and top-dress with manure, and either eat the grass
off on the land with sheep and pigs, or else mow it frequently, and let
the grass rot on the surface, for mulch and manure.

“You are speaking now,” said the Deacon, “of bearing apple-orchards. No
one recommends keeping a young orchard in grass. We all know that young
apple trees do far better when the land is occupied with corn, potatoes,
beans, or some other crop, which can be cultivated, than they do on land
occupied with wheat, barley, oats, rye, buckwheat, or grass and clover.
And even with bearing peach trees, I have seen a wonderful difference in
an orchard, half of which was cultivated with corn, and the other half
sown with wheat. The trees in the wheat were sickly-looking, and bore a
small crop of inferior fruit, while the trees in the corn, grew
vigorously and bore a fine crop of fruit. And the increased value of the
crop of peaches on the cultivated land was far more than we can ever
hope to get from a crop of wheat.”

“And yet,” said the Doctor, “the crop of corn on the cultivated half of
the peach-orchard removed far more plant-food from the soil, than the
crop of wheat. And so it is evident that the difference is not due
wholly to the supply of manure in the surface-soil. It may well be that
the cultivation which the corn received favored the decomposition of
organic matter in the soil, and the formation of nitrates, and when the
rain came, it would penetrate deeper into the loose soil than on the
adjoining land occupied with wheat. The rain would carry the nitrogen
down to the roots of the peach trees, and this will account for the dark
green color of the leaves on the cultivated land, and the yellow,
sickly-looking leaves on the trees among the wheat.”


A bushel of corn fed to a hen would give no more nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, and potash, in the shape of manure, than a bushel of corn fed to a
pig. The manure from the pig, however, taking the urine and solid
excrement together, contain 82 per cent of water, while that from the
hen contains only 56 per cent of water. Moreover, hens pick up worms and
insects, and their food in such case would contain more nitrogen than
the usual food of pigs, and the manure would be correspondingly richer
in nitrogen. Hence it happens that 100 lbs. of _dry_ hen-manure would
usually be richer in nitrogen than 100 lbs. of _dry_ pig-manure. But
feed pigs on peas, and hens on corn, and the dry pig-manure would be
much richer in nitrogen than the dry hen-manure. The value of the
manure, other things being equal, depends on the food and not on the

Let no man think he is going to make his farm any richer by keeping
hens, ducks, and geese, than he will by keeping sheep, pigs, and horses.

“Why is it, then,” asked the Deacon, “that hen-dung proves such a
valuable manure. I would rather have a hundred lbs. of hen-dung than
half a ton of barnyard-manure?”

“And I presume you are right,” said I, “but you must recollect that your
hen-manure is kept until it is almost chemically dry. Let us figure up
what the half ton of manure and the 100 lbs. of hen-manure would
contain. Here are the figures, side by side:

                            | _100 lbs. dry | _Half ton
                            |  Hen-Manure._ | Cow-Dung
                            |               | with straw._
  Water (estimated)         |   12  lbs.    |   775  lbs.
  Organic Matter            |   51   ”      |   203   ”
  Ash                       |   37   ”      |    22   ”
  Nitrogen                  |    3¼  ”      |     3⅖  ”
  Potash                    |    1¾  ”      |     4   ”
  Lime                      |    4¾  ”      |     3   ”
  Phosphoric acid           |    3   ”      |     1½  ”

I would, myself, far rather have 100 lbs. of your dry hen-manure than
half a ton of your farmyard-manure. Your hens are fed on richer food
than your cows. The 100 lbs. of hen-manure, too, would act much more
rapidly than the half ton of cow-manure. It would probably do twice as
much good--possibly three or four times as much good, on the first crop,
as the cow-manure. The nitrogen, being obtained from richer and more
digestible food, is in a much more active and available condition than
the nitrogen in the cow-dung.

“If you go on,” said the Deacon, “I think you will prove that I am

“I have never doubted,” said I, “the great value of hen-dung, as
compared with barnyard-manure. And all I wish to show is, that,
notwithstanding its acknowledged value, the fact remains that a given
quantity of the same kind of food will give no greater amount of
fertilizing matter when fed to a hen than if fed to a pig.”

I want those farmers who find so much benefit from an application of
hen-manure, ashes, and plaster, to their corn and potatoes, to feel that
if they would keep better cows, sheep, and pigs, and feed them better,
they would get good pay for their feed, and the manure would enable them
to grow larger crops.

While we have been talking, the Deacon was looking over the tables. (See
Appendix.) “I see,” said he, “that wheat and rye contain more nitrogen
than hen-manure, but less potash and phosphoric acid.”

“This is true,” said I, “but the way to compare them, in order to see
the effect of passing the wheat through the hen, is to look at the
composition of the air-dried hen-dung. The fresh hen-dung, according to
the table, contains 56 per cent of water, while wheat contains less than
14½ per cent.”

Let us compare the composition of 1,000 lbs. air-dried hen-dung with
1,000 lbs. of air-dried wheat and rye, and also with bran, malt-combs,

                     _Nitrogen._  _Potash._     Acid._
  Wheat                 20.8         5.3         7.9
  Wheat Bran            22.4        14.3        27.3
  Rye                   17.6         5.6         8.4
  Rye Bran              23.2        19.3        34.3
  Buckwheat             14.4         2.7         5.7
  Buckwheat Bran        27.2        11.2        12.5
  Malt-roots            36.8        20.6        18.0
  Air-dry Hen-dung.     32.6        17.0        30.8

“That table,” said the Doctor, “is well worth studying. You see, that
when wheat is put through the process of milling, the miller takes out
as much of the starch and gluten as he wants, and leaves you a product
(bran), richer in phosphoric acid, potash, and nitrogen, than you gave

“And the same is true,” continued the Doctor, “of the hen. You gave her
2,000 grains of wheat, containing 41.6 grains of nitrogen. She puts this
through the mill, together with some ashes, and bones, that she picks
up, and she takes out all the starch and fat, and nitrogen, and
phosphate of lime, that she needs to sustain life, and to produce flesh,
bones, feathers, and eggs, and leaves you 1,000 grains of manure
containing 32.6 grains of nitrogen, 17.0 grains of potash, and 30.8
grains of phosphoric acid. I do not say,” continued the Doctor, “that it
takes exactly 2,000 grains of wheat to make 1,000 grains of dry manure.
I merely give these figures to enable the Deacon to understand why 1,000
lbs. of hen-dung is worth more for manure than 1,000 lbs. of wheat.”

“I must admit,” said the Deacon, “that I always have been troubled to
understand why wheat-bran was worth more for manure than the wheat
itself, I see now--it is because there is less of it. It is for the same
reason that boiled cider is richer than the cider from which it is made.
The cider has lost water, and the bran has lost starch. What is left is
richer in nitrogen, and potash, and phosphoric acid. And so it is with
manure. The animals take out of the food the starch and fat, and leave
the manure richer in nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash.”

“Exactly,” said I, “Mr. Lawes found by actual experiment, that if you
feed 500 lbs. of barley-meal to a pig, containing 420 lbs. of _dry
substance_, you get only 70 lbs. of dry substance in the manure. Of the
420 lbs. of dry substance, 276.2 lbs. are used to support respiration,
etc.; 73.8 lbs. are found in the increase of the pig, and 70 lbs. in the

The food contains 52 lbs. of nitrogenous matter; the increase of pig
contains 7 lbs., and consequently, if there is no loss, the manure
should contain 45 lbs. of nitrogenous substance = to 7.14 lbs. of

“In other words,” said the Doctor, “the 70 lbs. of _dry_ liquid and
solid pig-manure contains 7.14 lbs. of nitrogen, or 100 lbs. would
contain 10.2 lbs. of nitrogen, which is more nitrogen than we now get in
the very best samples of Peruvian guano.”

“And thus it will be seen,” said I, “that though corn-fed pigs, leaving
out the bedding and water, produce a very small quantity of manure, it
is exceedingly rich.”

The table from which these facts were obtained, will be found in the
Appendix--pages 342-3.




“It will do more good if fermented,” said a German farmer in the
neighborhood, who is noted for raising good crops of cabbage, “but I
like hog-manure better than cow-dung. The right way is to mix the
hog-manure, cow-dung, and horse-manure together.”

“No doubt about that,” said I, “but when you have a good many cows, and
few other animals, how would you manage the manure?”

“I would gather leaves and swamp-muck, and use them for bedding the cows
and pigs. Leaves make splendid bedding, and they make rich manure, and
the cow-dung and leaves, when made into a pile, will ferment readily,
and make grand manure for--anything. I only wish I had all I could use.”

There is no question but what cow-manure is better if fermented, but it
is not always convenient to pile it during the winter in such a way that
it will not freeze. And in this case it may be the better plan to draw
it out on to the land, as opportunity offers.

“I have heard,” said Charley, “that pig-manure was not good for cabbage,
it produces ‘fingers and toes,’ or club-foot.”

Possibly such is the case when there is a predisposition to the disease,
but our German friend says he has never found any ill-effects from its

“Cows,” said the Doctor, “when giving a large quantity of milk, make
rather poor manure. The manure loses what the milk takes from the food.”

“We have shown what that loss is,” said I. “It amounts to less than I
think is generally supposed. And in the winter, when the cows are dry,
the manure would be as rich as from oxen, provided both were fed alike.
See Appendix, page 342. It will there be seen that oxen take out only
4.1 lbs. of nitrogen from 100 lbs. of nitrogen consumed in the food. In
other words, provided there is no loss, we should get in the liquid and
solid excrements of the ox and dry cow 95.9 per cent of the nitrogen
furnished in the food, and a still higher per cent of the mineral


According to Prof. Wolff’s table of analyses, sheep-manure, both solid
and liquid, contain less water than the manure from horses, cows, or
swine. With the exception of swine, the solid dung is also the richest
in nitrogen, while the urine of sheep is pre-eminently rich in nitrogen
and potash.

These facts are in accordance with the general opinions of farmers.
Sheep-manure is considered, next to hen-manure, the most valuable manure
made on the farm.

I do not think we have any satisfactory evidence to prove that 3 tons of
clover-hay and a ton of corn fed to a lot of fattening-sheep will afford
a quantity of manure containing any more plant-food than the same kind
and amount of food fed to a lot of fattening-cattle. The experiments of
Lawes & Gilbert indicate that if there is any difference it is in favor
of the ox. See Appendix, page 343. But it may well be that it is much
easier to save the manure from the sheep than from the cattle. And so,
practically, sheep may be better manure-makers than cattle--for the
simple reason that less of the urine is lost.

“As a rule,” said the Doctor, “the dung of sheep contains far less water
than the dung of cattle, though when you slop your breeding ewes to make
them give more milk, the dung differs but little in appearance from that
of cows. Ordinarily, however, sheep-dung is light and dry, and, like
horse-dung, will ferment much more rapidly than cow or pig-dung. In
piling manure in the winter or spring, special pains should be used to
mix the sheep and horse-manure with the cow and pig-manure. And it may
be remarked that for any crop or for any purpose where stable-manure is
deemed desirable, sheep-manure would be a better substitute than cow or


The dry matter of hog-manure, especially the urine, is rich in nitrogen,
but it is mixed with such a large quantity of water that a ton of
hog-manure, as it is usually found in the pen, is less valuable than a
ton of horse or sheep-manure, and only a little more valuable than a ton
of cow-manure.

As I have before said, my own plan is to let the store-hogs sleep in a
basement-cellar, and bed them with horse and sheep-manure. I have this
winter over 50 sows under the horse-stable, and the manure from 8 horses
keeps them dry and comfortable, and we are not specially lavish with
straw in bedding the horses.

During the summer we aim to keep the hogs out in the pastures and
orchards as much as possible. This is not only good for the health of
the pigs, but saves labor and straw in the management of the manure. It
goes directly to the land. The pigs are good grazers and distribute the
manure as evenly over the land as sheep--in fact, during hot weather,
sheep are even more inclined to huddle together under the trees, and by
the side of the fence, than pigs. This is particularly the case with the
larger breeds of sheep.

In the winter it is not a difficult matter to save all the liquid and
solid excrements from pigs, provided the pens are dry and no water comes
in from the rain and snow. As pigs are often managed, this is the real
difficulty. Pigs void an enormous quantity of water, especially when fed
on slops from the house, whey, etc. If they are kept in a pen with a
separate feeding and sleeping apartment, both should be under cover, and
the feeding apartment may be kept covered a foot or so thick with the
soiled bedding from the sleeping apartment. When the pigs get up in a
morning, they will go into the feeding apartment, and the liquid will be
discharged on the mass of manure, straw, etc.

“Dried muck,” said the Deacon, “comes in very handy about a pig-pen, for
absorbing the liquid.”

“Yes,” said I, “and even dry earth can be used to great advantage, not
merely to absorb the liquid, but to keep the pens sweet and healthy. The
three chief points in saving manure from pigs are: 1, To have the pens
under cover; 2, to keep the feeding apartment or yard covered with a
thick mass of strawy manure and refuse of any kind, and 3, to scatter
plenty of dry earth or dry muck on the floor of the sleeping apartment,
and on top of the manure in the feeding apartment.”

“You feed most of your pigs,” said the Deacon, “out of doors in the
yard, and they sleep in the pens or basement cellars, and it seems to me
to be a good plan, as they get more fresh air and exercise than if

“We do not lose much manure,” said I, “by feeding in the yards. You let
a dozen pigs sleep in a pen all night, and as soon as they hear you
putting the food in the troughs outside, they come to the door of the
pen, and there discharge the liquid and solid excrements on the mass of
manure left there on purpose to receive and absorb them. I am well aware
that as pigs are often managed, we lose at least half the value of their
manure, but there is no necessity for this. A little care and thought
will save nearly the whole of it.”


The Deacon and I have just been weighing a bushel of different kinds of
manure made on the farm. We made two weighings of each kind, one thrown
in loose, and the other pressed down firm. The following is the result:

  Weight of Manure per Bushel, and per Load of 50 Bushels.

  Wt/Bu   Weight per Bushel in lbs.
  Wt/Load Weight per Load of 50 bushels.

  No.|          Kind And Condition Of Manures.    | Wt/Bu | Wt/Load
     |                                            | lbs.  |  lbs.
   1.|Fresh horse-manure free from straw          |  37½  |  1875
   2.|  ”     ”     ”      ”    ”    ”   pressed  |  55   |  2750
   3.|Fresh horse-manure,                         |       |
     |  as used for bedding pigs                  |  28   |  1400
   4.|  ”     ”     ”                             |       |
     |   ”    ”  ”    ”     ”    pressed          |  46   |  2300
   5.|Horse-manure from pig cellar                |  50   |  2500
   6.|   ”    ”     ”    ”    ”    pressed        |  72   |  3600
   7.|Pig-manure                                  |  57   |  2850
   8.| ”    ”    pressed                          |  75   |  3750
   9.|Pig-manure and dry earth                    |  98   |  4900
  10.|Sheep-manure from open shed                 |  42   |  2100
  11.|  ”     ”     ”    ”    ”   pressed         |  65   |  3250
  12.|Sheep-manure from closed shed               |  28   |  1400
  13.|  ”     ”     ”     ”     ”   pressed       |  38   |  1900
  14.|Fresh cow-dung, free from straw             |  87   |  4350
  15.|Hen-manure                                  |  34   |  1700
  16.| ”    ”    pressed                          |  48   |  2400

“In buying manure,” said the Deacon, “it makes quite a difference
whether the load is trod down solid or thrown loosely into the box.
A load of fresh horse-manure, when trod down, weighs half as much again
as when thrown in loose.”

“A load of horse-manure,” said Charley, “after it has been used for
bedding pigs, weighs 3,600 lbs., and only 2,300 lbs. when it is thrown
into the pens, and I suppose a ton of the ‘double-worked’ manure is
fully as valuable as a ton of the fresh horse-manure. If so, 15 ‘loads’
of the pig-pen manure is equal to 24 ‘loads’ of the stable-manure.”

“A ton of fresh horse-manure,” said the Doctor, “contains about 9 lbs.
of nitrogen; a ton of fresh cow-dung about 6 lbs.; a ton of fresh
sheep-dung, 11 lbs., and a ton of fresh pig-manure, 12 lbs. But if the
Deacon and you weighed correctly, a ‘load’ or cord of cow-manure would
contain more nitrogen than a load of pressed horse-manure. The figures
are as follows:

  A load of 50 bushels of fresh horse-dung,
      pressed and free from straw contains   12.37 lbs. nitrogen.
  A load of fresh cow-dung                   13.05  ”    ”
      ”     ”     sheep ”                    10.45  ”    ”
      ”     ”     pig   ”                    22.50  ”    ”

“These figures,” said I, “show how necessary it is to look at this
subject in all its aspects. If I was buying manures _by weight,_ I would
much prefer a ton of sheep-manure, if it had been made under cover, to
any other manure except hen-dung, especially if it contained all the
urine from the sheep. But if buying manure by the load or cord, that
from a covered pig-pen would be preferable to any other.”


I have never had any personal experience in the use of liquid manure to
any crop except grass. At Rothamsted, Mr. Lawes used to draw out the
liquid manure in a water-cart, and distribute it on grass land.

“What we want to know,” said the Deacon, “is whether the liquid from our
barn-yards will pay to draw out. If it will, the proper method of using
it can be left to our ingenuity.”

According to Prof. Wolff, a ton of urine from horses, cows, sheep, and
swine, contains the following amounts of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and
potash, and, for the sake of comparison, I give the composition of
drainage from the barn-yard, and also of fresh dung of the different

  Table Showing the Amount of Nitrogen, Phosphoric Acid, and Potash,
  in One Ton of the Fresh Dung and Fresh Urine of Different Animals,
  and Also of the Drainage of the Barn-Yard.

  Phos(phoric) Acid.

                 | 1 Ton Fresh Dung.    | 1 Ton Fresh Urine.
                 |Nitro. |Phos.  | Pot. |Nitro. |Phos.  | Pot.
                 |       |acid.  |      |       |acid.  |
                 | lbs.  |  lbs. | lbs. | lbs.  | lbs.  | lbs.
  Horse          |  8.8  |   7.0 | 7.0  | 31.0  |       |  30.0
  Cow            |  5.8  |   3.4 | 2.0  | 11.6  |       |   9.8
  Sheep          | 11.0  |   6.2 | 3.0  | 39.0  |  0.2  |  45.2
  Swine          | 12.0  |   8.2 | 5.2  |  8.6  |  1.4  |  16.6
  Mean           |  9.4  |   6.2 | 4.3  | 22.5  |  0.4  |  25.4
  Drainage of    |       |       |      |       |       |
      barn-yard  |       |       |      |  3.0  |  0.2  |   9.8

The drainage from a barn-yard, it will be seen, contains a little more
than half as much nitrogen as cow-dung; and it is probable that the
nitrogen in the liquid is in a much more available condition than that
in the dung. It contains, also, nearly five times as much potash as the
dung. It would seem, therefore, that with proper arrangements for
pumping and distributing, this liquid could be drawn a short distance
with profit.

But whether it will or will not pay to cart away the drainage, it is
obviously to our interest to prevent, as far as possible, any of the
liquid from running to waste.

It is of still greater importance to guard against any loss of urine. It
will be seen that, on the average, a ton of the urine of our domestic
animals contains more than twice as much nitrogen as a ton of the dung.

Where straw, leaves, swamp-muck, or other absorbent materials are not
sufficiently abundant to prevent any loss of urine, means should be used
to drain it into a tank so located that the liquid can either be pumped
back on to the manure when needed, or drawn away to the land.

“I do not see,” said the Deacon, “why horse and sheep-urine should
contain so much more nitrogen and potash than that from the cow and

“The figures given by Prof. Wolff,” said I, “are general averages. The
composition of the urine varies greatly. The richer the food in
digestible nitrogenous matter, the more nitrogen will there be in the
dry matter of the urine. And, other things being equal, the less water
the animal drinks, the richer will the urine be in nitrogen. The urine
from a sheep fed solely on turnips would contain little or no more
nitrogen than the urine of a cow fed on turnips. An ox or a dry cow fed
on grass would probably void no more nor no poorer urine than a horse
fed on grass. The urine that Mr. Lawes drew out in a cart on to his
grass-land was made by sheep that had one lb. each of oil-cake per day,
and one lb. of chaffed clover-hay, and all the turnips they would eat.
They voided a large quantity of urine, but as the food was rich in
nitrogen, the urine was doubtless nearly or quite as rich as that
analyzed by Prof. Wolff, though that probably contained less water.”

If I was going to draw out liquid manure, I should be very careful to
spout all the buildings, and keep the animals and manure as much under
cover as possible, and also feed food rich in nitrogen. In such
circumstances, it would doubtless pay to draw the urine full as well as
to draw the solid manure.


The composition of human excrements, as compared with the mean
composition of the excrements from horses, cows, sheep, and swine, so
far as the nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash are concerned, is as

  Table Showing the Amount of Nitrogen, Phosphoric Acid, and Potash,
  in One Ton of Fresh Human Excrements, and in One Ton of Fresh
  Excrements From Horses, Cows, Sheep, and Swine.

  Phos(phoric) Acid.

             |          Solids            |          Urine
   One ton   +---------+---------+--------+---------+--------+---------
  (2000 lbs).|         |  Phos.  |        |         |  Phos. |
             |Nitrogen.|  acid.  |Potash. |Nitrogen.|  acid. |Potash.
  Human      |20.0 lbs.|21.8 lbs.|5.0 lbs.|12.0 lbs.|3.7 lbs.| 4.0 lbs.
  Mean of    |         |         |        |         |        |
  horse, cow,|         |         |        |         |        |
  sheep, and |         |         |        |         |        |
  swine      | 9.4  ”  | 6.2  ”  |4.3  ”  |22.5  ”  |0.4  ”  |25.4  ”

One ton of fresh fæces contains more than twice as much nitrogen, and
more than three times as much phosphoric acid, as a ton of fresh mixed
animal-dung. The nitrogen, too, is probably in a more available
condition than that in common barnyard-dung; and we should not be far
wrong in estimating 1 ton of fæces equal to 2½ tons of ordinary dung, or
about equal in value to carefully preserved manure from liberally-fed
sheep, swine, and fattening cattle.

“It is an unpleasant job,” said the Deacon, “but it pays well to empty
the vaults at least twice a year.”

“If farmers,” said the Doctor, “would only throw into the vaults from
time to time some dry earth or coal ashes, the contents of the vaults
could be removed without any disagreeable smell.”

“That is so,” said I, “and even where a vault has been shamefully
neglected, and is full of offensive matter, it can be cleaned out
without difficulty and without smell. I have cleaned out a large vault
in an hour. We were drawing manure from the yards with three teams and
piling it in the field. We brought back a load of sand and threw half of
it into the vault, and put the other half on one side, to be used as
required. The sand and fæces were then, with a long-handled shovel,
thrown into the wagon, and drawn to the pile of manure in the field, and
thrown on to the pile, not more than two or three inches thick. The team
brought back a load of sand, and so we continued until the work was
done. Sand or dry earth is cheap, and we used all that was necessary to
prevent the escape of any unpleasant gases, and to keep the material
from adhering to the shovels or the wagon.”

“Human urine,” said the Doctor, “is richer in phosphoric acid, but much
poorer in nitrogen and potash than the urine from horses, cows, sheep,
and swine.”

“Some years ago,” said the Deacon, “Mr. H. E. Hooker, of Rochester, used
to draw considerable quantities of urine from the city to his farm. It
would pay better to draw out the urine from farm animals.”

“The figures given above,” said I, “showing the composition of human
excrements, are from Prof. Wolff, and probably are generally correct.
But, of course, the composition of the excrements would vary greatly,
according to the food.”

It has been ascertained by Lawes and Gilbert that the amount of matter
voided by an adult male in the course of a year is--fæces, 95 lbs.;
urine, 1,049 lbs.; total liquid and solid excrements in the pure state,
1,144 lbs. These contain:

  Dry substance--fæces, 23¾ lbs.; urine, 34½; total, 58¼ lbs.
  Mineral matter--fæces, 2½ lbs.; urine, 12; total, 14½ lbs.
  Carbon--fæces, 10 lbs.; urine, 12; total 22 lbs.
  Nitrogen--fæces, 1.2 lbs.; urine, 10.8; total, 12 lbs.
  Phosphoric acid--fæces, 0.7 lbs.; urine, 1.93; total, 2.63 lbs.
  Potash--fæces, 0.24 lbs.; urine, 2.01; total, 2.25 lbs.

The amount of potash is given by Prof. E. Wolff, not by Lawes and

The mixed solid and liquid excrements, in the condition they leave the
body, contain about 95 per cent of water. It would require, therefore,
20 tons of fresh mixed excrements, to make one ton of _dry_ nightsoil,
or the entire amount voided by a mixed family of 43 persons in a year.

One hundred lbs. of fresh fæces contain 75 lbs. of water, and 25 lbs. of
dry substance.

One hundred lbs. of fresh urine contain 96½ lbs. of water, and 3½ lbs.
of dry substance.

One hundred lbs. of the dry substance of the fæces contain 5 lbs. of
nitrogen, and 5½ lbs. of phosphates.

One hundred lbs. of the dry substance of the urine contain 27 lbs. of
nitrogen, and 10¾ lbs. of phosphates.

These figures are from Lawes and Gilbert, and may be taken as
representing the composition of excrements from moderately well-fed

According to Wolff, a ton of fresh human urine contains 12 lbs. of
nitrogen. According to Lawes and Gilbert, 18 lbs.

The liquid carted from the city by Mr. Hooker was from well-fed adult
males, and would doubtless be fully equal to the figures given by Lawes
and Gilbert. If we call the nitrogen worth 20 cents a lb., and the
phosphoric acid (soluble) worth 12½ cents, a ton of such urine would be
worth, _on the land_, $1.06.

“A ton of the fresh fæces,” said the Deacon, “at the same estimate,
would be worth (20 lbs. nitrogen, at 20 cents, $4; 21¾ lbs. phosphoric
acid, at 12½ cents, $2.70), $6.70.”

“Not by a good deal,” said the Doctor. “The nitrogen and phosphoric acid
in the urine are both soluble, and would be immediately available. But
the nitrogen and phosphoric acid in the fæces would be mostly insoluble.
We cannot estimate the nitrogen in the fæces at over 15 cents a lb., and
the phosphoric acid at 5 cents. This would make the value of a ton of
fresh fæces, _on the land_, $4.09.”

“This makes the ton of fæces worth about the same as a ton of urine. But
I would like to know,” said the Deacon, “if you really believe we could
afford to pay $4 per ton for the stuff delivered on the farm?”

“If we could get the genuine article,” said the Doctor, “it would be
worth $4 a ton. But, as a rule, it is mixed with water, and dirt, and
stones, and bricks, and rubbish of all kinds. Still, it is
unquestionably a valuable fertilizer.”

“In the dry-earth closets,” said I, “such a large quantity of earth has
to be used to absorb the liquid, that the material, even if used several
times, is not worth carting any considerable distance. Dr. Gilbert found
that 5 tons of absolutely dry earth, before using, contained 16.7 lbs.
of nitrogen.

  After being used _once_,  5 tons of the dry earth contained 24.0 lbs.
    ”     ”    ”   twice,       ”    ”     ”    ”       ”     36.3  ”
    ”     ”    ”   three times, ”    ”     ”    ”       ”     44.6  ”
    ”     ”    ”   four times,  ”    ”     ”    ”       ”     54.0  ”
    ”     ”    ”   five times,  ”    ”     ”    ”       ”     61.4  ”
    ”     ”    ”   six times,   ”    ”     ”    ”       ”     71.6  ”

Dr. Vœlcker found that five tons of dry earth gained about 7 lbs. of
nitrogen, and 11 lbs. of phosphoric acid, each time it was used in the
closets. If we consider each lb. of nitrogen with the phosphoric acid
worth 20 cents a lb., 5 tons of the dry earth, after being used once,
would be worth $1.46, or less than 30 cents a ton, and after it had been
used six times, five tons of the material would be worth $11.98, or
about $2.40 per ton.

In this calculation I have not reckoned in the value of the nitrogen the
soil contained before using. Soil, on a farm, is cheap.

It is clear from these facts that any earth-closet manure a farmer would
be likely to purchase in the city has not a very high value. It is
absurd to talk of making “guano” or any concentrated fertilizer out of
the material from earth-closets.

“It is rather a reflection on our science and practical skill,” said the
Doctor, “but it looks at present as though the only plan to adopt in
large cities is to use enormous quantities of water and wash the stuff
into the rivers and oceans for the use of aquatic plants and fishes. The
nitrogen is not all lost. Some of it comes back to us in rains and dews.
Of course, there are places where the sewage of our cities and villages
can be used for irrigating purposes. But when water is used as freely as
it ought to be used for health, the sewage is so extremely poor in
fertilizing matter, that it must be used in enormous quantities, to
furnish a dressing equal to an application of 20 tons of stable-manure
per acre.”

“If,” continued the Doctor, “the sewage is used merely as _water_ for
irrigating purposes, that is another question. The water itself may
often be of great benefit. This aspect of the question has not received
the attention it merits.”


Guano is the manure of birds that live principally on fish.

Fish contain a high percentage of nitrogen and phosphoric acid, and
consequently when fish are digested and the carbon is burnt out of them,
the manure that is left contains a still higher percentage of nitrogen
and phosphoric acid than the fish from which it was derived.

Guano is digested fish. If the guano, or the manure from the birds
living on fish, has been preserved without loss, it would contain not
only a far higher percentage of nitrogen, but the nitrogen would be in a
much more available condition, and consequently be more valuable than
the fish from which the guano is made.

The difference in the value of guano is largely due to a difference in
the climate and locality in which it is deposited by the birds. In a
rainless and hot climate, where the bird-droppings would dry rapidly,
little or no putrefaction or fermentation would take place, and there
would be no loss of nitrogen from the formation and escape of ammonia.

In a damper climate, or where there was more or less rain, the
bird-droppings would putrefy, and the ammonia would be liable to
evaporate, or to be leached out by the rain.

Thirty years ago I saw a quantity of Peruvian guano that contained more
than 18 per cent of nitrogen. It was remarkably light colored. You know
that the white part of hen-droppings consists principally of uric acid,
which contains about 33 per cent of nitrogen.

For many years it was not difficult to find guano containing 13 per cent
of nitrogen, and genuine Peruvian guano was the cheapest and best source
of available nitrogen. But latterly, not only has the price been
advanced, but the quality of the guano has deteriorated. It has
contained less nitrogen and more phosphoric acid. See the Chapter on
“Value of Fertilizers,” Page 324.


“I wish,” said the Deacon, “you would tell us something about the
‘ammonia-salts’ and nitrate of soda so long used in Lawes and Gilbert’s
experiments. I have never seen any of them.”

“You could not invest a little money to better advantage than to send
for a few bags of sulphate of ammonia and nitrate of soda. You would
then see what they are, and would learn more by using them, than I can
tell you in a month. You use them just as you would common salt. As a
rule, the better plan is to sow them broadcast, and it is important to
distribute them evenly. In sowing common salt, if you drop a handful in
a place, it will kill the plants. And so it is with nitrate of soda or
sulphate of ammonia. Two or three pounds on a square rod will do good,
but if you put half of it on a square yard, it will burn up the crop,
and the other half will be applied in such a small quantity that you
will see but little effect, and will conclude that it is a humbug.
Judging from over thirty years’ experience, I am safe in saying that not
one man in ten can be trusted to sow these manures. They should be sown
with as much care as you sow grass or clover-seed.”

“The best plan,” said the Doctor, “is to mix them with sifted
coal-ashes, or with gypsum, or sifted earth.”

“Perhaps so,” said I, “though there is nothing gained by mixing earth or
ashes with them, except in securing a more even distribution. And if I
was going to sow them myself, I would much prefer sowing them unmixed.
Any man who can sow wheat or barley can sow sulphate of ammonia or
nitrate of soda.”

“Lawes and Gilbert,” said the Deacon, “used sulphate and muriate of
ammonia, and in one or two instances the carbonate of ammonia. Which is
the best?”

“The one that will furnish ammonia or nitrogen at the cheapest rate,”
said the Doctor, “is the best to use. The muriate of ammonia contains
the most ammonia, but the sulphate, in proportion to the ammonia, is
cheaper than the muriate, and far cheaper than the carbonate.”

Carbonate of ammonia contains 21½ per cent of ammonia.

Sulphate of ammonia contains 25¾ per cent of ammonia = 21⅕ of nitrogen.

Muriate of ammonia contains 31 per cent of ammonia = 25½ of nitrogen.

Nitrate of soda contains 16⅖ per cent of nitrogen.

Nitrate of potash, 13¾ per cent of nitrogen.

From these figures you can ascertain, when you know the price of each,
which is the cheapest source of nitrogen.

“True,” said I, “but it must be understood that these figures represent
the composition of a pure article. The commercial sulphate of ammonia,
and nitrate of soda, would usually contain 10 per cent of impurities.
Lawes and Gilbert, who have certainly had much experience, and doubtless
get the best commercial articles, state that a mixture of equal parts
sulphate and muriate of ammonia contains about 25 per cent of ammonia.
According to the figures given by the Doctor, the mixture would contain,
if pure, over 28 per cent of ammonia. In other words, 90 lbs. of the
pure article contains as much as 100 lbs. of the commercial article.”

As to whether it is better, when you can buy nitrogen at the same price
in nitrate of soda as you can in sulphate of ammonia, to use the one or
the other will depend on circumstances. The nitrogen exists as nitric
acid in the nitrate of soda, and as ammonia in the sulphate of ammonia.
But there are good reasons to believe that before ammonia is used by the
plants it is converted into nitric acid. If, therefore, we could apply
the nitrate just where it is wanted by the growing crop, and when there
is rain enough to thoroughly distribute it through the soil to the depth
of six or eight inches, there can be little doubt that the nitrate, in
proportion to the nitrogen, would have a quicker and better effect than
the sulphate of ammonia.

“There is another point to be considered,” said the Doctor. “Nitric acid
is much more easily washed out of the soil than ammonia. More or less of
the ammonia enters into chemical combination with portions of the soil,
and may be retained for months or years.”

When we use nitrate of soda, we run the risk of losing more or less of
it from leaching, while if we use ammonia, we lose, for the time being,
more or less of it from its becoming locked up in insoluble combinations
in the soil. For spring crops, such as barley or oats, or spring wheat,
or for a meadow or lawn, or for top-dressing winter-wheat in the spring,
the nitrate of soda, provided it is sown early enough, or at any time in
the spring, just previous to a heavy rain, is likely to produce a better
effect than the sulphate of ammonia. But for sowing in the autumn on
winter-wheat the ammonia is to be preferred.

“Saltpetre, or nitrate of potash,” said the Deacon, “does not contain as
much nitrogen as nitrate of soda.”

“And yet,” said the Doctor, “if it could be purchased at the same price,
it would be the cheaper manure. It contains 46½ per cent of potash, and
on soils, or for crops where potash is needed, we may sometimes be able
to purchase saltpetre to advantage.”

“If I could come across a lot of damaged saltpetre,” said I, “that could
be got for what it is worth as manure, I should like to try it on my
apple trees--one row with nitrate of soda, and one row with nitrate of
potash. When we apply manure to apple trees, the ammonia, phosphoric
acid, and potash, are largely retained in the first few inches of
surface soil, and the deeper roots get hold of only those portions which
leach through the upper layer of earth. Nitric acid, however, is easily
washed down into the subsoil, and would soon reach all the roots of the



Bone-dust is often spoken of as a phosphatic manure, and it has been
supposed that the astonishing effect bone-dust sometimes produces on old
pasture-land, is due to its furnishing phosphoric acid to the soil.

But it must be remembered that bone-dust furnishes nitrogen as well as
phosphoric acid, and we are not warranted in ascribing the good effect
of bones to phosphoric acid alone.

Bones differ considerably in composition. They consist essentially of
gelatine and phosphate of lime. Bones from young animals, and the soft
porous parts of all bones, contain more gelatine than the solid parts,
or the bones from older animals. On the average, 1,000 lbs. of good
commercial bone-dust contains 38 lbs. of nitrogen.

On the old dairy farms of Cheshire, where bone-dust produced such marked
improvement in the quantity and quality of the pastures and meadows, it
was usual to apply from 4,000 to 5,000 lbs. per acre, and often more. In
other words, a dressing of bone-dust frequently contained 200 lbs. of
nitrogen per acre--equal to 20 or 25 tons of barn-yard manure.

“It has been supposed,” said the Doctor, “that owing to the removal of
so much phosphoric acid in the cheese sold from the farm, that the dairy
pastures of Cheshire had been exhausted of phosphoric acid, and that the
wonderful benefits following an application of bone-dust to these
pastures, was due to its supplying phosphoric acid.”

“I do not doubt,” said I, “the value of phosphoric acid when applied in
connection with nitrogen to old pasture lands, but I contend that the
experience of the Cheshire dairymen with bone-dust is no positive proof
that their soils were particularly deficient in phosphoric acid. There
are many instances given where the gelatine of the bones, alone, proved
of great value to the grass. And I think it will be found that the
Cheshire dairymen do not find as much benefit from superphosphate as
they did from bone-dust. And the reason is, that the latter, in addition
to the phosphoric acid, furnished a liberal dressing of nitrogen.
Furthermore, it is not true that dairying specially robs the soil of
phosphoric acid. Take one of these old dairy farms in Cheshire, where a
dressing of bone-dust, according to a writer in the Journal of the Royal
Agricultural Society, has caused ‘a miserable covering of pink grass,
rushes, and a variety of other noxious weeds, to give place to the most
luxuriant herbage of wild clover, trefoil, and other succulent and
nutritious grasses.’ It is evident from this description of the pastures
before the bones were used, that it would take at least three acres to
keep a cow for a year.”

“I have known,” says the same writer quoted above, “many a poor, honest,
but half broken-hearted man raised from poverty to comparative
independence, and many a sinking family saved from inevitable ruin by
the help of this wonderful manure.” And this writer not only spoke from
observation and experience, but he showed his faith by his works, for he
tells us that he had paid nearly $50,000 for this manure.

Now, on one of these poor dairy farms, where it required 3 acres to keep
a cow, and where the grass was of poor quality, it is not probable that
the cows produced over 250 lbs. of cheese in a year. One thousand pounds
of cheese contains, on the average, about 45½ lbs. of nitrogen; 2½ lbs.
of potash, and 11½ lbs. of phosphoric acid. From this it follows, if 250
lbs. of cheese are sold annually from three acres of pasture, less than
one lb. of phosphoric acid per acre is exported from the farm in the

One ton of timothy-hay contains nearly 14½ lbs. of phosphoric acid. And
so a farmer who raises a ton of timothy-hay per acre, and sells it,
sends off as much phosphoric acid in one year as such a Cheshire
dairyman as I have alluded to did in fourteen years.

What the dairymen want, and what farmers generally want, is nitrogen
_and_ phosphoric acid. Bone-dust furnishes both, and this was the reason
of its wonderful effects.

It does not follow from this, that bone-dust is the cheapest and best
manure we can use. It is an old and popular manure, and usually commands
a good price. It sells for all it is worth. A dozen years ago, I bought
ten tons of bone-dust at $18 per ton. I have offered $25 per ton since
for a similar lot, but the manufacturers find a market in New York for
all they can make.

Bone-dust, besides nitrogen, contains about 23 per cent of phosphoric

“That does not give me,” said the Deacon, “any idea of its value.”

“Let us put it in another shape, then,” said I. “One ton of good
bone-dust contains about as much nitrogen as 8½ tons of fresh
stable-manure, and as much phosphoric acid as 110 tons of fresh
stable-manure. But one ton of manure contains more potash than 5 tons of

Bone-dust, like barnyard-manure, does not immediately yield up its
nitrogen and phosphoric acid to plants. The bone phosphate of lime is
insoluble in water, and but very slightly soluble in water containing
carbonic acid. The gelatine of the bones would soon decompose in a
moist, porous, warm soil, provided it was not protected by the oil and
by the hard matter of the bones. Steaming, by removing the oil, removes
one of the hindrances to decomposition. Reducing the bones as fine as
possible is another means of increasing their availability.

Another good method of increasing the availability of bone-dust is to
mix it with barnyard-manure, and let both ferment together in a heap.
I am inclined to think this the best, simplest, and most economical
method of rendering bone-dust available. The bone-dust causes the heap
of manure to ferment more readily, and the fermentation of the manure
softens the bones. Both the manure and the bones are improved and
rendered richer and more available by the process.

Another method of increasing the availability of bone-dust is by mixing
it with sulphuric acid.

The phosphate of lime in bones is insoluble in water, though rain water
containing carbonic acid, and the water in soils, slowly dissolve it. By
treating the bones with sulphuric acid, the phosphate of lime is
decomposed and rendered soluble. Consequently, bone-dust treated with
sulphuric acid will act much more rapidly than ordinary bone-dust. The
sulphuric acid does not make it any _richer_ in phosphoric acid or
nitrogen. It simply renders them more available.

“And yet,” said the Doctor, “the use of sulphuric acid for ‘dissolving’
bones, or rather phosphate of lime, introduced a new era in agriculture.
It is the grand agricultural fact of the nineteenth century.”

“It is perhaps not necessary,” said I, “to give any direction for
treating bones with sulphuric acid. We have got beyond that. We can now
buy superphosphate cheaper than we can make it from bones.”

“But is it as good?” asked the Deacon.

“Soluble phosphate of lime,” said I, “is soluble phosphate of lime, and
it makes no difference whether it is made from burnt bones, or from
phosphatic guano, or mineral phosphate. That question has been fully
decided by the most satisfactory experiments.”

“Before you and the Deacon discuss that subject,” said the Doctor, “it
would be well to tell Charley what superphosphate is.”

“I wish you would tell me,” said Charley.

“Well,” said the Doctor, “phosphate of lime, as it exists in bones, is
composed of three atoms of lime and one atom of phosphoric acid.
Chemists call it the tricalcic phosphate. It is also called the basic
phosphate of lime, and not unfrequently the ‘bone-earth phosphate.’ It
is the ordinary or common form of phosphate of lime, as it exists in
animals, and plants, and in the various forms of mineral phosphates.

“Then there is another phosphate of lime, called the dicalcic phosphate,
or neutral phosphate of lime, or reverted phosphate of lime. It is
composed of one atom of water, two atoms of lime, and one atom of
phosphoric acid.

“Then we have what we call superphosphate, or acid phosphate of lime, or
more properly monocalcic phosphate. It is composed of two atoms of
water, one atom of lime, and one atom of phosphoric acid. This acid
phosphate of lime _is soluble in water_.

“The manufacture of superphosphate of lime is based on these facts. The
_one-lime_ phosphate is soluble, the _three-lime_ phosphate is
insoluble. To convert the latter into the former, all we have to do is
to _take away two atoms of lime_.

“Sulphuric acid has a stronger affinity for lime than phosphoric acid.
And when you mix enough sulphuric acid with finely ground three-lime
phosphate, to take away two atoms of lime, you get the phosphoric acid
united with one atom of lime and two atoms of water.”

“And what,” asked the Deacon, “becomes of the two atoms of lime?”

“They unite with the sulphuric acid,” said the Doctor, “and form
plaster, gypsum, or sulphate of lime.”

“The molecular weight of water,” continued the Doctor, “is 18; of lime,
56; of sulphuric acid, 80; of phosphoric acid, 142.

“An average sample of commercial bone dust,” continued the Doctor,
“contains about 50 per cent of phosphate of lime. If we take 620 lbs. of
finely-ground bone-dust, containing 310 lbs. of three-lime phosphate,
and mix with it 160 lbs. of sulphuric acid (say 240 lbs. common oil of
vitriol, sp. gr. 1.7), the sulphuric acid will unite with 112 lbs. of
lime, and leave the 142 lbs. of phosphoric acid united with the
remaining 56 lbs. of lime.”

“And that will give you,” said the Deacon, “780 lbs. of ‘dissolved
bones,’ or superphosphate of lime.”

“It will give you more than that,” said the Doctor, “because, as I said
before, the two atoms of lime (112 lbs.) are replaced by two atoms (36
lbs.) of water. And, furthermore, the two atoms of sulphate of lime
produced, contained two atoms (36 lbs.) of water. The mixture,
therefore, contains, even when perfectly dry, 72 lbs. of water.”

“Where does this water come from?” asked the Deacon.

“When I was at Rothamsted,” said I, “the superphosphate which Mr. Lawes
used in his experiments was made on the farm from animal charcoal, or
burnt bones, ground as fine as possible--the finer the better. We took
40 lbs. of the meal, and mixed it with 20 lbs. of water, and then poured
on 30 lbs. of common sulphuric acid (sp.g. 1.7), and stirred it up
rapidly and thoroughly, and then threw it out of the vessel into a heap,
on the earth-floor in the barn. Then mixed another portion, and so on,
until we had the desired quantity, say two or three tons. The last year
I was at Rothamsted, we mixed 40 lbs. bone-meal, 30 lbs. water, and 30
lbs. acid; and we thought the additional water enabled us to mix the
acid and meal together easier and better.”

“Dr. Habirshaw tells me,” said the Doctor, “that in making the
‘Rectified Peruvian Guano’ no water is necessary, and none is used. The
water in the guano and in the acid is sufficient to furnish the two
atoms of water for the phosphate, and the two atoms for the sulphate of

“Such is undoubtedly the case,” said I, “and when large quantities of
superphosphate are made, and the mixing is done by machinery, it is not
necessary to use water. The advantage of using water is in the greater
ease of mixing.”

“Bone-dust,” said the Doctor, “contains about 6 per cent of water, and
the sulphuric acid (sp.g. 1.7) contains about one-third its weight of
water. So that, if you take 620 lbs. of bone-dust, and mix with it 240
lbs. of common sulphuric acid, you have in the mixture 117 lbs. of
water, which is 45 lbs. more than is needed to furnish the water of

“The superphosphate produced from 620 lbs. of bones, therefore,”
continued the Doctor, “would contain:

  Phosphoric acid}                           {142 lbs.
  Lime           } acid phosphate            { 56  ”
  Water          }                           { 36  ”

  Sulphuric acid }                           {160 lbs.
  Lime           } sulphate of lime          {112  ”
  Water          }                           { 36  ”

  Organic matter, ash, etc., of the bones*    335  ”
    Total _dry_ superphosphate                877  ”
  Moisture, or loss                            45  ”
    Total mixture                             922 lbs.

  * Containing nitrogen, 23½ lbs.

“There is a small quantity of carbonate of lime in the bones,” said I,
“which would take up a little of the acid, and you will have a
remarkably good article if you calculate that the 620 lbs. of bone-dust
furnish you half a ton (1,000 lbs.) of superphosphate. It will be a
better article than it is practically possible to make.”

“Assuming that it made half a ton,” said the Doctor, “it would contain
14¼ per cent of soluble phosphoric acid, and 2⅓ per cent of nitrogen.”

“With nitrogen at 20 cents per lb., and soluble phosphoric acid at 12½
c. per lb., this half ton of superphosphate, made from 620 lbs. of good
bone-dust, would be worth $22.50, or $45 per ton.”

“Or, to look at it in another light,” continued the Doctor, “a ton of
bone-dust, made into such a superphosphate as we are talking about,
would be worth $72.58.”

“How much,” asked the Deacon, “would a ton of the bone-dust be
considered worth before it was converted into superphosphate?”

“A ton of bone-dust,” replied the Doctor, “contains 76 lbs. of nitrogen,
worth, at 18 cents per lb., $13.68, and 464 lbs. phosphoric acid, worth
7 cents per lb., $32.48. In other words, a ton of bone-dust, at the
usual estimate, is worth $46.16.”

“And,” said the Deacon, “after it is converted into superphosphate, the
same ton of bones is worth $72.58. It thus appears that you pay $26.42
per ton for simply making the phosphoric acid in a ton of bones soluble.
Isn’t it paying a little too much for the whistle?”

“Possibly such is the case,” said I, “and in point of fact, I think
bone-dust, especially from steamed or boiled bones, can be used with
more economy in its natural state than in the form of superphosphate.”

Superphosphate can be made more economically from mineral phosphates
than from bones--the nitrogen, if desired, being supplied from
fish-scrap or from some other cheap source of nitrogen.

But for my own use I would prefer to buy a good article of
superphosphate of lime, containing no nitrogen, provided it can be
obtained cheap enough. I would buy the ammoniacal, or nitrogenous manure
separately, and do my own mixing--unless the mixture could be bought at
a less cost than the same weight of soluble phosphoric acid, and
available nitrogen could be obtained separately.

A pure superphosphate--and by pure I mean a superphosphate containing no
nitrogen--can be drilled in with the seed without injury, but I should
be a little afraid of drilling in some of the ammoniacal or nitrogenous
superphosphates with small seeds.

And then, again, the “nitrogen” in a superphosphate mixture may be in
the form of nitric acid, or sulphate of ammonia, in one case, or, in
another case, in the form of hair, woollen rags, hide, or leather. It is
far more valuable as nitric acid or ammonia, because it will act
quicker, and if I wanted hair, woollen rags, horn-shavings, etc.,
I would prefer to have them separate from the superphosphate.



Twenty five to thirty years ago, much was said in regard to special
manures. Fertilizers were prepared for the different crops with special
reference to the composition of the plants.

“But it was known then, as now,” said the Doctor, “that all our
agricultural plants were composed of the same elements.”

“True, but what was claimed was this: Some crops contain, for instance,
more phosphoric acid than other crops, and for these a manure rich in
phosphoric acid was provided. Others contained a large proportion of
potash, and these were called ‘potash crops,’ and the manure prescribed
for them was rich in potash. And so with the other ingredients of

“I recollect it well,” said the Doctor, “and, in truth, for several
years I had much faith in the idea. It was advocated with consummate
ability by the lamented Liebig, and in fact a patent was taken out by
the Musgraves, of Liverpool, for the manufacture of Liebig’s Special
Manures, based on this theory. But the manures, though extensively used
by the leading farmers of England, and endorsed by the highest
authorities, did not in the end stand the test of actual farm practice,
and their manufacture was abandoned. And I do not know of any
experienced agricultural chemist who now advocates this doctrine of
special manures.

“Dr. Vœlcker says: ‘The ash-analyses of plants do not afford a
sufficiently trustworthy guide to the practical farmer in selecting the
kind of manure which is best applied to each crop.’”

“Never mind the authorities,” said the Deacon; “what we want are facts.”

“Well,” replied the Doctor, “take the wheat and turnip crop as an

“We will suppose that there is twice the weight of wheat-straw as of
grain; and that to 10 tons of bulbs there is 3 tons of turnip-tops. Now,
100 lbs. each of the ash of these two crops contain:

                   _Wheat crop._  _Turnip crop._
  Phosphoric acid    11.44          7.33
  Potash             15.44         32.75
  Sulphuric acid      2.44         11.25
  Lime                5.09         19.28
  Magnesia            3.33          1.56

“There are other ingredients,” continued the Doctor, “but these are the
most important.

“Now, if you were going to compound a manure for wheat, say 100 lbs.,
consisting of potash and phosphoric acid, what would be the

The Deacon figured for a few moments, and then produced the following

  100 Lbs. Special Manure for Wheat and Turnips.

                   _Wheat manure._  _Turnip manure._
  Phosphoric acid    42½ lbs.         18⅓ lbs.
  Potash             57½  ”           81⅔  ”
                    ------------     ------------
                    100  lbs.        100  lbs.

“Exactly,” said the Doctor, “and yet the experiments of Lawes and
Gilbert clearly prove that a soil needs to be richer in available
phosphoric acid, to produce even a fair crop of turnips, than to produce
a large crop of wheat. And the experience of farmers everywhere tends in
the same direction. England is the greatest turnip-growing country in
the world, and you will find that where one farmer applies potash to
turnips, or superphosphate to wheat, a hundred farmers use
superphosphate as a special manure for the turnip crop.”

“And we are certainly warranted in saying,” continued the Doctor, “_that
the composition of a plant affords_, in practical agriculture, and on
ordinary cultivated soils, _no sort of indication as to the composition
of the manure it is best to apply to the crop_.”

“Again,” continued the Doctor, “if the theory was a correct one, it
would follow that those crops which contained the most nitrogen, would
require the most nitrogen in the manure. Beans, peas, and clover would
require a soil or a manure richer in available nitrogen than wheat,
barley, or oats. We know that the _very reverse_ is true--know it from
actual, and repeated, and long-continued experiments like those of Lawes
and Gilbert, and from the common experience of farmers everywhere.”

“You need not get excited,” said the Deacon, “the theory is a very
plausible one, and while I cannot dispute your facts, I must confess I
cannot see _why_ it is not reasonable to suppose that a plant which
contains a large amount of nitrogen should not want a manure specially
rich in nitrogen; or why turnips which contain so much potash should not
want a soil or manure specially rich in potash.”

“Do you recollect,” said I, “that crop of turnips I raised on a poor

“Yes,” said the Deacon, “it was the best crop of turnips I ever saw

“That crop of turnips,” said I, “was due to a dressing of superphosphate
of lime, with little or no potash in it.”

“I know all that,” said the Deacon. “I admit the fact that
superphosphate is a good manure for turnips. What I want to know is the
reason why superphosphate is better for turnips than for wheat?”

“Many reasons might be given,” said the Doctor; “Prof. Vœlcker
attributes it to the limited feeding range of the roots of turnips, as
compared to wheat. ‘The roots of wheat,’ says Prof. Vœlcker, ‘as is well
known, penetrate the soil to a much greater depth than the more delicate
feeding fibres of the roots of turnips. Wheat, remaining on the ground
two or three months longer than turnips, can avail itself for a longer
period of the resources of the soil; therefore in most cases the
phosphoric acid disseminated through the soil is amply sufficient to
meet the requirements of the wheat crop; whilst turnips, depending on a
thinner depth of soil during their shorter period of growth, cannot
assimilate sufficient phosphoric acid, to come to perfection.’ This is,
I believe, the main reason why the direct supply of readily available
phosphates is so beneficial to root-crops, and not to wheat.”

“This reason,” said I, “has never been entirely satisfactory to me. If
the roots of the turnip have such a limited range, how are they able to
get such a large amount of potash?

“It is probable that the turnip, containing such a large relative amount
of potash and so little phosphoric acid, has roots capable of absorbing
potash from a very weak solution, but not so in regard to phosphoric

“There is another way of looking at this matter,” said the Doctor. “You
must recollect that, if turnips and wheat were growing in the same
field, both plants get their food from the same solution. And instead of
supposing that the wheat-plant has the power of taking up more
phosphoric acid than the turnip-plant, we may suppose that the turnip
has the power of rejecting or excluding a portion of phosphoric acid. It
takes up no more potash than the wheat-plant, but it takes _less_
phosphoric acid.”

But it is not necessary to speculate on this matter. For the present we
may accept the fact, that the proportion of potash, phosphoric acid, and
nitrogen in the crop is no indication of the proper proportion in which
these ingredients should be applied to the soil for these crops in

It may well be that we should use special manures for special crops; but
we must ascertain what these manures should be, not from analyses of the
crops to be grown, but from experiment and experience.

So far as present facts throw light on this subject, we should conclude
that those crops which contain the _least_ nitrogen are the most likely
to be benefited by its artificial application; and the crops containing
the most phosphoric acid, are the crops to which, in ordinary practical
agriculture, it will be unprofitable to apply superphosphate of lime.

“That,” said the Doctor, “may be stating the case a little too strong.”

“Perhaps so,” said I, “but you must recollect I am now speaking of
practical agriculture. If I wanted to raise a good crop of cabbage,
I should not think of consulting a chemical analysis of the cabbage. If
I set out cabbage on an acre of land, which, without manure, would
produce 16 tons of cabbage, does any one mean to tell me that if I put
the amount of nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash which 10 tons of
cabbage contain, on an adjoining acre, that it would produce an extra
growth of 10 tons of cabbage. I can not believe it. The facts are all
the other way. Plant growth is not such a simple matter as the advocates
of this theory, if there be any at this late day, would have us



In 1857, Prof. S. W. Johnson, in his Report to the Connecticut
Agricultural Society, adopted the following valuation:

  Potash                                4   cents per lb.
  Phosphoric acid, insoluble in water   4½    ”    ”   ”
      ”       ”    soluble   ”    ”    12½    ”    ”   ”
  Nitrogen                             17     ”    ”   ”

Analyses of many of the leading commercial fertilizers at that time
showed that, when judged by this standard, the price charged was far
above their actual value. In some cases, manures selling for $60 per
ton, contained nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash worth only from $20
to $25 per ton. And one well-known manure, which sold for $28 per ton,
was found to be worth only $2.33 per ton. A Bone Fertilizer selling at
$50 per ton, was worth less than $14 per ton.

“In 1852,” said the Doctor, “superphosphate of lime was manufactured by
the New Jersey Zinc Co., and sold in New York at $50 per ton of 2,000
lbs. At the same time, superphosphate of lime made from Coprolites, was
selling in England for $24 per ton of 2,240 lbs. The late Prof. Mapes
commenced making “Improved Superphosphate of Lime,” at Newark, N.J., in
1852, and Mr. De Burg, the same year, made a plain superphosphate of
lime in Brooklyn, N.Y. The price, in proportion to value, was high, and,
in fact, the same may be said of many of our superphosphate manures,
until within the last few years.”

Notwithstanding the comparatively high price, and the uncertain quality
of these commercial manures, the demand has been steadily on the
increase. We have now many honorable and intelligent men engaged in the
manufacture and sale of these artificial manures, and owing to more
definite knowledge on the part of the manufacturers and of the
purchasers, it is not a difficult matter to find manures well worth the
money asked for them.

“A correct analysis,” said I, “furnishes the only sure test of value.
‘Testimonials’ from farmers and others are pre-eminently unreliable.
With over thirty years’ experience in the use of these fertilizers,
I would place far more confidence on a good and reliable analysis than
on any actual trial I could make in the field. Testimonials to a patent
fertilizer are about as reliable as testimonials to a patent-medicine.
In buying a manure, we want to know what it contains, and the condition
of the constituents.”

In 1877, Prof. S. W. Johnson gives the following figures, showing “the
trade-values, or cost in market, per pound, of the ordinary occurring
forms of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, as recently found in the
New York and New England markets:
                                                        per pound._
  Nitrogen in ammonia and nitrates                          24
     ”     in Peruvian Guano, fine steamed bone, dried
             and fine ground blood, meat, and fish          20
     ”     in fine ground bone, horn, and wool-dust         18
     ”     in coarse bone, horn-shavings, and fish-scrap    15
  Phosphoric acid soluble in water                          12½
     ”        ”   “reverted,” and in Peruvian Guano          9
     ”        ”   insoluble, in fine bone and fish guano     7
     ”        ”      ”    in coarse bone, bone-ash,
                            and bone-black                   5
     ”        ”      ”    in fine ground rock phosphate      3½
  Potash in high-grade sulphate                              9
    ”    in kainit, as sulphate                              7½
    ”    in muriate, or potassium chloride                   6

“These ‘estimated values,’” says Prof. Johnson, “are not fixed, but vary
with the state of the market, and are from time to time subject to
revision. They are not exact to the cent or its fractions, because the
same article sells cheaper at commercial or manufacturing centers than
in country towns, cheaper in large lots than in small, cheaper for cash
than on time. These values are high enough to do no injustice to the
dealer, and accurate enough to serve the object of the consumer.

“By multiplying the per cent of Nitrogen, etc., by the trade-value per
pound, and then by 20, we get the value per ton of the several
ingredients, and adding the latter together, we obtain the total
estimated value per ton.

“The uses of the ‘Valuation’ are, 1st, to show whether a given lot or
brand of fertilizer is worth as a commodity of trade what it costs. If
the selling price is no higher than the estimated value, the purchaser
may he quite sure that the price is reasonable. If the selling price is
but $2 to $3 per ton more than the estimated value, it may still be a
fair price, but if the cost per ton is $5 or more over the estimated
value, it would be well to look further. 2d, Comparisons of the
estimated values, and selling prices of a number of fertilizers will
generally indicate fairly which is the best for the money. But the
‘estimated value’ is not to be too literally construed, for analysis
cannot always decide accurately what is the _form_ of nitrogen, etc.,
while the mechanical condition of a fertilizer is an item whose
influence cannot always be rightly expressed or appreciated.

“The _Agricultural value_ of a fertilizer is measured by the benefit
received from its use, and depends upon its fertilizing effect, or
crop-producing power. As a broad general rule it is true that Peruvian
guano, superphosphates, fish-scraps, dried blood, potash salts, plaster,
etc., have a high agricultural value which is related to their
trade-value, and to a degree determines the latter value. But the rule
has many exceptions, and in particular instances the trade-value cannot
always be expected to fix or even to indicate the agricultural value.
Fertilizing effect depends largely upon soil, crop, and weather, and as
these vary from place to place, and from year to year, it cannot be
foretold or estimated except by the results of past experience, and then
only in a general and probable manner.”

“It will be seen,” said the Doctor, “that Prof. Johnson places a higher
value on potash now than he did 20 years ago. He retains the same
figures for soluble phosphoric acid, and makes a very just and proper
discrimination between the different values of different forms of
nitrogen and phosphoric acid.”

“The prices,” said I, “are full as high as farmers can afford to pay.
But there is not much probability that we shall see them permanently
reduced. The tendency is in the other direction. In a public address
Mr. J. B. Lawes has recently remarked: ‘A future generation of British
farmers will doubtless hear with some surprise that, at the close of the
manure season of 1876, there were 40,000 tons of nitrate of soda in our
docks, which could not find purchasers, although the price did not
exceed £12 or £13 per ton.’”

“He evidently thinks,” said the Doctor, “that available nitrogen is
cheaper now than it will be in years to come.”

“Nitrate of soda,” said I, “at the prices named, is only 2½ to 2¾ cents
per lb., and the nitrogen it contains would cost less than 18 cents per
lb., instead of 24 cents, as given by Prof. Johnson.”

“No. 1 Peruvian Guano, ‘guaranteed,’ is now sold,” said the Doctor, “at
a price per ton, to be determined by its composition, at the following
                                   _Value per pound._
  Nitrogen (ammonia, 17½ c.)             21¾ c.
  Soluble phosphoric acid                10  c.
  Reverted    ”       ”                   8  c.
  Insoluble   ”       ”                   2  c.
  Potash, as sulphate and phosphate       7½ c.

“The first cargo of Peruvian guano, sold under this guarantee,

                                            _Value per ton_.
  Ammonia                    6.8 per cent         $23.80
  Soluble phosphoric acid    3.8  ”  ”              7.60
  Reverted    ”       ”     11.5  ”  ”             18.40
  Insoluble   ”       ”      3.0  ”  ”              1.20
  Potash                     3.7  ”  ”              5.55
  Estimated retail price per ton of 2,000 lbs.    $56.55
  Marked on bags for sale                         $56.00

The second cargo, sold under this guarantee, contained:

                                           _Value per ton_.
  Ammonia                   11.5 per cent        $40.50
  Soluble phosphoric acid    5.4  ”   ”           10.80
  Reverted    ”       ”     10.0  ”   ”           16.00
  Insoluble   ”       ”      1.7  ”   ”             .68
  Potash                     2.3  ”   ”            3.45
  Selling price marked on bags                   $70.00

“It is interesting,” said I, “to compare these analyses of Peruvian
guano of to-day, with Peruvian guano brought to England twenty-nine or
thirty years ago. I saw at Rothamsted thirty years ago a bag of guano
that contained 22 per cent of ammonia. And farmers could then buy guano
guaranteed by the dealers (not by the agents of the Peruvian
Government), to contain 16 per cent of ammonia, and 10 per cent of
phosphoric acid. Price, £9 5s. per ton of 2,240 lbs.--say $40 per ton of
2,000 lbs.

The average composition of thirty-two cargoes of guano imported into
England in 1849 was as follows:

  Ammonia            17.41 per cent.
  Phosphoric acid     9.75  ”   ”
  Alkaline salts      8.75  ”   ”

At the present valuation, adopted by the Agents of the Peruvian guano in
New York, and estimating that 5 per cent of the phosphoric acid was
soluble, and 4 per cent reverted, and that there was 2 lbs. of potash in
the alkaline salts, this guano would be worth:

                                   Value per ton of 2,000 lbs.
  Ammonia                     17.41  per cent      $60.93
  Soluble phosphoric acid      5.00   ”    ”        10.00
  Reverted     ”      ”        4.00   ”    ”         6.40
  Insoluble    ”      ”         .75   ”    ”          .30
  Potash                       2.00   ”    ”         3.00
  Selling price per ton of 2,000 lbs.              $40.00

Ichaboe guano, which was largely imported into England in 1844-5, and
used extensively as a manure for turnips, contained, on the average, 7½
per cent of ammonia, and 14 per cent of phosphoric acid. Its value at
the present rates we may estimate as follows:

  Ammonia, 7½ per cent                     $26.25
  Soluble Phosphoric acid,  4 per cent       8.00
  Reverted     ”      ”    10    ”          16.00
  Selling price per ton of 2,000 lbs.      $21.80

The potash is not given, or this would probably add four or five dollars
to its estimated value.

“All of which goes to show,” said the Deacon, “that the Peruvian
Government is asking, in proportion to value, from two to two and a half
times as much for guano as was charged twenty-five or thirty years ago.
That first cargo of guano, sold in New York under the new guarantee, in
1877, for $56 per ton, is worth no more than the Ichaboe guano sold in
England in 1845, for less than $22 per ton!

“And furthermore,” continued the Deacon, “from all that I can learn, the
guano of the present day is not only far poorer in nitrogen than it was
formerly, but the nitrogen is not as soluble, and consequently not so
valuable, pound for pound. Much of the guano of the present day bears
about the same relation to genuine old-fashioned guano, as leached ashes
do to unleached, or as a ton of manure that has been leached in the
barn-yard does to a ton that has been kept under cover.”

“True, to a certain extent,” said the Doctor, “but you must recollect
that this ‘guaranteed’ guano is now sold by analysis. You pay for what
you get and no more.”

“Exactly,” said the Deacon, “but what you get is not so good. A pound of
nitrogen in the leached guano is not as available or as valuable as a
pound of nitrogen in the unleached guano. And this fact ought to be

“One thing,” said I, “seems clear. The Peruvian Government is charging a
considerably higher price for guano, in proportion to its actual value,
than was charged 20 or 25 years ago. It may be, that the guano is still
the cheapest manure in the market, but at any rate the price is higher
than formerly--while there has been no corresponding advance in the
price of produce in the markets of the world.”


On land where fish, fish-scrap, or guano, has been used freely for some
years, and the crops exported from the farm, we may expect a relative
deficiency of potash in the soil. In such a case, an application of
unleached ashes or potash-salts will be likely to produce a decided

Clay or loamy land is usually richer in potash than soils of a more
sandy or gravelly character. And on poor sandy land, the use of fish or
of guano, if the crops are all sold, will be soon likely to prove of
little benefit owing to a deficiency of potash in the soil. They may
produce good crops for a few years, but the larger the crops produced
_and sold_, the more would the soil become deficient in potash.

We have given the particulars of Lawes and Gilbert’s experiments on
barley. Mr. Lawes at a late meeting in London, stated that “he had grown
25 crops of barley one after the other with nitrogen, either as ammonia
or nitrate of soda, but without potash, and that by the use of potash
they had produced practically no better result. This year (1877), for
the first time, the potash had failed a little, and they had now
produced 10 or 12 bushels more per acre with potash than without,
showing that they were coming to the end of the available potash in the
soil. This year (1877), they obtained 54 bushels of barley with potash,
and 42 bushels without it. Of course, this was to be expected, and they
had expected it much sooner. The same with wheat; he expected the end
would come in a few years, but they had now gone on between 30 and 40
years. When the end came they would not be sorry, because then they
would have the knowledge they were seeking for.”

Dr. Vœlcker, at the same meeting remarked: “Many soils contained from 1½
to 2 per cent of available potash, and a still larger quantity locked
up, in the shape of minerals, which only gradually came into play; but
the quantity of potash carried off in crops did not exceed 2 cwt. per
acre, if so much. Now 0.1 per cent of any constituent, calculated on a
depth of six inches, was equivalent to one ton per acre. Therefore, if a
soil contained only 0.1 per cent of potash, a ton of potash might be
carried off from a depth of 6 inches. But you had not only 0.1 per cent,
but something like 1½ per cent and upwards in many soils. It is quite
true there were many soils from which you could not continuously take
crops without restoring the potash.”

“In all of which,” said the Doctor, “there is nothing new. It does not
help us to determine whether potash is or is not deficient in our soil.”

“That,” said I, “can be ascertained only by actual experiment. Put a
little hen-manure on a row of corn, and on another row a little
hen-manure and ashes, and on another row, ashes alone, and leave one row
without anything. On my farm I am satisfied that we need not buy
potash-salts for manure. I do not say they would do no good, for they
may do good on land not deficient in available potash, just as lime will
do good on land containing large quantities of lime. But potash is not
what my land needs to make it produce maximum crops. It needs available
nitrogen, and possibly soluble phosphoric acid.”

The system of farming adopted in this section, is much more likely to
impoverish the soil of nitrogen and phosphoric acid than of potash.

If a soil is deficient in potash, the crop which will first indicate the
deficiency, will probably be clover, or beans. Farmers who can grow
large crops of red-clover, need not buy potash for manure.

On farms where grain is largely raised and sold, and where the straw,
and corn-stalks, and hay, and the hay from clover-seed are retained on
the farm, and this strawy manure returned to the land, the soil will
become poor from the lack of nitrogen and phosphoric acid long before
there would be any need of an artificial supply of potash.

On the other hand, if farmers should use fish, or guano, or
superphosphate, or nitrate of soda, and sell all the hay, and straw, and
potatoes, and root-crops, they could raise, many of our sandy soils
would soon become poor in available potash. But even in this case the
clover and beans would show the deficiency sooner than wheat or even

“And yet we are told,” said the Deacon, “that potatoes contain no end of

“And the same is true,” said I, “of root-crops, such as mangel-wurzel,
turnips, etc., but the fact has no other significance than this: If you
grow potatoes for many years on the same land and manure them with
nitrogenous manures, the soil is likely to be speedily impoverished of

“But suppose,” said the Deacon, “that you grow potatoes on the same land
without manure of any kind, would not the soil become equally poor in

“No,” said I, “because you would, in such a case, get very small
crops--small, not from lack of potash, but from lack of nitrogen. If I
had land which had grown corn, potatoes, wheat, oats, and hay, for many
years without manure, or an occasional dressing of our common
barnyard-manure, and wanted it to produce a good crop of potatoes,
I should not expect to get it by simply applying potash. The soil might
be poor in potash, but it is almost certain to be still poorer in
nitrogen and phosphoric acid.”

Land that has been manured with farm-yard or stable-manure for years, no
matter how it has been cropped, is not likely to need potash. The manure
is richer in potash than in nitrogen and phosphoric acid. And the same
may be said of the soil.

If a farmer uses nitrogenous and phosphatic manures on his clayey or
loamy land that is usually relatively rich in potash, and will apply his
common manure to the sandy parts of the farm, he will rarely need to
purchase manures containing potash.



By Sir J. B. Lawes, Bart., LL.D., F.R.S., Rothamsted, Eng.

A relation of mine, who already possessed a very considerable estate,
consisting of light land, about twenty years ago purchased a large
property adjoining it at a very high price. These were days when farmers
were flourishing, and they no more anticipated what was in store for
them in the future, than the inhabitants of the earth in the days of

Times have changed since then, and bad seasons, low prices of wheat, and
cattle-disease, have swept off the tenants from these two estates, so
that my relation finds himself now in the position of being the unhappy
owner and occupier of five or six farms, extending over several thousand
acres--one farm alone occupying an area of two thousand four hundred
acres. Fortunately for the owner, he possesses town property in addition
to his landed estates, so that the question with him is not, as it is
with many land owners, how to find the necessary capital to cultivate
the land, but, having found the capital, how to expend it in farming, so
as to produce a proper return.

It is not very surprising that, under these circumstances, my opinion
should have been asked. What, indeed, would have been the use of a
relation, who not only spent all his time in agricultural experiments,
but also pretended to teach our neighbors how to farm on the other side
of the Atlantic, if he could not bring his science to bear on the land
of an adjoining county! Here is the land--my relation might naturally
say--here is the money, and I have so much confidence in your capacity
that I will give you _carte-blanche_ to spend as much as you
please--what am I to do?

An inspection of the property brought out the following facts--that all
the land was very light, and that you might walk over the fresh plowed
surface in the wettest weather without any clay sticking to your boots:
still a portion of the soil was dark in color, and therefore probably
contained a sufficient amount of fertility to make cultivation
profitable, provided the management could be conducted with that care
and economy which are absolute essentials in a business where the
expenditure is always pressing closely upon the income.

Upon land of this description meat-making is the backbone of the system,
which must be adopted, and a large breeding flock of sheep the first
essential towards success.

Science can make very little improvement upon the four-course
rotation--roots, barley, clover, and wheat, unless, perhaps, it may be
by keeping the land in clover, or mixed grass and clover, for two or
three years.

A good deal of the land I was inspecting was so light, that, in fact, it
was hardly more than sand, and for some years it had been left to grow
anything that came up, undisturbed by the plow.

To a practised eye, the character of the natural vegetation is a sure
indication of the fertility of the soil. Where herds of buffaloes are to
be seen--their sides shaking with fat--it is quite evident that the
pastures upon which they feed cannot be very bad; and in the same way,
where a rank growth of weeds is found springing up upon land that has
been abandoned, it may be taken for certain that the elements of food
exist in the soil. This ground was covered with vegetation, but of the
most impoverished description, even the “Quack” or “Couch-grass” could
not form a regular carpet, but grew in small, detached bunches;
everything, in fact, bore evidence of poverty.

Possibly, the first idea which might occur to any one, on seeing land in
this state, might be: Why not grow the crops by the aid of artificial

Let us look at the question from two points of view: first, in regard to
the cost of the ingredients; and, secondly, in regard to the growth of
the crop.

We will begin with wheat. A crop of wheat, machine-reaped, contains, as
carted to the stack, about six pounds of soil ingredients in every one
hundred pounds; that is to say, each five pounds of mineral matter, and
rather less than one pound of nitrogen, which the plant takes from the
soil, will enable it to obtain ninety-four pounds of other substances
from the atmosphere. To grow a crop of twenty bushels of grain and two
thousand pounds of straw, would require one hundred and sixty pounds of
minerals, and about thirty-two pounds of nitrogen; of the one hundred
and sixty pounds of minerals, one-half would be silica, of which the
soil possesses already more than enough; the remainder, consisting of
about eighty pounds of potash and phosphate, could be furnished for from
three to four dollars, and the thirty-two pounds of nitrogen could be
purchased in nitrate of soda for six or eight dollars. The actual cost
of the ingredients, therefore, in the crop of twenty bushels of wheat,
would be about ten to twelve dollars. But as this manure would furnish
the ingredients for the growth of both straw and grain, and it is
customary to return the straw to the land, after the first crop, fully
one-third of the cost of the manure might, in consequence, be deducted,
which would make the ingredients of the twenty bushels amount to six
dollars. Twenty bushels of wheat in England would sell for twenty-eight
dollars; therefore, there would be twenty-two dollars left for the cost
of cultivation and profit.

A French writer on scientific agriculture has employed figures very
similar to the above, to show how French farmers may grow wheat at less
than one dollar per bushel. At this price they might certainly defy the
competition of the United States. It is one thing, however, to grow
crops in a lecture room, and quite another to grow them in a field. In
dealing with artificial manures, furnishing phosphoric acid, potash, and
nitrogen, we have substances which act upon the soil in very different
ways. Phosphate of lime is a very insoluble substance, and requires an
enormous amount of water to dissolve it. Salts of potash, on the other
hand, are very soluble in water, but form very insoluble compounds with
the soil. Salts of ammonia and nitrate of soda are perfectly soluble in
water. When applied to the land, the ammonia of the former substance
forms an insoluble compound with the soil, but in a very short time is
converted into nitrate of lime; and with this salt and nitrate of soda,
remains in solution in the soil water until they are either taken up by
the plant or are washed away into the drains or rivers.

Crops evaporate a very large amount of water, and with this water they
attract the soluble nitrate from all parts of the soil. Very favorable
seasons are therefore those in which the soil is neither too dry nor too
wet; as in one case the solution of nitrate becomes dried up in the
soil, in the other it is either washed away, or the soil remains so wet
that the plant cannot evaporate the water sufficiently to draw up the
nitrates which it contains.

The amount of potash and phosphoric acid dissolved in the water is far
too small to supply the requirements of the plant, and it is probable
that what is required for this purpose is dissolved by some direct
action of the roots of the plant on coming in contact with the insoluble
phosphoric acid and potash in the soil.

In support of this view, I may mention that we have clear evidence in
some of our experiments of the wheat crop taking up both phosphates and
potash that were applied to the land thirty years ago.

To suppose, therefore, that, if the ingredients which exist in twenty
bushels of wheat and its straw, are simply applied to a barren soil, the
crop will be able to come in contact with, and take up these substances,
is to assume what certainly will not take place.

I have often expressed an opinion that arable land, could not be
cultivated profitably by means of artificial manures, unless the soil
was capable of producing, from its own resources, a considerable amount
of produce; still the question had never up to this time come before me
in a distinct form as one upon which I had to decide one way or the
other. I had, however, no hesitation in coming to the conclusion, that
grain crops could never be grown at a profit upon my relation’s land,
and that consequently, for some years, it would be better to give up the
attempt, and try to improve the pasture.

After what I have said about the insolubility of potash and phosphoric
acid, it may possibly be asked--why not give a good dose of these
substances at once, as they do not wash out of the soil--say enough to
grow sixty crops of grain, and apply the nitrate, or ammonia every year
in just sufficient amounts to supply the wants of the crop?

The objections to this plan are as follows: assuming the most favorable
conditions of climate, and the largest possible produce, the wheat could
certainly not take up the whole of the thirty-two pounds of nitrogen
applied, and the crop which requires nearly one pound of nitrogen in
every one hundred pounds of gross produce, would be certainly less than
three thousand two hundred pounds, if supplied with only thirty-two
pounds of nitrogen. If we take the total produce of the best and worst
wheat crop, grown during the forty years of our experiments, we shall
arrive at a better understanding in the matter. The following are the

  Weight of Dry Produce of Wheat Per Acre.

         _Straw and Grain._
  1863         9330 lbs.
  1879         3859  ”

In order to ascertain the increase due to the nitrogen of the salts of
ammonia or nitrate of soda, we must deduct from the crop the produce
obtained, where mineral manures without nitrogen were used. In 1863 this
amount was three thousand pounds, and in 1879 it was one thousand two
hundred pounds. Deducting these amounts from the gross produce in each
case, leaves six thousand three hundred and thirty as the produce due to
the nitrogen in the season of 1863, and two thousand six hundred and
fifty-nine as the produce due to the nitrogen in 1879.

But in each case we applied the same amount of nitrogen, eighty-seven
pounds; and as the amount of nitrogen in a wheat crop, as carted from
the field, contains less than one per cent. of nitrogen, it is evident
that if all that was contained in the manure had been taken up by the
plant, the increased crop should have weighed eight thousand seven
hundred pounds instead of six thousand three hundred and thirty. Thus
even in our best year, some of the nitrogen applied failed to produce
growth; and when we come to the bad year we find that only twenty-six
and a half pounds were taken up out of the eighty-seven pounds applied,
thus leaving more than two-thirds of the whole unaccounted for.

Seasons are only occasionally either very bad or very good. What we call
an average season does not differ very much from the mean of the best
and worst years, which in this case would be represented by a crop of
four thousand four hundred and ninety-four pounds, containing nearly
forty-five pounds of nitrogen. I may say that, although I have employed
one per cent. to avoid fractions in my calculations, strictly speaking
three-quarters of a per cent. would more nearly represent the real
quantity. If, however, on the average, we only obtain about forty-five
pounds from an application of about eighty-seven pounds of nitrogen, it
is evident that not more than one-half of the amount applied enters into
the crop.

Now in dealing with a substance of so costly a nature as ammonia, or
nitrate of soda--the nitrogen contained in which substances cannot cost
much less than twenty-five cents per pound by the time it is spread upon
the land, it becomes a question of importance to know what becomes of
the other half, or the residue whatever it may be, which has not been
taken up by the crop. Part is undoubtedly taken up by the weeds which
grow with the wheat, and after the wheat has been cut. Part sinks into
the sub-soil and is washed completely away during the winter.

I, myself, am disposed to think that the very great difference in the
size of the Indian corn crops, as compared with the wheat crops in the
States, is partly accounted for by their greater freedom from weeds,
which are large consumers of nitric acid, and, in the case of the wheat
crop, frequently reduce the yield by several bushels per acre. It must,
however, be borne in mind that, though the wheat is robbed of its food
where there are weeds, still if there were no weeds, the amount of
nitric acid which the crop could not get hold of, would, in all
probability, be washed out of the soil during the ensuing winter. I come
to the conclusion, therefore, that the nitrogen alone, which would be
required to produce one bushel of wheat, would cost not much less than
fifty cents; and that, in consequence, wheat-growing by means of
artificial manures, will not pay upon very poor land.

I have said that the land, about which I was consulted, had not been
plowed for several years, and that although nature had done all she
could to clothe the soil with vegetation, the most disheartening feature
in the case was, the poverty of the weeds. A thistle may be a giant or a
dwarf, according to circumstances; here they were all dwarfs. The
plaintain, which I believe is sometimes sown in these districts for
food, has a very deep root; here the plants were abundant, but the
leaves were very small and lay so close to the ground, that, as the
manager informed me, “the sheep were often injured from the amount of
sand which they swallowed with the leaves when feeding.”

At Rothamsted, the analyses of the rain water passing through the
ordinary soil of one of my fields, which has been kept free from
vegetation, have shown that the amount of nitric acid liberated in a
soil, and washed out each year, is very large. Taking the ten years
during which these special experiments have been in progress, I should
think that the loss of nitrogen would be equal to, or possibly exceed,
the amount of that substance removed by the average crops grown in the
United States.

The results obtained by the rain gauges, are further completely
confirmed by those in an adjoining field, where wheat and fallow have
been grown alternately for twenty-seven years. The liberation of nitric
acid, during the year of rest, produced for a time a large growth of
wheat, but it was done at a very great waste of the fertility of the
soil, and the produce is now, in proportion, considerably lower than
that grown on the continuously unmanured land.

These results, if they are to be accepted as correct, must bring about a
very considerable change in the generally received views in regard to
fertility. We not only see more clearly the connection between a former
vegetation and the stored up fertility in our soil, but we also see the
importance of vegetation at the present day, as the only means by which
the loss of nitric acid is prevented. The more completely the land is
covered with vegetation, and the more growth there is, the greater will
be the evaporation of water, and the less will be the loss of nitric
acid by drainage.

I was not at all surprised to find, that the surface soil of a wood on
my farm, was poorer in nitrogen than the soil of an old permanent
pasture, to which no manure had been applied for twenty-five years,
though during the whole period, the crop of hay had been removed every
year from the land. The wood to which I refer is covered with oak,
centuries old, and the foliage is so dense that but little underwood or
other vegetation can grow beneath it. If both the wood and the pasture
were put into arable cultivation, I have no doubt that the pasture would
prove much more fertile than the wood land.

In our experiments on permanent pasture, it has been observed that the
character of the herbage is mainly dependent on the food supplied.
Weeds, and inferior grasses, can hold their own as long as poverty
exists, but with a liberal supply of manure, the superior grasses
overgrow and drive out the bad grasses and weeds. In consequence of the
low price of wheat a good deal of land in England has been laid down to
permanent pasture, and much money has been spent in cleaning the land
preparatory to sowing the grass-seeds. I have on more occasions than
one, suggested that the money employed in this process would be better
expended in manure, by which the weeds would be “improved” off the face
of the land. While walking over the abandoned portion of these estates I
explained my views upon this point to the manager. They were, however,
received with the usual skepticism, and the rejoinder that “there was
only one way of getting rid of the weeds, which was by the plow and

There is nothing that speaks to me so forcibly as color in vegetation;
when travelling by rail, I do not require to be told that such a farm
is, or is not, in high condition, or that we are passing through a
fertile or infertile district. There is a peculiar green color in
vegetation which is an unmistakable sign that it is living upon the fat
of the land. I need hardly say that, in this case, the color of the
vegetation gave unmistakable signs of the poverty of the soil; but in
the midst of the dingy yellowish-green of the herbage, I came upon one
square of bright green grass. In answer to my enquiry I was told that,
a “lambing-fold had been there last year,” and my informant added his
opinion, “that the manure would be so strong that it would kill
anything!” It had certainly killed the weeds, but in their place, some
good grasses had taken possession of the soil.

The plan I proposed to adopt was, to spend no more money on tillage
operations, but to endeavor to improve the pasture by giving to it the
food necessary to grow good grasses, sowing at the same time a small
quantity of the best seeds. I further suggested that a flock of sheep
should be allowed to run over the whole of the land by day, and be
folded there every night--about one pound of cotton-seed cake per head
being allowed daily. By this means, as the fold would be moved every
day, the amount of manure deposited on the soil could be estimated.

If there were a hundred sheep, receiving one pound of decorticated
cotton-seed cake per head, daily, and the hurdles were arranged to
enclose a space of twenty-five by twenty yards, in the course of ten
days an acre of land would have received manure from one thousand pounds
of cake; which amount would supply seventy-seven pounds of nitrogen,
sixty-eight pounds of phosphate of lime, and thirty-two pounds of
potash. This amount of cake would cost about sixteen dollars.

As regards the value of the cake as a food, it is somewhat difficult to
form an estimate; but it takes nine or ten pounds of dry food--say
roots, cake, and hay--to produce an increase of one pound of live weight
in sheep. The cake has certainly a higher feeding value, than either hay
or roots, but I will here give it only the same value, and consider that
one hundred and ten pounds of increase of the animal was obtained by the
consumption of the one thousand pounds of cake. The value of the
increase of the live weight would be in England fully eleven dollars,
leaving five dollars as the cost of the manure. Now the cake furnished
seventy-seven pounds of nitrogen alone, which, if purchased in an
artificial manure, would have cost nineteen dollars; and the other
substances supplied by the cake, would have cost from four to five
dollars more. The manures required, therefore, would be obtained much
more cheaply by this than by any other process.

Labor would be saved by not cultivating the land. Manure would be saved
by substituting vegetation which grows under or above ground, almost all
the year round. And, by feeding the stock with cake, the necessary
fertility would be obtained at the lowest possible cost.

It is probable that the land would require this treatment to be repeated
for several years, before there would be a fair growth of grass. The
land might then be broken up and one grain crop be taken, then it might
again be laid down to grass.

Hitherto, I have considered a case where fertility is almost absent from
the land, this, however, is an exception, as agriculture generally is
carried on upon soils which contain large stores of fertility, though
they may be very unequally distributed. By analysis of the soil we can
measure the total amount of fertility which it contains, but we are left
in ignorance in regard to the amount of the ingredients which are in
such a form that the crops we cultivate can make use of them.

At Rothamsted, among my experiments on the growth of continuous wheat,
at the end of forty years, the soil supplied with salts of ammonia has
yielded, during the whole time, and still continues to yield, a larger
produce than is obtained by a liberal supply of phosphates and alkaline
salts without ammonia.

When we consider that every one hundred pounds of wheat crop, as carted
to the stack, contains about five per cent. of mineral matter, and one
per cent. of nitrogen, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that my
soil has a large available balance of mineral substances which the crop
could not make use of for want of nitrogen. The crop which has received
these mineral manures now amounts to from twelve to thirteen bushels per
acre, and removes from the land about sixteen pounds of nitrogen every

Analyses of the soil show that, even after the removal of more than
thirty crops in succession, without any application of manure containing
ammonia, the soil still contains some thousands of pounds of nitrogen.
This nitrogen is in combination with carbon; it is very insoluble in
water, and until it becomes separated from the carbon, and enters into
combination with oxygen, does not appear to be of any use to the crop.

The combination of nitrogen with oxygen, is known as nitric acid. The
nitric acid enters into combination with the lime of the soil, and in
this form becomes the food of plants.

From its great importance in regard to the growth of plants, nitric acid
might be called the main spring of agriculture, but being perfectly
soluble in water, it is constantly liable to be washed out of the soil.
In the experiment to which I have referred above--where wheat is grown
by mineral manures alone--we estimate that, of the amount of nitric acid
liberated each year, not much more than one-half is taken up by the

The wheat is ripe in July, at which time the land is tolerably free from
weeds; several months, therefore, occur during which there is no
vegetation to take up the nitric acid; and even when the wheat is sown
at the end of October, much nitric acid is liable to be washed away, as
the power of the plant to take up food from the soil is very limited
until the spring.

The formation of nitric acid, from the organic nitrogen in the soil, is
due to the action of a minute plant, and goes on quite independent of
the growth of our crops. We get, however, in the fact an explanation of
the extremely different results obtained by the use of different
manures. One farmer applies lime, or even ground limestone to a soil,
and obtains an increase in his crops; probably he has supplied the very
substance which has enabled the nitrification of the organic nitrogen to
increase; another applies potash, a third phosphates; if either of these
are absent, the crops cannot make use of the nitric acid, however great
may be the amount diffused through the soil.

It may possibly be said that the use of mineral manures tends to exhaust
the soil of its nitrogen; this may, or may not, be true; but even if the
minerals enable the crop to take up a larger amount of the nitric acid
found in the soil year by year, this does not increase the exhaustion,
as the minerals only tend to arrest that which otherwise might be washed

We must look upon the organic nitrogen in the soil, as the main source
of the nitrogen which grows our crops. Whatever may be the amount
derived from the atmosphere, whether in rain, or dew; or from
condensation by the soil, or plants, it is probable that, where the land
is in arable cultivation, the nitrogen so obtained, is less than the
amount washed out of the soil in nitric acid. Upon land which is never
stirred by the plow, there is much less waste and much less activity.

The large increase in the area of land laid down to permanent pasture in
England, is not due alone to the fall in the price of grain. The
reduction of fertility in many of the soils, which have been long under
the plow, is beginning to be apparent. Under these circumstances a less
exhausting course of treatment becomes necessary, and pasture, with the
production of meat, milk, and butter, takes the place of grain fields.


Letter from Edward Jessop, York, Pa.

    YORK, PA., March 16, 1876.

_Joseph Harris, Esq., Moreton Farm, Rochester, N.Y.:_

DEAR SIR--Your favor of the 22d of last month came safely to hand, and I
am truly obliged to you for the reply to my question.--You ask, can I
help you with facts or suggestions, on the subject of manure? I fear not
much; but it may be useful to you to know what others need to know.
I will look forward to the advent of “Talks on Manures” with much
interest, hoping to get new light on a subject second to none in
importance to the farmer.

I have done a little at composting for some years, and am now having a
pile of about forty cords, made up of stable-manure and earth taken from
the wash of higher lands, turned and fined. The labor of digging and
hauling the earth, composting in thin layers with manure, turning, and
fining, is so great, I doubt whether it pays for most farm crops--this
to be used for mangel-wurzel and market-garden.

The usual plan in this county is to keep the stable-manure made during
winter, and the accumulation of the summer in the barn-yard, where it is
soaked by rain, and trampled fine by cattle, and in August and September
is hauled upon ground to be seeded with wheat and grass-seeds. I do not
think there is much piling and turning done.

My own conclusions, not based on accurate experiments, however, are,
that the best manure I have ever applied was prepared in a covered pit
on which cattle were allowed to run, and so kept well tramped--some
drainage into a well, secured by pouring water upon it, when necessary,
and the drainage pumped and distributed over the surface, at short
intervals, particularly the parts not well tramped, and allowed to
remain until it became a homogeneous mass, which it will do without
having undergone so active a fermentation as to have thrown off a
considerable amount of gas.

The next best, composting it with earth, as above described, piled about
five or six feet high, turned as often as convenient, and kept moist
enough to secure fermentation.

Or, to throw all the manure as made into a covered pit, until it is
thoroughly mixed and made fine, by allowing hogs to run upon it and root
at will; and when prepared for even spreading, apply it as a
top-dressing on grass-land--at any convenient time.

As to how many loads of fresh manure it takes to make one of well-rotted
manure, it may be answered approximately, _three to one_, but that would
depend a good deal on the manner of doing it, and the amount of rough
material in it. If well trodden by cattle under cover, and sufficient
drainage poured over it, to prevent any violent fermentation, the loss
of weight, I think, would not be very great, nor the bulk lessened over

Many years ago an old and successful farmer said to me, “if you want to
get the full benefit of manure, spread it as a top-dressing on some
_growing crop_,” and all my experience and observation since tend to
confirm the correctness of his advice.

While on this subject, allow me to protest against the practice of
naming the quantity of manure applied to a given space, as so many
_loads_, as altogether too indefinite. The bushel or cord is a definite
quantity, which all can understand.

The average price of good livery stable horse-manure at this place has
been for several years four dollars a cord.

With two and a half miles to haul, I am trying whether keeping a flock
of 50 breeding ewes, and feeding liberally with wheat bran, in addition
to hay and pasture, will not produce the needed manure more cheaply.

  Respectfully yours,


_P.S._--You ask for the average weight of a cord of manure, such as we
pay four dollars for.

I had a cord of horse-stable manure from a livery stable in York which
had been all the time under cover, with several pigs running upon it,
and was moist, without any excess of wet, loaded into a wagon-box
holding an entire cord, or 128 cubic feet, tramped by the wagoner three
times while loading.

The wagon was weighed at our hay-scales before loading, and then the
wagon and load together, with a net result for the manure of 4,400 lbs.
I considered this manure rather better than the average. I had another
load, from a different place, which weighed over 5,000 lbs., but on
examination it was found to contain a good deal of coal ashes. We never
_buy_ by the ton. Harrison Bros. & Co., Manufacturing Chemists,
Philadelphia, rate barnyard-manure as worth $5.77 per ton, and say that
would be about $7.21 per cord, which would be less than 1½ tons to the
cord. If thrown in loosely, and it happened to be _very dry_, that might
be possible.

Waring, in his “Handy Book of Husbandry,” page 201, says, he caused a
cord of well-trodden livery stable manure containing the usual
proportion of straw, to be carefully weighed, and that the cord weighed
7,080 lbs.

The load I had weighed, weighing 4,400 lbs., was considered by the
wagoner and by myself as a fair sample of good manure. In view of these
wide differences, further trials would be desirable. Dana, in his “Muck
Manual,” says a cord of green cow-dung, pure, as dropped, weighs 9,289

Farmers here seldom draw manure with less than three, more generally
with four horses or mules; loading is done by the purchaser. From the
barn-yard, put on loose boards, from 40 to 60 bushels are about an
average load.

In hauling from town to a distance of three to five miles, farmers
generally make two loads of a cord each, a day’s work. From the
barn-yard, a very variable number, per day. In my own case, two men with
three horses have been hauling six and seven loads of sixty bushels,
fine compost, a distance of from one-half to three-fourths of a mile, up
a long and rather steep hill, and spreading from the wagon, as hauled,
upon grass-sod.

Our larger farmers often have one driver and his team, two wagons, one
loading, while the other is drawn to the field; the driver slips off one
of the side-boards, and with his dung-hook draws off piles at nearly
equal distances, to be spread as convenient.


Letter from Dr. E. L. Sturtevant, South Framingham, Mass.

    SOUTH FRAMINGHAM, MASS., April 2, 1876.

FRIEND HARRIS--Manure about Boston is sold in various ways. First,
according to the number of animals kept; price varying so much, that I
do not venture to name the figures. By the cord, to be trodden over
while loading; never by weight, so far as I can learn--price from 0 to
$12.00 per cord, according to season, and various accidental
circumstances. During the past winter, manure has been given away in
Boston. Handling, hauling to the railroad, and freight costing $4 per
cord for carrying 30 miles out. Market-gardeners usually haul manure as
a return freight on their journeys to and from market. About South
Framingham, price stiff at $8 a cord in the cellar, and this may be
considered the ruling suburban price. Very friendly yours,


Letter from M. C. Weld.

    NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 1876.

MY DEAR HARRIS--I don’t know what I can write about manures, that would
be of use. I have strong faith in humus, in ashes, leached and
unleached, in lime, gas-lime, plaster, bones, ammonia ready formed,
nitrates ready formed, not much in meat and blood, unless they are
_cheap_. Nevertheless, they often are cheap, and produce splendid
effects. I believe in sulphuric acid, with organic nitrogenous manures;
the composting of meat, blood, hair, etc., with peat and muck, and
wetting it down with dilute sulphuric acid. I believe in green-manuring,
heartily, and in tillage, tillage, tillage. Little faith in
superphosphates and compounded manures, at selling prices. Habirshaw’s
guano is good enough. So much for my creed. Truly yours,

    M. C. WELD.

Letter from Peter Henderson.

    NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 1876.

_Mr. Joseph Harris_:

DEAR SIR--If you will refer to my work “Gardening for Profit,” New
Edition, page 34, you will get about all the information I possess on
Manures, except that I do not say anything about price. In a general way
it might be safe to advise that whenever _a ton_ (it is always best to
speak of manures by weight) of either cow, horse, hog, or other
stable-manure can be laid on the ground for $3, it is cheaper than
commercial fertilizers of any kind at their usual market rates. This $3
per ton, I think, would be about the average cost in New York, Boston,
or Philadelphia. We never haul it on the ground until we are ready to
plow it in. If it has to be taken from the hog or cattle yards, we draw
it out into large heaps, convenient to where it is to be put on the
land, turning it, to keep it from burning or “fire-fanging,” if
necessary. None of our farmers or market-gardeners here keep it under
cover. The expense of such covering and the greater difficulties in
getting at it, for the immense quantities we use, would be greater than
the benefits to be derived from keeping it under cover--benefits, in
fact, which, I think, may be greatly overrated. Very truly yours,


Letter from J. M. B. Anderson, Ed. “Canada Farmer,” Toronto.

    “CANADA FARMER” OFFICE, TORONTO, March 29, 1876.

_J. Harris, Esq._:

DEAR SIR--Yours of the 25th inst. is to hand, and I shall be most happy
to render you any assistance in my power. The work you undertake is in
able hands, and I have every confidence that, when completed, it will
form an invaluable acquisition to the agricultural literature of the

Manure in this city is usually sold by the two-horse load--about 1½
tons--at the rate of $1 per load, or 66 cents per ton. The load contains
just about a cord of manure, consequently a cord will weigh about 1½

With reference to the general management of manure in Canada, I may say
that the system followed differs in no material respect from that of New
York and the other Eastern States. It is usually kept over winter in the
open barn yard (rarely under cover, I am sorry to say), laid out on the
land about the time of disappearance of last snow, and plowed in. In
some cases it is not carted out until the land is ready for immediate
plowing. With some of our more advanced farmers, the system has lately
been adopted of keeping manure under cover and sprinkling it thoroughly
at intervals with plaster and other substances. Tanks are also becoming
more common than formerly, for the preservation of liquid manure, which
is usually applied by means of large, perforated hogs-heads, after the
manner of street-watering.

You ask, how the manure is managed at Bow Park, Brantford. That made
during fall and winter is carefully kept in as small bulk as possible,
to prevent exposure to the weather. In February and March it is drawn
out and put in heaps 8 feet square, and well packed, to prevent the
escape of ammonia. In spring, as soon as practicable, it is spread, and
plowed under immediately. Manure made in spring and summer is spread on
the field at once, and plowed under with a good, deep furrow.

  Very truly yours, J. M. B. ANDERSON, Ed. _Canada Farmer_.


The Manure Trade of Long Island--Letter from J. H. Rushmore.

    OLD WESTBURY, Long Island, April 6, 1876.

_Joseph Harris, Esq._:

DEAR SIR--The great number of dealers in manure in New York precludes
accuracy, yet Mr. Skidmore (who has been testifying voluminously before
the New York Board of Health in relation to manure and street dirt),
assures me that the accompanying figures are nearly correct. I enclose
statement, from two roads, taken from their books, and the amount
shipped over the other road I obtained verbally from the General Freight
Agent, and embody it in the sheet of statistics.

The Ash report I _know_ is correct, as I had access to the books showing
the business, for over ten years. I have made numerous applications,
verbally, and by letter, to our largest market gardeners, but there
seems to exist a general and strong disinclination to communicate
anything worth knowing. I enclose the best of the replies received.
Speaking for some of our largest gardeners, I may say that they
cultivate over one hundred acres, and use land sufficiently near to the
city to enable them to dispense with railroad transportation in bringing
manure to their places and marketing crops. I have noticed that one of
the shrewdest gardeners invariably composts horn-shavings and bone-meal
with horse-manure several months before expecting to use it. A safe
average of manure used per acre by gardeners, may be stated at ninety
(90) tubs, and from two hundred to twenty hundred pounds of fertilizer
in addition, according to its strength, and the kind of crop.

The following railroad manure statistics will give a generally correct
idea of the age of manure, when used:

  Statement of Manure Sent from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 1875.

              _Over F.N.S.&C.R.R._  _Over Southern R.R._
  January         1,531  tubs.         5,815 tubs.
  February                             4,357  ”
  March             740   ”           12,217  ”
  April          12,122   ”            7,055  ”
  May             7,383   ”            3,049  ”
  June            5,725   ”            1,365  ”
  July            6,473½  ”              685  ”
  August          6,370½  ”            2,911  ”
  September       3,197   ”           14,702  ”
  October           880   ”              660  ”
  November          512   ”              840  ”
  December        1,406   ”            4,923  ”
                 --------------         ------------
                 46,340  tubs.        57,679 tubs.

A tub is equal to 14 bushels.

Hobson, Hurtado & Co. report the amount of Peruvian guano sold in this
country last year at thirty thousand tons.

Estimated number of horses in New York city, 100,000.

Estimated product of manure per horse. Four cords.

Estimated proportion of straw to pure excrement. One-half.

Amount shipped direct from stables. Nearly all.

Amount shipped on vessels. One-half.

Length of time the unshipped manure remains in heaps. From three to four

Average cost per horse, annually. $3.

Greatest distance of shipment. Virginia.

Average amount shipped via L.I.R.R. 60,000 tubs.

Price of manure per tub delivered on cars or vessel. 80 cents.

Average amount put on car. 40 tubs.

Statistics of Ash Trade.--Time when ashes are delivered. From middle of
June to middle of October.

Places from which they are mostly shipped. Montreal, Belleville, and
Toronto (Canada).

Method of transportation. Canal boats.

Average load per boat. About 8,000 bushels.

Average amount annually sold. 360,000 bushels.

Average cost delivered to farmers. 20½ cents per bushel.

                                           _Per Acre, about._
  Amount used by farmers for potatoes         60 tubs.
    ”     ”   ”     ”     ”  cabbage (late)   50  ”
    ”     ”   ”     ”     ”  corn             12  ”

Amount of guano used on Long Island, as represented by the books of
Chapman & Vanwyck, and their estimate of sales by other firms, 5,000

The fertilizers used on the Island are bought almost exclusively by
market gardeners or farmers, who do a little market gardening, as it is
the general conviction that ordinary farm-crops will not give a
compensating return for their application. Most market gardeners keep so
little stock that the manure made on the place is very inconsiderable.
Our dairy farmers either compost home-made manures with that from the
city, spread it on the land for corn in the spring, or rot it separate,
to use in the fall for wheat, on land that has been cropped with oats
the same year. The manure put on for potatoes is generally estimated to
enrich the land sufficient for it to produce one crop of winter grain,
and from five to seven crops of grass, when it is again plowed and
cultivated in rotation with, first, corn, second, potatoes or oats, and
is reseeded in autumn of the same year.

Fish and fish guano are largely used on land bordering the water, and
adjacent to the oil-works. The average price for guano in bulk at
oil-works is $12 per ton. The average price for fish on wharf is $1.50
per thousand, and it is estimated that, as a general average, 6,000 fish
make a ton of guano. The fish, when applied to corn, are placed two at
each hill, and plowed under at any time after the corn is large enough
to cultivate. Seaweed is highly prized by all who use it, and it will
produce a good crop of corn when spread thickly on the land previous to

Very respectfully,


Letter from John E. Backus.

    NEWTOWN, Long Island, N.Y., March 2nd, 1876.

_Mr. G. H. Rushmore_:

DEAR SIR.--Some farmers and market-gardeners use more, and some less,
manure, according to crops to be raised. I use about 30 good two-horse
wagon-loads to the acre, to be applied in rows or broad-casted, as best
for certain crops. I prefer old horse-dung for most all purposes. Guano,
as a fertilizer, phosphate of bone and blood are very good; they act as
a stimulant on plants and vegetation, and are highly beneficial to some
vegetation--more valuable on poor soil than elsewhere, except to produce
a thrifty growth in plants, and to insure a large crop.

By giving you these few items they vary considerably on different parts
of the Island; judgment must be used in all cases and all business.
Hoping these few lines may be of some avail to Mr. Harris and yourself,

  I remain, yours, etc.,



Letter from Joseph Heacock.

    JENKINTOWN, Montgomery Co., Pa., April 18th, 1876.

MY DEAR FRIEND HARRIS.--Stable-manure in Philadelphia, costs by the
single four-horse-load, about $9 or $10. Mostly, the farmers who haul
much of it, have it engaged by the year, and then it can be had for from
$7 to $8 per load. Mostly, four horses are used, though we frequently
see two and three-horse teams, and occasionally, five or six horses are
used. I have never seen any kind of dung hauled but that of horses.
Cow-manure would be thought too heavy to haul so long a distance.
Sugar-house waste, spent hops, glue waste, etc, are hauled to a small
extent. We live about 9 miles from the center of the city, and the road
is very hilly, though otherwise a good one, being made of stone.

The loads vary from 2½ to 3½ or 4 tons for four horses, according to the
dryness of the manure. The wagons are made very strong, and weigh from
1,600 lbs. to 2,300 or 2,400 lbs., according to the number of horses
that are to be used to them. I cannot say how many cords there are in an
average load, but probably not less than two cords to four horses. One
of my neighbors has a stable engaged by the year. He pays $2.50 per ton,
and averages about three tons per load, and the distance from the stable
in the city to his place, can not be less than 12 miles. His team goes
empty one way and of course can not haul more than a load a day. In
fact, can not average that, as it would be too hard on his horses. The
horses used for the purpose are large and strong. Fifteen or twenty
years ago, there was kept on most farms of 75 to 100 acres, a team
purposely for hauling manure from the city. But it is different now,
many of the farmers using artificial manures, as it costs so much less;
and others are keeping more stock, and so making their own manure.
Still, there is a great deal hauled yet. And some of it to a distance of
20 miles. Though when hauled to this distance, the teams are loaded both
ways. For instance, they will start to the city with a load of hay (35
to 50 cwt.), on Monday afternoon (Tuesday is the day of the Hay Market);
and when they have their load of hay off on Tuesday, they load their
manure and drive out five or six miles and put up for the night. Next
morning they start about 3 o’clock, arriving home before noon, having
been away two days. On Thursday afternoon, they start again. You can see
that manuring in this way is very expensive. But farmers about here well
know that if they do not manure well they raise but little. Probably
about four loads are used per acre on the average. Each load is
generally thrown off the wagon in one large heap near where wanted, and
is allowed to lie until they use it. I can not tell how much it loses in
bulk by lying in the heap.

As to what crops it is used on, farmers do not think that they could go
amiss in applying it to anything except oats. But it is probably used
more for top-dressing mowing land, and for potatoes, than for anything

The usual rotation is corn, potatoes, or oats, wheat seeded to clover
and timothy, and then kept in grass from two to four years. Those who
haul stable-manure, usually use bone-dust or superphosphate to a greater
or less extent.

Last December I built a pig-pen, 20 ft. × 40 ft., 1½ stories high. The
upper story to be used for litter, etc. There is a four feet entry on
the north side, running the length of the building. The remainder is
divided into five pens, each 8 ft. × 16 ft. It is made so that in cold
weather it can be closed up tight, while in warmer weather it can be
made as open as an out-shed. I am very much pleased with it. The pigs
make a great deal of manure, and I believe that it can be made much
cheaper than it can be bought and hauled from Philadelphia.


Letter from Herman L. Routzahn.

    MIDDLETOWN, Md., May 11th, 1876.

_Joseph Harris, Esq._:

I herewith proceed to answer questions asked.

Wheat and corn are principal crops. Corn is fed now altogether to stock
for the manure.

There is but little soiling done. The principal method of making manure
is: Feeding all the corn raised, as well as hay, oats, and roots, to
cattle; using wheat straw, weeds, etc., as bedding, throwing the manure
in the yard (uncovered), and to cover the pile with plaster (by sowing
broadcast), at least once a week. To this pile is added the manure from
the hog-pens, hen-house, etc., and worked over thoroughly at least twice
before using. It is then applied to corn by plowing _under_; to wheat,
as a top-dressing. For corn it is usually hauled to the field, thrown
off in heaps 25 feet each way, a cart-load making two heaps. Spread just
before the plow. For wheat, spread on directly after plowing, and
thoroughly harrowed in. Applied broadcast for potatoes. Composts of
different kinds are made and used same as in other localities,
I presume. Artificial manures are going into disrepute (justly too).
This is the plan now adopted by the farmers in this county (Frederick).
Where woods are accessible, leaves and mould are hauled in and added to
the manure-heap; in fact, every substance that can be worked into the
manure-heap is freely used. Well-rotted stable-manure is worth from
$1.50 to $2.50 per cord, according to condition and locality.

  Very Respectfully Yours,


Letter from Prof. E. M. Shelton, Prof. of Agriculture, Kansas State
Agricultural College.


    MANHATTAN, Kansas, May 5, 1876.

DEAR SIR.--In reply to your first question, I would say that
stable-manure in this vicinity, is held in very light estimation.
Indeed, by the householders of this city, and quite generally by the
farmers, manure is regarded as one of those things--like drouth and
grasshoppers--with which a mysterious Providence sees fit to clog the
operations of the husband-man. The great bulk of the stable-manure made
in this city is, every spring, carted into ravines and vacant
lots--wherever, in short, with least expense it can be put out of reach
of the senses.

It must not be understood by this that manure has little influence on
the growing crops in Kansas. Nowhere have I seen such excellent results
from application of home-made fertilizers, as in Kansas. For those
sterile wastes known as “Alkali lands,” and “Buffalo wallows,” manure is
a speedy and certain cure. During two years of severe drouth, I have
noticed that wherever manure had been supplied, the crop withstood the
effects of dry weather much better than where no application had been
made. Four years ago, a strip across one of our fields was heavily
manured; this year this field is into wheat, and a dark band that may be
seen half a mile shows where this application was made.

These facts the better class of our farmers are beginning to appreciate.
A few days ago, a neighbor, a very intelligent farmer, assured me that
from manuring eight to ten acres every year, his farm was now in better
condition than when be broke up the prairie fifteen years ago.

I know of no analysis of stable or farmyard-manure made in Kansas.
Concerning the _weight_ of manures, I can give you a few facts, having
had occasion during the past winter to weigh several loads used for
experimental purposes. This manure was wheeled into the barnyard,
chiefly from the cattle stalls, during the winter of 1874-5. It lay in
the open yard until February last, when it was weighed and hauled to the
fields. I found that a wagon-box, 1½ × 3 × 9 feet, into which the manure
was pitched, without treading, held with slight variations, when level
full, one ton. At this rate a cord would weigh very close to three tons.

The greatest difficulty that we have to encounter in the management of
manure grows out of our dry summers. During our summer months, unless
sufficient moisture is obtained, the manure dries out rapidly, becomes
fire-fanged and practically worthless. My practice upon the College farm
has been to give the bottom of the barn-yard a “dishing” form, so that
it holds all the water that falls upon it. The manure I keep as flat as
possible, taking pains to place it where the animals will keep it trod
down solid. I have adopted this plan after having tried composting and
piling the manure in the yards, and am satisfied that it is the only
_practical_ way to manage manures in this climate.

There is no particular crop to which manure is generally applied in this
State, unless, perhaps, wheat. The practice of applying manure as a
top-dressing to winter-wheat, is rapidly gaining ground here. It is
found that the manure thus applied, acting as a mulch, mitigates the
effects of drouth, besides improving the quality of the grain.

  Very Respectfully Yours,


Letter from Prof. W. H. Brewer, Professor of Agriculture in Sheffield
Scientific School of Yale College.


    NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 14th, 1876.

_Joseph Harris, Esq., Rochester, N.Y._:

MY DEAR SIR.--I have made inquiries relating to “the price of
stable-manure in New Haven, and how far the farmers and gardeners haul
it, etc.” I have not been to the horse-car stables, but I have to
several _livery_ stables, and they are all essentially the same.

They say that but little is sold by the _cord_ or _ton_, or by any
weight or measure. It is sold either “in the lump,” “by the month,” “by
the year,” or “per horse.” Some sell it at a given sum per month for all
their horses, on a general estimate of their horses--thus, one man says,
“I get, this year, $25 per month for all my manure, he to remove it as
fast as it accumulates; say one, two, or three times per week. He hauls
it about five miles and composts it all before using.”

Another says, he sells _per horse_. “I get, this year, $13 per horse,
they to haul it.” The price per horse ranges from $10 to $15 per year,
the latter sum being high.

From the small or private stables, the manure is generally “lumped”
by private contract, and is largely used about the city. It is hauled
sometimes as much as 10 miles, but usually much less.

But the larger stables often sell per shipment--it is sent by cars up
the Connecticut Valley to Westfield, etc., where it is often hauled
several miles from the railroad or river.

Much manure is sent by boat from New York to the Connecticut Valley
tobacco lands. Boats (“barges”) are even loaded in Albany, go down the
Hudson, up the Sound to Connecticut, to various places near Hartford,
I am told. Two or three years ago, a man came here and exhibited to us
pressed masses of manure--a patent had been taken out for pressing it,
to send by R.R. (stable manure). I never heard anything more about
it--and he was confident and enthusiastic about it.

  Yours truly,

    WM. H. BREWER.


The following table is given by Mr. J. B. Lawes, of Rothamsted, England,
showing the relation of the increase, manure, and loss by respiration,
to the food consumed by different animals:

  [Transcriber’s Note:

  The table headers as printed are difficult to interpret. I have given
  my best guess about what the author intended.]

250/600/3500 (Oxen):
   250 lbs. Oil-cake      }
   600 lbs. Clover-chaff  }
  3500 lbs. Swede turnips }
      Produce 100 lbs. Increase and supply:
250/300/4000 (Sheep)
   250 lbs. Oil-cake      }
   300 lbs. Clover-chaff  }
  4000 lbs. Swede turnips }
      Produce 100 lbs. Increase and supply:
500 lbs. Barley meal (Pigs)
    produce 100 lbs. increase and supply:

  (In) Food.
  100 I: In 100 lbs. Increase.
  (In) Man(ure).
  (In) Resp(iration, etc).
  100 Total Dry (Substance of Food supply.)
  (In) Inc(rease).
  Amount (of each constituent) stored (up for 100 of it consumed).

                     |     250/600/3500      || 100 Total Dry  || A S
                     +----+-----+-----+------++-----+----+-----++ m t
                     |Food|100 I| Man.|Resp. || Inc.|Man.|Resp.|| t d.
                     |lbs.| lbs.| lbs.| lbs. ||     |    |     ||
Nitrogenous substance| 218| 9.0}|     |    { || 0.8}|    |    {|| 4.1
Non-Nitrogenous      |    |    }|323.0| 636{ ||    }|29.1|57.3{||
  substance          | 808|58.0}|     |    { || 5.2}|    |    {|| 7.2
Mineral Matter       |  83| 1.6 | 81.4|  ..  || 0.2 | 7.4| ..  || 1.9
Total dry substance  |1109|68.6 |404.4| 636  || 6.2 |36.5|57.3 ||  ..
                     |     250/300/4000      || 100 Total Dry  || A S
                     +----+-----+-----+------++-----+----+-----++ m t
                     |Food|100 I| Man.|Resp. || Inc.|Man.|Resp.|| t d.
                     |lbs.| lbs.| lbs.| lbs. ||     |    |     ||
Nitrogenous substance|177 | 7.5}|    {|     {|| 0.8}|    |    {|| 4.2
Non-Nitrogenous      |    |    }| 229{|548.5{||    }|25.1|60.1{||
  substance          |671 |63.0}|    {|     {|| 7.0}|    |    {|| 9.4
Mineral Matter       | 64 | 2.0 |  62 |  ..  || 0.2 | 6.8| ..  || 3.1
Total dry substance  |912 |72.5 | 291 |548.5 || 8.0 |31.9|60.1 ||  ..
                     |  500 lbs. Barley meal || 100 Total Dry  || A S
                     +----+-----+-----+------++-----+----+-----++ m t
                     |Food|100 I| Man.|Resp. || Inc.|Man.|Resp.|| t d.
                     |lbs.| lbs.| lbs.| lbs. ||     |    |     ||
Nitrogenous substance|  52| 7.0}|    {|     {|| 1.7}|    |    {||13.5
Non-Nitrogenous      |    |    }|59.8{|276.2{||    }|14.3|65.7{||
  substance          | 357|66.0}|    {|     {||15.7}|    |    {||18.5
Mineral Matter       |  11| 0.8 |10.2 |  ..  || 0.2 | 2.4|  .. || 7.3
Total dry substance  | 420|73.8 |70.0 |276.2 ||17.6 |16.7|65.7 ||  ..

In the last edition of his book on Manure, “Praktische Düngerlehre,”
Dr. Emil Wolff, gives the following tables:

Of 100 lbs. of _dry substance_ in the food, there is found in the

  Dry Substance.      |  _Cow_  |  _Ox_   | _Sheep_ | _Horse_ | _Mean_
  In the Dung         |38.0 lbs.|45.6 lbs.|46.9 lbs.|42.0 lbs.|43.1 lbs.
  In the Urine        | 9.1 ”   | 5.8 ”   | 6.6 ”   | 3.6 ”   | 6.3 ”
  Total dry substance |         |         |         |         |
    in the Manure     |47.1 ”   |51.4 ”   |53.5 ”   |45.6 ”   |49.4 ”

Of 100 lbs. of _organic substance_ in the food, there is found in the

    Organic       |  _Cow_  |  _Ox_   | _Sheep_ | _Horse_ | _Mean_
      Substance.  |         |         |         |         |
  In the Dung     |36.5 lbs.|43.9 lbs.|45.6 lbs.|38.2 lbs.|41.0 lbs.
  In the Urine    | 6.0  ”  | 3.2  ”  | 3.9  ”  | 2.5  ”  | 3.9  ”
  Total organic   |         |         |         |         |
    substance     |         |         |         |         |
    in Manure     |42.5  ”  |47.1  ”  |49.5  ”  |40.7  ”  |44.9  ”

Of 100 lbs. of _nitrogen_ in the food, there is found in the excrements:

    Nitrogen.     |  _Cow_  |  _Ox_   | _Sheep_ | _Horse_ | _Mean_
  In the Dung     |45.5 lbs.|51.0 lbs.|43.7 lbs.|56.1 lbs.|49.1 lbs.
  In the Urine    |18.3  ”  |38.6  ”  |51.8  ”  |27.3  ”  |34.0  ”
  Total Nitrogen  |         |         |         |         |
    in Manure     |63.8  ”  |89.6  ”  |95.5  ”  |83.4  ”  |83.1  ”

Of 100 lbs. _mineral matter_ in the food, there is found in the

    Mineral Matter.   |  _Cow_  |  _Ox_   | _Sheep_ | _Horse_ | _Mean_
  In the Dung         |53.9 lbs.|70.8 lbs.|63.2 lbs.|85.6 lbs.|68.4 lbs.
  In the Urine        |43.1  ”  |46.7  ”  |40.3  ”  |16.3  ”  |35.1  ”
  Total mineral       |         |         |         |         |
    matter in Manure  |97.0  ”  |117. 5 ” |103. 5 ” |101.9  ” |103. 5 ”

The excess of mineral matter is due to the mineral matter in the water
drank by the animals.

The following tables of analyses are copied in full from the last
edition (1875), of Dr. Emil Wolff’s _Praktische Düngerlehre_.

The figures differ materially in many cases from those previously
published. They represent the average results of numerous reliable
analyses, and are sufficiently accurate for all practical purposes
connected with the subject of manures. In special cases, it will be
well to consult actual analyses of the articles to be used.


of water, nitrogen, and total ash, and the different ingredients of the
ash in 1000 lbs. of fresh or air-dried substance.

  W  Water.
  N  Nitrogen.
  A  Ash.
  P  Potash.
  S  Soda.
  L  Lime.
  M  Magnesia.
  PhA Phosphoric Acid.
  SA  Sulphuric Acid.
  S&S Silica and Sand.

  Substance.      | W  | N  |  A  | P  | S  | L  | M  |PhA | SA | S&S
Meadow Hay        |143 |15.5| 51.5|13.2| 2.3| 8.6| 3.3| 4.1| 2.4| 13.9
Rye Grass         |143 |16.3| 58.2|20.2| 2.0| 4.3| 1.3| 6.2| 2.3| 18.5
Timothy           |143 |15.5| 62.1|20.4| 1.5| 4.5| 1.9| 7.2| 1.8| 22.1
Moharhay          |134 |17.3| 58.4|21.2| 1.2| 6.1| 5.4| 3.4| 2.1| 16.3
Red Clover        |160 |19.7| 56.9|18.3| 1.2|20.0| 6.1| 5.6| 1.7|  1.4
Red Clover, ripe  |150 |12.5| 44.0| 9.8| 1.4|15.6| 6.8| 4.3| 1.3|  3.0
White Clover      |165 |23.2| 59.8|10.1| 4.5|19.3| 6.0| 8.4| 4.9|  2.5
Alsike Clover     |160 |24.0| 39.7|11.0| 1.2|13.5| 5.0| 4.0| 1.6|  1.6
Crimson Clover    |167 |19.5| 50.7|11.7| 4.3|16.0| 3.1| 3.6| 1.3|  8.2
Lucern            |160 |23.0| 62.1|15.3| 1.3|26.2| 3.3| 5.5| 3.7|  3.8
Esparsette        |167 |21.3| 45.8|13.0| 1.5|16.8| 3.0| 4.6| 1.4|  3.7
Yellow Clover     |167 |22.1| 55.7|11.9| 1.3|32.6| 2.1| 4.3| 1.0|  1.5
Green Vetch Hay   |167 |22.7| 83.7|28.3| 5.6|22.8| 5.4|10.7| 2.8|  4.9
Green Pea Hay     |167 |22.9| 62.4|23.2| 2.3|15.6| 6.3| 6.8| 5.1|  0.9
Spurry            |167 |19.2| 56.8|19.9| 4.6|10.9| 6.9| 8.4| 2.0|  0.8

Meadow Grass      |700 | 5.4| 18.1| 4.6| 0.8| 3.0| 1.1| 1.5| 0.8|  4.9
    in bloom      |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Young Grass       |800 | 5.6| 20.7|11.6| 0.4| 2.2| 0.6| 2.2| 0.8|  2.1
Rye Grass         |734 | 5.7| 20.4| 7.2| 0.7| 1.5| 0.4| 2.2| 0.8|  6.5
Timothy Grass     |700 | 5.4| 21.6| 7.4| 0.5| 1.6| 0.7| 2.5| 0.6|  7.7
Rye-Fodder        |760 | 5.3| 16.3| 6.3| 0.1| 1.2| 0.5| 2.4| 0.2|  5.2
Green Oats        |810 | 3.7| 18.8| 7.5| 0.6| 1.2| 0.6| 1.7| 0.6|  5.7
Green Corn-Fodder |822 | 1.9| 12.0| 4.3| 0.5| 1.6| 1.4| 1.3| 0.4|  1.7
Sorghum           |773 | 4.0| 13.0| 3.6| 1.8| 1.2| 0.5| 0.8| 0.4|  3.7
Moharhay          |700 | 5.9| 13.9| 5.0| 0.3| 1.4| 1.3| 0.8| 0.5|  3.9
Red Clover        |780 | 5.1| 13.7| 4.4| 0.3| 4.8| 1.5| 1.4| 0.4|  0.3
    in blossom    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ”    ”           |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    before  ”     |830 | 5.3| 14.5| 5.3| 0.3| 4.2| 1.5| 1.7| 0.3|  0.4
White Clover      |805 | 5.6| 13.6| 2.3| 1.0| 4.4| 1.4| 1.9| 1.1|  0.6
Alsike Clover     |820 | 5.3|  8.8| 2.4| 0.3| 3.0| 1.1| 0.9| 0.4|  0.4
Crimson Clover    |815 | 4.3| 12.2| 2.8| 1.0| 3.8| 0.7| 0.9| 0.3|  2.0
Lucern            |740 | 7.2| 18.7| 4.6| 0.4| 7.9| 1.0| 1.6| 1.1|  1.1
Esparsette        |800 | 5.1| 12.1| 3.4| 0.4| 4.4| 0.8| 1.2| 0.4|  1.0
Yellow Clover     |830 | 4.5| 14.7| 3.2| 0.3| 8.6| 0.6| 1.1| 0.3|  0.4
Green Vetch       |820 | 5.6| 18.1| 6.1| 1.2| 4.9| 1.2| 2.3| 0.6|  1.1
Green Peas        |815 | 5.1| 13.9| 5.1| 0.5| 3.5| 1.4| 1.5| 1.1|  0.2
Green Rape        |870 | 4.6| 12.2| 4.0| 0.4| 2.7| 0.5| 1.4| 1.7|  0.6
Spurry            |800 | 3.7| 12.2| 4.3| 1.0| 2.3| 1.5| 1.8| 0.4|  0.2

Potatoes          |750 | 3.4|  9.4| 5.7| 0.2| 0.2| 0.4| 1.6| 0.6|  0.2
Jerusalem         |800 | 3.2|  9.8| 4.7| 1.0| 0.3| 0.3| 1.4| 0.5|  1.0
    Artichoke     |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Mangel-wurzel     |880 | 1.8|  7.5| 4.1| 1.2| 0.3| 0.3| 0.6| 0.2|  0.2
Sugar Beets       |815 | 1.6|  7.1| 3.9| 0.7| 0.4| 0.5| 0.8| 0.3|  0.1
Turnips           |920 | 1.8|  7.3| 3.3| 0.7| 0.8| 0.3| 0.9| 0.8|  0.1
Carrots           |850 | 2.2|  7.8| 2.8| 1.7| 0.9| 0.4| 1.0| 0.5|  0.2
Russia Turnips    |870 | 2.1| 11.6| 4.7| 1.2| 1.3| 0.3| 1.7| 1.5|  0.1
Succory           |800 | 2.5|  6.7| 2.6| 1.1| 0.5| 0.3| 0.8| 0.5|  0.3
Sugar Beet, upper |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    part of root  |840 | 2.0|  9.6| 2.8| 2.3| 0.9| 1.1| 1.2| 0.7|  0.2

Potato Vines,     |770 | 4.9| 19.7| 4.3| 0.4| 6.4| 3.3| 1.6| 1.3|  0.9
    nearly ripe   |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Potato Vines,     |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    unripe        |825 | 6.3| 16.5| 4.4| 0.3| 5.1| 2.4| 1.2| 0.8|  1.2
Jerusalem         |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    Artichoke     |800 | 5.3| 14.5| 3.1| 0.2| 5.0| 1.3| 0.7| 0.2|  3.6
Mangel-wurzel     |905 | 3.0| 14.1| 4.1| 2.9| 1.6| 1.3| 0.8| 0.8|  0.5
Sugar Beets       |897 | 3.0|  8.1| 6.5| 2.7| 2.7| 2.7| 1.3| 0.9|  0.7
Turnips           |898 | 3.0| 11.9| 2.8| 1.1| 3.9| 0.5| 0.9| 1.1|  0.5
Carrots           |822 | 5.1| 26.0| 2.9| 5.2| 8.5| 0.9| 1.2| 2.0|  2.9
Succory           |850 | 3.5| 16.5| 4.3| 2.9| 3.2| 0.4| 1.0| 1.4|  0.6
Russia Turnips    |850 | 4.6| 25.3| 3.7| 1.0| 8.4| 1.0| 2.6| 3.0|  2.6
Cabbage, white    |890 | 2.4| 16.0| 6.3| 0.9| 3.1| 0.6| 1.4| 2.4|  0.2
Cabbage Stems     |820 | 1.8| 11.6| 5.1| 0.6| 1.3| 0.5| 2.4| 0.9|  0.2

Wheat Bran        |131 |22.4| 53.5|14.3| 0.2| 1.7| 8.8|27.3| 0.1|  0.5
Rye Bran          |125 |23.2| 71.4|19.3| 1.0| 2.5|11.3|34.3| .. |  1.4
Barley Bran       |120 |23.7| 48.4| 8.1| 0.7| 1.8| 3.0| 8.9| 0.9| 23.6
Oat Hulls         |140 | .. | 34.7| 4.9| 0.3| 1.4| 1.0| 1.6| 1.3| 23.3
Pea Bran          |140 | .. | 22.7|10.3| 0.2| 4.1| 2.2| 3.1| 0.9|  0.9
Buckwheat Bran    |140 |27.2| 34.6|11.2| 0.7| 3.4| 4.6|12.5| 1.0|  0.7
Wheat Flour       |136 |18.9|  7.2| 2.6| 0.1| 0.2| 0.4| 3.7| .. |  ..
Rye Flour         |142 |16.8| 16.9| 6.5| 0.3| 0.2| 1.4| 8.5| .. |  ..
Barley Meal       |140 |16.0| 20.0| 5.8| 0.5| 0.6| 2.7| 9.5| 0.6|  ..
Corn Meal         |140 |16.0|  5.9| 1.7| 0.2| 0.4| 0.9| 2.6| .. |  ..
Green Malt        |475 |10.4| 14.6| 2.5| .. | 9.5| 1.2| 5.3| .. |  4.8
Dry Malt          | 75 |16.0| 26.6| 4.6| .. | 1.0| 2.2| 9.7| .. |  8.8
Brewer’s Grains   |766 | 7.8| 11.7| 0.5| 0.1| 1.3| 1.0| 4.1| .. |  4.6
Beer              |900 | .. |  6.2| 2.1| 0.6| 0.2| 0.4| 2.0| 0.2|  0.6
Malt-sprouts      | 80 |36.8| 66.7|20.6| 1.2| 1.9| 1.8|18.0| 2.9| 14.7
Potato Fibre      |850 | 1.3|  1.8| 0.3| .. | 0.9| 0.1| 0.4| .. |  0.1
Potato Slump      |948 | 1.6|  5.0| 2.2| 0.4| 0.3| 0.4| 1.0| 0.4|  0.2
Sugar-beet Pomace |700 | 2.9| 11.4| 3.9| 0.9| 2.6| 0.7| 1.1| 0.4|  0.9
Clarifying Refuse |948 | 0.8|  3.3| 0.3| 0.1| 1.1| 0.2| 0.2| 0.1|  0.7
Sugar-beet        |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    Molasses      |172 |12.8| 82.3|57.5|10.0| 4.7| 0.3| 0.5| 1.7|  0.3
Molasses Slump    |920 | 3.2| 14.0|11.0| 1.5| 0.2| .. | 0.1| 0.2|  ..
Rape-cake         |150 |48.5| 54.6|12.4| 1.8| 6.8| 7.0|19.2| 3.2|  2.8
Linseed Oil-cake  |115 |45.3| 50.8|12.4| 0.7| 4.3| 8.1|16.1| 1.6|  6.4
Poppy-cake        |100 |52.0| 76.9| 2.3| 2.3|27.0| 6.2|31.2| 1.9|  4.5
Beech-nut-cake    |100 |38.1| 43.3| 6.5| 4.6|13.2| 3.6| 9.7| 0.6|  0.8
Walnut-cake       |137 |55.3| 46.2|14.3| .. | 3.1| 5.6|20.2| 0.6|  0.7
Cotton-seed-cake  |115 |39.0| 58.4|14.6| .. | 2.7| 8.9|28.1| 0.7|  2.3
Cocoanut-cake     |127 |37.4| 55.1|22.4| 1.3| 2.6| 1.6|14.9| 2.1|  1.9
Palm-oil-cake     |100 |25.9| 26.1| 5.0| 0.2| 3.1| 4.5|11.0| 0.5|  0.8

Winter Wheat      |143 | 4.8| 46.1| 6.3| 0.6| 2.7| 1.1| 2.2| 1.1| 31.2
Winter Spelt      |143 | 4.0| 50.1| 5.2| 0.3| 2.9| 1.2| 2.6| 1.2| 36.0
Winter Rye        |143 | 4.0| 40.5| 7.8| 0.9| 3.5| 1.1| 2.1| 1.1| 22.9
Spring Wheat      |143 | 5.6| 38.1|11.0| 1.0| 2.6| 0.9| 2.0| 1.2| 18.2
Spring Rye        |143 | 5.6| 46.6|11.2| .. | 4.2| 1.8| 3.0| 1.2| 26.1
Barley            |143 | 6.4| 41.3| 9.4| 1.7| 3.2| 1.1| 1.9| 1.5| 21.5
Oats              |143 | 5.6| 40.4| 8.9| 1.2| 3.6| 1.6| 1.9| 1.3| 19.6
Indian Corn-stalks|150 | 4.8| 41.9| 9.6| 6.1| 4.0| 2.6| 5.3| 1.2| 11.7
Buckwheat Straw   |160 |13.0| 51.7|24.2| 1.1| 9.5| 1.9| 6.1| 2.7|  2.9
Pea Straw         |160 |10.4| 44.0|10.1| 1.8|16.2| 3.5| 3.5| 2.7|  3.0
Field Bean        |160 |16.3| 43.9|18.5| 1.1| 9.8| 3.3| 3.2| 1.6|  3.2
Garden Bean       |160 | .. | 40.0|12.8| 3.2|11.1| 2.5| 3.9| 1.7|  1.9
Common Vetch      |160 |12.0| 44.1| 6.3| 6.9|15.6| 3.7| 2.7| 3.3|  3.6
Lupine            |160 | 9.4| 41.4| 8.0| 2.6|14.8| 3.6| 3.7| 3.0|  2.1
Rape              |160 | 5.6| 40.8|11.1| 3.8|11.6| 2.5| 2.4| 3.1|  2.6
Poppy             |160 | .. | 48.7|18.4| 0.6|14.7| 3.1| 1.6| 2.5|  5.5

Winter Wheat      |143 | 7.2| 92.5| 8.5| 1.7| 1.8| 1.2| 4.0| .. | 75.1
Spring Wheat      |143 | 7.5|121.4| 4.8| 1.0| 4.0| 1.5| 3.1| 0.7|105.3
Winter Spelt      |143 | 5.6| 82.7| 7.9| 0.2| 2.0| 2.1| 6.1| 1.9| 61.3
Winter Rye        |143 | 5.8| 84.0| 5.3| 0.3| 3.5| 1.2| 5.6| 0.1| 69.2
Barley Awns       |143 | 4.8|120.0| 9.4| 1.2|12.7| 1.6| 2.4| 3.7| 86.6
Oats              |143 | 6.4| 71.2| 4.6| 2.9| 4.0| 1.5| 1.3| 3.5| 50.4
Indian Corn-cobs  |140 | 2.3|  4.6| 2.4| 0.1| 0.2| 0.2| 0.2| 0.1|  1.3
Field Beans       |150 |16.8| 54.5|35.3| 1.3| 6.8| 5.9| 2.7| 1.2|  0.3
Lupine            |143 | 7.2| 18.1| 8.7| 0.7| 3.6| 1.5| 1.1| 0.5|  0.9
Rape              |140 | 6.4| 73.2|11.8| 4.4|36.3| 4.2| 3.4| 7.3|  1.0
Flax-seed hulls   |120 | .. | 54.7|15.4| 3.0|15.4| 3.3| 4.5| 3.4|  5.0

Flax Stems        |140 | .. | 30.4| 9.4| 2.5| 6.8| 2.0| 4.0| 2.0|  1.7
Rotted Flax Stems |100 | .. |  7.0| 0.3| 0.2| 3.6| 0.2| 0.8| 0.2|  1.3
Flax Fibre        |100 | .. |  6.8| 0.3| 0.3| 3.6| 0.3| 0.7| 0.3|  0.8
Hemp Stems        |150 | .. | 33.2| 4.6| 0.7|20.3| 2.4| 2.3| 0.7|  3.5
Hops, entire plant|140 | .. | 81.4|20.1| 2.8|18.1| 6.4| 7.5| 3.7| 16.4
Hops              |120 | .. | 66.8|23.0| 1.4|11.1| 3.7|11.2| 2.4| 11.1
Hop Stems         |160 | .. | 40.7|11.4| 1.7|12.6| 2.7| 4.4| 1.3|  3.4
Tobacco Leaves    |180 | .. |151.0|30.3| 5.1|62.8|17.7| 4.8| 5.8| 13.5
Wine and Must     |866 | .. |  2.1| 1.3| .. | 0.1| 0.1| 0.4| 0.1|  ..
Wine-grounds      |650 | .. | 13.9| 6.1| 0.2| 2.9| 0.7| 2.5| 0.6|  0.2
Grape Stems, etc. |550 | .. | 13.0| 4.0| 1.4| 4.5| 0.7| 1.6| 0.3|  0.2
Mulberry Leaves   |850 | .. | 16.3| 3.9| 0.2| 5.4| 1.0| 1.3| 0.3|  4.1

Reed              |180 | .. | 36.7| 6.8| 0.2| 3.3| 1.1| 2.3| 0.6| 20.0
Sedge Grass       |140 | .. | 61.2|17.7| 4.9| 4.2| 2.9| 4.6| 2.3| 20.3
Rush              |140 | .. | 48.1|19.0| 3.1| 3.6| 3.1| 4.3| 1.3|  6.8
Beech Leaves,     |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    August        |560 | .. | 19.0| 3.7| 0.4| 6.4| 1.4| 1.8| 0.4|  3.8
 ”      ”         |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    Autumn        |150 | 8.0| 58.5| 2.3| 0.4|26.4| 3.5| 2.4| 2.1| 19.7
Oak Leaves,       |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    August        |550 | .. | 15.8| 5.4| .. | 4.1| 2.1| 1.9| 0.4|  0.7
 ”    ”           |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    Autumn        |150 | 8.0| 41.7| 1.4| 0.3|20.3| 1.7| 3.5| 1.8| 12.9
Fir Needles       |475 | 5.0| 18.4| 1.0| 0.3| 6.1| 1.1| 1.0| 0.4|  6.3
Pine   ”          |450 | .. | 32.0| 0.6| 0.1| 4.3| 0.5| 1.4| 0.6| 22.6
Moss              |250 | .. | 19.2| 2.6| 1.6| 2.2| 1.1| 0.9| 1.0|  5.5
Fern              |250 | .. | 50.7|18.0| 2.1| 6.2| 3.5| 4.2| 1.8| 10.3
Heath             |200 |10.0| 16.6| 2.1| 1.1| 3.6| 1.6| 1.1| 0.7|  4.9
Broom             |250 | .. | 13.6| 4.8| 0.3| 2.2| 1.6| 1.1| 0.4|  1.3
Sea-Weed          |150 |14.0|122.3|15.9|28.1|16.7|10.0| 3.8|26.3|  2.5

Winter Wheat      |144 |20.8| 16.9| 5.3| 0.4| 0.6| 2.0| 7.9| 0.1|  0.4
Spring Wheat      |143 |20.5| 18.3| 5.5| 0.4| 0.5| 2.2| 8.9| 0.3|  0.3
Spelt,            |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
    without husk  |143 |22.0| 14.2| 5.1| 0.5| 0.4| 1.7| 6.0| .. |  0.2
Spelt, with husk  |148 |16.0| 36.6| 5.7| 0.4| 1.0| 2.4| 7.6| 1.1| 17.1
Winter Rye        |143 |17.6| 17.9| 5.6| 0.3| 0.5| 2.1| 8.4| 0.2|  0.4
Winter Barley     |145 |16.0| 17.0| 2.6| 0.7| 0.2| 2.1| 5.6| 0.5|  4.9
Spring Barley     |143 |16.0| 22.2| 4.5| 0.6| 0.6| 1.9| 7.7| 0.4|  6.1
Oats              |143 |19.2| 27.0| 4.4| 0.6| 1.0| 1.9| 6.2| 0.4| 12.8
Millet            |140 |20.3| 29.8| 3.4| 0.4| 0.2| 2.9| 5.9| 0.1| 15.8
Indian Corn       |144 |16.0| 13.0| 3.7| 0.2| 0.3| 2.0  5.9| 0.2|  0.2
Sorghum           |140 | .. | 16.0| 3.3| 0.5| 0.2| 2.4| 8.1| .. |  1.2
Buckwheat         |140 |14.4| 11.8| 2.7| 0.7| 0.5| 1.5| 5.7| 0.2|  0.1
Peas              |143 |35.8| 23.5| 9.8| 0.2| 1.2| 1.9| 8.6| 0.8|  0.2
Field Beans       |145 |40.8| 30.7|13.1| 0.4| 1.5| 2.2|11.9| 0.8|  0.2
Garden Beans      |150 |39.0| 27.4|12.0| 0.4| 1.8| 2.0| 9.7| 1.1|  0.2
Vetch             |143 |44.0| 26.8| 8.1| 2.1| 2.1| 2.4|10.0| 1.0|  0.3
Lupine            |130 |56.6| 34.1|10.2| 0.1| 3.0| 4.0|14.3| 1.5|  0.2
Red Clover        |150 |30.5| 38.3|13.5| 0.4| 2.5| 4.9|14.5| 0.9|  0.5
White Clover      |150 | .. | 33.8|12.3| 0.2| 2.5| 3.9|11.6| 1.6|  0.8
Esparsette        |160 | .. | 38.4|11.0| 1.1|12.3| 2.6| 9.2| 1.2|  0.3
Ruta-bagas        |140 | .. | 48.8| 9.1| 8.5| 7.6| 8.6| 7.6| 2.1|  1.1
Sugar-Beet        |146 | .. | 45.3|11.1| 4.2|10.2| 7.3| 7.5| 2.0|  0.8
Carrots           |120 | .. | 74.8|14.3| 3.5|29.1| 5.0|11.8| 4.2|  4.0
Succory           |130 | .. | 54.6| 6.5| 4.6|17.3| 5.9|16.5| 2.4|  0.6
Turnips           |125 | .. | 34.6| 7.6| 0.4| 6.1| 3.1|14.0| 2.5|  0.2
Rape              |118 |31.2| 39.1| 9.6| 0.6| 5.5| 4.6|16.5| 0.9|  0.5
Summer-Rape       |120 | .. | 34.9| 7.7| .. | 5.2| 4.7|14.9| 2.3|  ..
Mustard           |130 | .. | 36.5| 5.9| 2.0| 7.0| 3.7|14.6| 1.8|  0.9
Poppy             |147 |28.0| 52.9| 7.2| 0.5|18.7| 5.0|16.6| 1.0|  1.7
Linseed           |118 |32.8| 32.6|10.0| 0.7| 2.6| 4.7|13.5| 0.8|  0.4
Hemp              |122 |26.1| 45.3| 9.4| 0.4|10.9| 2.6|16.9| 0.1|  5.5
Grape-Seeds       |110 | .. | 25.0| 7.2| .. | 8.4| 2.1| 6.0| 0.6|  0.3
Horse-chestnuts,  |492 |10.2| 12.0| 7.1| .. | 1.4| 0.1| 2.7| 0.3|  0.3
    fresh         |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |    |
Acorns, fresh     |560 | .. |  9.6| 6.2| 0.1| 0.7| 0.5| 1.4| 0.4|  0.1

Cows’ Milk        |875 | 5.1|  6.2| 1.5| 0.6| 1.3| 0.2| 1.7| .. |  ..
Sheep             |860 | 5.5|  8.4| 1.8| 0.3| 2.5| 0.1| 3.0| 0.1|  0.2
Cheese            |450 |45.3| 67.4| 2.5|26.6| 6.9| 0.2|11.5| .. |  ..
Ox-blood          |790 |32.0|  7.5| 0.6| 3.4| 0.1| 0.1| 0.4| 0.2|  0.1
Calf-blood        |800 |29.0|  7.1| 0.8| 2.9| 0.1| 0.1| 0.6| 0.1|  ..
Sheep-blood       |790 |32.0|  7.5| 0.5| 3.3| 0.1| 0.1| 0.4| 0.1|  ..
Swine-blood       |800 |29.0|  7.1| 1.5| 2.2| 0.1| 0.1| 0.9| 0.1|  ..
Ox-flesh          |770 |36.0| 12.6| 5.2| .. | 0.2| 0.4| 4.3| 0.4|  0.3
Calf flesh        |780 |34.9| 12.0| 4.1| 1.0| 0.2| 0.2| 5.8| .. |  0.1
Swine-flesh       |740 |34.7| 10.4| 3.9| 0.5| 0.8| 0.5| 4.6| .. |  ..
Living Ox         |597 |26.6| 46.6| 1.7| 1.4|20.8| 0.6|18.6| .. |  0.1
Living Calf       |662 |25.0| 38.0| 2.4| 0.6|16.3| 0.5|13.8| .. |  0.1
Living Sheep      |591 |22.4| 31.7| 1.5| 1.4|13.2| 0.4|12.8| .. |  0.2
Living Swine      |528 |20.0| 21.6| 1.8| 0.2| 9.2| 0.4| 8.8| .. |  ..
Eggs              |672 |21.8| 61.8| 1.5| 1.4|54.0| 1.0| 3.7| 0.1|  0.1
Wool, washed      |120 |94.4|  9.7| 1.8| 0.3| 2.4| 0.6| 0.3| .. |  2.5
Wool, unwashed    |150 |54.0| 98.8|74.6| 1.9| 4.2| 1.6| 1.1| 4.0|  3.0


  W  Water.
  OS Organic Substance.
  A  Ash.
  N  Nitrogen.
  P  Potash.
  S  Soda.
  L  Lime.
  M  Magnesia.
  PhA Phosphoric Acid.
  SA  Sulphuric Acid.
  S&S Silica and Sand.
  C&F Chlorine and Florine.

Name of     |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
Fertilizer. | W  | OS |  A  | N  | P  | S  | L  | M | PhA| SA |S&S |C&F
I.--Animal Excrements.      |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
(In 1000 parts of Manure.)  |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
            |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
Fresh Fæces:|    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
  Horse     |757 |211 | 31.6| 4.4| 3.5| 0.6| 1.5|1.2| 3.5| 0.6|19.6| 0.2
  Cattle    |838 |145 | 17.2| 2.9| 1.0| 0.2| 3.4|1.3| 1.7| 0.4| 7.2| 0.2
  Sheep     |655 |314 | 31.1| 5.5| 1.5| 1.0| 4.6|1.5| 3.1| 1.4|17.5| 0.3
  Swine     |820 |150 | 30.0| 6.0| 2.6| 2.5| 0.9|1.0| 4.1| 0.4|15.0| 0.3
Fresh Urine:     |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
  Horse     |901 | 71 | 28.0|15.5|15.0| 2.5| 4.5|2.4| .. | 0.6| 0.8| 1.5
  Cattle    |938 | 35 | 27.4| 5.8| 4.9| 6.4| 0.1|0.4| .. | 1.3| 0.3| 3.8
  Sheep     |872 | 83 | 45.2|19.5|22.6| 5.4| 1.6|3.4| 0.1| 3.0| 0.1| 6.5
  Swine     |967 | 28 | 15.0| 4.3| 8.3| 2.1| .. |0.8| 0.7| 0.8| .. | 2.3
Fresh Dung (with straw:)*   |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
  Horse     |713 |254 | 32.6| 5.8| 5.3| 1.0| 2.1|1.4| 2.8| 0.7|17.7| 0.4
  Cattle    |775 |203 | 21.8| 3.4| 4.0| 1.4| 3.1|1.1| 1.6| 0.6| 8.5| 1.0
  Sheep     |646 |318 | 35.6| 8.3| 6.7| 2.2| 3.3|1.8| 2.3| 1.5|14.7| 1.7
  Swine     |724 |250 | 25.6| 4.5| 6.0| 2.0| 0.8|0.9| 1.9| 0.8|10.8| 1.7
Common Barn-yard Manure:    |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
  Fresh     |710 |246 | 44.1| 4.5| 5.2| 1.5| 5.7|1.4| 2.1| 1.2|12.5| 1.5
  Moderately|    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    rotted  |750 |192 | 58.0| 5.0| 6.3| 1.9| 7.0|1.8| 2.6| 1.6|16.8| 1.9
  Thoroughly|    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    rotted  |790 |145 | 65.0| 5.8| 5.0| 1.3| 8.8|1.8| 3.0| 1.3|17.0| 1.6
Drainage from Barn-yard     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    Manure  |982 |  7 | 10.7| 1.5| 4.9| 1.0| 0.3|0.4| 0.1| 0.7| 0.2| 1.2
Human Fæces,|    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    fresh   |772 |198 | 29.9|10.0| 2.5| 1.6| 6.2|3.6|10.9| 0.8| 1.9| 0.4
  ”   Urine,|    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
      ”     |963 | 24 | 13.5| 6.0| 2.0| 4.6| 0.2|0.2| 1.7| 0.4| .. | 5.0
Mixed human excrements,     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    fresh   |933 | 51 | 16.0| 7.0| 2.1| 3.8| 0.9|0.6| 2.6| 0.5| 0.2| 4.0
Mixed human excrements, mostly   |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    liquid  |955 | 30 | 15.0| 3.5| 2.0| 3.0| 1.0|0.6| 2.8| 0.4| 0.2| 4.3
Dove Manure,|    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    fresh   |519 |308 |173.0|17.6|10.0| 0.7|16.0|5.0|17.8| 3.3|20.2| ..
Hen   ”  ”  |560 |255 |185.0|16.3| 8.5| 1.0|24.0|7.4|15.4| 4.5|35.2| ..
Duck  ”  ”  |566 |262 |172.0|10.0| 6.2| 0.5|17.0|3.5|14.0| 3.5|28.0| ..
Geese ”  ”  |771 |134 | 95.0| 5.5| 9.5| 1.3| 8.4|2.0| 5.4| 1.4|14.0| ..
            |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
II.--Commercial Manures.    |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
(In 100 parts of Fertilizer.)    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
            |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
Peruvian    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    Guano   |14.8|51.4| 33.8|13.0| 2.3| 1.4|11.0|1.2|13.0| 1.0| 1.7| 1.3
Norway      |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
  Fish-Guano|12.6|53.4| 34.0| 9.0| 0.3| 0.9|15.4|0.6|13.5| 0.3| 1.6| 1.1
Poudrette   |24.0|27.0| 49.0| 2.0| 0.9| 1.0|18.6|0.5| 2.1| 1.0| 5.4| 1.5
Pulverized Dead  |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    Animals | 5.7|56.9| 37.4| 6.5| 0.3| 0.8|18.2|0.4|13.9| 1.0| 1.7| 0.2
Flesh-Meal  |27.8|56.6| 15.6| 9.7| .. | .. | 7.0|0.3| 6.3| 0.1| 1.1| ..
Dried Blood |14.0|79.0|  7.0|11.7| 0.7| 0.6| 0.7|0.1| 1.0| 0.4| 2.1| 0.4
Horn-Meal and    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    Shavings| 8.5|68.5| 25.0|10.2| .. | .. | 6.6|0.3| 5.5| 0.9|11.0| ..
Bone-Meal   | 6.0|33.3| 60.7| 3.8| 0.2| 0.3|31.3|1.0|23.2| 0.1| 3.5| 0.3
Bone-Meal from solid  |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    parts   | 5.0|31.5| 63.5| 3.5| 0.1| 0.2|33.0|1.0|25.2| 0.1| 3.0| 0.2
Bone-Meal from soft   |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    parts   | 7.0|37.3| 55.7| 4.0| 0.2| 0.3|29.0|1.0|20.0| 0.1| 3.5| 0.2
Bone-black, before    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    used    | 6.0|10.0| 84.0| 1.0| 0.1| 0.3|43.0|1.1|32.0| 0.4| 5.0| ..
Bone-black, |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    spent   |10.0| 6.0| 84.0| 0.5| 0.1| 0.2|37.0|1.1|26.0| 0.4|15.0| ..
Bone ash    | 6.0| 3.0| 91.0| .. | 0.3| 0.6|46.0|1.2|35.4| 0.4| 6.5| ..
Baker Guano |10.0| 9.2| 81.0| 0.5| 0.2| 1.2|41.5|1.5|34.8| 1.5| 0.8| 0.3
Jarvis Guano|11.8| 8.2| 80.0| 0.4| 0.4| 0.3|39.1|0.5|20.6|18.0| 0.5| 0.2
Estremadura |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    Apatite | 0.6| .. |  .. | .. | 0.7| 0.3|48.1|0.1|37.6| 0.2| 9.0| 1.5
Sombrero    |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
  Phosphate | 8.5| .. | 91.5| 0.1| .. | 0.8|43.5|0.6|35.0| 0.5| 1.0| 0.6
Navassa     |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
  Phosphate | 2.6| 5.4| 92.0| 0.1| .. | .. |37.5|0.6|33.2| 0.5| 5.0| 0.1
Nassau Phosphorite,   |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    rich    | 2.6| .. | 97.4| .. | 0.8| 0.4|45.1|0.2|33.0| 0.3| 5.5| 3.1
Nassau Phosphorite,   |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    medium  | 2.5| .. | 97.5| .. | 0.7| 0.4|40.1|0.2|24.1| .. |20.8| 1.5
Westphalian Phos-|    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    phorite | 6.5| 1.6| 91.8| .. | .. | .. |21.8|0.9|19.7| 1.0|22.0| 1.6
Hanover Phos-    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    phorite | 2.0| 3.5| 94.5| .. | .. | .. |37.2|0.2|29.2| 0.5| 3.3| 1.5
Coprolites  | 4.3| .. | 95.7| .. | 1.0| 0.5|45.4|1.0|26.4| 0.8| 7.5| 0.1
Sulphate of |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    Ammonia | 4.0| .. |  .. |20.0| .. | .. | 0.5| ..| .. |58.0| 3.0| 1.4
Nitrate of  |    |    |     |    |    |    |    |   |    |    |    |
    Soda    | 2.6| .. |  .. |15.5| .. |35.0| 0.2| ..| .. | 0.7| 1.5| 1.7
Wool-dust and    |    |     |