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Title: Guano - A Treatise of Practical Information for Farmers
Author: Robinson, Solon, 1803-1880
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Agriculture (CHLA), Cornell University)


  A Treatise of Practical Information for Farmers;







  "If the experience of the last few years has taught us one thing
  more certainly than another, it is the unfailing excellence of Guano
  for every kind of crop which requires manure."









  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by


  in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United States for
  the Southern District of New York.


The rapidly increasing use of guano, in the United States, and the
growing conviction upon the public mind, that it is the cheapest and
best purchasable manure in the world, together with the fact of a great
want of information among American farmers, as to the best mode of
applying it to the soil, has induced the agents of the Peruvian
Government for the sale of guano in the United States, to employ the
author of this pamphlet to collect and publish such information.

It is hoped the favorably and well known name of the author, as an
agricultural writer and traveller, together with his extended
opportunities of witnessing the application and effect of guano upon the
various soils and climates of this country, will give this work such a
character, as to induce every improving farmer, gardener, or
horticulturist, in America to give it a careful perusal. The author
believes it will be found to contain all and much more than its title
imports, and be of great value to every person using or dealing in
guano; as the analysis, not only of the pure article is given, but that
of several specimens of adulterated samples, so as to enable the farmer
to avoid being cheated by base counterfeits.

The author will be much obliged to any gentleman who will furnish him
for publication in future editions of this work, or in the columns of
THE AGRICULTOR, any details of experiments in the use of
Peruvian guano, which will be useful to the farmers of this country, as
it is his desire, as well as the guano agents, to give them useful
facts; not only to increase the sale, but the fertility of the land, and
wealth of the owners.

With assurances to my friends that I have no other interest in the
increased consumption of guano, I am most sincerely and respectfully

  Your old Friend,


  _New York, October 1852._



Of all manures procurable by the American Farmer, guano from the
rainless islands of Peru, is perhaps not only the most concentrated--the
most economical to the purchaser--but by its composition, as we will
show by analysis, the best adapted to all the crops cultivated in this
country requiring manure. For wheat, especially, it is the one thing
needful. The mineral constituents of cultivated plants, as will also be
shown by analysis, are chiefly lime, magnesia, potash, soda, chlorine,
sulphuric and phosphoric acid; all of which will be found in Peruvian
guano. Nitrogen, the most valuable constituent of stable or compost
manures, exists in great abundance in guano, in the exact condition
required by plants to promote rapid vegetation. The concentration of all
these valuable properties in the small bulk of guano, renders it
particularly valuable to farms situated in districts unprovided with
facilities of cheap transportation. In some hilly regions, it would be
utterly impossible to make any ordinary manure pay for transportation.
With guano the case is very different--one wagon will carry enough with
a single pair of horses to dress 12 or 16 acres; while of stable manure
it would require as many or more loads to each acre to produce the same

But this is not the greatest advantage in the use of this fertilizer;
the first application puts the land in such condition, that judicious
after cultivation renders it continuously fertile by its own action of
productiveness and reproductiveness of wheat, clover and wheat, by
turning in the clover of one year for the wheat of the next, and by
returning the straw back to the ground where it grew, spread open the
surface to shade the plants of clover and manure its roots, which in
turn manure the corn or wheat.

As a source of profit alone, we should recommend the continuous
application of Guano; knowing as we do, from our extensive means of
observation, that no outlay of capital ever made by the farmer, is so
sure and certain to bring him back good returns for his money, as when
he invests it in this invaluable fertilizer for his impoverished soil.
In proof of this, we shall give the reader of this little work a number
of experiments made by some of the most improving farmers in Virginia
and other States.


In no other part of the world, perhaps, can the beneficial effects of
Guano be more plainly seen than in the tide-water region of Virginia. In
the counties of King George, Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland,
Lancaster, in the northern neck, as the peninsula between the Potomac
and Rappahanock is termed; thousands of acres of land so poor and
worthless a few years ago, it was barely rated as property, are now
annually producing beautiful crops of wheat, corn and clover, solely by
the application of Guano. In the meantime, the discovery of such an easy
means of improving a worn out and barren soil, has increased the money
value of land three or four hundred per cent. This is not all.
Heretofore, the only part of this district considered worth cultivation
was the bottom land bordering the rivers and creeks; the forest land
yielding scanty crops for two or three years after being cleared,
scarcely paying for the labor, while its value was rated at from $1 to
$4 per acre, and unsaleable at that. Since the introduction of Guano, it
is found these forest lands, which are of a sandy, loamy character, and
much more pleasant than the bottom lands to till, can be cultivated with
equal or greater profit than the stiff lands upon the bottoms. The
writer has seen repeatedly in the counties mentioned, luxuriant fields
of wheat, corn and clover, while directly alongside of such crops, the
ground was almost as bare of vegetation as the sea-shore sands, too
poor, as the common expression is there, to bear poverty grass. And what
produced this change? Simply a dressing of 200 lbs. of Guano to the


In April 1850 the writer was on the farm of Dr. Fairfax of King George
county, who was one of the first, if not quite the first person in that
part of the State who ever made use of this substance as a manure; and
his wheat was then so large that a good sized dog was hidden from view
in running through the field; while upon a neighboring piece of land of
exactly the same quality, sowed at the same time, the ground scarcely
looked green; in fact, it was remarked at the time by way of contrast to
the one field hiding a dog, that the other would not hide a
chicken--indeed, an egg might have been seen as far as though no wheat
was growing upon the ground. Both fields were just alike, both plowed
and sowed alike, without manure, except 200 lbs of Peruvian guano upon
one, and that sure to bring fifteen or twenty bushels to the acre, while
the other would not exceed three bushels.

One of his first trials was with the African, of which he applied 400
lbs. to the acre upon 27 acres, which would not produce three bushels of
wheat to the acre, in its natural condition, but with this application,
notwithstanding it was 32 per cent. water, and, consequently, had lost
much of it ammonia, he made an average of 12-3/4 bushels to the acre on
the whole field. Upon another, he increased the usual average yield from
8 to 18 bushels, while, in his opinion, the permanent improvement of the
land was of greater value than the increased yield of the first crop;
for now clover will grow where none would grow before; another advantage
arising from guano is, the wheat ripens so much earlier (15th of June)
it escapes the rust, so apt to blight that which is late coming to
maturity. He now sows wheat in the fore part of September, three pecks
to the acre, after having previously plowed in 200 lbs. of Peruvian
guano to the acre, and after the first harrowing sows the clover seed.
The land is a yellow clay loam, uneven surface, very much worn; in fact,
without the guano, and with all the manure that could be made upon the
farm--for no straw no manure--not worth cultivating. Dr. F. had been
using guano three years, at the date of our visit, and thought his
prospect good for a thousand bushels of wheat upon the same ground,
which, without guano would not produce one hundred and fifty.


The Hon. Willoughby Newton, of Westmoreland County, was one of the
earliest and most successful experimenters in the use of guano in
Virginia. He owns large and productive farms on the Potomac, but on
account of the forest land being more healthy for a residence, he bought
a tract of it for that purpose; not having any design of ever putting it
into cultivation. In fact, it was so poor he could not. The manure of
the farm, if it had not been wanted there, was several miles
distant--too far to haul; and so the land lay an uncultivated,
unprofitable barren waste around his fine mansion; but it did not lay so
very long after he discovered the renovating power of guano. It is now
annually covered with broad fields of wheat, from which he has realized
upwards of twenty bushels to the acre; and the most luxuriant growths of
clover upon which he can pasture any amount of stock he pleases, where
three years previous a goat would have found difficulty in sustaining
life. Mr. Newton's first experiment--what was then an experiment is now
a certainty--was made with African guano. But we will give the account
of his operations in his own straight-forward, easily understood,
farmer-like language.

"In the effect of _guano_, especially the Peruvian, I have never been
disappointed. I have used it now for four years, with entire
satisfaction having each year been induced to enlarge my expenditure,
until last year it reached eight hundred dollars, and for the crop of
wheat this fall it exceeds one thousand. I have observed with
astonishment its effect in numerous instance on the poor "forest lands"
alluded to in a former part of this address. What the turnip and sheep
husbandry have done for the light lands of Great Britain, the general
use of guano promises to do for ours. Lands a few years ago deemed
entirely incapable of producing wheat, now produce the most luxuriant
crops. From 15 to 20 bushels for one sowed, is the ordinary product on
our poorest lands, from the application of 200 lbs. of Peruvian guano. I
may remark, it is not usual, in Eastern Virginia, to sow more than a
bushel of wheat to the acre, and that I deem amply sufficient. Upon this
subject I hope a few details may not be considered tedious or
uninteresting. I applied last fall $350 worth of guano, partly Peruvian
and partly Patagonian, on a poor farm "in the forest," which cost a few
years ago four dollars an acre, and reaped 1089 bushels of beautiful
wheat from 78 sowed. Forty-six bushels were sowed on fallow, (both guano
and wheat put in with the cultivator, followed by a heavy harrow,) and
yielded 790 bushels or over 17-1/4 for one. A considerable part of this
was dressed with Patagonian guano, and was much inferior to the other
portion. A lot on which 15 bushels was sowed, and dressed with Peruvian
guano, was threshed separately, and yielded 301 bushels, or over 20 for
one. The whole cost of the farm was $1520, and I have good reason to
expect with a favorable season from the crop now sowed and dressed with
guano, a bushel of wheat for every dollar of the prime cost of the farm.
Many other instances of profit from the use of guano, equally striking
have occurred among my neighbors and friends, but I confine myself to
those stated, because having come under my immediate observation, I can
vouch for their entire accuracy. It has been frequently objected to the
use of guano, that it is not permanent. It would be unreasonable to
expect great permanent improvement from a manure so active, and which
yielded go large a profit on the first crop. Yet I have seen some
striking evidences of its permanency in heavy crops of clover,
succeeding wheat, and in the increase of the crop of wheat on a second
application. As an instance, I may mention that two years ago I sowed
upon a single detached acre of "forest land," one bushel of wheat and
dressed it with a barrel of African guano, costing $4, and the yield was
seventeen bushels. Last fall the same land, after remaining one year in
clover, was again sowed with one bushel of wheat and dressed with 140
lbs. of Peruvian guano, costing $3, and the product was 22 bushels. Yet
I would advise no one to rely upon guano exclusively. Its analysis shows
that it contains salts of ammonia, alkaline phosphates and the other
mineral elements necessary to produce the grain of wheat, but is
deficient in most of the elements of the straw and roots of the plants.
Hence, (says Liebig) 'a rational agriculturist, in using guano, cannot
dispense with stable dung.' We should, therefore, be careful not to
exhaust the soil of organic manures, but by retaining the straw of the
wheat, and occasionally a crop of clover, which plant contains a large
percentage of the alkaline carbonates, which are entirely wanting in
Guano, furnish all the elements necessary to the entire wheat plant. In
this view of the subject, and for many other reasons that I cannot stop
to enumerate, there cannot be, when guano is extensively used, a more
judicious rotation than the Pamunky five field system, in which clover
occupies a prominent place. I have now enumerated some of the most
prominent means by which you may "keep your land rich." I would not
discourage the use of others. Science is daily making discoveries in the
art of enriching the earth, and we should discard nothing, without a
trial, which promises to be useful; always bearing in mind that the
wisest economy is entirely consistent with the most liberal expenditure,
in the purchase of manures, provided we take care, by judicious
experiments and observation, to ascertain their efficacy, and that we
get back our capital, with an actual _net_ profit _in cash_, on all our
investments. This latter caution is indispensable, in our country, where
new lands are so abundant and cheap, that highly improved farms can
never be rated in the market at their true value."

"The various manures compounded by chemists and manufacturers, should
also engage your careful attention. They should not be recklessly thrown
aside as humbugs, without trial or investigation, nor adopted and
extensively used with blind confidence in their efficacy. I have used
many of these manures by way of experiment, and the profit realized upon
them has not justified me in enlarging my operations. Poudrette,
manufactured in Baltimore; Bommers manure, Chappel's fertilizer and
Kentish & Co.'s prepared guano, (used, it is true, upon a small scale,)
have not realized the promises made in their behalf. Yet I would by no
means discourage the praiseworthy efforts of the manufacturers, and hope
they will persevere until, by lessening the bulk and increasing the
power of their compounds, they may be able to prepare an article that
for cheapness, convenience of application and efficacy, shall equal or
surpass the best Peruvian guano."

That desideratum, Professor Mapes believes he has already attained by
the addition of superphosphate of lime to the Guano, making a compound
of two-thirds of the latter to one of the former, more valuable by
weight than the pure article. That being the case will greatly increase
the consumption of Guano, and greatly improve the condition of all that
class of farmers who desire to make their poor lands rich.

Of the use of lime, Mr. Newton has the following testimony, which we
embody here for its great practical value.

"Calcareous matter is the great want of most of our lands, and in some
form is essential to permanent improvement. It should be regarded as the
basis of all our operations, and never to be dispensed with for any
substitute. From long experience in the use of lime, I am satisfied that
the French plan, of light and frequent dressings, is not only much more
economical, but much safer, in our climate, than the heavy dressings
common in Great Britain. Fifty bushels of slaked lime to the acre, I
have found amply sufficient for any of our lands, and a greater quantity
often attended with injury to the soil and crops, whilst twenty-five
bushels will answer every purpose on thin lands, deficient in vegetable
matter. Ashes, bone dust, and the various marine manures that abound on
the shores of the Chesapeake and its tributaries, will be found
important auxiliaries in the work of 'keeping your lands rich,' whilst
the necessity of clover and the proper grasses, to any system of
permanent improvement, is too obvious to require comment."

Although caustic lime should never be used in connection, or so as to
come in contact with the Guano, there is no doubt of its being a
valuable auxiliary. Upon land limed this year, Guano may be used next,
and if mixed with charcoal or plaster, or plowed in and thoroughly
incorporated with the soil, especially if it contains a considerable
portion of clay, no loss of ammonia will occur, in consequence of the
action of the lime. On the contrary, the effect will be to make the
action of the Guano more active, and the immediate benefit greater;
though, of course the succeeding crops would not receive as great a
share. But, as Mr. Newton says, ought we to ask for great advantages to
succeeding crops, from a manure which gives us such great profits from
the present one.

From our notes taken upon the spot, we give a few items more in detail
of Mr. Newton's operations, than he has done in the preceding
quotations. The tract of land he speaks of is gently undulating; of a
sandy loam, with a greater amount of clay in the subsoil; had been
literally _worn out_ in former years by the shallow plowing, skinning
system of farming, until it would produce no more, when it was abandoned
and suffered to grow up again in forest timber, principally pine of the
"old field" species. No land could offer less inducements to the
cultivator or give smaller hope of renovation, than these old fields of
Virginia. Such was the conviction of impossibility to raise a crop upon
this kind of land, that Mr. Newton's first essay was looked upon by his
neighbors with a conviction that the fool and his money would soon part
company. One sensible old servant told us he thought his master "for
sartain was done gone crazy, cause he nebber seed no nothing grow on dat
land, no how could fix him." The negroes, wherever guano has been
introduced, have been violently opposed to using it; not alone from its
disagreeable odor and effect upon the throat and nostrils while handling
it in a dry state; but because they could not be persuaded that such a
small measure of stuff--200 lbs. measures about three bushels--could
possibly produce any effect upon the crop. Their astonishment and
consequent extravagant laudation of the effect produced, has often
afforded us hours of amusement while listening to their recital of
"massa's big crop," of perhaps ten bushels to the acre, which was at
least double that of any one ever seen upon the same field, "fore he put
dem little pinch of snuff on him."

_The increase of wheat from guano_ may be safely calculated upon at five
bushels for each hundred weight of guano used, one year with another,
and up to what may be considered a fair judicious amount to be applied,
which may be set down at an average of 200 lbs to the acre, upon all
light soils, similar to those of that part of the country we are writing


Mr. Newton related to us an anecdote of some value upon this point. On
one of his Potomac farms, a portion of the land is exceedingly
heavy--pewtery land, as it is termed from its tendency when wet to run
together, presenting a glistening appearance somewhat resembling that
metal. His overseer was about as unbelieving as the negroes, and
declared he could beat the guano by expending the same value in manure
upon a given quantity of surface. To test this and also to try its
effect upon the stiff land, he applied a little short of one ton of
Peruvian, which cost $50 upon ten acres, and promised a premium to the
overseer if he could make a greater crop by the use of all the manure,
men and teams he saw fit to apply to another ten acres lying right along
side, and of the same quality of soil. Of course he spared no labor,
using both lime and manure freely, but in the spring finding the
appearance of his crop unequal to that guanoed, he gave it a top
dressing of fine manure and a good working with the harrow. At harvest
the guanoed portion was ready for the sickle several days earlier than
the other, and yielded 135 bushels of a quality so very superior, it was
all reserved for seed for himself and neighbors.

The product of the other was 55 bushels; difference in favor of the
guano, 80 bushels--8 bushels to the acre--while the value of extra
manuring, probably exceeded the cost of guano, without any material
advantage in the effect upon succeeding crops. In fact, it is probable,
that the additional growth of straw and clover would be worth more to
the next crop on the guanoed portion, than the undecomposed manure and
lime would be in the other. It is needless to say both overseer and
servants, were fully convinced of the virtue of guano after this

According to our notes, Mr. Newton first used guano in 1846--one ton of
Ichaboe at $30, on 8 acres, with 8 bushels of seed, upon land so deadly
poor, that an old negro we conversed with said; "him so done gone massa,
wouldn't grow poverty grass nuff to make hen's nest for dis nigger." No
attempt had been made for years to grow any crop, not even oats or rye,
the last effort of expiring nature to yield sustenance to man upon one
of those old worn out Virginia farms. Think of the astonishment of the
poor negro, who thought his master crazy to sow wheat there _without
manure_, to see 88 bushels harvested from the 8 acres.

In 1847, he used $100 worth of Patagonian upon same kind of land and
reaped 330 bushels. In 1848, $200 worth of Patagonian and Chilian at $40
and $30 a ton, gave 540 bushels, which sold at $1 25, mostly for seed,
on account of its superior quality. In each case the advantage to the
land of equal value as to the crop. In 1849, he applied 10 tons Peruvian
at $47, and 11 tons Patagonian at $30, upon 260 acres, from 75 to 250
lbs. to the acre. When we saw this crop the next spring, the appearance
in favor of the Peruvian, was fully 50 per cent. upon the same cost of
each kind per acre.

In 1850 he applied 30 tons, of course, all Peruvian, with equal success
to former years.

Mr. Newton says, the second application of guano to the same land
produces the best result--that notwithstanding the profit of the first
application in the increased crop, the profit to the land is always

Before leaving Mr. Newton, we will place on record one expression highly
creditable to him, and convincing in its palpable truth of the value put
upon this fertilizer, by a gentlemen of sound judgment and candor of
speech, equal to any other within the circle of our acquaintance.

"I look upon the introduction of guano and the success attending its
application to our barren lands, in the light of a special interposition
of Divine Providence, to save the northern neck of Virginia from
reverting entirely into its former state of wilderness and utter
desolation. Until the discovery of guano--more valuable to us than the
mines of California--I looked upon the possibility of renovating our
soil, of ever bringing it up to a point capable of producing
remunerating crops as utterly hopeless. Our up-lands were all worn out,
and our bottom lands fast failing, and if it had not been for guano, to
revive our last hope, a few years more and the whole country must have
been deserted by all who desired to increase their own wealth, or
advance the cause of civilization by a profitable cultivation of the

We are satisfied that the above opinion will be considered of more
value--more conclusive in favor of guano, by all who are acquainted with
the character of Willoughby Newton, than all else contained in the pages
of this pamphlet.


As our principal object is to convince the skeptical, or induce
unbelievers in its efficacy and value, to try experiments themselves by
which they will be convinced and enriched, we offer the names of a few
more gentlemen of high standing, who have been very fortunate in the use
of this essential element of successful cultivation in Virginia, as
witnesses, whose testimony ought to be, and will be, where they are
known entirely conclusive.

_Col. Robert W. Carter, of Sabine Hall_, on the Rappahanock, whose land
is principally of that kind of clayey loam common upon that river, once
rich but badly worn by cultivation, is so well satisfied that it is
profitable to make rich lands still more rich, he buys annually 30 or 40
tons of the best in market. He says he cannot afford to sow wheat
without guano--it is foolish and unprofitable. He sows it broad cast,
200 lbs. to the acre, with no other preparation than breaking the lumps;
plows it in; sows wheat and harrows that; in some cases has sown clover,
and in others, followed wheat after wheat with increasing productiveness
every year; clearly proving the effect of one application, to be
beneficial to the succeeding crop. Without guano, or very high manuring,
wheat will deteriorate year after year, if sown upon the same soil,
until the product would not pay for the labor of sowing and harvesting.

Upon one upland field, which without manure would not pay for
cultivation, he sowed one bushel of wheat and 200 lbs. Peruvian guano
and made fifteen bushels. Plowed down the stubble with same application,
and when we saw the crop, should have been willing to insure it at
twenty-five bushels. Col. C. has nearly 2,000 acres in cultivation,
which within his recollection was cultivated entirely with hoes--his
grandfather would not use a plow--was as much set against that great
land improver as some modern, but no more wise farmers, are against
guano. Col. C. uses the best of plows; sows 200 lbs. guano to the acre
and plows it in six inches deep, and sows one bushel of wheat and
harrows thoroughly, but not deep enough to disturb the guano. His gain
has been eight bushels average upon 210 lbs. guano. Thinks Peruvian at
$50 a ton preferable to any other at current prices. His land is mostly
clayey loam and was so much exhausted by a hundred years hard usage, it
was barely able to support the servants, until the Colonel commenced his
system of improvements by draining, deep plowing, rotation of crops,
lime, plaster, clover, and guano; the latter of which he looks upon as
the salvation of lower Virginia; while his large sales of eight or ten
hundred acres of corn and wheat, sufficiently attest its value upon that
location. His actual annual profits upon the use of guano, cannot be
less than two thousand dollars.

Doctor Brockenborough, Doctor Gordon, Messrs. Dobyn, Micou, Garnett and
others of Tappahannock and vicinity, have all found the application even
upon the bottom lands, profitable, though not to so great an extent as
upon the poor old field-pine lands of Mr. Newton; but simply from the
reason that his land was utterly worthless before, but after the
application of the guano, was increased in value more than its whole
cost, besides the profit derived from the crop.

Wm. D. Nelson, a neighbor of Mr. Newton, bought a tract of land for a
residence, at $4 an acre, which in its natural condition was not worth
cultivating; but with guano will pay all expenses of that and the
cultivation and the cost of the land the first crop.

Upon a portion of this land, a poor sandy loam, he applied 200 lbs.
Peruvian guano and one bushel of wheat per acre, and made 12 bushels,
while a strip through the field, purposely left without guano, did not
produce the seed, and remained as destitute of clover as though it never
had been sown, forming a very striking contrast to the luxuriant growth
upon each side. In another trial he made 10 bushels from one sowed, with
200 lbs. of Patagonian guano, of a very good quality. This is about in
proportion to the current price of the two kinds, though the latter
cannot be so certainly depended upon for good quality as the Peruvian.
Another trial was made with 1,100 lbs. Peruvian and 1,100 lbs.
Patagonian, and 11 bushels of seed upon 11 acres which made 160 bushels
of wheat of very fine quality, and large growth of straw. Upon 36 acres,
same kind of soil, well manured in the previous crop of corn, sowed 36
bushels and made 162. The first had not been manured. The evidence in
favor of guano in this case, needs no comment. By an outlay of $40, a
much more valuable crop was made from the 11 acres than from the 36; the
permanent improvement to the land from guano was much greater than from
the manure. In this case the guano was plowed in about four inches deep.

Mr. Nelson thinks the yield of wheat will average in that neighborhood,
an increase of 16 bushels for 200 lbs. of Peruvian guano.

H. Chandler, Westmoreland Court House, bought a farm at a price for the
whole below the cost of the mansion house alone, because the land was so
utterly and hopelessly worn out, as to be past the ability of supporting
those engaged in its tillage. When we saw it, we should have been
willing to insure the growing crop of wheat at 20 bushels, the result of
210 lbs. of Peruvian guano to the acre; while the clover upon the
stubble of the previous year could not be excelled in point of
luxuriousness upon the richest field in the State of New York, where the
land was valued at $100 an acre.

Mr. Chandler first commenced with 250 lbs. African guano, measuring
3-1/2 bushels, to the acre, upon which he sowed one bushel of wheat. The
result 17 bushels to the acre upon land which only gave 5-1/2 bushels in
any previous crop. Cost of guano $5; profit, $6 50. The next year he
gained an increase of 12 bushels to the acre over previous years, by the
use of 250 lbs of Patagonian guano; while the clover, Mr. Chandler
thinks, worth more than the whole cost of the application. A still
better result was produced last year from 210 lbs. of Peruvian. The soil
is a yellow clayey loam, which in its unimproved condition looks about
as unpromising for a crop, as the middle of a hard beaten road.

Mr. C. tried guano upon river bottom land, but the improvement was not
so remarkable.

We were assured by Mr. C., that many persons who had long been
accustomed to look upon the hopeless barrenness of this land, were wont
to stop as they rode past this field of clover, and look at it with
utter astonishment. Some could not be satisfied with looking, but would
drive to the house to inquire what magical power had been used to
produce such a strange metamorphosis in the appearance of the place.
When assured it was all effected by guano, they went away--not
satisfied--but unbelieving.

What tends much to increase the effect of this improvement, is the fact,
that directly opposite lies another tract, still in its barren
condition, lately purchased by Dr. Spence, a very enterprising
gentleman, imbued with the spirit of improvement, which will soon be
brought into the same condition, notwithstanding its unforbidding

Mr. S. B. Atwell who owns an adjoining farm, has been equally successful
in the use of guano. Before using it, his wheat upon 20 acres was hardly
sufficient to pay for harvesting. The first crop after using it, 400
bushels. He has also increased the crop of corn from 20 to 260 barrels
by lime, guano and clover. In the meantime, the land has increased in
value in about the same ratio.

In Lancaster County, we saw a field of wheat on the farm of Dr. Leland,
sown upon corn ground, one part with 200 lbs. of Peruvian guano to the
acre, the other with a full dressing of hog-pen manure, by the side of
which the ground was seen in its natural barrenness, scarcely making a
show of greenness; while the rank growth of the guanoed portion made as
great a contrast with that manured upon the opposite side.

Guanoed wheat upon the farm of Col. Downing in the same county showed as
great a contrast with land both limed and manured; while directly
alongside of this luxuriant growth, the land was as destitute of
vegetation as a brick pavement.

The effect of guano upon strawberries, Col. D. found to excel anything
else ever tried.

A neighbor of Col. Downing had a fine show for a wheat crop on
exceedingly poor land from the application of only 90 lbs. Peruvian
Guano to the acre.

Capt Wm. Harding, Northumberland, C. H., assured us he made 27 bushels
per acre upon only tolerably fair land, by the use of 200 lbs. Peruvian
guano, plowed in and followed by clover, worth more than the guano cost.

Col. Richard A. Claybrook, in the same neighborhood, made 15
bushels--the land along side almost as bare as the surface of the guano

We might mention a dozen others in the same place, in fact in most of
the places mentioned, whose testimony would be as strong as those we
have named.

Col. Edward Tayloe of King George Co., having been very successful in
the use of guano, induced his neighbor, Wm. Roy Mason, Esq. to test its
powers by the most severe experiment we have ever known it subjected to.
He selected a point of a hill, from which every particle of soil had
been washed away, until nothing in the world would grow there. It would
not produce, said he, a peck of wheat to the acre, but with a dressing
of 300 lbs. African guano, it gave me thirteen bushels, and now while
that is covered with clover, other, so called, rich parts of the field
are almost bare. A field which had never produced for years, over four
bushels of wheat to the acre, was dressed with 250 lbs. of guano and one
bushel of plaster at a cost of $7 to the acre, which gave thirteen
bushels of a quality greatly improved, and a very large growth of straw,
which he esteems highly as a top dressing for the clover, which far
exceeded upon the guanoed land that which was highly manured. The
success of Mr. Mason was so flattering, he immediately purchased six
tons for the next experiment.

If all the faithless would pursue the course indicated in the following
_experiment with guano_, by Mr. Richard Rouzee of Essex Co. Va., they
would probably be as well convinced as he, that the greatest
"humbugging" about guano, is in neglecting to profit by its use. He
says:--"I must confess that I have been skeptical in relation to the
various accounts of the fertilizing properties of guano, especially in
these times of humbuggery, and therefore determined to subject it to the
most rigid test." In view of this, on the 3d of October last, I selected
two acres of land by actual measurement, proverbially poor, never having
yielded in a course of ten years cultivation more than three bushels per
acre, and in consequence, was called by way of derision, "Old Kentuck."
To the two acres 560 lbs. of guano were applied in the most injudicious
manner by strewing it on the top of the corn bed--the consequence was,
when the wheat was ploughed in, and came up, a small girth was only seen
on the top and a space between each row at least one third of its width;
in this condition it remained until about the middle of November, when
it had so sensibly disappeared, that it attracted the attention of one
of my neighbors, who remarked to me, that at least one half of it had
been destroyed, in which opinion I concurred; in examining that which
remained, we were of opinion that three-fourths of it had from three to
ten flies in the maggot state on each stalk; in this state of things I
surrendered all hope of any tolerable return, more especially as the
rust made its appearance in it a short time before it ripened.--Now for
the result--

  The 2 acres of land yielded me 32 1/4 bushels of wheat at $1 per
  bushel,                                                       $32 25
  Deduct for average yield of the above, 2 acres, 6 bushels
  at $1 per bushel,                                       $6 00
  Deduct for Cost of 560 lbs. Guano,                     $12 70
                                                                $18 70
                                                                $13 55
  Add for additional straw,                                         50
                              Clear profit,                     $14.05

Here is a clear profit of $14 upon $12.70 invested, and acknowledged to
be applied in the most injudicious manner. It is easy to judge what
would have been the profit under different circumstances. In the
vicinity of this city where straw sells for $5 per hundred little
bundles, instead of a credit of 50 cents it would have been at least
half the cost of the guano.


_Henry K. Burgwyn's first trial with guano. Its effect on grass sown
with wheat._--The name and farm of this gentleman is so widely known as
a successful renovator of miserably poor worn out fields, that we are
delighted to have it in our power to have his testimony to our
impregnable array of witnesses in favor of the most valuable substance
for the improvement of such land, ever given by an overruling power for
the benefit of those who ought to be exceedingly thankful for so good a
gift. But hear what this writer has to say upon this interesting

"Having about 150 acres of my wheat, this year sown upon last year's
corn ground, and the land being rather light and not too rich, I feared
lest I should fail with my grass sown on _this_ wheat, because of the
two successive cereal crops; I therefore bought guano, mixed it with its
bulk of plaster, then added fine charcoal, the same, and to this mixture
double the whole bulk of deposit of the Roanoke river, a rich alluvial
earth, and sowed the whole broadcast in February and March, and harrowed
it in, on the top of the wheat I sowed at the rate of 200 lbs. of guano
to the acre; the value of which, no doubt, was doubled by the mixture
with the absorbents of the ammonia, which is so exceedingly volatile
even when left for a few hours, is easily dissipated by the March winds.
On this land, I had sown in October previous, clover, timothy, Kentucky
blue grass, and Italian ray grass. My harvest has now been over, three
weeks, and I have never had a finer stand of all these, even on our rich
bottoms. The ray grass matured its seed, rather sooner than the wheat
was two-thirds as tall, and where _very thickly sown_, materially
injured the product of the wheat, _I have reaped an increased product
from my wheat, amply sufficient to repay my outlay for the guano,
plaster, &c., and have my grass as my profit on the investment_; this in
turn will shade and improve my land, fatten my stock, increase my crops,
and cheer my eye with 'grassy slopes,' in place of 'galled hill sides;'
this is profit sufficient for the most greedy if turned to a proper
account;--be it remembered, too, this was a light and rather poor soil,
but based on a good clay subsoil."

To this we beg leave to add from our own knowledge of this land, which
is situated on the Roanoke river 6 or 7 miles below Halifax, that it was
before being improved by Mr. Burgwyn, about as unpromising a tract as
can be found upon all the "cottoned to death," poor old fields of that
sadly abused State. In the condition it was when we first saw it, while
undergoing the operation of putting a four horse plow through the broom
straw and old field pines, notwithstanding our strong faith in the
ability of such men as the Messrs. Burgwyns to redeem such land from its
condition of utter and apparently hopeless barrenness, we must own, that
if Mr. B. had made the assertion while we were riding over this very
tract, that within two years he would reap a remunerating crop of wheat
from the barren waste, and coat the ground with a carpet of luxuriant
grass, we should have told him the day of miracles had passed away. But
we had not then seen as much as we have since of the miraculous power of
Peruvian guano.

We might continue to cite hundreds of similar cases but propose to pass
over into Maryland, and after showing its application there has produced
equally beneficial results, travel northward, calling here and there a
witness as we proceed. Among others, we may call to the stand in
Maryland, will be the editor of the American Farmer, whose testimony we
consider almost invaluable, having devoted much attention to the
subject, and to whom, and his able correspondents, we desire to award
full credit, in this general manner, to save repetition, for much of the
information we shall give the readers of several of the succeeding
pages. The testimony of witnesses of such high standing, cannot be too
highly estimated by those who are anxious to learn how to renovate their
worn out farms, or make the rich ones richer.


_Effects of guano upon the crop to which it is applied._--Edward
Stabler, in the American Farmer, thus speaks of an experiment he made in
1845, soon after the introduction of guano to any extent into this

"In a field of some 10 acres, one acre was selected near the middle, and
extending through the field, so as to embrace any difference of soil,
should there be any. On this acre 200 lbs. of Peruvian guano, at a cost
of about $5 was sown with the wheat. Adjoining the guano on one side,
was manure from the barn yard, at the rate of 25 cart loads to the acre;
and on the opposite side (separated by an open drain the whole
distance;) ground bones were applied on the balance of the field, at a
cost of $6 to the acre; the field equally limed two years preceding.
There was no material difference in the time or manner of seeding;
except that the manure was lightly cross-ploughed in, and the guano and
bones harrowed in with the wheat.

"The yield on the guanoed acre was 35 bushels; the adjoining acre with
bone, as near as could be estimated by dozens, and compared with the
guano, was about 27 bushels; and the manured, about 24 bushels. The
season was unusually dry; and the manured portion suffered more from
this cause than either of the others; the land being considerably more
elevated, and a south exposure."

In our opinion Mr. S. is in error in regard to the manured land
suffering most from drouth. In our experience we have always found the
best effects from Guano, in wet seasons, or upon irrigated land. He says
also, "This is one of the most active of all manures; and although he
thinks the effect evanescent, it might aid materially in renovating worn
out lands." Since that time a great many other Maryland farmers have,
undoubtedly come to the same conclusion, for notwithstanding the price,
which he thinks too high to justify its extensive use, has not been
materially reduced, there is more guano sold in Baltimore than any, or
perhaps all the ports in the United States; and the benefits derived
from its use upon the worn out lands of Maryland, have been of the most
satisfactory character.

In speaking of the after crop of grass upon the land above mentioned, he

"The field has since been mowed three times; the first crop of grass was
evidently in favor of the boned part; the second, and third, were fully
two to one over the guano, and also yielding much heavier crops of
clover seed. On a part of one land, 18 bushels to the acre of the finest
of the bone were used; on this, the wheat was as heavy as on the
guanoed, and the grass generally lodges before harvest, as it also does
on much of the adjoining land with 12 bushels of bone."

This is all right; it should never be mixed with lime, and it should be
plowed in. In his experiments, the lime in the soil had the effect to
disengage the ammonia, and not being sufficiently buried or mixed up
with the earth to prevent its escape during a very dry season, much of
its value went afloat in the atmosphere. If he had given a bushel of
plaster as a top dressing, there is no doubt the effect upon the grass
crop would have been entirely different. The action of guano is very
variable upon different soils, as well as upon the same kinds of soil in
different seasons, or from the different manner of applying it; but
there is one thing in its favor, it seldom fails to pay for itself, as
Mr. Newton remarks, in the first crop; and if properly applied, that is,
plowed in with wheat, upon poor, sandy, "worn out land," and followed by
clover, and that dressed with plaster, it will pay far better in the
succeeding years than the first. This has been fully proved in a hundred
cases, since Mr. Stabler tried his experiments; for two years after, in
writing upon the same subject, he says "Harrowing in the guano with the
wheat will generally produce a better crop; but its fertilizing
properties are more evanescent. I prefer plowing it in for all field
crops; and when attainable, would always use it in conjunction with
ground bones, for the benefit of succeeding grass crops. This is
pre-supposing that you determine to improve more land than the resources
of the farm will accomplish, and are willing to do it by the aid of
foreign manures; and being 'far removed from lime.' If the object is to
realize the most in a single crop, and to obtain the quickest return for
the outlay, use the guano alone, and harrow it in with the wheat; but
the land, according to my experience, will derive but little benefit
from the application, unless the amount is large. By plowing it in,
particularly if mixed with one third its bulk of plaster, the effect is
decidedly more durable; nor is it then necessary that the seeding should
so immediately follow its application. If, however, the object is to
improve the land at the same time; and surely it should be a primary
object with every tiller of the soil--and lime, from your location, or
the price, is unattainable, I would advise about half the amount
determined on, to be expended for ground bones. This may be harrowed in
with the wheat."

It is surprising what an effect a few bushels of ground bones to the
acre will produce; reference is made to a single experiment, and not an
isolated one either. Some six years since, we applied ten to twelve
bushels of coarsely ground bones to the acre, on about half of a twelve
acre field; on two lands adjoining, was guano, at the rate of 200 pounds
to the acre, (the cost of each about the same,) and extending nearly
through the field; both were applied in the spring, on the oat crop--and
which was decidedly better, by the eye, on the two lands with guano. In
the fall, the field was sown with wheat, manuring heavily from the barn
yard, adjoining the guano, but not spread on the two lands, or on the
boned portion of the field.

There was but little difference perceived in the wheat, except from the
manure, which was the best--the field having been limed for the
preceding corn crop, 80 bushels to the acre. The experiment was made to
test the comparative durability of the three kinds of manure; the guano,
ground bones, and manure from the barn yard; and the ultimate profit to
be derived from each, in a full rotation. After the first crop of grass,
and perhaps the second, which was in favor of the manured portion, the
succeeding crops of hay and clover seed, have been decidedly better on
the boned part of the field. At the present time, and also the past
season, this being the fourth year in grass, the guanoed lands present
about the same appearance, that does a small adjoining space, purposely
left without manure of any kind, lime excepted. The manured part affords
good pasture, but is quite inferior to the boned, which would give a
fair crop of hay, and probably three times as much grass as the two
lands with guano. It is believed that the increased crop of clover seed
on the boned, over the guanoed portion, paid for the former; and that
the two crops of clover since taken from the field, have paid, or nearly
so, for the lime or other manures applied.

This evidence corresponds with the opinion of Professor Mapes; that is,
that the value of an application of guano is greatly enhanced by the
addition of phosphate of lime, in some shape; the guano acting
immediately and producing a direct profit, while the slow action, for
which some farmers cannot wait, keeps up the fertility for years, or
until the owner may find time to profit by another application of guano.

We quote again a few more of the very sensible remarks of friend
Stabler. "I am an advocate for the liberal use of all kinds of manure,
guano included, if the price will justify it. A farmer had better buy
manure than to buy grain, if compelled to do either; for we cannot
expect much from nothing, or reasonably calculate upon improving very
poor land without manure of some description, unless plaster will act
with effect; nor is this generally the case without the land possesses
naturally, some particular source of fertility, not wholly exhausted by
bad or improvident tillage.

"It is probable those will be disappointed who expect to do everything
with guano--make fine crops and improve the land, while they take
everything off, and dispense almost, if not entirely, with the more
permanent manures, all equally within their reach. True, we may exist
for a time, only half fed and half clothed; but it is just as reasonable
to expect to improve under such a regimen, as to calculate upon
continued, not to say increased fertility of the soil, without an ample
supply, of the right kind of manure.

"With all its acknowledged advantages, it may be questioned whether there
is not one drawback to the introduction of guano. It is used with less
profit in direct connexion with lime, than with most kinds of manure;
and its facility of application, and quick return, has induced many to
give up the lime entirely, if not also to some extent, to neglect the
resources of the farm. Others again, in improving poor land, advise the
guano first, and the lime afterwards. This may do very well; but is
often better in theory than in practice, for the lime is omitted
altogether, and perhaps at some risk of loss, in both time and money, as
regards permanent improvement. To use a figure of speech--the prudent
architect will first secure a solid foundation to build upon, and with
materials of known durability; this accomplished, he need have no fears
of the stability of the structure, and may, at pleasure add thereto,
either for ornament or utility."

"That thin lands may be brought to a very productive state, by the
liberal and repeated applications of guano, there is no doubt; but at
what cost and how durable the improvements might be, I am not prepared
to say. In two instances, from 700 to 800 lbs. were applied at one time
to an acre; but in neither did the results correspond with the expense,
or induce a repetition of the experiment. My own experience so far, is
in favor of more limited applications, say 100 to 200 lbs. to the acre,
(taking in consideration the price of both grain and guano,) and also
used in connection with other manures, which is found to be the most
profitable, and probably more durable in its effect; in two experiments,
with from 50 to 150 lbs. of guano to the acre applied three years since
with barnyard manure, for wheat, the effect on the grass crop at this
time, is quite marked; applied in this way, it hastens maturity--thus,
in a degree, guarding against rust--renders the grain more perfect, and
is believed to be one of the most profitable modes of using guano."

Nothing could be more sensible than the advice of this gentleman, not to
rely upon guano alone. To waste or neglect stable and home made manures,
or throw away bones or other valuable fertilizers, because we could buy
guano, would be as insensible as it would for a man to throw away a
handful of bank bills, because he happened to have just then a pocket
full of gold and silver coin.

We never have, nor shall we recommend guano to the exclusion of
everything else; but we do recommend every farmer in America, to whom an
additional quantity of manure would be an object, to buy guano; because
he will be almost sure to derive a certain and immediate profit from the
investment. It will make poor lands rich, and rich lands richer.


Upon this point, we have the following testimony of Thomas P. Stabler,
of Montgomery County, Md., a gentleman of the highest degree of
intelligence and integrity; one of the society of Friends, who are
rather noted for not being extravagant in their expressions or encomiums
of an article, without good grounds therefor. We make these remarks,
because, as every good lawyer will tell you, the character and standing
of your witnesses is of more importance than their language, to make a
strong impression in your favor.

In speaking of the means within reach of farmers, by which they can
renovate their worn out lands, of which Maryland has an ample share,
friend Stabler says, "In some districts the distance from lime is so
great, that the man with small means can scarcely be expected to use it
upon a large scale--but in regions of country where bone, guano and
poudrette act favorably, none need be without important aid from their
use. Under a judicious system of cultivation and correct management,
either of these will make bountiful returns the first year, and the
strongest and most conclusive evidence exists of their durability as
manures. Proofs of this abound in my neighborhood. Reference to the
'facts' in a single case in point may suffice for an example. In the
summer of 1845, I prepared seventeen acres and a few perches of land for
wheat About five sixths of this was extremely poor--upon a portion of
the field, was put 112 ox-cart loads of manure from the barn yard and
stable, on what I considered about an average quality of the land. On
the 12th of the 9th month, (September,) I sowed seven bushels of wheat
on this part of the ground and plowed the manure and wheat in together
with the double shovel plow--very soon after the balance was sowed with
270 pounds of good African guano per acre, for which I paid $40 per ton,
and plowed this in with the wheat, immediately after sowing, in the
same manner as the other. During the succeeding winter and spring, the
appearance of my wheat field became the subject of much notice and
remark on the part of my neighbors, as well as others from several
adjoining counties who saw it, many of whom supposed that this
application of guano could not possibly produce such a crop as its then
present appearance indicated--in this, however, they were
disappointed--there were two small pieces left without manure of any
kind. One of these upon the best part of the field, and the other upon a
part of medium quality.

"It may be recollected that the crop of wheat that season was generally
most inferior, both in quality and quantity. Upon the parts left without
manure, it was scarcely worth cutting, and men of integrity and good
judgment, were of the opinion that without the aid of the guano, I could
not have saved more than 60 or 70 bushels of wheat from the field. The
product was 320 bushels, that weighed 64 lbs. to the bushel. The guanoed
portion continued at harvest to be decidedly better than that manured
from the barn yard and stable. This field was sown with clover in the
spring of 1846, and to this time its appearance affords as strong
evidence of great improvement in the land, as it did during the growth
of wheat. It has now been pastured freely during two summers, and been
exposed to the action of the frosts of two winters, and upon the guanoed
portion I have not yet seen a single clover root thrown out of the
ground, while from the part manured from the barn yard, it has almost
entirely disappeared. Good farmers have frequently remarked during the
present summer that the appearance of this field warrants the conclusion
that it is now capable of producing largely of any crop common to our

"Thus 'worn out land' is renovated, and ample means produced for
increasing its fertility. Similar instances of improvement exist in very
many examples that can be seen in this portion of our country, resulting
from the application of lime, bone and poudrette, as well as from

_Guano prevents clover from being thrown out by frost._--We wish to call
back the attention of the reader to this reliable statement of Mr.
Stabler, not only for its importance to farmers, but because the same
thing has been remarked by other gentlemen who have used guano. It can
only be accounted for from the fact, that guano seems to be peculiarly
adapted, more than any other manure, to give the young clover a vigorous
start, so that in its early stages it acquires a growth too strong to be
affected by the usual course of freezing and thawing, by which less
vigorous plants are thrown out. For this reason alone, if guano had no
other value, farmers in some sections of the country where the soil is
peculiarly affected by this difficulty, would find their account in the
use of an article which would enable them to grow clover, for clover is
manure, and it should be a sine qua non with every farmer to avail
himself of all the means within his reach to increase the supply of
manure from the products of his farm. Let him not depend alone upon the
purchase of guano, but rather upon the means which that brings within
his reach of increasing his home supply by the growth of clover, and
largely increased production of straw. Those who are interested
pecuniarily, which the writer is not, in the increased sale of guano in
the United States, have no fears that our recommendations to make manure
at home--to use lime, plaster, bones, clover, and every other source of
fertility within their reach, will decrease the sale of guano. On the
contrary, those who are most disposed to use all these sources of
fertility, are the very men most disposed to use a substance which all
experience has proved superior to all others. Besides, there is, and
probably always will be, enough "worn out lands" which can be profitably
renovated, to use up all the guano which will ever find its way into
this country. So our earnest recommendation is, where lime is available,
let no man claiming the honorable title of farmer, fail to make the
application. Let him also gather up all the fragments--let nothing be
lost--make all the manure at home he possibly can, and then he will not
only have the means, but a disposition also to buy that which a
beneficent Providence sends him from the coast of Peru; of the good
effect of which we will prove by further testimony--that of the Hon.
James A. Pearce, Senator from Maryland, and a farmer of no small note in
that State. He says--"In April 1845, I applied 350 lbs., probably of
African or Patagonian guano to an acre of growing wheat, the land being
entirely unimproved and very poor. It was applied as a top dressing, of
course, but mixed with plaster." (In what proportion he does not say,
but we will by and bye; but he does say)--"_The wheat was doubled in
quantity at least_--fine clover succeeded it--and in two crops, one of
corn and one of small grain, three and four years afterwards, the
effects are still apparent." Now this effect was produced by the use of
the guano as a top dressing; a method universally acknowledged to be the
most unfavorable to the development of the full value of the

The editor of the Farmer in answer to an inquiry whether a combination
of charcoal, plaster, and guano would make a profitable _top dressing_
in spring for wheat, says, "yes"--but thinks if it had been plowed in
with the seed in the fall, the result would have been much better.
However, says he, "we entertain not the slightest doubt, that, if his
wheat field be top dressed with the mixture next spring, it will greatly
increase the yield of his wheat crop, unless the season should prove a
very dry one, as the charcoal, and plaster, will each tend to prevent
the escape of the ammoniacal gases of the guano, and as it were, offer
them up as food to the wheat plants.

"In April 1845, I applied 350 lbs. of guano to an acre of growing wheat,
the land being entirely unimproved and very poor. Of course it was
applied as a top-dressing, _mixed, however, with plaster_. The wheat was
doubled in quantity at least; fine clover succeeded it; and in two
crops, one of corn, and the other of small grain, last year and the
present, the effects are still apparent."

If our correspondent would _mix_, in the proportion of 200 lbs. of
_guano_, one bushel of _charcoal_, and half a bushel of plaster per
acre, and sow the mixture on his wheat field next spring, after the
frost is entirely out of the ground, then seed each acre with clover
seed, and roll his land, we have no doubt that his wheat crop would be
increased five or six bushels to the acre, perhaps more, and that he
would have a good stand of clover plants, and a luxuriant crop of the
latter next year.

"Our opinion is, that _guanoed_ land should always be sowed to clover, or
clover and orchard grass."

In this, particularly the opinion of the last paragraph, we fully
concur--to obtain the full value of guano it must either be mixed with
plaster or charcoal, or what is better, plowed in and thoroughly
incorporated with the soil, and the land always sown with clover, peas
or some other plant of equal value for green manure. It is true Col.
Carter has been successful with wheat after wheat; while many continue
successful, by carefully retaining all the straw; the guano being
sufficient to keep up the everlasting ability of the soil to produce an
annual crop of grain.


We look upon this as the most preferable of all other systems of farming
ever adopted in the South--it is the system of Edmund Ruffin, to whom
Virginia owes a debt of gratitude beyond her power to pay. It will be
seen from the following extract from a letter of Mr. Newton that that
eminent agriculturist is of opinion that improvement of poor land is
unlimited, if guano in connection with this system is perseveringly
applied. He says--"The "five field System," which is now rapidly extending
over all the poor and worn lands that are now under improvement by marl,
lime, or guano, originated, or at least was first extensively
introduced in lower Virginia, on the Pamunkey, and has there wrought
wonders, aided by marl and judicious farming. The rotation is
corn,--wheat,--clover--wheat, or clover fallow,--and pasture, and after
pasture one year, commencing the round again with corn. This system, if
guano be applied to both crops of wheat, on corn land and fallow, or
alternately with lime or marl, when calcareous manures are required,
will readily increase the crops and permanent improvement of the land.
In the commencement of the rotation, lime had better be applied with the
putrescent manures to the corn crop, to be followed by guano on wheat.
If this system be perseveringly, pursued, I can scarcely see any
reasonable limits to the improvement of poor lands and the increase of
the profits of agriculture."

Disappointment will result from the application of lime, marl, salt
potash, guano, or any special and highly concentrated substance as a
fertilizer, to the neglect of organic manures. We lay down this fact as
incontrovertible, that no soil, however fertile it may be made for the
time being by any of these special manures, can remain permanently so,
unless care is used to maintain a healthful supply of organic
matter,--rich mould--good soil upon the land cultivated. If this is
done, we never shall hear of guano failing to bring increased crops or
of the "land running out," where it has been applied. Special manures of
any kind may fail to produce crops, where this essential requisite to
good farming is neglected. Guano, in our opinion, should always be
followed by crops of clover, grass, peas, or some crop that will shade
the earth, and can be turned under with the plow, to keep up the
necessary supply of nitrogenous food for cereal crops.

_The effect of Lime and Salt_ upon land is to _dissolve_ the inert
portions of organic matters in the soil, so that plants can suck up
their substance into their own composition. Both are highly beneficial,
but insufficient to add permanent fertility.

_The effect of guano_, is greater than any other highly concentrated
manure ever discovered and applied to any soil. Its benefits are
immediate continuous, and unlike lime, without exhausting the soil of
its organic matter. Yet its benefits will be increased by the addition
of organic manures derived from green crops, straw, or the stable, and
the value of these will be greatly increased by the addition of lime,
salt and plaster, while any deficiency of phosphates must be supplied by
powdered bones or another application of guano.

_The effect of plaster with guano_ is to arrest the excursive
disposition of the volatile parts of the guano, and imprison them in the
earth until called forth by the growing plants to do the State some
service. The following question to the Editor of the American Farmer,
and his reply, are to the point in this matter:--

A correspondent says--"As to the question of mixing plaster with guano,
there is one question I should like to propose to the editor,
viz.--'what will be the effect of sowing guano upon land by itself, and
then, the seed being in the ground, giving it a heavy top-dressing of
plaster, so as to arrest the 'excursion,' of which so much is said?"

_Reply by the editor._--"The effect of such application of guano and
plaster would be, to prevent the waste of the ammonia of the former, as
every rain would decompose more or less of the plaster, separate the
sulphuric acid from the lime, and the sulphuric acid when liberated,
would unite with the ammonia, form a sulphate of ammonia, and hold the
latter in reserve to be taken up by the roots of the plants. The
presence of plaster with all _organic_ manures, either directly mixed
with them, or broadcasted after they may be applied, tends to prevent
the escape of their volatile parts. We prefer them together for two
reasons,--_first_, because, by bringing the two into _immediate
contact_, the action of the plaster is more direct; and _secondly_,
because the time and expense of one sowing is thereby saved. We go for
saving every way, as time and labor costs money, and we look upon
economy as a virtue, which should be practised by all, and especially by

If the plaster and guano is mixed together, 25 lbs. of the former to 100
lbs. of the latter, will be found a proper proportion, and sufficient to
prevent the ammonia from making an "excursion." Unless the soil be very
poor, 200 lbs. of good Peruvian guano is as much as we should recommend
for wheat. In this we have the concurrence of the editor of the Farmer,
and perhaps a hundred gentlemen whom we have conversed with upon this
subject. All agree in the opinion, whether mixed with plaster or not,
that a judicious application of guano will more certainly restore
productiveness to worn out land, or add fertility to that already
productive, than any other substance ever applied.

_Want of Faith in the efficacy of guano._--Whatever doubts may have
existed in the minds of careful men, there is no room for doubts now,
that Peruvian guano possesses regenerating properties beyond belief,
without evidence, and capacity to increase the productiveness of lands
in sound condition, in such an eminent degree, that any farmer who has
the power to obtain it, evinces great folly and perverse obstinacy, if
he continue to cultivate his land without applying it; either for want
of faith, or pretended disbelief in its efficacy; or because he thinks
the price fixed upon it by the Peruvian Government, "unjustifiably
high;" or because although he has no doubt it will answer in the moist
climate of England, is sure it will never answer in this dry climate; or
because he is afraid the luxuriant crops produced by the application of
guano will exhaust his land; or because his neighbor Jones killed all
his seed corn by putting only a handful in the hill; while Mrs. Jones
killed all her flowers and fifty kinds of roses with the "pisen stuff;"
and therefore he don't want any more to do with it; or because it has
failed to give remuneration under the most injudicious application, made
contrary to all instructions or experience of those who have used it; or
for any and all the other thousand and one objections raised by those
who have never used it, and seem determined they never will; probably
because when the almost miraculous accounts of its operations were first
published, they had cried out "humbug" so loudly they are determined no
after evidence shall convince them the only humbug in the case was in
their own disbelief. It is for the benefit of these unbelievers we are
now writing. Our object is to present such an array of facts guaranteed
by such respectable names, they shall have no hook to hang a doubt
upon--no reason--no justifiable excuse for any sane man longer to
neglect to apply an article of such positive, certain benefit to his
hungry soil.


Writing on the subject of "bought manures," as everything is termed not
produced upon the farm, and how dubiously they are looked upon by some
persons calling themselves good farmers, for fear of being humbugged,
Mr. Reynolds says, in a letter dated July, 1850, "Since 1843, I have
been trying to find out which is the best of all these 'new things,' and
have now, after having been very considerably humbugged, settled down
upon bones and guano--although, even the last named in a very dry year,
has also 'cheated me'; but this is by no means its character, as I am
constrained to admit, that after having tried it on all sorts of soil,
and perhaps as long if not longer than any other person in the State, it
is my opinion that when properly applied, with an average fair season,
it is a very powerful fertilizer. My mode of using it is, when applied
to tobacco, to mix one and a half bushels of the Peruvian, (which is
ordinarily 100 lbs.) with one bushel rich earth, and one bushel of
plaster, which admits about the fifth part of a gill of the mixture to
each hill for every 5,000 hills--and putting it in the center of the
check before being scraped--so that when the hill is made, it lies
beneath the plant. On wheat, I apply three bushels of Peruvian guano
equal to 200 lbs. mixed with one bushel of plaster, one bushel rich
earth to the acre, sowing on the surface and plowing it in as soon and
as deep as possible, after it is sowed. The past spring I have put 300
lbs. to the acre, on 30 acres of corn, being half of a field, on a farm
in Calvert, mixing with it the same quantity of rich earth and plaster,
and sowing on the surface, plowing in at once very deep, using the
cultivator only in working it afterwards. I do not intend to use it at
all with corn, hereafter, but not because I do not think it also a good
fertilizer with this crop, (as my corn on my Calvert farm, upon which it
has been used, now shows very fair,) but only because it has never
failed to pay me three fold better on wheat, than on anything else. In
order to test its virtue, it is essentially necessary to plow it in
deeply, and stir it as little as possible afterwards."

_Bones._--Of these I have used both ground and crushed, and always to
advantage at ten to twelve bushels per acre; bought from manufacturers
here, and agents of houses in New York; but I am using the crushed
dissolved by oil of vitriol, as prepared by myself on my farm in Calvert
in the following way: The bones, (which we buy in the neighborhood at 50
cents per 112 lbs.) after breaking them with a small sledge hammer on an
old anvil, we put at the rate of three bushels in half a hogshead, and
apply to that quantity 75 lbs. oil of vitriol, filling up the half
hogshead to within eight inches of the top with water, letting them
remain, (but stir the contents occasionally with a stick,) say two to
five weeks, according to the quality and strength of the vitriol; then
start the contents of the half hogshead into a large iron kettle, apply
a slight fire and the whole contents will in less than an hour be
reduced to a perfect jelly. We use two half hogsheads at once, to
prepare it expeditiously. We then mix the contents of each kettle, with
a horse cart load of rich earth, or ashes, throwing in a half barrel of
plaster, mix or compost it handsomely, and use at pleasure, on an acre
of land with any crop you choose, and you will have permanently improved
two acres at the following cost, viz: Bones, $1.50, vitriol, $3.75,
plaster, $1.12, making $6.37, or $3.18 per acre, and this may be
repeated so as with proper attention, as much lasting improvement may be
made each year as many farmers derive from their barn yards. Bones in
any form never fails to show their striking effects on clover and other
grasses--but either bones or guano will scarcely ever fail to produce a
better crop of clover, which, with the increased quantity of straw,
(particularly when guano is used,) will enable and encourage the saving
of larger quantities of barn yard manure, and which must inevitably
cause a lasting improvement.

This coincides with our views exactly, as we have in all these pages
endeavored to impress upon our readers, that the increased growth of
straw from the use of guano, will increase the manure pile, and
"inevitably cause a lasting improvement."

_Poudrette._--"I have used also, to good advantage, particularly on
clayey lands, at the rate of six to eight barrels per acre. It is a
first rate top dressing on young clover in spring, at two to three
barrels per acre; this article has been prepared so badly heretofore,
that a great quantity of it was really worthless."

We also concede to poudrette as much credit as Mr. Reynolds but as will
be seen, it will cost more to improve land with it than with guano.

_Prepared Guano--Agricultural Salts--Generators and Regenerators._--Of
these, the testimony of Mr. Reynolds is exactly to the point, concise
and strong, and exactly in accordance with all the facts we have been
able to collect upon the same subject. He says, "I have tried them on
corn, wheat, oats, clover and tobacco; but have yet to discover that
they ever generated anything for me, though I have heard them sometimes
well spoken of."

Want of room in this pamphlet alone prevents us from inserting the names
and operations of many other gentlemen in this rapidly improving
State--a State now undergoing the process of renovation by the use of
guano, to a greater extent, perhaps, than any other in the Union.


_Hon. John M. Clayton's Farm._--No one who looks upon this highly
improved farm now, with its most luxuriant crops, can be made to believe
it was a barren waste seven years ago--hardly worth fencing or
cultivating. This great change, so far beyond the power of human belief,
has been effected by lime, plaster and guano. The railroad from
Frenchtown to New Castle, passes through this farm, four miles from the
latter place. It is well worthy a visit from any one anxious to make
personal observations of the effects of "bought manures," upon a soil
too poor to support a goose per acre.

_Effect of Guano on Oats._--During a visit to Mr. Clayton, in 1851, we
saw the most luxuriant growth of oats upon one of the fields of this
farm, which we have ever witnessed, and it has been our fortune to see
some tall specimens of this crop on the bottom lands of Ohio, Indiana,
and Illinois. The seed he had obtained from England, and the means of
making it grow, from Peru. The guano was plowed in with the oats, at the
rate of 350 lbs. to the acre. The soil is a yellow clayey loam. The
effect upon other crops had been equally beneficial. The growth of
clover was so great he had purchased thirty bullocks to fatten, for the
purpose of trying to consume some of his surplus feed. The effect upon
wheat, corn, potatoes, turnips, garden vegetables and fruit trees, was
almost as astonishing as upon the oats and grass.

_C. P. Holcomb_, Esq., one of the most improving farmers of one of the
most improving counties in the U.S., has met with great success in the
use of lime, plaster, and guano. His beautiful highly improved home farm
is near Newcastle; but that upon which he has met with great success in
the use of guano, lies about four miles from Dover. Before he purchased
it had become celebrated for its miserable poverty. It is now equally
celebrated for its productiveness. The use of guano in that part of the
State has now reached a point far beyond what the most sanguine would
have dared to predict four years ago; and the benefits are of the most
flattering kind. Lands have been increased in value to a far greater
extent than all the money paid for guano; while the increased profit
from the annual crops, has produced corresponding improvements in the
condition and happiness of the people.

No greater blessing, said an intelligent gentleman to me, ever was
bestowed upon the people of Delaware.

_Extensive use of Guano by a Delaware farmer._ Maj. Jones, whose name is
extensively known as a very enterprising farmer, purchased in the summer
of 1851, of Messrs. A.B. Allen & Co. New York, sixty tons of Peruvian
guano, for his own use. With this he dressed 300 acres of wheat, upon
the farm at his residence on the Bohemia manor; plowing in part of it
and putting in part of it by a drilling machine at the rate of 200 lbs.
to the acre, sowing the wheat all in drills. Part of the ground was
clover, part corn, and perhaps one half wheat and oat stubble. The earth
at the time of sowing was so dry, doubts were entertained whether it
would ever vegetate; and that and other causes extended the work so
late, upon a portion of the ground, there was scarcely any appearance of
greenness when it froze up. With all these disadvantages, the crop was
estimated at harvest at twenty bushels to the acre. Without guano no one
acquainted with the farm would have estimated the crop at an average of
ten bushels. This gives an undoubted increase of five bushels for each
hundred weight of guano; and as the soil contains a good deal of clay
with which the guano was well mixed, it will retain much of the value of
the application, for the next crop. Maj. Jones has heretofore derived
very great benefits from the use of guano, as might safely be adjudged
from the fact of his risking $3,000 in one purchase of the same article.

_Lasting effects of Guano._--Maj. Jones is well satisfied upon this
point. In 1847, he used 16 tons, half Peruvian and half Patagonian,
sowed with a lime-spreading machine and plowed in deep, say eight inches
on clayey loam--planted corn and made 60 bushels per acre on 100 acres;
which was an increase of 12 bushels per acre over any former year. Next
spring the weeds grew as high as his head on horseback. Rolled them down
and plowed under and sowed wheat, five pecks to the acre, and made a
heavier crop than ever before made on same land, which he attributes
entirely to the guano. Thinks the third crop of wheat is benefitted from
guano plowed in three years previous.

The extent to which guano is used in the State of Delaware may be
inferred from the fact that it is not at all unusual for merchants in
small country villages to purchase from 50 to 200 tons at a time for
their retail trade.

Among other successful users of guano in that State, we may mention
Governor Ross, who, if as good a ruler as he is farmer, ought to be
continued in office to the end of life.

The soil to which guano has been mostly applied in this State is a sandy
loam, and the process of applying it, by sowing broadcast from 200 to
350 lbs. per acre, and plowing in from four to six inches deep, previous
to sowing wheat, which is always followed by clover, by every one who
understands his own true interest; for wherever that course has been
pursued, there has been a certain profit derived from the application,
even when the wheat has failed.

The improvements in farming in Delaware within the last ten years, will
probably exceed in proportion to acres and people, any other State in
the Union. Nearly all the northern part of the State has been whitened
with lime, and the southern part is rapidly following the same path;
while the sale of guano in all parts will exceed any other section of
the country, if not in quantity, certainly in numbers of persons making
use of this sure means of restoring the lands of an almost ruined State,
to their pristine fertility.


There has probably been less guano used in this great State, than in her
little sister, of which we have just been speaking. This may be owing to
the fact that great improvements have been made by the use of lime, and
that Pensylvania farmers generally are not much inclined to leave the
path their fathers trod before them; or that they are skeptical as to
what they hear of the miraculous powers of guano; hence, its use has
been in a great measure confined to market gardeners, or experiments in
a small way; the sales at Philadelphia, for home consumption, so far as
we have noticed, are mostly in small lots of one to ten bags. Among all
with whom we have conversed, however, who have used Peruvian guano in
that State, we have never heard a doubt expressed of its value, though
the idea, strangely enough seems to prevail, that it will only be
profitable for gardners and small farmers, and that it is of no benefit
to succeeding crops. No doubt the progress of improvement by the use of
guano in that vicinity has been greatly retarded, in consequence of the
sale of considerable quantities of "cheap guano," which however low in
the scale of prices, is still lower in the scale of values. In fact,
there is but one thing connected with the spurious stuff, lower in any
scale, and that is the honesty of those who manufacture or knowingly
sell such a villainous compound to farmers, who are utterly ignorant
upon the subject, under solemn assurances, that it "is equal to any
guano in market, and only a little more than half price."

Mr. Landreth, the celebrated seedsman of Philadelphia, applied $500
worth of Peruvian guano last spring, principally on the bean crop--he
thinks guano admirably adapted to all the Brassica tribe, including
turnips, cabbages, rutubaga, radishes and all cruciform plants. Upon a
lawn which appeared to be running out, he applied guano, and the grass
is now green and vigorous. The character of his soil may be judged from
its location; it is on the Delaware river above Bristol, and had been
awfully skinned before he came in possession. Now, with a liberal
expenditure for manures, he gets two crops a year.

_Guano for grass lands._--The Germantown Telegraph says: "The
application of guano broadcast to grass lands has been found to produce
a decided difference in the crop. In several instances this season,
where Peruvian guano has been applied at the rate of 200 lbs. per acre,
about the middle of April, the yield of hay has been double in quantity,
over the intermediate lands not so treated; and in every instance
noticed, it is believed that the difference in quantity produced will
amply repay the cost of the guano."


Guano has not been extensively used in New Jersey, owing to the
abundance of green sand marl, which is a very valuable fertilizer,
abounding in that part of the State most in need of artificial manures.
Guano has, wherever used, produced the most astonishing results. One of
these we witnessed upon the farm of Mr. Edward Harris, a gentleman well
known for his enterprising spirit of improvement and intelligence in
agriculture, who resides at Moorestown, which lies in the sandy region
east of Philadelphia. He sowed 400 lbs. to the acre, plowed in with
double plow, sowed oats and seeded with timothy, which upon similar soil
often "burns out" for want of shade, after the oats are harvested. Not
so in this case. The shattered oats from a remarkably fine crop,
vegetated and grew with such a dark green luxuriance, there was more
danger of the young grass being smothered out; so he had to put the
mowers at work, who cut heavy swaths of this second crop of oats, for
hay. If it had been situated so it could have been fed off, the amount
of pasture would have been almost incalculable. It is needless to say
the effect of guano upon this land, was not evanescent. Other trials
made by Mr. Harris, have convinced him of its value to Jersey farmers,
and that good as "Squankum marl" undoubtedly is, farmers would do better
to expend part, at least, of their money in guano.

The name of James Buckalew is known, perhaps, more extensively than any
other in New Jersey, as one of her most enterprising, rapidly improving,
money making farmers, whose testimony in favor of guano may be easily
obtained by any one who will take the trouble to go and see what
beautiful farms he has made out of the barren sands near the Jamestown
station, on the Camden & Amboy railroad, by the use of lime, plaster,
marl, manure and guano. It is a pity that every one who doubts the
feasibility of profitably improving the worst land in that State, by the
power of such an agent as Peruvian guano, could not see what has been
done by Mr. Buckalew. Let them also look at what were once bare sand
hills around the residence of Commodore Stevens, at South Amboy, a
gentleman who ought to be more renowned for his improvements on land
than water, notwithstanding his world wide reputation, in connection
with the yacht America. Go ask how it is that these drifted sand hills
have been covered with rank grass, clover, corn, turnips and other
luxuriant crops; the very echo of the question will be, guano.

Look at the astonishing crops of Professor Mapes, at Newark. Peruvian
guano, in combination with his improved superphosphate of lime, hath
wrought the miracle, aided as it has been, by the deepest plowing ever
done in that State.

Mr. Samuel Allen, at Morristown, has now growing upon a poor barren,
gravelly knoll, a crop of corn which might put to blush the owner of a
rich and well manured field, and which ought to put to blush some of the
unbelievers in the power of guano to produce such a growth upon such a
soil; rather where there was no soil, hardly enough to grow a
respectable crop of mullen stalks. Mr. Allen has tried guano for several
years upon every kind of garden vegetable, with the most wonderful
success. A crop of Lima beans now growing exhibit its wonderful power in
the strongest manner. The application has been made by a small dose at
planting and two sprinklings hoed in during their growth.

A great many other persons in this State have produced most wonderful
effects upon land almost utterly worthless, while in the immediate
benefits, those who have applied it to lands in good condition, have
profited more than with double the cost of manure.

_Guano for Peach Trees._--A New Jersey nurseryman assured us of his firm
conviction in the power of guano to cure the yellows in peach
trees--that no grub or worm can be found alive in the roots of a tree
where guano is applied--that young trees can be brought into bearing by
the use of guano, a year earlier than by any other forcing process with
which he is acquainted.


One gentleman assures us he tried an experiment very carefully, and
found an application of guano at two and a half cents a pound, 300 lbs.
to the acre, more economical than hauling his own manure one mile. The
fair value of team work and cost of labor hired, was more to the acre
than the guano, and the first crop quite inferior, the second no
difference, and the third slightly in favor of the manure. He thinks
buying city manure, particularly street sweepings, about the poorest use
to which he could put his money, as he certainly could make 50 per ct.
more upon the same amount expended in Peruvian guano. Professor Mapes
entertains the same opinion, about hauling manure, where guano, or
rather with him, guano improved by the addition of his "improved
superphosphate of lime," can be procured.

Dr. Peck, a gentleman well known for his philanthropic motives in
settling and improving the "Long Island barrens," has proved that every
acre of that long neglected, and until quite recently considered
worthless portion of the Island, can be rendered fertile, so as to be
cultivated with great profit, either in farms or market gardens, by the
aid of this greatest blessing ever bestowed by Providence upon an
unfertile land.

Several of the Messrs. Smith, of Smithtown, could show any Long Island
farmer who still has doubts upon the subject, that guano is the greatest
worker of miracles in this age--that it is just as capable of producing
great crops on the barren sands of the Island, as it is on the tide
water shores of Virginia, upon soil of the same character.

A great deal has been said in deprecation of the waste of fertilizing
matters in the city of New York, in which the writer of this pamphlet
has conscientiously joined; because, he thought it wicked to commit such
waste, while we were surrounded by lands lying idle, for the want of
these very substances. Precious, however, as they would be to the
farmer, he cannot afford to use them. That is, it would be poor economy
for a Long Island farmer, no matter how near the city, to expend money
in the hire of men, vessels and teams, to save, carry, haul and apply to
his farm, the immense amount of fertilizing substances now wasted;
because the same capital expended in purchasing and applying guano, will
produce a much greater profit. The difference in cartage is enough to
astonish one who has never thought upon the subject. One man with a pair
of horses can easily carry guano enough in one day, thirty miles into
the country, to manure ten acres of ground. To carry an equivalent of
city manure, in the same time, would require 300 pair of horses and 350
men. Who can wonder that barren lands have remained barren? Who will not
wonder if they still continue so, with such fertilizers as their owners
might possess to render them otherwise? But few of the residents in the
interior of Long Island, if the manure was given to them, can afford the
time and team work to haul 300 loads for ten acres, while all can afford
the time for one load; and they may be morally certain the capital
invested in that load will be returned in the first crop. The great
advantage of guano over all other manures is, the concentration of
immense fertilizing power in such small bulk.

_Guano in New York and Connecticut_, generally, has been less used than
any sound reason will justify. A comparatively small portion of the
market gardeners--a few gentlemen in the improvement of rural homes, and
here and there a nurseryman, have derived immense benefits; but the bulk
of the farmers are still either faithless, or ignorant; in most cases
the latter, of the benefits they might derive from a liberal expenditure
in the means, and the only means within their reach, of rendering their
lands productive.

_Effect of Guano on Garden Seeds._--From the society of Shakers, at
Lebanon, so justly celebrated for growing garden seeds, we receive the
most positive assurance that no manure ever applied by them, has had
such an effect as guano. The production of seeds of all descriptions, is
not only increased, but the quality is improved to an astonishing
degree. The same effect has been noted upon wheat, particularly in our
account of Mr. Newton's operations. So also has it in England. This view
of the case should give an additional value to guano to the farmer, as
not only an improver of the quantity of his products, but by the gradual
improvement in the quality of the seed, calculated to be of vast benefit
to him in that respect. Garden seeds raised by guano, as soon as their
superiority becomes known, will be in such demand that no other can be
sold. Another advantage will arise from the fact that such seeds will be
found entirely free from weeds, as none grow after a few years upon land
manured only with guano.

The beautiful residence of Mr. Edwin Bartlett, near Tarrytown, exhibits
strong evidence of the fertilizing power of guano upon the poor,
unproductive hill sides of Westchester Co. That place, now so luxuriant,
was noted a few years ago, as too poor to support grasshoppers. It was
the poverty stricken joke of the neighborhood.

[Footnote 1: For interesting letters from Long Island, see appendix.]


We have heard a good many assertions that guano, however valuable it
might be upon the warm sandy soils of the south, would not answer in the
cold land and climate of the New England States. To refute this fallacy,
we have some strong testimony. Seven years ago, while the very name of
guano, and much more its virtues were unknown to half the farmers of
America, Mr. S. S. Teschemacher, of Boston, a gentleman of science and
practical skill in gardening, became so fully convinced of its value to
the cultivators of American soil, he published a pamphlet for the
purpose of inducing others to profit by its use. From that pamphlet we
make a few extracts. He says--"One of the numerous objections to this
manure is, that, although it may answer well in the humid atmosphere of
England, it cannot produce equal benefit in the hot, sandy soils of this
country. In reply to this, it may be observed, that the sandy soils of
South America are more hot than they are here; and, on the coast of
Peru, where it is most used, it scarcely ever rains at all. The truth
is, that it certainly requires moisture to decompose it, and enable it
to enter into the juices of the plant; by no means, however, so much as
is usually supposed; but, once absorbed by the roots and plants, it
imparts that strength and solidity which enable them to resist both
drought and cold.

"It is beyond dispute that guano contains the chief ingredients required
for the growth of plants. The instances hereafter adduced will show that
the combination and form of these ingredients are such as to promote not
only its immediate action, but clearly to accelerate considerably the
progress of vegetation."

The chief ingredients, then, of guano, are,

  Ammonia, in various forms and combinations;
  Phosphate and oxalate of lime and magnesia;
  Salts of potash and soda;
  Animal organic matter;
  Sand and moisture.

Besides the evidence we have given of the value of an application of
such a compound, it contains evidence within itself to every mind embued
with any knowledge of agricultural chemistry, that it will not only
promote immediate growth of vegetation, but produce a lasting benefit to
the soil. It contains all the materials necessary for the growth of
cereal or esculent vegetation in the exact form required--that is an
impalpable powder--to promote rapid, certain, large growth, and abundant
fruitfulness, and consequent profit.


To Indian corn, applied one teaspoonful to the hill, well mixed with
earth, at time of planting. When twelve or fifteen inches high, hoed in
three tea spoons full around the corn, and covered two inches deep and
watered. Soil--a poor, sandy, sterile one. Product--one seed produced
three main stalks with eight perfect ears and five suckers, weighing
8-1/4 lbs. The best plant without guano, weighed 1-1/4 lbs. and only had
one ear.--"I find the best mode of applying guano is to hollow out the
hill, put in one teaspoonful and a half of guano, and mix it well with
the soil. Spread even, then put on this about one or one and a half inch
depth of light soil, on which sow the seed and cover up. When the corn
is about twelve inches high, or the time of first hoeing, begin with the
hoe about four inches from the stems, and make a trench the width of the
hoe about two or three inches deep. Spread in this trench about three or
four teaspoonfuls guano, stir it in, and cover the trench as quickly as
possible. If this last operation can be performed just before or during
rain, the action will be quicker and more effectual."

Four or five teaspoonfuls of dry powder producing such an effect, is
what staggers the belief of those who see with their own eyes.

So great is the luxuriance of growth from such an insignificant
application, it is necessary to increase the space nearly double between
the hills. In a country where fodder is so valuable as it is in
Massachusetts, the great increase of stalks is of equal importance with
the increase of grain. Indian corn requires both phosphate of lime and
magnesia which it finds in guano, in combination with ammonia, in a
state just ready to be absorbed by the growing plant, wherever brought
in contact, with its roots.

Mr. T. found the guanoed corn planted May 22d, ripened sooner than that
planted May 1st. with manure. This alone on account of the difficulty
from frost, is sufficient to give it great claim upon northern farmers.

_Effect on Grass._--"The application of this manure to grass land
already laid down is for many reasons often attended with uncertain
results. The best mode is, to spread broadcast about 250 lbs. per acre
of the Peruvian guano as soon as the snow is off the ground. It would be
very advantageous if, after it was spread on, some light loam could be
put over it, in the manner of a top dressing. I state the Peruvian guano
is the best for this operation, as it contains what Dr. Ure calls
_potential ammonia_, or ammonia in a more permanent form; whereas the
ammonia from the Ichaboe guano evaporates more easily, and this valuable
ingredient is therefore lost in the atmosphere when it is spread on the

"Most excellent crops have been obtained, where the grass is sown and
laid down in the autumn, on light, sandy soils, by sowing the guano
evenly broadcast, then harrowing twice, sowing the grass seed, and

The best mode of applying it, however, is to sow broadcast and plow it
in--at the south, on sandy soils, no matter how deep--at the north on
soils more clayey, plow it in about four inches deep--the real object
being to so mix it with the soil as to prevent the escape of ammonia,
which is exceedingly volatile. Remember, _Guano_ should never be used as
a top dressing, except in combination with plaster, or some other
substance which will prevent the escape of the most valuable portion of
its composition.

In several case, where sods have been laid down for lawns or
embankments round houses, the most surprising growth has been obtained
by strewing the surface with guano previous to laying on the sod.

E. Baylies, of Taunton, sowed 460 lbs. African guano per acre, with
grass seed, which yielded, this year, one ton per acre more than that
without; and the appearance of the guanoed grass is now much more thick,
luxuriant, and promising, for next year than the other.

"Another friend of mine sowed grass in sandy soil with a full quantity
of manure, and an adjoining acre, with 400 lbs. Ichaboe guano. The
guanoed acre grew stronger, and retained its full verdure the whole
winter; the manured piece, on the contrary, became, as usual, brown by
the action of the frost."

Mr. T. as well as nearly all the English writers upon the subject, has
noticed the improvement in quality as well as quantity of grain and
garden vegetables. It is a well authenticated fact, that birds wont
touch the manured wheat, while they can obtain that which is much more
plump and rich where guano has been applied.

_Effects on Trees and Grape Vines._--"The experiments with guano on
trees which have come under my observation, including exotics number
about one hundred and fifty. The action has invariably been to produce
large foliage, of a deep healthy green."

The best mode of applying guano to fruit-trees, or flowering shrubs, is
to dig it into the earth at such distance from the trunk as will be
likely to meet the largest number of fibrous roots.

"For instance, round an apple-tree of ten years' standing, dig a trench
one or one and a half foot deep, at about the same distance from the
stem that the branches extend; let this trench be about one foot wide;
then put at the bottom one and a half inch depth of guano, dig it well
in, and incorporate it with the soil; then cover up carefully and press
the earth down. The effect of this application will unquestionably be
felt for several years."

On grape vines, the action of guano has been proved exceedingly
beneficial; increasing the growth of vines and fruit, improving the
flavor and hastening the ripening, so as to escape early frosts.

In planting young trees, put about a pint in the bottom of the hole
covering with soil so the roots will not touch it. No insects or grubs
will disturb the roots of such a tree.

"Several friends, who have tried guano this year on their pear-trees,
have reported to me the result to be greater crops, and of a much larger
size, than they ever had previously."

_Guano on Peas_--_Method of Applying._--The kinds on which I
experimented were Prince Albert, Shilling's early grotto, (a dwarf pea,)
blue imperial, and marrowfat. Draw a deep trench with a hoe, strew guano
in the trench, mix it up with the soil, over this put about one inch and
a half of earth, then sow the seed, and cover up. The quantity used
should about equal the quantity of seed. The produce of the three first
kinds of peas, was five full pecks to the quart of seed, besides a full
quart of seed gathered for next year. From the marrowfats I obtained
only four pecks and a half, and no seed. The growth of all was extremely
luxuriant. The marrowfats were six and a half feet high, the stems from
one to one and a quarter inch in circumference. Guano should be placed
at such a depth that the natural moisture of the earth will decompose it
and render it fit for the plant. In the lightest soils--plow and bury
guano a little deeper than in others more heavy; the guano itself
retains moisture, and absorbs it naturally.

_Guano on Beans_, doubled the yield of a paralel row, while the improved
flavor was perceptible to those who had no idea of the cause which
produced it. In drouth, the power given plants by guano, to resist the
scorching rays of the sun, is remarkable.

_On Melons_, the effect was equally favorable, giving a large increase
of highly flavored fruit.

_On Potatoes._--We give out of many equally favorable, only one
experiment, just to show the ability of farmers to grow this crop in the
most unsuitable soil, by a small expenditure for guano, twenty per cent.
better than with manure. Here it is. "Soil, very sandy and light;
quantity, 800 lbs. African (per ship Samos) to the acre; cost, $20. Same
soil, with twenty-two loads fine compost manure, cost $22. Yield, as
eleven to nine, or twenty-two per cent. in favor of guano, the potatoes
with which were larger than the others."

_On Turnips_, no manure is equal to guano. The crop has been doubled in
numerous instances. Mr. T. says of one experiment he made, "The plants
on this portion are now twice as large as those which have not had any.
It is perfectly beautiful to see the luxuriance of all these guanoed
vegetables compared with the others."

_On Strawberries_, nothing has ever been applied equal to guano,
provided the plants are plentifully watered. The best mode of
application is in solution. One pound is enough for ten gallons of

_On Cauliflowers._--Two experiments, one with guano, the other with a
solution. The first are fine strong plants, particularly one to which I
gave a larger share than the other; it is heading finely. But those with
the solution are much larger and finer. I have been accustomed to
observe the cultivation of this vegetable, and never saw such a
luxuriant growth. They are now, (Sept. 15th) beginning to show flower;
and, if the season is favorable, I expect the heads will be very fine.
The plants are at least four times larger than those on the same piece
without guano, or any manure at all, planted on the same day, from the
same seed bed.

_On Rhubarb or Pie Plant_, guano has the most decided beneficial effect,
increasing the size, flavor and tenderness of the stalk; besides the
very great advantage of bringing it forward some two or three weeks
earlier in the spring. Fork it in all over the bed, just as early as the
frost will permit, at the rate of 600 lbs. to the acre.

_On Asparagus_, the same treatment will more than double the quantity of
this excellent, healthy vegetable. In the fall, give a dressing of
salt equal to 15 or 20 bushels to the acre. With the guano, nothing
else need be applied, if it is thoroughly mixed with the soil.

_For Vegetables, Plants, Trees, and Shrubbery generally_, where fruit is
an object, apply the guano as above, in powder. Where flowers of rare
size and beauty are desired, apply it in solution, or by frequently
stirring in small dressings just before a shower. Another important
observation on this subject is, that guano, or its solution, should
never be applied except at that period of the season when the growth of
wood is proper and natural.

_In forcing houses_, nothing can be equal to guano. One thing, it
produces no weeds, or insects; this is enough to insure its favor
wherever it may be tried.

_On roses_, the beneficial effect is already well known. If tea roses
are cut down when the bloom is over, repotted in fresh earth, and well
watered twice or thrice a week, with guano water, they will immediately
throw out luxuriant shoots, and be covered with their fragrant blossoms.
The cactus tribe will bear a larger quantity and stronger solution of
guano, without injury, than most other plants.

"During the progress of my experiments," says Mr. T., "I have been
delighted with the unfailing and extraordinary luxuriance of growth and
produce on a miserable spot of land, induced by the use of this manure,
and struck with the numerous instances which have come to my knowledge
of erroneous applications of it. On a stiff clay, guano would be of
little value, except on the surface, or an inch or two deep, unless it
were considerably lightened by the addition of sand, or well broken up
by exposure, in ridges, to frost, as every clay soil should be. A light,
porous, sandy soil would require 300 lbs. Peruvian, or 400 lbs. best
Ichaboe; and for this soil I think the Peruvian best adapted, as it
retains the ammonia longer, and, being less soluble in water than the
Ichaboe, its qualities are not so soon washed out."

In a soil already much enriched with manure, and at the same time
abounding in phosphate of lime, I have found the guano to produce less
visible effects than on a poor, sandy soil.

Most excellent effects have been produced by steeping seeds in guano
water of moderate strength for eight to twelve hours, dependent on the
kind of seeds, and then planting with one to three inches soil between
the seed and the guano. The steep encourages the growth of the young
plant, whose roots, in a more advanced stage, find the guano, which
continues the stimulus.

_Quantity for a Steep._--Put one, one and a half, or two teaspoonfuls of
guano, according to quality, in a quart bottle, shake up, and when
settled, use; then refill and use two or three times, previous to
putting in fresh guano. Or, in the large way, from fifteen to twenty
gallons of water to one pound; mix in a barrel, stir up and leave it to
settle, taking care, however, to put a cover on, to prevent the escape
of ammonia.


The best action of guano is undoubtedly upon naturally poor or worn out
light sandy soils. Next sandy loam--then loam proper--then clayey loam
or exhausted gravelly soil, and lastly cold stiff clay, or land
naturally wet. Upon the first particularly at the south, it should
always be plowed in from four to six inches deep; and will always afford
the greatest profit when applied to wheat land and that sown with

_Preparation of guano for use._--Until some ingenious Yankee invents a
cheap mill by which he will make a fortune and the lumps be easily
ground, the following method may be pursued. Take the bags on the barn
floor or in some close room with tight floor and sift the guano over a
box, through a 3/8 mesh sieve, putting the fine back in the bags and
lumps on the floor. These may be mashed with a stout hoe or shovel, or
with a block like a pavier's rammer. Sift and break again until all is
fine. Lay the dust with a very slight sprinkle from the nose of a
watering pot; of a solution of copperas, at the rate of 10 lbs. to the
cwt. of guano, or with plaster or loamy earth--woods mould or dry fine
clay. Many persons prefer to mix plaster with the guano in the first
instance at the rate of a peck of plaster to a bushel of guano--others
use an equal weight of each. Where plaster is not to be had, from five
to ten bushels of pulverized charcoal or dust from the coal pit, or
pulverized peat, to each hundred weight of guano may be used to fix the
ammonia and prevent loss. Sulphuric acid 1 lb. to 10 of water, with
which to sprinkle the mass may be used as a fixer. But if it is kept in
the bags, in a dry room, until ready for use, and then prepared, sown
and plowed in at once with as little exposure to the air as possible,
very little of the ammonia will escape. The true axiom to be observed in
the use of guano, is to plow it in as soon as possible after it is sown
and before it is moistened with dew or rain; and to plow it in deep, or
in some way thoroughly incorporate it with the soil, so that rains will
not wash it away, or hot sunshine cause it to evaporate. We hold all
top-dressings with guano, to be wasteful, on account of its volatile
character, and because it needs the moisture in the earth to fit the
substance of which it is composed so its fertilizing properties can be
taken up by the roots of the plants. If spread upon the surface, it must
wait for a dissolving shower to carry it down to the roots; in the
meantime, it is moistened by dews and evaporated by the sun, and carried
off to enrich your neighbor's crops half as much as your own.

_Preparing Land and Sowing._--When ready to plow the land for wheat,
measure an acre and lay it off in lands 18 feet wide; put the guano in a
pail and walk up one side and down the other with a moderate step
throwing handfulls across at each step, and you will find you do not
vary much from two hundred pounds to the acre. Never sow in a windy day
if it can be avoided, nor faster than it can be plowed in the same day.

_To prevent guano from getting into the mouth and nostrils._--Take a
thin piece of sponge and wet it and tie over the mouth and nose.
Whenever the dust accumulates, wash it out. If you must sow while the
wind is blowing, mix earth enough with guano to prevent blowing away.

_Depth it should be plowed in._--On light sandy land, there is no danger
of its ever being plowed in too deep. On sandy loam, it ought to be
plowed under at least six inches--eight inches would be better. On true
loam, a less depth will answer, though we are strong advocates of deep
plowing. On clayey loam, four inches will answer, and on clay,
particularly in the Northern States, if well harrowed or put in with the
cultivator, there will be no great loss of ammonia, as the clay is a
great absorber of that volatile substance. This rule may in general be
observed; upon the light lands of the south, it cannot be too deeply
buried; in the clay lands, or in the more heavy, cold, or moist lands of
the north, it may be covered too deep to benefit the first crop; but, if
the after cultivation is good, whatever is planted will be sure to be
benefitted. Upon granite soils, it will be of less value than silicious
or aluminous ones. Though most valuable on poor sandy or worn out old
fields like those of Virginia, already described, still it must not be
rejected by the owner of any land which can be improved by manure,
because this is a manure of the very best and most concentrated kind;
containing more of the ingredients necessary to promote vegetable
growth, in the exact proportion and combination, ready prepared for use,
than any other substance in the known world. It is a fertilizing
substance which none will reject who once learn its value, unless very
deeply prejudiced. It is idle to reject it because the Peruvian
Government wont let us have it at our own price, because we can profit
by it at theirs. It is nonsense to say, it will answer in the moist
climate of England, but not in our dry one. Truth deduced from
experience, in several States, in various climates and soils, refutes
all such sayings. Besides, it has been used with continued success in
the burning sun and soils of Peru, ever since the conquest by the
Spaniards, and, according to tradition for ages untold previous to that

_Guano on Wheat._--We repeat, sow broadcast and plow in upon all light
lands, _deep_; at the rate of 200 to 600 lbs. to the acre, as you can
afford, or as the land requires--we believe in the small quantity and
repeat the next sowing, to be by far the most judicious. On heavy lands
you may harrow or cultivate it in, but the plow is better. It will do
well on lands previously limed, but should never be mixed with lime or
ashes, unless mixed with plaster or charcoal. If you must use it as a
top dressing in the spring, mix a bushel of plaster with every hundred
of guano, sow and harrow in--don't be afraid of injuring the wheat
Always sow clover or grass on guanoed grain.

_On Indian Corn._--Follow the same directions as for wheat, or if the
land is already rich, and you wish to give the corn an early start,
scatter at the rate of 100 to 200 lbs. guano in the furrow, and cover it
two inches deep with another furrow and then drill the corn. Be sure and
never let the seed come in contact with the guano, or you will kill it
most certainly. Guanoed corn should be sowed in wheat, particularly
whenever it has been dressed with a large quantity.

_To growing Corn_, if it is desirable to apply it, turn a furrow away
from the row on each side and scatter in the bottom at the rate of 300
lbs. per acre, and turn back the earth immediately.

_Green Corn_--roasting ears--are improved in taste by guano beyond
anything ever conceived of by the lovers of this luscious food.

_Quantity per acre._--Thomas S. Pleasants of Petersburg, Va., a
well-known writer upon agriculture, and who has had much practical
experience ever since the first introduction of guano into this country,
says:--"_Corn_ is a gross feeder and will take up a greater quantity of
guano than perhaps any other crop. I have known as much as 600 lbs.
applied to the acre and the product was in proportion. Each hundred
pounds will give an average product of ten bushels as various
experiments have proved From the above mentioned application of 600 lbs.
a product of 73 bushels was obtained, which left 13 bushels as the
product of the soil alone. For corn, guano may be spread broadcast on
the land and ploughed in as deeply as it is desirable to break the soil;
or it may be strewed along deep furrows to be afterwards ridged over and
the cultivation to be in only one direction. The best result I ever
obtained was from this latter mode, when from land not capable of
producing five bushels, I harvested a crop that could not have been less
than 35 bushels to the acre.

"The furrows were opened deep and wide by passing the plow both ways and
the guano strewed along these at the rate 1 lb. per every ten yards.
They were then covered over and the land thereby thrown into beds. But
in whatever way it is used, the roots of the corn will be sure to find
it all, and between these two modes, I think there is little or no
choice. I would certainly advise against putting it in the hill, though
I have sometimes seen good results. It is difficult, however, in such a
case, to prevent the guano and seed from coming into close contact;
and, unless there are two or three inches of earth interposed between
them the seed will be certainly destroyed."

_For wheat_, the guano should be spread broadcast at the time of
seeding the wheat, at the rate of 200 lbs. to 250 lbs. per acre and
ploughed in. If the land has been previously fallowed, it will be
sufficient to plow it in with a one horse plow; if broken up for the
first time, there will be no objection to using a larger plough. The
best depth for getting it in, however, is, I think, from four to six
inches. It always acts more powerfully on clean land; indeed if there is
much crude vegetable matter in the soil, there is frequently little or
no advantage derived from its application. Experience, therefore goes to
show that the most economical application is to corn land; that is, to
land that has just produced a crop of corn, no matter how poor it may
be. If it is intended to be put on land that has been lying in grass, it
would be advisable to fallow it as early in the season as practicable,
and afterwards to get it in with a small plow as already suggested.

The same direction will apply to oats and also to rye. But for oats, 125
to 150 lbs of guano will be as much as can be used to advantage.

A. B. Allen of New York, one of the earliest, and most strenuous
advocates of using guano, who, long before he ever thought of being
engaged in its sale, used to distribute small parcels among farmers and
gardeners to enable them to try experiments and learn its value, in a
letter to the Southern Cultivator, says:--"Never put guano in the hill
with corn, no matter if covered two or three inches deep; for the roots
will be certain to find it, and so sure as they touch the guano, so
caustic is it, that it will certainly kill the corn; the same with peas,
beans, melon vines, in fact most vegetable crops. Wheat and other small
grains have so many roots, and tiller so well, there is no danger of
guano killing them, when sown directly with the seed. Still, as before
remarked, it is better to plough it in before sowing the seed.

"After corn is up, you may apply a table spoonful, at the first time
hoeing; dig it an inch or two deep six inches from each stalk. A table
spoonful to the hill will take 250 to 350 lbs., per acre, according to
the distance the hills are apart. If the soil be rather poor, a second
dose at the time the corn first shows its silk, will add considerably to
the yield in grain, if followed by rains, but little or nothing to the
growth of stalk. Guano increases the size of grain more than stalks;
hence one must be content to wait till the grain is fully matured before
giving an opinion of the virtues of guano.

"Before applying the guano, it is better to mix it well with an equal
quantity of plaster of Paris or charcoal dust. Either of these
substances help to retain the ammonia and prevent its evaporation.

"The genuine unadulterated Peruvian guano, is so much superior to any
other kind, it is in reality the _cheapest_, though the price is
considerable higher than that of the other qualities."

_Guano on Oats._--Mr. Allen says, "I am satisfied from experience and
observation in the use of guano, for the past twelve years, that the
best method, decidedly, of applying it to crops in our dry climate, is
to plow or spade it into the ground; and autumn is the best time for
doing this, as it gives time for the pungent salts contained in the
guano, to get thoroughly mixed with the soil before spring planting. Do
not fear to loose the guano by plowing it in as deep as you please--it
will not run away, depend upon it. At the south, it loses half its
virtue if not plowed in at least three inches deep; six or twelve inches
would be still better."

Because "autumn is, for many reasons, the best season" for applying
guano, as a general thing, we do not recommend an application to this
crop, notwithstanding our full conviction it will increase the product
upon any light, poor soil, from ten to twenty bushels to the acre, for
each cwt. applied. As some however, will find it more convenient and
profitable to manure the oat than wheat crop, we recommend them to plow
in from 200 to 300 lbs. to the acre, on ground that was clean tilled the
previous year, and sow the oats in drills, three or four bushels to the
acre and seed with clover, herds, or ray grass. If not to be followed
with grass, we would use a much less quantity; say 125 or 150 lbs. to
the acre. As may be seen in the account of Mr. Harris' crop, not one
half of the 400 lbs. was taken up by the oats. With wheat, on the
contrary, the guano is dissolved more slowly by winter rains, giving the
crop a vigorous growth in fall, and sometimes all winter, so it sends
out double the number of stalks in spring. The sun too, is so much less
powerful at that season, evaporation does not take place so easily as in

_Great Crops from Guano._--In England, 48 bushels of wheat and 100 of
oats have been made from an acre dressed with 200 lbs. of guano. A late
English writer, in detailing his own experiments, and urging others to
the same course, says; "The reason guano is serviceable to all plants
arises from its containing every saline and organic matter required as
food. It is used beneficially on all soils; for, as it contains every
element necessary to plants, it is independent of the quality of the
soil. So far as the experiments in England and Scotland may be adduced,
one cwt. of guano is equal to about five tons of farm-yard manure, on an
average; but it is much higher for turnips than for grass."

_Guano on Grass._--As we are opposed to using it as a top dressing, of
course we shall not recommend its application to this crop. Generally,
by using it on wheat and other crops, the farmer will save manure enough
to top dress his meadows. Nevertheless, in combination with proper
ingredients, we do say it is a good and profitable manure for grass. For
each acre mix from 200 to 400 lbs. with as many bushels of plaster, or
ten to one of charcoal, or twenty to one of dry swamp muck or peat,
woods mould or fine clay, and sow upon the meadow or pasture early in
spring. If the season is moist, the benefit will be very great; if dry,
it will probably be said, as it has been before; "Oh, this guano is good
for nothing--I tried it once on grass and it never done a bit of good."

_On potatoes_, 400 lbs. to the acre, broadcast, may be used to good
advantage, if it is plowed in deep enough, on clean land. As it is a
caustic manure, and requires a good deal of moisture, as well as
potatoes, it is not suitable for the hill or surface dressing. A less
quantity will pay a greater profit to the immediate crop, without much
after benefit, if it is drilled in the bottom of a deep furrow and then
covered by turning two furrows, one from each side, so as to leave a
slight depression between them, and directly over the guano. Upon these
beds plant the tubers in drills. After hoeing, scatter a mixture of
equal parts of lime, salt, ashes and plaster, a large handful every
yard, all over the rows, and we will warrant the crop free from the
potato rot.

_On turnips_, nothing can exceed guano, unless the phosphate of lime in
bones could be rendered equally pulverulent. Use 3 to 600 lbs. per acre,
and plow it in at the last plowing, and top dress with five bushels of
ashes and two of salt as soon as the turnips are up. Follow with wheat
or rye and grass. One half the above quantity and five bushels of bone
dust dissolved in sulphuric acid, will produce a wonderful crop of
turnips, or ruta bagas. Guano may be used to equal advantage upon all
kinds of root crops.

_Benefits to the Dairy Farmer._--The beneficial use of guano in the
manufacture of butter and cheese, is unquestionable. In many districts
in England, and in some in this country, the continual cropping of grass
and conversion of it into cheese, has so exhausted the soil of its
phosphates, the milk will no longer produce the quantity of casein
necessary to make cheese making profitable. When this is the case, you
will find the cows seeking to supply the deficiency by eating bones.
Wherever guano has been used upon pasture land, it is found that cows
eat the increased luxuriant grass most greedily, and improve not only in
quantity but quality of their milk. We cannot, therefore, recommend too
earnestly, to all dairy farmers, to give their pasture lands an
immediate dressing of guano. If you have not full faith in what we are
telling you, try an experiment for yourself. Mix 200 or 300 lbs. of
guano with two or three bushels of plaster, and that with two or three
loads of charcoal dust from the bottom of some coal pit, or from burnt
peat, or swamp muck; or, if the charcoal is not attainable, use woods
mold, or powdered clay or fine loam, to any extent you can afford; and
if you can afford nothing but the guano and plaster, don't fail to
afford a dressing of that, because it will afford you a rich return. No
other manure can be used upon pasture land, to produce the same effect.
Cattle never reject the grass of guanoed land, as they do that lately

_On Flax._--Experiments in England have proved guano superior to any
other substance ever applied to this crop. With the aid of this manure,
farmers will never complain of flax exhausting the soil. With 300 lbs.
per acre, successive large crops can be grown upon the same ground. It
should be plowed in, but not so deeply as for some other crops, as it is
not expected to benefit succeeding ones as much as the present. As soon
as the "flax cotton" movement now progressing is fully understood, there
will be immense fields of flax grown for that purpose, and the best and
most economical fertilizing material, and for which there will be a
large demand, will be Peruvian guano; for no good farmer will attempt to
grow a crop without it. A top dressing of 25 or 30 bushels of ashes to
the acre will be found beneficial; but farmers ought to try which is
best, more guano and less or no ashes, or the reverse. We cannot advise
rotation with this crop, where guano is used, because the ground becomes
so clean and free from weeds, it is of great advantage, and so far as we
are informed, continuous good crops result from the annual application
of the same quantity of guano, year after year.

_On Cabbages._--Field culture. After the ground is well prepared, lay it
off in checks three to four feet square. With a spade, throw out a deep
spit at each check and put in a spoonful of guano, or at the rate of 400
lbs. per acre, and cover with soil. Set the plants immediately and water
if possible. After the first hoeing, throw a handful of ashes on each

_For Carrots, Beets and Parsnips_, plow in 500 lbs. per acre, twelve to
eighteen inches deep. Top dress with ashes, salt, and fine manure in
compost, to assist the young plants; the long roots will find the guano
and it will produce such a crop as you never saw before.

_On Hops._--Make a mixture of three cwt. of guano, one of salt, one and
a half of saltpetre, and one of gypsum, for each acre; sow broadcast and
plow in about four inches deep, and you will find your manure well paid
for, and no exhaustion of the soil, as is usually the case wherever this
crop is cultivated, as it is a very gross feeder, and requires very rich
land or great deal of manure; for which reason it is not as much
cultivated as it will be as soon as the virtues of the above application
become fully known.

_For Tobacco_, guano has been found to possess superior qualities,
particularly in obviating the difficulty heretofore experienced in
getting plants sufficiently early. We have the testimony of several
witnesses to prove that burning a seed bed is quite unnecessary, if
guano at the rate of 400 to 600 lbs. to the acre be mixed with an equal
amount of ashes, and plaster and well raked in previous to sowing. Of
the effect upon the crop, we give the testimony of a Virginia planter.

"In the spring of 1850, I applied 200 lbs. to the acre, on eight acres
of land, which had been manured three years before for tobacco, and the
same quantity, on three acres which had never been manured, and was very
poor. On the last I also turned in some half rotted straw, raked up in
the barn yard, after all the farm yard manure had been hauled out.
Between these two pieces of land, 19 acres were heavily manured. The
whole 30 acres had been well broken with four horses, early in the
winter. The last year was the worst I have ever known for tobacco.
Nevertheless, the first eight acres produced a very fine crop--the last
three acres brought much better tobacco than the adjoining manured land,
I should say not less than 600 lbs. to the acre."

_Wheat on Guanoed Tobacco Land._--This field was sown with wheat, and
the writer says--"I measured from these 30 acres next year upwards of
600 bushels of wheat of very fine quality; both pieces of guanoed land
being _above_ the average of the whole lot. Adjoining the _three_ acres
is an equal quantity of land of the same quality, which did not yield
five bushels to the acre."

Of the effect upon another crop of wheat, the same gentleman says--"Two
years ago I purchased three tons, two of which I applied to 20 acres of
a James River hill, which though not gullied, had been a good deal worn
by hard croppings, or bad cultivation, or both combined. The Guano was
sowed _dry_, and on the wide rows laid off for sowing wheat, and
ploughed in with two horses, the wheat then harrowed in. I forgot to say
that the land had been fallowed in with three horses in the month of
August, and the wheat sowed in October. In consequence of the dryness of
the guano, and the width of the rows, the wheat was very much striped,
being very luxuriant where the guano fell in the largest quantities. The
product did not exceed 200 bushels, or 10 bushels to the acre, but the
quality was so superior that I saved it all for seed."

"The land sowed two years ago, is now _striped with clover_, as it was
with wheat."

This land is a tenacious red clay formation, from which the soil we
presume has all been washed away "long time ago." No planter, he says,
would have put such land in tobacco without heavy manuring; and yet it
produced a fair crop of tobacco. Owing to distance from navigation, he
could not use lime, or any heavy manure, and without guano he could not
make crops, and, consequently could not make manure at home.

The editor of the American Farmer, in a note says--"Our correspondent
appears to desire that his land should be brought to a state of
fertility by the _quickest_ practicable process, and from the beautiful
results of his experiments with guano, we know of no agent to which he
could look with so much certainty of success as to that very manure."

_The quantity per acre for Tobacco._--We should recommend at least 400
lbs. sown broadcast and plowed in, on such land as described, not over
four inches deep. The tobacco to be followed with wheat, the wheat with
clover, the clover after one year with corn and then tobacco and guano
again. The clover should have a bushel of plaster fall and spring.
Whoever tries this will find the benefit of guano on tobacco. But there
is one still greater benefit; we have been assured that the tobacco worm
which it was supposed from his natural taste, nothing could nauseate,
actually gets sick of guano, and refuses his accustomed food.

_Another mode of applying_ it to tobacco has been practised successfully
as follows:--Mark off the land in checks and put a small spoonful in
each check, and cover up directly under the bed where the plant is to
stand, three or four inches deep. To this a handful of ashes and plaster
may be advantageously added. Guano does not give tobacco the rank flavor
that is often acquired from high manuring.

Mr. Pleasants, although many experiments have failed, principally, as he
believes, from improper application, says in a recent letter--"There is
no actual reason why guano should not act as well on tobacco as any
other crop. The failures are doubtless to be ascribed to the injudicious
manner in which it has been applied. I can conceive of only one mode in
which it can be used to advantage, and that is by strewing it along a
deep furrow as described for corn; then bedding upon it and confining
the cultivation to one direction. This has been my way of cultivating
cabbages for the market for several years, and the guano has always
acted promptly and powerfully. If chopped in at the base of the hill it
would require a great quantity of rain to dissolve it and make it
available to the young plants, for the conical shape of the hill has a
tendency to shed the rain instead of absorbing it. I expect soon to
receive very accurate results of a crop grown with guano, which Judge
Nash represented to me as splendid. If I cultivated tobacco, I should
have every confidence of success by planting it on ridges with the Guano
buried at a considerable depth, say from four to six inches beneath the
surface of the ridge--1 lb. to ten yards would be a sufficient quantity.

"In short, I consider guano good for any crop. For potatoes (that is
Irish potatoes) I regard it as a specific manure. The quantity I apply
is 3/4 lbs. to every ten yards put in the furrows as recommended for
corn and tobacco, and then covered over about one inch with earth drawn
from the sides of the furrows. After this the potato cuttings are
planted and covered over with the plough or hoe. The quantity
recommended is about right as far as my experience goes (which is of
several years duration) if the cuttings are placed about two inches

_Guano for Cotton._--But few trials upon this crop have come to our
knowledge, but such as have, indicate that it will prove one of the most
valuable promoters of the growth of this staple product of America ever
discovered. The analysis of cotton--stalk, seed and lint--compared with
that of guano, is sufficient to prove the latter to be the very matter
required to produce the former. We are assured upon the most reliable
authority that guano will give an average increase of pound for pound
upon any soil producing less than a bale per acre so that every pound of
guano costing two and a half cents, will give a pound of cotton
averaging at least 6-1/4 cents.

_Mode of applying on Cotton Land._--Open a deep furrow and drill in the
bottom at the rate of 400 lbs. to the acre, upon land usually producing
300 to 500 lbs. seed cotton, and less for a better quality of land, down
to one-fourth the quantity. Bed on this as deep as you please; the
moisture of the earth will disengage the ammonia and phosphates, and
send their fertilizing properties up to the roots. Never use guano as a
top-dressing for cotton. The seed will be found better matured, and
consequently more valuable to manure another crop, besides being so much
easier separated from the lint, which will be found as much improved in
quality as quantity. For Sea Island planters, where manure is so
valuable and so hard to obtain, we would earnestly recommend a thorough
trial of guano. As the land for this crop is mostly prepared with hoes,
care must be taken that the servants do not neglect to bury it at the
very bottom of a good bed.

From the knowledge the writer has of the culture and value of long
staple cotton, and the price and value of guano, he has no hesitation in
expressing his honest conviction that a clear profit of two to four
hundred per cent. may be made upon every dollar expended in the purchase
and proper application of guano to that crop.

Guano, for all staple crops in the United States, is no longer an
experiment. It has been clearly demonstrated, to be the cheapest and
most valuable fertilizer, particularly for all poor, worn out, hard used
and exhausted soils ever discovered; which no sensible man will neglect
to profit by, as soon as he learns its value, unless prevented by deep
prejudice or strong circumstances.

_Application to Miscellaneous Crops._--Under this head we will give the
experience of several individuals in various sections, soils and
climates, in hopes it may encourage the doubtful, and direct those who
are disposed to emerge from darkness into the light of scientific
agriculture. A gentleman from Warsaw, Virginia, where the soil is
generally a sandy loam, badly worn by long years of bad tillage, says,
"My wheat looks finely, especially where I applied guano last fall. I
put it in with the seed furrow about three inches deep, and also with
double plow six inches deep, harrowing in the wheat frequently side by
side. At this time I can see no difference in the wheat crop. I use a
large wooden toothed harrow extending over the bed of ten feet, and an
even soil, free from stone; they do admirable work and drill the wheat
as if put in with the drill."

Willoughby Newton, whose operation we have already spoken of, says; "I
do not believe it possible to improve a farm, on the old three shift
system, of corn, wheat and pasture, without a large supply of foreign
manures. If clover can be substituted for pasture in the summer, then
the land, if not naturally poor, may be rapidly improved by the use of
lime alone, in addition to the putrescent manures that may, by proper
care, be made on the farm. On other land of less fertility, and drier, I
greatly prefer the five field system, under which, with the use of lime,
guano and clover, a rapid improvement may be effected at the same time
that heavy crops of wheat are reaped."

Another writer in speaking of how to improve worn out lands, says; "Let
whatever little surplus he can spare from supplying the necessary wants
of his family be laid out in the purchase of some one of the reliable
concentrated manures. [Guano is by far the cheapest, and therefore the
best for him, if he will plow it in well]. And my observation and
experience have convinced me that he may make such improvement as will
bring him a quick return, and soon enable him to get his farm well set
in grass. This once effected, his facilities for its further improvement
will assuredly increase in a ratio just in proportion as he is careful
to pursue the course indicated. If a farmer can succeed in getting his
fields well set in grass, a large and long array of facts and experience
have proved that he may then, under a judicious course of management,
render them more and more fertile without foreign aid of any kind

The editor of the American Farmer, in deprecating the price of guano
says, "Of the efficacy of guano, in restoring worn out lands to
productiveness--of its capacity to increase the yield of any lands in a
sound condition--there cannot be a doubt; but even with all its
regenerating properties, we do think that its market value is too high.
Forty-eight dollars for a ton of 2,000 lbs. of Peruvian guano is more
than it is intrinsically worth, and should it be continued thus high,
must, we should think, limit its use, for the obvious reason, that
farmers cannot afford to pay a price for it which is so disproportionate
to its real value."

Yet they do continue to pay, and make it pay a greater profit than any
other manure ever purchased. We hold to have done as much as any other
individual to reduce the price of guano, and wish as heartily as does
the editor of the Am. Farmer, it was only half the price it now is; yet,
we must counsel our readers not to wait for that cheap time coming. It
is now cheaper than it was then, and probably as low as it will be for
years; and in the hands of the present agents, the public may depend
upon a regular supply, and of genuine quality, at what the Peruvian
government deem a fair price.

_Guano for Melons and other Vines._--Mr. Pleasants, of whom we have
before spoken, and whose long experience in the use of guano in
connection with a market garden, entitle him to a high degree of credit,
says, "I have been in the habit of using it for several years, and can
testify to its value, not only using it for melons, but for the whole
tribe of cucurbitacæ. The mode of application which I prefer is this;
when the ground is prepared and checked off, remove the loose soil at
the intersections of the furrows, leaving clear spaces on the substratum
of not less than eighteen inches in diameter. Upon these spaces sprinkle
guano, at the rate one pound to eight hills. Follow with a hilling or
grubbing hoe, and incorporate the guano with the subsoil; then draw the
loose earth back, and finish by chopping a small quantity, a spadeful or
less, of well rotted manure into the hill near the surface. Guano placed
near the surface, will remain almost inert, and buried deep, as I
recommended, it will be too remote from the seed to give the young
plants the quick start which is indispensable to an early crop of
melons. The small quantity of manure near the top of the hill answers
the purpose of immediate forcing, and enables the roots to strike
rapidly into the guano, when the growth of the vines will be stimulated
to such a degree as to cause them to mature their fruit a week or ten
days earlier than they would do from either guano or manure alone.
Melons equally fine may be raised from nothing but guano, applied in the
manner directed; but they will not be an early crop, from the fact that
the plants remain almost stationary until the roots reach the guano.
Last year, from such a preparation as is now recommended, I had as fine
a crop of melons as I ever saw; and they began to ripen at a very early
period in the season. Two years ago, I had them nearly or quite as good
from guano alone; but they were late. This year the crop was almost a
failure, from the wetness of the season, which caused the vines to die.
Cantelope melons, however, have produced abundantly, grown entirely with
the aid of guano. Where manure is scarce, I have no doubt an admirable
compost might be prepared, consisting of guano and rich earth. It
should be made several weeks, or even months, before it is wanted for
use; and the heap worked over frequently in order to bring it into a
suitable condition. Such a compost would doubtless supply the place in
the hill which I have assigned to the manure. For pumpkins, squashes,
cymblins and cucumbers, when it is not particularly desirable to have
them early, nothing more is necessary than to prepare the hills with

The following extract from a letter of E. G. Booth, to F. C. Stainbrook,
written in that plain familiar style of one friend to another, which
characterises the man, with an evident intent to do good; though it was
not designed for publication, we give it because we believe it will do
others good, as well as the recipient. Mr. Booth confirms our opinion
often expressed, that the poor old barren fields of lower Virginia, are
really more valuable than the rich lands of the west; because, owing to
facilities of intercourse with commercial cities by water, these lands
can be bought, and cultivated by aid of guano, with more profit than the
richest prairie farm in Illinois. Mr. Booth's testimony upon the
durability of this manure, is enough to contradict all the assertions
that "it is of no use for only one crop." On his land, strangers can
easily tell where guano was applied four years previous.

"Yours of the third has been received, and it affords me pleasure to
give you any information in my power. The wheat crop during the the
winter was very unpromising. There was a general complaint that it was
too thin. The Poland wheat (most generally sown in this neighborhood,)
is said to branch more than other kinds, and I regard the present
prospect of the wheat crop as flattering, particularly where guano was
used. It is now a fixed fact, that no poor land ought to be cultivated
without guano, by any person who can command the money or credit to buy
it. It is remarkable that it pays a much better profit, or per cent. on
the investment, on poor land, than rich. I was inclined for some time to
believe that the difference was really in appearance alone. The
difference of five bushels increase on land which without it would bring
only fifteen--or in other words, an increase from fifteen to twenty
bushels to the acre, would not be very perceptible, while an increase of
five bushels on land previously making only five, would be very evident.
Still, the real increase would be five bushels in each case. I am now
however, decidedly of the opinion that it pays a much larger per cent.
on poor than rich land; because it supplies that in which poor land is
deficient, and of which rich land may have enough. I have it now in
strips on a clover fallow, scarcely showing any difference. I last
applied it on about the poorest land on my plantation, and the product
was remarkable. This circumstance much reduces the difference between
the value of poor and rich land, and admonishes us that there is not a
plot in our wide extended surface, which need be abandoned or neglected.
We can, if we manage properly, support a population which will out vote
the West in 1865. There is another fact which experience confirms, that
is it is much more durable than at first supposed. My visitors have been
able to point out the strips of land on which it was sown, four years
after its application. I noticed a very evident effect on the farm of
Mr. William Fitzgerald, a few days ago. He last year put it in drills,
and hilled on them for tobacco, in the fall the whole surface was sown
in wheat, which is now growing in ridges corresponding with the furrows
where it was placed.

"While on the subject I will mention another fact different from first
impressions, viz: that it is more productive, (the first crop, at
least,) when harrowed in with the grain, on the surface, than when
turned in very deep. I have yet to satisfy myself which is most durable.
In the experiment which lasted four years, I think it was turned in. The
purchases the ensuing fall will be very large. Those who were most
incredulous are now going in largely. A very intelligent and
enterprising friend of mine, who has been improving his land judiciously
and profitably in this way, related to me an anecdote which occurred to
him. He had two neighbors remarkable for their judgment and success in
farming as well as other things, who, however, were inclined to
underrate his expenditure of money in these elements of improvement.
They knew he had purchased and used a ton of guano, and thought they
knew where he had used the whole of it. They went, not exactly by night,
but rather privately, to examine into the result. They made their
observations and calculations, and agreed that he had got his money
back, but no profit worthy consideration, and were only confirmed in
their opposition to such an expenditure. The truth was, however, that
only about one eighth of the ton had been used where they calculated for
the whole. One of these gentlemen, I am informed, is now about the
largest purchaser of such articles in the county; and perhaps the other
also, though I have not been informed."


A Virginia farmer, in a letter of December 1847, in speaking of using
plaster with guano, and the effect says--"I am a firm believer in the
merits of the mixture, and always use it. I have used it on turnips with
decided effect, as decided as that following any application of guano I
ever saw. Several farmers of my acquaintance used the mixture of guano
and plaster, and stable manure and plaster habitually, like myself, and
one told me he used it half and half, producing the most marked effect
on wheat, and that a neighbor of his had used it in the same proportion
with the same effect--the usual surprising effect of guano. For myself,
I used some $400 worth of guano on wheat this fall, the whole of it
mixed with plaster. I believe the effect of the mixture will not be so
vigorous on the first crop, as guano by itself--the plaster husbanding
the ammonia for succeeding crops, upon which the mixture, (if the theory
be correct,) will have more effect than guano unmixed, that being
exhausted by the first crop."

A gentleman after making sundry careful experiments with plaster and
carbonate of ammonia, thus expresses his conclusions--"These experiments
prove to me that no matter in what state, (whether _wet_, _moist_, or
_dry_,) plaster is presented to guano, or any other manure from which
the carbonate of ammonia is escaping, it must retain a certain amount of
ammonia that would otherwise be lost in the atmosphere."

The editor of the American Farmer says--"If the soil be poor, and it be
desired to permanently improve it, at least four hundred pounds of
guano, without respect to the fixer used, should be spread _broadcast_,
on every acre of it, and plowed in to the full depth of the furrow. If
the land be in moderate heart, three hundred pounds will be enough per
acre. Where the soil may be good, two hundred will be sufficient. These
quantities, as the reader will observe, have relation to broadcast
applications, as all should be where general improvement is
contemplated; if compelled to confine his experiments on corn to
applications in the hill, a form of manuring, we have ever disapproved,
two hundred pounds, or even one hundred of guano, will manure an acre,
mixed with a bushel of plaster, five bushels of slaked ashes, and a
double horse cart of wood mould more effective than ten loads of manure
applied in the hill."

Yes, as has been proved by careful experiment made in England, more than
fourteen tons of manure. The editor also says, what we have so often
repeated--"We hold these to be agricultural truths--that guano is most
beneficially applied, when ploughed in as spread on the the earth, never
less than four inches deep--and better, for permanent effect, to be
ploughed in deeper, say six to eight inches--where it may be desirable
only to bury it four inches deep, the land should be previously ploughed
as deep as the furrow can be turned up, and the guano applied at a
second ploughing--that all top-dressings with guano are wasteful,
inasmuch, as from the volatile nature of the more active parts of the
manure, great loss must inevitably result from all such applications,
and because, more moisture than is to be found on the surface, is
necessary to excite, and carry on, that healthful progressive state of
decomposition, which is required to render guano most available for
present production and future improvement.

"We do not hesitate to express the opinion, that when properly used, as
an adjunct to lime or marl, that it will bring up any sound worn out
land, to at least its original degree, if not a greater degree of
fertility; provided its application be followed by clover. We believe
that, when properly applied to land, either limed or marled the previous
year, it will add twenty-five, thirty, and, in some instances, forty per
cent. to the product of wheat; besides infusing into the soil, the
capacity to grow luxuriant crops of clover, and thus fit it for
profitable future culture. If it will do this, and we are certain it
will, then it will achieve all that any agriculturist can reasonably
expect of it, or of any other fertilizing agent; and we are very sure
there is no other manure equally efficacious, within the reach of
farmers and planters.

"Guano differs much in quality; that from Peru, is confessedly best of
any which has yet been submitted to actual experiment by agriculturists,
or tested by the analysis of chemists, being much richer in its
nitrogenous element, than either the Patagonian or African variety."

He also says--"400 lbs. of guano and 1 bushel of plaster, will ensure a
good crop of corn, so will 200 lbs. guano and eight bushels of bone
earth, or 20 bushels of bone earth, 10 bushels of ashes and 1 bushel of
plaster. Each to be ploughed in."

Much more might be said in favor of using plaster with guano, or some
other fixer of ammonia, wherever it is exposed, on or near the surface.
We add a few more extracts mainly to show that deep ploughing, and
plentiful manuring, are the sure guarantee of bountiful crops.
Bone-dust, except when used in the drill, should always be harrowed in.
It should be put in bulk with other matters, and excited into an
incipient state of decomposition before being used.

Guano should always be ploughed in, if practicable. Harrowing and
cultivating in guano "have been practised both in this country and in
England, by intelligent farmers; and in various instances have been
spoken approvingly of, success having attended such applications in
single crops; but we doubt whether much, if any permanent benefit were
done to the soil, in qualifying it for the production of the subsequent
crops of a course of rotation. In Peru it is used topically, but such
applications are always followed by immediate irrigations of the soils
to which it is applied, the Peruvians acting upon the philosophical
principal, whether they comprehend its theory or not, that to secure the
nutrient properties of this active fertilizer to their growing crops, it
is essential that they provide an absorbent, and that they find in the
water furnished by their processes of irrigation. Experience, practice,
and irrigation have taught them, that unless they cause the carbonate of
ammonia, and the various compound substances with which it exists in the
guano, to descend speedily to the roots of their plants, that from the
volatility of its more active and efficient elements, they will be
expelled by the heat of the sun, escape into the air, and be lost for
all the purposes of vegetable growth.

"But in view of the whole ground, taking into consideration the
evanescent nature of any ammonia in guano in the compounds in which it
exists, to be converted into that form, we honestly believe, that so far
as lasting benefit to the land may be concerned, guano should be
ploughed in.

"In all tolerably good Guano, there is a sufficiency of the carbonate
already formed to carry on healthful vegetation, and therefore, it is
best to place it sufficiently deep to prevent the waste of an element so
essential to the growth of plants, and so liable to loss.

"It is possible where the soil had been, by repeated harrowings, reduced
to a state of very fine tilth, that guano may be covered sufficiently
deep with the Cultivator to become mixed with, and consequently be
absorbed by the vegetable remains of the earth, and thus be prevented
from loss by escape of its volatile gases; especially would this be the
case, if the process of cultivating it in, were soon after followed by
penetrating rains. In admitting this, we still adhere to the opinion,
that so far as permanent benefits are concerned, the most economical
mode of applying guano to the earth, is by the plough.

"As soon as the guano is ploughed in, the wheat should be sowed and
harrowed in, in the usual way. In our climate we can sow wheat on the
poorest corn ground late in November and have as fine a crop, and
harvest it as soon, as we can obtain from well prepared and fallowed
without guano sowed early in the season, For every 100 lbs. of guano,
not exceeding 250 lbs. we calculate on reaping of an average season from
six to seven bushels, sometimes eight. From a greater quantity though
the product will be increased, yet it will not be increased in the same
proportion, and 200 lbs will also be sufficient for the production of
two good grass crops following the wheat and will then leave the land in
an improved condition."

_Charcoal and Guano._--The benefit of charcoal with guano will be
understood from the following extract from "Scientific Agriculture," on
the nature of charcoal and its use as a manure.--"Charcoal on account of
its power of absorbing gases and destroying offensive odors, is a
valuable addition to the soil; its operation as a manure is not so
direct as some other manures; that is, it is not so useful on account of
any element it furnishes to plants, as by the intermediate office which
it performs, of absorbing and retaining in the soil those volatile
matters which plants require, and which would otherwise escape and be
lost. It is beneficial as a top-dressing, and as an ingredient in
composts; it evolves carbonic acid in its decomposition, and is in this
way directly useful to plants. Its powerful antiseptic properties
render it very useful to young and tender plants, by keeping the soil
free of putrifying substances, which would otherwise destroy their
spongioles and prevent their growth."

And its capacity to absorb many times its bulk of gaseous matter, will
always give it value as an absorbent of escaping ammonia from surface
dressings of guano.

The editor of the Farmer also says--"In our climate, we should be
opposed to all topical applications of any strongly concentrated manure
like guano by itself,--and, indeed we should, under all circumstances,
prefer to have it ploughed in, if practicable; but as we presume our
correspondent has been prevented by circumstances, from using guano at
the time of ploughing for wheat; and of course, must avail himself of
the next best plan of deriving benefit from its use, we would advise,
him next spring, as soon as the frost is out of the ground, and it is in
a state to bear a team; to mix, in the proportion of 100 lbs. of guano,
one bushel of fine charcoal, and one peck of plaster per acre, then to
sow the mixture over his wheat field, lightly harrow the ground, and
finish by rolling; and we have no hesitation in saying, that his wheat
crop will be benefitted more than twice the cost of the manure. We say
to him farther that he need not fear injuring his wheat plants by the
operation of harrowing and rolling; for, on the contrary, it will act as
a working, and prove of decided advantage. We feel very certain that the
admixture of charcoal and plaster with guano, together with the covering
it will receive by the harrowing, will prevent any material loss of the
ammoniacal principles of the latter; as independent of the affinity
existing between charcoal, plaster, and all nitrogeneous bodies, they
will be greatly aided by the vital principle of the plants themselves.
We are not, however, left to the lights of theory alone, in this matter,
but have the experience of the Honorable Mr. Pearce, of Kent county, of
this State, to guide us to a practical result,--he used, some years
since, a top-dressing of guano and plaster upon his wheat field, and was
rewarded by a large increase of crop."

A correspondent says--"I am satisfied from experience and observation in
the use of guano for the last twelve years, that the best method,
decidedly, of applying it to our crops in this dry climate, is to plow
and spade it into the ground; and autumn is the best season for doing
this, as it gives time for the pungent salts contained in the guano to
get thoroughly mixed with the soil before spring planting. Do not fear
to lose the guano, by plowing it as deep as you please--it will not run
away, depend upon it. At the south it loses half its virtue if not
plowed in at least three inches deep; six to twelve inches would be
still better.

"Spread broadcast on grass land, late in the fall or early in the spring,
if not plowed in before sowing buckwheat, rye or wheat, then spread it
broadcast after sowing the grain, and harrow well and roll the land.
This last operation is quite important."

_Value of Guano on account of its Phosphates._--He who wishes to have
the best grazing grounds, where he can present the richest and most
nutritious herbage to his cattle, will keep his ground well supplied or
manured with guano that abounds in phosphates, knowing that it will
supply the needed nutriment to the grass, and by the grass to the
cattle; and thus his stock will be kept in a high condition and full
flesh, either for the farm or the market.

Again; he who raises wheat, corn, or other grains, has an equal
inducement to look to it that his manures are abundantly impregnated
with these essential elements. Phosphates, so available to the raiser of
stock, are equally so to the producer of grain; because the size,
richness, and nutritious qualities of the grain depend largely on the
presence of these in the soil. A farmer, therefore, has a vital interest
in this matter, and should obtain what best suits his purpose. The most
intelligent English farmers are so well convinced on this point, that
substances containing only ten per cent. of phosphate of lime, are
sought after, dissolved in sulphuric acid and water, and sprinkled on
the soil. Bone dust also is used, and to a certain extent, is available,
because one of the principal constituents of bones, is phosphate of
lime. But the article in which the phosphates are the most convenient,
because the most minutely distributed, is guano; and this, when
judiciously used, must find favor wherever it can be obtained.

That which contains a large proportion of phosphates, in combination
with ammonia, nitrogen and alkaline salts, apparently in the exact
proportion required by nature, such as analysis and experience proves is
the case with Peruvian guano, will be sought after by every farmer who
reads the evidence of its value which we have given in these pages.

It is idle to talk of bones to restore the waste of phosphates in the
soil that is being constantly carried away in grass and grain, beef,
pork, mutton, milk and cheese, much of which passes into the sea from
the sewers of cities, to be there retained in that great reservoir for
the future use of men. It is from that we are now drawing our present
supplies. Happily for mankind in all civilized countries, the discovery
of guano has, in a providential manner, met the very wants of the times,
in reference to the reinvigoration of certain kinds of soil, since this
manure furnishes the elements most needed to supply the waste arising
from cultivation, and to develop vegetation.

The impossibility of procuring bones enough to supply the wants of the
comparative few now engaged in using guano, may be readily learned by
any farmer who uses ten tons of guano per annum, if he will undertake to
"pick up bones" enough to furnish him the same amount of phosphates
contained in that quantity of guano. Then if all who are now using it,
would drop guano and take to bones, it would soon be found to be hard
picking. Save all the bones and apply them to the soil, is a standing
text with us; upon the same soil use all the guano your can procure and
you will not need to pick bones--you will grow bones to pick. It may be
very patriotic to talk about expending the money at home, for bones,
instead of sending it to Peru, for guano; but that talk is all for
Buncombe, there is not a particle of sound reason in it. If all the
bones in the United States could be saved and applied to the land again,
we should still fall short of a supply, and be obliged to do as England
did before the introduction of guano; go about and ransack grave yards
of great battlefields, for more bones. With all the guano imported, or
that will be imported, and all the bones that will be saved, there will
still be room for more phosphates in the millions of acres of hungry
soil in America. What would be the effect if a few such farms as
Willoughby Newton's, and Col. Carter's, who each use 30 to 40 tons per
annum of guano, should come all at once into the bone market for their
supplies. In our opinion there would be such a rattling among the dry
bones, we should hear no more about substituting them for guano. The
fact is an incontrovertible one, that nothing on earth nor under the
earth, or in the sea, has ever been discovered, which can be used as a
substitute for guano. Its small bulk is alone sufficient to commend it
to favor.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England offers a prize of £1,000 and
the gold medal of the society, for the discovery of a manure with equal
fertilizing properties to the guano, of which an unlimited supply can be
furnished in England, at £5 per ton.

"_Analogy between Bones and Guano._--There is a striking analogy in
composition between bones and guano, which is, for other reasons
interesting to the practical man.

The following table exhibits the composition of bones compared with
guano, supposing both in the dry state. Bones, as they are applied to to
the land contain about 18 per cent. of water. Ichaboe guano from 20 to
25 per cent.

                                  _Bones._      _Guano._

  Organic animal matter,             33            56
  Phosphates of lime and magnesia,   59            26
  Carbonate of lime,                  4             6
  Salts of soda,                      4            10
  Salts of potash,                 trace         trace
  Silicious matter                    0             2
                                    ----          ----
                                    100            100"

And these substances are found in guano already in a pulverulent state,
while bones have to be reduced by mechanical or chemical means to the
same condition before they are of any use as manure. Do not, we again
repeat most emphatically, do not waste a bone; dissolve all you can get
in sulphuric acid and mix with guano--save and make all the manure
possible, both by the stable, compost heap and green crops, and then you
will have money to buy guano, by which you can save the immense labor of
hauling to distant fields, and still have the satisfaction of seeing
them as fertile as those highly manured near home.

When the farmer raises crops for sale, and removes his grain and grasses
from the land, he sells a portion of his soil; and if he does not renew
in some way the saline matters taken away in his crops, he invariably
impoverishes his farm. This work of exhaustion is now going on to an
alarming extent, and the prolific wheat lands are to be searched for
farther and farther westward as the operation proceeds.

Every one knows the superiority of wheat grown on newly cultivated
lands, and most farmers are aware of the fact that soils become
exhausted of something, they know not what, but of something essential
to the most favorable production of grain. This something is found in
guano, and by it the original fertility of land can be more easily, more
certainly and cheaply restored than by any other means as yet

Professor Mapes in one of his letters of advice says; "As no farm, under
ordinary usage, will supply as much manure as may be used upon it with
profit, I am glad you intend to use guano, as it is an admirable manure,
replete with many requirements of plants. The ammonia of the guano is in
the form of a carbonate, and therefore so volatile as to escape from the
soil into the atmosphere before plants can use it.

"You will readily perceive, therefore, that the sulphuric and phosphoric
acids require amendments, and the ammonia should be changed from a
carbonate to a sulphate of ammonia, which is not volatile. All this may
be readily done by dissolving bone dust in dilute sulphuric acid, mixing
it with the guano, and then with a sufficient amount of charcoal dust to
render the mass dry and pulverulent. The more charcoal dust the better,
as it absorbs and retains ammonia, and after it is in the soil, will
continue to perform similar offices for many years, only yielding up
ammonia as required by plants, and receiving new portions from rains,
dews, &c."

If used as a top dressing, this change from a carbonate to a sulphate
may be necessary; but not so if well mixed with the soil, particularly
one in which clay predominates. In such a soil it is not even necessary
to adhere to the direction to plow the guano deeply under. If it is but
slightly harrowed in, the nature of the clay is such it will prevent
the escape of the ammonia. If you require phosphates, more than
ammonia, add the superphosphate of lime; but in no case omit the guano.

_Use of Salt with Guano._--Common salt at the rate of a bushel to 100
lbs. of guano, well mixed, may be used to good advantage either as a top
dressing, or when plowed in. The effect of the muriatic acid of the salt
upon the guano will be, as both are dissolved in the earth, or by dews
and rains, to form muriate of ammonia, which is not volatile;
consequently the salt prevents loss by exhaustion, which is sure to take
place when the guano is used as a top dressing, unless prevented by
something to act as a fixer of the ammonia.

The wisdom of this law of nature in making the most precious saline
manure a fixed and difficultly soluble salt, is at once obvious; for it
is thus kept always ready in the soil for the plants to act upon
according to their need. If we cut plants down before the seeds form, we
have all the phosphates the plants contain diffused throughout them, and
if we allow the seed to ripen, the phosphates, as before observed, will
be found mostly in the seed. We find them in the state of phosphate of
potash, phosphate of soda, phosphate of magnesia, and phosphate of lime,
and probably, also, phosphate of ammonia. Now all these salts are
essential to the growth and sustenance of animals, and without them
grain would cease to be sufficient.

The necessity of restoring inorganic substances to the soil, may be
better understood by examining the following table:

Mr. Prixdeaux states that the following quantities (of inorganic
matters) are removed from an acre of soil by a crop of wheat, of 25
bushels of grain, and 3000 lbs. of straw--

                   _By the grain._       _By the straw._          _Total._
                             lbs.                  lbs.              lbs.
  Potash,                    7.15                 22.44             29.59
  Soda,                      2.73                  0.29              3.02
  Magnesia,                  3.63                  6.99             10.62
  Phosphoric acid,           15.02                 5.54             20.56
  Sulphuric acid,             0.07                10.49             10.56
  Chlorine                    0.00                 1.98              1.98
                              ----                 ----              ----
                             28.60                47.73

  Gross weight to be returned to an acre,                           76.33

Professor Johnson says--"Soils are barren either from the presence of a
noxious principle or the absence of a necessary element. It is therefore
highly important to be able to distinguish between the two cases.

"The art of culture is almost entirely a chemical art. Its processes are
explained on chemical principals in part, but partly on mechanical and
natural ones.

"All forms of matter may be divided into one of the two great
groups--organic or inorganic matter."

In Peruvian guano, both these substances exist in a better and cheaper
form than can be obtained from any other source.

The editor of the Genesee farmer, whose scientific information none can
dispute, strongly corroborates this opinion. In a late number he
says--If we admit that phosphate of lime is a necessary ingredient in a
special manure for wheat--Peruvian guano would at present be much the
cheapest source of it; for, in addition to the 16 per cent. of ammonia,
it contains 20 per cent. of phosphate of lime in first-rate condition
for assimilation by the plant, as well as other fertilizing ingredients
of minor importance.

As a manure for wheat, therefore, we greatly prefer good Peruvian guano,
even to the _improved_ superphosphate of lime.

_Difference in favor of Guano over Bone dust._--Robert Monteith,
England, dressed oat ground with 276 lbs. guano per acre, cost 31
shillings, produce 59 bushels, value £7 7s 6d. Same quality of land with
10 bushels bone dust, cost 23 shillings and fourpence, produced 43
bushels value £5 7s 6d, which gives a balance in favor of guano of £1
12s 4d, or about $7 50 per acre.

_Difference in favor of Guano over Manure._--The Yorkshire Agricultural
Society of England, instituted a series of experiments several years ago
for the purpose of working out practical facts in relation to guano,
through a series of crops, upon different soils, by different persons,
upon whose report the utmost reliance might be placed, so as to
determine the value, or advantage to British farmers, who might use this
extraordinary fertilizer. This report has just been published, and the
following is a synopsis of the results. The experiments were arranged
under the following heads--

1. To show the natural produce of the land, one part was to have no
manure whatever.

2. Was to have twelve tons per acre of farm-yard dung.

3. Was to have six tons of dung, and one cwt. each of guano and
dissolved coprolites; and

4. Was to have two cwt. of guano and two cwt. of the coprolites.

Other substances might be tried as additions, but these were to be the
standard experiments.

Mr. Cholmeley's turnips, grown on a loamy soil had the heaviest crop on
No. 3, the dung, coprolite, and guano, beating the farm-yard manure by
some 5-3/4 tons per acre.

Mr. Johnson's experiments were tried with various manures singly; and
his Peruvian guano gave the greatest weight of the class of substances
tried; but 10 cubic yards of farm-yard manure had previously been
applied to the whole land.

Mr. Maulevere's heaviest weight, also applied singly, was with the 12
tons of dung; but only 14 cwt. more than the dressing with 2 cwt. of
coprolites. This soil was a light clay.

Mr. Newham's on a limestone soil, were the heaviest with No. 3--the
same as Mr. Cholmeley's--and were 16 cwt. heavier than an application of
dung alone.

Mr. Outhwaite's, on a hungry gravel, were the heaviest, with 9-3/4 tons
of dung and 2 cwt. of guano, for all the land had been dunged at this
rate, and exceeded 14-1/2 tons of dung by 2 tons 9 cwt. per acre.

Mr. Scott's were the heaviest on No. 4,--the guano and coprolites, and 1
ton 7 cwt. more than 20 tons of dung,--his soil was a strong loam.

Mr. Wailes's were the heaviest, with 4 cwt. of coprolites, showing an
increase over 20 tons of dung of 2 tons 9 cwt. per acre; the soil is a
useful loam.

The first fact which strikes the observer, is, that as a general rule,
there is not only an addition to the crop by the addition of those
artificial manures, but there is, in some cases, more absolute crop
produced by them than by farm-yard manure alone.

Now to bring this to the test of figures, the coprolites at £5 per ton,
and the guano at £10 per ton, will be at the rate of 2 cwt of each, £1
10s per acre. Now assuming this to be equal to 20 tons of dung per acre,
we should require to be able to produce the dung at 1s 6d per ton to
cost us the same money. But it can be neither produced nor purchased at
any such money. In the whole of the cases referred to, the manure is
most costly, and yet we find hardly any case where there is not an
addition to the crop, of say two to three tons of turnips per acre, by
such an increase of manure as the guano. Now, if a ton of turnips be
worth 10s., or even 9s, there is at once an element of repayment; for,
if a soil be in a condition to give a large crop of turnips, it is
almost certain to be capable of giving a large crop of any other plant
to succeed.

Mr. Charnock gives it as the result of his practical experience, that 4
cwt. of Peruvian guano, without manure, is the cheapest and best mode of
growing turnips; but the general testimony seems to be decidedly in
favor of what all farmers find it the best and easiest to do, viz., to
add a small quantity of artificial manure to that which the farm will
supply, and so to spread the whole over the land, rather than put all
the dung in one place, and all the artificial manure in another.

No one can doubt the true statement of this report, which proves $7 50.
worth of guano equal to 20 tons of manure--reducing the worth of that
to one shilling and sixpence--about 34 cents--per ton, or one dollar a
cord. Now, as manure is often estimated in this country by the cord, and
valued at about $4, and applied at the rate of 6 cords per acre, it
follows that a saving of $14 50 per acre may be made by using 250 lbs.
of guano instead of purchasing the manure. This Yorkshire experiment
exactly corresponds with those made in this country, some of which we
have detailed, and which proves that a farmer cannot buy manure at the
common selling prices; and if he hauls his own the distance of a mile,
he will expend more value of time, than it is worth to him on the land;
because the same value of time--"time is money"--expended for guano,
will bring him better returns. In this, as before stated, we are
confirmed by Professor Mapes; and here is the opinion of Mr. Hovey of
Boston, the eminent horticulturist, which we find in the August No. of
his magazine, as follows--

"If, after such evidence as this, farmers will continue to buy ashes at
eight cents a bushel, or manure at three to six dollars a cord,
including carting, and use them alone, then let them do so, but they
should not complain that their crop cost more than it comes to. To
orchardists and fruit growers, this information is of the greatest
value, and we trust they will not let it pass unheeded."

This opinion is valuable because it has been stoutly asserted, that
however well guano might answer at the South, it was of no use in the
hard soil and cold climate of New England. This is a fallacy which will
soon be cured by knowledge, and self-interest is a very strong prompter
towards the acquisition of the knowledge, that guano is the best,
cheapest, most suitable, convenient and productive manure ever used by a
New England farmer, and just as suitable for that climate and soil as it
is for Virginia. We assert, without fear of successful contradiction,
that there is not a farm--not a field--covered with five-finger vines
and mullens, in the State of Massachusetts, which may not be made to
produce as profitable crops, by the use of guano, as any Connecticut
river farm. Farmers are about the hardest class of men in the world to
learn new doctrines; or that science has anything to do with the
business of this life, and what all other life in a civilized country is
dependent upon. Yet science teaches, by unerring truths, that the plants
the farmer cultivates, are composed of carbon, obtained by plants
chiefly from the soil and atmosphere; oxygen and hydrogen, obtained by
plants chiefly from water, carbonic acid, &c.; nitrogen obtained by
plants chiefly from manure, and also from rain and snow; silicium, in
combination with oxygen, called _silicia_ or sand; lime in combination
with phosphoric and other acids; potash and soda in combination with
acids; magnesia, in combination with acids, and various oxides of
metals, the presence of which, however, is not very important, as they
exist in an exceedingly small quantity. And that guano is composed of
ammonia (formed of nitrogen and hydrogen,) combined with carbonic,
oxalic, phosphoric, and other acids; lime, combined with phosphoric
oxalic, and other acids; potash and soda, combined with muriatic and
sulphuric acids; magnesia, combined with phosphoric and other acids;
animal organic matter, containing carbon, and also nitrogen.

Now, is it not enough to prove that all the ingredients, with the
exception of the metallic oxides, exist in guano, which are required by
the plants grown for the sustenance of man.

Putting guano into the soil, therefore, as a manure, is clearly
restoring to the earth those substances which plants abstract from it,
and which are absolutely necessary for their growth.

The questions, then, which the farmer should now ask are, "which is best
for me to buy, guano or coarse manure?" The evidence just given answers
that question. "I have manure, teams, and men to haul it; my fields are
from one to three miles distant, is it economy for me to let my teams
lay idle and buy guano?" By no means. But you can probably employ men
and teams in other improvements to much better advantage. With your
manure make all your home lots exceedingly rich. With your men and teams
clear off stones, dig ditches to put them into, drain your land, or
build fence--bring bog meadows and swamps into dry cultivation--send
every little brook through artificial channels for irrigation--send
water up from lowland springs and streams by hydraulic rams for the same
purpose, and for stock on the hills; or bring it down from hillsides if
you are so situated; and buy guano for those distant fields, instead of
wasting time in the laborious operation of hauling manure. Those who use
guano, are enabled by the saving of time, to say nothing of their
increased profits, to make improvements which are utterly impossible to
accomplish under the old system.

_How to choose Guano._--As we are satisfied no sensible reader can have
perused the preceding pages, without having come to the determination to
make a trial for himself, we will give him some general instructions
about buying guano.

In the first place, we lay it down as an incontrovertible axiom, that
the Peruvian guano, at the current price for years of that and all
other, is the cheapest and best, because it contains the largest amount
of ammonia, in a perfectly dry state; as a carbonate, true, but because
dry, it is permanent and not likely to loose by volatilization by long

If other varieties contain a larger proportion of phosphates, and are
sold at a less price, experience proves they are not cheaper. If an
additional quantity of phosphates is desirable, it can be obtained in a
cheaper form from dissolved bones, or bone dust and shavings of bone
workers; or from mineral phosphates of lime. Recollect, guano under no
other name, has ever equalled the Peruvian, in the results as compared
with the quality or cost.

Therefore buy none but Peruvian. To guard against deception, be careful
of whom you buy. If you cannot buy directly from the agents, be sure the
character of your merchant is a sufficient guarantee against

_To test the quality of Guano._--The best test is the price. Unlike
other merchandise, this article is not subject to fluctuations. Being a
government monopoly, the price at which the agents are to sell here is
fixed in Peru, and that price may be easily known; therefore, if any
dealer offers you Peruvian guano at "a reduced price," you may be sure
the quality is reduced also. Remember, that the lowest price by the ship
load, it can be procured for of the agents in Baltimore or New York is
$46 per ton of 2240 lbs. To this, every fair, honest dealer, must add
freight, insurance and profit. Every man who sells without such
addition, you may be sure will make his profit by short weight or

The next best test is its appearance. Good Peruvian guano is an
impalpable powder, perfectly dry to the touch, of a uniform brownish
yellow color, with a strong smell, like that of spirits of hartshorn,
contained in ammoniacal smelling bottles. But the smell is no test; that
which smells strongest may be worst, as the ammonia may be disengaged by
moisture or by the addition of lime or salt.

_The adulteration of guano_ is carried to a great extent in England, and
probably will be in this country. The principal adulterations are made
by the addition of loam, marl, sand, plaster, old lime, ashes, chalk,
salt, moisture, and by mixture with other guano of a cheaper quality.
The farmer need not depend upon the assertion, "this is a genuine
article--here is the inspector's certificate." We would not give a straw
for a corn basket full of certificates of analysis. The buyer must
analyse for himself. Mr. Nesbit, analytical chemist, London, has just
published a pamphlet from which we have condensed some very plain,
short, simple rules for testing the quality of guano. As the
adulterating substances are generally heavier than the guano, they may
be detected by a comparison of weight and measure. To do this, get a
small glass tube closed at one end, and weigh accurately an ounce of
pure guano, put it in the tube and carefully mark the hight it
fills--try several samples--if there is any difference, mark it. Now
weigh an ounce from a sample adulterated with one fourth its bulk of any
or all the preceding list of articles used for that purpose, and you
will find the difference of bulk between that and the genuine, very

_Test by Burning._--Guano burnt to ashes at a red heat will leave an ash
of a pearly white appearance, not varying in weight from 30 to 35 per
cent. of the quantity burnt. If it is adulterated with marl, sand, clay,
&c., the ash will be about 60 or 65 per cent, of the weight tested, and
be colored with the iron always present in the adulterating substances,
and which is never found in pure guano. This test, to be accurate, must
be done with a nice pair of scales and a platinum cup, which may be
heated over a spirit lamp. Ten grains of the guano are placed in the
platinum cup, which is held by the tongs in the flame of the spirit lamp
for several minutes, until the greater part of the organic matter is
burnt away. It is allowed to cool for a short time, and a few drops of a
strong solution of nitrate of ammonia added, to assist in consuming the
carbon in the residue. The cup is again heated, (taking care to prevent
its boiling over, or losing any of the ash,) until the moisture is quite
evaporated. A full red heat must then be given it, when, if the guano be
pure, the ash will be pearly white, and will not exceed 3-1/2 grains in
weight. If adulterated with sand, marl, &c., the ash will always be
colored, and will weigh more than 3-1/2 grains. Even the simple burning
of a few grains of guano, on a red hot shovel, will often indicate by
the color whether a fraud has been committed; but we cannot particularly
recommend this method, as the iron of the shovel itself will sometimes
give a tinge to the ash. This might be obviated by burning the sample on
a common earthen plate.

If the adulteration of guano has been made by sand, it can be detected
by dissolving the ashes in muriatic acid. The sand will remain--if it is
more than one per cent., it has probably been added fraudulently. As
iron exists in loam, it will show in the color of the ash if that is the
substance used for adulteration. If lime has been added, it can be
detected by dissolving the ash in muriatic acid and separating the sand,
loam and iron, if present, by filtration, and then adding oxalate of
ammonia to the liquid. If it shows more than a mere trace of lime, it
has been falsified.

_Test by salt._--Saturate a quart of water and strain it; pour some in a
saucer and sprinkle guano upon the surface. Good guano sinks
immediately, leaving only a slight scum. If it has been adulterated by
any light or flocculent matters, they will be seen upon the surface of
the brine.

_Test by Acid._--Put a teaspoonful of guano in a wine glass and add a
little vinegar or dilute muriatic acid. If ground limestone or chalk
have been added, the effervessence will show it. A genuine article will
only show a few bubbles.

_Test by Water._--The following simple plan will easily detect all the
ordinary adulterations of guano. Procure a wide mouthed bottle, with
solid glass stopper; fill with water and insert the stopper; let the
exterior be well dried. In one pan of accurate scales, place the
bottle; counterpoise by shot, sand or gravel. Pour out two thirds of
the water, and put in four ounces avoirdupois of guano. Agitate the
bottle, add more water; let it rest a couple of minutes, and fill with
water, so the froth all escapes; insert the stopper, wipe dry, and
replace the bottle in the scale. Add now to the counterpoised scale, one
and a half ounces avoirdupois, and a fourpenny piece; if the bottle
prove the heavier, the guano is, in all probability, adulterated. Add in
addition a three-penny piece, and if the bottle is still heaviest the
guano is undoubtedly adulterated. By this simple experiment, a very
small amount of sand, marl, &c., is detected.

If farmers will not use some of these simple tests, or employ a chemist
to detect suspected adulteration; or if they will buy guano of men who
have no character to lose, and who offer to sell below a price to afford
them a living profit, they cannot be pitied if they are cheated.

_Prepared Guano._--Never buy anything bearing that name, unless you wish
to verify the adage of "the fool and his money are soon parted."

_Analysis of Prepared Guano._--We give an analysis of one sample of
domestic manufacture, and two British. No. 1. was offered in London and
actually sold as Peruvian guano, to farmers in the south of England;
just because they were so neglectful of their own interests as not to
inform themselves that an article sold for $35 a ton, could not be
genuine, while the regular government price remained fixed at $47. It
may readily be seen by the analysis, how they were cheated into paying
that price for an article of which 74 per cent. is plaster, and only
half of one per cent. ammonia.

  No. 1. Gypsum,      74.05

  Phosphate of lime,  14.05

  Sand,                2.64

  Moisture and loss,   9.26
  Ammonia,             0.51

The other sample is still worse. This was sold as Saldana Bay guano, at
$15 to $20 a ton. It was composed of

  Sand,               48.81

  Phosphate of lime,  10.21

  Gypsum,              5.81

  Chalk,              22.73

  Moisture,           12.44
  Ammonia,          a trace

It would have been dear at half the price. But why? perhaps you inquire,
do you give these samples of rascality in England? Just to show you what
men are capable of doing there, they will probably do here--nay, have
done. Here is the analysis of an article which was sold in the city of
New York, under the name of _prepared guano_. The analysis was made by
the lately deceased, highly respected, and eminent analytic chemist,
Professor Norton, of Yale College, showing the following result.

  Water,                          4.35

  Alumina and phosphate of lime,  7.82

  Organic matter,                32.58

  Insoluble matter,              26.05

  Carbonate of lime,             28.76

  Magnesia, alkalies, and loss,   0.43

This analysis was made by the request of the editor of the Genesee
Farmer, by whom it is not only endorsed, but proof given of its utter
worthlessness upon the land where it was applied. Professor Norton made
the following remarks upon the subject.

"This is indeed a _prepared_ article. You will observe that three tenths
of the whole are water, or matter insoluble in acid, or nothing more
than water and sand. More than another three tenths is organic matter;
this contains scarcely a trace of ammonia or nitrogen in any form, being
worth no more than common muck from a swamp. Thus we have six tenths of
the guano made up of a mixture that as a gift, would not be worth
carting. Nearly another three tenths is carbonate of lime, a valuable
article it is true, but one which can be bought far more cheaply by the
barrel, bushel or ton, than as guano. The remaining tenth contains a
small quantity of phosphates, but not enough to make the mixture of much
value. The parties engaged in this manufacture, should be widely
exposed, for it is one of the most outrageous impositions I have ever
known. Farmers should avoid everything of this nature unless it is
certified to be equal to a copy of analysis shown. This stuff is not
worth transporting any distance for your land. J. P. NORTON."

We will now give the analysis of Peruvian, Patagonian, and Chilian
guano, as determined by Dr. Anderson, chemist of the Royal Agricultural
Society of Scotland, to be a fair average deduced, from a careful
examination of many samples. The same results have been obtained in this
country by such eminent chemists as Professor Norton, Dr. Antisell, and
Dr. Higgins. We only give analysis of these three kinds, for the reason,
no other of any consequence is now offered for sale in this country.


                     Peruvian.   Chilian    Chilian   Patagonian
                                  Fine.    Inferior.
  Water,               13.73      6.06       15.09       24.86
  Organic matter and}  53.16     54.51       12.88       18.86
  ammonical salts,  }
  Phosphates           23.48     11.96       16.44       41.37
  Lime,                 ----      1.37        8.93        2.94
  Sulphuric acid,       ----      ----        ----        2.21
  Alkaline salts,       7.97     10.25        6.04        2.70
  Sand,                 1.66     15.85       40.62        7.56
                      -------   -------     -------     -------
                      100,000   100,000     100,000     100,000
  Ammonia,             17.00     18.80        2.11        2.69

It will readily be seen there is a vast difference in the value of the
Chilian, and though not stated, there is as great a difference in the
Patagonian, while that from Peru, owing to the fact that it never rains
upon the depository, is of a uniform quality. As the principal value of
guano consists of the ammonia and phosphates, it is easily calculated.

  17 per cent. of ammonia is equal to 340 lbs. in
  a ton of 2,000 at 12-1/2 cents,                        $42.50

  23.48 per cent. of phosphates is equal to 470 lbs.
  in a ton at 1-1/2 cents,                                 7.05

  Alkaline salts,                                          5.00
  Value of a ton of Peruvian guano,                      $54.55

To this may be added the advantage of having these valuable substances
in the best possible condition, so finely pulverized they are ready
prepared for the use of plants.

It may be taken as an incontrovertible fact then, that guano is a cheap
and good manure for any land and any crop which would be benefitted by
the best quality of farm yard manure and ground bones. It is most
beneficial on poor sandy loam, absolutely unproductive; and most
profitable when applied to any land which cannot be otherwise manured on
account of distance and transportation of grosser articles. The better
the land is kept in tilth, the better will be the effect of an
application of guano. The public may also be assured of another fact; if
the guano is bought direct from the agents of the Peruvian government in
this country, or of reliable merchants, who get their supplies direct
from them, it will be of a uniform quality and value, as indicated by
the analysis just given.

They may also rest assured, and the author of this pamphlet believes his
reputation will warrant the assertion and belief, that he could not be
hired to puff an unworthy article, or write a book to induce American
farmers, to purchase an article which would not prove highly beneficial
to their best interests.

The author does know that the introduction of guano into this country is
a blessing to the nation. Its general use will not only increase the
wealth of individuals, but that of the body politic. Let us illustrate
this point by a statement of an English writer of its advantages to that
country. He says--"The importance of this question may be easily
illustrated. We grow in this country about 4,000,000 acres of wheat
annually. An application of two hundred weight of guano to each acre
would increase the produce by six bushels, or raise the average of
England from 26 to 32 bushels an acre, giving a total increase to our
home produce of 3,000,000 quarters of wheat, which is of itself
equivalent to a larger sum than the whole diminution of rent stated by
the Chancellor of the Exchequer to have been occasioned by free trade in
corn. But this is only one use to which guano would be applied, for its
effects are even more valuable to green crops than to corn."

The proportionate advantage to this country would be almost
inconceivably greater as our average product is far less, and the
increased number of bushels per acre, far more; the produce of land as
stated by Mr. Newton and others, having been raised from 3 to 15 or 20
bushels per acre.

The estimation in which it is held by some of the best farmers in the
world may be judged by the increased demand in England.

The quantity of Peruvian guano annually imported has risen from 22,000
tons in 1846 to 95,000 tons in 1850, but has increased during the last
year to about 200,000 tons. If the price were reduced by £2 to £3 a ton,
even the present large supply would be found greatly short of the
increased demand. In a single season, in 1845, when the price of Ichaboe
guano ranged from 6£ to 7£ a-ton, the importation with an open trade
rose to 220,000 tons. A reduction of 2£ to 3£ a ton would be followed by
an extraordinarily increased consumption. Twice the present importation
might be taken advantageously for the wheat crops alone. It seems to be
held by the Government that the right of Peru to the Lobos Islands is
unquestionable. It is, in that case, only by friendly negotiation that
anything can be done. Considerations should be pressed on the present
Ministry, pledged as they are to promote the landed and shipping
interests. If they can persuade the Peruvian Government, by friendly
negotiation, that the interests of that country as well as ours will be
benefited by opening the guano trade, they will confer an important
service on this country; a full supply would contribute materially to
restore the prosperity of the landed interest by increasing their
produce at diminished cost; and it would give regular employment to
about one-tenth of the whole mercantile navy of England.

Undoubtedly! an increased supply, or rather an increased consumption,
would tend materially to restore, in England and in America, to build up
the landed interest, by increasing the product of the land at diminished
cost. If farmers could buy guano at lower prices, it is argued all would
use it. Undoubtedly again! Because their profits would be greater. So
great in fact, the temptation to make money out of the purchase and use
of guano few could withstand "such a chance for a speculation."

But as they cannot induce the Peruvians to let them have it at a lower
price, and as they can make money out of it at the present price, is it
not a suicidical measure upon the part of the owners of unprofitable
land, to refuse to use guano, because they cannot get it at their own
price, while they can certainly profit by its use at present prices.

_The Guano Monopoly._--Much prejudice has been excited against the
agents and principal dealers in this country by the cry of monopoly. Are
those who cry _wolf_ the loudest, entirely clear themselves, of a
fondness for fat mutton? The following extract from a letter of Edward
Stabler of Maryland, gives a more fair, impartial view of the subject.
He says; "Odious and grinding as monopolies usually become, and hard as
this one seems to bear upon the agriculturist's interests, it still
appears to be about as fair as ordinary mercantile transactions. The
Peruvians may be considered the producers, and like our farmers and
planters, may at times require advances from the commission merchant;
and in proportion to the prices obtained, are his profits increased; nor
does any one censure the merchant for selling at the highest price he
can. Dealers, or speculators, if you please, are always censured for
raising the price of guano. Is not the same thing done every day, and
every hour in the day, by the purchase and sale of flour, wheat, corn,
and tobacco--and is not the price of almost every article of commerce
regulated in a great degree by the supply and demand? Most certainly;
and so long as there is a probability of profit by the purchase and sale
of this article, and just so long, and no longer, will the 'trade in
second hands' continue. If the present supply is inadequate to the
demand, by an almost undeviating rule in commerce, the price is
enhanced, until at a point to drive the consumer from the market. This
however, is not quite so soon attained with guano, under the present
excitement, as with many other things. I have viewed this matter in a
different light from some others, though erroneous as some may suppose,
and do not think that censuring the dealers will cover the true ground
of complaint, or at all tend to remove the existing difficulty. Their
agency is, if I may use the term--but in no offensive sense--a kind of
necessary evil; for the importer will not retail, and it suits but few
of the consumers comparatively, to club together, and purchase in large
quantities. The price of guano is owing mainly, if not entirely, to this
monopoly in the import trade; and it would be the same thing, and a
monopoly still, whether in the hands of English or American merchants;
with also, about the same amount of liberality to be looked for, from
one as from the other."

Is there anything so unfair in this, that we should cry out "wicked
monopoly." The Peruvian government, after the revolution, finds itself
deeply in debt, and greatly in want of money, and in possession of one
of the most valuable fertilizing substances in the world, which the
people of other governments are in want of, or rather, may profit by the
use of, which she offers to sell at what she deems a fair price; and for
the purpose of enabling her to borrow money for immediate necessities,
as well as to pay the war debt, she has given some of her citizens--rich
merchants, who can advance money, certain privileges and advantages in
the guano trade, upon condition that they will send a supply to all the
countries where it can be sold, and in as great quantities as they will
buy at fixed prices. This is the monopoly. A parallel case can be found
nearer home. The government of the United States, also incurred a
revolutionary war debt, and also came in possession of an article which
the people of all other countries want, and unlike that possessed by
Peru, an article which they must have. Upon this necessity of life, our
government has fixed a price, which any one may pay or let it alone--buy
or not, just as he pleases. The government will neither sell to citizens
or strangers at half price, nor let them have the use of it without pay;
in fact, will not let us carry away anything of value from this
property, although it might not materially injure the sale of the
principal and most valuable portion, which is immovable. Such is the
"guano monopoly" of one government, and such is the "land monopoly" of
the other. Which is most wicked?

Of the right of each government, no honest man will dispute. That Peru
has as much right to the guano upon her desert islands, as the United
States has to the live oak timber in the deserts of Florida; or as
England has to the codfish in the waters of Newfoundland, seems to be as
clear as any right ever exercised by any power on earth. Each protect
their own by hired agents, so far as they are able, to prevent dishonest
men from carrying away that which each considers valuable.

If English and United States citizens have a right to go and seize upon
the guano and bring it off in defiance of Peru, because the guano
islands are not inhabited, then have we a right to seize all the codfish
in the waters of the sea, because nobody lives there--they cannot live
there--they only live on the lands adjacent, and therefore have no
right to anything except what they stand upon. Then by the same rule
may the lands of the United States be seized upon, because they are

By virtue of decrees now in force, no vessel, either under the national
or any foreign flag, has a right to go to the Peruvian guano deposits,
without first obtaining permission from the Peruvian Government under
penalty of confiscation.

Foreign vessels, furnished with government licences, are allowed to load
at the Chinche Islands only.

Finally, any attempt to load vessels without the proper licences, would
subject them to be seized by the Government vessels appointed to cruise
off, and visit the different guano deposits, in order to prevent not
only the illegal extraction of guano by foreign trading vessels, but
also to prevent the natives of Peru from violating the Government orders
against visiting those localities, and destroying or disturbing the

Notwithstanding this cuts off the free trade in the article, it goes to
show what we have always endeavored to impress upon the minds of
American farmers, that the supply is inexhaustible--at least in this age
and generation--and as every one grows wiser and wiser, it is probable
the next will have no occasion to use such an old fashioned article as
bird dung for manure. During the present, however, our advice is to
every person occupying land which needs something to improve its
fertility, to use guano--genuine Peruvian guano--purchased of reliable
merchants--and the fewer the better between the importer and consumer.

_The Quantity inexhaustible._--By those surveys, the quantity was
ascertained to be upwards of TWENTY MILLIONS OF TONS. As this must
appear so enormous as to be almost incredible, we present the annexed
cut, supposed to represent a vertical section of one of the Chincha
islands and the depth of the deposit according to the government
surveys. The paralel lines at the bottom represent the level of the
water--the crooked line above, the surface of the rock; its position
having been ascertained by boring and observations of the surveyors. The
rounded line is the surface of the island as it now appears; all between
that and the rock being guano. The almost perpendicular line at the left
hand, 100 feet high, is the rock at which ships lay to take in cargo.
The space under the dotted line show a comparison of the quantity taken
away, as it relates to the whole upon the island. The well hole
represented in that section was dug some fifty feet deep to prove the
guano was of equal quality at the bottom.

The Chincha Islands are three in number; not remote from each other or
differing very materially in size or general feature. The Geological
formation presents the appearance of masses of rock jutting out above
the surface of the ocean--and occasionally rising nearly perpendicularly
to a height of from 50 to 100 feet. At a distance, the islands present
to the eye a somewhat conical form; owing probably to the greater
deposits of guano in the centre; and all appear equally rich in quantity
and quality.

The "North Island" is estimated to be about 300 feet at its greatest
elevation; it is about 1-1/2 miles in length, and from 1/2 to 3/4 of a
mile average width. In sailing round them, the guano appears to many
places to extend to the water's edge.


All the guano islands are uninhabited, except by the laborers, mostly
Indians or poor Chinamen, who are employed in the work of digging,
carrying and loading the guano into the ships. When a vessel is ready to
take in cargo, she is moored alongside of the rocks almost mast head
high, from the top of which the guano is sent down through a canvass
shute directly into the hold of the ship. Thus several hundred tons can
be put on board in a day. The trimming of the cargo is a very unpleasant
part of the labor. The dust and odor is almost overpowering; so the men
are obliged to come often on deck for fresh air. The rule is to remain
below as long as a candle will burn; when that goes out, the air is
considered unfit for respiration. If the labor had to be performed by a
Yankee, he would think it unfit at first; and thereupon set his ready
wit at work to construct a machine to spread the guano as it fell, from
one end of the hold to the other. The guano in position upon the island,
is so compact it has to be dug up with picks. It is then carried to a
contrivance made of cane, at the edge of the rock, which conveys it into
the canvass conductors. The mass is cut down in steps, receding and
rising from the point of commencement, and has not yet attained a depth
of 100 feet, and with all the labor of hundreds of men digging, and
numerous ships carrying away to the several countries using it, there is
but a bare beginning of removal made upon the mass upon one island only,
as may be seen by reference to the diagram.

Supposing like many others, the supply of Peruvian guano was like the
Ichaboe, destined to run out--that is all be dug up and carried away; we
inquired of an intelligent captain of a ship just returned with a load,
how long it would be before the supply would be exhausted. "Exhausted!"
said he, with a look over the gangway, as much as to say how long would
it take to exhaust the ocean with a pint cup; "why not in one hundred
years, if every ship afloat should go into the trade, and load and
unload as fast as it would be possible to perform the labor; no, not
from the Chincha islands alone. Exhausted! they never will be
exhausted." With due allowance for the captain's enthusiasm, we may be
very certain from the government surveys, the quantity is so great, that
no probability exists of the supply being exhausted until all the
present inhabitants of this earth have ceased to move upon its surface.
We may be certain of another fact; that unless we commit a great
national wrong upon Peru, by seizing upon some of her guano territory; a
thing which the sober second thought of this nation will never sanction;
we shall not be able to obtain the article only through her government
agents, at such prices as her rulers think proper to affix to it. While
the demand and the result of the use of guano continues as at present,
there is not much probability of any material change.

The Peruvian Government are, of course, anxious to sell all that the
world want, and are willing to pay for at remunerating prices. The
Peruvian minister, in reply to the Secretary of State at Washington
says:--"The Peruvian Government, in leasing out its rights and
interests, as a proprietor of the article, adopted the only system that
was supposed likely to create a demand for guano; while, on the other
side, it was bound to leave the consignment as security, in the hands of
those persons who had hazarded their capital in meeting the heavy
expenses attending the process of freighting, and in making the advances
which were required to facilitate the exportation and construct the
depots. Far from establishing a selfish monopoly, which would have
proved injurious to its own interests, or fix a high, deliberate, and
conventional price upon the article, it has only aimed to secure a net
profit, reduced to the lowest possible standard, exceeding very little
the actual amount of expenses; and there have been accounts of sales
rendered exhibiting both loss and damage.

"The guano, therefore, is not monopolized; the government as the
proprietor, has forwarded it, on its own responsibility, to those
markets where it was in demand; selecting as consignees, as it was
natural and proper it should do, those persons or houses who have
advanced the capital necessary to defray the expenses; and, as these are
much greater in all cases of remittances to England, and it follows that
the sale of the article in this country is at the rate of ten pounds
sterling per ton, the net profit has been less than what is realized in
the United States, where the farmers obtain it at lesser prices. Nor has
my government imposed any restrictions, duties, or determinate value on
the exportation of guano, although it might and could do so with perfect
propriety; because such action would have militated to the detriment of
its own interests as the proprietor of the article. Its object has been
to send it to those markets where it was in demand; because, as it had
not yet become an object of decided and positive interest to the
consuming world, and there being no certainty of its attaining saleable
prices, to create a market as it was impossible for individuals to send
to Peru for supplies, with any prospect of even moderate profit."

This is a fair statement of the case; and ought to be perfectly
satisfactory to the consumers. The disposition of some men to create
prejudice against the government of Peru, or the agents who sell guano
in this country, because the price is too high, is a wicked one. Men can
make money by purchasing at the present prices; and the owners of the
article think they cannot make it by selling at a lower price. We have
heard it urged as a reason why it should be sold at lower prices, that
the agents and merchants engaged in its sale are making fortunes. So are
flour merchants--so are farmers who grow the wheat--but that is no
reason why it should be sold lower.

With all our heart, we wish the Peruvians would give us guano at half
price; but because they will not, there is no reason why the people of
this country should refuse to use an article which will most assuredly
make them grow rich faster than those who are engaged in selling it.


Guano is the concentrated essence of fish-eating birds excrements. It,
is found in the condition of a dry powder, of a brownish yellow color,
not unlike in appearance to Scotch snuff; with a pungent strong smell of
ammonia, distinguishing it from any other substance. It is found in
various parts of the world, upon desert headlands and islands of the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, where the birds have had undisputed
possession for countless ages of time. The island of Ichaboe, on the
Coast of Africa, furnished a good many cargoes, a few years since, most
of which were taken to England; a small supply was imported into the
United States, and sold and known as African guano. The quality was fair
The deposit upon that island is quite exhausted--in fact it was all
carried away within a few months after it became generally known--some
of the last cargoes being of little more value than rich earth. It is
said that a new deposit, which is nothing more than dry bird dung, has
already been gathered and taken to England. No doubt cargoes of similar
manure might gathered from the Florida keys; and although it would be a
valuable manure, it is not guano--that is formed by the chemical action
of a dry atmosphere, during time's long ages.

_Anagamos Guano._--This is also of a character similar to "new Ichaboe."
It is rich in ammonia, but contains no lime or sulphuric acid, and less
phosphates and alkaline substances than Peruvian, and more sand. The
supply of this must be very limited, as it is a recent deposit and has
to be gathered by hand from the rocks.

_Bolivian Guano._--This as its name indicates, is from the coast of
Bolivia, on the west side of South America. It was thought at one time
to be fully equal in value to Peruvian, but some subsequent importations
of almost worthless cargoes, have proved the deposit to be very variable
in quality, or else purposely adulterated, which has had the effect to
destroy confidence in all bearing that name. The belief of the writer
is, that it was not adulterated, but owing to the fact that it is found
in a latitude where it does sometimes rain, or where it is liable to be
drenched by sea spray, that portions of it are injured in that way; so
that a ship may have one portion of her cargo of the best kind, while
the remainder is hardly worth the freight. The deposit is not large.

_Chilian Guano._--The most of that imported into this country under this
name, has been of a very inferior quality, and having been recommended
by those interested in its sale, as having come from the same coast as
that of Peru, and of equal value, and proving almost worthless, has
deterred many from making another trial. Although there is a small
supply of Chilian Guano, which is gathered from the rocks in pale yellow
masses, some of which has been sent to England and this country, which
is equal to any ever discovered in any part of the world, yet the great
bulk of the deposit is so inferior that Chilian guano will never meet
with universal favor. In fact, some of the stuff which has been sold
under that name, is unworthy to be called guano.

_Patagonian Guano._--Of this kind, larger quantities have been imported
than any other beside Peruvian; and it has generally been sold at higher
prices than its value as a fertilizer would warrant. Owing to the fact
of its being deposited in a latitude of sunshine and showers, both of
the utmost intensity; it never comprises the valuable qualities always
found in that where rain never was known to fall. Besides the
deterioration of the elements, samples of some cargoes of this guano
have been found to contain upwards of 30 per cent of sand--in one case
38 per cent. It is said, however, that some of the deposits contain
considerable quantities of crystalized salts of ammonia, magnesian
phosphates, rich in ammonia, but which have been rejected by masters of
vessels taking in cargoes, under the supposition of its being sea salt
and calculated to injure the sale and value of the guano. It is believed
that there is a a larger supply of this than any other guano, except
Peruvian, but as no certain reliance can be placed upon its quality or
value, it never will be extensively imported into the United States.

_Saldana Bay Guano._--Considerable quantities of guano under this name
have been taken to England, and upon land and crops requiring phosphates
more than ammonia, has been pronounced a superior article. But the fact
is, it is found in a climate similar to the Patagonian, and,
consequently, like that, must have a great portion of its ammonia washed
out, leaving almost its only value as fertilizer, in its phosphates;
which undoubtedly exist in large proportions, but not as cheap as may be
procured from other sources. The foregoing comprises all the kinds of
guano known in commerce, except the Peruvian, to which we shall devote
an entire chapter.


This is not only the most valuable, but is found in the largest
quantities of any other guano known. That which has been sent to this
country and England, in such quantities within the last ten years, was
taken from the Chincha Islands, which are situated between latitude 13°
and 14°, and at about twelve miles from the coast of Peru, in the bay of
Pisco. The great value of the Peruvian guano, arises from the fact,
_that rain never falls upon the islands where guano is found_. The air
is always dry, and the sun shines with intense power, sufficient to
evaporate all the juices from flesh, so that meat can be preserved sweet
without salt. The waters surrounding these islands may be said to be
literally alive, so full are they of fish. Almost as numerous as the
fish, are the birds which satisfy their voracious appetites upon this
finny multitude, until they can gorge no more, when they retire to the
islands to deposit their excrement, composed of the oily flesh and bones
of their only food, until the mass which has been accumulating for
thousands of years, is so great as almost to exceed human belief.

Humbolt, in his history of South America, states, some of these deposits
are 50 or 60 feet thick. Many have thought this the "romance of
history," but the actual surveys made by the Peruvian government five or
six years ago, have proved that the guano in many places is more than
twice that depth; and as there is good reason to believe, and as may be
seen by the diagram on page 79, it is probably 300 feet thick in some of
the depressions of the natural surface. And this has been accumulated by
an annual aggregation, so slow as to be scarcely visible from year to
year, until the quantity now exceeds 20,000,000 of tons.

As before stated, the Chincha islands are three in number; the Lobos
islands two; these are situated off the north part of the coast of

If the right of Peru to the guano is to be disputed, let it be done by
national vessels and not by armed privateers. If farmers are convinced
that we have made true statements of the value of guano in renovating
the poor and worn out fields of America, let them purchase at once. The
only question to ask is not whether we can go to the Lobos Islands to
get guano--nor whether it would be better to buy it of government
agents, or speculators on private account, but


Because, if it does pay, that is, if the farmer can buy guano at present
prices, and realise an increase of crops more than enough to pay the
expense, it does pay. We think we have shown this fact by
incontrovertible evidence. If the first crop pays for the guano and no
more, the farmer has a certain profit in the improved condition of the
land. If the first crop does not pay, the land will be enough better to
pay cost. Upon this point, Mr. Mechi, of England, whose name has become
world wide known as an improver of the soil, says; "Whether guano will
pay, depends upon the condition of the soil. On poor exhausted soil it
is a ready and cheap mode of restoring fertility. I used it extensively
when I first began farming, and when applied to the grain crops at the
rate of two to three cwt. per acre, it paid well; but now it has lost
favor with my bailiff, which is easily accounted for; my land being at
present so well filled with manure, nitrogen or ammonia, that we can
grow ample crops without it. When the land only yielded two to two and a
half quarters of wheat per acre, it was grateful for guano; but now,
with a produce of five quarters, there is no necessity for its use. Or
rather, the increased supply of farm manure supplies that necessity."

This is exactly what we have aimed to impress upon our readers; that it
will pay in the crop to which it is applied--it will more than pay in
the soil, because it will bring it into a condition of permanent
fertility. It will pay best upon the poorest soil; because that which
was absolutely barren, becomes fruitful as soon as dressed with guano.
It will always pay whenever and wherever applied to any soil in a fit
condition to be benefitted by manure. It will make not only the soil
rich, but whoever uses it to any considerable extent. It will pay best
when used in the condition in which you buy it, with no additional labor
or expense except breaking the lumps. If it is sown broadcast, not to
exceed 400 lbs. per acre, and plowed in so deep it will not be disturbed
by any subsequent cultivation of the crop to which it is applied, it
will most certainly pay in that crop or the succeeding one. It will pay
upon all plants to which it has ever been applied. Notwithstanding it
will pay best _in_ the soil, it will pay well _on_ it as a top
dressing, if combined with absorbents of ammonia as directed in these
pages.[2] That it has paid in ninety nine cases out of every hundred
where it has been used, the author is well convinced, and equally well
convinced that many may profit by reading what he has here said upon the
subject, and with that feeling, these pages are commended to all the
cultivators of American soil.

[Footnote 2: Upon this point, see Mr. Burgwyn's letter in the appendix.]

       *       *       *       *       *



Since the body of this work was in type, the following letters have been
placed in our hands. They contain so much valuable information we are
induced to append them. It will be seen by the dates, that they give the
results of the most recent experiments. The names of the writers will be
recognized as those of reliable, practical men.

to the acre, profitable--Lasting benefits of one application--Advantage
of top dressing grass lands with guano--Benefit of guano to all Long
Island soil--Great benefit on turnips.

     "_Jamaica, L. I., Sept. 13, 1852._

     MR. THEO. RILEY, ESQ., Dear Sir:--In reply to your inquiry
     relative to the use of Peruvian guano on Long Island, I would say,
     forming my opinion from experience and observation that the mode of
     tillage--the rotation of crops, and the way of applying guano--are
     about as follows: Commence with corn, which is usually on green
     sward, after being mowed and pastured from four to six years.
     First, plow in the spring as soon as the frost is out of the
     ground, which is generally about the 20th of March. Prepare the
     ground for planting the 1st of May, by harrowing well two or three
     times. Before the last time harrowing, apply about 250 or 300 lbs.
     of guano to the acre, sown broadcast, and then mark out with plow,
     or lace, about four and a half feet apart, each way; apply a small
     quantity to the hill, one third of a gill is as much as will be
     safe, and that should be in the form of a ring about a foot in
     diameter, and the corn dropped in the center, otherwise it will be
     likely to kill the corn by the sprouts coming in contact with the
     guano when they first start. It will not do to put the guano in the
     hill and plant the corn upon it. It was not uncommon for farmers to
     have to plant their corn all over before they become acquainted
     with its effects; but as using it in the hill, in a pure state, is
     generally attended with some risk, it is the practice in this
     vicinity to use yard manure, at the rate of one third or half a
     shovelful to the hill; but as that manure is generally weak, they
     have adopted the very excellent plan of sprinkling say 50 lbs. of
     guano to a wagon load (30 bushels) of manure. As we cart the manure
     in the fall to the field where it is intended to be used the
     following spring, (1) the guano can be mixed through it with but
     little trouble, when it is turned and broken up just before use. It
     adds very much to the value of the manure, as the difference of
     harvesting plainly shows. Muck or pond dirt could be used in the
     same way, in place of manure. Some apply it about the hill at the
     time of hoeing. It should not be thrown on top, but sprinkled
     around the corn at the rate of half a gill per hill. After corn, we
     sow oats, or barley, or plants potatoes; if oats, plow once, sow
     150 or 200 lbs. of guano, and two bushels of oats to the acre, and
     harrow in together. It pays well to use guano for oats, as the crop
     of oats will be doubled on ordinary lands; 50 and 60 bushels is
     frequently obtained, and the difference in the straw, is worth the
     expense of the guano.[2] Barley is not much sown; it would require
     a little more guano, say 50 lbs. additional. Potatoes, (Mercers) we
     plant from middle of March to first of May, after sowing broadcast
     from 400 to 600 lbs. of guano per acre, plowed in and harrowed
     over; then mark out with plow three feet apart, drop in drills
     about a foot apart. Some prefer it in the drills, at the rate of
     what they can grasp in one hand to a pace of two and a half feet;
     it should be sprinkled so too much will not come in contact with
     the seed. After oats or potatoes, sow wheat, about first of
     October; if on oats, plow as soon as the oats are off; when ready
     to sow, apply from 500 to 700 lbs. of guano per acre, cross plow,
     and your ground is ready for the seed. As to the varieties of
     wheat, there are several kinds used; the Mediterranean is the most
     popular at present--one and a half bushels is generally sown to the
     acre, and the land laid down to grass, with timothy and clover.
     Some apply less at time of sowing, and add 100 or 150 lbs. per acre
     in the spring, just as the grass is starting, say first of April.
     If wheat is sown after potatoes, about the same treatment is given,
     except 100 lbs. less guano will answer. Some harrow in guano,
     instead of plowing it under; but experience shows that it is much
     the best to plow it in, as the virtue remains in the ground much
     longer, by being covered deep. Peruvian guano will produce the best
     wheat of anything we can use, even if we should go to double the
     expense with other manures. Crops of 30 and sometimes 40 bushels
     have been obtained to the acre with guano. The average crop of
     wheat on the Island, is not over 18 bushels per acre, and with 700
     lbs. of guano plowed in pretty deep, the land can be mowed about as
     long as from an application of stable manure. But as hay is a most
     important crop, after it has been mowed for two or three years, it
     is considered profitable to top dress with about 150 lbs. per acre;
     this will increase the crop from one ton to two per acre, if a fair
     season, and can be mowed two or three years longer. Rye is sown in
     many instances, in place of wheat; it gets the same treatment,
     except half the quantity of guano is only used. Buckwheat requires
     about 100 lbs. of guano to the acre, more or less, according to the
     state of the land.

     For ruta baga turnips, there should be 600 lbs. sown to the acre;
     plow twice and harrow well after sown. After you have hoed them
     out, give them a light top dressing of more guano. I have raised at
     the rate of 700 bushels, managed in that way, to the acre. We have
     had one of the most extreme drouths the present season I ever
     remember. Crops on which guano was used, have suffered less, and
     are now yielding better than where stable manure has been used.
     This is quite different from the opinion that some have formed, as
     to guano requiring a wet season. To prepare guano for use, it
     should first be sifted, to separate the lumps, so that they may be
     pulverized, then dampen by sprinkling with water, and mixed through
     with a shovel. This should be done a few days before you wish to
     use it, so as to allow the dampness to strike through uniform. (3)
     I have not had any experience with compost, or using it on garden
     vegetables, or plants, except I know it should be used in
     homeopathic doses, or it will destroy more than it will produce. As
     to the soil, guano answers well anywhere on Long Island, although
     some parts of the Island has a very different soil from others,
     with one exception; that is, it is all hungry for manure. I
     therefore do not know the kind of soil it is most applicable to,
     since it seems to suit all kinds.


NOTE 1. This practice of hauling manure to the field in the
fall, is the worst of all the foolish old fashions of farmers. To
preserve the virtue, of manure, it requires housing about as much as
hay. In fact, it is doubtful which would lose virtue fastest, a pile of
hay or a pile of manure, exposed to the storms of winter. It is no
wonder that it becomes necessary to mix guano with it, to replace that
which has evaporated during its long exposure to sun and storm.

NOTE 2. This increase of straw, is seldom taken into account in
speaking of the advantage of an application of guano; yet, as Mr.
Chapman says, it is worth enough in the vicinity of a market, to pay the
whole expense. It is also valuable in the interior for forage and

NOTE 3. This is an error. Guano should not be damped unless
with water saturated with salt, copperas, or a liberal sprinkle of
plaster over the pile.

CHAPMAN.--Successful experiments on grass, oats, corn, wheat and

     "_Manorville, Sept._ 8, 1852.

     S. CHAPMAN, ESQ.--Dear Sir;--I have received your circular
     proposing to gather information from practical farmers of the
     results from the use of guano, and to have the same published for
     general circulation. Conceiving the object to be a very laudable
     one, I will give the result of a few experiments tried with
     Peruvian guano by myself, and others which have come under my
     observation; but in doing so I think it would be of great utility
     to state what kind of soil the guano was applied to. Not being a
     professor of geology, I can only use such terms as are familiar
     with farmers generally. The soils in this vicinity are heavy loam,
     sandy loam, sandy, and occasionally some heavy clayey soils.

     First, as to the nature of guano. It is generally considered to be
     more of a stimulant than an enricher of the soil, if applied in its
     natural state, and much more durable to be plowed in than to be
     harrowed in; and as far as I have tried it, I have not found it to
     be injurious to soils--or as some call it, 'kill the soil.' In the
     year '49 I applied on the first of April, 176 lbs. per acre on
     sandy loam grass ground--yield, about half a ton more than the acre
     adjoining. Same year applied about 150 lbs. to the acre, on four
     acres of oats, same kind of soil, and the estimated increase was 20
     bushels to the acre. In 1850 plowed under 400 pounds per acre, for
     corn, estimated increase, 15 bushels of ears. The season was rather
     unfavorable for corn. In '51 composted six bushels charcoal dust to
     100 lbs. guano, and plowed under for wheat, at the rate of 500 lbs.
     of guano so composted, to the acre, and top dressed with 100
     bushels of leached ashes--yield, 20 bushels. One of my neighbors
     applied for three years in succession, 100 lbs. harrowed in with
     rye, on two acres light sand--yield, 14 bushels to the acre; 10
     bushels more than the acre adjoining. On the fourth year he sowed
     the same ground without guano--- yield, 4 bushels to the acre. We
     see by this, that the crop used the whole strength of the guano.
     Another neighbor applied one ton to two acres, heavy loam; plowed
     under and sowed with turnips (common Russian)--yield, 1,300
     bushels--estimated increase from the guano, 600 bushels. People in
     this section of the Island are agreed in this--plow under guano for
     durability, and harrow in for present benefit, or present crop. For
     wheat, 500 lbs. plowed in is considered a full dressing per acre.
     The same for corn. For oats, 200 lbs. harrowed in. For buckwheat,
     100 lbs., and 200 for barley. One tablespoonful applied in a hill,
     for corn, is quite enough, and that requires to be put some six
     inches from the seed; otherwise it will kill it. Some have lost
     acres by putting their corn on that little quantity; the only safe
     way to apply in the hill for potatoes, is the same as for corn. I
     have come to the conclusion from what experience I have had with
     the article, that it answers the best purpose to use it for spring
     crops, in the manner above stated, or compost it with charcoal
     dust, or well decomposed pond mud, to absorb and retain the
     ammonia, it being very volatile in its nature. I have not written
     this for publication; I have only thrown out a few hints for you to


Although the above was not written for publication, we prefer to give it
just as it was written, in the plain style of one farmer to another.

AG. SOC.--Successful experiments since 1847--Great increase of
straw and wheat--Harrowing in guano, 300 lbs. to the acre, produced 41
bushels of wheat. Increase, seven bushels for each 100 lbs--Thirty
bushels of wheat per acre on an old worn out buckwheat field--Advantage
of guano in drouth--astonishing effects from top dressing grass.

     _Cherrywood, Sept. 11th, 1852._

     MR. SETH CHAPMAN--Dear Sir,--I forward according to
     request, the results of several years use of Peruvian Guano, upon
     my farm at Jerusalem, Long Island.

     The first decisive benefit from guano that I shall notice, was
     obtained from using it for wheat, as a top-dressing. In 1847,
     October 1st, I took a field containing 6 acres of oat stubble, on
     which I used some manure, all over the field; top-dressed with
     Peruvian guano, at the rate of 300 lbs. per acre, sown (fortunately
     just before a storm,) upon the furrow and harrowed in with the
     wheat. Four acres of the field were sown with the old-fashioned red
     flint wheat, which requires more manure than any other kind among
     us. The rest of the field was sown with a soft white hulled wheat,
     the name of which I do not remember. July 5, 1848.--Harvested said
     field--Red wheat yielded well from straw, 14 sheaves to the
     bushel--white wheat 20 sheaves to the bushel--straw very large and
     thick. Had 164 bushels of wheat, or 41 bushels per acre; and 58
     bushels of white wheat or 29 bushels per acre; without the guano I
     think I could not have obtained much over 20 bushels per
     acre.--1848, Oct. 2. Again sowed wheat upon a six acre lot of oat
     stubble; seed red flint wheat--manured about the same as previous
     year--used 300 lbs. guano per acre, as top-dressing for 4 acres and
     moss bunker fish dirt at the rate of 10,000 per acre upon the two
     acres, sowed upon the furrow, and harrowed in just previous to a
     storm--Harvested the 10th of July 1849. The straw very large, and
     wheat heads long, but grain very much injured by fly or
     weevil--very little difference between fish and guano top-dressing;
     yield 188 shocks--175 bushels; not quite 30 bushels per acre. Same
     ground would not have produced more than 18 to 20 bushels wheat per
     acre without the guano--or some other more expensive manure. 1849.
     Oct. 3. Sowed wheat upon oat stubble field; soil thin and gravelly
     upon part of the field--used some barnyard manure, but not as much
     as previous year. Top-dressed with 300 lbs. guano and 12 bushels
     ground bones per acre--Harvested 12th July 1850--Yield of 5-1/2
     acres 160 shocks; injured some by weevil, and shrunken, but had 145
     bushels or twenty-six bushels per acre. This ground would not have
     yielded fifteen bushels per acre without the guano. But the most
     decisive result was obtained the next year, upon an oat stubble
     field of six acres, a part of which had been cropped, for perhaps
     15 years, nearly alternately with rye and buckwheat; (sometimes a
     crop of each in one year.) The whole field seemed so far exhausted
     that we had failed to get a crop of corn or oats from it after two
     different trials; and I underwent no small share of ridicule from
     my neighbors, while preparing it for wheat. Remarks like the
     following were of daily occurrence--"Ah! Seaman you will fail this
     time." "You have not got your old highly manured fields to exhaust
     this time by your stimulating stuff!" "We shall now see whether
     guano is good for anything--this will be a fair test, because the
     land will not produce anything without it, &c." "You may get about
     12 bushels of wheat per acre; we shall see." All agreed however,
     that if wheat did grow, guano should have the credit for it.

     Well, we prepared the ground in about the usual manner, except
     perhaps plowing a little deeper than in former years. A small
     quantity of manure was plowed under, and a top dressing of ground
     bones given and sowed about the last of September--2 acres with
     Mediterranean and 4 acres with the red flint wheat--but owing to a
     scarcity of the article, could only get about 420 lbs. of guano,
     which was sown across the field upon not quite 3 acres, covering
     some of each kind of wheat; it was sown upon the furrow, and
     harrowed in with the wheat as usual. In 1851, April 11th, top
     dressed the whole field with guano, at about 200 lbs. per acre;
     harvested about the 8th July. The 2 acres of Mediterranean yielded
     61 bushels; flint wheat straw very large, and thick upon the
     ground, but grain much injured by the weevil; yielding an average
     of 23 bushels per acre. I may remark, that where the guano was
     applied in the autumn, the crop was quite one third greater than
     where it only received the spring dressing. The last year I managed
     much in the same way, except that I fell short of manure, and
     depended entirely upon guano and bone upon a part of the field,
     from which part, though I have not yet threshed it, I think I shall
     get 18 to 20 bushels. The rest of the field was very large and
     considered the best between this place and Brooklyn, on a road of
     25 miles in length.

     My _good luck_(1) at wheat growing is now a conceded point. Now for
     other crops--for corn I have not been very successful; generally
     mixing some guano with earth in the hill at the time of planting
     and getting but few plants to stand; these, however, generally have
     been heavily eared. By mixing previously with charcoal dust I think
     this burning of the seed might be avoided.(2)

     For buckwheat, I used 120 to 150 lbs. per acre, sown upon the
     furrow and harrowed in with the grain. For barley, 150 to 200 lbs.
     per acre; oats 100 to 120 lbs; turnips, 600 to 700 lbs. plowed
     under a short depth, previously to forming the drill; and I find a
     decided profit in using guano for all the above crops. I have seen
     a field of corn the present season very greatly improved in earing
     by the application of about 150 lbs. of guano, mixed with 5 parts
     charcoal dust, and thrown around the hills a few weeks since during
     a rain storm.

     I have also used guano and charcoal dust, five parts coal to one of
     guano, in my garden, the past season, and found the beds thus
     dressed stood the extreme drought better than other parts of the
     garden. One more case of my own and I am done. In 1851, I sowed
     about 90 lbs. of guano, on a piece of meadow or mowing ground,
     covering a little more than half an acre, from which the timothy
     and clover was nearly gone; I took 3 lands across the lot, leaving
     about 20 feet between each land. Where the guano was sown, the
     timothy grew large and thick and bore the drought, and yielded
     about one and a half tons per acre; while the rest of the field did
     not produce more than half that amount, and that of an inferior
     quality of grass. The corn upon the same field the present season,
     shows plainly a better yield from the above top-dressing. From
     observation and experience, I would recommend the mixing of guano
     with charcoal dust, equal parts, or five parts coal to one guano,
     It is much more pleasant to handle when thus mixed, being
     completely deodorized and rendered much more enduring as a manure,
     by retaining the ammonia for several years, instead of allowing the
     greater part to pass off the first season, as is the case when
     applied in a crude state, especially as a top dressing.

     Prepared or decomposed muck if used with guano as a retainer of the
     volatile gases, in all cases where it can be conveniently obtained
     especially in soils where evaporation is so rapid as it is in most
     parts of Long Island, will pay.

     That like produces like, is a favorite maxim with me--that it is
     necessary to replace the matter, both organic and inorganic, which
     we take from the soil in the form of crops, of various kinds--that
     by supplying the necessary chemical ingredients, we shall be able
     to draw a great proportion of our crops from atmospheric
     agents--that the necessity for using such an immense amount of
     organic matter as we now use in the shape of barn yard and stable
     manure will be partially overcome--that a great saving of expense
     will thereby ensue--that guano is one of the most active agents to
     effect such a result I am fully satisfied, not sufficient perhaps
     of itself, but highly useful even in a crude state--and capable
     when skillfully combined with others, to effect an entire
     revolution in our system of agriculture.

     If you think the above worth an insertion in the pamphlet you spoke
     of, you are at liberty to insert it--if not, you will please return
     the letter to me, as soon as convenient, and if you think it will
     pass off any better, you may affix the following signature to the

  EDWARD H. SEAMAN, Recording Secretary,
  Queen's Co. Agricultural Society.

     NOTE 1.--Yes, that is the word--_good luck_--it is all
     good luck. It is astonishing how many farmers there are in this
     country who will stand with their hands in their breeches pockets,
     fumbling idle dollars, while a neighbor expends his for guano, and
     produces a fine crop of wheat upon an old worn out buckwheat field;
     at which they stare in stupid wonder at the good luck of the thing.

     What a pity it had not been the good luck of such men to have been
     born with common sense enough to profit themselves by their
     neighbors good luck.

     NOTE 2.--It would be far better to sow the guano broadcast
     and plow it in, or scatter it in drills and turn a light furrow on
     it before planting.

     "_Hempstead, Aug.27, 1852._

     SETH CHAPMAN, ESQ.--Dear Sir:--I believe I was the first
     person in Queens County using guano; having imported some from
     England in the ship Yorkshire, in 1842. This was from the Ichaboe
     Islands. I have since used nearly all the varieties, and consider
     the Peruvian the cheapest and best.

     In applying guano, I think by making a compost, the greatest
     benefit is derived; say one peck of plaster, one bushel of loam,
     two of saw dust, mixed up a month or six weeks before using. From
     100 to 200 lbs. of guano is enough for a crop of oats or buckwheat.
     I have not found it to succeed with corn or potatoes; probably from
     being accompanied by a dry season. The best wheat I ever raised was
     from using 350 lbs. to the acre, composted. This was on a light
     soil, and returned 31 bushels to the acre, on seven acres, weighing
     62 lbs. The grass was poor after it. As a top dresser, I have used
     200 lbs. per acre, very early in the spring, on half a lot, which
     mowed more than half as much again as the part not dressed. One of
     my neighbors has used 300 lbs. per acre, plowed in for potatoes;
     the yield, good, so far, having just commenced digging.


We might give much more evidence of the same kind, to prove that every
barren acre upon Long Island, might be made productive by a judicious
and profitable application of guano; but if there are any persons, who,
after reading these pages, are still doubting, we must say they are most
incorrigably determined not to profit by the experience of others. To
such it would be useless to say more.

_Successful Experiment with Guano as a Top Dressing on Wheat, in North
Carolina._--On page 17, we gave some account of the application of guano
by Henry K. Burgwyn, Esq., since which, we have been favored with the
following letter from his brother, T. Pollock Burgwyn, written, as will
be seen, not for publication, but simply to give the party from whom he
purchased the guano, a detail of his success.

     "_New York, Sept._ 20, 1852.

     MESSRS. A. B. ALLEN &. Co.--Dear Sir:--Having promised
     that I would furnish you with the result of my application of the
     21 tons of guano which I purchased of you last winter, I proceed
     now to do so, and give you full liberty to quote my experience in
     favor of the use of that most invaluable manure, to all who are
     anxious to profit by the experience of others without incurring any
     risk of their own. My object, and it should be that of every one
     who has used guano, is to extend the knowledge of its great value
     to any owner of poor soil, like the worn out plantations of North
     Carolina. I applied 20 tons of this guano as a top dressing to a
     field of 200 acres, which had been seeded in wheat under most
     unfavorable circumstances. At the time of application, so
     unpromising was the appearance of the growing wheat, that my
     manager and myself thought it almost a waste of money and labor to
     try this experiment,(1) but as the rest of my crop did not require
     any manure, I resolved to see what would be the effect. I am
     confident the field would not have averaged, without the top
     dressing, seven bushels per acre--it yielded rather over 13
     bushels, besides securing to me a full setting of clover.(2)

     My mode of application was as follows; to each 200 lbs of guano I
     added two bushels of ashes and a bushel of plaster mixed
     intimately, and then sown broadcast, at the rate of six and a half
     bushels per acre, harrowed in with a light harrow. This application
     was made in March, and the early part of April, and in less than
     three weeks after the application, the wheat had undergone an
     entire change, from a yellow, sickly color, to a dark luxuriant
     green. The application had evidently infused new life and vigor
     into the plants, and as the result proved, very nearly or quite
     doubled its product. So much for the crop of wheat; but what was
     still more valuable to me, in my system of farming, it likewise
     secured for me a full crop of clover, which would certainly have
     failed but for this application. I also applied one ton of this
     guano mixed in the same way, to a small field of oats. I plowed
     this under with a small plow, together with the oats; the result
     was equally gratifying. My chief object in this last experiment,
     was to secure me a small field of clover, near my stables, and in
     this I fully succeeded; which I feel assured I should not have done
     but for the guano. My brother and myself have made various
     experiments of late years, with guano, and concur in the testimony
     of all those who have tested its value, carefully and judiciously,
     in pronouncing it to be the most expeditious renovater of the soil
     within the farmer's reach; and exclusive of the farm yard, the most
     economical of all manures. In proof of my conviction of its value
     to me, I shall this fall give you an order for 20 or 30 tons more.
     I will only add that I consider every wheat grower who would study
     his own interest, will find it by trying similar experiments.


NOTE 1. In a subsequent conversation with Mr. Burgwyn, he
stated a fact which makes this point much stronger. After ordering the
guano, he left home, giving his farm manager orders to apply if to that
particular piece of wheat as soon as it arrived. Owing to the fact that
the seed was injured--that the land was in a very unfit condition from
poverty and drouth to produce a crop of wheat, it had assumed such a
miserable appearance before the arrival of the guano, that the manager
wrote to Mr. B. his opinion of the utter folly of applying anything so
expensive to a crop already struck with death. Not imagining how very
unpromising was the prospect of success, Mr. B. immediately wrote to him
to go ahead as directed. Before the application was completed he
returned home, and his first impression was to stop the work at once and
give up the field as lost; but on examining the effect upon that part
where the guano was first applied, he found it had already infused new
vigor into the plants, for they had put off their sickly yellow color,
and taken on a vigorous green; and therefore he decided at once to go
on, which as will be seen by the result, was a most valuable decision.

NOTE 2. From personal knowledge of this very field, we are
confident it would not have yielded without the guano, one half of seven
bushels. It is a flat surface, clayey loam, and badly affected by winter
rains, and such freezing and thawing as it had during the last severe
winter. Besides it was a few years since, when it came into the
possession of Mr. Burgwyn, one of those old worn out, skinned-to-death
places, so common in that State, which all the deep plowing and good
farming of that gentleman had not been able to restore, until he luckily
hit upon guano; which notwithstanding the most unfavorable
circumstances, has given him conclusive proof of its inestimable value.
To say nothing of the ten bushels of wheat per acre, which we are
confident he gained, the clover is worth more than the guano cost; and
without it, one might almost as soon expect to grow clover upon Coney
Island beach, as upon that field.

This letter contains testimony of inestimable value. It comes from a
gentleman of intelligence and careful observation, who is devoted to his
profession of a farmer, and who has been one of the most successful
renovators of worn out plantations in the south, and it comes very
opportunely to give our work an appropriate FINALE.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Guano - A Treatise of Practical Information for Farmers" ***

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