« AnteriorContinuar »
counted an equivalent for four and three-quarters tons of green or fresh beets, but the proportion is now two to one in calculating the taxes. This proportion may be correct, when beets are perfectly dry, and of inferior quality when fresh; but very rich beets will not require five tons to produce one of dried ones. It is, therefore, more advantageous to work dry beets in bad seasons than in good ones. In a very wet season, and where dry beets have to be transported a great distance, they absorb a great deal of water, which is weighed with, and counted for, beets, and has to pay revenue. But the greatest difficulty is to procure land enough in the vicinity for growing beets, and to produce manure enough to keep the land in its strength.
The principal objections to the system of working the whole year either dried beets continuously, or fresh beets in fall and winter, and dried in spring and summer, may be stated as follows: Scarcity of land; the oppressive system of taxation; high price of land compared with the low price of labor; impossibility of producing manure to keep up the productiveness of the land, if the refuse of the beet cannot be used for cattle-feed, and the low price of capital invested in sugar works.
Not one of all these objections would apply to sugar works, and the system of working dried beets in the United States. Land is neither scarce nor high in price; taxation, if resorted to, would not be oppressive; fuel is very low, while labor is proportionally high; cattle-feed can readily be produced, when farmers see the absolute necessity of a regular system of manure production; and finally the price which capi. tal commands is, at least, double that of any European country.
The process of obtaining the beet juice by “diffusion” is almost the same, whether applied to green beets or to dried. The machinery is the same and can be used for either, and the actual labor to be performed in extracting the juice is considerably less, and in character less objectionable. A factory working by this system in the juice-rendering process thirty-five and three-fifths tons every ten hours, employs eighteen men. A factory rendering the juice by pressing with hydraulic presses (singly) requires forty-two men ; working with centrifugal machines, nineteen men; with green maceration, eighteen men ; with double hydraulic presses, twenty-five men; while a factory working with centrifugal machines, and pressing afterwards with hydraulic machines, requires forty-one men. The excess of hand labor, required in the press process, cannot be said to be counterbalanced by a juice obtained of one to one and a half degree more density.
The annexed tables give the complete figures taken from the books of the various establishments, and the question is natural, if sugar can be produced at those figures in nearly every country in Europe, why has the largest sugar-consuming nation in the world to rely on its supply from abroad? Why has not beet sugar long ago been produced in the United States ?
The system of farming, if the agricultural labor in the United States can be so designated, has been different from that of any other country, and, with rare exceptions, has never paid; hence, the first requirement for beet-sugar industry, well-cultivated land, cannot be readily obtained. Deep or thorough cultivation is but little known, and money, as an investment in farming, has seldom proved remunerative. But the same causes will ultimately produce the same effects; in order to make our lands as productive as they ought to be, a rotation of grain and root crops will have to be resorted to. As soon as' a regular rotation of crops is introduced into the United States, farming, as such, will pay,
and the raw material for beet-sugar factories can be readily produced; until then sugar works will have to do their own farming. When beet sugar was first manufactured in Europe there was no dificulty in procuring the raw material, and all efforts to produce sugar could, therefore, be directed toward the working of beets, not to their production.
Comparatively little has been done in the United States to pave the way for sugar production. While in Europe, Henry Clay took great interest in the beet-sugar production of France; and, in speeches made in Congress, he predicted great results from its introduction. More than twenty-five years ago the first effort to introduce this branch of industry into the United States was made, but there exists no authentic record of the results obtained. There is nothing to indicate what variety of beet was raised; the quantity obtained from a given area of land; what percentage of sugar, and what percentage of foreign matter these beets contained; the kiyd of soil they were raised in, or how the season compared, in respect to temperature and rain-fall, with an average one. Hence the experiment in Northampton, Massachusetts, costly as it may have been, has not benefited anybody, nor advanced beet production.
Since then numbers of experiments have been made to raise sugar beets by private parties; but no regular systems were adopted, and all being detached, we are as much in the dark to-day as to what beets to raise, and how and in what locality to raise them, as we were twenty-five years ago. In May, 1867, the Agricultural Department at Washington sent nine different varieties of beet seeds to Chatsworth, Illinois, for trial and comparison with the beets produced in countries where they are grow for sugar production. The following are the results obtained, compared with the beets used for sugar making in several establishments, from the books of which we have been kindly furnished with extracts:
These figures, taken from the records kept by factories during the work. ing season, slow conclusively that the average quality of those nine varieties of the beet, raised from seeds furnished by the Department, was superior, but it remains to be proved what particular variety is best adapted to culture in the United States, and also which is the best locality for raising beets and producing sugar from them.
The following figures are taken from a report made by Dr. Grouven, chief of the experimental station (Versuchs Stationi) in Salzınünde, on his researches in tracing the influence of manure, soil, and weather on the quality and quantity of crops. These researches. were conducted with
the greatest care, at an enormous expense, and with a most efficient statt of assistants; many estates volunteered their co-operation. The average of beet juice from twelve estates, each fertilized with different manure, showed the following percentage of sugarin the juice: Estate Tillan, 12.26; Vrerau, 12.80; Honingen, 13.21; Sudenburg, 9.29; Jakowa, 11.70; Grutzka, 12.10; Chakowitz, 13.49; Stifterhof, 12.70; Rhineschauz, 12.00; Junngersdorf, 12.84; Roszla, 11.5.. ; Salzmünde, 14.78; average, 12.44.
The nine varieties of the beet, according to the foregoing statoment, show an average of 12.40 per cent. of sugar in the juice, while the average of twelve experimental estates, where beets were raised with the greatest care, slow an average of 12.44 per cent., or very nearly the same, which would seem to settle the question as to whether beets raised in the United States are as rich in sugar as those grown in Europe.
The lands upon which these beets were raised are as different in geological formation and physical condition as lands can be, which proves that it does not require a peculiar soil to produce beets. As a general rule, soil which is well adapted for producing barley is suited to beet culture. The soil on esta te Tillan is light-colored, sandy loam, with very sandy subsoli, almost clear sand; estate Vrerau, sandy loain, con. taining about twenty per cent. sand, which increases in the subsoil as one goes deeper into it; estate Honingen, tough loam, with a subsoil from two to four feet, the same as the top soil, but further down more mixed with sand; estate Sudenburg, near Magdeburg, mild loamy top soil, with a subsoil mare tough, which prevents the moisture from leaving the top soil too freely; estates Jakowa and Grutzka, top soil a black, mellow loam, two feet or more deep, with a subsoil, four feet (leer, of yellow loam rich with lime; estate Chakowitz, in Bohemia, heavy clay soil, two and a half feet deep; it is a black soil containing considerable lime, otherwise would make good bricks, subsoil four feet, yellow loam; estate Stifterhof, in Southern Germany, top soil sandy inar), active and dry, three and a half feet; tlie subsoil is tough clay, almost impenetrable by water; island of Rhineschanz, a sandy loam top soil, little cohesive and easily worked, with a subsoil, the deeper the sandier; estate Junngersdorf, mild, very productive, loamy top soil, four feet deep, with a subsoil containing mari, with thirty per cent. carbonate of lime; estate Roszla, near the Harz Mountains, red, tolerably heavy loam on top, with a subsoil of heavy loam throughout; estate Salzmünde, a very mild loam, zich in lime down eighteeu inches, of a dark huius color, with yellowish white subsoil, at least ten feet deep, containing still more lime, so that it inight almost be called inarl.
In cultivating the land great attention is paid to subsoiling. Without bringing the subsoil on the top, it is thoroughly stirred to cuable it to absorb air and warmth, to carry water ofi* more freely in wet seasons, and to keep more moisture in dry seasons. This systein of working the soil so deep is the chief reason why the grain crops in beet-sugar districts are so much larger and less variable thau in other places. The beet -crops in Europe are considered as certain and safe as any other, but not more so; for the variations, both in quality and quantity, are the same as in grain or other root crops.
The following statements will show the workings of different factories, their productiveness, and the least cost of producing the sugar ready for market:
The practical working of the beet-sugar works, Jerxheim, during the seasou of 1867-'08, is as follows: Tuis establishmont is owned by a joint stock company, every shareholder being under obligation to raise or pirocure a certain quantity of beets annually; hence every stockholder is
a far'ıner. The establishment is one of the best conducted and best paying in the Zollverein. The annexed figures are taken from the books of the company : Total quantity of beets worked from the 1st of October, 1867, till the 16th of February, 1868, 10,725 tons; average quantity of beets worked per day, 88 tons; number of centrifugal machines employed to extract the juice, 12; number of tons worked with one centrifugal machine each day, 75. The quality of the beets during the whole season is shown by the polarization of the juice, as follows:
The sugar and molasses obtained from the juice during the whole season amounted to 11.84 per cent. Of this yield 2,431,900 pounds of sugar were produced and brought into the market in the following quantities: first product, 6.21 per cent.; second product, 1.72 per cent.; third product, 0.59 per cent.; fourth product, 0.28 per cent. The total expenses for running the works the whole year of 1867–68, and working 10,725 tons of beets, were per ton of beets, $3 31; internal revenue, $3 39; fuel, including factory and horses for workmen, 68 cents; wood and coal for blacksmith, 0.9 cents; coke for limekilns, 2.3 cents; wages, (total,) summer and winter, $1 05.5; bone-black, 5.4 cents; limestone, 4.9 cents; cooperage, 14 cents; paper for lining barrels, 2.1 cents; discount and interest, 16 cents; cartage of sugar, 115 cents; repairs on machinery and building, 55.6 cents; salary, 18.1 cents; gas coal, 0.8 cent; oil, 1.7 cent; commission for selling sugar, 6.8 cents; insurance, 6.1 cents; sinking fund, 2.7 cents; sundries, 46.3 cents; total expenses for one ton of beets, worked, $10 39.
According to the foregoing account the yield of raw sugar was 8.8 per cent., or 176 pounds of sugar to each ton of beets, the 10,725 tons worked yielding 188,760 pounds of sugar. The total receipts for sugar and molasses amounted to $140,678 30. The cost of production was 5.9 cents per pound in gold, making a total of $101,368 40 for the aggregate production of the season, and leaving a net profit of $39,309 00.
The number of workmen employed ranged from 207 to 210, including men, women, and children, being 110 for day and 100 for night work. Wages were paid at the following rates : For carrying beets:1 mau, at 314 cents, and 5 at 304 cents, $1 831 ; the same for night work. Forcentrifugal machine: 1 man, at 377 cents; same for night. For topping and trimming beets: 12 girls, at 19 cents, $2 28; same for night. For
internal revenue scale: 1 man, at 35 cents; same for night. For grating beets: 4 boys, at 19 cents, 76 cents; same for night. For pulp wagon: 2 boys, at 21 cents, 42 cents; same for night. For centrifugal machine liquoring: 4 men, at 28 cents, $1 12; same for night. For taking out the pulp: 4 men, at 26 cents, $1 04; same for night. For carrying the pulp away: 2 men, at 26 cents, 52 cents; same for night. For starting centrifugal machine : 2 boys, at 23 cents, 46 cents; same for night. For juice gutter: 2 boys, at 23 cents, 46 cents; same for night. For first carbonizing juice: 1 man, at 373 cents, 1 at 304 cents, 1 at 28 cents, and 1 at 464 cents, $1 424; same for night. For scum presses: 1 man, at 314 cents, and 2 at 29 cents, 904 cents; same for night. For steam syphon: 1 man, at 28 cents, and 1 at 25 cents, 53 cents; same for night. For second carbonizing juice: 1 man, at 30 cents, 1 at 29 cents, and 1 at 25 cents, 84 cents; same for night. For bone-black filter: 1 man, at 35 cents, and 2 at 254 cents, 86 cents. Same for night. For Roberts's apparatus: 1 man, at 374 cents; same for night. For sugar floors: 1 man, at 42 cents, 1 at 374 cents, 9 at 35 cents, and 1 boy at 25 cents, $4 194; none on at night. For limekiln: 1 man, at 35 cents, and 1 at 30 cents, 65 cents; for night, 1 man, at 35 cents. For lime station : 1 man, at 30 cents, and 1 at 26 cents, 56 cents; same for night. For washing wire cloth: 2 girls, at 22 cents, 44 cents; same for night. For engineers : 1 man, at 374 cents, and 1 at 35 cents, 721 cents; for night, 1 man, at 35 cents, and 1 at 32 cents, 67 cents. For firemen: 1 man at 374 cents, 2 at 35 cents, and 1 at 28 cents, $1 354; for night, 1 man, at 37} cents, and 2 at 35 cents, $1 071. For carting coal : 3 men, at 321 cents, 973 cents; same for night. For fermenting bone black:1 man, at 374 cents, 6 at 32, cents, and 3. at 30 cents, $3 224; same for night. For drying bone-black: 1 man, at 324 cents, and 1 boy at 25 cents, 574 cents; same for night. For bone-black furnace: 2 men, at 31} cents, 63 cents; same for night. For gas furnace: 1 man, at 374 cents; same for night. For mechanics, &c.:1 coppersmith, 47 cents; carpenter, 44 cents; blacksmith, 43 cents; blacksmith, 32 cents; harness-maker, 371, cents; wirecloth-maker, 32 cents; nurse for hospital, 35 cents; housekeeper, 35 cents; porter, 35 cents, $3 401. For yard hands : 1 man, at 41 cents, 3 at 35 cents, 3 at 28 cents, 3 at 25 cents, and 7 boys at 21 cents, $4 52. The beet-sugar works in the province of Saxony and the duchy of Anhalt number as follows: