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SHOWING THE COST OF THE DIFFERENT INGREDIENTS IN
CERTAIN FERTILIZERS DURING 1904
when the cold cow and pig manure will tend to prevent excessive loss, by heating, from the horse manure. Young growing animals and those bearing young and giving milk will give poorer excrete than
mature fattening animals. The food and the litter used also affect the value of the manure.
In barn manure the nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash are slowly available, and are arbitrarily reckoned to be worth half what they would cost in fertilizers. The value of a ton of manure for its physical effect upon soils cannot be expressed in dollars and cents, but in the Eastern States it may be presumed to vary between 50 cents and $1.00 per ton; for while the fertilizing ingredients show a value of about $1.25, the manure often costs, or is valued at $2.00 per ton.
Mixing Fertilizers.-Fertilizer manufacturers lay great emphasis on the value of proper mixing, and usually charge from $5 to $10 per ton for doing it. For example, a commercial potato manure analyzing nitrogen, 3 per cent., phosphoric acid, 6 per cent., and potash, 10 per cent, costs in New Hampshire', in 1904, $36.50 per ton. A fertilizer made up by the station on the same formula was just as satisfactory, and after allowing $1.00 per ton for mixing, it cost $24 per ton, a saving of $8.50 per ton, or using 1,500 pounds per acre = $7.10 per acre.
To compound this fertilizer: 3 per cent. nitrogen = 60 pounds nitrogen in a ton
(2,000 pounds). 6 per cent. phosphoric acid = 120 pounds phosphoric
acid in a ton. 10 per cent. potash = 200 pounds potash in a ton.
Nitrate of soda will furnish nitrogen for immediate use, and the nitrogen of the sulphate of ammonia will become available later on, hence we may take 23/4 pounds nitrogen in the form of nitrate of soda, and 3634 pounds in the form of sulphate of aminonia. Cottonseed-meal, dried blood, tankage, etc., might also be used if desired.
1 N. H. Bul. III., p. 110.
Pounds Nitrate of soda containing 1572 per cent. nitrogen; to fur
nish 2374 pounds nitrogen it requires 150 pounds. 150 Sulphate of ammonia containing 20 per cent. nitrogen;
to furnish 3694 pounds nitrogen, it requires 184
pounds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 Acid phosphate containing 16 per cent. available phos
phoric acid; to furnish 120 pounds phosphoric acid it
requires 750 pounds . . . . . . . . . . . 750 Muriate of Potash containing 50 per cent. potash; to
furnish 200 pounds potash it requires 400 pounds. 400 Filling, sand, etc., used to make weight if desired . . 516
Unless care be taken in mixing fertilizers loss of valuable ingredients may result. 1. Nitrate of soda and soluble phosphate of lime—as,
acid phosphate-must not be mixed and allowed to stand for any length of time, or chemical action will take place, resulting in a loss of nitrogen and
phosphoric acid. 2. Do not mix an ammonium salt—as, sulphate of am
monia—with any other fertilizer containing free lime, as the lime will set free the ammonia, which
will be lost. 3. Do not mix soluble and insoluble phosphates to
4. Nitrate of soda is very deliquescent, and if left
mixed with other fertilizers is liable to render the whole mass wet and pasty, and so difficult to apply. Cottonseed-meal is a very useful source for part of the nitrogen of mixtures. If it is necessary to hold a quantity of nitrate of soda for a time, it is advisable to empty it out of the bags, as they are liable to ignite spontaneously. When emptied do not leave the bags lying in a heap in the corner of the barn. Store nitrate of soda in a
dry place. 5. Kainit is also very deliquescent, and it is the worst
potassic fertilizer to use in a mixture on this account. ' Sulphate or muriate of potash are better
for mixtures. Applying Fertilizers.-When a horse planter is used the fertilizer is usually distributed in the row at the time of planting. The fertilizer may be sown broadcast or in the rows as desired, but it should be incorporated with the soil and not left on top.
Water Requirement.—It has been shown clearly that the available water content of the soil exerts a great influence upon the life of the potato plant, upon its assimilation of plant-food, and upon the yield. At the Wisconsin Experiment Station' it was found that when two acre inches of water were added in two irrigations in one case the yield was increased 100 bushels of salable potatoes per acre, thus showing that the right amount of water at the right time is a very important factor in determining the yield. Whitson,' of Wisconsin, shows that if it is assumed that under the existing climatic conditions of that State 18 inches of rainfall during the growing season is sufficient for potatoes, then, on this basis, there was a shortage of 4 inches or more in ten of the past twenty-one years. In Utah' it was noted that the largest yield was obtained from a plat irrigated every eighth day and receiving 14 inches of water, and another year' 16.62 inches of water with practically no rain produced a yield of 423 bushels per acre. The importance of water was also shown at the same station,' when amounts of water varying between 4.3 inches and 9.45 inches were applied between July 18 and August 6, and the yield increased with the increase in amount of water. At the New Jersey Station irrigation increased the yield 36.4 per cent., while at Wisconsin the increase has been 159.586 bush. els per acre over the unirrigated plat, and the average gain per year during the six years—1896–1901—was 83.9 bushels per acre. That some risk must be taken in irrigating heavy soils in a humid climate was demonstrated at Wisconsin. Thus, in one year, while there was an increase of 81.4 bushels per acre from irrigating sandy land, on heavier land the yield was reduced 56 bushels per acre because heavy rain followed the second irrigation.
1 Wis. Report, 1899, p. 213.
2 Wis. Report, 1902, p. 190.
Corn and potatoes require somewhat similar amounts of water to make one pound of dry matter. The figures of Wilfarth and Wimmer' and Whitsono are as follows:
1 Utah Report, 1893, p. 180.
3 Utah Bul. 26, p. 14.