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use of gypsum on tobacco land is not to be recommended, for it is not yet shown to possess any advantages over iime alone, while it may be objectionable.
From the previous pages it appears that a wide range of materials can be used for fertilizing tobacco lands. And if one material should be difficult to obtain, another can be substituted. Of course, the greatest variety is in the nitrogenous compounds, as the materials are animal, vegetable and purely chemical. The sources of potash are confined to two materials, ashes, and salts. To summarize the facts given in the foregoing pages, the best plan will be to give formulas, or methods of mixing. It should be emphasized, however, that barn manure should be used with these formulas to as large an extent as possible. All the following formulas are based on a previous application of eight to ten cords of manure per acre, or three tons of tobacco stems, and each one has been widely used. While the use of cottonseed meal is very general and has given good results, it can be replaced with other ammoniates in case meal cannot be obtained, and, in fact, it would probably be an improvement to use other ammoniates in conjunction with the meal. A mixed nitrogen-supply gives better results, as a rule, than when a single material only is used, for if the action of one is hindered, or too rapid, the others correct this defect. This is the rule used in compounding commercial fertilizers.
No. 1. Composed of Containing
The essential elements are derived from the meal and ash; the plaster and lime only being supplied to affect the soil mechanically and to assist the burning qualities of the tobacco. Linseed meal is used instead
of cottonseed when it can be bought to better advantage. This formula has also been modified by omitting the lime and plaster, adding more ash or meal, and sometimes by adding small quantities of superphosphates, or tankage. It is also used in the following combinations:
No. 2. Composed of
No. 3. Composed of
No. 4. Composed of
No. 5. On old tobacco fields that are in good heart, a favorite formula at present is 2000 lbs. cottonseed meal and 1000 lbs. cotlonhull ash.
No. 6. One well-known tobacco grower says: "My formula for a homemade tobacco fertilizer is 2000 lbs. cottonseed meal, 1000 lbs. double sulphate of potash, 1000 lbs. plaslv* -l... 1000 lbs. lime, and it is the best and cheapest fertilizer for tobacco I have ever tried."
No. 7. Another applies 10 cords ot manure per acre, from 1000 to 2000 lbs. cottonseed meal, and 400 to 500 lbs. Peruvian piano.
No. 8. A formula used by several successful grrweis is for one acre of land that has a good supply of manure or vegetable matter in the soil:
Nitrogen, 116 lbs.
Nitrogen, 113 lbs.
Nitrogen, 97 lbs.
No. 9. Another favorite formula is
No. 10. A homemade tobacco fertilizer that gave good satisfaction
No. 11. Another, used with excellent results at the rate of two tons per acre:
Composed of Containing
60 lbs. lime, ) Potash, W0 lbs.
COMMERCIAL OR MANUFACTURED FERTILIZERS.
In the early years of the fertilizer industry, the presence of large quantities of chlorine in the potash salts, and the use of animal matter, tankage, blood and fish, together with the general ignorance of the peculiarities of the tobacco plant, resulted in the production of unsatisfactory commercial fertilizers for tobacco, and a distrust of such preparations grew up among tobacco growers, which may still exist in some measure. As the value of the'crop increased and large areas were devoted to its culture, more attention has been given to its requirements by fertilizer manufacturers. Some of them have made a study of the results of scientific and practical experiments, and there is to-day almost no risk to even so delicate a crop as tobacco, from the judicious use of the best known brands of tobacco fertilizers. The Connecticut valley crop of the finest quality that sold for the highest price in recent years, was grown on a well-known tobacco fertilizer.
The one condition of fertility that is deficient in prepared fertilizers is organic matter. And manufacturers make a mistake in advertising the exclusive use of their fertilizers, when far better results can be attained by applying them in conjunction with manure and other organic matter. This has resulted from the idea that where manure is used, fertilizers will not be employed, and, therefore, the less said about manure by the manufacturers and the more farmers are led away from it, the larger will be the sale of commercial preparations. While this may be true with some crops, it is not so with tobacco. All artificial fertilizers, whether prepared by the manufacturer or the farmer, give the best results on soils in good heart; that is, rich in organic matter.
The manufacturers of the best tobacco fertilizers guarantee that the potash is from sulphate salts only, and that chlorine is not present in appreciable quantities. Some also state that no nitrates are present. These fertilizers come prepared in admirable mechanical condition and contain from 4 to 6 per cent of nitrogen, from 7 to 11 per cent of actual potash, while the phosphoric acid does not much exceed 6 per cent, and sometimes is less, but little of it being in an insoluble form. Each fertilizer is compcanded by a private formula, whereby the manufacturer seeks to preserve the uniformity of results
obtained, and each one very naturally claims that his own brand is the best for the peculiar requirements of the crop. Undoubtedly, the plant food in the different brands is obtained from different materials, or from different proportions of the same materials, as each variation produces a somewhat peculiar influence on the soil and plant. The popularity of the brands differs in different sections, or with different growers. Where a brand has demonstrated its value by producing satisfactory crops, it is a good plan to continue its use. But the average analysis shows that, taken as a whole, without allowing for peculiarities of composition of the fertilizer itself, or of the soil on which it is used—which cannot be told by analysis—any of the standard brands are good; and experience shows that they can be used with safety to the crop and profit to the grower.
How to Use Commercial Fertilizers.—The following directions as to how much fertilizer to use, how to apply it, etc., are given by a well-known manufacturer, and his remarks apply with equal force to all brands. Alone, without anything else, a ton of high grade commercial fertilizer is good manuring. Sow one-half ton or more per acre before plowing, then plow under lightly (half depth). In ten days or two weeks plow the land at full depth and sow on the balance, thoroughly cutting in with a long-toothed wheel, or any of the improved harrows. This will leave the land, so far as manuring goes, ready for fitting in the usual way before setting plants. If one-half quantity stable manure is used, then sow half a ton per acre at last harrowing, working it into the land thoroughly. Then fit the land for setting, as usual. If three-fourths quantity of stable manure is used, apply 500 to 600 pounds per acre and harrow in at last harrowing, and fit the land in usual way. When fertilizer is used alone on sod land, apply 2000 pounds per acre after plowing, and thoroughly cut in with wheel, disk or long-toothed harrow, as long as possible before the time of fitting the land. Then harrow again, and fit the land for setting in ordinary way.