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The crop of one of the most celebrated growers in the Connecticut valley, Mr. W..W. Sanderson; is illustrated on Page 378. This field has been in tobacco for more than ten successive years, yielding an average of over one ton per acre in cured leaf annually. It has had a light coat of stable manure annually and lime every third year, and in the alternate season, 1500 tc 2000 pounds per acre of Stockbridge special tobacco manure. In 1895, the Stockbridge was reduced to 1200 pounds per acre, and 1200 pounds cottonseed meal was also used. In 1896, the same doses were repeated. The 1895 crop on the nine acres weighed 19,795 pounds net when assorted and cased, 65 per cent being the light wrappers, 15 per cent dark wrappers, and the balance seconds and fillers. The '96 crop«was over 50 per cent light wrappers of the finest quality, and 20 per cent dark wrappers, the leaf being very thin and fine. Mr. Sanderson finds that the addition of some cottonseed meal produces a more oily and glossy leaf, but too large quantities of this meal on medium to dark soils will give a dark colored leaf.
Another remarkable instance of results obtained with tobacco grown on commercial fertilizers, is offered by the experience of Mr. O. B. Lowell, of Tioga county, Pa., whose crop is illustrated on Page 416. He raises about 30 acres of tobacco annually, using 1000 pounds per acre of Mapes Wrapper Brand, with 500 pounds per acre of Mapes "tobacco starter," 20 loads of stable manure having been previously plowed under. The colors are remarkably light, the yield large, the texture fine and all that could be desired. A similar estimate comes from Joseph K. Schultz, of Washingtonboro, Lancaster county, Pa., whose 1896 crop of 40 acres, the eighteenth in succession on the same land, is the finest he ever raised, and it is the eighth year that the land has been managed in this way: Horse manure is plowed under, and from 1500 to 2000 pounds of Mapes Wrapper Brand harrowed in, with 400 to 600 pounds per acre of Mapes "starter."
These and other crops raised on the Mapes manures have yielded 1800 to 2000 pounds of assorted leaf per acre, and Mapes tobacco in the Connecticut valley, of the famous '92 crop, sold at 30 to 33 cents per pound, —the highest prices recorded in recent years. Crops grown on the other fertilizers mentioned have also for many years commanded the top of the market, demonstrating beyond a peradventure the correctness of our view, that the proper use of fertilizers is anything but detrimental to quantity or quality.
CULTURE OF CIGAR LEAF TOBACCO.
Soils.—Throughout all the New England tobaccc section, a warm, deep, sandy loam, having a permeable subsoil, is preferred for the crop. Occasionally, tobacco is grown upon the bottom lands, especially when well drained. The soil of these lands is dark with vegetable matter, but rendered easy of tillage in most cases by the large percentage of sand which it naturally contains. The popular impression is, that tobacco from the bottom lands is dark colored, and as only light wrappers are now in demand, and this can be expected when grown on the higher land, the bottom lands are not much used for tobacco. However, the most essential point looked for is that the soil is free from standing water, and susceptible of early and late cultivation. Providing this condition exists, the bottom lands can be used; but this condition is exceptional. The alluvial soil of the Connecticut bottoms differs from that of most bottom lands in the country, in possessing a considerable proportion of sand, which renders it warm and easy of cultivation, and is much less troubled with water than is usually found on similar lands in other valleys. Tobacco, therefore, can be raised on some lands in the Connecticut valley, when it would fail if placed on the bottom lands of other rivers.
Freedom from standing water,—a naturally welldrained soil,—is the first great essential to successful tobacco growing. The crop will not grow in a soil possessing an impervious subsoil that prevents drainage, for such soils are cold from the water of saturation.
For the same reason, clay soils cannot be advantageously used. They are cold and wet, and, moreover, are with difficulty brought into and kept in the exceedingly fine state of tillage that is necessary for the success of tobacco. These lands are often admirably adapted to grass, potatoes, and other crops, but are disappointing for tobacco. It is far better economy to bring a poor piece of land of a sandy nature, warm and friable, into a proper state of fertility, by applying manures and fertilizers, than to endeavor to grow the crop on stronger but wet soil. Crops have been grown successfully on almost pure sand, but such instances are rare; soil that is too sandy will not hold water enough to support the plant or to distribute the fertilizers incorporated in it; and an excessively dry soil is almost as objectionable as one that is too wet. Much land of a sandy nature can be wonderfully improved in its capacity for retaining moisture, by a proper course of manuring, although the first cost of bringing such land into condition is very heavy. On a naturally warm, mellow, fertile soil, the expense of manuring, in the first instance, is much less, and such a soil is the one preferred.
Mr. Whitney has clearly shown that a dark, moist soil produces leaves dark in color, comparatively thick, and containing considerable oil and gum, but which, while sweating well, come out so dark that they are not suited for cigar wrappers, now that light color, thintexture leaf is the fashion for this purpose. Upon light, sandy soil, the quality is very fine, the texture of the leaf is thin, and the color light, making the best cigar wrappers. The more clay and silt soils contain, the more retentive are they of moisture, and the heavier the type of leaf they produce. Thus, the leaves produced at Poquonock on a soil containing only seven per cent of water are lighter colored and of thinner texture than those produced at East Hartford, where the soil contains double the amount of water, and very much better than the leaf grown at Hatfield on soil containing 28 per cent of water. But the difference in color and texture in these cases is not wholly due to the difference in moisture. The difference is partly due to the mechanical condition of the land. That at East Hartford contains much more fine silt and clay than is the case at Poquonock.
Mr. Whitney's studies also show that, even if the soil does contain considerable clay and moisture, if it is well drained, either artificially or naturally, it may yet produce a very fine quality of tobacco. He believes that much land now comparatively moist can be adapted to the finer grades of cigar wrappers. "The first thing needed is to underdrain the land by tile drains, so as to remove, as much as possible, the excess of water. The tobacco should be grown on high beds, or ridges, which would keep the roots on higher soil, and improve the texture and quality of the crop. The texture of the soil should be changed, by judicious methods of cropping, manuring and culture, making it more loamy, and less retentive of moisture."
Mr. Whitney's investigations in Pennsylvania confirm the foregoing statements. The soils which contain much silt and clay also contain much water, and produce a heavy, dark leaf. These conditions should be realized by planters. When the fashion calls for light cigars, they should cultivate only lighter soils, and use their heavy land for other crops. When dark wrappers are in demand, the heavy soils should be devoted to this crop. Our own experience and observation confirms Mr. Whitney's views. This is also true, in a general way, of the tobacco lands of New York, the Miami valley and Wisconsin. In all these localities an "old" soil which, by cropping, has been freed from its original