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what was going on upon each, how this or that The nutriment afforded to animals by seeds and process was conducted, what machines were sucroots, depends upon the rupture of all the glo
cessful, which were failures, what was the most bules which constitute their meal and flour.
profitable fruit crop, and how best to produce it, These globules vary in different roots, tubers and
who had the most successful garden, and how it seeds. Those of potato starch, for instance, are
was managed, with the long catalogue of items usually from 6fteen ten-thousandths to the four
on kindred topics-would be a mere repetition of thousandth part of an inch; those of wheat
the English obligation to become perfect in the rarely exceed the two-thousandth part of an inch,
farmer's calling. and so on. From experiments made on these
There are times throughout the year when most globules by M. Raspail, the author of "Organic
men can indulge in this useful recreation, and Chemistry," and M. Biot, of the French Academy
there are those who systematically devote to it a of Sciences, the following conclusions have been
portion of every season. I have indulged in it drawn :
myself, and bave rarely gone any where without 1. That the globules constituting meal, flour,
learning something that was new to me, and and starch, whether contained in grain or roots,
mauy times useful. are incapable of affording any nourishment as
On these brief peranıbulations I have uniformly animal food, until they are broken.
found the latch-string of the door within sight 2. That no mechanical method of breaking or
and reach. Going in unheralded, and even grinding is more than partly efficient.
anonymously, I have never been received dis3. That the most efficient means of breaking
courteously. The house-dog may have been the globules is by beat, by fermentation, or by
snappish, but the proprietor has been all suavity, the chemical agency of acids or alkalies.
- Author of " Ten Acres Enough," in Horticul
turist. 4. That the dextrine, which is the kernel as it were, of each globule, is alone soluble, and there
Care of Cows. fore alone nutritive
In the discussions at the Annual Fair of the N. 5. That the shells of the globules, when re- York State Agricultural Society, Geo. A. Moore duced to fragmeats by mechanism or heat, are gives his method of caring for his cows as follows: therefore not nutritive.
1 My best cows do not go dry over six to eight 6. That though the fragments of these shells weeks. The best cow I have, was milked at night are not nutritive, they are indispensable to diges- and had a calf by her side the next inoraing. tion, either from their distending the stomach, 1 Cows must be sheltered, groomed, well fed and or from some other cause not understood ; it cared for. A cow should go in the barn when having been found by experiment that concen- the first cold weather comes on in the autumu trated nourishment, such as sugar or essence of and stay there till it is over in the spring. Of beef, cannot long sustain life without some mix course the stables should be well ventilated. I ture of coarser or less nutritive food.
have found that cows kept in the barn through 7. That the economical preparation of all food the winter, do just as well as those which are let containing globules or fecula, consists in perfectly out. Air, light, good water and good food are breaking the shells, and rendering the dextrine essential. With these provisions, cows are kept contained in them soluble and digestible; while in good health, there are no miscarriages, and the fragments of the shells are at the same time the general effect upon the health and usefulness rendered more bulky, so as the more readily to of the animal is good. Cows "come in " with fill the stomach.- Co. Gent.
| us when 24 months old, and we breed and milk
them right along. Three years ago I picked Visiting Farmers.
the poorest and oldest cows from my herd, In ancient times the English law required a kert them housed from Christmas till March, young man, on completion of his apprenticeship, loosed them from the ties and turned them out, to travel over the country a certain number of and they played like calves. They gave more years, working at his trade, before he could be milk and did better the following season than licensed to make a permanent beginning for him they did the year before. I have kept cows in self. The object was to compel him to become stanchions from November to May, caring for familiar with the different modes in which other and grooming them well, and they bred better, craftsmen conduct the business he had learned,
there were fewer losses, and they were healthier,
and did better the succeeding season, than if they so that by knowicg all, he might become a perfect
had been left oui, or allowed to run out in the workman.
usual way. I prefer to tie cows for winter feedTravelling from one farm to another, to learn ling, but use stanchions in my milking stables.
during the following summer Prof. Vælcker We give below.an excellent summary of the made, at Cirencester, the famous experiments principal facts and reasons in favor of Surface which have changed the current of opinion on Manuring,” by a correspondent of the Country
the chemical question involved. Gentleman. The writer seems to have examined | We do not claim that we were the first to bring with care the leading agricultural papers, of the the subject into notice, but that the Farmer more Northern states at least, during a number pressed it so pointedly and urgently, as to fix the of years past, in order to put the subject in its
attention of intelligent observers, and writers for true aspect.
the Agricultural press, and that within the ten In giving his history of the progress of opinion years past it has, on this account, gained more on the subject, he says that Mr. John Johnston upon the good opinion of the Agricultural comwas the first to come out, and openly advocate in mu
munity than in half a century preceding. print, the practice of surface manuring.' While It is proper to bear in mind in this connection, we reeognize fully, Mr. Johnston's claims, as one
that it was in the face of false, or rather, perhaps, of the most independent and intelligent of agri
misapplied teachings of science, that intelligent cultural writers, he is not entitled, we think, to
observation furnished facts which could not be the credit of having first openly advocated in gaiosaid. The experience of practical men was print this method of manuring. Long before
appealed to, to uphold the practice of mandring Dir. J. wrote at all on the subject of Agriculture,
on the surface, while the teacher of science still we presume, Mr. Botts, then editor of the Southern
maintained the inevitable loss of the volatile amPlanter, Mr. Garnett, of Virginia, one of the
monia. Finally, however, it was ascertained leading writers of his time, and, we believe, Mr.
that the loss of ammonia was not to be estimated Edmund Ruffin, commended this method of by the quantity of
by the quantity of wasting odors the manure
evolved. Ammonia never failed, it is true, to manuring.
give a sensible indication of its presence, but Nevertheless, the general opinion had not ad
other gases, of no value to the crops, magnified vanced. No set of men, say what they will, are
the aspearance of the waste. It now appeared, more under the influence of theories than practi
that only in so far as the mannre had rotted, was cal farmers, and especially of a theory that ap
ammonia found at all. The nitrogen of the unpeals so directly to the senses, as does this one of
rotted manure was not liable to waste from evapmanures. It was claimed, for a long time, by
oration. Thrown upon the surface, there was no chemists, that the waste of strength was plainly
wasteful exhalation, even ander the hottest sun, indicated by the odors arising on any exposure
except of a very small amount of ammonia. of the manure, and that the loss was proportioned
The summary given below is an interesting to the length of time it might remain uncorered
one, and we commend it to the notice of our on the surface. There were certainly very few
readers : writers—we do not think there was one agricultural editor-who controverted this teaching,
SURFACE MANURING, when, in 1856, we distinctly and pointedly took A summary of the Principal Facts and Reasons in ground against it, in a leading editorial of the
Favor of Surface Manuring. American Farmer. In this article we said, "wel Speaking of his examination of the history of know that men of science will shake their heads the mother
the matter, the writer in the Country Gentleman at the wanton waste of ammonia, but practical
says: I find that Mr. John Johnston " was the men should stand by their facts." Mr. Mapes, of
first to come out and openly advocate, in print, the Working Farmer, said at that time, “Those
the practice of surface manuring; that Mr. J. who imagine they find good results from spread
and many others have practiced this course from ing manure on the surface, and leaving it for
twenty to thirty years ; that it was adopted after days, weeks, or months, before it is ploughed
repeated trials and experiments in manuring, in under, mistake the action of the litter, or longer the different ways usually practiced ; that Mr. J. portions of the manure, as a mulch, for the ac- ' and others found that one load spread on a grass tion of the manure on the soil." In reply we or clover sod, early in the fall, and plowed under said, “We so far differ from this, and kindred in the spring for corn, did more good, and gave opinions on the subject, that we think manuring a better profit, than two loads supplied in any on the surface, for ninety-nine farmers in a bun- l other way; that the course usually taken is to dred, the best general method of application."
pile the manure in the spring, let it ferment and Our editorial was copied into the London rot, and in the fall draw and spread it on a grass Farmers Mugazine, and it is a coincidence, that' or clover sod, to be plowed under the next spring for corn, though on many grass farms it is ap- into a much more available condition for the implied in the fall to meadows, while it is sometimes mediate benefit of growing plants. Now it is put on land prepared for winter wheat, and said well known that the principal value of barn-yard to be harrowed in, though probably only partly manure consists in the aniount of available amcovered, just before sowing; that it is usually monia and soluble mineral substances it contains, found to do best when applied rather early in the wbile it is shown by Dr. Voelcker's investigations fall, so the grass and clover can grow up and that perfectly fresh barn-yard manure contains cover and protect it; this also gives time for the but a small proportion of free ammonia, and but soluble portions, which constitute the principal a small proportion of soluble matters, whether value of rotted manure, to be carried into the organic or mineral-tbat, comparatively speaksoil by the rains. It also makes a great deal ing, but little nitrogen, and of course but little better sod, and growth of grass and clover, to ammonia, exists in fresh dung in a state in which plow under in the spring, which is a great bene- it can be assimilated by the growing plants''fit to the succeeding crop of corn.
that " most of the nitrogen is gradually liberated Surface manuring appears to answer much the as the fermentation of the dung progressesmit same purpose as liquid manuring. Nearly all of being found that there is a regular increase of the valuable portions of fermented and rotted soluble organic matters, including nitrogen, manure, being soluble, are washed out, taken which keeps pace with the progress of fermentainto, and completely diffused through the surface tion.” It also appears that "in fresh manures soil by the fall rains, so as to be in the best pos- (with abundant litter,) the larger part of the insible condition to be used by the growing plant. soluble organic matter consists of straw in an alAt the same time, there can be but very little, if most entirely undecomposed state. In rotting any loss, by the strength of the manure washing manure, the straw is converted into humusaway, or being carried too deep into the soil," (humic and ulmic acids, humine and ulmine) for, as Dr. Cameron says, "by a beautiful pro- the compounds of which, with potash, soda and vision of nature. The absorptive power of soils— ammonia, are soluble, and of a dark brown they will be retained until reqnired to nourish color. The humus mostly fixes-(forms nonthe plants.” Liebeg also states that if "water volatile compounds with the ammonia that reholding in solution ammonia, potash, phosphoric sults from the decay of nitrogenous matters." and silicic acids, be brought in contact with the It also appears that the most useful mineral matsoil, these substances disappear almost imme- ters contained in manures are also brought into diately from the solution, the soil withdrawing a more soluble and available condition for the use them from the water.” It also appears that of growing plants. there is no other way in which the fertilizing True, it has been objected that in rotting barnproperties of manure can be so well worked into yard manure there may be a considerable loss of and diffused through the surface soil, just in the ammonia which is set free by the fermentation in position and condition in which they are needed the heap; but it is shown that this is not the by the growing plant, as by liquid manuring, or case. Dr. Voelcker shows that "in the interior applying the manure to the surface so that the and heated portions of manure, ammonia is rains can dissolve and carry them into the soil. given off, but on passing into the external and It also appears that when manure is plowed into cold layers, the free ammonia is. absorbed and the soil, there is comparatively little chance for retained. During the fermentation of dung, ulit to be thus prepared and brought to the plant, mic, humic, and other organic acids are formed, but that the roots have to find and use it as they which fix the ammonia generated in the decom. best can. Hence it will be seen that, when the position of the nitrogenized constituents." It is manure is plowed under, the roots of plants can also stated by Dr. Cameron that "it is an error not as soon nor as thoroughly receive the benefit to suppose that the manure heap loses a sensible of it, as when diffused through the surface soil | proportion of its important constituents by expoby the rains; while, being covered with several sure to the air; on the contrary, if it be in a inches-often six to eight-of soil, there is com- compost state, the only ingredients which evapparatively little chance for rains to dissolve, orate from it, are water, and an inconsiderable bring it to, and diffuse it through the surface quantity of carbonic acid ; hardly a trace of amsoil, where it is mostly needed. But this is but monia escapes. During the fermentation of maone of the great benefits that may be realized by nure, its nitrogen, (for there is no ammonia in surface manuring.
fresh natural manure,) is converted slowly into Another great advantage is, that by piling, ammonia ; at the same time other constituents of fermenting, and rotting manure, it is brought the dung-carbon, hydrogen, &c., are converted
into certain acids which combine with and fix large growth and coat of manure is a protection the ammonia."
to the soil and roots of the wheat-while in reShould the plain practical farmer want any gard to grass that has not been fed down in the further proof that there is no loss by fermenta- fall, it is found to start earlier, so as to give tion of any of the valuable constituents-what quite a growth if not fed off, as it never should be considers the strength of the manure—the be, in the spring, to turn under for corn. This vastly greater effect of, and benefits received from new growth, by making the sod green and sucrotted manure, ought to be more than enough for culent, and starting it to rotting immediately, is his satisfaction.
a great help to the corn, so that in reality surBut it is true, that while there is very little face manuring in the fall has the threefold effect loss from evaporation or exbulation of ammonia, of enriching the land, mulching and protecting or other valuable volatile substances from the the soil and wheat and clover and grass roots, manure heap, there may be some loss from wash- and producing sometbing of a crop for green ing by heavy rains; and there seems to be the manuring. more reason for this objection, as it is shown that There is another important point in the confermentation renders the most valuable constitu- | sideration of this subject, that it is very probable ents of manure soluble, and hence liable to be the great mass of American farmers, like the washed away. But it is shown in practice that writer, bave never given much attention, which this may be mostly prevented by making the bas been somewhat strongly brought to mind piles large and high, the sides square or perpen- | while investigating this subject. This is the very dicular, the top dishing, so they will hold and general practice in England of spreading manure take up all the water that passes on to them, and on clover stubbles after haying, to be plowed making them in places where no running water under in the fall for wheat, baying being rather can reach the sides or bottom, thus giving very earlier and wheat secding considerably later there little chance for the rains to wash them away. than here. Mr. Luther U. Tucker, in referring
It is also found that when manure is well to this practice states that "there are many in spread that all fermentation is at an end; so England who constantly practice this way to
adthere is no setting free of ammonia or other val- vantage, and consider that in no other, can uable matters, the most of the fuul odors arising greater benefit be obtained. It helps to some ex. from the manure when spread, as well as in the tent to bring forward the seeds,' (of clover, pile, being due to the escape of carbonic acid, &c.,) so that when they are ready to plow a few carburetted hydrogen, and other foul gases, that months later, there is a closer and thicker sward are not of much value in manure-while in well to turn over, which will, of course, yield the fermented and rotted manure, the most important greater nourishment it bas thus been accumulatand valuable ingredients, instead of being in a ing, to the coming crop of grain." There is condition to be dried up and carried off by the also mnch other testimony to the same effect, it sun and air, are in precisely the best possible | being shown that English farmers when questioncondition to be dissolved and carried into the ed on this point, state that after trying various soil by the fall rains. So that if manure is other ways of applying manure, it was found finely spread early in the fall, these ingredients that in no other way could they apply it to so will be washed into and well diffused through good advantage, or with as much benefit to their the soil before winter, where, according to Liebig, wheat. Yet, in following this course, the manure Voelcker and Cameron, they will be retained has to be exposed, as it is finely spread on the until wanted by the growing plants.
surface, to the sun and air during the warmest It is also claimed that manure applied to the season of the year. Thus showing that with surface is valuable as a mulch-that when spread well fermented and rotted manure, which is alearly in the fall so as to give the clover and ways used, there can be but very little if any grass a good start, and they are not fed down too loss by the escape of ammonia or drying of the close, it is found that the coat of manure and manure. growth of grass is a considerable benefit as a There is another way of surface manuring, exmulch and protection of the land, and roots of tensively practiced in England, which should not the grass. It is also fonnd that when manure is be forgotten,-that is, by feeding off turnips, on applied to wheat, wheiber put on before sowing the land where they are grown, with sheep. and worked into the surface, or finely spread This is a favorite practice with English farmers, afterwards, that it angwers the same purpose, wbo claim that it is one of the best ways they giving the plant a better and stronger growth have for manuring and enriching their land. and making it less liable to freeze out, while the The usual course is to put the sheep on to the turnips in October, and keep them folded on a
Flax Culture. small piece until it is eaten off, and then move We remember a time when Flax growing was them on to another, generally following this common in Maryland. It was before the days of course until it is time to clear the land to be cheap cotton, when it was thought good economy, plowed for barley in the spring. To make the on large farms, to grow and to manufacture, as sheep gain fuster, and the manure richer, but far as possible, all that was necessary for home mainly the latter, they are often fed oilcake, and consumption. There was a regular allotment of sometimes clover hay, but both fed in the fold on ground for the small crop of flax; which was the turnip field; so the manure is left as it is broken on the flax-break, hackled, spun, and wodropped on the land by the sheep, and thus it re- ven at home, for the use of the negroes. Of late inains all winter. So thatinstead of apprehend- years, attention has been directed to its cuiture ing any loss by the washing away of the manure, again, owing to the bigh price of cotton. It has one it is generally if not universally considered and advantage over that crop--that it needs little of conceded to be the best way the turnip crop can the laborious field culture which it demands; be fed to sheep, to manure and enrich the land. being sown broadcast and needing no further Clover is also sometimes fed off in this way, oil- care till harvest. The following, from a German cake being also fed, mainly to make richer ma- flax-grower, we take from Country Gentleman : pure.
Messrs. Editors : - In No. 683 of the Cult. & Now the point of most importance to the Ame- Co. Gent., I find an article on fax culture, rican farmer, is that in neither of these ways, in written by Mr. W. H. White, of South Windsor, which the principal part of the manure made by Conn., in which the cultivation of flax is highly English farmers is applied to the land-whether recommended to the attention of American exposed to a summer sun or winter wasbing, is farmers. Some assertions in said article I would there found to be any serious loss of the fertiliz heartily subscribe to, but others I consider erroing proper:ies or matters of manure-thus fur neous, and, as I have been raised and am living nishing the best possible proof of the correctness in a country where, for centuries, flax culture has of the conclusions of some of the best agricultu. been an important and lucrative branch of agriral chemists, that when manure is spread on the culture, and am myself engaged in raising this land, there can be but little, if any, loss by evap- product of the farm, perhaps you will grant to oration or escape of volatile substances, as there my remarks on this subject a page of your interis no fermentation ; nor much loss by washing, esting paper. as the soil immediately absorbs all important First, let me speak of the proper place of flax matters held in solution by the water passing in the rotation of crops. Your correspondent, in over or through it. And this point is the more No. 683, says : “ The soil should have been prenoteworthy, because large quantities of oilcake | viously made rich by a high manuring." We and grain are fed with the especial view of mak- never manure for flax. The fibre is injured by ing rich manure, such as there would certainly maouring; fresh manure is neither liked nor rebe a loss on, if on any–while not only are Eng- quired by the flax plant. It is one of the greatest lish farmers working hard and looking sharp to advantages for the farmers that the flax plant find every chance for making and saving manure, will thrive better without manure than with it, but some of the best scientific men are giving and that even the crop following flax on the same their attention to the same subject.
field requires less manure than if the same had There is one other point that has been dwelt been sown a year sooner in the place of the flax. on to some extent, and that is, that surface ma- For instance: Oats is here always sown at the nuring is nature's mode—that by the decay of end of the rotation, and after the oats are releaves and the various other vegetable substances moved, the field has to be manured for the next deposited on the surface, the soil has been gra crop. Now, after such oats, we sow flax without dually growing richer for an indefinite period. manure, and, after the flax, rye or wheat, with In proof, the prairies are referred to as notable but a half allowance of manure, and raise a sure instances. It is also shown that the valleys of crop, and, after such winter grain, we have an rivers are kept very rich, by the deposit of en
excellent chance for red clover. Clover, indeed, riching substances by overflowing water. The valley of the Nile, which has been under con
is never better than in the second year after flax, stant cultivation withont any other manure, for As we raise no Indian corn, our rotation, being thousands of years, is referred 10 15 a prominent confined to small grain, must of course vary from instatice of this kind. The Ganges and other
yours. But making this allowance, the following rivers, are also referred to as examples of this kind of manuring.
rotation is an excellent one for our regions, on Orleans Co., N. Y.
I soil adapted to wheat and clover: