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made to them for pifblic and private purposes, make it indispensable to maintain a permanent clerical force to have them in charge. Confident that such a bureau will assert its claim to public preservation, and by its utility prove the wisdom of the measure, I recommend its immediate formation."
Valuo and Uses of Leached Ashes.
We promised in the last number to give some account of the value of leached ashes and of their adaptation to certain soils — gravelly clay, with sub-soil of clay.
For crops which require a large percentage of potash and soda, such as beans, peas, potatoes, Indian corn, grapes, &c., the effects of unleached ashes are more marked and immediate. Still, leached ashes contain large proportions of the insoluble constituents which, though not so prompt and stimulating in their action, are, nevertheless just as really necessary to the growth of plants, while their influence is more permanent.
In all parts of the world where anything like a system of agriculture exists—where the farmer is not brim-full of the notion that his soils are inexhaustible—ashes of all kinds, particularly a6hes of wood, even though deprived of a greater part of their alkalies by the process of leaching, are esteemed of great value, and carefully preserved.
The value will of course be determined somewhat by the kind of wood from which the ashes are derived.
But then the wood of any plant or vegetable will yield ashes capable of contributing to the growth of any of the crops grown by the farmer.
Clay lands are most benefitted, but very light sandy soils are largely improved by them— especially if organic manures, (muck, barnyard manures, &c.,) be also applied. Gravelly loams would undoubtedly derive advantage from their application. The quantity per acre will of course be determined by a variety of circumstances, such as character of soil, kind of crop, expense of application, &c. Fifty to
a hundred bushels might be considered a liberal quantity.
The kind of crop which should immediately follow is not important, as the effects of leached ashes are quite permanent.
Upon grass lands they may be used with benefit as a top-dressing. Secretary Flint of the Massachusetts Board of Agaiculture, in his excellent work on "Grasses and Forage Plants," remarks as follows:
"Grasses are often more benefitted by ashes than other crops, since they require a greater amount of the salts which ashes contain. For all permanent mowing lands, especially on the lighter soils, ashes are among the cheapest of manures, where they can be had in sufficient quantities. In parts of Flanders and Belgium, countries in which the science of agriculture has been carried to a high perfection, the great loss of inorganic matters from the soil is constantly restored by ashes or bones. * * According to Liebig, with every one hundred and ten pounds of leached ashes of the common beech-tree, spread upon the soil, we furnish as much phosphate as five hundred and seven pounds of the richest manures could yield. Now phosphates are useful to all kinds of soil.
Those who have tried leached ashes have been fully satisfied of their superior quality as a fertilizer. Careful experiments, by practical, conservative men, show that land producing one ton to the acre has been so improved by this means as to yield three tons to the acre. Where thirty bushels were used on three-fourths of nn acre, in one instance, the crop was increased more than three-fold. Nor arc leached ashes subject to the objection which are raised by some against the use of lime. They do not apparently exhaust the soil. Their effect is felt for several years. Many farmers have found, by experience, that one bushel of unleached hard-wood ashes is nearly equal to two bushels of plaster, as a top-dressing for the dried grass lands. If this be true what has been said, would show that leached ashes are about equal to plaster in their effects on such lands."
Cotton and Sorghum.
The following extract from a circular from the Patent Office, shows that the Government intends encouraging the propagation of it in the Northern States, and an appropriation has been made by Congress for the purchase of seed for distribution. The introduction of the seed of Sorghum is also being made through the medium of the same department: Circular. United States Patent Office,
The cultivation of cotton in the milder portions of the Free States is beginning to attract general attention.
To prevent failures in its cultivation, it is proper to remark that it is a principle in vegetable physiology that tropical plants can never be acclimated North except by a repeated reproduction of new varieties from seed.
The attempt to grow "Sea Island" cotton, such as is now brought from Hilton Head, would prove a failure in any portion of the Free States. The only variety capable of successful cultivation in those sections now seeking its introduction is the "green teed" cotton, such as is now being raised extensively in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and portions of Kentucky, and which produces the "white fibre." Seed should be obtained from these localities. The modification of soil and climate will influence the size of the plant, the length and fineness of the fibre, and the product of the crop. No reasonable doubt is entertained of the success of the culture in all mild portions of the Middle States, and efforts are now making by this Division to procure the proper seed for distribution. * *
Sorohcm.—The results of the cultivation of sorgho the past year settle the question of its entire practical success. The value of its product is now counted by millions, and its cultivation is becoming a subject of absorbing interest.
One of the difficulties presenting itself is the want of pure seed. To meet this want this Division has ordered seed from France for distribution the ensuing spring. It must be borne in mind, however, that the same causes which have produced deterioration here, exist there, and well grounded apprehensions are entertained that the seed thus imported may not be free from suspicion.
Farmers interested should secure pure seed from among themselves when it is possible, as the season is so far advanced that direct importations from Africa or China would be impracticable. D. P. Hollowat,
Commissioner of Pattntt.
How to Baiie Potatoes.
A report in the Springfield (Mass) Republican of the doings of a Farmers' Club, recently held at a Chicopee farm house, includes the following on the subject of potato raising:
One of the party, a large grower of potatoes, and who has at present about 1,500 bushels in store, gave his experience, as follows:—He prefers corn ground that has been manured the year previous. Strong manure, he said, makes diseased potatoes. After plowing unmanured ground, he marks out the rows, four at a time. In these rows he drops single pieces of cut potatoes, eighteen inches apart. A medium sized potato is enough for four hills, or about six bushels of seed to the acre. Large seed potatoes give about one-fourth more product at harvest than small ones. Small potatoes have about as many eyes as large ones, but the sprouts from those eyes are not as large or vigorous. The potatoes are covered about two inches deep.
The potato vegetates slowly, and usually weeds start before the potatoes. When the potatoes have sprouted so as generally to show themselves above the ground, a hoeing machine is introduced, which covers the potatoes some two inches deeper and destroys the weeds like a plough. Subsequently the potatoes are hoed twice and receive no further care till digging. The common yield is about 200 bushels per acre. He digs with a hook, and from thirty to sixty bushels per day to a man. Davis' Seedlings are his favorites.
National Bureau of Agriculture.
President Lincoln in his late message thug alludes to the necessity of a National Agricultural Bureau:
"Agriculture, confessedly the largest interest of the nation, has not a department nor a bureau, but a clerkship only assigned to it in the government. While it is fortunate that this great interest, is so independent in its nature as not to have demanded and extorted more from the government, I respectfully ask Congress to consider whether something more cannot be given voluntarily with general advantage. Annual reports exhibiting the condition of our agriculture, commerce, and manufactures would present a fund of information of great practical value to the oountry. While I make no suggestion as to details, I venture the opinion that an agricultural and statistical bureau might profitably be organized."
Maple Suqar.—Hunt's Merchants' Magazine estimates the crop of maple sugar at 28,000 tons yearly, or 62,700,000 lbs. But a very much larger amount can be produced, and doubtless will be, thus relieving the country from foreign indebtedness, and keeping the balance of trade in our favor.
the sugar at six cents per lb., and the syrup at forty cents per gallon, the product per acre is $600.
Prof. Mot has ordered from France sugarbeet root seed to plant ten acres next Spring, and is preparing machinery to manufacture it.
Other parties believe the beet root is destined to furnish the North with sugar, and sorghum with syrup.
From the proceedings of the Executive Board of the Illinois State Agricultural Society, we make the following extracts:
STATEMENT Of ii. J. MANWELL, LEXINGTON, OHIO.
Sample of sugar, yield seven pounds of sugar per gallon of syrup, two hundred gallons of syrup to the acre; cane topped when hauled to the mill; canes cut in the middle; that from the butts boiled by itself in Cook's Evaporator. No chemicals—put in warm places and cry stalized in forty-eight hours. That from the tops put in cellar for table use—but crystalized when set in a warm kitchen, and becomes a perfect mass of sugar. Suckered a part of cane—perceived no difference in the product; suckers as much good juice as the cane itself.
STATEMENT Or SAMUEL HOOKER.
Mr. Hooker of Schuyler county, sent a jug of syrup, which was in what might be called the "mush" state—probably one-half the quantity had granulated. It is claimed by Mr. Hooker to be from a cane unlike that generally planted, and from his present knowledge, much superior to either the common sorghum or imphee. He speaks of its habits as follows:
"This cane grows straight and tall, and on rich land very thick; has no suckers, each seed producing a single stalk, and does not readily mix with other seeds. The juice is clearer than that of the common sorghum, and harder to press out of the stalk. From experiment, I conclude this stalk contains nearly or quite twice the quantity of juice contained in common cane."
Of the sample on exhibition, be says: "I manufactured, I suppose, about thirty gallons of molasses—using a common box (six feet by two), bottomed with sheet iron. A little soda was added for cleansing. It was my first attempt at molasses-making. This sample was made by simply stirring and boiling a little longer than for molasses."
BEPOET OF J. H. SMITH, 0F ADAMS CO.
Probably more importance attaches to the report of this gentleman, than to that of any exhibitor present, from the fact that he has proved beyond a doubt sugar as well as syrup can be produced from Northern cane, without the use of chemicals. The sample present, was from a lot of about one ton, made by Mr. S., the past season, from the Imphee cane.—
The sugar is of dark color, and not well drained, the process of draining consisting simply in placing the syrup in the "mush" state in a bag, pressing out the molasses in a common portable cider mill. He estimates that about seven-tenths of the syrup turns to sugar. He also states that he can make the sugar at five cents per pound, and syrup at twenty-five cents per gallon, and make more profit per aore than from corn. Mr. S. was kind enough to give us a detailed account of his mode of cultivation and manufacture, the same as presented before the body. We give it in full. He says:
The little experience which I have had for the last few years in the culture and manufacture of syrup and sugar from the Chinese and African sugar cane, has been fraught with much encouragement. The farming community in our district have generally expressed full satisfaction on the munificent returns for their labor. No less than 6,000 barrels of good syrup has been manufactured in Adams County this season. While our implements were of the rudest material, and unfit to make good experiments, yet our success has been beyond our expectations.
We have used the Cincinnati Crusher and Cook's Evaporator, pan No. 8, and a long pan in connection with this, of 2£ feet wide and 20 feet long, the bottom being of copper or galvanized iron; and these have produced the best results, making 250 and 875 gallons per day, with one cord of wood. We use the Evaporator till the juice is thoroughly clarified, and the white, gluey scum disappears, which is about 20 to 25° Beaume, then it passes gradually in the long pan reaching in, boiling down to about 35 to 37°, B. The gate is then opened into a large, flat cooler, that will hold the labor of the day, and from the African Cane you will find a complete granulation the next morning. The specimens of syrup and sugar twin presented for your examination have been made by the process mentioned, and without the aid of any chemicals, and only by the aid of skimmer and fire.
Sulphite of lime will extract all the acid from the sugar—if a solution of it is mixed with the juice while in the process of boiling. The specimen of syrup is from the Chinese Cane, and as already mentioned, without the use of anything except the skimmer and fire.
Our climate has proved fully adapted to the Chinese and African Canes, and our soil the very element for its culture. It is a mistake that the richer the soil the larger the production of this article, (which eventually must become of the greatest benefit to this State,) for the cane grows as well in poorer soil, and the best on dry, sandy fields. On the rich ground the cane grows rank, but is spongy and full of woody fibres, and the yield is by far less than on the weaker lands. The Chinese Cane is much more desirable for syrup when raised on sandy soil, and is much more desirable for syrup than any of the Imphee kinds.
Of the different kinds of African Cane, we found the following best adapted to our soil:
Necaza-na, Boomwaa-na, and Oom-se-a-na. These three kinds will ripen in ninety days, and our yield from them has been twelve hundred pounds of sugar and one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five gallons of syrup to the acre. Had I been permitted to present as a specimen some of the sugar, after having gone through a refining process—such a one as used by Belcher in St. Louis—I have the full conviction, that from the specimen presented, sugar like Belcher's best crushed sugar would have been the result.
Dry seasons are a great advantage to its growth, and it enn be grown even on a flat meadow, and it improves the land.
It should be planted as early as possible, the seed being soaked for about twelve hours in a solution of chloride of lime, (about one ounce to a pint of seed.) It should not be covered very deep, as it is then liable to rot.
When ready to manufacture, strip your leaf, cut your cane, and press your cane all on the same day if possible, as it presents the souring or fermenting of the juice, and which latter destroys the flavor of the syrup. The plant has a natural aoid which is easily removed, and has been by most people when tasted in the syrup, called scorched; but the fermented plants, or the juice expressed from the latter, cannot be freed from the acid, or at leat our experiments have failed.
Beyond doubt our sugar has as good a body and as firm a crystalization as any of the sugars from our Southern countries, and our sugar, when refined, will oompare with the best now in market.
The sugar I have presented for your examination has been strained through common cloth, and was rather a forced process, and I have no doubt, with improved machinery, I shall be able to present at the next Fair all that can be desired of this plant. All of which I respectfully submit.—J. H. Smith, in Rural Register.
Seed Corn—How to Produce Early Germination.
If you did not, as you have so often been advised to do, save your seed corn by selecting the best ears in the field, don't loose another day but go at one to your corn crib and pick out the handsomest ears that you can find, and store them up in some dry loft, no matter if it is a very smoky one, and as hot as July sun, it won't hurt the vitality of the seed.
It is of the highest importance that your seed should germinate immediately after you plant it. That is of more importance than early planting. Germination can undoubtedly be hastened by artificial means. Dr. Chamberlin of Bureau Co., 111., has made some important discoveries in this direction. The Republican says:
"Last year Dr. Chamberlin of this place
made some practical experiments, and demonstrated that nearly half the time may be saved in germinating the seed by the use of chloride of lime.
Not satisfied with the success of last year, he is again experimenting. In his offico he has four boxes; in the first is corn planted without soaking, and the seed not germinated; in the second the seed was soaked in warm water which has just commenced to germinate, in the third is a seed soaked in a solution of lime, and green blades are just peeping from the ground; in the fourth is a seed soaked in a solution »f chloride of lime and copperas, in equal parts, and the blades are now nearly three inches above the ground. All the seeds were planted at the same time, in the same quality of soil, and taken from the same ear. The boxes have all had an equal share of heat and light, neither allowed the advantage over the other.
This experiment should attract the attention of farmers, We conclude from four to six weeks may be saved by the use of chloride of lime and copperas, which is a matter of no ordinary moment when we reflect that a delay of germination of the seed of two weeks frequently places the crop within reach of the frost in the fall. Another fact of some importance may also be mentioned. The copperas used in soaking will prevent the birds, squirrels, worms, etc., from eating the seed.
Dr. Chamberlin assures us that one pound of chloride of lime and one pound of copperas in water, will soak enough seed for twenty acres. The cost will be but twenty-five cents.— Every farmer could afford to make the experiment, even if he should fail to derive any benefit from it."—N. Y. Tribune.
Dwarf Broom Corn.
[Some time since a new variety of Broom Corn attracted considerable attention and was noticed extensively by the agricultural press. We had seen none of the corn, until this winter, when a specimen was brought to the Agricultural Rooms by Hon. M. K. Young, of the Senate. It gives promise of being a good thing, and as Mr. Young has generously proposed to give us a quantity of the seed for gratuitous distribution, we shall hope to have it thoroughly tested the coming season. The following communication, written at our request, will give the reader an idea of the particulars wherein it differs from the Broom Corn now in cultivation:]
Ed. Farmer :—Pursuant to your request, I submit such considerations relative to the