Examined to the depth of one foot, and calculated upon the area of a Swiss juchart = 1.4 Prussian acre, or on 40,000 cubic feet, @ 80 lbs., there were found the following quantities of the principal nutritious substances for plants:

Soluble humus 2^ per cent = 800 hundred weight.

Insoluble humus 6t" = 1800

Alkalies 4£" = 1384

Phosphoric acid \ '• = 160

Carbonic acid { « = 160

Of substances of secondary importance there were found:

Iron 1.10 per cent = 440 hundred weight.

Lime 0.80" = 352

Argillaceous earth 6.80" = 2,720"

Siliceous earth 60." = 23,800

If the analysis had been made of a ricb, long-cultivated soil, quite different and perhaps astonishing figures would have been obtained; at all events, there is not the least reason to apprehend that the soil may be exhausted by continuous nitrogenous manuring. Such quantities as shown by the above analysis will suffice to furnish hundreds of crops with the necesswy mineral nutriments, without taking into consideration what is returned to the soil by regular manuring.

In manuring with 300 cwt. per juchart, the soil receives of the principal nutritious substances for plants:

I. About 60 lbs. of phosphoric acid; II. " 335 " alkalies;

III. " 300 " oalcareous earth, magnesia, iron, &c.;

IV. " 150 " nitrogen.

According to Boussingault, the crops of a regular rotation do not take more mineral substances out of the soil than are returned 10 it by the regular manuring with the stable-manure of the same farm.

The same author's investigations show that the same crops contain more nitrogen than the manure 1hey received: therefore, the crops must have taken their surplus of nitrogen from the atmosphere and the humus in the soil.

Now, if cultivated plants are furnished by the manure with nitrogen more assimilable by the roots than by the organs of their leaves, in order to restore the equilibrium between the roots and leaves, as absoibing organs, they will also absorb more nitrogen, in form of ammonia, from the atmosphere, and, consequently, the yield will be considerably increased.

If cultivated plants are furnished with a surplus of nitrogen, then they are enabled and compelled, through the abundant absorption of the same, to assimilate also more mineral matter, in order to restore, according to their ntture and constitution, the proper prr portion of the inorganic to the organic matter; and thus it is explained why continuous, mere nitrogenous manuring, with a total exclusion of any supply of mineral nutriments, will exhaust and impoverish the soil, after the lapse of years, but surely at last. This is proved by experiments instituted by the most celebrated men of France, Belgium, Holland, Great Britain, and Germany,

With these facts before our eyes, it would be idle if we would, at heavy expense, furnish the soil with those substances by the pound, which it already possesses by the hundred weight, but pay no attention to those substances—such as nitrogen and phosphoric acid—which are indispensable, and of which it never can receive too much;—and the chief of all is the nitrogen.

If we can procure that cheaply, we may look confidently into the future, and rest assured that, if we do not cultivate too imprudently, the productive power will continually increase, and with it the yield of the soil.

Further, if we take into consideration the beneficial influence which ammonia exercises upon the soil, by its dissolving, alkaline properties, and that it, being abundant in th6 soil, furthers the decay, the loosening and dissolution of the same —in a word, the preparation of vegetable nutriment, as Stoeckhardt pertinently says, in such a high degree, there surely can be no objection to our strenuous efforts to enrich our cultivated soil as much as possible with nitrogen.

This solving operation of the ammonia is fully evident from the fact, that notoriously sterile soil, manured exclusively with chemically pure carbonate of ammonia, has been made to produce remunerating crops.

In short, how.i-m.ide manure is the soul of agriculture, and nitrogen the quintessence of manure.

Yet a word or two on the best method of treating liquid manure.

The chief thing in preparing liquid manure is a good reservoir which will allow nothing to leak through, but is as close as possible. If the liquid manure is kept in this way, we will not smell it.

The c ise of liquid manure is known to be similar to that of wine. Grape-must is not yet wine, and has not the same properties. Must is cooling, wine warming, and yet the latter originated from the former.

So it is with liquid manure, if, like must, it ferments in well-closed reservoirs, i. e., if it is completely protected from the access of air. It undergoes a transformation, hardly to be noticed: the lithic and other nitrogenous combinations are decomposed; carbonate of ammonia is formed, which is the same in liquid manure as spirit of wine in wine—the spirit in the matter.

If the liquid manure is kept in such well-closed reservoirs, protected from rain and sun, it will remain unchanged, and may be kept for a long time without losing any appreciable quantity of nitrogen, as wine kept in well-bunged barrels will retain, for a long time, its spirit and aroma.

When liquid manure is hauled upon the field, it soon sinks into the loose soil, and only a trilling evaporation of ammonia may be apprehended, and this may be entirely prevented if the field manured with liquid manure is also plastered forthwith ;—but how would the costs then be?

If volatilization be entirely prevented, the last atom of ammonia has to be saturated with acid; for otherwise the unsaturated ammonia would volatilize, at all events; but this requires such quantities of disinfecting agents that the *osts will not be covered by the increase in yield.

Von Fellenberg has a regularly-constructed reservoir for liquid manure, which holds about 60,000 kilogrammes = 1200 hundred weight of liquid manure, and which generally is filled thrice a year, and of course emptied as many times. As no rain-water can flow in, it is completely concentrated. At a low estimate, we will suppose liquid manure to contain only ^ of one per cent, of ammonia;—different reliable analyses of liquid manure have shown that it often contains from £ of 1 to 1 per cent, of ammonia.

The complete neutralization of the 60,000 kilogrammes (= 1200 hundredweight) of liquid manure would require about 1 per cent, of common sulphuric acid, or about 1,200 pounds; if sulphate of iron should be used, it would require about 3,000 pounds.

Thus the preparation of that amount of liquid manure with sulphuric acid would cost about 540 francs per year; with sulphate of iron, about 900 francs. Can such great expenses be covered by the increase in yield per year? The effect of the liquid manure we cannot suppose to last any longer.

Now, if to manure one juchart (Swiss acre) of grass-land with liquid manure would, at a very moderate estimate, require 45,000 pounds per Prussian acre (=6 pounds per 6-J- square feet), and were we to bring this quantity completely disinfected upon the land, then this maneuver would require 450 pounds of sulphuric acid; thus about 5^ grammes (= 1f drachms) of sulphuric acid would come upon each square foot of ground by pouring on liquid manure but once, and 16^ grammes (= \ ounce nearly) by pouring it on thrice. It is very likely that such a quantity of acid may have an injurious effect upon the land.

Repeated comparative experiments, made by v. Fellenberg, with neutrahzed and non-neutralized liquid manure, did not show the least difference in the yield.

If we investigate more minutely the disinfection of barn-yard manure and of liquid manure, we must observe a very essential difference.

In the case of barn-yard manure, which easily becomes heated, and, lying in the open air, is exposed to all atmospheric influences, disinfection is much more necessary than in the case of liquid manure, which, containing much water, becomes less heated, or not at all, and therefore should be kept hermetically. At all events, the admixture of a chemical fixing agent to barn-yard manure appears to be more necessary, more effective, and therefore more important, than the disinfection of liquid manure.

Besides, the results of vilriolizing liquid manure, formerly much in vogue in Switzerland, have shown that vitriolized liquid manure has an injurious effect upon the soil, and that the continuous use of it has completely impoverished grass-land formerly very productive. This result has never been observed where the common liquid manure was used.

Since grass-land spoiled, or, as it were, poisoned with vitriolized liquid manure, can be made productive again only by being plowed and cultivated for several years, this should cause us to infer that the soil was overcharged with acid and iron, which substances could not be well digested because the soil was closed by the grass-sod. At all events, it is the reason why this method of preparing liquid manure is more and more discarded.

On the contrary, all farmers in Western Switzerland, having, as also v. Fellenberg has done, adopted the method of Mr. Huenerwadel, of Schinznach, a bathingplace in the canton of Aargau, hitherto derived only favorable and in no way unfavorable results from preparing liquid manure with plaster; and the discoverer of this new method of manuring can show by figures that he has reaped crops yielding from 40 to 50-fold, although the seed had been sown sparingly.

That we are not disposed to disparage the value of artificial fertilizing agents, I may quote from another writer, in an essay "On the Practicability of using the Spade in cultivating larger Estates," to which the General Agricultural Society of the Kingdom of Hanover awarded the prize:

"The manure produced on the farm itself is always the most natural fertilizing agent of the land. Before artificial manure is purchased, all possible available sources for making manure upon the farm should first be exhausted; but then it should not be delayed any longer, and, if necessary, the money should be borrowed from the banker to buy the necessary manure.

"Favorable results cannot be doubted.

"Although artificial manure, guano and Chili saltpeter will not fully supplant animal manure, yet they are of great importance, as purchasable and easily transportable additional manure, for aiding the growth of sparse and damaged crops, and for being used on far remote and impassable fields, and on lands or real estates whose fertility shall be increased, and be perpetuated in a considerable degree, in a short space of time. Another reason for purchasing artificial manures is their favorable effect upon the production of straw, so that a farm, by applying such agents, will be benefited not only transiently, by this increase of nutritious matter for the plants, but also permanently, by an increased production of straw and manure. Further, we acknowledge that the adage 'Time is money' is equally applicable in respect to the realization of the capital invested in manure, and, according to circumstances, should be the rule of every thinking and calculating agriculturist."

Finally, then, we are convinced, in an agricultural technical as well as national economical point of view, that every farmer, wherever he may till the soil, may secure, by the above described preparation of his manure with plaster, a neverfailing but always increasing source upon his own premises, from which may be derived (if he appreciates his task correctly, and this according to the above calculation) by 90 per cent, cheaper than by using all artificial fertilizing agents hitherto in general use.

All practical agriculturists should ponder over this, and try it; and it is desirable that every learned man in this branch should carefully examine this material, for the purpose of further developing the method initiated by v. Fellenberg; but the proof of our assertion must hold good, not only in the laboratory, but in practice.



The books and periodicals for years past differ greatly in the proportion of sulphuric acid requiied for di-solving bones.

In the Patent Office Report of 1856, Mr. Brown recommended five pounds of acid to 100 pounds of bones, and to compost them with muck.

Prof. Gi1m;in, of Virgiuia Military Institute, in The Country Gentleman of 28th October, 1858, refers to an article of Prof Norton, which recommends 50 or 60 pounds for whole bones, and 25 to 45 for ground bones, and adds that he (Prof. Gilman) found even 100 pounds of acid was not sufficient to di; solve 100 pounds of bones. The. real state of the case is, that if it be desired to dissolve all the phosphates in 100 pounds of bones, or about two bushels, we must apply 59 pounds of sulphuric acid whose specific gravity is 1 85 diluted with three times its weight of water; and to effect a complete solution, they must be frequently stirred during three or four weeks. If the bones be whole, it will require many months to dissolve all their pho-phates. If it be desired to dissolve a part only, a less proportion may be used. My own opinion is, the less acid the more economical to the farmer in the long run.

We must not omit to count the cost of applying sulphuric acid to bones, which of course will be modified by the proportions used. Let us first ascertain the cost of effecting a complete solution of the phosphate of lime in bones:

1st. 1C0 lbs. of ground bones, costing 81 46

59 lbs. of sulphuric acid (3 cents) 1 77

We should add for l ibor and the cost of a vat or tub, which is

soon destroyed, freight on acid, &c 08

Total S3 31

2d. If we use acid sufficient to dissolve half the bones, the cost will be as follows:

100 lbs. bones 81 46

3O lbs. sulphuric acid (3 cents) 90

Labor as before 08

Total 82 44

As a bushel of bones will average in weight 45 pounds, we have to dedu:t 55 per cent, to get at the cost of one bushel; therefore,

One bushel fully dissolved will cost S1 49

One bushel half dissolved will cost 1 10

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