The Farmer's Magazine, Vol. 23 PDF ePub eBook

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The Farmer's Magazine, Vol. 23 free pdf Excerpt from The Farmer's Magazine, Vol. 23: Second Series, January to June, 1851 It has been shown, amongst other important facts, that the ideas entertained by the farmers of a by-gone generation, with regard to the mode in which a fertilizer increases the growth of a plant, were generally incorrect, and not seldom worse than useless, as leading to the adoption of unmeaning attempts and false principles of action. That the food consumed by an animal furnished all the ingredients of which that animal is composed, is a self-evident conclusion, to which the learned physician very readily and at a very early period arrived. He could not, for instance, attribute the origin of the bones of animals to any other source than to the animal and vegetable matters on which they fed - that is, chiefly to the phosphate of lime contained in their daily bread. He found, too, in certain diseases where this salt was ill-supplied to the growing animal, that its bones became soft- his reason, therefore, suggested to him a ready cure. He gave, and with success, to such ricketty patients a supply of either the flour of bone, or ivory dust, or of some other substance in which this essential salt of bones abounds- and this he did because he found that by such treatment the patient assimilated a larger proportion of this "bore earth." The bones, therefore, were hardened - the cure completed. In the same way it was noted that when poultry were confined in situations where they could not obtain access to calcareous matters, that then they laid their eggs without shells. It was found by every house-wife to be a ready cure for this malformation, to give them a supply of the chalk or carbonate of lime, of which these shells are almost entirely composed, and which it is evident they could not generate for the purpose. All these things, in the case of animals, was very soon perceived, the cause was reasoned upon- the deficient salt successfully supplied. But it was much longer before men began to apply this chain of reasoning to the wants of cultivated plants, and the deficiency of the soil on which these cultivated crops of the farmer grew. To them a different kind of reasoning was directed. It was imagined that plants generated, as it were, their own ingredients - that is, formed by some unknown process all their earthy and saline ingredients, and of the air which surrounded or the water which nourished them- and although it was in a very early period seen that plants contained a considerable portion of these earthy and saline matters, yet few useful attempts were made to prove to the farmer that these ingredients being furnished by the soil to the plant, so, in consequence, those soils which could not yield them were the "poor soils" of the farmer, and those which could copiously supply them were the "rich soils." Rather than arrive at this practically useful conclusion, all kinds of erroneous or unmeaning reasons were employed. It was said, for instance, that the inferior soils were "too hot," or "too cold-" that the application of manure "cooled" the first and "warmed" the last. No one deemed it more rational to acknowledge that, as the animal procured all the ingredients of which its substance was composed from the vegetables which formed its food, so these plants must, in their turn, procure their fixed, that is, earthy or saline materials, from the soil on which they grew, and that when these were exhausted by successive crops then the ground would become less productive, or barren - rather than adopt this very useful conclusion, all kinds of mere verbiage was employed. It was said that the ground was "tired," that it wanted "rest" and when it was accidently found out that the use of crushed bones was a powerful manure for turnips on the light soils of England- and, further, when it was proved by the chemist that the bones were composed of one-half of their weight of phosphate of lime, and that this was an essential and abounding ingredient

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Author : Unknown Author
Publisher : Forgotten Books
Data Published : 27 September 2015
ISBN : 1330250788
EAN : 9781330250785
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 598 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
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