habit of growing. Were the crops heavier, I have no doubt the price would be lower; because, if 10s. per ton would pay the grower in England, (as I believe it would), it certainly ought to pay in France, where the expenses of every sort are much lighter; and if it does not pay, it is not owing to the low price so much as to want of skill in the grower;—not that I would advise the going into the opposite extreme, of forcing a crop by heavy manuring. A root may in garden culture be forced to an extraordinary size and weight, but of what does this weight consist? Of a great deal of watery matter, worse than useless for sugarmaking, inasmuch as it displaces the saccharine juice so abundant in roots of smaller size. No-where perhaps is beet raised of such vast weight as in the neighbourhood of London. I last year weighed two or three roots, in company with my friend Mr. Philip Taylor, which, if I recollect right, varied from 35 to 38 lbs. each root. The produce of an acre at this rate is enormous ; and yet no man would say that roots like these, are the better for the purposes of sugar-making : certainly not; nay I very much question whether the proportion of sacharine matter in them, would pay for the labour of rasping, boiling, &c., to get at it. It is this propensity of the farmer to force his crops to the utmost, especially in the neighbourhood of large towns, that tends to thwart the views of the manufacturer. His interest and the farmer's are, as we have said, diametrically opposed, if the one buys and the other sells by weight; perhaps a better way would be that adopted by some of buying by number, the manufacturer taking only such sized roots as he likes. In this case, there is no inducement on the part of the farmer to manure over highly, because all the largest roots would either be rejected by the manufacturer, or if taken, would be worth no more to the grower than if of half, or probably one third the size. But to the question of profit and loss.

M. Chaptal calculates that to fit up an establishment capable of manufacturing 10,000 lbs of beet- roots a day, would cost 20,000 francs (£833 6s. 8d.); but he reduces this expence to 16,000 (£666 13s. 4d.), if there is a convenient water-course, and a good wine-press on the premises. He reckons the expences of such an establishment for each day, for roots, (say 12,000 lbs. in order to have 10,000 always ready for the rasp), cleaning and other hand labour, horse work, animal charcoal and fuel at £8, or for the season of 120 days, £960. The charges for refining the sugar are added to, and are totally independent of, the above, but as this is a distinct branch of business, and one by no means advisable for sugar makers in common to enter into, I purposely omit them. Produce of the above 10,000 pounds of root, 210 kilogrammes (4 cwt. 14 lbs.) of brown sugar, worth at market £12 5s.

M. Matthieu de Dombasle has a manufactory calculated to
work up 4,500,000 tons in 150 days.
The first cost of buildings, machinery and uten-

sils (in which are included those necessary
for refining) 70,000 francs, or....

£2916 13 4 The produce and expences of this establishment are not stated here, becase they are so mixed up with refined sugar, with which we have nothing now to do, that they cannot well be separated. may

however be observed, that M. de Dombasle reckons on obtaining 4 per cent of brown sugar, whereas M. Chaptal only admits 3


M. Crespel-Expences on 1000 kilogrammes

(2209 lbs.) Roots (being at 12s. 8d. per ton).. 0 12 6
Labour and other charges

1 0 0


£1 12 6 Produce of 1000 kilogrammes.

5 per cent of brown sugar-50 kil. (110 lbs.) 2 18 4
Molasses-40 kilogrammes (88 lbs.)...... 0 2 8
Pulp-—300 kilogrammes (nearly 6 cwt.). 0 3 9

3 4 9
1 12 6

Deduct expences


Balance profit.

£l 12 3 In the above statement, if the value of the pulp and the molasses (6s. 5d.) be deducted from the expences (£1 12s. 6d.), it will leave £1 6s. ld., which sum divided by 110 (the number of lbs. of sugar) leavesatrifle over 3d. as the cost price of the sugar.

The Duke of Ragusa at Chatillon (1822).—Consumption 8000 kil. (7 tons 17 cwt.) of roots per day, since more than doubled. Daily expences 174 francs

. .£75 0 Daily produce 150 kilogrammes (330 lbs.) brown sugar. 330 lbs. molasses, 14 francs

lls. 8d. 2200 lbs. pulp.... 6 francs

5 0

16 8

Deducting this 16s. 8d. from the expences, £7 5s., leaves 41d. per lb. as the cost of the 330 lbs. of sugar.

M. Cafler, of Douay, though on the small scale of 1000 kilogrammes (2200 lbs.) in 150 days, does not estimate the cost of his brown sugar at more than 3}d to 4d. a pound.

In the above statements, there is only one instance (M. Crespel) in which so large a produce has been obtained, as 5 per cent of sugar upon the gross weight of the raw root; (that is, if the weight of the crop be 20 tons an acre, for example, that of the sugar will be 20 cwt. or 1 ton.) But improvements of late have made such rapid strides, that this is now generally reckoned an average produce in France, and even as high as 6 per cent has been obtained, but as the beet-root, according to my friend Mr. Philip Taylor, actually contains 8 per cent*, who shall say that the maximum of improvement has been arrived at ?




Encouraged by the request in your last number, that all farmers would write when they have any thing to say, I beg leave to make a few observations on a remark in Mr. Johnson's paper on manures. He

" the Essex farmers consider that the good effects of chalk will last a lease, or fourteen years.” The Essex farmers certainly consider the good effects of chalk will last considerably longer on their heavy loams; indeed, it would hardly pay the great expenses necessarily incurred in bringing it from Kent, by water, and carting, in many cases, five and six miles, if the benefit did not last longer, particularly as it does not begin to “work” for two or three years. It is a common saying—" chalk a field well, and it will last a young man's lifetime.” But the question I want answered is, what are the ultimate effects of chalk? That it is “good for the father and bad for the son,” is generally admitted; but, on the other hand, instances are not rare, of fields partly chalked, although so long ago that there is no recollection when, in which the chalked part still holds its superiority. When hard pressed, most farmers will admit their beli that the last state is worse than the first; but it will be a long time first. Certain it is, that land once heavily chalked, say twenty large tumbrils to the acre, will not take clean chalk again. Many farmers tempt it with a compost of chalk, earth, and dung, but in this way the effects of the chalk are very doubtful. In fact, so divided are the opinions on this subject, that while some landlords have constantly prohibited, by heavy penalties, the use of chalk, but permit lime, others encourage it by paying for all the chalk the tenants will cart; but both these cases are rare. In general, with the usual indifference of country gentlemen, the tenants are left to themselves.


* See Farmer's Journal, March 30, 1829.

If Mr. Johnson, or any other of your correspondents will give us, briefly and clearly, the rationale of the use and abuse of chalk, it may be doing some good to my neighbours equally ignorant on the subject with

VITULUS. ROCHFORD, January 30, 1837.




[ocr errors]

Permit me to return my thanks to your excellent correspondent, Mr. Donaldson, for his very sensible and admirable sentiments on the above subject. I agree entirely with him, that, to themselves, and not to Parliament, must the farmers look for any permanent and substantial measure of relief, under whatever difficulties they may happen to labour. The mere fact of the high rents paid in Scotland, and as a matter of course too, without so much as a grumble, or a show of grumbling, speaks volumes in favour of an attention to the best and most improved system of agriculture. It shows at once what may be done by a judicious outlay of skill and capital. Wherein consists the difference between a Scotch and English cultivator? The former pays a rent which would be ruinous to the latter ; and what enables him to pay it ? Unquestionably his superior method of blending the management of stock, with the requisite attention to the best and most profitable mode of cropping, especially that very important branch of it, the cultivation of green crops. I believe the Scotch are unrivalled in this parti

cular department of the business. But while I admit their superiority in this respect, I am free to own, I do not give them equal credit for their system of corn culture, which (I care not what they say to the contrary) must be defective so long as they persevere in the broadcast rather than the drill husbandry, Our Scottish friends and we seem to be completely at cross purposes in this particular. They drill, and we broadcast our turnips. They broadcast, we drill our corn. I recollect very well some pretty strong expressions of Mr. Coke's on this subject, after visiting Mr. Rennie and other crack farmers of Scotland. They were, he said, the best turnip and the worst corn farmers he had ever met with. Of their excellence in the former department he has, ever since that visit, furnished very convincing proofs, by his continued adoption of, and adherence to, the Lothian, or raised drill system of turnip husbandry; but nothing, I think I may confidently assert, would induce him to lay aside the drill for the broadcast sowing of corn crops.

I quite agree with Mr. Donaldson on the pertinacity with which the general run of farmers cling to the habits and practices of their forefathers. At the same time, I am bound to acknowledge, that there are many splendid exceptions, especially on some of our poorest and lightest soils. Perhaps, for example, the light, blowing sands of Norfolk, never were better farmed than at present. To this, the example of Mr. Coke, that pattern of all good farmers, has in no slight degree contributed. Under his judicious management, a regular and systematic adoption of artificial manures has so extended itself, that it is not too much to say, the produce of our inferior soils has been nearly doubled within the last thirty years.

There is another description of soil in this country, on which the most extraordinary changes for the better have been effected. I mean the fens, an immense tract of country, where, within the memory of comparative youngsters, nothing but a very light, inferior oat was attempted to be grown; but which now yields its five, six, and even seven quarters per acre of wheat ! In one parish, within my own knowledge, the breadth of wheat has increased fifty-fold. I will give the name, because it is alike creditable to the landlord (his Grace of Bedford) and his enterprising tenants : nearly the whole parish, as I understand, belonging to him—I mean Thorney, in the Isle of Ely. It affords a striking instance of what may be effected by liberality on the one hand, and well-grounded confidence on the other.

Mr. Donaldson's strictures on farm buildings are but too well founded; and here again it would be well for landlords to

« ForrigeFortsett »