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follow the example set them by Mr. Coke, the Marquis of Stafford, and other great proprietors, who have, as almost the first and indispensable step to improvement, given their tenants buildings not merely useful and substantial, but well arranged, and often splendid. What higher incitement to the display of industry and skill on the part of a tenant than such an outfit? Go through the county of Norfolk, and you cannot mistake the farm premises belonging to the Holkham estate, to hardly one of which will be found attached any thing like bad or slovenly farming. Every landlord ought to possess the book descriptive of the “Marquis of Stafford's Improvements in Sutherland, &c.,' in which are to be found models of buildings adapted to farms of every size. Loudon's “Encyclopedia of Architecture,” also exhibits a series of similar designs. No landed proprietor should be without this excellent practical work.
ON GYPSUM AS A MANURE.
The subject of Gypsum as a top dressing for clover, appears to have sustained a revival, if I may be allowed the expression, in some of our agricultural districts, particularly the East Anglian; from whence there has lately issued, I will not say a deputation, but a visitation to some of the counties where it is now in use, and, if report speaks true, in deservedly high repute. One gentleman, a neighbour of mine, brought with him from Hants, a small quantity, which, on his return, he applied to a clover layer ; soil, light and dry; and the effect was soon very apparent in the darker green exhibited by the part so dressed. I perfectly well remember the subject of gypsum being brought forward at the Holkham sheep-shearing in 1818, by the late Mr. Benjamin Holdich, (afterwards editor of the Farmer's Journal), who detailed many interesting particulars of the use of it in America, twenty years previous to that period. The following letter was addressed to him by a friend of his in the United States.
“I do not recollect” says the writer, “what was the state of agriculture when you left the United States; whether plaster
of Paris" (gypsum) “was in general use or not. Certain it is, that article has changed the whole face of the country since our first landing in 1793. All the eastern, or maritime, part of this state was in a great measure exhausted, and worth comparatively little. About twelve years ago, the best lands in Chester and Montgomery counties could be bought from £10 to £12 per acre; but such has been the effect of this stone, where pulverized and sown, that the same lands have been sold at £50, £60, and £70 per acre, by the farm, with the buildings thereon. During the late war, this article could not be brought from Canada, which set our own people of the west to explore the country about the smaller lakes in the New York state. Thomas Cooper our countryman, formerly Counsellor, but now Judge Cooper, from Manchester, about seven years ago visited the Falls of Niagara, and being skilled in mineralogy, he carefully examined the countries about the great Lakes, and pronounced that he had discovered genuine plaster, or gypsum, and exhibited specimens on his return. When the country, by the war, was deprived of this article from the usual source, the account of Mr. Cooper was remembered, and in a short time they discovered immense beds of it about the small lakes of New York, particularly the Cayuga and Seneca lakes, not far from the head waters of the east branch of the Susquehanah. Thousands of tons were quickly transported down that great river, and distributed, by means of its tributary streams and its communication with the Chesapeake, to the whole eastern parts of Pennsylvania, and to all Delaware and Maryland, and by the Potomac to Washington and Virginia. The advantages are incalculable ; enriching and fertilizing the whole country in an astonishing mannermillions of acres, which never could have had the benefit of this plaster from Canada on account of the expence, will now be restored to better condition than when originally cleared, which would otherwise have been good for almost nothing.”—Lebanon, May 1, 1817.
In 1819 the first trial of it took place at Holkham, under the direction of Mr. Blackie and Mr. Holdich, on part of a field of sainfoin, from which it was thought full one third more had been mown than on the part undressed. The powder was applied by the drill, and its effects might be seen to an inch, even at a great distance. Mr. Coke used six bushels an acre. He procured the gypsum from Derbyshire, delivered at Wells, (the adjoining port), at 30 shillings a ton. Mr. Holdich took con,
NEW SERIES, VOL. I, No. 1.
siderable pains on that occasion to impart such information as he possessed respecting its use and properties, and, among other things, stated the necessity of reducing the stone to powder without baking, as it had been ascertained that the action of fire was decidedly injurious to the gypsum as a manure.
He observed that there were several varieties of gypsum,
but there is little difference in their effect as manure. The Newark he reckoned as good as any. “It is,” observes Mr. Holdich, “ most immediately serviceable on land of a dry, gravelly, or sandy nature, and is most exceedingly useful to an old sainfoin layer, as has been proved at Holkham. Where clover fails, having formerly succeeded, it will restore the crop; and for this purpose it would be proper to sow on the barley, when the newly sown clover is just getting into the broad leaf. Probably it might not be so efficacious on land of a limestone bottom, if the soil be deep and mellow ; at any rate it can do no good where it is not wanted ; that is to say, on good soils that are plentifully dressed with good farm-yard compost and pulverized bones : lastly, on a clover ley in spring, that looks pining and yellow, a dressing of this powder will almost double the crop. In this case it should be sown about May-day, and early in the morning, or in moist weather.” Mr. Loudon in his Encyclopedia of Agriculture, says, “Gypsum has been much used in America, where it was first introduced by Franklin on his return from Paris, where he had been much struck with its effects. He sowed the words, This has been sown with Gypsun, on a field of lucern, near Washington: the effects astonished every passenger; and the use of the manure quickly became general and signally efficacious.”—P. 847.
“It is possible,” adds Mr. Loudon, “that lands which have ceased to bear good crops of clover or artificial grasses, may be restored by being manured with gypsum. This substance, ' he says, “is found in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, &c., and requires only pulverization for its preparation.”—Ib. p. 847.
On the whole it appears to be most efficacious as a top dressing for clover, sainfoin, or lucern crops; and the quantity may vary from 4 to 8 bushels an acre.
I have heard of its being successfully applied to other crops, as wheat, turnips, &c. Of the latter crop, I have read some** za account, of every alternate row being manured with
and that the difference between the dressed and un
dressed rows was very striking. Any of your readers who have tried its effects on these and other plants, will do a public good by publishing their observations thereon, and at the same time confer a favour on,
A NORFOLK FARMER. NORFOLK, March 10th, 1837.
ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
BY MR. TOWERS.
(Concluded from page 432, vol, x.)
Two or three days after I had closed my last article, I was favoured with the sight of a paper containing the results of a very well conducted experiment upon the two species of wheat alluded to by me, (see page 430, No. 42). As I can place implicit confidence on the report, and know the party to be a clergyman of high respectability, I cannot refrain from extracting a considerable portion of the manuscript.
If the limited extent of the trial form an objection, the precision of the report will show how an experiment upon a much larger scale might be instituted and observed ; much light might thus be thrown upon hitherto intricate subjects, by the exercise of a little patient assiduity; and the agricultural body would acquire certainty upon doubtful points, were the results accurately reported :
“ October 10, 1835.-Four rows of Egyptian wheat sown; the
seeds 7 inches apart, dibbled in ; 2 inches deep in three of
the rows, and 3 inches deep in the fourth row only. “ February 9, 1836.—Three other rows of Egyptian wheat, 3
inches apart, two inches deep, as a comparative trial be
tween the two seasons. “ October 10, 1835.-One row of brown Dantzic wheat, 26
seeds, 6 inches apart, 2 inches deep ; 21 plants left in April, when the rows were weeded, and the soil trodden firm.
“ Idem.-One row, same wheat, 14 seeds, 12 inches apart, 2
inches deep ; 13 plants left.” These two rows form the subject of the tabular arrangement which will follow the annexed remarks.
“The Dantzic far surpassed the Egyptian in the number of tillers, there having been, (when counted in June), from one root of the fourth row, 52 shoots or tillers, and from another root in the second row, 40 tillers. The Egyptian did not produce, on an average, more than six tillers. İn the double row, at three inches apart, the average was not more than five tillers from a root.
“ The Egyptian wheat, sown in February, 1836, was not so forward as the other. Some accidents occurred, the plants were blighted, and birds made havoc with the grain ; so that the experiment was not carried on beyond July 22, when the two rows of brown Dantzic wheat were found to have produced the results detailed below :
Return of Dantzic Wheat. 19 plants from 26 seeds remained. These yielded 300 ears, each ear containing 27 grains.
13 plants from 14 seeds. These yielded 350 ears, each containing 32 grains.
Row of 19 plants, from seeds sown six inches apart. Total, 300 ears x 27 grains = 8100 grains 19 roots 426 grains from one root. Row of 13 plants, from seeds sown twelve inches apart. Total, 350 ears X 32 grains =11,200 grains • 13 roots = 861 grains each.
300 ears - by 19 roots=16 ears from each root, very nearly. 350 ears - by 13 roots=27 ears from each root, very nearly.
Comparison. 19 roots X 16 ears = 304 X 27 grains = 8208. 19 roots x 27 ears = 513 X 32 grains = 16,416.
“And these totals show that the produce of wheat sown twelve inches asunder, to be exactly double that of seed sown six inches asunder, as exemplified by the tillering of the two single rows as above.”
I need not offer any observations upon the merit of an experiment so minutely registered; but there is one point which