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Three facks of seed will be found, if good, to weigh 576 pounds, the produce of one acre, on an average; and this feed will yield 144 pints of oil, that is 18 gallons, admitting there is no waste; but some waste must be allowed, therefore I will say 17 gallons.
.. so 17 gallons of this oil are worth
17 The Oil Cake
5 0 See Mr. Van Eys's statement by Dr. Cogan in the 10th vol. of the Society's Papers, Article 28th.
My expences in obtaining this oil are not a proper criterion, perhaps, for those who are in the habit of such a process, as I have had to purchase and erect a crushing mill and press; therefore have not been fufficiently accustomed to the nature of expressing oils to do it on the most economical plan, conse. quently that calculation would be better made by persons more acquainted with that peculiar branch. The mill was purchased for the express purpose of giving your honourable Society all the fatisfaction in my power.
To have “ scarified the green heads, and col. lected the exuding opium," of so large a quantity as stated in the Premium Book, (half an acre) would
have been a very troublesome and expensive process, and in a wet season, such as this has been, I may say impracticable, as the wet would walk away a great part of the exuding juice or milk before it could harden : however, from small experiments I discover but little or no difference in the produce of oil of the feed from heads that have been scarified and those that have not. Slionld the season be favourable for hardening the exuding juice, the opium is not worth the expence of collecting.
There are statements by Dr. Cogan, from Mr. Van Eys, in the 10th vol. of your Papers, very essentially different from the result of my experiments, and which in my opinion require some explanation, My crop last year was the best I ever faw, and produced but about 4 facks of seed per acre. Mr. Van Eys' statement is, that two acres produced 25
facks and 1 bullel of seed! Here the weight should have been named, otherwise it may be leading people into erroneous notions. Their fack in Brabant must be much smaller than ours, or their acre enormously large.
But from the produce of oil, it is pretty evident the former must be the case, as his produce of oil is not proportionably greater per acre than mine. This acre produced four times the number of facks, but only twice the quantity of oil; his fack of feed produced not quite three gallons of oil, whereas mine produced fix. The oil he calculates to be worth from 14 to 16 pence per quart, or mingle ; it is in England worth gs. This difference of price there and here in some measure equalizes the profits. His expences per acre in cropping, harvesting, beating out seed, pressing the oil, &c are 91. 75. mine 151. 1os.
Calculating I have 17 gallons of saleable oil, which is certainly the utmost quantity on the average an acre will produce in this country, at il. per gallon, I have 51. profit ; Mr. Van Eys has 71. 35. 2d. his receipts being £16 10 Expences
9 7 0
Profit 7 3 In the whole it appears that the cultivation of the white poppy
for the sake of its oil would not in this country be sufficiently profitable, taking the average of all seasons, unless the oils of almonds and olives became more scarce than at present. The lowest degree of temperature to which I have had an opportunity of exposing this oil, 28° of Farenheit's Thermometer, did not in the least congeal it, consequently might it not be advantageousy employed for the more delicate mechanical purposes ? The oil cake is very good, and may be used for all purposes that those from other seeds are.
Fowls are extremely fond of it, alone, or mixed with boiled potatoes. Would not this, with the addition of a little farina of any grain, be an excellent article for fattening fowls? The few trials I have given it strongly support the hypothesis. I am, Sir, most respectfully yours,
WILLIAM BOX. Lavington, Wilts, Dec. 1ft, 1812.
NOTWITHSTANDING the above account of the experiments made by Mr. Box does not fully answer the design for which the premium respecting the cultivation of the poppy was proposed, it throws considerable light upon the subject, and is calculated to incite to farther pursuits. The statement of Mr. B. manifests that the quantity of oil expressed from the feed of the white poppy is not less than one quarter of its weight; and the specimen of the oil exhibited lo your Society manifests that from its quality it deserves cvery attention. In my narrative inserted in your roth volume, I was merely an historian of facts: and as the cultivation of the poppy commenced some years after I had left Holland, I have not had an opportuniiy of judging of the quality of its oil. I believe that every Gentleman who has examined the specimen presented to you, will agree with me that it is pure and pleasant, hath the agreeable filavour of the nut, and is for the purposes of the table far superior to most of the olive oils upon sale. This circumstance is very encouraging to the cultivation of it, if the produce should be found to yield a reasonable profit. The above statement does not appear at first view to be encouraging ; but a few observations will, I think, satisfactorily prove that it is not conclusive, and ought not to be final.
Mr. B. informs us that his first crop gave him about four sacks of seed per acre, and his second not more than two facks; and this has induced him to state the average at three sacks per acre. But the trial of two years is not sufficient to establish this average. Contingent circumstances of a peculiar nature, have certainly presented themselves to make so extraordinary a difference as one half of the quantity. These circumstances are not specified. It does not appear whether the poppy was cultivated in the second year upon the same land as in the preceding; if it was, the experiment will only prove that it is not expedient to sow it upon the fame land two years consecutively. If it was upon other land, the difference must be ascribed, either to the inferior quality of the land, or to some peculiarity in the