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being undermined by the running water. He has not used the plough for opening his trenches, for the reason that all his work has been let out by contract, and the men have opened them by the spade; charging from twelve and ahalf to fifteen cents per rod for opening and making the bottom ready for the tile. The laying and filling was done by the owner.

“ His ditches are dug only two and a-half feet deep, and thirteen inches wide at the top, sloping inward to the bottom, where they are just wide enough to take the tile. One main drain, in which are placed two four-inch tiles set eight inches apart, with an arch-piece of tile having a nineinch span set on top of them, was dug three and a-half and four feet deep, and this serves as a conduit for the water from a large system of laterals. Drains should never be left open in winter, for the dirt dislodged by frequent frosts so fills the bottom that it will cost five or six cents per rod to clear them; and, moreover, the banks often become so crumbled away that the ditch cannot be straddled by a team of horses, and thus most of the filling must be done by hand. Mr. Johnston, in draining a field, commences at the foot of each ditch, and works, up to the head. He opens his mains first, and then the lateral or small drains, but he lays the tiles in the laterals, and fills them completely, before laying the pipe in the mains. The object of this is to prevent the accumulation of sediment in the mains which would naturally be washed from the laterals on their first being laid. By commencing at the foot of each ditch, and working upward, he can always get and preserve the regular fall, which may be dictated by the features of his field, more easily than by working toward the outlet. A little practice teaches the ditchers how to preserve the grade almost as well as if

gauges were employed; but before laying the tiles, the instrument is applied to test the bottoms thoroughly. The necessity of this precaution will be apparent to any one who reflects that if a tile or two in the course of a ditch be set much too high or too low at either end, the water quickly forms a basin beneath and around, sediment is washed into the adjoining pipe, and ultimately even the whole bore is filled and the drain stopped. When this happens, it will be indicated after a time by the water appearing at the surface of the ground above the spot-drawn upward by capillary attraction. In such a case the ditch must be reopened and the tile relaid.

“Mr. Johnston says tile-draining pays for itself in two seasons, sometimes in one. Thus, in 1847, he bought a piece of ten acres to get an outlet for his drains. It was a perfect quagmire, covered with coarse aquatic grasses, and so unfruitful that it would not give back the seed sown upon it. In 1848, a crop of corn was taken from it, which was measured, and found to be eighty bushels per acre, and as, because of the Irish famine, corn was worth $1 per bushel that year, this crop paid not only all the expense of drainage, but the first cost of the land as well.

"Another piece of twenty acres, adjoining the farm of the late John Delafield, was wet, and would never bring more than ten bushels of corn per acre. This was drained at a great cost, nearly $30 per acre. The first crop after this was 83 bushels and some odd pounds per acre. weighed and measured by Mr. Delafield, and the County Society awarded a premium to Mr. Johnston. Eight acres and some rods of this land, at one side, averaged 94 bushels, or the trifling increase of 84 bushels per acre over what it would bear before those insignificant clay tiles were buried in the ground. But this increase of crop is not the only profit of drainage; for Mr. Johnston says that on drained land one-half the usual quantity of manure suffices

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to give maximum crops. It is not difficult to find a reason for this. When the soil is sodden with water, air cannot enter to any extent, and hence oxygen cannot eat off the surfaces of soil-particles and prepare food for plants; thus the plant must in great measure depend on the manure for sustenance, and of course the more this is the case, the more manure must be applied to get good crops.

This is one reason, but there are others which we might adduce if one good one were not sufficient.

“Mr. Johnston says he never made money until he drained, and so convinced is he of the benefits accruing from the practice, that he would not hesitate-as he did not when the result was much more uncertain than at present-to borrow money to drain. Drains well laid endure, but unless a farmer intends doing the job well, he had best leave it alone, and grow poor, and move out West, and all that sort of thing. Occupiers of apparently dry land are not safe in concluding that they need not go to the expense of draining, for if they will but dig a threefoot ditch in even the dryest soil, water will be found in the bottom at the end of eight hours, and if it does come, then draining will pay for itself speedily. For instance, Mr. Johnson had a lot of thirteen acres on the shore of the lake, where the bank at the foot of the lot was perpendicular to the depth of thirty or forty feet. He supposed from this fact, and because the surface seemed very dry, that he had no need to drain it. But somehow he lost his crops continually, and as he had put them in as well as he knew how, he naturally concluded that he must lay some tile. So he engaged an Irishman to open a ditch, with a proviso, that if water should come into it in eight hours, he would drain the entire piece. The top. soil was so hard and dry as to need an application of the pick, but at the depth of a foot it was found to be so wet and soft that a spade could

easily be sunk to the entire depth of the handle. The ditches were made, and in less than the specified time, a brave lot of water flowed in. The piece was thoroughly drained, and the result was an immense crop of corn. The field has regularly borne 60 to 70 bushels since. Corn was planted for a first crop in this and the preceding instances, because a paying crop is obtained in one year, whereas, if wheat were sown, it would be necessary to wait two seasons. He always drains when the field is in grass, if possible, for the ditches can be made more easily; and spring is chosen that the labor may not be interfered with by frosts.

" To show how necessary it is to avoid planting trees over drains, we quote a case in point. In a lot adjoining his house are four large elms, which are marked to be felled, and for the reason that the lot was formerly so wet that a pond of water stood upon it in winter, and throughout the season the children skated and slid upon it. It was drained, and all went well for a time; but after three years Mr. Johnston found that his drains did not discharge properly, and that in certain places the water came to the surface, so as to destroy or greatly lessen the crop above them. He could not account for the circumstance until he dug down to the drain at each of these spots, when, to his surprise, he found the tile completely choked with fibrous roots of the elms, which, naturally seeking the subterranean supply of water, had so accumulated in mass as to stop a two-inch bore of tile.

“Mr. Johnston does not think there are a hundred acres in any neighborhood that do not need draining, and would not pay well for it. Perhaps this may be thought an extreme assertion, but it is nearer the fact than most of us have been aware. Mr. Johnston is no rich man who has carried a favorite hobby without regard to cost or profit. He is a hard-working Scotch farmer who commenced a poor man, borrowed money to drain his land, has gradually extended his operations, and is now reaping the benefits, in having crops of forty bushels of wheat to the acre. He is a gray-haired Nestor, who, after accumulating the experience of a long life, is now, at seventy-five years of age, written to by strangers in every State of the Union for information, not only in drainage matters, but all cognate branches of farming. He sits in his homestead a veritable Humboldt in his way, dispensing information cheerfully through our agricultural papers, and to private correspondents, of whom he has recorded 164 who applied to him last year. His opinions are, therefore, worth more than those of a host of theoretical men, who write without practice. He says that the retrogression of our agriculture in the older States is to be accounted for in our lack of drainage, poor feeding of stock, which results in giving a small quantity of poor manure, and in not keeping enough to make manure. He applies 100 loads of manure to the acre at the beginning of a rotation, and this lasts throughout the course. He learned from his grandfather that no farmer could afford to keep any animal that did not improve on his hands, and that as soon as it was. in good marketable condition it should be sold, and replaced by another. This theory he has always carried out, and, as a natural consequence, has always got higher prices for his beef stock, and a ready market even in the dullest times.

Although his farm is mainly devoted to wheat, yet a considerable area of meadow and some pasture has been retained. He now owns about 300 acres of land. The yield of wheat has been 40 bushels this year, and in former seasons, when his neighbors were reaping 8, 10, or 15 bushels, he has had 30 and 40. We are informed by him that there has been no such crop as the present since 1845, either in yield or quality; and the absence of weevil

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