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Even the heavy seeding in this latter does not seeni very much, when just a tenth of an acre, say, is considered, and this would make a very good beginning, especially for a permanent pasture.
It seems hardly necessary at this time to record the different treatments pursued in our experimental work, as the seed were only put in in September.
There are twenty-four one-twentieth acre plots in permanent pasture, under twelve different treatments as to cultivation, manuring, &c., and twelve plots of the same size in hay mixture.
ON VARIETIES OF COTTON (SO-CALLED).
Rather more than an acre of land adjoining this was used this year for a test of varieties of cotton. We could not go extensively into this, but we selected a few of the most highly recommended varieties. They were really not all different varieties, but by careful selection and culture cach was considered to be entitled to special merit. We wished to see practically what advantage, if any, we would gain by using one kind of seed in preference to another. The land had a considerable slope, with a northern exposure, and was very liable to wash, in heavy rains, especially in the middle. Seeds from tive different sources were planted :
1. Peterkin, of which much has been said. Seed presented by R. M. Clafly, Fort Mott, S. C.
2. Some seed sent by Mr. T. J. King, Louisburg, and clained by him to have certain excellent characteristics.
3. Ozier Silk, and 4, Peerless—both bought of Mr. James H. Enniss, editor N. C. Farmer.
5. Seed presented by Mr. W. G. U'pchurch, Raleigh.
An ammoniated superphosphate was sowed broadcast over the whole, and to insure that it was evenly done, it was exactly weighed out for every two rows and carefully applied. The rows were three feet apart, and to secure uniformity, the land was checked off and five seeds dropped every two feet in the row. A tolerably good stand was secured without replanting, and finally only one plant was left two feet apart in the row. Each sample of seed was planted in two adjacent rows and was separated from two other similar rows by the other four kinds, cight rows in all, and besides the order was so varied that the same kinds were not always together. This gave sixteen double rows of each, occupying different portions of the field. The ground could not be gotten ready to plant before the 15th of May, and this, with the wet spring, kept a large number of bolls, estimated at fully one-third, from opening, so that the total yield is of little value, and it may seem rather unjust to give the results at all, but they represent relatively the yield from each under like unfavorable conditions for all.
TEST OF SO-CALLED " VARIETIES"
ACTUAL WEIGHT OBTAINED
CORRECTED YIELD PER ACRE.
The time of ripening and the per cent. of each picked at the times stated is as follows:
It must be remembered, however, that if the crop had been planted earlier and all or more of the bolls matured, the yields might, and probably would have been, proportionately different.
The yields of seed cotton and cotton seed in the first two columns are not strictly comparable on account of their not being exactly the same stand in each. For this reason the number of plants of each kind were counted and a “corrected” yield per acre given, in which it is assumed there was a perfect stand of one plant every two feet apart in rows three feet wide.
ON SOME NEW FORAGE CROPS.
Some different forage crops of unknown or doubtful value to this State were grown in one-twentieth acre plots on the site of an old garden spot (there had formerly been two houses on the farm land). Among these were several sent out by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Spergulum Maxima, Vicira Velosa Ieradella, puff beans and other Russian forage crops, and blue and yellow lupins, none of which seemed in this year's work to be especially worthy of our further attention. Alsike clover came very late to put in, and so far has not amounted to much, under the conditions which prevailed. Some lucerne or alfalfa did much better, was cut twice and has stood the winter well.
We also put in some German millet, millo maize and sorghum for fodder, all of which are well deserving especial attention.
It is our wish to have growing side by side on small plots all of our own forage plants, under good treatment and cultivation, iv addition to those of doubtful or unknown value to the State. We would be pleased if any of the farmers of the State would make us suggestions and furnish us seed of forage crops that will likely prove of value to the State.
We put in some upland rice, from which a fairly good yield was secured, notwithstanding the fact that it was planted late. Some Sea Island cotton also produced very large plants, five or six feet high, containing a great number of bolls, but they did not open until after frost. It will be planted in 1887 again, very much earlier.
ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF POOR OR WORN OUT SOILS
A piece of land was selected of rather more than one acre with a very poor, rocky soil, presenting what might perhaps be called an average “poor soil” of the State. On this it was decided to test the two methods of improving such lands, green manuring against commercial fertilizers, and at the same time test the different ways of treating the manuring crops.
The question presenting itself was this: here was a soil which, in its present condition, without the aid of fertilizers, manure or similar artificial treatment, would not, it was said, yield cotton plants “big enough to see."
Still a chemical analysis of the soil would undoubtedly have shown the presence of enough plant food, contained in a few inches in depth of soil, for a great many average crops of cotton.
. But as this food was not in condition to be taken up, the cotton plants would actually starve in the presence of and in the immediate contact with an abundance of food material.
Shall we send to Germany for their potash salts, to the phosphate beds for their phosphoric acid, and to the sea-coast for the nitrogen of dried fish, and apply it to the land for our crops? Or shall we follow nature's method of green manuring, giving her time and assistance in rendering available enough of her plant-food for our immediate wants? In other words, shall we apply artificial fertilizers to the soil, or put the land down in clover or peas, which are known to improve such soils when once they get a foothold?
Both ways are to be tested, side by side, on the farm, but it is considered unnecessary at this time to give the details of the work which has necessarily but just been commenced.
To get the land in shape and to gain an idea of the even character of the yield which might be expected in different portions of the field, under similar conditions of treatment, exposure, &c., the soil was plowed to a depth of about six inches, the land harrowed with a light smoothing harrow and rows run off in the most careful manner, just three feet apart, and bedded
Cow peas (“clay” variety) were dropped by hand, four being dropped as nearly as could be, every foot apart in the row. This was on the 18th of May. No manure had been applied to the land since the previous year, nor was any added during their growth. The growth was slow, the vines not being ready to cut for fodder until August 30.
There were very few peas—not enough to warrant their being saved separately—but the vines attained a fairly good size, completely hiding the ground except in a few places. Just before being harvested the land was accurately laid off in plots of one twentieth acre each, separated by a walk of five feet on all sides. These plots have been laid down in permanent experiments on the improvement of the soil of this particular field, comparing side by side the method of artificial fertilizers and manure, and of natural or green manuring.
There is a great difference of opinion among practical farmers as to the proper method of green manuring. With peas, for instance, we find opinions differ as to whether they will get better results if the vines are plowed in while green, are allowed to lie on the ground as a mulch to be turned under in the early spring, or whether, as many contend, they can get as good results by removing the vines for fodder, allowing only the roots and stubble to remain intact. This difference of opinion is due