Pineapple Culture Lecture.

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Title:
Pineapple Culture Lecture.
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Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
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Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida -- Experimentation.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Brazil -- Minas Gerais.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
Citrus fruit industry -- Brazil.
Leprosy -- Research -- Brazil.
Minas Gerais (Brazil) -- Rural conditions.
Escola Superior de Agricultura e Veterinaria do Estado de Minas Gerais.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
University of Florida. Herbarium.

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Ble1d and Bene
Muriate *f Potash






























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S lphIate f potash, Low Grade


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PINEAPPLE FERTILIZERS




BY P. H. ROLFS




CLMkON ,C'LL^bg & a,













REPRINTED FROM THE PROCEEDINGS OF
THE TWELFTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY,
1899.


gt~Be~83Ma3f~)3axe^:M^)^C-r^^^a?^^3
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PINEAPPLE FERTILIZERS.


Geology and Soils of the Lower East Coast-Discordant Views of the Growers-Interesting
and Valuable Tests Instituted by the State Experihient Station-Great
Number of Formulae Tried.
-;c---

Preliminary Talk by Professor P. H. Rolfs, of the State Experiment Station, Lake City.


[See minutes, pages 1 to 5, item 66.]


Pineapple growing in Florida on an ex-
tensive scale is probably the youngest
branch of horticultural industry in the State.
For many years the growing of pines on a
commercial scale was confined to the Keys
and the West Indies. Various attempts
were made to grow pineapples on the main
land of Florida, but these all proved more
or less unsuccessful. I will not attempt to
enumerate the causes for failure in this di-
rection, but I may be permitted to mention
in passing that the extension of the railroad
down tht East Coast is by no means the
least important factor in developing this in-
dustry in that section. Of course pineap-
ples were grown at various points along
the East Coast before railroad communica-
tins were established, but the industry was
carried on on a limited scale. The rapid
transportation of fruit to Northern markets
has stimulated the production.

GEOLOGICAL ORIGIN OF THE SOIL.
Geologists tell us that only a few periods
of geological history have passed since
Florida began to be. They tell us that the
whole southern extremity of Florida, espe-


cially along the East Coast, has been grad-
ually brought out by the sea. Coraline de-
posits in the ocean grew high enough to
arrest the waves and form breakers. Upon
these were deposited sand which finally
grew high enough to make bars and islands.
By the action of the wind the sand was
carried higher, making our spruce pine
land. By visiting our beaches we may see
today where new land is being formed.
This is bound into place and retained by
the action of the beach plants, such as
morning glorys and grasses. After these
have flourished for a period of years the
soil finally becomes suitable for palmetto
scrub. After many years of growth the
palmetto scrub adds enough humus to the
soil to permit the spruce pine to form a
forest. After these have grown for many
decades the wood, falling limbs, cones and
debris generally give fertility enough to the
soil to grow scrubs-either the pine scrub,
the hickory scrub or some other form.

PINEAPPLE LAND.
In pineapple growing as in other forms
of horticulture the tiller of the soil has had







FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


to learn by dear experience what kind of
land was best adapted to this particular
crop. Our veteran pineapple grower, Capt.
Richards, has told us repeatedly how he
attempted to grow pineapples upon the
moist and fertile island soil. Finally ending
in failure and almost despair, he planted a
few upon the sandridge on the west bank
of Indian river at Eden. To his surprise
this soil proved exactly what the pines
wanted. From this small beginning we
may say that practically the whole pineap-
ple industry on the spruce pine land of the
Indian river section had its origin.

FERTILIZERS. .
In visiting the various sections of the In-
dian river country during 1897 diligent in-
quiries were made of the principal pineapple
growers as to what forms of fertilizer they
would recommend for use on pineapples.
The inquiry ended in finding out that very
few people agreed on using the same fer-
tilizing substances. Those who mixed their
own fertilizers seemed to be as much in
doubt in regard to the action of particular
substances as any one else. By far the
greater number of pineapple growers, how-
ever, seemed to be depending upon ready
mixed formulae for their use, the composi-
tion of these being in no case known. While
the fertilizer houses always appended the
percentage of nitrogen, potash and phos-
phoric acid present, there was no evidence
as to the origin of the nitrogen, potash or
phosphoric acid.
A few points in connection with fertiliz-
ing pineapples seem to be admitted by a
considerable number of pineapple growers.
However, there was no one form of nitro-
gen which was accepted by a majority of
the extensive growers; and the same was
true of potash and phosphoric acid. It was


not difficult to find pineapple growers of
more than local reputation who would con-
demn a certain form or forms of ammonia,
and their neighbors would condemn certain
other forms and probably advocate the use
of the forms condemned by the first neigh-
bor. By compiling the opinions of various
growers every form of ammonia was con-
demned and the opposite of the proposi-
tion was also true; that is, every form of
affmonia had its advocates. The same was
true of potash. Acid phosphate was quite
generally considered a bad fertilizer. Of
course everybody fertilized and everybody
was dissatisfied with the action of certain
forms of fertilizers. Very few were entirely
satisfied with the forms of fertilizer that
they were using, and tie greater number of
those who were satisfied with their fertilizer
were people who had not been in the pine-
apple business very long.

OBJECTS OF THE EXPERIMENTS.
At this juncture the Experiment Station
offered to set aside a certain amount of
money from the Hatch fund to conduct ex-
periments on a sufficiently extensive scale
that they might be of value to the pineapple
growers. Application was made to various
people interested for help in this connec-
tion. The Experiment Station agreed to
purchase all fertilizers and superintend their
application. The owner of the field was to
furnish the labor to cultivate it and receive
the fruit when it had ripened on the field.
Under these conditions many acres of pine-
apples were offered for experimental use.
After making diligent inquiry into the con-
dition of the fields and of the soil, it was
finally decided that a field belonging to
Ballentine & Moore, a mile north of Jensen,
was the most suitable for the experiment
work. Accordingly the work was com-








FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


menced on the field, which had been set
out in pineapples the previous July or Au-
gust on recently cleared spruce pine land.
Chemical analysis of the "pineapple soil"
indicates very strongly that all the essential
elements of fertility are wanting in it. Con-
sequently it was thought that no plots
would produce a good crop with an incom-
plete fertilizer. Therefore, the plots receiv-
ing an incomplete fertilizer were laid out in
hundredth-acres, and plots receiving com-
plete fertilizers were laid out in twentieth-
acres. As many forms of nitrogen as were
common on the market were secured; also
of potash, bone meal and dissolved Florida
phosphate. Each form of nitrogen was


combined with each form of potash and
conversely. The phosphoric acid'was used
in this connection as extensively as the fund
would permit.
The fertilizers used give approximately
the following formula:
Nitrogen ..... ............. 3 per cent
Potash. ............ .. .... .7 per cent
Available phosphoric acid.. ...5 per cent
The following amounts of fertilizers were
applied February 7 and 8, 1898. A second
application of two and a half times that
amount was made June 27 nd 28, 1898. A
third application of one and a half times the
amount was made November 4 to 12, 1898,
at which time the photographs were taken.


Lbs. per Acre. Plot.


I Cotton Seed Meal........... 800

2 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400

3 Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Bone Meal ................. 1,600

4 Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Bone Meal ................. 1,600

5 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Acid Phosphate............. 600

6 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Acid Phosphate............. 600

7 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Muriate Potash ............. 200

8 Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Muriate Potash ............. 160
Bone Meal ............... .,6o0

9 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Muriate Potash ............. 16o
Acid Phosphate............ 600


io Cotton Seed Meal........... 8oo
Kainit..... .. ............ 800


II



12



13
-----
14



15


16


-7
17


Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Bone Meal ................. I,6oo
K ainit...... .. ............ 800

Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Kainit..................... 800
Acid Phosphate............. 600

Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Pot., Mag., Carb........... 500

Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Pot., Mag., Carb ........... 500
Bone Meal ................ ,6oo


Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate............. 600


Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200


Cotton Seed Meal........... 160
Sulphate Potash, high grade. 16o
Bone Meal ................. ,6oo


Ingredients.


Ingredients.


Lbs. per Acre.









FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


Plot. Ingredients. Lbs. per Acre.
18 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Acid Phosphate...... ....... 600
-----I- ,
19 Am. Sulphate ............... 200

20 Am. Sulphate............... 200
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200

21 Am. Sulphate................ 40
Sulphate Potash, high grade. 160
Bone M eal ................. I,6oo

22 Am. Sulphate ............... 40
Muriate Potash ............. 16o
Bone Meal ................. 1,6oo

23 Am. Sulphate.............. 200
Muriate Potash .............. 16o
Acid Phosphate ............. 600

24 Am. Sulphate............... 40
Kainit..................... 800
Bone Meal................ 1,6oo

25 Am. Sulphate .............. 200
Kainit...... ............... 800
Acid Phosphate ............ 600

26 Am. Sulphate... ............. 200
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate............ 600

27 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280

28 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200

29 Sodium Nitrate .......... .. 280
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Acid Phosphate.............. 600

30 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Muriate Potash ............ 16o
Acid Phosphate............. 600

31 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400o
Acid Phosphate............. 600


Plot.


Ingredients.


Lbs. per Acre.


32 Sodium Nitrate ......... ... 280
Kainit.......... ........... 800
Acid Phosphate.............. 600

33 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate................ 600

34 Blood and Bone............. 680

35 Blood and Bone...... ....... 680
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o

36 Blood and Bone............. 680
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400

37 Blood and Bone ............. 680
Kainit.......... .......... 8oo

38 Blood and Bone........ ..... 680
Muriate Potash ............. 16o

39 Blood and Bone............. 680
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500

40 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Acid Phosphate. ............ 600
Lime, air slaked............. 1,000

41 Sodium Nitrate ............. 200
K ainit .......... .. ......... 800
Acid Phosphate ............. 600
S Lime, air slaked............. I,ooo

42 Am. Sulphate. ............... 200
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Acid Phosphate............. 600
Lime, air slaked............. I,ooo

43 Blood and Bone............. 700
Pot., Mag., Carb........... 500
Acid Phosphate. ............ 600
Lime, air slaked ............ I,ooo


44


Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200
Acid Phosphate............. 600
Muck, air dried............. o,ooo




























NO. i. NO. 4.


NO. 2. NO. 5.


NO. 6.


NO. 3.








FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


Ingredients.


Lbs. pr Acre.


45 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
K ainit......... ............. 800
Acid Phosphate............. 600
Muck, air dried............. o,ooo



46 Am. Sulphate............... 200oo
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200
Acid Phosphate.............. 600
Muck, air dried............ I,0oo00


47 Blood and Bone............. 700
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate............. 600
Muck, air dried............ 10,000


Plot. Ingredients. Lbs. per Acre.
48 Am. Sulphate............... 50
Pot., Miag., Carb.......... 500
Bone Meal .. ..............,6oo
Lime, air slaked............ 3,000
Muck, air dried............. I,0oo

49 Am. Sulphate............... 200
Sulphate potash, high grade.. 400
Acid Phosphate............. 600

50 Am. Sulphate ............... 40
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Bone M eal ................. ,600

51 Am. Sulphate................ 200
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Acid Phosphate............. 600


Plots Ito 18, 40 and 44 have cotton seed
meal as a source of nitrogen. Plots 19 to
26, 42, 46, 48 to 51 have sulphate of am-
monia as a source of nitrogen. Plots 27 to
33, 41 and 45 have nitrate of soda as a
source of nitrogen. Blood and bone were
applied to plots 34 to 39, 43 and 47. High
grade sulphate of potash was applied to
plots 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 28, 29, 35, 40,42,44,
46 and 49. Low grade sulphate of potash
was applied to plots 2, 3, 5, 31, 36, 50 and
51. Kainit was applied to plots IO, II, 12,
24, 25, 32, 37, 41 and 45. Muriate of pot-
ash was applied to plots 7, 8, 9, 22, 23, 30
and 38. Magnesium-potassium carbonate
was applied to plots 13, 14, 15, 26, 33, 39,
43, 47 and 48. Bone meal was applied to
plants 3, 4, 8, II, 14, 17, 21, 22, 24, 48 and
50. To this should be added plots 34 to
38, 43 and 47 which were treated with
blood and bone. Acid phosphate was ap-


plied to plots 5, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18,23, 25, 26,
29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 49 to 47, 49 and 51.
The accompanying photographs are illus-
trations of plots, which under the usual, ac-
cepted conditions 'of the fertilizer man,
should give exactly the same growth of
pineapples. That is, the endeavor has been
to give to every plot represented as much
ammonia as any other plot received, and the
same in regard to potash and phosphoric
acid. (Excepting in cases of incomplete
formulae.) In comparing the above notes
the reader will notice that the different
forms of potash were placed as nearly con-
tiguous as the circumstances allowed.
Therefore, the conclusions reached in re-
gard to potash in this experiment must be
considered as being the most satisfactory.
The appended table will give the plots in
such a way that they may be compared with
one another to better advantage:








FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


Potassium Potassium Potassium
Sulphate Sulphate Kainit. Muriate Magnesium
High Grade. Low Grade. otash. Carbonate.
Cotton Seed Meal 17 3 2 8 14
17 3 12 8 14
and 6th Class 4th Class 6th Class 3rd Class 4th Class
Bone Meal
Cotton Seed Meal 18 5 9 15
and 6th Class 5th Class 3rd Class 4th Class 4th Class
Acid Phosphate
Am. Sulphate 21 50 24 22 48
and 3:d Class 2nd Class 3rd Class 4th Class 3rd Class
Bone Meal
Am. Sulphate 49 51 25 23 26
and 2nd Class 2nd Class 6th Class 6th Class 3rd Class
Acid Phosphate
Sodium Nitrate 29 31 32 30 33
and 5th Class 2nd Class 4th Class 5th Class 5th Class
Acid Phosphate
35 36 37 38 39
Blood and Bone st Class Ist Class Ist Class Ist Class Ist Class

Blood and Bone 43, 47
and 2nd Class
Acid Phosphate


EXPLANATION OF THE TABLE.
The above table shows the composition
of the fertilizer applied to each plot and the
class to which each plot belonged in De-
cember, 1898.
The plots marked Ist class were better
than what one is accustomed to find in pine-
apple sections. Plots marked 2d class would
pass for fine. 3d class good. 4th class in-
different, with some spiky plants. 5th class
poor, with considerable percentage of spiky
plants. 6th class, practically worthless,
over 40 per cent spiky, and the rest doing
poorly.
EXPLANATION OF THE PLATE.
Views of typical plots belonging to each
of these classes are represented on the ac-
companying plate.
These plots, it will be noticed, are con-


Stiguous. Nos. 24 and 25 show the most
striking contrast-the former belonging to
3d class and the latter to 6th class. Enough
of the field is in the photograph to show the
step from plot 23 to plot 24 and again from
plot 24 to plot 25.. The row between plots
23 and 24 in which the label stands is fer-
tilized on the right side by formula No. 23,
and the left by formula No. 24, and it will
be noticed that the size of the plants is about
the average of the two. A similar observa-
tion may be made regarding the label row
between plots 24 and 25.

CONCLUSION.
Ammonia.-For young pineapple plants
growing on spruce pine land which has not
been fertilized before, blood and bone fur-
nish the best form of ammonia used. Ni-
trate of soda comes next to blood and bone,







FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


but there is a strong difference and a con-
siderable step between these two. Bright
cottonseed meal gave better results than
sulphate of ammonia. Our experiments,
therefore, seem to indicate that as a source
of ammonia, blood and bone stand first, ni-
trate of soda second, cottonseed meal third,
and sulphate of ammonia fourth of the'sub-
stances with which we have experimented.
Potash.-While there is a great variation
in the different plots treated with different
forms of potash there seems to be a greater
difference due to the combination than to
any particular form of potash. Summing
up the whole and noting the character, we
find that potassium-magnesium carbonate
proved the most efficient. Low grade sul-
phate of potash, frequently called the dou-
ble potash salts, stands second in the list.
While none of its plots are unusually good,
it has the good character of having very
few poor plots. High-grade sulphate of
potash stands slightly below low-grade


sulphate of potash in the potash list. Muri-
ate of potash stands fourth in the list when
all of its combinations are considered, in
spite of the fact that the best plot in the
field was fertilized with muriate of potash.
Phosphoric Acid.-As a whole, the ex-
periments indicate that a small amount of
soluble phosphoric acid will suffice. Acid
phosphate is decidedly an unprofitable fer-
tilizer in nine-tenths of the combinations.
Its bad effects cannot be ascribed to the
presence of sulphuric acid or other caustic
material. Bone meal has shown itself a
very efficient substance.
No. fertilizer ingredient used in the above
experiments is absolutely bad in itself, but
becomes bad by being combined with cer-
tain other forms. The detrimental effect of
the fertilizers cannot be said to be due to
some caustic substance in the combination.
The facts accumulated are not sufficient to
warrant any further conclusions to be
drawn.








EXTRACT FROM1 LECTURE DELIVERED TO THE AGRICULTURAL '
SHORT COURSE FOR FERTILIZER SALESMEN

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
College of Agriculture
Gainesville
March 3,


PINEAPPLE FERTILIZER

The Florida Experiment Station has carried on more

extensive investigations and has published more data in regard

to the fertilizing of the pineapple crop than can be obtained

anywhere else in the world. The first bulletin was published

by the Experiment Station in 1894. Ten bulletins have been

issued on this subject covering the whole.phase of the work

somewhat fully. Unfortunately all of these bulletins are now

out of print and the Experiment Station finds itself in a posi-

tion where it has no money with which to reprint the invaluable

data contained in these publications. We are continuing the

investigation and taking up the phases of the problem that are

now interesting the pineapple growers. From the standpoint of

the fertilizer men the pineapple crop has been put out of oom-

mission, but I vant to tell you gentlemen, that the pineapple

is coming back. Pineapple growing is confined most largely to

a narrow strip of land along the East Coast of Florida. Some

pineapple fields occur at Punts Gorda and also at Fort Myers.
*
Larger or smaller plantations also occur on some of the islands

and keys off the coast.

DIFFERENT MATERIALS EXPERIMENTED WITH

Practically all of the materials available for ex-

perimentation in the way of fertilizer has been used by the Ex-

periment Station.




o A *.i '..* .., .*; -. . ; ...





Ammonia

The ammonia compounds that have been used have been

cottonseed meal, sulphate of ammonia, nitrate of soda, blood and

bone, dried blood, oastor pomaoe.

Potash

The different potash materials have been Kainit,

muriate of potash, lon grade potash, high grade potash, potassium

magnesium aPrbonate.

Phosphoric Acid

The sources of phosphoric acid were bone meal,

acid phosphate, Thomas slag.

Qrder of Usefullness

AMMONIA. Of the ammoniates used their order of usefullness

seems to range themselves about as follows: drie, blood, blood

and bone, cottonseed meal, castor pomaoe. All of these organic

materials are quite acceptable to the pineapple plant. Where

quantities of cottonseed meal was used, it produced Spike in the

plants.

Nitrate of soda may be successfully used as a sbanoe

of ammonia while the plants are young and there is little danger

S of getting the material in the axils of the leaves. It is quite

* caustic to the ,plant and consequently somewhat difficult to apply.

Sulphate of ammonia should not be used as this gave

uniformly detrimental effects.

POTASH. The magnesium potassium carbonate gave best results

in the form of potash. This form of potash however, was withdrawn

from the market so could not be recommended.





C "". 1
"-. . .

The low grade sulphate of potash or what it

sometimes called double manure salts and also as a potasmuum

S,.. m agnesiug surphate gave almost ,a good results as the potassium

agnesium sulphate. High grad sulphate of potash gaTvealmost
.as good results as the low grade. .

.Kainit and muriate should ndt be used, as both of

Those gaLvs.detrimental results.
PHOSPHORIC A b. Bone meal was one source of phosphorio &old

.that gave unifOrm good results.. The Thopas slag gave praoti-

Soally as good results. Dissolved bone black when genuine

Should &leo be relied upon for goOd results. Acid phosphate

S used by itself, uniformly gave bad results. The bad results
Were largely counteracted however when air slaked lime to the

Amount of 750 pounds was applied per aore after the application

: of the fertillaer.
LIME

Various forms of lime, both in the carbonate and air

slaked form were used on a small number of plants. No striking-

Sly good effect was seen from its use.

FORMULAE

SThe formula which seemed to givi best results under
the" experimental work for the growing pineapple, that is before

^ they oame into fruiting was :
iir.; ', ,


Ammonia 4
Potash 6%
Phosphorue total 6%

The formula that appeared to give best results for

the fruiting orop ran:

A mmonia 15s
Potash 10
Phosphorus total 5%
*- .t W l O..a S
.' -' .' .' .*' '.' .. _. .. .... w wt,- .- ^. wn' srut -;.* t rii -." ti .


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F: A ,




The experiments on fertilizers were completed

while potash might be obtained at about $1 a unit. It is

quite certain that with the present price of potash that a

lower percent of potash would prove to be more economical,

but at the price of potash before the war, the large percent

of potash seemed to be most satisfactory.

AMOUNT OF FERTILIZER

The amount of fertilizer that can be profitably

used will vary with the price of the fertilizer and the price

at tIkl which the crop can be sold. Taking the above formula

as a basis, the most profitable amounts to use per acre, range

from 3350 pounds to 3750 pounds annually. The number of ap-

plications which may be recommended is either three or four.

The more frequent the application the less of the fertilizer

was lost thru leaching and if the interval between fertiliza-

tion is long, the plants are likely to suffer from lack of

r plant food at one time and over feeding at another.

QUALITY EFFECTED BY FERTILIZER

Analyses of a large number of fruits (Red Spanish)

covering a period of four years showed that the eating quality

of the fruit is not affected by the kind of fertilizer used.

The sugar content of the fruit is slightly increased by heavier

fertilizer applications. "The large fruits contain a greater

perd ntage of sugar. than the small ones, and a slightly smaller

Seroentage of acid."

REMARKS

"The analyses of a large number of pineapple plants

show that they contain sufficient fertilizing materials, nitrogen,




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phosphoric avoid, potash, lime, and magnesia, to make them of

considerable value as a fe-tilizer." *

"With an increase of nitrogenous fertilizers these

was found an increase of nitrates in the soil."

"Nitrates are most abundant at the immediate surface.

After a depth of one foot is passed the amount is very small.*

"Where the surface of the ground is not protected,

the nitrates are much less abundant than where there is a gover-

ing of plants and decaying leaves."

"The percentage of nitrogen in the fruit does not

appear to increase with an increase of fertilizer.'


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Petassium.- gnosium Cartbnate
Bene Meal


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Sulphate of Ammonia
, Slphate of j'etash, Low Grade
B anee Rfal


Sulphate ef Ammonia
Sulphate oef Potash, High Grade
Acid Phosphate







FLORIDA STATE H Y


9'
to learn by dear experience what kind of
land was best adapted to this particular
crop. Our veteran pineapple grower, Capt.
Richards, has told us repeatedly how he
attempted to grow pineapples upon the
moist and fertile island soil. Finally ending
in failure and almost despair, he planted a
few upon the sandridge on the west bank
of Indian river at Eden. To his surprise
this soil proved exactly what the pines
wanted. From this small beginning we
may say that practically the whole pineap-
ple industry on the spruce pine land of the
Indian river section had its origin.

FERTILIZERS. ,
In visiting the various sections of the In-
dian river country during 1897 diligent in-
quiries were made of the principal pineapple
growers as to what forms of fertilizer they
would recommend for use on pineapples.
The inquiry ended in finding out that very
few people agreed on using the same fer-
tilizing substances. Those who mixed their
own fertilizers seemed to be as much in
doubt in regard to the action of particular
substances as any one else. By far the
greater number of pineapple growers, how-
ever, seemed to be depending upon ready
mixed formulae for their use, the composi-
tion of these being in no case known. While
the fertilizer houses always appended the
percentage of nitrogen, potash and phos-
phoric acid present, there was no evidence
as to the origin of the nitrogen, potash or
phosphoric acid.
A few points in connection with fertiliz-
ing pineapples seem to be admitted by a
considerable number of pineapple growers.
However, there was no one form of nitro-
gen which was accepted by a majority of
the extensive growers; and the same was
true of potash and phosphoric acid. It was


not difficult to find pineapple growers of
more than local reputation who would con-
demn a certain form or forms of ammonia,
and their neighbors would condemn certain
other forms and probably advocate the use
of the forms condemned by the first neigh-
bor. By compiling the opinions of various
growers every form of ammonia was con-
demned and the opposite of the proposi-
tion was also true; that is, every form of
affimonia had its advocates. The same was
true of potash. Acid phosphate was quite
generally considered a bad fertilizer. Of
course everybody fertilized and everybody
was dissatisfied with the action of certain
forms of fertilizers. Very few were entirely
satisfied with the forms of fertilizer that
they were using, and ti.e greater number of
those who were satisfied with their fertilizer
were people who had not been in the pine-
apple business very long.

OBJECTS OF THE EXPERIMENTS.
At this juncture the Experiment Station
offered to set aside a certain amount of
money from the Hatch fund to conduct ex-
periments on a sufficiently extensive scale
that they might be of value to the pineapple
growers. Application was made to various
people interested for help in this connec-
tion. The Experiment Station agreed to
purchase all fertilizers and superintend their
application. The owner of the field was to
furnish the labor to cultivate it and receive
the fruit when it had ripened on the field.
Under these conditions many acres of pine-
apples were offered for experimental use.
After making diligent inquiry into the con-
dition of the fields and of the soil, it was
finally decided that a field belonging to
Ballentine & Moore, a mile north of Jensen,
was the most suitable for the experiment
work. Accordingly the work was com-


.














PINEAPPLE FERTILIZERS.


Geology and Soils of the Lower East Coast-Discordant Views of the Growers-Interesting
and Valuable Tests Instituted by the State Experiihent Station-Great
Number of Formulae Tried.


Preliminary Talk by Professor P. H. Rolfs, of the State Experiment Station, Lake City.


[See minutes, pages 1 to 5, item 66.]


Pineapple growing in Florida on an ex-
tensive scale is probably the youngest
branch of horticultural industry in the State.
For many years the growing of pines on a
commercial scale was confined to the Keys
and the West Indies. Various attempts
were made to grow pineapples on the main
land of Florida, but these all proved more
or less unsuccessful. I will not attempt to.
enumerate the causes for failure in this di-
rection, but I may be permitted to mention
in passing that the extension of the railroad
down the East Coast is by no means the
least important factor in developing this in-
dustry in that section. Of course pineap-
ples were grown at various points along
the East Coast before railroad communica-
ti,-ns were established, but the industry was
carried on on a limited scale. The rapid
transportation of fruit to Northern markets
has stimulated the production.

GEOLOGICAL ORIGIN OF THE SOIL.
Geologists tell us that only a few periods
of geological history have passed since
Florida began to be. They tell us that the
whole southern extremity of Florida, espe-


cially along the East Coast, has been grad-
ually brought out by the sea. Coraline de-
posits in the ocean grew high enough to
arrest the waves and form breakers. Upon
these were deposited sand which finally
grew high enough to make bars and islands.
By the action of the wind the sand was
carried higher, making our spruce pine
land. By visiting our beaches we may see
today where new land is being formed.
This is bound into place and retained by
the action of the beach plants, such as
morning glorys and grasses. After these
have flourished for a period of years the
soil finally becomes suitable for palmetto
scrub. After many years of growth the
palmetto scrub adds 'enough humus to the
soil to permit the spruce pine to form a
forest. After these have grown for many
decades the wood, falling limbs, cones and
debris generally give fertility enough to the
soil to grow scrubs-either the pine scrub,
the hickory scrub or some other form.

PINEAPPLE LAND.
In pineapple growing as in other forms
of horticulture the tiller of the soil has had










Ammonia
The ammonia compounds that have been used have been -
oottonseed meal, sulphate of ammonia, nitrate of soda, blood and
bone, dried blood, castor pomaoe.
Potash
The different potash materials have been Kainit,

muriate of potash, low grade potash, high grade potash, potassium
magnesium crxbonate.
Phosphoric Acid
The sources of phosphoric avoid were bone meal,

acid phosphate, Thomas slag.
Order of Usefullness

AMMONIA. Of the ammoniates used their order of usefulness

seems to range themselves about as follows: dried blood, blood
and bone, cottonseed meal, castor pomaoe. All of these organic

materials are quite acceptable to the pineapple plant. Where
quantities of cottonseed meal was used, it produced Spike in the
plants.
Nitrate of soda may be successfully used as a ebance

of ammonia while the plants are young and there is little danger

of getting the material in the axils of the leaves. It is quite
caustic to the plant and consequently somewhat difficult to apply.

Sulphate of.ammonia should not be used as this gave

uniformly detrimental effects.

POTASH. The magnesium potassium carbonate gave best results

in the form of potash. This form of potash however, was withdrawn

from the market so could not be recommended.







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FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


Ingredients.


Lbs. pr Acre.


45 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
K ainit ........ .... .......... 800
Acid Phosphate............. 600
Muck, air dried............ 10,00oo



46 Am. Sulphate............... 200
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200
Acid Phosphate............. 600
Muck, air dried............ 10,000


47 Blood and Bone............. 7oo00
Pot., Mag., Carb ............ 500
Acid Phosphate............. 6oo
Muck, air dried ............ 10,000ooo


Plot. Ingredients. Lbs. per Acre.
48 Am. Sulphate............... 50
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 5oo
Bone Meal .............. 1,6oo00
Lime, air slated ............ 3,000
Muck, air dried............ IO,OOO

49 Am. Sulphate .............. 200
Sulphate potash, high grade.. 400
Acid Phosphate............. 600

50 Am. Sulphate ............... 4o
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 4o00
Bone M eal ................. ,6oo

51 Am. Sulphate............... 200
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Acid Phosphate............. 600


Plots Ito 18, 40 and 44 have cotton seed
meal as a source of nitrogen. Plots 19 to
26, 42, 46, 48 to 51 have sulphate of am-
monia as a source of nitrogen. Plots 27 to
33, 41 and 45 have nitrate of soda as a
source of nitrogen. Blood and bone were
applied to plots 34 to 39, 43 and 47. High
grade sulphate of potash was applied to
plots 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 28, 29, 35, 40,42,44,
46 and 49. Low grade sulphate of potash
was applied to plots 2, 3, 5, 31, 36, 50 and
51. Kainit was applied to plots 10, II, 12,
24, 25, 32, 37, 41 and 45. Muriate of pot-
ash was applied to plots 7, 8, 9, 22, 23, 30
and 38. Magnesium-potassium carbonate
was applied to plots 13, 14, 15, 26, 33, 39,
43, 47 and 48. Bone meal was applied to
plants 3, 4, 8, II, 14, 17, 21, 22, 24, 48 and
50. To this should be added plots 34 to
38, 43 and 47 which were treated with
blood and bone. Acid phosphate was ap-


plied to plots 5, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18,23, 25, 26,
29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 40 to 47, 49 and 51-
The accompanying photographs are illus-
trations of plots, which under the usual, ac-
cepted conditions 'of the fertilizer man,
should give exactly the same growth of
pineapples. That is, the endeavor has been
to give to every plot represented as much
ammonia as any other plot received, and the
same in regard to potash and phosphoric
acid. (Excepting in cases of incomplete
formulae.) In comparing the above notes
the reader will notice that the different
forms of potash were placed as nearly con-
tiguous as the circumstances allowed.
Therefore, the conclusions reached in re-
gard to potash in this experiment must be
considered as being the most satisfactory.
The appended table will give the plots in
such a way that they may be compared with
one another to better advantage:










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Blood and Beone
Sulphate of Petash, High Grade


































Sulphate of Ammonia
Muriate of Potash
Acid Pheosphate


Sulphate of Ammonia
Muriate of Petash
SBone Meal


MA








FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


Plot. Ingredients. Lbs. per Acre.
18 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Acid Phosphate............. 600

19 Am. Sulphate............... 200

20 Am. Sulphate.............. ;. 200
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200

21 Am. Sulphate................ 40
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Bone M eal ............. ... ,6oo

22 Am. Sulphate ............... 40
Muriate Potash ............. 16o
Bone Meal ................. 1,6oo

23 Am. Sulphate............... 200
Muriate Potash ............... 16o
Acid Phosphate............. 600

24 Am. Sulphate............... 40
Kainit...... .. ............ 800
Bone Meal ................. 1,6oo

25 Am. Sulphate............... 200
Kainit ...... .. ........ . 800
Acid Phosphate............. 6oo

26 Am. Sulphate............... 200
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate............. 600

27 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280

28 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200

29 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Acid Phosphate............. 600

30 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Muriate Potash ............. 16o
Acid Phosphate............. 600

31 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Acid Phosphate. ............ 600


Plot. Ingredients. Lbs. per Acre.
32 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Kainit .......... ........... 800
Acid Phosphate............. 600

33 Sodium Nitrate ............. 280
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate ................. 600

34 Blood and Bone............. 680

35 Blood and Bone.............. 680
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o

36 Blood and Bone............. 680
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400


37


Blood and Bone............. 680
Kainit.......... .. ....... 800


38 Blood and Bone.............. 680
Muriate Potash ............. 16o

39 Blood and Bone............. 680
Pot., Mag, Carb............ 500


40



41


Cotton Seed Meal........... 8oo
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 160
Acid Phosphate............. 600
Lime, air slaked............. I,000

Sodium Nitrate ............. 200
K ainit.......... .. ......... 800
Acid Phosphate............. 6oo
Lime, air slaked............. 1,000ooo


42 Am. Sulphate ............... 200
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 16o
Acid Phosphate. ............ 600
Lime, air slaked............. 1,000

43 Blood and Bone............. 700
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate. ............ 600
Lime, air slaked............ 1,oo000


44


Cotton Seed Meal........... 8oo
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200
Acid Phosphate............. 6oo
Muck, air dried............ Io,ooo









The low grade sulphate of potash or what is
sometimes called double manure salts and also as a potassium

magnesium sukphate gave almost as good results as the potassium

magnesium sulphate. High grale sulphate of potash gave almost

as good results as the low grade.

Kainit and muriate should not be used, as both of

these gave detrimental results.

PHOSPHORIC ACID. Bone meal was one source of phosphorio acid

that gave uniform good results. The Thomas slag gave practi-

oally as good results. Dissolved bone black when genuine

could also be relied upon for good 'results. Acid phosphate

used by itself, uniformly gave bar. results. The bad results

were largely counteracted however: when air slaked lime to the

amount of 750 pounds was applied per acre after the application

of the fertilizer.
LIME

Various forms of lime, both in the carbonate and air

slaked form were used on a small number of plants. No sti:king-

ly good effect was seen from its use.

FORMULAE

The formula which seemed to give- best results under

the experimental work for the growing pineapple, that is before

they came into fruiting was :

Ammonia 4%
Potash 8
Phosphorus total 6%

The formula that appeared to give best results for

the fruiting crop ran:

Ammonia 5%
Potash 10%
Phosphorus total 5






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Nitrate of Soda
Sulphate of Potash, High Grade
Acid Phosphate.


Nitrate of Soda
Sulphate. of Petash, High Grade









FLORIDA STATE HORTI


menced on the field, which had been set
out in pineapples the previous July or Au-
gust on recently cleared spruce pine land.
Chemical analysis of the "pineapple soil"
indicates very strongly that all the essential
elements of fertility are wanting in it. Con-
sequently it was thought that no plots
would produce a good crop with an incom-
plete fertilizer. Therefore, the plots receiv-
ing an incomplete fertilizer were laid out in
hundredth-acres, and plots receiving com-
plete fertilizers were laid out in twentieth-
acres. As many forms of nitrogen as were
common on the market were secured; also
of potash, bone meal and dissolved Florida
phosphate. Each form of nitrogen was


CULTURAL SOCIETY. 92

combined with each form of potash and
conversely. The phosphoric acid was used
in this connection as extensively as the fund
would permit.
The fertilizers used give approximately
the following formula:
Nitrogen ... ... ... ... ... ... 3 per cent
Potash .. .. . . 7 per cent
Available phosphoric acid. ... 5 per cent
The following amounts of fertilizers were
applied February 7 and 8, 1898. A second
application of two and a half times that
amount was made June 27 nd 28, 1898. A
third application of one and a half times the
amount was made November 4 to 12, 1898,
at which time the photographs were taken.


Lbs. per Acre. Plot.


I Cotton Seed Meal........... 8oo

2 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400

3 Cotton Seed Meal ........... 16o
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Bone Meal ................. 1,6oo

4 Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Bone Meal ................. 1,6oo

5 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, low grade... 400
Acid Phosphate............. 600

6 Cotton Seed Meal........... 8oo
Acid Phosphate............. 600

7 Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Muriate Potash ............. 200

8 Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Muriate Potash ............. 16o
Bone M eal .................. 1,6oo

9 Cotton Seed Meal........... 8oo
Muriate Potash ............. 16o
Acid Phosphate ............ 600


io Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
K ainit ...... .. ............ 800


11



12



13


14



15


16



17


Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Bone Meal ................. 1,6oo
K ainit ...... .. ............ 800

Cotton Seed Meal........... 8oo
K ainit...... ..' ............ 800
Acid Phosphate............. 600

Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500

Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Pot., Mag., Carb ............ 500
Bone Meal ................. 1,600

Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Pot., Mag., Carb............ 500
Acid Phosphate............. 600

Cotton Seed Meal........... 800
Sulphate Potash, high grade.. 200


Cotton Seed Meal........... 16o
Sulphate Potash, high grade. 16o
Bone Meal ................. 1,6oo


Ingredients.


Ingredients.


Lbs. per Acre.







EXTRACT FROM LECTURE DELIVERED TO THE AGRICULTURAL
SHORT COURSE FOR FERTILIZER SALESMEN

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
College of Agriculture
Gaineaville
March 2,


PINEAPPLE FERTILIZER

The Florida Experiment Station has carried on more

extensive investigations and has published more data in regard

to the fertilizing of thc pineapple crop than can be obtained

anywhere else in the world. The first bulletin ,as published

by the Experiment Station in 1894. Ten bulletins have been

issued on this subject covering the whole phase of the vork

somewhat fully. Unfortunately all of these bulletins are now

out of print an6 the Experiment Station finds itself in a posi-

tion where it has no money with which to reprint the invaluable

data contained in th ese nublicatiohs. We are continuing the

investigation and taking up the phases of the problem that are

noc, intr3re3ting the pineapple aro-vers. From the standpoint of

the fertilizer men the pineapple crop has been put out of coom-

mission, but I I.ant to tell you gentlemen, that the pineapple

is coming back. Pineapple growing is confined most largely to

a narrow strip of land along the East Coast of Florida. Some

pineapple fields occur at Punta Gorda and also at Fort Myars.

Larger or smaller plantations also occur on some of the islands

and keys off the coast.

DIFFERENT MATERIALS EXPERIMENTED WITH

Practically all of the materials available for ex-

perimentation in the way of fertilizer has been used by the Ex-

periment Station.
































3ledL and Bone
Mar iat of Potash
















PINEAPPLE FERTILIZERS




BY P. H. ROLFS

















REPRINTED FROM THE PROCEEDINGS OF
THE TWELFTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY,
1899.








FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


but there is a strong difference and a con-
siderable step between these two. Bright
cottonseed meal gave better results than
sulphate of ammonia. Our experiments,'
therefore, seem to indicate that as a source
of ammonia, blood and bone stand first, ni-
trate of soda second, cottonseed meal third,
and sulphate of ammonia fourth of the'sub-
stances with which we have experimented.
Potash.-While there is a great variation
in the different plots treated with different
forms of potash there seems to be a greater
difference due to the combination than to
any particular form of potash. Summing
up the whole and noting the character, we
find that potassium-magnesium carbonate
proved the most efficient. Low grade sul-
phate of potash, frequently called the dou-
ble potash salts, stands second in the list.
While none of its plots are unusually good,
it has the good character of having very
few poor plots. High-grade sulphate of
potash stands slightly below low-grade


sulphate of potash in the potash list. Muri-
ate of potash stands fourth in the list when
all of its combinations are considered, in
spite of the fact that the best plot in the
field was fertilized with muriate of potash.
Phosphoric Acid.-As a whole, the ex-
periments indicate that a small amount of
soluble phosphoric acid will suffice. Acid
phosphate is decidedly an unprofitable fer-
tilizer in nine-tenths of the combinations.
Its bad effects cannot be ascribed to the
presence of sulphuric acid or other caustic
material. Bone meal has shown itself a
very efficient substance.
No. fertilizer ingredient used in the above
experiments is absolutely bad in itself, but
becomes bad by being combined with cer-
tain other forms. The detrimental effect of
the fertilizers cannot be said to be due to
some caustic substance in the combination.
The facts accumulated are not sufficient to
warrant any further conclusions to be
drawn.





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FLORIDA STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.


Potassium Potassium Potassium
Sulphate Sulphate Kainit. Muriate Magnesium
High Grade. Low Grade. Potash. Carbonate.
Cotton Seed Meal "* 17 3 12 8 14
and 6th Class 4th Class 6th Class 3rd Class 4th Class
Bone Meal
Cotton Seed Meal 18 5 9 15
and 6th Class 5th Class 3rd Class 4th Class 4th Class
Acid Phosphate
Am. Sulphate 21 50 24 22 48
and 3,'d Class 2nd Class 3rd Class 4th Class 3rd Class
Bone Meal
Am. Sulphate 49 51 25 23 26
and 2nd Class 2nd Class 6th Class 6th Class 3rd Class
Acid Phosphate
Sodium Nitrate 29 31 32 30 33
Acid Phosphate 5th Class 2nd Class 4th Class 5th Class 5th Class

Blood and Bon35 36 37 38 39
Blood and Bone Ist Class ist Class ist Class Ist Class Ist Class

Blood and Bone 43, 47
and 2nd Class
Acid Phosphate


EXPLANATION OF THE TABLE.
The above table shows the composition
of the fertilizer applied to each plot and the
class to which each plot belonged in De-
cember, 1898.
The plots marked Ist class were better
than what one is accustomed to find in pine-
apple sections. Plots marked 2d class would
pass for fine. 3d class good. 4th class in-
different, with some spiky plants. 5th class
poor, with considerable percentage of spiky
plants. 6th class, practically worthless,
over 40 per cent spiky, and the rest doing
poorly.
EXPLANATION OF THE PLATE.
Views of typical plots belonging, to each
of these classes are represented on the ac-
companying plate.
These plots, it will be noticed, are con-


tiguous. Nos. 24 and 25 show the most
striking contrast-the former belonging to
3d class and the latter to 6th class. Enough
of the field is in the photograph to show the
step from plot 23 to plot 24 and again from
plot 24 to plot 25.. The row between plots
23 and 24 in which the label stands is fer-
tilized on the right side by formula No. 23,
and the left by formula No. 24, and it will
be noticed that the size of the plants is about
the average of the two. A similar-observa-
tion may be made regarding the label row
between plots 24 and 25.

CONCLUSION.
Ammonia.-For young pineapple plants
growing on spruce pine land which has not
been fertilized before, blood and bone fur-
nish the best form of ammonia used. Ni-
trate of soda comes next to blood and bone,





























NO. 1. NO. 4.


NO. 2. NO. 5.
NO. 5.


NO. 3.


NO. 6.




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The experiments on fertilizers were completed
while potash might be obtained at about $1 a unit. It t
quite certain that with the present price of potash that' a

lower percent of potash would prove to be more economical,
but &t the price of potash before the war, the large percent
of potash seemed to be most satisfactory.

* AMOUNT OF FERTILIZER
The amount of fertilizer that can be profitably
used will vary with the price of the fertilizer and the price

at Mtsi which the crop can be sold. Taking the above formula
as a basis, the most profitable amounts to use per aore, range
from 2350 pounds to 3750 pounds annually. The number of ap-

plications which may be reommrended is either three or four.
The more frequent the application the less of the fertilizer
was lost thru leaching and if the interval between fertiliza-
tion is long, the plants are likely to suffer from lack of
plant food at one time and over feeding at another.

QUALITY AFFECTED BY FERTILIZER
Analyses of a* large number of fruits (Red Spanish)
covering a period of four years showed that the eating quality
of the fruit is not affected by the kind of fertilizer used.
The sugar content of the fruit is slightly increased by heavier
fertilizer applications. "The large fruits contain a greater

per(@ntage of sugar than the small ones, and a slightly smaller

Percentage of acid."

REMARKS

"The analyses of a large number of pineapple plants

show that they contain sufficient fertilizing materials,. nitrogen,






r







C'?
St
t: -'K
,,

~ .1


pboophoric said, pot-ash, lime, 'arl nmgn 1sia. to utt.k' th3, of
coni ,trabld value a.3 a fs 1-ii- ro"
"With an inacr ea of ni trognouas fctili-z rs these
a7.s fo ;-nd fn in',cr e.se oft' nit:- .t-et in the soil.1 '
"Nitr.'tes a r r' t::,t. nsun'-nt at the imeiAdiate surface.
.t.:.r u 'eph of orn:; -Ct i3 p.-:. =-t the + -ount is v r.TYy szall. 1
"iirr ti- s3 c of .r.:n not proteted,
htto nii ..r-, o ar' .. .-.h less abu n:f ant, thi.n th.3r thEra 13 & cover-
ing 0f 1.?L.T1 -n. j-.:i ?Li ve- ,
"T' i C -".6.fr,-T...-. of nitrogen in ;br Tfruit d.oo not
*.-p a3r to incr>..s-e 'ith an .ncT~ .se of frt iiz5 r,"