• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Personnel
 Introduction
 The growth of scientific agric...
 Soil
 Mechanical classification...
 Chemical composition of soils
 Brief description of the elements...
 The object of manures
 What is manure?
 Value of home-made manure
 How to preserve manure
 Commercial fertilizers
 Phosphoric acid
 Potash
 Nitrogen
 Sources of nitrogen as a ferti...
 Nitrogen equivalent to ammonia
 Explanation of a chemical...
 How to estimate the market value...
 Conclusion














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 20
Title: Soils and fertilizers
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027196/00001
 Material Information
Title: Soils and fertilizers
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 23 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Persons, A. A
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Lake City Fla
Publication Date: 1893
 Subjects
Subject: Soils   ( lcsh )
Fertilizers   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by A.A. Persons.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027196
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000919927
oclc - 18150905
notis - AEN0319

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Personnel
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
    The growth of scientific agriculture
        Page 4
    Soil
        Page 5
    Mechanical classification of soils
        Page 6
    Chemical composition of soils
        Page 7
    Brief description of the elements in the soil
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The object of manures
        Page 11
    What is manure?
        Page 11
    Value of home-made manure
        Page 12
    How to preserve manure
        Page 13
    Commercial fertilizers
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Phosphoric acid
        Page 16
    Potash
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Nitrogen
        Page 19
    Sources of nitrogen as a fertilizer
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Nitrogen equivalent to ammonia
        Page 21
    Explanation of a chemical analysis
        Page 22
    How to estimate the market value of a fertilizer
        Page 22
    Conclusion
        Page 23
Full Text


September, 1893.


FLO R.ID A-


AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION


CHEMICAL DEPARTMENT.





SOILS AND FERTILIZERS



BY A. A. PERSONS.


The Bulletins of this station will be sent free to any address in Florida upon
application to the Director of the Experiment Station, Lake City, Fla.

W. MAW A O, IS., Ml o ISWe U.I, A MQ

Pl=a"


3Bulletin No. 20,
























BOARD OFF TR 'ST'EES.


lo(N. W ALTER T YNN, Iresident. . . .Sianlford.
W D. C ITPiLE I '(('-PN'eideH'I .......... . Pensacola.
E. HARRIS, (ltuitminI i E.xctie C'ommittcr. .. .... Ocala.
S A. B. H.\ EN, Seir rcr ... ... .. ..... Lake City.
S. STRINGER ..... ..... ...... Brooksville.
S. J. TuRNBULL ....... .... .......... ...... ...M onticello.
C. F. A BIELBV ..... .......... ........... DeLand.


STATION STAFF.


(. (JLUTE, Al. S., LL.D..
J. N. VIIITNER, A. M..
P. H. ROLFS, Al. S.
A. A. PERSONS, Mi. ....
W\M. (-. DEPA .
C. A. FINLEY ...
L. WASIIBURN. ..
J. T. S'TUBBS ..


. . .. .... .. . . )ir liof r .


. .. ..... .. B iolog ist.
. .. .. ... . .. . . .. ( h emi st.
.......... sIsista, t Ayricultur ist.
. . D ir ,'r r' Sie rprtfi .
. .. u 'peurildendrerftl Fort J/ff/.rs SllNb-statioo.
....... S l' rit'il ndrent DeFu) niutak t, it-station.
















INTRODUCTION.


Somewhat wide observation of the use of Bulletins
of Agricultural Experiment Stations leads me to think
that to a great many people most of the Bulletins are
useless, because written in technical language, with
which the readers are not familiar. In most cases a few
words of explanation would make the subject clear, and,
perhaps, the Bulletin would then be of much value
to the reader. In the following Bulletin. Prof. Persons
has striven to remove a portion of this difficulty, so far as
the chemistry of soils and manures is concerned. It is
hoped that the explanations herewith given will aid the
readers of future Bulletins from this Station, and, per-
haps, from other Stations.
O. CLUTE.
Director Florida Expt. Station.
LAKE CITY, FLA., SEPT. 1893.












SOILS AND FERTILIZERS.


CONTENTS :


1 The Development of Scientific Agriculture ........ 5
2 Relation of Chemistry to Agriculture. ...... 5
3 Definition of a Soil, etc ....... 5.6
4 Mechanical Classification of Soils ........ ......... 6-7
5 Chemical Composition of Soils ..... 7
6 General Description of the Soil Elements ........ 8-11
7 Definition of Manure ..... ........ .... 1-12
8 Composition of Manures ...... ...... .. 12
9 Home-made Manures.. .... .....13-14
10 Commercial Fertilizers ................. 14-16
11 Sources of Phosphoric Acid, Potash and Nitrogen in Fertilizers. 16-21
12 Explanation of a Chemical Fertilizer Analysis ...... 22
13 How to Estimate the Market Value of a Fertilizer. ........ 22-23
14 Conclusion..... ....... .... ... ... 23

THE GROWTH OF SCIENTIFIC AGRICULTURE.
Agriculture is a science as well as an art. As a science
it explains the growth of plants and animals, and the prin-
ciples upon which the practical operations of farming
depend. As an art it teaches how to cultivate the soil, to
make and use fertilizers, to take care of live-stock, and
how to equip and manage a farm economically and suc-
cessfully.
In a word, the art of agriculture consists in under-
standing how and what to do, and the science of agricul-
ture offers reasons for what is done.
Like other sciences, agriculture was practiced as an
art long before the principles upon which it is founded
were understood.
As a pursuit, a means of sustenance, farming has ever
been first in importance. This is necessarily true from
the very nature of things. Man's peculiar environment
would require it. His necessities compel him to cultivate
the soil. It is a command of Divine origin, that he must
earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.
There are very many reasons why agriculture has
progressed so slowly as a science; among them may be
mentioned, the lack of a knowledge of other sciences









which are, themselves, of recent origin, and which are
very closely related to scientific agriculture. The Scien-
tific farmer ought to know something of zoology. the
science of animals, that he may understand how prop-
erly to select and care for his stock. He should, at least.
have some idea of botany, the science of plants, that he
may understand the various modes of growth of the dif-
ferent families of the vegetable kingdom, and thus, be
prepared to adapt his mode of cultivation to the peculiar
nature of the crop to be grown. He should be something
of a mechanic, in order that he may be able to exercise
skill and judgment in the selection of his farming imple-
ments, his plows and wagons. and all the various forms
of carpentry that will be sure to command his attention.
sooner or later.
He should not be ignorant of the science of physics.
which treats of the general properties of bodies, such as
light, heat and electricity, and the causes which modify
these properties.
He ought, also, to know something about geology; the
science which deals with the structure of the earth. its
formation, its rocks and its soils. We will readily see that
this is necessary in order to understand the character of
soils, and be able to judge of their value by a mere
inspection.
Lastly, it is obvious that a scientific farmer must
needs have some acquaintance with the science of chem-
istry. Of all the sciences relating to agriculture, perhaps
the most important results and improvements have been
derived from chemistry. Chemistry makes known to us
the composition of soils, plants, and fertilizers, and enables
us to adapt one to the needs of the other.
Among the benefits to be derived from a knowledge
of the science of chemistry, may be enumerated:
1. It teaches the composition of soils, fertilizers, plants
and the atmosphere.
2. It acquaints us with the variety and quality of the
food that different plants require for vigorous growth.
3. It brings to our attention the action of light, heat.
and other agencies in producing plant growth.
4. It familiarizes us with the manufacture of fertil-
izers, and tells us how to utilize various refuse matter in
preparing wholesome plant food.
5. It reveals all the conditions essential to fertility.
SOIL.
What we designate as soil" is the earthy matter in
which plants grow. It consists of different proportions of
organic matter intermixed with very finely pulverized
rock.








The soil with which the farmer is interested, is the
thin, upper surface, in which plants grow. Owing to
the fact that vegetable matter is constantly undergoing
decomposition in the soil, under the oxidizing influence of
the air, the upper layer of the soil, has imparted to it a
darker color than the layer immediately underlying it.
This has caused them to be classified as soil and sub-soil.
The soil is usually more fertile than the sub-soil, owing to
the presence of this decaying vegetable matter, and prob-
ably on account of the carbonaceous matter extracted
from the air by the growing plant.
This black vegetable mold we are accustomed to call
humus, and it is known to play a conspicuous part in plant
growth. In addition to its fertilizing properties, it aids.
mechanically, in maintaining the soil in a friable con-
dition, thus enabling it to be easily penetrable by the air,
heat, and moisture-all essential to vegetable life. If a
soil be rich in humus, and underlaid by a somewhat com-
pact sub-soil, it is usually fertile. If the sub-soil is of a
very porous character, resembling sand or gravel, it is ill
adapted to retaining plant food, and, consequently, much
of the fertilizer applied to the upper soil will be washed
down out of reach of the plant roots and lost. This is
especially true of nitrogen.

MECHANICAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOILS.
Owing to the very large per cent. of sand in many
soils, and its presence in all, it has been suggested that
they be classified according to the amount of sand they
contain. Under this classification, we are acquainted
with the following divisions:
1. Pure clay, from which no sand can be removed by
washing.
2. Strong clay, from which as much as five to twenty
per cent. of sand can be separated.
3. Clay loam, when washing will remove from twenty
to forty per cent. of sand.
4. Loam, when a soil is found to contain as much as
forty to seventy per cent. of sand.
5. Sandy loam, from which seventy to ninety per
cent. of sand may be removed by washing.
6. Light sand, containing more than ninety per cent.
of sand.
When a soil is found to contain a notably large per
cent. of carbonate of lime, it is said to be a calcareous or
marly soil.
When the per cent. of organic matter in the soil is
very large, it is usually described as peat. or as vegetable
mold.







If a considerable quantity of clay is present in the
soil, it is said to be "heavy." A large per cent. of sand.
instead of clay. would cause the soil to be described as
Slight."
It is very easy to classify soils in this way. by simply
washing out the sand and weighing it, and, afterwards.
calculating the per cent. of sand lost in the process of
washing.
We hardly deem it necessary to make, at present, a
more extended description.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF SOILS.

Though nearly all soils are made up of the same
elements, they seldom occur in any two soils in exactly
the same proportions. The proportions in which the
different elements are present. will vary with the
character o' the rock from which the soil was originally
formed and with the external influences incident to its
formation. A disintegrated sand-stone, or lime-stone rock
will each produce a soil possessing distinct characteristics.
The difference in the quality and value of different soils
for agricultural purposes. results largely from the
different proportions of certain valuable elements that
must be present in sufficient quantities if healthy growth
is to be accomplished.
At present, there are known to the chemist about
seventy elements. Only fourteen or fifteen of these are
known to occur in the average soil, and believed to be
essential to animal and plant life. In as much as the
farmer is only interested in these fourteen or fifteen ele-
ments. we shall mention only these, and, afterwards, refer
briefly to their properties.

NIoX-META\.I.IC E EI.EI NT'S. META.ICII ELEMENTS.
Oxygen (0)" Potassium (K)
Hydrogen (H) Sodium (Na)
Nitrogen (N) Calcium (Ca)
Carbon (C) Magnesium (Mg)
Silicon (8i) Aluminum (Al)
Sulphur (S) Iron (Fe)
Phosphorus (P)
Chlorin (C])

To the above may be added Manganese (Mn). Iodine
(I), and Fluorine (F). which are sometimes present in
minute quantities.
*The letters in parenthesis are the symbols by which the elements are designated
for convenience.







BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ELEMENTS IN THE'SOIL.

Oxygen is by far the most abundant of all the ele-
ments. It forms about one-fifth of the atmosphere, where
it exists in a free and uncombined state, as a gas. It is
the active vital principle of the air we breathe. It con-
stitutes about one-half of the solid crust of the earth, and
eight-ninths of all the water. In these latter forms, it
exists in a state of chemical combination with other ele-
ments. It combines chemically with nearly every known
element, and is especially important in building up, and
destroying all forms of organic matter. In a free state it
is an invisible gas, possessing neither taste nor smell.
It is called a supporter of combustion, because wood,
and other burning substances, when plunged into it, will
burn with increased brilliancy.
Combustion, such as is constantly taking place in our
stoves, and fire-places, is nothing more than the result of
the chemical union between the oxygen of the air and the
carbon and hydrogen of the fuel.
Hydrogen, is another very abundant element. This
is the element, which when chemically combined with
oxygen, forms water. It constitutes about one-ninth, by
weight, of all water, and enters into the composition of
all plants and animals. It is the lightest substance
known. Like oxygen, it is an invisible gas, without color,
taste, or smell, but, unlike oxygen, instead of being a sup-
porter of combustion, it will, itself, burn when brought
into contact with a flame. It is seldom, if ever, found
in a free, or uncombined state.
Nitrogen, composes about four-fifths of the atmos-
phere. In addition to occurring in the atmosphere, it is
found also in plants and animals. Its sole mission in the
atmosphere appears to be to dilute the oxygen, and thus
prevent its too violent action. Animals cannot exist
when left to breathe nitrogen alone, and yet it is not
poisonous. Unlike oxygen and hydrogen, this gas will
neither burn, nor will it support combustion. A burning
splinter immersed in a jar of nitrogen will be immediately
extinguished. Nitrogen, when chemically combined with
hydrogen, forms a gas known as ammonia. This am-
monia is a very interesting compound to the farmer,
because it constitutes a very important source of nitrogen
as a plant-food.
Carbon, is an element that exists in three distinct
forms. Charcoal, coke, and lampblack are all varieties
of the first form; graphite, or plumbago, commonly called
black-lead (and used for making lead pencils), is the sec-
ond variety, and the diamond, which is pure crystalized
carbon, is the third form. When wood is burned in a









covered heap, the greater portion of the residue is carbon.
This element enters largely into the composition of all
woody substances, and when it burns, it unites with the
oxygen of the air to form a gas known as carbon-dioxide,
commonly called e'rnbon ic acid."
Silicon occurs abundantly, in combination with oxy-
gen, and in this form is known as silica (sand). As such,
ft constitutes a large portion of our rocks and soils. It
forms about one-fourth of the solid part of the earth. It is
seen, in its purest form, in quartz crystals. The sand
used by glass blowers is nearly pure quartz. Sonm chem-
ists doubt whether silicon is a necessary constituent of
plants, but all agree that it is found in the stems of grass,
wheat and corn, and in various varieties of vegetation.
Sulphur. We are all quite familiar with this substance
in the form of '"flowers of sulphur," found in every drug-
house, or as brimstone, which is only sulphur molded into
sticks. Sulphur possesses a well known yellow color, and
burns with a pale-blue flame, and very suffocating odor.
In combination with oxygen and hydrogen, this element
forms sulphuric acid, or "oil of vitriol." one of the strong-
est of the acids. Sulphuric acid is very extensively used
in the manufacture of fertilizers.
Phosphorus. To the farmer, this is one of the most
important of the elements. It composes a large percent-
age of the bones of all animals, and is found in the soil,
as well as in plants. If a piece of bone be burnt until the
ash is perfectly white, there will be left a larger pro-
portion of ash than would be obtained by burning almost
any other substance. About two-thirds of a well dried
bone is composed of ash. This ash is very different from
all other ash, with which we are familiar, in that, it is
almost wholly composed of calcium, oxygen, and phos-
phorus.
In a chemically pure state, phosphorus is a soft, yel-
lowish solid that emits a white smoke when exposed to
the air, and takes fire very easily. It has such a strong
affinity for the oxygen of the air, that it is necessary to
keep it under the surface of water. This substance is
very largely used in the arts, but to the farmer it is chiefly
valuable as a constituent of phosphoric acid to which we
shall have occasion to refer more extensively hereafter.
Chlorin. This element is never found in a free state,
but always in combination with other elements. Its
principle compounds are with hydrogen when it forms
hydrochloric or nmuriatic acid, and with sodium, when it
forms common salt. Chlorin occurs in the ash of plants as
well as in the soil. In the form of common salt it is an
abundant constituent of seawater. It is a poisonous gas,
very irritating to the throat and lungs.









All of the elements above referred to as occurring in
the soil, are designated by the chemists as '"non-metallic
elements," sometimes called "*' o-mnetuls.
The six remaining ones to be described are known as
"metallic elements," or "metals."
Of these, the first to engage our attention is potassium.
This is a soft metallic substance, lighter than water, and
possessing a very strong affinity for oxygen. So strong
is its attraction for this element, that it must be kept
under the surface of naphtha, a liquid which contains no
oxygen. The pure metal is very hard to obtain, and was
unknown, prior to the early years of the present century.
In combination with oxygen and hydrogen, this metal
forms caustic potash. It is very valuable as a constituent
of soft soap, and is utilized in various industrial oper-
ations. To the agriculturist it is indispensable in growing
successfully all of his various crops. It is potassium in
some form of combination that supplies his crops with
all the potash they demand. We will speak of potash
more at length later on.
Sodium is a soft white metal very similar in appear-
ance and properties to potassium. Common salt is sodium
combined with chlorin. Sodium occurs combined with
nitrogen to form salt-petre, a very valuable fertilizer.
Caustic soda is a compound of this element with oxygen
and hydrogen, and possesses properties similar to caustic
potash. Caustic soda is used extensively in making hard
soap, and for other purposes.
Calcium is a metal very difficult to separate from its
compounds. With oxygen. it forms common unslaked
lime. Marble, limestone, and chalk are all combinations
of calcium with other elements.
Magnesium and aluminum, are both hard, white
metals, the former is a constituent of magnesian lime-
stone, sometimes called dolomite, while the latter is a
constituent of all clay and slate rocks. Magnesium is a
very light, brittle metal, and burns in the air with a
brilliant flame. The light is so intensely brilliant that it is
largely used in taking photographs at night in dark caves.
Aluminum possesses splendid properties, such as
lightness and durability, that adapt it to varied and ex-
tensive use in the arts. but owing to the fact that no
method has yet been discovered by which it can be
cheaply separated from its compounds, it has not yet
come into such general use as its merits would justify.
Improvements are constantly being made in this direc-
tion, and, ere long, we may expect to see aluminum in
very general use.
Iron, is a very common metal with which every body
is familiar. It is too well known to need description.






11

The yellow substance so often taken for gold, is sulphide
of Iron, or fool's gold." The ores of iron. such as hema-
tite and limonite, occur in abundance, and are used in
immense quantities in the manufacture of this useful
metal. Iron is found in all soils, and constitutes the
coloring matter of clays. It exists also in a great variety
of minerals.
All the elements enumerated and briefly described
above, are of interest to the farmer only because they are
very sure to occur in every productive soil. All soils will
probably contain each of these elements, but no two soils
will be apt to contain them in exactly the same propor-
tions. Experience, has demonstrated, however, that only
three of them, namely, phosphorus, potassium, and nitro-
gen, are likely to become deficient in the soil under a
continuous system of cropping. Sometimes we find it
necessary to use other substances, such as gypsum, in
order to render our lands thoroughly productive, but
such are never taken into account in estimating the
values of commercial fertilizers.
Such substances as gypsum (land-plaster) and lime
are only added to soils that are sour and contain large
quantities of organic matter. Such lands are very apt to
contain elements of plant-food. such as nitrogen, in an
unavailable form. The application of lime in moderate
quantities, to such a soil, serves to correct the acidity of
the soil, decompose the organic matter (humus) and place
the nitrogen in a condition where it can be taken up by
the plant.
THE OBJECT OF MANURES.
In order that every plant may be enabled to grow to
the best advantage, it should have, in addition to light,
heat and water, a deep and fertile soil. The laws that
regulate the supply of sunshine and rain are beyond our
control; but all the other conditions so essential to a
fertile soil are entirely within our keeping, and should be
guarded with vigilance. Appreciating this fact, it should
be the object of the farmer to prepare his soil in the very
best manner, to select lands best adapted to the crops to
be grown. and to fertilize constantly (but not excessively)
so that his farm, instead of decreasing, will increase in
value the longer it is used. We will say, then, that the
(oli, I of manure is to render our lands fertile and pro-
du e qood crops.
WHAT IS MANURE?
Ordinarily this query might be answered by saying
that manure is any material which when added to a soil
increases its fertility, or, in common language, it may
simply imply the droppings of domestic animals, these






11

The yellow substance so often taken for gold, is sulphide
of Iron, or fool's gold." The ores of iron. such as hema-
tite and limonite, occur in abundance, and are used in
immense quantities in the manufacture of this useful
metal. Iron is found in all soils, and constitutes the
coloring matter of clays. It exists also in a great variety
of minerals.
All the elements enumerated and briefly described
above, are of interest to the farmer only because they are
very sure to occur in every productive soil. All soils will
probably contain each of these elements, but no two soils
will be apt to contain them in exactly the same propor-
tions. Experience, has demonstrated, however, that only
three of them, namely, phosphorus, potassium, and nitro-
gen, are likely to become deficient in the soil under a
continuous system of cropping. Sometimes we find it
necessary to use other substances, such as gypsum, in
order to render our lands thoroughly productive, but
such are never taken into account in estimating the
values of commercial fertilizers.
Such substances as gypsum (land-plaster) and lime
are only added to soils that are sour and contain large
quantities of organic matter. Such lands are very apt to
contain elements of plant-food. such as nitrogen, in an
unavailable form. The application of lime in moderate
quantities, to such a soil, serves to correct the acidity of
the soil, decompose the organic matter (humus) and place
the nitrogen in a condition where it can be taken up by
the plant.
THE OBJECT OF MANURES.
In order that every plant may be enabled to grow to
the best advantage, it should have, in addition to light,
heat and water, a deep and fertile soil. The laws that
regulate the supply of sunshine and rain are beyond our
control; but all the other conditions so essential to a
fertile soil are entirely within our keeping, and should be
guarded with vigilance. Appreciating this fact, it should
be the object of the farmer to prepare his soil in the very
best manner, to select lands best adapted to the crops to
be grown. and to fertilize constantly (but not excessively)
so that his farm, instead of decreasing, will increase in
value the longer it is used. We will say, then, that the
(oli, I of manure is to render our lands fertile and pro-
du e qood crops.
WHAT IS MANURE?
Ordinarily this query might be answered by saying
that manure is any material which when added to a soil
increases its fertility, or, in common language, it may
simply imply the droppings of domestic animals, these






12

droppings, all thoughtful farmers will be careful to save
and use for agricultural purposes. It is easy for us to
understand why this animal excrement is of so much
practical importance to the farmer. It is simply because
it contains the elements of plant-food-phosphoric acid,
potash, and nitrogen-so essential to vegetation, in a
convenient form to be used in plant-growth. When we
burn a plant, the material left behind in the form of
ash will contain the elements that the plant derived
from the soil during its period of growth. The very
same action ensues when the plant is more slowly oxidized
(burnt) in the body of the animal. The animal also
oxidizes that portion of the plant-food, such as carbon,
which is obtained from the air.
The animal excrement, then, will be composed of a
large proportion of what may be termed the "ash ele-
ments" of plants, together with nitrogen, in organic
compounds, which naturally decomposes, enabling it to
form ammonia, and there is also present a considerable
quantity of woody-fibre and other indigestible material.
It is obvious, therefore, that the droppings of animals
are composed of all the elements of plant-food that were
derived by the plant, from the soil, during growth, and
also the carbonaceous matter originally obtained from
the atmosphere, this matter subserving to decompose
other material, and also assisting in retaining other food
that plants must procure from the air.

VALUE OF HOME-MADE MANURE.
Perhaps one of the chief sources of profit on a well
kept farm is the manure obtained from stock. No farmer
is desirous of farming economically who neglects this
very important matter. Unless properly cared for,
manure is sure rapidly to lose much of its value.
All manure does not possess the same agricultural
value, neither does the excrement from one animal
possess the same value at different times. The manure
from a well fed animal is much more valuable than that
from a poorly fed one. The droppings of a half starved
animal possess little value as a fertilizer. It is hardly
profitable to use, but when the animal has been well fed,
on a rich diet like cotton-seed meal or wheat bran, it has
been proven that the plant food locked up in the animal
manure is more valuable from a money standpoint than
was the food itself when purchased in the market.
When fed to stock, cotton-seed meal is known to produce
a manure of excellent quality. These seeds are now
used in immense quantities as a source of nitrogen in
he manufacture of commercial fertilizer, but it would be








much better for the farmer who grows his seed to ex-
change them for an equal weight of hulls and meal. The
manufacturer is generally willing to make this agree-
ment. and finds his profit in the oil collected from
pressing the seed. Upon the other hand, the oil in the
seed has no fertilizing value, and, in this way, the farmer
would gain more real plant food by making the exchange.
Then by purchasing phosphoric acid and potash, and
mixing them with the meal, he will have another com-
plete fertilizer to supplement his store of barn-yard
manure.
HOW TO PRESERVE MANURE.

If animal manure be allowed to remain in the lot, or
in the field, exposed to the sun and rain, it will very soon
depreciate in value. If kept too dry. under cover, it accu-
mulates a considerable amount of heat, and much of the
nitrogen will be driven off in the form of ammonia. To
remedy this. in addition to being kept under cover,
manure should, from time to time, be sprinkled with
water, and every several days with land-plaster (sulphate
of lime or gypsum).
It will be very easy for us to understand the chemi-
cal change that takes place after a very brief explana-
tion. During the fermenting process in the manure
heap. carbon-dioxide gas is given off, and likewise am-
monia, simultaneously with the decomposition of the
material constituting the heap. These two substances
will at once combine to form carbonate of ammonia,
which is very volatile. Now, when land-plaster is added,
the carbon-dioxide contained in the carbonate of ammonia
will unite with the lime, composing the plaster, forming
the carbonate of lime; and the sulphuric acid which was
previously combined with the lime in the plaster, will be
set free, and will at once unite with the ammonia con-
tained in the carbonate to form sulphate of ammonia,
which will not volatilize as was the case with the car-
bonate.
Sprinkling with water, from time to time, serves to
prevent the heap from becoming too heated. Where one
is engaged in growing grasses to any considerable extent,
it will be found more economical to spread the manure on
the grass as fast as it is collected. In this way all loss
that would result from leakage, on account of the manure
renmainmg exposed in the lot, will be saved by being
washed directly to the roots of the growing grass to be
appropriated as plant food.
Urine from domestic animals should be most carefully
preserved, because it contains valuable elements of plant-
food in a readily available form. It possesses equal value







with the solid excrement as a manure. In order that it
may be preserved as far as possible a sufficient quantity
of straw should be kept spread upon the floor of the stall
in which the animal is kept. It will also be well to
sprinkle fresh land-plaster over the straw to retain the
easily volatile ammonia that would otherwise be sure to
escape during fermentation. Every day or two, this lit-
ter should be transferred to the manure heap to undergo
decomposition. The stall should be kept in a clean con-
dition, all the scrapings being added to the heap and
treated as previously directed.
Too much stress cannot be laid upon the necessity of
preserving home-made manure, and a prominent object
will have been gained if this bulletin shall be the means
of inducing our farmers to give this matter serious con-
sideration, and cause them to resolve, from this time on,
not to cast aside valuable fertilizers that could be profit-
ably employed.

COMMERCIAL FERTILIZERS.

Not many of our farmers, even though they practice
a most rigid system of economy, will be enabled to save
from the various domestic sources a sufficient quantity of
fertilizers to supply their various agricultural needs.
Here then comes the necessity for buying commercial
fertilizers, and for knowing how and what to buy.
As before stated, the design of commercial fertilizers
is to supply in an available form the three elements of
plant-food, viz.: phosphoric acid, potash and nitrogen,
that are likely to become deficient under a continuous sys-
tem of cultivation. A commercial fertilizer may contain
one or more of these substances. A complete fertilizer is
one known to contain all three of them in proper propor-
tions. A soil may or may not, need to be supplied with a
complete fertilizer. Much will depend upon the system
of cropping that has been practiced. One crop will require
more of one particular element to grow successfully, than
another crop would likely employ. Such an element, if
not re-supplied to the soil in the form of a fertilizer, will
soon become exhausted in the soil. In this way the soil
would soon be rendered unproductive and incapable of
yielding good crops. This is a fact-it is reason-it is
plain common sense-and yet we encounter men every
day who claim to be intelligent, who are always ready to
disparage the use of commercial fertilizers, and advise all
to leave them severely alone.
Doubtless many of our so-called "commercial fertil-
izers" are frauds, put upon the market by a class of
dealers whose only aim is to swell their own purses by










practicing their nefarious traffic. It is the province of
the chemist to find these men out. and expose their ras-
cality. Much has already been accomplished along this
line, and much remains to be done.
Luckily. and naturally, laws have been enacted by
the legislatures of the several States that provide a punish-
ment for those who choose to make their living in this
way, and these laws were passed solely to serve as a
means of protection to the farmer. If a manufacturer or
a dealer is detected in an attempt to defraud, by palming
off on the purchaser worthless goods, the strong arm of
the law comes at once to the buyer's rescue and metes out
a just punishment to the defrauder.
Our laws do not prescribe any standard for the com-
position of a commercial fertilizer-the manufacturer is
left free to make his own standard-but the law does
prescribe that the fertilizer he offers for sale shall be up
to the standard claimed by the manufacturer. The license
granted the manufacturer to sell his article, does not cer-
tify to the value of the fertilizer, but simply states that
the manufacturer or dealer offers for sale a fertilizer that
is declared to contain a certain per cent. of phosphoric
acid, potash and nitrogen. and that a sample of the fertil-
izer has been deposited with the Commissioner of Agri-
culture to be analyzed by the chemist, whom the State
employs for that purpose. The claimed and found analy-
ses are then published in Bulletin form, in parallel col-
umns, and the purchaser is enabled to see at a glance the
exact composition of the fertilizer he proposes to buy.
Frequent letters have been received at this office
during the past year asking for information in regard to
buying and using commercial fertilizers. Now that the
season for purchasing is fast approaching, it may be well
to devote the remaining pages of this Bulletin to answer-
ing these numerous inquiries, in order that those who
contemplate buying may know how to do so intelligently:
understand how to buy, what to buy, and how much to
buy.
Before we can understand how to buy, we must first
know just what we desire-what we are buying. It will.
therefore, be well for us to consider, somewhat briefly,
the three fertilizing elements necessary to be supplied
from time to time, to maintain the fertility of all soils.
viz.: phosphoric acid, potash and nitrogen. It will be well
also, to note the forms in which these several substances
exist, their mode of occurrence, their composition and the
sources whence they may be best obtained for utilization
in the manufacture of fertilizers.









PHOSPHORIC ACID.
When the term "phosphoric acid" is used in con-
nection with the chemical analysis of a fertilizer, it
signifies a compound which is really not phosphoric acid.
but simply one of phosphorus and oxygen. True phos-
phoric acid could not well exist as such in a fertilizer. So
that in an analysis, the numbers under the heading "phos-
phoric acid" state the amount of phosphoric oxide (PO.)
above mentioned, that is equivalent to the phosphoric
acid in the form, of phosphate of calcium (bone phos-
phate) actually existing in the fertilizer. True phospho-
ric acid is a compound of three elements, viz.: phosphorus,
hydrogen and oxygen, but in the form in which we are
accustomed to use the term the hydrogen of the acid has
been displaced by some other substance, usually lie
(calcium) and a salt formed which is known to the
chemist as tri-calcic phosphate. It is very customary to
speak of this compound as "insoluble phosphoric acid,"
because only a very small portion of it is readily soluble
in water.
"Insoluble phosphoric acid," then, is the form in
which phosphorus exists in most soils, in bones, and like-
wise in most rocks which are employed in the manufac-
ture of commercial fertilizers (super-phosphates, etc).
Bones being of an organic nature, are more rapidly disin-
tegrated in the soil than the rock from which the so-called
rock-phosphate is derived, and hence, in a crude state.
when both are finely ground and mixed with the soil, the
ground bone will be rendered much more quickly avail-
able as a plant-food. The rapidity with which either is
converted into an available form will vary greatly with
the character of the soil, its condition after cultivating
different varieties of crops, its composition, etc.
As insoluble rock-phosphate, phosphoric acid occurs
in immense quantities in Florida, South Carolina, and in
considerable quantities also in Alabama. California and
North Carolina. In Florida and South Carolina the sup-
ply is practically inexhaustible. In view of the fact that
the demand for commercial fertilizers is increasing all the
while, it is not improbable that the State of Florida will
yet become immensely wealthy from the development of
this single industry. The quality of the phosphate rock,
mined in this State, is not inferior to that mined elsewhere
in the United States, and the attention of the whole
country has been directed to the phosphate deposits of
Florida.
As the farmers become more and more appreciative
of the benefits to be derived from the use of fertilizers we
may expect to see the demand for Florida phosphate








increase, until after a while the phosphate industry will
become to Florida what the iron industry is to Alabama.
Phosphoric acid is more universally deficient in soils
than any other substance necessary to the growth of
plants, hence the great importance of phosphatic manures.
In a chemical analysis, this acid is usually reported
under two divisions, namely, "available" and "insoluble"
phosphoric acid. They have very different commercial
values, the "available'" being usually estimated at .07&
cents, and the "insoluble" at .02 cents per pound-the
latter is the least valuable of all forms of phosphate.
The way in which the crude phosphate rock is usually
rendered soluble and readily available, is by treating it
with sulphuric acid, thus converting it into what is known
as super-phosphate or acid-phosphate. This may be
accomplished by mixing the ground rock with half its
weight of sulphuric acid (previously mixed with two or
three times its weight of water). The water should be
first placed in the vessel that is to contain the mixture of
acid and water, and the acid should be added very slowly
(because a great evolution of heat and steam will be sure
to occur) and should be stirred constantly. Next pour
the acid upon the ground rock, thoroughly mix, and allow
the mixture to stand about an hour. At the expiration of
this time, the re-action will have been complete, and then
the mixture will soon dry and be free from moisture. As
a means of getting rid of any excess of acid, rich earth,
saw dust or ashes are mixed with the mass, these will
serve to neutralize the excess of acid.
Doubtless it will be better for the average farmer to
buy his super-phosphate directly from the manufacturer
or dealer, rather than encounter the risk of making for
himself an article of inferior- quality.

POTASH.

When the word "potash" is used in reporting a fer-
tilizer analysis, it always signifies the compound of
potassium and oxygen, known as potassium oxide (K, O)
or potash. It really never occurs in this form in a fertil-
izer, but chemists prefer to report it in this way merely as
a convenient standard for reference. Potash generally
occurs in fertilizers in such forms as the chloride (muriate),
sulphate or carbonate of potash, and in an analysis, under
the column marked "potash," we have only to remember
that the figures used simply denote the per cent. of actual
potash (K, 0) that is equivalent to the sulphate, chloride
or carbonate of potash that is contained in the fertilizer
reported.








Potash occurs widely distributed in the soil in various
complex mineral compounds. It also constitutes a very
large proportion of the ashes of plants. It is the chief
fertilizing ingredient derived from wood ashes, when they
are spread upon the soil.
Potash is also found in other forms of combination-
sometimes mixed with common salt-and is dug in im-
mense quantities from mines far below the surface of the
earth. The largest and most important potash salt mines
are located near Stassfurt. in Germany. From these
immense mines these salts are imported in the form of sul-
phate of potash, muriate (chloride) of potash, kainit, etc.
Commencing near the Stassfurt mines only a few
years back, the use of potash salts as a fertilizer, has
already become universal in Germany-has extended
largely over the European Continent, and, finally, has
rendered much of the barren soil of our own country pro-
ductive. and even the coffee fields of Brazil have been
made to feel the beneficial effects of its application.
Formerly the amount used per annum, was only a
few hundred tons, now the annual consumption reaches
many thousand tons.
it is more than possible that as our knowledge in
regard to using fertilizers increases, it will be found that
we were once not fully appreciative of the benefits to be
derived from a liberal application of potash fertilizers to
our soils.
Mr. G. H. Whitcher, Director of the New Hampshire
Experiment Station, has written a learned article along
this line, in which he points out that the ratio of phos-
phoric acid to potash, as found in the ashes of plants is as
1 is to :, whereas in compounding the fertilizers used in
producing that plant. the ratio adopted was just the
reverse, viz.: three parts of phosphoric acid to one of
potash. This gentleman inaugurated a series of experi-
ments to test the correctness of his idea, and the results
obtained were highly satisfactory. So strong is Prof.
Whitcher's belief that the average commercial fertilizer
contains a deficiency of potash, that he was constrained
to close his admirable article with the following vigorous
language: I wish to say that 1 am thoroughly convinced
that our fertilizer manufacturers must give us in New
Hampshire more than four per cent. of potash, and from
other New England States, I am receiving letters which
convince me that New England, as a whole, would be
benefitted by ten per cent. of potash in the fertilizers
used, and were I to buy prepared fertilizers to-day for our
general crops, 1 would get some of the so-called 'special
potato fertilizers,' since they have more potash than any
others in the market."








NITROGEN.

In 'its natural state. nitrogen is a gas. As such, it
could not well exist in a fertilizer. Whenever reference
is made to nitrogen. therefore, in a fertilizer, the intention
is not to state that it really exists in that fertilizer as
simple nitrogen. As it occurs in fertilizers, it is always
combined with other elements, and may be present in
several different forms of combination, to-wit: 1st. in the
form of organic matter. either animal or vegetable; as
dried blood, flesh. tankage. tobacco stems and cotton seed
meal: %d, as nitrates; as nitrate of soda. nitrate of potash.
etc. :3d. in the form of ammonia compounds: as sulphate
of ammonia.
According to the official imthod for analyzing fer-
tilizers, the chemist does not attempt to ascertain and
state in precisely what form the nitrogen is present in a
fertilizer. Accordingly. when an analysis is reported, in
the column under the heading "-nitrogen." the figures
used are simply intended to state the amount of nitrogen
present. without regard to the form in which it exists.
or, in other words, these figures tell us howi inch n itrogen
the fertilizer would contoai if it wrre all present i) the
form of )pure nitro.qgen qgS.

SOURCES OF NITROGEN AS A FERTILIZER.
Nitrogen is one of the most expensive elements of
plant-food. It is, at the same time. one of the most im-
portant, and is also the most difficult to keep in the soil
to supply the needs of growing crops. When it is present
in the form of nitrate of soda or nitrate of potash it is
dissolved and carried out of the reach of the plant roots
very rapidly by water.
If present in the form of ammonia, as it occurs in
manure heaps, unless precautions are taken, a very large
per cent. of it will escape into the air. And when it is
applied to the soil in the form of ammonia, it will soon
be changed into the form of nitrate, and as a nitrate, if
not very soon appropriated by the growing plant, it will
be dissolved and carried off by the soil water. So that
in whatever form nitrogen is employed as a fertilizer it is
exceedingly difficult to manage so as not to waste a con-
siderable portion of it. It is always necessary, there-
fore. on account of these facts, and also on account of
its high cost. to exercise the utmost care whenever nitro-
gen is employed as a fertilizer.
The largest natural source of this element, at present,
is from the large nitre beds that occur in Chili. In these
beds it exists in the form of nitrate of soda. sometimes








NITROGEN.

In 'its natural state. nitrogen is a gas. As such, it
could not well exist in a fertilizer. Whenever reference
is made to nitrogen. therefore, in a fertilizer, the intention
is not to state that it really exists in that fertilizer as
simple nitrogen. As it occurs in fertilizers, it is always
combined with other elements, and may be present in
several different forms of combination, to-wit: 1st. in the
form of organic matter. either animal or vegetable; as
dried blood, flesh. tankage. tobacco stems and cotton seed
meal: %d, as nitrates; as nitrate of soda. nitrate of potash.
etc. :3d. in the form of ammonia compounds: as sulphate
of ammonia.
According to the official imthod for analyzing fer-
tilizers, the chemist does not attempt to ascertain and
state in precisely what form the nitrogen is present in a
fertilizer. Accordingly. when an analysis is reported, in
the column under the heading "-nitrogen." the figures
used are simply intended to state the amount of nitrogen
present. without regard to the form in which it exists.
or, in other words, these figures tell us howi inch n itrogen
the fertilizer would contoai if it wrre all present i) the
form of )pure nitro.qgen qgS.

SOURCES OF NITROGEN AS A FERTILIZER.
Nitrogen is one of the most expensive elements of
plant-food. It is, at the same time. one of the most im-
portant, and is also the most difficult to keep in the soil
to supply the needs of growing crops. When it is present
in the form of nitrate of soda or nitrate of potash it is
dissolved and carried out of the reach of the plant roots
very rapidly by water.
If present in the form of ammonia, as it occurs in
manure heaps, unless precautions are taken, a very large
per cent. of it will escape into the air. And when it is
applied to the soil in the form of ammonia, it will soon
be changed into the form of nitrate, and as a nitrate, if
not very soon appropriated by the growing plant, it will
be dissolved and carried off by the soil water. So that
in whatever form nitrogen is employed as a fertilizer it is
exceedingly difficult to manage so as not to waste a con-
siderable portion of it. It is always necessary, there-
fore. on account of these facts, and also on account of
its high cost. to exercise the utmost care whenever nitro-
gen is employed as a fertilizer.
The largest natural source of this element, at present,
is from the large nitre beds that occur in Chili. In these
beds it exists in the form of nitrate of soda. sometimes








called Chilian salt-petre. This salt has a very extended
use for fertilizing purposes, both as a top dressing for
crops and for mixing in commercial fertilizers.
Nitrogen is also found native in the form of nitrate
of potash, in the soil of limestone caverns and also under
houses.
Artificial nitre-beds may be easily prepared by mix-
ing the scrapings from the poultry yard with various
waste material occurring about the farm, and afterwards
mixing with rich earth, and sprinkling now and then
with water. The heap should be covered with some
porous material to absorb any nitrogen that might escape
into the air. Although nitrogen occurs in great abund-
ance in a free state in the atmosphere, there are only
a very few plants that are known to employ the atmos-
pheric nitrogen as a food while growing.
There is a division of plants, known as the legumes,
including the pea, bean and clover families, that is
capable of employing this nitrogen during growth. Just
how they are able to do so, is still quite imperfectly
understood. It has been asserted by some that these
plants took in this nitrogen directly from the air, through
very minute breathing pores that occur on the under
surface of their leaves, but this theory now appears to
have very few adherents.
It seems more probable that the atmospheric nitro-
gen is secured through the agency of minute microscopic
fungii that infest the roots of these leguminous plants.
Upon these plants there has been observed certain tuber-
cles or swellings, in which this fungus growth subsists.
This fungus is itself a little plant, and its manner of
growth is very similar to that of the yeast plant, which
is known to be the agency which produces alcoholic fer-
mentation in sugar solutions.
We may, perhaps, be warranted in asserting that
some plants at least, are capable of using during growth
the nitrogen of the air, and that their ability to do so is
due to a certain ferment, which, in the presence of
warmth, moisture and darkness. feeds upon the free
atmospheric nitrogen, and, as a result, nitrates are
formed, and in this form the growing plants utilize the
nitrogen which this ferment has thus rendered available.
We are now prepared to understand why it is that certain
plants, like cow-peas and clover, are highly beneficial in
a system of. crop rotation. Such plants gather from the
atmosphere, and supply to the soil the most expensive
element of plant food that would otherwise have to be
supplied in the form of a purchased fertilizer.









As before stated, whenever it is found necessary to
buy artificial fertilizers, perhaps the most economical
source of nitrogen to the Southern farmer is the meal
obtained from cotton seed cake, after all the oil has been
expressed. In nearly every instance, this will be found
the best and cheapest source, where the fertilizer is to be
prepared at home.
Much more might be said upon the subject of nitro-
gen and its use as a fertilizer, but it is to be hoped that
what has been stated will be sufficient to afford at least
a fair understanding, of this very essential element, as
regards its adaptation to fertilizing purposes.

NITROGEN EQUIVALENT TO AMMONIA.
It is very common among manufacturers to express
the per cent. of nitrogen present in a fertilizer as
" equivalent to ammonia." They prefer to express it in
this way probably for the reason that, if the nitrogen is
expressed as ammonia, larger figures are necessary to
describe the analysis, and, if the farmer knows no
better, the larger figures used will serve to impress him
with the belief that a larger per cent. of nitrogen is
present than really is. This method is in perfect accord
with legal requirements, but it would be well for the
farmer to remember that nitrogen and ammonia are
two di,'; r. i substances. and that one pound of ammonia
is equivalent to only about eight-tenths of a pound of
nitrogen. Let us understand this:-Ammonia is a sub-
stance composed of nitrogen and hydrogen combined;
therefore a pound of nitrogen will form over a pound
of ammonia, for the reason that the ammonia formed
from a pound of nitrogen will contain, in addition to that
nitrogen, a certain amount of hydrogen. The chemical
relations existing between nitrogen and hydrogen are
such that fourteen pounds of nitrogen will unite with
exactly three poulfds of hydrogen, to form seventeen
pounds of ammonia one pound of nitrogen will therefore
make 1.215 pounds of ammonia.
Then, in conclusion, it may be well to remember that
if the nitrogen in a fertilizer is reported in the analysis
as equivalent to ammonia," it does not mean to imply
that the stated per cent. of ammonia actually was
present-indeed, there may have been no ammonia at all
in the fertilizer, what the figures used do intend to state
is how much ammonia there would be if all the nitrogen
were present in that form.









EXPLANATION OF A CHEMICAL ANALYSIS.

There are doubtless many farmers in our State who
do not understand the meaning of the figures used to
express the result of a chemical analysis of a fertilizer.
To all such we will simply say the figures used merely
indicate parts per hundred, or, in other words, they tell
us how many pounds of each ingredient is present in
every hundred pounds of fertilizer. Thus, suppose our
analysis reads :
Phosphoric Acid ......... 10.20 per cent.
Potash .. ...... 3.15
Nitrogen ....... 3.50
This would simply mean that in every one hundred
pounds of the fertilizer mixture there is present. in an
equivalent form. a little more than ten pounds of phos-
phoric acid, three pounds of potash, and exactly three-
and-a-half pounds of nitrogen.
By remembering this explanation it will be a very
easy matter to know, when we purchase fertilizers, just
exactly how much of each valuable ingredient we are
securing.
HOW TO ESTIMATE THE MARKET VALUE OF
A FERTILIZER.

To find the market value of a ton of fertilizer requires
only a very simple calculation. The prices paid, per
pound, for the several ingredients are the ones uniformly
paid in most States, and are based on the prices these
goods will bring when placed on the market.
In the calculations below the price of the available
phosphoric acid is placed at 7c cents, insoluble phos-
phoric acid at 2 cents, potash at .5 cents, and nitrogen at
19- cents per pound. Then let us ascertain the com-
mercial value of a ton of a fertilizer of the following
composition :
Available Pho,. Acid..8 20%x20=164.00 lbs., in ton (a 71 cts.=$12.30
Insoluble Phos. Acid. 2.00%x20= 40.001bs., @ 2 cts.= .80
Potash ......... 3.15%x20- 63.001hbs. (e 5 cts.= 3.15
Nitrogen 3.50%x20= 70.001bs., 19!. ets. 13.65
Market value, per ton, equals. ..... ... .$29 90
In the above calculation the following method was
pursued:
The number of pounds of available phosphoric acid
contained in each hundred pounds of the fertilizer mix-
ture was multiplied by twenty in order to get the number
of pounds of the "available" that would occur in a ton
(2,000 pounds) of the fertilizer; then the number of









EXPLANATION OF A CHEMICAL ANALYSIS.

There are doubtless many farmers in our State who
do not understand the meaning of the figures used to
express the result of a chemical analysis of a fertilizer.
To all such we will simply say the figures used merely
indicate parts per hundred, or, in other words, they tell
us how many pounds of each ingredient is present in
every hundred pounds of fertilizer. Thus, suppose our
analysis reads :
Phosphoric Acid ......... 10.20 per cent.
Potash .. ...... 3.15
Nitrogen ....... 3.50
This would simply mean that in every one hundred
pounds of the fertilizer mixture there is present. in an
equivalent form. a little more than ten pounds of phos-
phoric acid, three pounds of potash, and exactly three-
and-a-half pounds of nitrogen.
By remembering this explanation it will be a very
easy matter to know, when we purchase fertilizers, just
exactly how much of each valuable ingredient we are
securing.
HOW TO ESTIMATE THE MARKET VALUE OF
A FERTILIZER.

To find the market value of a ton of fertilizer requires
only a very simple calculation. The prices paid, per
pound, for the several ingredients are the ones uniformly
paid in most States, and are based on the prices these
goods will bring when placed on the market.
In the calculations below the price of the available
phosphoric acid is placed at 7c cents, insoluble phos-
phoric acid at 2 cents, potash at .5 cents, and nitrogen at
19- cents per pound. Then let us ascertain the com-
mercial value of a ton of a fertilizer of the following
composition :
Available Pho,. Acid..8 20%x20=164.00 lbs., in ton (a 71 cts.=$12.30
Insoluble Phos. Acid. 2.00%x20= 40.001bs., @ 2 cts.= .80
Potash ......... 3.15%x20- 63.001hbs. (e 5 cts.= 3.15
Nitrogen 3.50%x20= 70.001bs., 19!. ets. 13.65
Market value, per ton, equals. ..... ... .$29 90
In the above calculation the following method was
pursued:
The number of pounds of available phosphoric acid
contained in each hundred pounds of the fertilizer mix-
ture was multiplied by twenty in order to get the number
of pounds of the "available" that would occur in a ton
(2,000 pounds) of the fertilizer; then the number of









pounds of this "available" acid occurring in a ton was
multiplied by the market value per pound (7A cents).
This gave an amount representing the value of the
"available" acid in one ton of the fertilizer.
The same course was pursued in obtaining the com-
mercial value of each of the other ingredients. viz:
insoluble phosphoric acid. potash and nitrogen.
Then, by adding the market values of the several
ingredients, the commercial value of a ton of the fer-
tilizer was estimated.

CONCLUSION.

In conclusion it is only necessary to express the wish
that the facts which we have endeavoured to place before
our farmers, in an intelligible form. may not only be
interesting reading. but may serve to aid them in buy-
ing for their farms the fertilizers which will surely prove
profitable to the agricultural interests of Florida.
It is our earnest hope that in these pages we have
succeeded in placing in plain and simple language some
of the facts bearing upon plants and what is necessary
to make them grow. All the theories that we have advo-
cated herein are the definite results of modern scientific
research, all have been thoroughly demonstrated in
practice a thousand times.
It is our hope that the information in this bulletin
will enable our readers better to understand the terms
used, from time to time, in our station publications, and
thus render those publications of more practical value.
If this is done. our object in publishing a bulletin of this
character will have been accomplished.




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