SPECIAL SOIL SURVEY NUMBER B L 4 927
joriba %ebi tT
PUBLISHED SEMI-MONTHLY BY
BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Vol 1 February 7, 1927 No. 17
Table of Contents
Soil Surveys, Editorial. Soils and Fertilizers.
The Value of the Soil Survey. What Is Land Worth.
United States Department of Agriculture, Letter from Geology, Mineral Resources and Soils of Florida.
Bureau of Soils. Federal Soil Experts Will Make Survey.
Work on Polk Soil Map to Be Resumed. Florida's Soil Possibilities.
Soils and Tobacco Types. Fourteen Standard Formulas for Florida.
Soil Specialist to Study Peats.
Dade County Corn Crop Is in Tassel. South Florida Farmer Brings in First Melons.
Fifteen Cars of Beans Shipped in Period of 17 Days. Hardee County Man Makes Crop in Less Than Four
Soil Analysis No Guide to Fertilization. Months.
Remarkable Rich Land in Lake County Government Soil Survey Maps and Reports Are Ready.
Soil Map for Florida for Distribution. Will Locate New Textile Factory.
By NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner of Agriculture
IS issue of FLORIDA REVIEW is devoted to
the subject of SOIL SURVEYS. We have
gathered material bearing on this question,
which we submit with the hope that it may
prove of value to the hundreds of people who have
asked us for information upon this subject.
Florida needs a soil survey. We need it for our-
selves because we who own land here do not always
know much about it. We need it for a protection
and assurance to strangers from other states who
often buy "sight unseen," without having the
slightest personal knowledge of the soils they are
buying. If land has not been cleared and cultivated,
we have no way of knowing, except by guess, what
it is and what it will produce. We cannot even cor-
rectly judge the type, quality or agricultural value
of an uncleared tract by comparing it with a cul-
tivated field lying beside it. Strange though it may
sound to some, it is nevertheless true that many dif-
ferent soil types, each varying from the others in
fertility and hence in value, may be often found with-
in the bounds of a single section, even in a quarter
We have seen many such places over the state;
places where a man may, in a short walk, pass from
an area of great richness onto others altogether dif-
ferent and inferior. Sometimes a fence, a road or a
creek may be the dividing line between land worth
$300.00 per acre and land not worth $10.00 per acre.
Such conditions make for confusion, unrest and dis-
appointment. They constitute a great obstacle in the
pathway of progress; they are big hindrances to
Florida's agricultural development today.
No one who stops to think can doubt that our
future is largely dependent upon the correct utiliza-
tion of our natural resources. During the past year
we have heard much about the development of "our
back country." Men have turned from the sale of
town lots to the sale and cultivation of farm lands.
Now, we are inviting a "million new farmers" to
come to Florida, not as tourists or as townfolk, but
as tillers of the soil. Millions of our idle acres are
being offered to the buying public. We are pointing
to our climate, where men can work in their shirt
sleeves every day in the year. We are saying that
Florida can and does produce soil products and place
them on the market every month of the year. We are
showing that we have magnificent opportunities for
feeding the snow-bound North and East with our
fresh fruit and vegetables when they cannot produce
these things for themselves.
All this is well and good. But we who own this
land owe to ourselves and to those whom we invite
to come here to till it, the duty of telling them the
truth and the whole truth about our soil. If we play
fair with the man whom we solicit as a prospective
settler, we should be able to give him the facts about
the particular tract he is interested in. I believe the
2 Florida Review
adoption of such a policy would remove from our
land sales system its most objectionable feature, to-
wit: The sale to innocent purchasers of lands un-
suited to the purpose for which they were bought.
This would be the application of a higher business
ethics which would undoubtedly guarantee a greater
measure of confidence, contentment and prosperity
to the strangers who settle here amongst us.
The beginning of soil survey work in Florida
under supervision of the Federal Government was in
1904, when Gadsden County was surveyed. In all,
about twenty of our counties have had this work
done. This covers less than one-third of the State,
although the work has been under way for more
than twenty years.
It is to be hoped that the next Legislature will give
careful consideration to the matter of having proper
soil survey work provided for by appropriation. We
need sufficient service of this kind to take care of
the increasing demands being made all over the State.
Scores of requests come to the Department of Agri-
culture from owners of tracts and from prospective
investors. These men want to know and have a per-
fect right to know the facts about the soils of our
It would be a good thing for Florida if every acre
of her land were examined and the results tabulated.
We would then be in position to certify to the real
character of any given tract about which such in-
formation is desired. If John Smith from Michigan
wants to know about a certain forty acres in a cer-
tain county in Florida, it would be a fine service if
the State could issue to him a certificate indicating
just what type of soil this forty contains, whether
it needs drainage and to what crop it would be best
Another good result flowing from.such a survey
would be the data it would yield bearing on the
timber resources of Florida. There is a rapidly-
growing sentiment in favor of forest preservation in
this State. Undoubtedly a thorough soil survey would
be the means of taking stock of our timber areas as
well as showing us those less fertile portions of the
State not now practicable for farming but which
could be set to use in the growing of timber for our
I do not feel safe in advising that this work can
be financed at one time by the State. It is a work
that to be thoroughly done, will probably cost as
much as seventy-five cents per acre, which, of course,
would aggregate a huge sum when applied to the
entire State. My thought is that it would be enough,
at the start, if the State, in co-operation with the
United States authorities, would set up an organiza-
tion competent to do this work on request of those
who are interested in ascertaing the facts as to
their soil or the soil they expect to purchase. Such
a service for an individual or corporation could be
paid for by those requesting the work. It seems to
me that we might well inaugurate such a service
here in Florida that would assist very materially
our landowners and prospective settlers without at
the same time imposing an undue financial burden
upon the State.
Marl Exposed on the Caloosahatchee River.
Florida Review 3
Published Semi-Monthly by
Bureau of Immigration, Department of Agriculture
Nathan Mayo...........................Commissioner of Agriculture
T. J. Brooks..................Director Bureau of Immigration
Phil S. Taylor............................................... Advertising Editor
Entered as second-class matter, June 25, 1926, at the Post Office
at Tallahassee, Fla., under the Act of June 6, 1920.
Will be mailed free to anyone upon request.
Vol. 1 February 7, 1927 No. 17
THE VALUE OF THE SOIL SURVEY
The soil survey provides a detailed inventory of the soil
resources of the country, county by county.
Valuable to the Farmers
Such a survey is valuable to the individual farmer be-
cause it classifies the agricultural and non-agricultural land.
It divides the soils which are adapted to general farming
or grazing from those which are suited to various special-
ized crops, and it gives an idea of their relative value. The
soil survey also classifies lands suitable for forestry pur-
poses. It indicates swamp lands capable of reclamation,
the dry lands suitable for dry farming, and the arid soils
which may be profitably irrigated. As experiment stations
conduct fertility tests on the different soils nid include the
results in soil survey reports, the farmer may utilize these
in determining the natural fertility and needs of the soil,
what crops to raise, and how to treat and manage the
different soils on his own farm.
Of Value to Land Seeker
Farmers looking for new locations, and city folks want-
ing to buy farms find the soil survey maps and accompany-
ing reports to be what they need first to consult. Real
estate dealers, land appraisers, and bankers making farm
loans can use the soil surveys in determining land values.
Colonization agents find the soil surveys useful in locating
settlers in new territory.
Used by Road Engineers and Manufacturers
Road engineers use the soil maps in locating roads and .n
finding suitable road building material. Various manu-
facturing industries, such as canners, makers of clay pro-
ducts and cement, find the surveys useful in selecting loca-
tions for factories. The soil maps indicate deposits of ma-
terials of industrial importance, such as gravel, sand, shale,
tile, brick and pottery clays, limestone, and marl.
Needed in Schools and by County Agricultural Agents
High schools and colleges giving instruction in agricul-
ture are using the soil surveys in dealing with soil and
crop problems. County agricultural agents and agricultural
extension specialists find constant use for the information
contained in the soil survey maps and reports.
Aids Experiment Stations in Advising Farmers
Soil experts of the experiment stations, by knowing the
soils of each county as shown on the soil maps, can be of
great service to the farmer in helping to solve his soil
problems. The maps also help in improving methods of
farm management and in determining the cost of crop pro-
ducts. They are of great value in the establishment of
drainage districts and in planning drainage systems for
In all fertility and crop production investigations the
experiment station workers find constant use for soil maps
Valuable in Locating Experiment and Demonstration
Without a soil survey the location of representative
fields for soil fertility tests is guess work, and the results
secured cannot be fully utilized unless the locations and
extent of similar soil areas in the other parts of the state
are definitely known.
Public Health Surveys
Another unusual but very important use which is being
made of soil surveys is in connection with the large life
insurance companies. They use these maps in making
public health and sanitary surveys and they find them
valuable in investigations bearing upon the health and
well being of people in particular communities.
What the Soil Maps Show
The detail soil maps are made on a standard scale of
one inch to the mile and show not only the different soils
but accurately locate all important physical features, such
as roads, railroads and streams as well as towns, schools,
churches, and farmsteads. Maps usually cover a county
and all soil types are designated by distinct colors.
How Soil Maps Are Made
Soil surveys are of two kinds. One is called a general,
preliminary or a reconnaissance survey, the other a detail
In making a general survey the soil men go over the
country, at one, two, or three mile intervals and get a
broad general idea of the large and most important soil
areas. They make a preliminary investigation and the
general soil map is made on a small scale, usually three or
six miles to an inch, and it shows only the large tracts of
sand, clay, marsh, etc., but does not attempt to show minor
The detail survey is made by the soil experts going over
every section of land at intervals of about one-fourth mile.
They carefully inspect every forty acres and show soil
variations on the map as small as from five to ten acres.
Two men work together. With a soil auger they examine
the surface and subsoil to a depth of three feet. In some
instances borings are made to a depth of six feet. Repre-
sentative samples of each type are collected and sent to the
laboratory for analysis.
Information Supplied by Soil Survey Report
A report accompanying each soil map fully describes the
properties of the soil and subsoil, topography, water supply
and drainage conditions, crop adaptation, general fertility,
systems of farming and methods of soil management fol-
lowed. There is also included a general discussion of the
agricultural development of the county, farm improvements,
important products, markets, transportation facilities and
the general condition of the community. In the arid and
semi-arid portions of the United States, the occurrence and
character of soil "alkali," ground water relations, irrigation
problems and other important conditions peculiar to such
lands are also dealt with in the soil survey reports.
Soil Maps Satisfactory and Accurate
A high degree of accuracy has been reached in making
soil maps. Soil surveying is a new science, however, and
it had to be learned step by step. When the first maps
were made in 1899, there were no experts. The geological
4 Florida Review
relations, the great variety of materials of different com-
position from which soils have been derived, the various
modes of soil formation-all of which have a bearing on
the final characteristics of the soil, had to be worked out
as they were met with in the field, and the whole system of
soil classification had to be perfected gradually. Some of
the earlier surveys were very general and will have to
Each year has seen progress and in recent years a stage
of developments has been reached which combines funda-
mental scientific principles with accuracy in soil classifica-
tion so that the modern maps accurately outline the
different soil types and present the conditions as they are
actually found in the field. Soil variations of 10 acres or
over are shown on the maps, and often tracts of 5 acres or
less are indicated.
U. S. Maps on National Basis
In the applications of the soil survey, the individual is
usually interested in a particular locality of limited extent.
The states are interested primarily in the lands within
their borders, while the National Government is interested
in the whole country. For the sake of uniformity and in
order that all interested parties may think of soils in the
same terms, the Bureau of Soils has worked out and put
into effect a system of soil classification and naming broad
enough to embrace the entire country and minute enough
to differentiate all of the minor details. This system of
soil classification is similar to the system used in classify-
ing and naming plants and animals. Every different soil
type is given a distinctive name when first mapped and
this name remains the same no matter where this particular
soil may be found.
State and Federal Soils Men Work Together
To insure continuous adherence to the idea of uniformity
in classifying soils throughout the United States and at the
same time to provide for proper consideration of local con-
ditions, it has been found desirable that federal and state
agencies should work together in making soil surveys in
any particular state, with the former acting as the co-ordi-
Inventory of Soil Resources
As an inventory and exposition of the kinds and nature
of the soil of the country or of any particular locality, it is
very evident that the soil survey maps and reports are of
value in many ways. Essentially, the soil survey bears
the same relation to the soil resources as the geological
survey bears to the mineral resources of the country, but
since agriculture is the nation's most important industry,
the soil survey is of the greatest economic importance. It
provides information regarding the soil resources of the
country that can be secured in no other way.
More Support Urgently Needed
Both state and nation should take a deeper interest in
expediting the making of soil surveys by providing funds
to more rapidly carry the work to completion. When once
completed the soil survey will be of permanent value and
not until it is completed can the soil resources of the
country be definitely known or utilized to the fullest
The Federal Bureau of Soils is doing all that it can with
its limited funds and some of the states are expending
considerable sums and making good progress, while others
are doing little or nothing. Each state may well consider
carefully the importance of making soil surveys and the
desirability of co-operating with the Government in making
an inventory of its most valuable resource-the soil.
THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SOIL SURVEY
Clay Bluff on Bank of Escambia River.
Florida Review 5
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
Bureau of Soils
Washington, D. C., Nov. 15, 1926.
Mr. Herman Gunter, State Geologist,
Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of November 9th,
and I note you have made recommendations to your legis-
lature for appropriation for soil surveys in Florida. Our
associations have always been quite satisfactory and I
trust we will be able to meet your requirements from time
to time in our assignment of men to Florida.
Regarding your inquiries concerning the proposition
which you have to present to your legislature concerning
soil work for individuals and private corporations, I desire
to say that this is a matter entirely within your jurisdic-
tion and over which we would have no control other than
inspection of areas surveyed in the event that the work is
to be used under our co-operative agreement. This we
might reasonably promise to do provided it would not
incur too great travel expenses for our inspector during the
summer season when he possibly would not be carrying on
any of our regular work.
There is no doubt a great demand in your state for these
individual surveys and as far as possible it seems that
they should be encouraged, and if it is desired by your
legislature to provide for this work I am sure it could be
conducted as a separate branch of the service furnished by
your Department. These surveys could be maintained in
your records and when they are to be embodied in our
regular work there would be no question but what we
could use them without duplication. Where traverse is
made you should stipulate that the original field sheets be
placed in your files. Where these are available our regular
surveys could take up the work and continue to the com-
pletion of the county or whatever unit may be determined.
Yours very truly,
C. F. MARBUT,
Chief, Division Soil Survey.
WORK ON POLK SOIL MAP TO BE RESUMED
Eight Men to Prepare Data for Government Survey of
Tallahassee, Oct. 29.-(A. P.)-Resumption of the field
work for the preparation of a soil map for Polk county
will be taken up by the United States bureau of soils, in co-
operation with the state geological department, during the
latter part of November, Herman Gunter, state geologist,
Eight men will be in the field in Polk county when the
work is resumed, instead of four who were working when
a temporary suspension was taken last summer.
A little over a third of the work was carried out before
it was suspended. Every effort will be put forth to com-
plete it this season, Mr. Gunter said. Polk county will be
the 21st county, or area, of Florida to be surveyed.
After the Polk county survey is completed, a map will
be prepared at Washington showing the several soil types.
The map, which will accompany a report describing in
detail the different soils, physical characteristics, and what
each type is adapted to from an agricultural viewpoint, will
also show every railroad and highway and an outline of
streets, cities, towns, school houses, mines and other de-
SOILS AND TOBACCO TYPES
By J. N. PURDOM, Assistant Agricultural and Industrial
Agent, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company
In selecting land to grow bright leaf tobacco a number of
things must be considered. In my last letter I called atten-
tion to the effect which crops that have previously been
grown on tie land can have on tobacco that follows. As
a large percentage of the soils in South Georgia and North
Florida are of the types that are naturally adapted to
growing bright leaf tobacco, it follows that careful ob-
servance of the general rules mentioned in that letter will
probably do more towards increasing the profitableness of
the crop than anything else we can do in choosing the
land on which to grow it.
However, the question of what soils are naturally adapted
to growing bright leaf tobacco is of great importance and
should receive due consideration. The main factors that
control this natural adaption of the soil are its color,
texture, topography and drainage.
Light vs. Dark Types
The color of the soil, other factors being the same,
determines to a large extent the color of the tobacco it pro-
duces. One who has traveled over the territory where
bright leaf tobacco is grown could hardly fail to notice
the different colors of the soil. This is especially true in
North Carolina where flue cured tobacco is grown in a
belt that extends from east to west practically across the
northern part of the state. The soils in the eastern part
of the state are light in color, while red is the predominat-
ing color of the soils in the western part. There is a
corresponding difference in the color of the tobacco grown
on these soils, with that in the west distinctly darker than
that grown in the east. This despite the fact that the
growers in the western part of the state are careful to
select only their lighter colored soils for tobacco growing.
The question, therefore, resolves itself down to the point
as to whether it is more profitable for the grower or pros-
pective grower to produce the darker or lighter types of
flue cured tobacco, and the answer depends in large measure
on the marketability of the two types. At the present time
there seems to be a definite trend on the part of the
cigarette manufacturers to prefer the lighter types. The
manufacturers and dealers, of course, have uses for the
darker types, but it is for the lighter types, or those to-
baccos that are commonly called cigarette types, for which
the demand seems to be increasing, and there appears to be
much more danger of overproducing the darker types with
resulting low prices than there is of overproducing the
lighter types. These facts should be given serious con-
sideration in those sections where an increase in the pro-
duction of tobacco is contemplated.
As I have pointed out flue cured tobacco can be grown
on soils that have a wide range of color. However,
experience in Georgia and Florida has shown that soils
having a gray, sandy top and a bright yellow, sandy-clay
subsoil are the ones that are by nature best adapted to the
production of high-grade flue cured tobacco. My experience
and observation also indicate that the presence of a con-
siderable quantity of brown pebbles does not detract from
the value of these soils for growing tobacco. Profitable
crops of high grade tobacco can be grown on soils having
deeper colors, but as the color of the soil becomes more
intense the color of the tobacco produced as a rule becomes
increasingly dark, and when tobacco is planted in the
distinctly red clay and black muck soils disastrously un-
profitable crops are almost certain to be made.
6 Florida Review
Plant of the Florida Rock Products Co.
SOIL SPECIALIST TO STUDY PEATS
Accompanied On Tour of Glades by Chemist from Belle
Glade Experiment Station
R. W. Ruprecht, chemist of the Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station at Gainesville, and Dr. J. V. Allison,
soil specialist of the Everglades Experiment Station at
Belle Glade, were callers in Canal Point Friday. They came
over to see Dr. B. A. Bourne, pathologist at the United
States Department of Agriculture's cane testing station,
and C. P. Sheffield, the foreman, and to see the Florida
Sugar & Food Products Company's plantation and talk with
W. P. Jernigan.
Mr. Ruprecht has been visiting the upper Everglades and
making analyses of the peat and muck soils since 1922, his
first contact with the muck section of Palm Beach county
being while R. A. Conkling was the county agent. Dr.
Allison, the soil specialist, comes to Florida from Cuba.
He was engaged for service at Belle Glade experiment
station several months ago but his actual work was de-
layed in start by the flood and in the meantime he visited
Washington and other places in the quest of data on muck
and peat soils in general.
His personal modesty as well as scientific practice seems
to restrain Dr. Allison from saying what he thinks of the
soils of the Glades until he has had time to deal with them.
Mr. Ruprecht, the chemist, declines to say what he thinks
is the significance of the analyses he has made. They
point out that a mere analysis is of no practical value, the
utility of the analysis being related to studies of which the
chemist's work is only a part.
Mr. Ruprecht did make an observation that gave a light
on the methods and value of soil analyses. He said that
some of the analyses of muck soils were deceptive because
they were made from dry specimens and he explained that
this changed the proportion, or percentage, of the con-
stituents. The most fair analyses, he said, were made from
samples of muck in which the amount of moisture was not
greater or less than the amount of moisture proper for the
cultivation of crops.
Lately Mr. Ruprecht was called to the lower east coast
to analyze soils over which sea water flowed during the
hurricane. Farmers thought the soil might have been im-
pregnated with salts that would hurt the producing quality
of the soil but Mr. Ruprecht found no evidence of deleterious
substances. He thinks the salt water ran quickly through
the porous sands.
Dr. Allison seems to intend to rely chiefly on observa-
tion of vegetation grown in the muck soils and for that
reason is anxious to find areas in which vegetables and
other crops are growing, in order that he can study the
processes over a wider field than merely the experiment
station at Belle Glade.
DADE COUNTY CORN CROP IS IN TASSEL
Strawberry and Vegetable Output Is Consumed in Miami
Much of the 97 acres of corn that is being grown in Dade
county is reported to be in tassel, according to C. H. Stef-
fani, assistant county agricultural agent. All of the 38
acres of strawberries produced in the county are being
consumed in Miami. Large quantities of tomatoes, potatoes,
cabbage, beans, squash, peppers and other vegetables are
being sold in Miami, said Mr. Steffani.
FIFTEEN CARS OF BEANS SHIPPED IN
PERIOD OF 17 DAYS
Jacksonville, Jan. 6.-Truckers in the Chosen-Belle Glade
district of the Everglades, southeast of Lake Okeechobee,
shipped fifteen solid cars of green beans north between
December 8th and Christmas. The first car shipped brought
from $3.25 to $4.00 a crate.
-.da Review 7
SOIL ANALYSIS NO GUIDE TO FERTILIZATION
By E. J. KINNEY, in Southern Agriculturalist
Farmers frequently ask their experiment station to
analyze a sample of soil from a certain field and on the
basis of the analysis to recommend the exact fertilizer
needed to produce a certain crop. They are often very much
disappointed, and sometimes a bit angry, because the station
refuses to make such recommendations.
Soil analyses have been of considerable value to agri-
culture. They have given us a wide knowledge of the
character of the various soils of the country, and have
made it possible to make general recommendations in re-
gard to the necessary treatment of these soils in order to
maintain permanent fertility. As a guide to fertilization in
particular instances, however, they have little value. A
chemical analysis gives us fairly accurate data on the total
amount of plant food in the soil. It tells us whether or
not the supply of phosphate or potash is sufficient to pro-
duce good crops under good systems of management without
buying commercial forms of these mineral elements of
plant food. It also tells us whether the soil is acid or
alkaline, but it does not show us the crop-producing capacity
of a certain soil at a particular time.
The samples used by a chemist are of necessity so small
that the inaccuracy in a very careful analysis, by a skilful
chemist, may be greater than the amount of plant food
contained in a very heavy application of commercial plant
food. A field that has been reduced to temporary low pro-
ductive power by heavy cropping or bad farming may show
as much total plant food as another field capable of produc-
ing a big crop. For example, we may raise five crops of
corn in succession on a naturally good piece of land. At
the end of that time the ability of that field to produce corn
will be much lessened. Yet a chemical analysis may show
practically no difference in the amount of plant food present
between this field and one lying beside it that has been in
pasture for five years.
This is hard to believe, but such are the present limitations
of the chemical analysis. The weight of an application of
fertilizer is so small in comparison with the great weight
of the surface foot of an acre of land (about 4,000.000
pounds) that the use of a ton per acre may be undetected
in an analysis. If in addition to the analysis, however, the
soil expert has a good knowledge of how the land has been
cropped and treated, he can usually make recommendations
for fertilizer treatment that will meet the requirements
Take, for example, the question of fertilization for dark
tobacco on the lands of Westerq Kentucky. A chemical
analysis shows these soils to be rather low in phosphate.
but rich in potash. If they are handled well-that is, if
crops are rotated, legumes grown, some manure used and
possibly lime, the soil expert may recommend the use of a
phosphate fertilizer only. He knows that the phosphate
supply is too small to give maximum yields even under the
best system of soil management. Potash, on the other
hand, will become available in sufficient amounts for all
requirements on well managed soils; and if legumes are
grown often in the rotation, the nitrogen supply may be
adequate. In case of tobacco, however, which gives relatively
large returns per acre, a liberal supply of nitrogen is
needed for best results and he may recommend the use of
some nitrogenous material. If the land has been cropped
fairly hard, it usually pays to use a complete fertilizer.
The expert will recommend the amounts to apply almost
wholly on the cropping practices of the past.
REMARKABLY RICH LAND IN LAKE COUNTY
SAYS EXPERT REPORT
(Special to Times-Union)
Tavares, Feb. 23.-A brief preliminary report that has
just been made to the Lake County Chamber of Commerce
by A. M. Taylor, the government expert in charge of the
soil survey that is now in progress, indicates that several
sections of Lake county containing many thousand acres
of land, have been discovered where the soil is richer than
any so far found in the state. The soil here is practically
virgin in character and except for one very small tract,
where some of the finest cabbages are now being raised.
together with a few other, but much smaller acreages, this
particular spot has never seen the plow or harrow of the
Mr. Taylor further states that it is his belief that other
sections of the county will disclose additional tracts that
are equal and in some cases superior to anything yet seen
anywhere in the entire state of Florida. Soil that will
raise any crop of a vegetable character and that runs so
deep at present as to be almost inexhaustible for years
and years to come.
It is believed that when this soil survey has been com-
pleted that it will be worth many thousands of dollars in
actual value to the county, and that an extra effort will be
made to have the full reports published at the very earliest
possible moment in order to afford newcomers all the aid
available in locating the tremendous acreage that lies in
what is now considered "back country," but which in-
cludes many thousand acres which lie fairly close to some
of the many fine clay roads that form a veritable network
over the whole of Lake county, and make transportation
comparatively easy in every direction.
From figures furnished by Mr. Taylor at present, this
survey will be finished so far as the field work is concerned
in the early part of next May, and the final reports soon
SOIL MAP OF FLORIDA FOR DISTRIBUTION
Tallahassee, Dec. 20.--Members of the state geological
survey recently prepared a generalized soil map of Florida
on a scale of one to a million, or about sixteen miles to the
inch, in colors, and the map is now ready for distribution
from the department of agriculture, without charge.
Although there are probably one hundred or more different
kinds of soil in Florida, it was explained by the survey
workers, most of them are in such small patches that it
would be impossible to show them on a map of the whole
state. The map just published, however, assembles them
in eleven groups, separating the wet and dry, rich and
poor, calcareous and non-calcareous. The fertility, it was
announced, is indicated indirectly by brief statements of
the prevailing vegetation and the percentage of cultivation.
The agricultural department bore most of the expense
of printing the map, and most of the edition will be dis-
tributed by that office.
The rapid influx of settlers into Florida in recent years
has created an insistent demand for information about the
soils of the state, which heretofore has never been
adequately supplied. The principal varieties of soil have
been described only in a general way, and in certain speci-
fic terms. Besides a few soil province maps of the whole
United States, or a large part, two generalized maps of
Florida's soil have been published, one by the United States
census office in 1884, and the other by the state experi-
ment station. Both, however, were on a small scale.
8 Florida Review
SOILS AND FERTILIZERS
By T. J. BROOKS, Chief Clerk Department of Agriculture
Physical man is made up of some fifteen of the eighty
known elements composing the material universe. Man's
existence is dependent upon his ability to make the soil
yield him a sustenance.
Soils are made up of small particles of different kinds
of minerals mixed with more or less organic matter. All
geologists tell us that these small mineral particles were
originally formed by the breaking down of rocks through
glacial erosion, weathering, and decomposition. The min-
eral kingdom is the basis of the vegetable and animal king-
doms. Plants and animals are partly mineral-man is no
So far, science has been able to isolate eighty distinct
physical elements. At least ten of these are essential to
the growth of plant life-carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, mag-
nesium, iron, sulphur, calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and
The elements taken entirely from the soil are, calcium,
iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sulphur.
Nitrogen is taken chiefly from the soil, but a group of
plants known as legumes-such as clover, peas, beans,
vetches, cow-peas, alfalfas, etc.-gather part of their nitro-
gen from the atmosphere. They accomplished this by
means of microscopic organisms which live in small no-
dules or tubercles found on the roots.
Combinations of the three elements, carbon, hydrogen,
and oxygen, constitute 95% of all plants. They form the
fats and carbohydrates, including the oils and starch.
Plants obtain their supply of these from the air and water.
The carbon is derived from the carbon dioxide gas of the
air, and the hydrogen and oxygen from water, which is
itself a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, absorbed
through the roots.
So that only about five per cent of the material of plants
actually comes from the soil. Only minute amounts of
magnesium, iron, and sulphur are required and they are
present in most soils in abundant quantities. The same is
usually true of calcium, although certain crops, particularly
clover, require this element in considerable amounts. So,
by process of elimination, we find that seven of the ten ele-
ments essential to plant growth, need give the farmer but
The efficiency of soil is measured by its capacity to sup-
ply plants with the several materials and conditions they
require for growth; these include physical support, water,
heat, air and food. These elements of healthy plant en-
vironment must exist in well-balanced proportion and
abundance to insure bountiful yields-even from the best
of cultivation and the absence of diseases and insect or
animal enemies. The vast variety of climates, soils, and
soil conditions determine the kind and location of the many
varieties of plants.
Generally speaking, the water, heat, and air are furnished
by nature. It also furnishes the food in great measure,
but of recent years a great deal of artificial feeding of plants
has been practiced by farmers. This gives rise to the
manufacture and use of fertilizers.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are three elements
which in their various combinations, constitute the vast
majority of the material obtained from the soil by plants.
These elements do not exist in the soil as single elements,
but are found combined with other elements, and plants can
only appropriate their foods when they exist in certain
combinations, and under certain physical conditions.
No chemical analysis of either the soil or the plant will
show dependably and accurately just the combination of
ingredients which should be used. Soil analysis shows the
Pit of the Florida Lime Co. at Ocala, Florida.
Florida Review 9
chemical content, but does not show conclusively the avail-
ability of plant foods. The mechanical condition, which
cannot be ascertain by chemistry, goes farther in determin-
ing the fertilizer needed, than the actual plant food taken
up by the growing plant. It is also true that a crop test is
the only absolutely reliable means of determining the
availability of plant food in fertilizers, as that availability
is largely determined by the physical or mechanical condi-
tion of the soil.
The Federal Bureau of Soil Surveys, of Washington, D.
C., has found over 6,600 combinations of soils in the United
States. Florida has a hundred varieties. There is but little
information to be derived from a soil analysis that would
be of benefit to farmers. So much depends on drainage and
various physical conditions that an analysis made under
laboratory requirements is of little value.
A chemical analysis may indicate a very fertile soil, rich
in plant food, while the facts are the soils are not produc-
tive. This is instanced by the rich muck lands and river
bottoms of the State, that are fertile chemically, but not
productive until properly drained and sweetened by the use
of lime; also, by the arid lands of the west, rich in the
elements of plant food, but not productive until irrigated.
Other soils, with less plant food, but on account of proper
physical conditions, are exceedingly productive.
The discovery that the kind and amount of fertilizer
which should be used on a certain soil to insure the best
result from a certain crop can be ascertained only by actual
test in growing it, was a sore disappointment to agronomists
and is disconcerting to the farmer.
There are several methods used in determining the avail-
ability of plant foods in fertilizers; the neutral perman-
ganate method, and the pepsin hydrochloric acid method
are used to determine the availability of plant foods, and
they differ so widely that 65% as shown by the latter is
equal to 85% as shown by the former. The Kjecdahl
method is also used to ascertain the nitrogen content of
ingredients making up a compound fertilizer, but the avail-
ability for plant food of the elements contained is not so
All the power of growth possessed by plant life is de-
pendent upon the presence and availability of the plant
foods with which the rootlets come in contact.
One food cannot take the place of another. No amount
of preparation, seed selection, or cultivation will produce
a crop when the proper plant foods are not in the soil. If
two are there in superabundance, and the third totally
absent, the labor is lost. We fertilize when we apply
either ammonia, phosphoric acid, or potash in an available
form. A complete fertilizer must contain all three, but not
necessarily in equal parts. The food that is present in
least amounts limits the crop. Plants need a "balanced ra-
tion" the same as animals.
Plant food is drawn in through the tiny, hair-like fibrous
rootlets. Each of these fibrous feeders is covered with a
thin skin. All the food plants get must pass through this
skin. The process is very much like that of body-building
from digested food in the stomach and alimentary canal of
animals-including human beings. The villi of the diges-
tive tract are analogous to the root fibers that take up the
soil water which holds in solution the dissolved plant food
elements. The fuzz on the roots has no perceptible open-
ings through which the finest powdered dust could get.
Plant food which will dissolve so as to go with the water
through the skin of these tiny roots is called soluble,
and is therefore available for plant nourishment. The
plant food thus drawn in by the fibrous rootlets passes up
through the roots, the trunk, stalk or stem, then the
branches and out into the leaves or blades where most of
the water is evaporated, transpired, or breathed off into
the air. A process of exchange, of transpiring, and absorp-
tion takes place in the foliage-much like the process which
takes place in the lungs of animals that breathe out carbonic
acid gas and take in oxygen. The sap of plants is elabo-
rated in the foliage by this exchange of moisture drawn up
from the ground, and the taking in of gases from the air.
After this "elaboration," the saps flows back to build up
the plant and its fruit-just as blood flows back from the
lungs, where it is surcharged with oxygen, to the heart
and thence through the arteries to the capillaries in all
parts of the body where assimilation or body-building takes
Plants exposed to light develop chlorophyl, which is the
coloring matter that gives the shades to certain portions
of the protoplasm. The function of chlorophyl consists of
the absorption of carbon-dioxid gas, resulting in the trans-
formation of oxygen and the formation of new organic
A plant food is much more available when locked up in
some mediums than in others. Certain sources of nitro-
gen yield it up to the action of soil moisture more readily
than others. This makes the source of nitrogen, phos-
phorus, or potash of importance to the farmer, who may
want either rapid or gradual solubility to suit a quick, or
Justice Von Liebig was the founder of Agricultural
Chemistry. It was he who discovered that plants feed on
soil chemicals, and if these are not in the soils in form
available for the growing plant to appropriate there can
be no growth and no yield of harvest. He demonstrated
how crops depleted the soil, and how worn out soils could
be restored to fertility by the application of artificial
He announced his discovery in 1840.
Next to the knowledge of plant breeding the knowledge
of plant feeding has had the most important bearing on
modern agriculture. When we think of the magnitude of
the commercial fertilizer business throughout the world it
is indeed remarkable that the knowledge of the chemistry
of the soils came to our service at so recent a date. If the
ancients had possessed this knowledge history might have
No iron-clad formula for commercial fertilizer can be
made to suit all soils. The available plant food in the soil
and the amounts of each of the ingredients of a mixed
fertilizer that a given crop draws from the soil per acre is
the basis for determining the formula for the crop.
The availability of plant food in soil, the chemists tell
us, cannot be determined in the chemical laboratory. Some
chemists tell us that it is impossible to ascertain accurately
the availability of plant foods in commercial fertilizer. The
law of Florida requires that the tag state the pounds, avail-
able ammonia, insoluble ammonia, available phosphorus
acid, water soluble potash, and the sources from which these
elements were obtained-but it does not require that the tag
state the relative percentage derived from each source, be-
cause of the contention of chemists that it is impossible
to ascertain with certainty the sources from which these
elements are obtained.
There are three forms of nitrogen in soils, and should
be in well-balanced fertilizers-organic, ammoniacal and
nitric. The last named is soluble and immediately available
for plants. Ammoniacal nitrogen is converted into nitric
form by the action of bacteria and soil chemicals in rather
a short period. Organic nitrogen takes somewhat longer,
due to its process of being changed to the ammoniacal form
10 Florida Review
Silver Spring, Flowing 370,000 Gallons per Minute. Largest Spring in the World.
before the plants take it up. Plants get their carbon from
the air by way of its foliage and this combines with the
oxygen in the water taken up by the roots to form carbonic
acid, which in turn, desolves compounds supplied by the
soil solution. The hydrogen in the water combines with
nitrogen to form ammonia, and this combination depends
very largely on the warmth and depth and texture of the
soil as well as on the action of favorable bacteria. The
amount of moisture in the soil goes a great way toward
determining the action of bacteria. The tilth-depth of
tillage or amount of soil available for plant roots-of soil is
as much a determining factor as the mere presence of plant
food elements. Oftentime the farmer will use barnyard
manure in connection with commercial fertilizer, in which
case it is an indeterminate equasion as to what it the best
formula to be used. The kind, quantity and quality of the
manure would have to be known before the formula and
quantity of commercial fertilizer needed could be deter-
WHAT IS LAND WORTH?
By DR. ROBERT STEWART, Dean, College of Agriculture,
University of Nevada, in "Better Crops"
Secretary Jardine recently said, "The American Farmer
is a business man. He has greater capital investment
than the average retail merchant. His business is vastly
more complex than that of the average retail merchant."
There is a general agreement among agricultural leaders
with the statement that the farmer is a business man.
The full significance of the statement, however, is not
What is really meant by the statement that the farmer
is a business man? Does it imply that he has large capital
invested? Does it simply mean that he now buys and
sells as does a retailer?
Formerly the farmer produced only that which he con-
sumed himself; he had little to sell and less need to buy.
The farmer now uses raw material and converts it into
a finished product which he sells; as a business man, he
is, therefore, comparable with a manufacturer rather than
with a retailer.
In any successful manufacturing enterprise economic
production is the first essential to success. If the cost
of production is too high no possible system of marketing
In agriculture, the four factors of production are land,
capital, labor and management. The right use of land,
capital and labor by management makes for efficient pro-
duction. Whether it costs $0.50 or $2.50 per bushel to
raise wheat depends largely upon the yield per acre. No
possible system of marketing wheat or price fixing will
save the wheat farmer who produces only 8 or 9 bushels
The agricultural value of land, therefore, should be de-
termined largely upon its ability to produce per acre. The
yield of wheat in the United States as an average of the
past five years is 14.2 bushels per acre. During the same
period the average farm price was $1.04 per bushel. What
is the actual value of land which produces 14.2 bushels
of wheat which sells for $1.04 per bushel? The gross
value of such a crop is $14.77 per acre.
The actual cost of producing crops varies within very
wide limits not only on different farms but even on the
same farm. In 1919 a government survey in the wheat
belt indicated that the cost of producing wheat among 481
farmers varied from $1.00 to $5.00. A large corporation in
California which keeps a very accurate record of cost
production found a very wide variation in the cost of pro-
ducing barley even during a single year on different fields.
The yield of barley on the several fields varied from 983
pounds to 5,181 pounds per acre, "while the cost of pro-
duction varied from $0.31 to $0.45 per hundredweight.
Florida Review 11
It is fully realized, therefore, that average cost of pro-
duction data can be applied to individual farms only with
grave danger, yet some calculations may be made so as
to bring out certain principles which are sound.
The average cost of growing a wheat crop is $5.70 per
acre for such necessary operations as plowing, harrowing,
disking, seed and seeding. The average cost of harvesting
and marketing the crop is $3.00, interest, depreciation on
machinery, etc., $2.00. The average taxes on such land
are $0.41. The total annual expense of growing wheat on
such land, not considering interest on the land, is there-
fore $11.11. The land has returned $3.66 above cost of
growing, which is five per cent interest on a land valua-
tion of $73.20 per acre. If land which is used for wheat
production produces the average yield of wheat and has
a greater valuation than $73.20 per acre, the farmer is not
making cost of production; if it has a less valuation he is
Such data as this should not be taken as absolute but
only as an indication of the basis upon which the value
of land should be determined and calculations made.
It is important to emphasize the need of growing large
crops. The statement is frequently made that the farmer
cannot afford to grow large crops, for he gets less for a
large crop than he does for a small one!
For example, Ely and Morehouse in a recent statement
say, "A general good season may bring a bumper crop,
a fact that is heralded by the metropolitan press as a
sign of prosperity of the farmers and the nation. As a
matter of fact a bumper crop usually brings ruinously low
However, two potato growers of Salmon, Idaho, last fall
sold their large crop of potatoes from 200 acres for $143,-
100, while a potato grower of Oakley, Idaho, produced an
$800.00 an acre crop on a 75-acre field.
Whenever all growing conditions are extremely favor-
able and a large crop of any commodity is produced by
everyone, the inefficient as well as the efficient, the com-
posite farmer does receive less for his large crop than
he would for a smaller one.
The real problem, however, is for the individual farm-
er to study his methods of production and so control his
production as to produce individually high yields all the
time and thus reduce his cost of production as compared
with the average of the neighborhood.
If the wheat farmer by a practical method of soil treat-
ment is enabled to increase the crop-producing power ot
his soil by the purchase of additional raw material as
fertilizer and converts this into a finished product he may
If the yield of wheat is increased to 20 bushels per
acre, the cost of plowing, harrowing, disking, seed and
seeding remains the same, or $5.70 per acre. The cost
of marketing and harvesting is perhaps $4.00, the depre-
ciation on machinery is still $2.00, while taxes have in-
creased to $0.97; the total annual expense is $12.35, while
the total income is $20.80. The land has produced a re-
turn of $8.27, which is five per cent on a valuation of
On land producing 30 bushels of wheat the cost of grow-
ing the crop is still the same; $5.70 per acre, while the
cost of marketing and harvesting is $5.00; interest and
depreciation $2.00, and taxes are $1.66. The gross value
of the crop is $31.20. The total expense is $14.36. The
land has produced a return of $16.84, which is five per cent
on a land valuation of $336.36.
On land producing 40 bushels of wheat per acre the
growing cost is $5.70, the cost of harvesting and market-
ing is $6.00, interest and depreciation $2.00 and taxes
$2.54 per acre. The total cost is $16.24, while the gross
return is $41.60. The land has produced a return of $25.36,
which is five per cent interest on a land valuation of
From this basis the individual farmer not only can
afford to grow large crops but he can not afford to grow
The problem then becomes one of so treating the soil as
to secure the larger crop in an economic manner. There is
now ample evidence from experimental station results to
show that this can be done.
For example, the yield of wheat on the thin, cold soils
on Strongville Farm of the Ohio Experiment Station with-
out treatment averaged 13.09 bushels per acre as an aver-
age of 13 crops, which compares very favorably with the
average yield of wheat in the United States. An applica-
tion of 160 pounds of acid phosphate; 80 pounds of muriate
of potash; 60 pounds of nitrate of soda, and 25 pounds of
dried blood costing $6.40 increased the yield of wheat to
29.58 bushels, an increase of 16.49 bushels per acre. Wheat
under Ohio conditions has a farm value of $1.00 per bushel,
the increased yield, therefore, was worth $16.49 or a net
increase of ($16.49-$6.40) $10.09, which is five per cent
interest on $201.80. Such simple use of a complete fer-
tilizer on these thin, cold soils of Ohio increased the land
valuation over $200.00 per acre as determined by the in-
creased interest return and made them approximately equal
to the best lands of the state.
Ten wheat fields in southern Illinois on the poorer types
of thin soils gave an average yield of 8.9 bushels of wheat
on untreated soils as an average of seven years. When
crop residues ordinarily produced in the rotation such as
corn stalks, straw, clover chaff, and cover crops such as
sweet clover seeded in the wheat and plowed under before
planting corn, are used and the soil treated with lime and
phosphorus, the yield of wheat has increased to 24.7 bushels
The increase due to the treatment is 15.8 bushels, which
at $1.00 per bushel is $15.80. The cost of the fertilizer
treatment is $7.75. The increase produced by the treated
land is $8.05, which is five per cent interest on a valuation
Such data as this indicates quite clearly that the farmer
as a successful business man must pay more attention to
the problem of increasing the producing power of his land.
He can no longer afford to farm marginal land but must
either abandon such land to a state of nature or convert
it into high producing land by a judicious system of
The day of land exploitation in America is rapidly pass-
ing. Too often cheap land has been held primarily for a
rise in price and farmed only incidentally. The successful
business farmer of the future is going to use land intelli-
gently as one of the four economic factors in the efficient
production of farm commodities, and its proper use by the
farmer will determine in a measure his success as a busi-
Hundreds of acres of potatoes are being planted this
week throughout the potato belt, and it is figured that the
bulk of the crop will be planted within the next ten days
if the weather remains favorable. It is predicted, however,
that the first carload from the Hastings district will be
moved to northern markets at about the same time as last
12 Florida Review
GEOLOGY, MINERAL RESOURCES AND SOILS
HERMAN GUNTER, State Geologist.
A scientific knowledge of the mineral resources, soils
and topography of any State is based upon its geology.
The geology of Florida has been dealt with in more or
less detail in reports issued by the Florida Geological Sur-
vey and the following is a brief treatment based upon these
The geology of Florida, broadly speaking, is not complex.
The sea which formerly occupied the present position of
Florida, was one remote from sources of much sediment,
so that the percentage of detritus, or wash from the land,
was much less here than in those areas nearer the original
shore line. This clear sea was most favorable to an abun-
dant shell life, and their accumulated remains formed our
vast deposits of limestones.
Unlike any of the other Atlantic or Gulf Coastal States,
Florida lies entirely within the province designated the
Coastal Plain. The formations are all of sedimentary
origin, no igneous or greatly altered rocks occurring in
the State. There has been no great disturbance of the
strata, such as characterizes the mountainous regions, con-
sequently these lie, for the most part, horizontally, or with
only a gentle rate of dip. The formations of the State con-
sist pricipally of limestones, sandstones, phosphates, clays,
marls and sands.
These deposits are, geologically speaking, of compara-
tively recent date; and the exposed formations in Florida
all fall within the Cenozoic, the latest of the major geo-
logic time divisions. The Cenozoic is furthermore sub-
divided as followyp, the oldest being placed first: Eocene,
Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and all of these
are well represented in this state.
The Eocene is typically exposed in west-central peninsu-
lar Florida, particularly in the limestone quarries around
Ocala, and in many other artificial and natural exposures
from Pasco County on the south to Suwannee County on
the north. Areas of lesser extent are present in western
Florida. This is, as a rule, a very pure, light-colored, al-
most white, highly fossiliferous, limestone. The forma-
tion, however, contains masses or layers of flint, which
apparently was formed by replacement through the agency
of underground water. Although prevailingly a soft, porous
limestone, locally it has become more or less crystallized,
This characteristic is probably also largely due to the
effect of underground water.
From well drilling it is learned that this formation is
present, at varying depths, in almost every section of
Florida and that it is underlain by limestones of prevail-
ing brown color but otherwise very similar in general ap-
pearance, except in the matter of fossils. Owing to the
absence, or indeterminate nature of such as do occur, the
age of these brownish limestones is a matter yet unde-
The Oligocene is made up of two limestone formations,
the Marianna and the Glendon. The Marianna is a pure,
soft and chalk-like limestone of limited areal extent typ-
ically exposed in Jackson County. The Glendon forma-
tion varies from a reddish-yellow clayey phase, under the
extreme influence of weathering, to a pure, rather soft,
compact, fossiliferous limestone. The two formations are
best developed in western Florida.
The Miocene has the wildest areal distribution of any
group of formations in the State. This subdivision is com-
posed of limestones calcareous and phosphatic sands, sand-
stones, marls, calcareous and non-calcareous clays, includ-
ing fuller's earth.
The formation classed as Pliocene include the workable
phosphate deposits and are therefore of special economic
Wall Sink in Ocala Limestone.
Florida Review 13
interest. Furthermore, the Pliocene is of scientific in-
terest as the shell marls of the group contain the richest
fauna of any of the marls in Florida, the Caloosahatchee
marl alone containing over 600 species. In this group also
a varied vertebrate fauna is present, particularly in the
beds carrying the phosphates.
The Pleistocene formations of Florida include marine, al-
luvial and river deposits. The marine deposits include
mainly the limestones of the lower eastern coast of the
State. The alluvial deposits are distributed locally in
various portions of Florida, particularly along the stream
valleys. In certain sections these stream deposits contain
many vertebrate and invertebrate remains.
The Recent formations include rock accumulations of
several varieties. For example, loose sands are not in-
frequently firmly cemented by iron deposited from chaly-
beate waters. Such rock as this may be found along Sara-
sota Bay. Loose shells may also be formed into more or
less compact mass through cementation, calcium carbonate
in this case acting as the agent. Vast deposits of co-
quina, a shell limestone of unique occurrence peculiar to
Florida, have been so formed. Sand dunes are present
along both the east and west coast, and shell mounds and
Indian remains are found in many sections of the State.
Florida has been mining phosphate for almost forty
years. For more than thirty years the State has held
first place in the production and value of this product.
The mining of phosphate and production on a commercial
scale began on Peace River, near Arcadia, the first ship-
ment being made in 1888. It might be interesting to note
that the grade of phosphate first produced, known as
river pebble and in which the industry had its inception,
is not mined at the present and only played a small part
at any time in the total production of the State.
In 1888 the hard rock phosphates were discovered, and in
December, 1889, operations were begun near Dunnellon.
The first shipments were made in April, 1890. Rapid de-
velopment of this field followed, so that in 1894 Florida's
production exceeded that from South Carolina, which up
to that time had held first place. With the beginning of
the production of the land pebble phosphate, which was
probably in 1890, the output increased so steadily and
rapidly that Florida has easily maintained the lead gained
The phosphates of Florida are divided into four varie-
ties, the land pebble, hard rock, river pebble and soft, the
first mentioned being the most important in production
and total value. The river pebble has not been mined for
some years. The soft phosphate, although known for
years, has in the process of mining and recovering the
other grades, been lost. For a few years, however, it was
mined and placed on the market as raw phosphate for
direct application to the soils. No sales of this product
have been reported since 1922.
Large deposits of fullers' earth, a clay used principally
for clarifying and filtering mineral, vegetable and animal
oils and fats, occur in Florida and are mined in the
northern part of the State in Gadsden County and in
southern Florida in Manatee County. This clay was dis-
covered in Gadsden County, and there the mining of the
deposits began in 1895. According to the U. S. Geological
Survey, this discovery was "entirely accidental, resulting
from an attempt to make brick from clay found on the
property of the Owl Cigar Company, near Quincy." It
is needless to add that the attempt was a failure, so far
as making brick was concerned; but the similarity of
the material to the imported fuller's earth was recognized
and tests later proved it to be a fuller's earth of excellent
Previous to the mining of this earth in Gadsden County
the fuller's earth used in the United States was imported.
The Florida earth is used principally in the refining of
mineral oils, and for a long time was used only for this
purpose. The imported earths, on the other hand, are
used mainly in the refining of edible oils and fats. Ex-
periments conducted with our domestic earth in the re-
fining of edible oils have proven so satisfactory that large
quantities are now used, thus to this extent replacing
the imported earth.
The clays of Florida next in importance to fuller's
earth are the kaolins mined in Putnam and Lake counties.
These are of sedimentary origin and occur intimately
mixed with coarse sand which is removed by washing.
The clay itself is of high grade, very plastic, refractory
and burns white and is used in the manufacture of porce-
lain wares. The clay is mostly shipped out of the State
for manufacturing purposes to potteries in Ohio, New York,
New Jersey and other states, where it enters into the manu-
facture of various white wares. The deposits are at pres-
ent mined in only two counties of the State; but they
occur over an extended territory in peninsular Florida and
some are known in the western part of the State.
Florida has an abundance of clays that are suitable for
the manufacture of building brick, tile and other clay
products. Several brick plants are operating in various
portions of the State, supplying to a large extent the de-
mand for this product. With the increased development
of the State there is a greater demand for the more perma-
nent building materials, and this has stimulated the manu-
facture of different products from our clays. A number
of new plants for making brick have recently been estab-
Florida is essentially a limestone State, the oldest ex-
posed formation in the peninsular portion being a limestone
which has been designated the Ocala from its typical occur-
rence in and near that city. Comparable to this formation
in general appearance and in chemical composition is the
Marianna limestone typically exposed near Marianna in
western Florida. Vast deposits of more recent limestones
occur near Palm Beach and Miami and other places in
southern Florida. Marls of varying purity are found here
and there throughout the State. An impure or what might
be termed an argillaceous limestone is found well exposed
near River Junction.
The limestones and marls of the State are extensively
utilized as road materials, in the manufacture of quick
lime, hydrated lime and ground limestone for agricultural
purposes. Also as a local building material some of our
limestones have been used. This is particularly true of
the oolitic limestones of Palm Beach and Dade counties
and of the coquina limestone typically exposed on Anas-
tasia Island near St. Augustine. The latter has the unique
distinction of being the first building stone used in America,
dating back to the settlement of St. Augustine.
Enormous deposits of peat and muck are found in many
parts of Florida. In Europe peat is extensively used as a
fuel, but in this country where competition in this respect
is as yet not so keen, it has been unable to compete with
coal and other fuels. It finds its chief use in agriculture,
and in Florida peat is produced and used principally as a
Among the resources of Florida, and one the value of
which can not be expressed in dollars and cents, is its
14 Florida Review
abundant supplies of underground waters. In practically
every section of the State, water can be obtained by drilling
wells of moderate depth. In some sections of Florida flow-
ing artesian wells can be had, which have caused the ex-
tensive development of large acreages in the growing of
vegetables and small fruits. Some of the largest springs
in the world are to be found in Florida, these being but
the natural outlet of the underground waters. One of these,
namely Silver Springs, is of sufficient volume of flow to
be the source of a stream large enough to float steamboats,
the boats being able to enter the spring basin itself.
A little known resource is that of the rare earths found
intimately mixed with beach sands, particularly along the
Atlantic coast. At Mineral City, five miles south of Pablo
Beach, a plant has been operating for several years re-
moving ilmenite, rutile and zircon from the beach sands
on such an extensive scale as to make Florida the leading
state in these minerals. Ilmenite, a titanium oxide, is used
in the manufacture of "titanox," a pigment for manufactur-
ing paint. Zircon, after treatment, is used as a substitute
for tin in enamels.
The total value of the mineral production in Florida for
1925, the latest total statistics, was $17,522,303. This com-
pared with the output for 1924 shows an increase of a little
more than twenty-five per cent. The following mineral
industries are represented in this total: phosphate, lime
and limestone, fuller's earth, sand and gravel, kaolin, brick
and tile, pottery, crushed flint, sand-lime brick, ilmenite,
rutile, zircon and monazite, mineral waters and peat.
The soils of Florida are perhaps more diversified than
are those of any other state. Some may not agree with
this statement but it is thought that a little investigation
will bear it out. This great variation in soils makes possi-
ble a wide range in crops. At the same time a knowledge
of these soils, and related conditions, is a necessity as an
assurance of success.
Soils are derived from the disintegration of older forma-
tions. Therefore an understanding of the geology of a state
or region is helpful in a study of the soils. Other factors in
addition to that of geology enter into the problem of soil
formation and fertility. Among these may be mentioned,
for example, topography, drainage and climate. But a dis-
cussion of these will not be entered into in this article
except to indicate in a general way the relation of soils to
some of these factors.
This relation is seen by the descriptive terms long used
in writing or speaking of the soils of Florida. For instance
the "rolling pine lands," a term descriptive of the topogra-
phy and vegetation and yet carrying a well-known meaning
as to the general soil character. The term "flatwoods" is
applied to those lands, prevailingly level, having poor
drainage. "Hammock" land is another term descriptive
of vegetation, meaning areas supporting a growth of hard-
woods. When qualified by such terms as "calcareous" or
"clay" the character of the soil is indicated. The term
"scrub" is applied to areas of very light soils supporting
a dense growth of stunted evergreens. These terms, and
others, have been used for so long in Florida when con-
sidering the soils that they will be retained in the following
general discussion rather than making use of the technical
terms used in detailed surveys.
This classification readily permits the use of the follow-
ing broad descriptive types: rolling pine lands, low pine
lands, prairie lands, muck lands, low hammock lands, scrub,
The rolling pine lands include well drained areas, and
this type is one of the most extensive in Florida. The
soils are varied, prevailingly sandy, underlain at a varying
depth with a sandy clay. The prevailing forest growth is
the long leaf pine, with an undergrowth of oaks and wire
grass. Of the total estimated land area in Florida, the
high pine lands have been approximated as embracing
13,465 square miles.
The term low pine lands includes that known as the open
flatwoods as well as the very common type designated
palmetto flatwoods from its very characteristic vegetation.
These flatwoods are in general level and frequently flooded
during seasons of heavy rainfall. These overflows, how-
ever, are temporary, as shown by the fact that the palmetto
will not withstand prolonged flooding. The soil of this
type is sandy and usually contains sufficient organic mat-
ter to give it a dark color. These low palmetto pinelands
are usually underlaid by a dark colored stratum known as
hardpan. The dark coloring is chiefly due to organic me-
terial. This stratum interferes with drainage conditions
and the free movement of moisture by capillarity. In the
case of irrigated lands, however, this latter objection is
overcome, and it is a notable fact that many of our most
successful trucking lands are of this type, particularly
those located in the flowing artesian well region. The low
pine land type has been estimated as including 18,771
square miles of the total land area of the State.
The term prairie is applied to level lands that are devoid
of trees, or nearly so. During the rainy seasons the prai-
ries are more or less flooded. The soils are varied, clay
soils, sandy soils which vary in color depending upon the
organic content. It is estimated that the prairie lands
include approximately 6,558 square miles.
The term muck lands is, no doubt, self explanatory.
Vast deposits of muck have been formed in Florida during
the period the lands were overflowed. When drained, these
muck lands make fertile soils. The estimated area of
muck land in the State is 6,177 square miles.
The term hammock in Florida is applied to those lands
having a dense growth of trees and shrubs, among which
the hardwood trees predominate. The hammocks include
several types of soils and are divided into said hammock,
clay hammock, marl hammock, etc. Generally the high
hammock has a more sandy soil than the low, the soil
of the low being predominantly more clayey and calcare-
ous or limey. The hammocks are considered "strong"
lands and are important agriculturally. The low ham-
mocks usually need drainage and both types are somewhat
expensive to get in shape for farming purposes. The
hammock lands are estimated to include about 5,872 square
The term scrub is applied to rather extensive areas of
lands mainly in peninsular Florida. The scrub is excessive-
ly drained, light-colored, sandy land, supporting an im-
penetrable growth of stunted trees and shrubs of various
kinds. At a varying depth the white surface sand gives
place to yellow sands. The area embraced within this
classification has been estimated at 1,185 square miles.
The term swamp is applied to overflowed lands, which
support a rather dense growth of trees, predominating
among which is the well-known cypress. It is estimated
that the swamp lands of the State aggregate 2,833 square
miles. Much of this overflowed land is capable of being
reclaimed through drainage.
High Spots, the official bulletin of the State Chamber
of Commerce, discusses the advisability of Florida going
after some of the factories that gin Spanish moss in other
southern states. Louisiana is finding this business profit-
able and with all the Spanish moss in Florida practically
going to waste this state could build up a fine business
along this line. The utility companies will be found ready
and willing to furnish power and the lights in almost any
location in the state, where such a factory would desire to
Florida Review 15
FEDERAL SOIL EXPERTS WILL MAKE
Long Branch Region to Be Scene of Activities and Farm
(Lakeland Star Telegram)
Jacksonville, Jan. 15.-(FSCC)-Federal soil experts
from Washington have arrived at Green Cove Springs to
begin the two-year job of making a soil survey of the 129,-
000 acres of land owned by J. C. Penney, the Florida State
Chamber of Commerce has learned. Although the survey
is being made by federal experts the Penney interests are
bearing the full expense incident to the work.
Activities in connection with the time are centered about
Long Penney development at the present Branch eight
miles west of Green Cove Springs and things are under way
there that would be a revelation to Floridians interested in
taking advantage of the agricultural resources of the state,
says the chamber. Long Branch is on the new Clay-Brad-
ford county highway between Green Cove Springs and
Starke and work on this project which began at Green Cove
Springs already has advanced to the stage where the road
is completed to a point several miles west of Long Branch.
The highway, incidentally, traverses the Penney properties
a distance of approximately twenty-five miles. The Penney
interests also are operating a standard gauge railroad of
their own between Green Cove Springs and Long Branch
for the movement of heavy freight and regular bus service
over the new highway on a frequent schedule has been
provided for the accommodation of passengers.
At Long Branch, a town featured by the colony of
retired protestant ministers, as a memorial to the father
and mother of Mr. Penney, is being built. Thirty-five retired
ministers and their families already have been domiciled
and sixty-five more are to arrive as quickly as accom-
modations can be provided. The ministers are being housed
in apartment buildings of the most modern type, each of
the structures accommodating four families. The plan of
operating the colony devised by Mr. Penney provides free
rental, water and lights, leaving to the members only the
task of feeding and clothing themselves. Each family is
provided with a garden plot 25x100 feet in area to assist
in keeping the larder replenished.
Farms are being developed in every direction about Long
Branch and are being operated under the supervision of
experts in every branch of agriculture from selection of
seed to marketing of produce. Farmers are being placed
on the farms only after the ground is ready for planting
and a home has been built. An official of the corporation
has informed the State Chamber that hundreds of applica-
tions are on file for them from farmers in all sections of
the country, with New England predominating.
FLORIDA'S SOIL POSSIBILITIES
In area Florida is the twenty-second state in the Union,
though the third east of the Missippi river. In agricultural
and horticultural possibilities this state is third in the
Union and first east of the Mississippi river. The imperial
domain of Texas extends over an area 265,896 square
miles. Except Russia no country in Europe is as extensive.
California has an area of 158,290 square miles. These
states are not only larger than Florida but larger in agri-
cultural or horticultural possibilities, but except them no
other state in the Union exceeds Florida in the last named
Florida and Michigan are about equal in area, the latter
having 58,915 square miles as compared with 58,666 for the
former. But in possibilities of the soil Florida excels
Michigan three to one. Only one crop in a year can be
grown in Michigan. In Florida from two to four or five
may be produced. There is no part of Florida where it is
not possible to produce two crops. In the state, taking
the average, it is possible to produce at least three crops.
So, for purposes of soil production, Florida is equal to a
one-crop state of 175,998 square miles. There is no state
in the Union except Texas as large and in parts of Texas
no more than one crop can be produced. California is not
quite so large but in that state from one to three or four
crops can be produced. Considering climate as well as
extent California is the first state in the Union in pos-
sibilities of production, though Florida is first in proportion
Several states in the Union as well as several countries
in Europe have more than two hundred people to the
square mile, but these contain a large city population. But
a population of only one hundred to the square mile would
allow 32 acres to the family. Florida is as capable of sup-
porting three hundred to the square mile as a one crop a
year state or nation of equal fertility would be of support-
ing one hundred. The soil of Florida alone, not counting
the cities that would be built by the growth of the country,
could easily support seventeen and a half million people.
This state is going forward rapidly in every respect.
The population is increasing with a constantly accelerated
gain. It is probable that there are children in Jacksonville
who will live to see a population of ten million for Florida.
With such a population there would be no crowding for,
with half of it in the cities, each family in the country
would have thirty-five acres of land and. considering the
fact that three crops a year can be produced, that would be
three times as much as would be needed to support a
FOURTEEN STANDARD FORMULAS FOR
The first column gives the per cent of nitrogen, the
second the percent of available phosphoric acid and the
third the per cent of potash in the fertilizer.
The crops shown after each formula indicate some of
the crops for which it is suited. For some soils or under
some conditions some other formula than the one indicated
might give better results. Consult your county agricultural
agent if in doubt as to what formula to use.
3-9-3-General field crops, such as cotton, corn and pea-
4-8-4-Sweet potatoes. Strawberries on rich soil.
5-7-5-5-8-5-General truck crops, particularly water-
melons, cantaloupes and Irish potatoes. Strawberries on
5-5-5-Celery, lettuce and cabbage.
4-8-3-Peas, beans, growing pecan trees, citrus nursery
stock, and young grove trees.
4-8-6-Sweet potatoes. Irish potatoes, tomatoes, sugar
cane, bearing pecans and peaches.
5-7-3-General truck crop or cabbage on clay soils.
3-8-5-Tomatoes on soils rich in organic matter. Also
summer and fall citrus applications.
3-8-8-3-8-10-Citrus fall and winter application.
2-8-10-Citrus fall and winter application on rich soils.
4-8-8-Citrus in spring, tomatoes and strawberries.
6-6-4-General truck and cabbage on poor soil.
16 Florida Review
In the one case you have a fertilizer containing 500
pounds, or 2 1/2 bags of filler of little or no value to your
plants, yet for which the fertilizer people had to pay. In
the other case you have a fertilizer containing only ma-
terials supplying plant food.
It cost the fertilizer company just as much to mix the
low grade formula as the high grade. All of the operating
expenses are the same for both formulas. As you are
getting six more units of plant food in the high grade
formulas your cost per unit is less. For example, say it
cost $3.50 per ton to mix these goods. In the case of the
2-8-2 this means about 30 cents for each unit of plant food.
In the case of the 3-12-3 it means only 20 cents per unit.
Therefore it pays to buy high grade fertilizers.
In buying high grade fertilizers remember that we have
in Florida a list of 14 so-called standard fertilizers. All of
these are high-grade formulas and we believe that there is
a formula on this list that will prove satisfactory for all
crops raised in this state. If you and other Florida farmers
will stick to this list of formulas when you order fertilizers
we will eventually lower the price of fertilizer. Why? Be-
cause the fewer number of formulas the fertilizer com-
panies have to handle the smaller the expense. If you
had about 50 different lots of feed in your barn, each of
which had to be kept separate and apart from its neighbor,
and if in feeding your live stock you had to take a little
from each of the 50 lots, you know it would take you
longer than if you only had five or six different lots. The
fertilizer companies are in the same position, only with
them the longer time means more money, for time is
money when you are dealing with men who get paid by
SOUTH FLORIDA FARMER BRINGS IN FIRST
(Lake Worth Leader.)
Fort Myers, Jan. 20.-(I.N.S.)-The first watermelons
of the year were brought into Fort Myers today by T. L.
Shell, of Bayshore, living two miles from here.
The melons were believed to be the first grown outdoors
in the United States this year. They were grown on a half-
acre patch on the north shore of the Caloosahatchee river.
The crop amounted to approximately 300 melons and the
weight averages from 15 to 20 pounds.
They were retailing at ten cents per pound. The first
carload was shipped much later in the season last year and
brought fifty cents a slice in New York.
HARDEE COUNTY MAN MAKES CROP IN LESS
THAN FOUR MONTHS
Wauchula, Dec. 11.-(Tribune Special.)-A story of
quick farming results is told by Tony Lombard, who came
to Hardee county during July of the present year, and
settled on five acres of ground, seven miles east of this city.
From the beginning, Mr. Lombard was required to build
a house, fence the property and get the ground in shape
for planting, and on Nov. 1 he sold his first cucumbers,
which is a record for quick results for a first-year farmer
in Hardee county.
Mr. Lombard is well pleased with his location and is
making an effort to induce some of his neighbors from the
north to come and settle near him.
GOVERNMENT SOIL SURVEY MAPS AND RE-
PORTS ARE READY
Lake County Chamber of Commerce Will Distribute Maps
at Cost to Residents Upon Application
(Eustis Lake Region)
Advices have just been received from the department of
public printing at Washington that the long-delayed Lake
County soil maps and surveys are now on the press and are
expected to be ready for delivery about January 17. Inas-
much as the Lake County Chamber of Commerce defrayed
the major portion of the expense of securing this soil
survey and it is now just about three years since the field
work was first begun, it is gratifying to learn that these
valuable documents will soon be available to those in-
terested in the further agricultural development of Lake
Hundreds of requests have already been received from
various parts of the county for copies of these maps and
soil surveys, and arrangements have been made for the
distribution and sale of these soil surveys to the general
public at $1 each. The directors of the Lake County
Chamber of Commerce have carefully considered the matter
and have decided that these documents will be worth every
cent charged for them, inasmuch as they have been made
under the direct supervision of experts from the bureau
of soils in Washington, and can therefore be relied upon
to supply accurate and truthful information regarding the
character of the soils in all parts of Lake county.
It was discovered many months ago that only a very
few other Florida counties have ever had similar surveys
made, and in most every case the supply of soil maps had
been almost entirely exhausted by the demand for them
on the part of those interested in Florida agricultural de-
velopment. Acting on this information, Secretary Wood of
the Lake County Chamber of Commerce made special
arrangements with the government printing office in Wash-
ington for an extra supply, and is, therefore, in a position
to furnish copies of this map and report to all who desire
them, either on personal application or by letter, enclosing
$1 to cover the cost of each composite map and survey that
WILL LOCATE NEW TEXTILE FACTORY
Jacksonville.-Organization of the New York and Jack-
sonville Textile Corporation was perfected and announce-
ment released of the signing of contracts in New York
City for the sale of an industrial townsite to be known as
Hamilton City at a meeting of the corporation held in the
offices of Fred B. Noble in the Graham building. The
Jacksonville office of the corporation will be located for
the present at 232 West Forsyth street.
Contracts, which have been signed in the office of the J.
Romaine Brown Company in New York, by B. H. Hamilton,
of Jacksonville, formerly connected with some of the best
known textile mills of North and South Carolina, cover
property consisting of 3,000 lots situated on both the At-
lantic Coast Line and the Southern Railway, as well as
the Dixie Highway.
The syndicate is represented by Fred B. Noble and L. A.
Raulerson, Jacksonville attorneys, who have handled nego-
tiations which have covered a period of some months. The
charter has already been granted to the corporation which
will develop the property as an industrial center.