FOURTH EDITION. R DIN N
COKNELL READING-COURSE N. I
FOR FARMERS. i NOVEMBER, 1902.
SB JOHN W. SPENCER.
Reviseo By JOHN CRAIG.
These questions constitute a supplement to Reading-Lesson No. r
(The Soil: what it is). Its purpose is to induce the reader
to think carefully about what he reads. Answer the questions as
best you can and return this sheet to us (2 cents postage). iVe want
these answers in order that we may know what interest you are taking
in the Reading-Course and how much good you arr .'.''.'., from it ;
and we want to help you when you do not understand the problems
involved. W1e are after results, and do not care about the hand-
writing nor the grammar. These answers are for our own exami-
nation and are not to be made public. We should be glad of any
comments on these lessons.
It is hoped that readers will form themselves into little clubs, to
meet once or twice a month to discuss the problems raised by the lessons.
Those who answer the questions will receive future lessons.
What is the influence of weather upon soft, slaty rock jutting
out on embankments and in railroad cuts ?
Have you ever taken a glass of water from a flowing stream,
after a heavy rain and allowed it to stand until the sediment has
settled? What is this sediment ? ,(
Imagine a branch of this stream bringing rotted slate rock and
another bringing fine sand. When mixed in the main stream
and deposited on some bar or overflowed field, what kind of soil
would the mixture make ?
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What is inorganic matter '
What is organic matter ?
Why are soils from which a thrifty forest growth has been
.removed capable at once of producing good farm crops?
How are lichens (sometimes called "mosses") enabled to grow
on bare rock or on a tombstone? j. 7
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If any great amount of lichen should become mie w he
disintegrated rock, would it be humus and form a weak soil that
might produce an order of plants a little larger and stronger than
lichen? Explain. -
As the higher order of plants come in and die down and mix
with the soil, would the process increase the productive power of
the soil? How? ? c /
In instances in which soil has been removed by grading, could
a new soil be well made by adding commercial fertilizer alone ?
What would you apply first to such land ?
If humus in soil under cultivation is perishable, ought it not
to be the farmer's first care to keep good the quantity first found
in the virgin soil?
In addition to the humus returned to the soil in manure,
from forage fed to stock, and by plowing under stubble and
roots, do you think it is a good plan to sow some cover-crop in corn
rows at last cultivation, and on oat and wheat stubble as soon as
the crop is off, for plowing under the following spring ? Have
you tried this plan and with what results?
What are good crops for this purpose ? It._ -
Which of these are leguminous plants? Name all the kinds
of leguminous plants you know.
Why is it advised to plow under the green crops as soon as, the
land can be worked in the spring?
Do you think a rotation of crops helps the soil to bear the
strain of successive cropping ? Ifso, why ?
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What is a so called worn out"' soil ? A -
How is your soil made an active laboratory in which changes
will take place and some of this unavailable plant-food be made
When the texture of your soil is poor, or, in other words,
when your laboratory is out of order, will the best commercial
fertilizers or stable manures give good results ?
Why are heat and air important agencies in the changes going
on in the soil, as they also are in th 'changes in a barrel of
cider or in the yeast in a pan of dough ?
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Does standing water on soil, have a detrimental or beneficial
effect on thel heatandair ? Why?
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How can you make the soil laboratory do the best work ?
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