Title Page
 Organization of the Cornell University...

Group Title: Bulletin ;, 201
Title: Buying and using commercial fertilizers
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071938/00001
 Material Information
Title: Buying and using commercial fertilizers
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: p. 180-195 : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Clinton, L. A ( Louis Adelbert ), 1868-1923
Publisher: Cornell University
Place of Publication: Ithaca N.Y
Publication Date: 1902
Subject: Fertilizers   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by L.A. Clinton.
Funding: Bulletin (Cornell University. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00071938
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 23946449

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 177
    Organization of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
Full Text

Bulletin 201.

Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station.

Buying and Using Commercial Fertilizers.




April, 1902





JACOB GOULD SCHURMAN, President of the University.
FRANKLIN C. CORNELL, Trustee of the University.
ISAAC P. ROBERTS, Director of the College and Experiment Station.
EMMONS L. WILLIAMS, Treasurer of the University.
LIBERTY H. -BAILEY, Professor of Horticulture.
JOHN H. COMSTOCK, Professor of Entomology.

I. P. ROBERTS, Agriculture.
G. C. CALDWELL, Chemistry.
JAMES LAW, Veterinary Science.
J. H. COMSTOCK, Entomology.
L. H. BAILEY,Horticulture, Nature-Study.
H. H. WING, Dairy Husbandry.
G. P. ATKINSON, Botany.
M. V. SLINGERLAND, Entomology.
G. W. CAVANAUGH, Chemistry.
L. A. CLINTON, Agriculture.
JOHN CRAIG, Extension Teaching;
J. W. SPENCER, Extension Work.
J. L. STONE, Extension Work.
MRS. A. B. COMSTOCK, Nature-Study.-
C. E. HUNN, Gardening.
J. A. POORD, Dairy Husbandry.
G. W. TAILBY, Farm Foreman.
0. F. HUNZIKER, Dairy Bacteriology.

I. P. ROBERTS, Director.
E. L. WILLIAMS, Treasurer.
EDWARD A. BUTLER, Clerk and Accountant.
.Office of the Director, 2o Morrill Hall.
The regular bulletins of the Station are sent free to persons in the State
who request them.


The laws of New York require that Every person who shall
sell, offer or expose for sale in this State any commercial ferti-
lizer or any material to be used as a fertilizer, the selling price of
which exceeds five dollars per ton, shall stamp on or affix to each
package of such fertilizer in a conspicuous place on the outside
thereof, a plainly printed statement which shall certify as follows:
1. The number of net pounds of fertilizer in the package sold
or offered for sale.
2. The name, brand or trade-mark under which the fertilizer
is sold.
3. The name and address of the manufacturer of the fertilizer.
4. The chemical composition of the fertilizer in the following
(a) Percentum of nitrogen.
(b) Percentum of available phosphoric acid, or in the case of
undissolved bone, the percentum of total phosphoric acid.
(c) The percentum of potash soluble in distilled water.
Section i, Chapter 955 Laws of 1896 and as amended by Chap-
ter 687 Laws of 1899.
The above section of the fertilizer law was adopted for the
purpose of enabling the purchaser of .commercial fertilizers
to know something of the constituents and value of the material,
which he is purchasing. But in actual practice the guarantee
which is usually attached to a fertilizer serves rather to confuse
than to enlighten. That this is true is partly the fault of the
manufacturer but more largely the fault of the purchaser who
has not learned the meaning of the terms used in the guarantee.
If the terms are understood then the trade value of nitrogen,
phosphoric acid and potash may be unknown, in which case the
guarantee means but little. The following guarantee is taken
from a fertilizer now on the market and we ask the readers if


they can from this guarantee, estimate approximately the price
per ton which should be paid for the fertilizer.
Ammonia ......................... 2 to 3 per cent.
Soluble phosphoric acid.............. 6 to 7
Reverted ............ 2 to 3
Available ............ 8 to io
Total ............. o to 12
Bone phosphate ..................... 22 to 26
Potash .............. .............. 2 to 3
Equal sulphate......... ............. 3.7 to 5.5
The above guarantee states not only all the law requires but
much more. To one unfamiliar with the meaning of the terms
used it appears that a large amount of plant-food is guaranteed.
Instead of giving the per cent of nitrogen it is stated in terms of
ammonia, and of this only fourteen-seventeenths is nitrogen.
The above guarantee reduced to its simplest terms ", or what
the law requires, would read as follows :
Nitrogen .................................. 1.65 per cent.
Available phosphoric acid ................... 8
Potash ................................. .. 2
This guarantee does not look nearly as formidable as the first
one, and manufacturers say that in the majority of cases a pur-
chaser will choose the brand having the long guarantee. It is
well to have the guarantee state the per cent of soluble phos-
phoric acid as well as the per cent available, for other things
being equal, the fertilizer containing the highest per cent solu-
ble phosphoric acid should be selected.
To enable one to know definitely if the price asked for a mixed
fertilizer is reasonable, a knowledge must be had of the price
and composition of the chemicals from which mixtures can be
made. The most common sources of nitrogen in this State, are:,
Nitrate of soda,
Dried blood,
Ammonium sulphate.
The most common phosphoric acid sources are :
Acid phosphate,
Dissolved bone.
Ground bone,
Basic slag,


The most common sources of potash are:
Muriate of potash,
Sulphate of -potash,
Wood ashes.
Any of the larger fertilizer firms will quote prices and guar-
antees on chemicals and these quotations should always be
secured, for then the purchaser will know the actual price per
pound at which he can secure nitrogen, phosphoric acid and
potash. We have recently received the following quotations on
chemicals, the prices being for goods free on board cars at Syra-
cuse, N. Y.
Nitrate of soda, 19 to 20 per cent ammonia, $45.oo per ton.
Dried blood, 16 to 17 per cent ammonia, $40.oo per ton.
Acid phosphate, 14 per cent available phos. acid, $11.50 per ton.
Muriate potash, 80 per cent muriate, $45.oo per ton.
Sulphate potash, 96 per cent sulphate, $55.oo per ton.
Kainit, 22 to 24 per cent sulphate, $13.00 per ton.
Making a study of the above quotations we see that the nitro-
gen is quoted in terms of ammonia in both the nitrate of soda
and the dried blood. If it is remembered that but fourteen-
seventeenths of the ammonia is nitrogen, this should not con-
fuse the purchaser. Where two percentages are given the lower
one should be used in making the calculations, for this is the
only one the manufacturer is' liable for. The nitrate of soda is
guaranteed to contain 19 per cent ammonia or 380 pounds of
ammonia per ton. As only fourteen-seventeenths of this
ammonia is nitrogen the determination for cost of nitrogen per
pound would be made as follows ;
380 X 14 17 313 pounds of nitrogen per ton.
$45.00 313 14.4 cents per pound, cost of nitrogen.
If the nitrate of soda be made the source of the nitrogen then
the cost per pound of nitrogen will be 14.4 cents.
If dried blood be the material selected to supply the nitrogen
the cost per pound would be determined as follows:
16 per cent ammonia, 20 X 16 320 pounds of ammonia per ton.
320 X 14 17 263.5 pounds of nitrogen per ton.
$40.oo -- 263.5 15.2 cents per pound for nitrogen in dried blood.
It will be seen that at the prices quoted the nitrate of soda is


slightly cheaper than the dried blood, but whether it should be
purchased or not should depend upon conditions mentioned later.
The acid phosphate is'guaranteed to contain 14 per cent avail-
able phosphoric acid, or 280 pounds per ton at a cost of $11.50.
One pound of available phosphoric acid would cost 4.1 cents per
Chemicals furnishing potash have sometimes guaranteed the
per cent of actual potash and again the guarantee states the per
cent of muriate or of sulphate of potash. In the quotations
given the muriate of potash is guaranteed 80 per cent muriate.
To determine the per cent of actual potash, multiply the per
cent of muriate by 0.63. In the present case then the per cent
of actual potash would be 80 x 0.63=50.4 per cent potash. The
muriate of potash then contains 50.4 per cent of actual potash
or ioo8 pounds of potash per ton. This at a cost of $45 would
make the potash cost approximately 434 cents per pound if pur-
chased in the form of the muriate.
The sulphate of potash is guaranteed 96 per cent sulphate.
To reduce this to terms of actual potash we must multiply the
per cent sulphate by 0.54. In the present case the determination
would be made as follows:
96 x 0.54 51.8 per cent of actual potash in the sulphate.
One ton of sulphate of potash would then furnish 20 x 51.8=
1036 pounds of actual potash, at a cost of $55 or 5.3 cents per
pound of actual potash, which makes the sulphate much more
costly than the muriate. The kainit costing only $13 per ton
would possibly lead some to believe that it would be a cheap
source of potash. The computations should be made the same
as for the sulphate. There are guaranteed 22 per cent of sul-
phate of potash.
22 x o.54 II.8o per cent of actual potash in kainit.
20 z 11.80 237.6 pounds of actual potash per ton.
At a cost of $13 makes the cost per pound of actual potash 5.5
cents. This is more expensive than either the muriate or the
sulphate. The freight upon one ton of kainit would be the same
as upon one ton of muriate or sulphate, but with the kainit only
237 pounds of actual plant-food would be secured while with the
muriate and sulphate more thai xooo pounds of actual plant-food


are secured. Usually the high grade muriate of potash is the
cheapest and best source of potash except for tobacco and some
special crops.
From the computations given above we find the following
prices for plant-food in case the chemicals are purchased.
Nitrogen (in Nitrate of Soda)........... 4.4cents per pound.
(in Dried Blood).......... ....15.2 "
Avail. Phos. Acid (from Acid Phosphate) 4.1 "
Potash (from Muriate) ................. 4.5 "
(from Sulphate)............. ... 5.3 .
S (from Kainit)................... 5.5 "
Having now a knowledge of the price per pound at which
plant-food can be purchased in unmixed chemicals we can figure
intelligently upon the price which should be paid for the ready
mixed fertilizer, the guarantee of which is given on page 18o,
but which we will repeat here in its simplified form:
1.65 per cent nitrogen.
8 available phosphoric acid.
2 potash.
As the per cent guaranteed of nitrogen, phosphoric acid and
potash means the number of pounds of each contained in izo
pounds of the fertilizer, we have simply to multiply the per cent
by 20 to find the amount in one ton.
Nitrogen 1.65 x 20 33 pounds of nitrogen in one ton.
SAvailable phosphoric acid 8 x 20 i60 pounds of available phos-
phoric acid in one ton.
Potash 2 x 20 40 pounds of potash in one ton.
We know that at the present time in the chemicals we can buy
nitrogen for 14.4 cents per pound, available phosphoric acid for
4. cents per pound and potash (in muriate) for 4$ cents per
pound. On this basis the ton of mixed fertilizer should cost:
For nitrogen, 33 pounds 14.4 cents................. 4.75
For phosphoric acid, 160 pounds, 4.1 cents. .......... .. 6.56
For potash, 40 pounds 4.5 cents.....: .............,. 1.80
Total value of plant-food in one ton................ 13.11
The price quoted on the ready mixed fertilizer was $20.4o F.
0. B. New York. The unmixed materials necessary to furnish
an equal amount of plant-food could be purchased for $13. 1.
We ask the purchaser of fertilizer if the price charged for mix-
ing is not exorbitant?


The case quoted above is not exceptional in any way but it is
typical of the usual conditions which prevail. We find that the
price charged for mixed fertilizer is from five to ten dollars more
per ton than the cost of the chemicals which would furnish an
equal amount of plant-food. The claim is often made that the
mixing cannot be done thoroughly by the farmer. Whether this
statement is true or not depends upon the farmer, for it can be
thoroughly mixed if care be taken. If the chemicals are stored
in a damp place some have a tendency to become lumpy, in which
case they must be pulverized before being mixed. Nitrate of
soda is especially likely to get hard and lumpy if kept for some
time before being used.
The probable reason that more farmers do not buy the chemi-
cals and mix their fertilizer according to the needs of their farms
and the crops to be grown is that they do not know how to com-
bine the chemicals in order to produce the required mixture.
This need not give one any difficulty if a little study be given
the subject. If it has been found that good results have been
secured with a certain mixed fertilizer, then those chemicals
should be purchased and mixed which will give a similar pro-
portion of plant-food. To illustrate, a fertilizer containing 4
per cent nitrogen, 8 per cent available phosphoric acid and 6 per
cent potash may be desired. The amount of actual plant-food
required in one ton of such a fertilizer is estimated as follows:
2o.oo x 4 8o pounds of nitrogen required.
so.oo x 8 16o pounds of available phosphoric acid required.
20.oo x 6 120 pounds of potash required.
The multiplier 20.00 is used because twenty hundred pounds of
fertilizer or one ton is the amount being figured upon. Had the
amount of fertilizer called for been twelve hundred or fifteen
hundred pounds, then the multiplier would have been 12 or 15
instead of 2o.
If it is wished to purchase chemicals which will supply the
above amounts of plant-food the amounts to purchase will be
found as follows:
Nitrogen sources are commonly :
Nitrate of soda.
Dried blood.
Ammonium sulphate.


The nitrate of soda usually contains about 15 per cent nitro-
gen, dried blood from 13 to 15 per cent and ammonium sulphate
about 20 per cent nitrogen. Knowing the per cent of nitrogen
contained by any chemical supplying nitrogen, it is a simple
matter to estimate how many pounds of the chemical will be
required to supply a given amount of plant-food. The rule
which applies is, divide the number of pounds of the actual
plant-food (nitrogen, phosphoric acid or potash) required by
the guaranteed per cent of the plant-food in the material to be
purchased. The quotient will be the number of pounds of the
chemical which must be purchased. In the case in hand, with
80 pounds of nitrogen required, if it be supplied with nitrate of
soda, 15 per cent nitrogen, the calculation to determine the
amount of nitrate of soda to be purchased is as follows:
8o--. I5=533 pounds of nitrate of soda required to furnish 80 pounds
of nitrogen.
If dried blood containing 14 per cent nitrogen were the mate-
rial to be purchased the following would be the calculation :
80--.14 =572 pounds of dried blood with 14 per cent nitrogen
required to supply 80 pounds of nitrogen.
The most common materials supplying phosphoric acid are
acid phosphate (dissolved phosphate rock), dissolved bone and
ground bone. The method of procedure is the same as with
the nitrogen. The total number of pounds of phosphoric acid
required must be divided by the per cent of available phosphoric
acid, expressed decimally, in the material to be purchased. Acid
phosphate usually contains' about 14 per cent available phos-
phoric acid. To determine the amount necessary we will divide
16o by .14-1143 pounds of 14 per cent acid phosphate required
to furnish 160 pounds of available phosphoric acid.
The usual sources of potash are the muriate of potash, the
sulphate of potash and the carbonate of potash found in hard
wood ashes. Should we decide to purchase muriate of potash
containing 5o per cent actual potash we determine the amount
of muriate required to supply the I20 pounds of potash as fol-
120- .50=240 pounds of muriate of potash required.
To supply the amount of plant-food in the chemicals which


would be supplied in one ton of fertilizer analyzing 4 per cent
nitrogen, 8 per cent available phosphoric acid and 6 per cent
potash, we will need to purchase as follows :
533 pounds of nitrate of soda.
1143 "' acid phosphate.
240 m uriate of potash.
Total 1916
We have thus secured the plant-food required in 1916ipounds
of material, and if it is desirable to have the total weight 2,000
pounds, the 84 pounds of filling may be put in at home. For
this purpose fine road dust or fine soil or gypsum may be used.
We have stated this concrete case simply to illustrate l~ow one
may proceed in case it is wished to purchase the chen icals or
separate ingredients and mix them according to a certain f rmula.
If home mixing of fertilizers is to be done a definite knowl-
edge should be had of the materials which supply plaot-food.
Nitrate of soda is immediately available for the plants use as
soon as it goes into solution. Its beit results are obtained when
applied where growing. plants can make use of it quickly.
Where plants grow in hills or drills the nitrate of soda should be
applied near the growing plants but should be thoroughly mixed
'with the soil. If applied broadcast upon sowed crops it should.
be evenly distributed. Nitrate of soda exerts its most beneficial
action where immediate results are desired. It is the quickest
acting plant-food. Dried blood while not so immediate in its
action as nitrate of soda is very quickly available and as a gen-
eral supply for nitrogen it is safe and valuable. Ammonium
sulphate is the richest in nitrogen of any commercial material,
usually containing about 20 per cent actual nitrogen. At the
present time the cost of nitrogen from this source is greater than
from either nitrate of soda or dried blood.
Many materials are now on the market from which phosphoric
acid may be secured. Some contain phosphoric acid in tie water
soluble form and others contain what is known as revertedphos-
phoric acid, or that which is soluble in weak acids, as in ammo-
nium citrate. Others make no claim at supplying anything
except insoluble phosphoric acid. Indeed the claim islrecently
being advanced that insoluble phosphoric acid is even better for
use than is soluble phosphoric acid.


A phosphate fertilizer known as "basicslag" or "odorless phos-
phate" is being sold somewhat extensively and for certain pur-
poses it seems to possess considerable value, while for other
purposes it seems to possess but little value. It has been
recommended especially for clover, but from careful tests made
in our experimental green house clover does not seem able to
feed freely upon the phosphoric acid of basic slag.
In the winter of 190oo-190 certain experiments were under-.
taken to determine the availability of phosphoric acid in its var-


45.-Peas showing'the effect ofphosphoric acid.

ious combinations to plants of various orders. The experiments
were conducted in the green house where all conditions as to
temperature and moisture could be controlled. The details were
in charge of Mr. H. Mason Knox, a senior in the College of Agri-
culture, and to him much credit is due for careful work.
The "soil" in which the plants were grown was a white quartz
sand obtained from ground quartz rock and analyzing 98 per
cent pure quartz. The purpose was to obtain a medium in
which the plants could grow and which should be of itself prac-
tically free from plant-food. The various elements which are


usually supplied by the soil were in this case added in' like
amounts'to all'the boxes of sand in which the plants were to be
grown. All conditions were made similar except the one ingred-
ient of plant-food, phosphoric acid. The actual amount of phos-
phoric acid which was supplied the various boxes was the same,
but the sources of the phosphoric acid were different. The fol-
lowing materials were used to supply the phosphoric acid:
I. Acid phosphate (Dissolved phosphate rock).
2. Basic slag.
3. Floats (Finely ground phosphate rock untreated with acid).
4. Bone black.
These materials were all analyzed by the Experiment Station
Chemist, Mr. G. W. Cavanaugh, and were found to contain
phosphoric acid as follows :
Soluble Reverted Available Total
phosphoric phosphoric phosphoric phosphoric
acid acid acid acid
per cent. per cent. per cent. per cent.
Acid phosphate...... 12.42 5.03 17.45 18.36
Basic slag. ... ...... 15.94
Floats ............... 3137
Bone black.......... 10.71 3.90 J4.6t 16.25

It will be seen from the above analyses that the materials
varied widely in the per cent of total phosphoric acid contained,
but in fertilizing the various boxes of plants the fertilizer was so
applied,that the same amounts of total phosphoric acid would be
applied in each case. The cost of the various materials was not
taken into consideration in any case, for that is variable. The
only question considered was the ability of plants of various
orders to feed upon phosphoric acid when equal amounts of phos-
phoric acid were supplied without regard to cost or availability
of the same.
The orders of plants which were tested with the specific plants
from each order were as follows:
Leguminosa Clover.
I Canada field pea.
Crucifere Rape.
Gramine Oats.
Umbelliere Parleynips.
Umbelliferae Parsnips.


It will be seen that four orders of plants were represented,
each by two species except the Umbelliferae. The results were
most interesting. All seeds germinated quickly and all plants
commenced a vigorous growth. Soon the plants which had
received the soluble phosphoric acid from acid phosphate and
from the bone black outgrew the others. Where no phosphoric
acid was applied the plants made a feeble growth and no plants
came to maturity. When the plants were finally harvested, the
entire plant, including the roots and tops, was harvested and
dried and the weight of actual dry matter produced is given in
every case.



46.-Parsnips showing effect of phosphoric acid.

Order. Crop Phosphate daed Weight in
grown. and compaative puma of
scale of product. dry matter.
Acid phosphate -

Bone black
.... .... .... ;3 2.3
Clover Basic slag .
... ... .. ................................................ 1.. 45
No phosphoric acid
Leguminoseme --. e :*-- **************---- .....................*..... _2.35

Bone black
.;Bone blak.. ........................ 22.32
Peas Basic slag
B o -b -...... .....; ..................................... 9.95
p-...o...a. .... ............ ........... ...... ........... 9.76
WTo phosphoric acid 9
^-....".... ....... ....... ........ ........... i.73
Acid phosphate :
Bone black ................................... 20.74
Bone black

Rad Basic slag ................................. 18.94
Rape Basic sg :
Floats -. ............ .......... ......... ....... 2.5

No s o a. d .. ...........**** .......... ...... 23.39
CrBciferae ........- .......... ..... ............................ 35.

Acid phosphate ,a i
Bone black

... .. ........ ........ ..................... ...... .47.

No phosphoric a.d
L ........... ............... ..................I.................... 1.75





Acid phosphate
Bone black
Basic slag 37
....................... 24.46
........................................ 17.71
No phosphoric acid
.............................................. 13.14
Acid phosphate
.. ... .......... .. ... ............ 18.2
Bone black
....... ........ ......... 25.75
Basic slag
...... .......................... 21.6
m ......................................... ........... 3.22
No phosphoric acid
. ...................................... ........................ 5.99
Acid phosphate
t ................ ........24.93
Bone black
............. 32.18
Basic slag
........................................................ ....... 5.78
,- ............................................. ......................... .69
No phosphoric acid
....... ................................................................. 44


A study of the above table of comparative results shows that
the best returns were secured with the acid phosphate and bone
black in nearly every case. Clover fed about equally well upon
acid phosphate and bone black, both of which supplied water
soluble phosphoric acid. While the clover was able to make
some use of basic slag, yet the product was only about one-half
of that secured where the soluble phosphoric acid was applied.
Clover seemed entirely unable to feed upon the insoluble phos-
phoric acid as furnished in floats, or crude ground phosphate
rock. What was true of the clover was equally true of the peas,
and the indications are that leguminous plants must be supplied
with readily available phosphoric acid if best results are to be

47.-Clover showing the effect of phosphoric acid.

Rape made its best growth where insoluble- phosphoric acid
was supplied in the form of floats. The radishes, however,
made best growth when supplied acid phosphate. But the
radishes were able to feed upon the insoluble phosphoric acid.in
floats and basic slag. The results seem to show that members
of the Crucifere order are able to extract food from the insoluble
forms of phosphoric acid. This may account for the fact
that rape and turnip and mustard are looked upon as hardy
plants, and that they are sometimes recommended as soil reno-
vators. They are able to feed upon certain forms of phosphoric
acid where clovers and peas cannot feed.
In the case of the Graminae it is seen that oats made their best
growth when supplied with water soluble phosphoric acid, and
not much difference is noted between the results obtained with


acid rock and with bone black. The oats made much better
growth upon the basic slag and floats than did the barley. This
simply confirms what has been noted as a matter of actual experi-
ence, that oats will grow under actual field conditions where
barley will fail. Oats possess greater power of utilizing crude
phosphoric acid than does barley.
The Umbelliferse family was represented by parsnips. The
bone black gave best results with the acid phosphate second.
But little use was made of the basic slag and the floats showed
no beneficial results. The results indicate that for this family
phosphoric acid should be supplied in quickly available form if
best results are to be secured.

48 -Rape showing effect of phosphoric acid.
The above results are valuable for the fact that they show the
relative ability of plants of various orders to feed upon phos-
phoric acid when it is supplied in various forms. All conditions
were under control and the soil upon which the tests were made
was uniform. In every case except one much the best results were
secured where the acid phosphate and the bone black were used.
In only one case did floats produce any marked effect and that
was with rape. This would indicate that if the crude ground
rock or floats is to be used as a fertilizer it would better be
applied to turnips or rape where these plants are grown for pur-
poses of soil renovation or for green manuring purposes. Phos-
phoric acid as contained in basic slag or in floats seems to give
best results in actual field conditions when used upon a soil rich
in humus. Decomposing organic matter and abundance of moist-


ure seem to hasten the breaking down or decomposition of the
material containing phosphoric acid. Under the conditions
which usually prevail in New York where results are desired
upon the immediate crop, it is recommended that the phosphoric
acid be secured either from acid phosphate or from dissolved
bone. The average agricultural soil contains vast stores of poten-
tial plant-food. But a small portion of this is available for the
plants use at any one time.
Our experiments lead us to believe that the wise farm practice
is to make the soil give up some of its stores of plant-food,

49.-Barley showing effect of phosphoric acid.

and that this may be done by thorough tillage and by keeping
the soil liberally supplied with organic matter. The decompos-
ing organic matter will make available some of the potential plant-
food of the soil and the resulting humus will serve to increase the
moisture holding capacity of the soil. Then if commercial
plant-food is to be purchased it should be secured in the avail-
able form. It does not seem to be a wise practice to purchase
potential plant-food when there are already vast stores of
potential plant-food in the soil.


It is not expected that the discussion in this bulletin will
answer all questions relating to commercial fertilizers. Nothing
has been said of tankage" which is a local and valuable pro-
duct in many sections of the state. No attempt has been made
to discuss the various brands of complete fertilizer which are on
the market. We have discussed rather those standard materials
which have a somewhat uniform quality, a knowledge of which
will enable one to judge of the value of any mixed fertilizer.
There are many who will not attempt to master the arithmetic of
fertilizers. But some who desire to purchase most economically
their commercial fertilizers will possibly receive aid from this
bulletin. If so, its purpose will have been accomplished.

5o.-Radishes showing the effect of phosphoric acid.


Apricot Growing InWestern NewYork,
26 pp.
The Cultivation of Orchards, 22 pp.
Some Grape Troubles in Western N.Y.
116 pp.
The Quince in Western N. Y., 27 pp.
Cigar-Case-Bearer, 2o pp.
Entomogenous Fungi, 42 pp.
The Spraying of Trees and the Canker
Worm, 24 pp.
General Observations in Care of Fruit
Trees, 26 pp.
Soil Depletion in Respect to the Care
of Fruit Trees, 21 pp.
Extension Work in Horticulture. 42 pp
Dwarf Apples, 31 pp.
Texture of the Sol, 8 pp.
Moisture of the Soil and Its Conser-
vation, 24 pp.
Suggestions for Planting Shrubbery,
Second Report upon Extension Work
in Horticulture, 36 pp.
The Currant-Stem Girdler and the
Raspberry-Cane Maggot, 22 pp.
How to Conduct Field Experiments
with Fertilizers, ii pp.
Potato Culture. 15 pp.
Strawberries under Glass, to pp.
Forage Crops, 28 pp.
Chrysanthemums, 24 pp.
Agricultural Extension Work, sketch
of its Origin and Progress, iz pp.
Studies and Illustrations of Mush-
rooms; I. 32 pp.
Third Report upon Japanese Plums
16 pp.
Second Report on Potato Culture,24 pp.
Powdered Soap as a Cause of Death
Among Swill-Fed Hogs.
The Codling-Moth.
Sugar Beet Investigations, 88 pp.
Suggestions on Spraying and on the
San josa Scale.
Some Important Pear Diseases.
Fourth Report of Progress on Exten-
sion Work, 26pp.
Fourth Report upon Chrysanthemums,
36 pp.
Quince Curculio, 26 pp.
Some Spraying Mixtures.
Tuberculosis in Cattle and its Control.
Gravity or Dilution Separators.
Studies in Milk Secretion.

153 Impressions of Fruit-Growing Indus-
154 Table for Computing Rations for
Farm Animals.
155 Second Report on the San Jose Scale.
156 Third Report on Potato Culture.
157 Grape-vine Flea-beetle.
158. Source of Gas and Taint Producing
Bacteria in Cheese Curd.
159 An Effort to Help the Farmer.
16o Hints on Rural School Grounds.
161 Annual Flowers.
162 The Period of Gestation in Cows.
163 Three Important Fungous Diseases of
the Sugar Beet.
164 Peach Leaf-Curl.
165 Ropiness in Milkand Cream.
166 Sugar Beet Investigations for 1898.
167 The Construction of the Stave Silo.
168 Studies and Illustrations of Mush-
rooms; II.
169 Studies in Milk Secretion.
70o Tent Caterpillars.
171 Concerning Patents on Gravity or
Dilution Separators.
172 The Cherry Fruit-Fly: A New Cherry
173 The Relation of Foodto Milk-Fat.
174 The Problem of Impoverished Lands.
176 The Peach-Tree Borer.
177 Spraying Notes.
178 TheInvasionof the Udder by Bacteria.
179 Field Experiments with Fertilizers.
18o The Prevention of Peach-Leaf Curl.
81r Pollination in Orchards:
182 Sugar Beet Investigations for 1899.
183 Sugar Beet Pulp as a Food for Cows.
184 The Grape Root-Worm; New Grape
Pest in New York.
185 The Common European Praying Man-
tis; A New Beneficial Insect in
186 The Sterile Fungus Rhizoctonia.
I17 The Palmer Worm.
188 Spray Calendar.
189 Oswego Strawberries.
190 Three Unusual Strawberry Pests and
a Greenhouse Pest.
191. Tillage Experiments with Potatoes.
192. Further Experiments against the
Peach Tree Borer.
193. Shade Trees and Timber Destroying

Bulletins Issued Since the Close of the Fiscal Year, June 30, 1901.
The Hessian Fly. Its Ravages in New York in 1901.
Further Observations upon the Ropiness in Milk and Cream.
Fourth Report on Potato Culture.
Germicidal Action in Cow's Milk..
Orchard Cover Crops.
Separator Skimmed Milk as Food for Pigs.
Buying and Using Commercial Fertilizers.

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