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crop. A German newspaper quotes from a foreign journal a description of a sort of epidemic which prevailed, and which was attributed to a want of vitality in the seed, and the remedy to which was proposed by obtaining seed from abroad. But the difficulty is in determining whether it is the same thing. There are resemblances, and there are also discrepancies, so far as we are able to form a comparison in the matter.
In the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture for March, 1844, we find a paper taken from the Livlundische Jahrbucher, an agricultural periodical published at Dorpat and Moscow, which, as the work is not common in our country, we have thrown into the appendix with our other papers. It seems, by this article, that there has been a diversity of sentiment as to the cause. Some," says the author, “affirm it to be a species of a fly; others attribute it to small fungi, or parasitical plants, which occasion the scab or corruption of the potato.” The disease there mentioned, however, seems to be a dry rot, as is likewise the one (perhaps a still different species) alluded to in another paper, and called the dry gangrene, which was communicated by M. de Martins to the Annales des Sciences Naturelles of September, 1942, which is found in the appendix, among our other extracts there. Some of the suggestions in both of these articles may be profitably read.
10. Preventives.—Whatever may be the cause, and whether ever ascertained or not, the great thing, if possible, is to supply the remedies. These, in most instances, are based on the supposed origin; but, so far as limited observation allows, we believe that it will be found there are a number of suggestions to which it will be useful to pay some attention. In the American Agriculturist, it is said: “ This disease seems to be as destructive in Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, and Russia, as in our own country, and is attributed to many causes. The remedies suggested are—to keep such as are intended for seed deep buried in the ground all winter; thoroughly draining and subsoiling the land where planted; to put them in small quantities; to select seed for planting, not quite ripe, and such as have not the slightest appearance of being watery ; liming the land ; obtaining new seed, either from planting potato balls or from distant countries, where they grow in a healthy state; after digging, spread the potatoes in the sun till they become dry and unfit for food; then stow them away till required for planting-topdressing the plant with nitrate of soda and sulphate of soda and magnesia; selecting such tubers for seed as grow near the top of the ground, and are quite green ; to plant the seed whole."
We find also, in the Farmers' Cabinet of the 15th of August, the following extract from the Journal of Agriculture, by Mr. James Caird, Baldoon, Wigton, who agrees with the suggestion to plant seed not fully ripe. He says: "My seed potatoes last year (1842) were raised before they
“ were perfectly ripe, and I have had no failure. Nearly all the seed I planted this year, however, was the small, unsaleable tubers, planted whole, rejecting the very smallest. The crop was very healthy and productive. Indeed, I have never seen a failure where small potatoes, uncut, are used for seed; and I believe this uniform success to arise from the small
l potato being unripe when taken from the ground. This opinion rests on the assumption that all the small potatoes of a crop have not reached maturity when the rest of the crop is ripe, as being the last formed. If this be so, it strengthens the common opinion, that the less ripened potato of
the upland districts makes the best seed. But, at the same time, we see how good seed may be had without the trouble or expense of a change from a late district, if we either plant the small potatoes of our own crops, or raise a portion for seed before they have reached maturity.”
In a subsequent number of the same paper it is stated, by a correspondent, that, on conversing with an old countryman, a native of Ireland, on their mode of raising the potato, he said that “they planted their potatoes for seed late in the season, (too late for maturity,) in ground well prepared, with an extra quantity of manure, and tended them carefully; the produce was not fit to eat, but was superior for seed, producing a very abundant and sure crop.” In a discussion among agriculturists in Scotland, with reference to the failure of the potato crop-the age of the varieties, nature of the soil, state of the weather, cutting and not cutting seed, were mentioned as causes. Professor Johnston remarked that, as to the remedy, all agreed that a sound, healthy seed, well-pulverized and well-drained soil, were the best preventives of the disease, and best guaranty of a good crop.
Salt, lime, and plaster, have been respectively recommended by their advocates, and, in some instances, with diverse success. An instance of the following kind has come to our notice in this vicinity, which has recently been personally examined by the Commissioner of Patents. Mr. James Cammack, a well-known horticulturist here, planted with potato cuttings three separate pieces of land, (two of which were sand and gravelly loam,) all on the 20th of June last. Those on the first piece were rolled in plaster of Paris, or gypsum, and sprinkled in the drill with the same, before being covered ; another piece was prepared with compost and stable manure; and a third covered with horse dung. In this experiment, the first alone escaped the disease, and gave an excellent crop; the second was not quite so bad as the last, but both were comparatively use. less. The soil for the first two pieces was alike-in one field. These facts, well attested, seem to favor the idea that heat is the great cause; and hence, that the decay of the vine may be attributed to the disease of the tuber. No maggots or insects were discovered, except such as are found in rotten potatoes generally. This would seem to show that the plaster acts as a counteraction to the too great absorption of the moisture; while the barn-yard manure produces, on the other hand, too great heat, which might prove injurious. The use of poudrette, and other artificial manures, has been recommended, on plausible grounds, at some of the discussions which have taken place. To prevent the bad effects of barn-yard manure, one writer earnestly recommends its preparation by eremacausis, or the process of slow combustion, as it is thought that the fermentation of the manure causes the evil.
Where lime is used, it should not be used in a caustic state, and applied directly to the seed. What is termed the hydrate of lime (i. e. lime with water) it is said combines with soluble vegetable and animal substances, which, on drying, or being acted upon by atmospheric influence, become insoluble in water. Gradually these compounds separate, the lime becomes a carbonate, and the organic matter becomes mould.
An instance is related where, on planting, a table spoonful of lime was placed in each hill; and, after they were up, was applied about a gill of a mixture—of lime 2 bushels, plaster 3, and ashes 8. In this case there was not one rotten potato in the fall, while in the fields of his neighbors they were much diseased.
) The whole result, therefore, of the facts collected seems to show that a most widespread increasing evil has attacked the potato crop, which bears many marks of being of the nature of an epidemic, and which, unless carefully guarded against by the best means in our power, may prove destructive in years to come. It may be, that, like the cholera and other diseases with reference to persons, there are certain states of the fruit, and also circumstances, which render them far more predisposed to it than otherwise ; and that, though we may not be able utterly to ward off the disease in every case, we may furnish such preventives as will be effectual in checking its extensive progress. We believe that, as in Germany and England with regard to the diseases of this crop there prevalent, we shall thus be enabled to check much of the evil. If it should lead to greater care in the choice of seed and cultivation, the present evil may eventually prove a real benefit to the agricultural community and the people at large.
HAY. The crop of hay we believe to have done well during the past year. There is, however, difficulty in gaining much accurate information respecting its amount, either comparatively or otherwise, except in some few States, because it is not considered an object of any particular interest; and in certain States, what little is raised is confined to some particular sections.
Take New England through, the hay crop has been a good one. The season was favorable for its growth and gathering, and it was generally secured in fine order. From Maine, under date of July 19, we hear to this effect : “At Belgrade, Waterville, Fairfield, and the whole vicinity, the hay crop appears well.” In the southeastern part of the State it is said to have been a “fair crop-probably about 10 per cent. above last year's," (1843.) In the northern central section, it is described as being
very large--never larger in the district;" though it is added, that a portion of it was not gathered, but rotted on the ground. By the editor of an agricultural paper, one thus well fitted to gain correct information, we are told that “a great crop of hay has been gathered in Maine this year. It is not common to have two such abundant yields as this and that of last year." It is probably by no means too large an estimate to put the increase at 25 per cent. over the crop of 1843.
The notices from New Hampshire differ in the different sections of the State. While in the western part, bordering on the Connecticut river, the account is that it was “above an average;" “a very good crop;” “more than an average, but not so much as last year, when the quantity was extraordinary;"> <the quality this year is much better than the last;” in the southeastern part of the State, it is thought that there is not more than two-thirds of a crop.” Another, a good judge of crops, says of hay, compared with the crop of 1843, “ better crop-increase one-fourth.”
Taking the State through, there is probably an increase of about 20 per cent.
In the lower part of Vermont, the crop was “a good one, but not so good as in the year previous"-probably “about 10 per cent. less." In the northeastern, there was about the same increase. In Chittenden county it was “abundant—the crop above mediocrity.” In round numbers, for that county the crop is put at “ 65,000 tons." In the county of Grand Isle, hay is thought to have given about 12,000 tons. In the whole of that
section there has been a considerable increase, which, probably, is equal to 15 or 20 per cent. It would appear, therefore, that the whole crop, compared with that of 1843, was about 15 per cent. better.
As regards this crop in Massachusetts, the report is not favorable. The Boston Cultivator, of July 6, says that the hay crop in this section is twothirds of the visual one. So the New England Farmer, of July 21, says “hay is said to be light near Boston.” And again : the New England Farmer, of August 31, says “the hay crop, from 40 to 60 miles around Boston, is cut off one-third.” At an earlier date, also, in Berkshire county, we are informed “the hay has fallen off.” Corresponding to this is the subsequent information,
An informant, speaking of the northeastern section of the State, says: “On the sea coast, two-thirds of the usual crop; in the interior, a full average.” In the northeast, towards the country, it probably fell short about 15 per cent., but it was secured in the best season. Another statement, from the central part of the State, is to this effect: “10 per cent. less than in 1843." We believe that, taking the whole State through, it fell off about 15 per cent.
In Rhode Island, the report from the western half of the State is, that it was was good as usual on good lands, but on inserior land less than usual.” In the eastern part, it is stated that there were about 7,000 tons, or 40 per cent. less than in 1843. For the whole crop, therefore, we allow 20 per cent. decrease, as compared with the crop of 1843.
The information which we have been able to obtain from Connecticut, with regard to the hay crop, is much of the same cast. In the central part of this State, “ it has been short,” but there is said to be “sufficient to keep the stock.” In the southeastern section, it is stated to have proved "a large
We think, on the whole, the crop has fallen off, though the rate of decrease from the crop of 1843 will not exceed 5 per cent.
There has been an average increase in the State of New York. The notices are, however, somewhat diverse in the various sections of ihe State. In a public journal at Albany, in July, it is said: “ The hay harvest in this vicinity is over, and the crop has been secured in good condition, but it is lighter than an average.
From a New York paper of the same month, we learn respecting that vicinity: “Grass upon old meadows is quite light, and in some instances the farmers will not make hay enough to winter their stock, when usually they have had a surplus. On our meadows the yield is very large."
Yet later in August, the following notice is found in one of the public journals of that city: “The spring was highly favorable for grass, and both the high and low meadows presented a most luxuriant growth; so much so, that hay-making commenced a week earlier than usual. The weather during the whole month has been in the finest possible order. Some of our farmers have got all their hay under cover, without getting wet by even a single shower. We have never seen our barns and hay barracks better filled. July is always one of our severest and most trying months, and pastures are more apt to be parched than during any month in the year. This month has been an exception, and the grass has looked fresher than common. The cattle have been able to get a good nip, and look uncommonly fat and sleek.”
In western New York, the same crop is thus described in July: “ Hay light; on old meadows not half a crop; on new meadows large burdens."
Again, at Buffalo, still later: “ The month of August has been very wet and unpleasant; so much so, that hay-making has been carried on at great loss and expense. There is quite a quantity of grass not yet mown, and in some places farmers have had their hay in cocks for the last three weeks. The quantity of hay raised this year will not be any thing like such as last.” Somewhat earlier, in Steuben county, “the crop of hay is as good as the farmer can ask, and the weather favorable for the harvest.” In Genesee county, it is said to have been a “fair crop.” At Utica, the grass crop was “ light.” In Onondaga county and vicinity, “good.” In Orange county, July 5th, "abundant.” In Queens county, on Long Island, “good.”'
So far as we can judge from further notices of correspondents, they give similar accounts. At the north, bordering on the St. Lawrence, there was “a full crop.” In Jefferson, the increase is rated as high as from “ 50 to 60 per cent.” Along the lake, from the central part of the State to the western boundary, the account is favorable-such as Madison and Oswego, “an average crop;" Cayuga and Cestland, “good;" Yates, “average;"> Genesee and Wyoming, “ 10 per cent. over that of 1843;" in Seneca and Wayne, "about a medium crop"-with the exception of Tompkins and Chemung, where it was an average crop, on account of drought; and Onondaga county, where we are told “the hay crop was about 15 per cent. lighter than last year, (1843,) owing, it is thought, to cold and wet weather in May, and hard frost about the 22d of May.” Another informant likewise adds the drought as a reason. The crop of Cattaraugus county is also said to have been “uncommonly fine."
In Niagara county, we are informed,“ this crop has been above an average, except on old meadows, or lands which have been in grass several years. In such cases, it has been light; but most of our farmers mow only
. two seasons, then plough up for corn or wheat. Where a regular rotation of crops is pursued, the hay crop was good. Average, it is estimated, about 10 per cent. above 1843."
From the central counties, the crop along the Mohawk valley is judged to have been about the same as last year. In Otsego and Schoharie, “a light crop; not as good as last year.” In Rensselaer, “a full crop.” The information respecting the river counties is, that it was "good;" about the same as in 1843;"9 “average crop.” In the county of Orange, we have it from high authority: “Our crop this year is about an average one. The increased fertility of our lands gives a larger yield per acre than we formerly obtained. As, however, the area accessible to navigable waters is very limited, we find this an unprofitable crop toward exportation. Its great bulk, even when pressed, renders it impracticable to transport it by horse power to any considerable distance. About the same quantity of hay, barely sufficient for our home consumption, is generally raised from year to year.” On review of the whole, while we allow a considerable falling off in some sections, we think it more than overbalanced by the gain in others; and we estimate the increase at 10 to 15 per cent. above the crop of 1843.
In New Jersey the reports are in the different sections about the same as last year;” “good;" and about“ 5 per cent. less.” On the whole, there was, it is believed, a slight increase.
We have very little information respecting the progress of the growth of this crop in Pennsylvania, and considerable diversity exists respecting the amount gathered in the various sections. In some parts it suffered from the drought. Such was the case in Chester county, where it is thought to