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NITRATE OF POTASH.

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NITRATE OF POTASH. This is one of the most valuable manures. We hear much more about nitrate of soda and sulphate of ammonia than of it, yet neither of these is so important from an agricultural point of view. Nitrate of soda, for example, supplies but one of the ingredients of plant food nitrate of potash provides two- nitrogen and potash. Soils that are poor in clay, and which are not occasionally enriched by the application of farm-yard manure, derive great benefit from a dressing of nitrate of potash. But it is rather more costly than some of the nitro- genous manures. It has been imported from India for some years. Latterly it has been artificially produced on an extensive scale in other countries. France has aided materially in popularising it as a source of plant food. Beyond the Channel it is largely manu- factured. A quantity of fertile loam is procured, and with it is incorporated highly nitrogenous organic matter, such as dried blood, flesh, liquid manure, &e. To this is added chalk or old mortar lime. The whole mass is then turned over once or twice, after which the soil is washed and the water evaporated. The residue from this process is crystals of ni trate of potash. What are the chemical changes which take place in the maS8 t The decay ef organic matter is hastened by lime, and results in nitric acid. Ammonia is produced, and becoming oxidised, it is converted into nitric acid which combines with the lime in the first instance, and afterwards with the liber- ated potash, and hence the origin of nitrate of potash. The process of manufacture is simple, and every farmer should study it, as it is quite possible that it might be in progress on his own farm unknowingly to him.

THE LOVERS.

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HINTS TO WOULD-BE FARMERS.

CHRISTIANITY IN JAPAN.