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PLOUGHING.

--CLIPPINGS. -,

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CLIPPINGS. PLANT FOOD. It is an absolute essential in agricul- ture to have plant food in the soil. If it is not present in abundance it should be sup- plied in the manner that is most economi- cal and profitable, and that which is re- moved in crops should be replaced so far as practicable and profitable, either by re- turning it in farmyard manure, or by ploughing under green manures, straw and other coarse products. With a good sup- ply of plant food stored in the soil, then the thing of greatest importance in the business of farming is the liberation of sufficient plant food during the growing season to meet the needs of maximum pro- fitable crops. While thorough tillage aids in this process, by far the most effective and practicable means within the farmer's own control for liberating plant food from the soils' supply or from insoluble material is decaying vegetable matter. The farmer or landowner whose farm practice includes these two points; that is, (1) plenty of plant food stored in the soil, and (2) plenty of decaying organic matter to liberate plant food for the crop needs, will have in opera- tion a system of agriculture which is per- manent. QUICK LIME. The autumn is the best time of the year to apply lime to the ground, but if not convenient to apply at this time, a moderate application may be made at almost any time. The best method to apply lime is to make small piles of lime on the sur- face at regular intervals, and cover these with earth; the moisture in the soil will soon cause the lime to slack, and as soon as it has come to a powdery condition it should be spread evenly over the soil and harrowed in. If the soil is very dry, the application of a small quantity of water, to cause it to slack, may be desirable. It should be remembered that lime in its caustic or quick state has the most power of producing the necessary chemical and physical changes in the soil; and, there- fore, the object should be to get the lime into the soil in its native state, and well mixed with the soil before it has time to lose any of its active principles. Lime should not be allowed to "air slake" before being applied to the soil, as by doing so it absorbs the carbonic acid from the air and is changed back into carbonate, the form in which it existed before burning, and consequently the labour expended in burning the limestone has been lost. WEAK POTATO SEED. It is a common experience that a given variety of potato, which, when first in- troduced is healthy and prolific, becomes unprofitable to plant after a certain num- ber of croppings. In other words, ex- tended cultivation impairs the vitality of the tuber and renders the plant susceptible to disease; for this an explantion can be found in the method of reproduction usu- ally practised. Other crops are allowed to mature and reproduce themselves from seed, but the potato crop raised from tub- ers is merely a continuation of the former one and not the offspring of it, and its vitality is weakened in proportion to the number of crops that remove the current one from the orignal offspring of the seed. There is little doubt that the prevalence of disease in many parts is mainly the outcome of this weakened vitality, a con- dition of things which renders the develop- ment of new varieties from seed of the greatest importance. FEED THE CROPS. Crops, like animals, must be generously fed to keep healthy and bear abundantly. 7 ust as the digestive organs of the animal assimilate the nourishment of its body, so ilie assimilating organs of plants utilise the food placed within their reach. Like the animals also they require a "complete ration"; that is to say, one with no needful element of plant food lacking, ano when well fed the plant will thrive, produce without effort, and withstand and offer no encouragement to the numerous parasi tic pests that assail our cultivated crons.

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