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at beft fo limited, as to prevent us from being able to know with certainty the cause of any one phenomenon that occurs; respecting rural operations. That gypfum ihould in some cases act as a very powerful manure, while in other cases it shall prove quite ineit, is nothing surprising : Many other manures are in the same predicament. Lime, in fome cases, fertilizes land to an astonishing degree, and in other cases it produces no fort of effect at all. Both these I have myself experi. 'enced : and though I know theories have been applied to account for this peculiarity, that are in the mouth of every student of agriculture, yet I can with great truth assert, that I have seen thefe opposite effects produced on two soils, that were so much alike in every circumftance, that I could not perhaps have diftinguished the one from the other, before the experiment was tried; and I have known several other manures that have produced effects equally opposite on soils apparently alike. Let no one therefore conclude, although his trials of the manure should prove abortive, that others will not find it anfwer with them; neither let him rashly infer, that because others have had wonderful success, he is certain of ex"periencing the fame. A spirited improver will always endeavour to advance whenever he fees a path opened before him ; but if he has prudence, he will advance with cautious circumfpection, and stop whenever expetience teaches him he can go no farther with profit. With these cautions, I willingly lay the following interesting papers before my readers.
Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman in the State of
Pennsylvania to his Friend in Quebec. - “ You have inclofed fome account of the experiments and use of the gypsum, or plaster of Paris; if any further communication be necessary, you shall have it.
“I see by an account of a late publication of Arthur Young's, he mentions it as being useful as a manure,
but how far he has published the use of it in England, I do not know ; as yet I have not been able to procure, a fight of his treatises vor să la män biisissa
...This manure has produced a great revolution in agriculture. The fine watered and banked meadows in this country, are no longer held in the estimation they were ; our dry poor uplands, from the effect of this valuable and cheap manure, are infinitely more productive, and more valuable, than the best low lands, I mean for grass : in (hort, the value of farm-yard manure is also much lessened; for it is cheaper for the fare mer to purchase the plaster at two-thirds of a dollar per bushel, for his grass.land, than-to draw out his dung
This discovery exceeds credibility ; it puzzles the. philosopher, and astonishes the farmer. Indeed, it rells us all reasoning hitherto extended to the principles of vegetation, was without foundation, and that the hunian race are in a total state of ignorance respecțing it.”.
EExperiments on Gypsum as a Manure. "s?". “ In answer to your queries respecting gypsum or plaster of Paris, I shall give you as full information as I can, consistent with my own and neighbour's experiments.
's The best kind is imported from hills in the vicinity of Paris.; it is brought down the Se ne by water, and is exported from Havre de Grace. I am informed there. are large beds of it up the Bay of Fundy, some of which I have seen nearly as good as that from France; but several cargoes brought from thence to Philadelphia, have been used without effect. It is probable this was taken from the top of the ground, and was, by the influence of the sun and atmosphere, difpofseffed of the qualities neceflary for the purpose of vegetation. The lumps composed of flat shining Specularis, are preferred to those which are formed of round particles like sand; when pulverized, and put dry in an iron pot over the fire, that which is good will soon boil, and great quan titics of the fixed air escape by ebulition. It is pulve
rized by first stamping it in a ftamping mill, and then grinding it in a common grilt mill. The finer its pulverization, the better; it will thereby be more generally diffused. It is best to fow it in a wet day, but if that is not convenient, it should be a little moistened, when you can fow it at any time. The most approved quantity for grass, is fix bufhels, per acre. No art is required in Towing it, more than making its distribu- : , tion as equal as pollible on the fward of grass. It ope- . rates altogether as a top manure, and therefore should not be put on in the spring, until the operation of the frost is over, nor until vegetation hath begun, The, general time for sowing it is in April, May, June, July, August, and even as late as September. Its effect will generally appear in ten or fifteen days ; after which the growth of the grass will be so great as 'to produce a large burden at the end of fix weeks after sowing. It must be fówn on dry land, not subject to overflow. I have sown it on sand, loam, and clay ; and it is difficult to say on which it has best answered, although the effect is fooner visible on the sand.',. It has been used as a manure in this State for upwards of twelve years. Its duration may, from the best information I can collect, be estimated from seven to ten years; for, like other manures, its continuance must very much depend on the nature of the soil on which it is placed., One of my neighbours sowed a piece of his grass ground fix years ago another sowed a field four years ago a great part of my own farm was sown in May 1788.We regularly mow two crops, and pasture in the Autumn. No appearance of failure, the present crop being full as good as any preceding. I have this season mowa ed about fifty acres of red clover, timothy, white clover, &c. which were plastered last May, July, and Septem.. ber. - Many who saw the grass, estimated the produce åt two tons per acre ; but I calculate for the two crops three tons. Several ftrips were left in the different
fields without plafter; these were unproductive and not worth mowing...
- In April 1988, I covered a fmall piece of grass ground upwards of two inches thick, with farm-yard manure, in the same worn-out"field. I fowed plaster to contrast it with the 'dung: I mowed the dunged and plattered land twice last year, and once this : in every, crop, the plaster has produced the most. You will remember; in all your'experiments with clover, you should mix about one third of timothy-grass feed ; it is of great advantage in serving as a support for the cloyer, as it prevents it from falling; it very much facilitates the airing of the clover, and when aired, is a superior fodder. The plafter operates equally as well on the other. grasses as on clover." Its effect is said to be good, if town in the spring, on wheat; but this. I cannot say from experience. On Indian corn, I know its operation to be great. We use it at the rate of a table fpoonful for å hill, put on immediately after dressing... From some accurate experiments last year, and reported to our Agriculture Society, it appears, that nine bushels of additional corn per acre was produced by this much of plaster. As the use of this cheap and: extraordinary manure has now become very general in this State, and many accurate and judicious farmers are now making experiments therewith, I doubt not but its ufes at the close of the season will be better known and further extended; when I shall be happy. to make a communication thereof to you. Nese Experiments, &c. on the plaster of Paris, made in the
Province of Pennsylvania ;--Communicated by a Gentleman in Quebec, Member of the Agricultural Society. Copy of a Letter from Robert Morris to Jeffe Lawrence, .6. After the conversation which passed between thee and me, on the subject of plaster of Paris, I conceived it might not be improper to give thee an account of the several trials which I have made with it as a manure
for land. Perhaps it might have been in the year 1775, that it was recommended to me as a manure for land; I accordingly purchased five bushets; yet my faith therein was so weak, that it lay by me until 1778, when, in the month of March, I fowed at the rate of two bushels and a half per acre, on some ground which I had tilled and lowed with cloyer feed, the fpring preceding, leaving a piece in the middle not fown, and likewise on each side. That season where there was no plaster fown, the clover stood on the ground about twelve inches high; 'but where the plaster was sown, the clover stood upon an average, thirty-four inches high. This ground I'mowed for about four seasons after; I found it to have less grafs every year, though that which was fown with the plasher had as much more in proportion as the first year. I afterwards, ploughed up all this, ground, except a quarter of an acte; upon this I again put plaster of Paris, in the year 1785, and no other manure whatever fince 1778; and it is now in much better order than it was at that time, and it has produced me about two tons of hay every year since, for the first crop, and 4 tolerable good fecond crop, and sometimes a third crop, or very good pasture ; -though the last time I manured it I put in the proportion of fix bushels of plaster to an acre. I have likewise made many experiments other, wise, I have tried it with Indian corn, where it does tolerably well; with buck-wheat, and it makes it grow fo rapidly, that it has always fallen down, and I have loft ny crop. I have tried it with wheat, and it is not possible to discover that it makes any difference when Town on the crop; but when it is fown on grass ground, and this ground turned up and laid down in wheat, it is amazing the advantage it is of to the crop. Last fall was a year, I put down about eight acres of wheat, which I harrowed in, and then sowed clover seed, which came up and looked very fine in the fall; but the winter being very fevere, with but little snow, the clover was dead in the spring; when I fowed it again with