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title: 'Ranche and range. (North Yakima, Wash.) 1897-1902, July 01, 1897, Image 1',
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Image provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA
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Ranche and Range.
OLnSEKIF.S. VOL.B, NO. 4<>. I
NEW SEKIKS, VOL. 1, NO. 18. \'
KITTITAS EARNERS' INSTITUTE.
Continuation of the Very Able Address of Prof. VV. J.
Spillman On "Principles of Tillage.'*
Continued from hist week.
Scattered amongst these little bits of rock are found
here and there fragments of vegetable matter, such
as bits of leaves, roots and stems, sometimes frag
ments of bones, shells and other portions of animal
bodies are found, but by far the greater part of all
ordinary soils consist of bits of rock. The elements
above referred to as essential to plant life are contained
partly in these rock fragments; partly in the vegetable
and animal matter, and in some instances we may find
small Jpartieles of the nitrates, phosphates, potash and
lime already separated from the rocks and organic mat
ter, and ready to be absorbed by the growing plant.
We are ready now to learn what is meant by available
plant food. A negro may regard a melon patch as an ap-
NORTH YAKIMA, WASH., JUI.Y I, 1897.
Exhibit Car of the Northern Pacific Raihvay Company.
propriate source of food supply, but the proximity of a
watch dog or a shot gun, aided by a high picket fence,
may render the food entirely unavailable. So it is with
the nitrogen, phosphates, etc., that may be locked up in
the fragments of rock and organic matter in the soil,
the little plant roots that thread the soil can not get at
these materials until the fragments are decomposed and
the substances thus set free, are rendered available.
It is doubtedly a fortunate thing that plant food is thus
locked up, to be doled out piecemeal, as disintegration
in the soil proceeds from year to year. If it were not
so the supply would soon be exhausted. We see ex
amples of this when virgin soils are first brought into
cultivation. Such soils usually contain large amounts
of plant food either in available forms, or in forms
easily rendered available; but the large crops of the
first few seasons use up the supply, and later crops
must depend on the slow process of decomposition in
Continued on I'ngo Four.
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