Newspaper Page Text
Vol. XXVI, No 44.
For Florida Agriculturist. Fertilizing After Cowpeas. The great value of cowpeas as a soil renovator is now too well known to require description here, it is enough that they are largely grown for their value as fertilizers, to encourage a study for the best way of making use of this value. It may surprise some planters that fertilizers should be used after cowpeas, but it is a very simple matter explained. In the first place, we must keep in mind that plants take up nitrogen, potash and phosphoric acid in certain definite proportions. For ex ample, a crop of tobacco comprising 1000 pounds of leaf and 1300 pounds of stems will require, as shown by chemi cal analysis, 90 pounds of nitrogen, 105 pounds of potash, and 25 pounds of phosphoric acid. Now, suppose the supply of fertilizer in the soil available for the use of the crop should be limit ed to 90 pounds of nitrogen, 50 pounds of potash, and 25 pounds of phosphoric acid, the result would be a crop of ap proximately 800 pounds of leaf. The point is that the value of the fertilizer is limited by the most deficient consti tuent. If in the example given above, the nitrogen only should be reduced half, or the phosphoric acid similarly reduced, the crop result would be the same. The point is that the crop must have certain quantities of nitrogen, potash and phosphoric acid, and no ex cess of any one, or of any two, will make good a deficiency of any one. A fair crop of cowpeas, stubble and roots, such as would naturally be turn ed under for manure, contains per acre about 110 pounds of nitrogen, 70 pounds of potash, and 18 pounds of phosphoric acid. If this stubble ground is to be used for tobacco, it is evident that as compared with the re quirements of the tobacco crop as giv en previously, there is enough nitrogen for 1950 pounds of leaf, enough potasli for 1080 pounds of leaf, and enough phosphoric acid for 1150 pounds of leaf. From the laws of plant feeding as determined by Leibig, it is evident that the cowpea stubble and roots will produce about 1080 pounds of leaf, while it contains nitrogen for 1950 pounds. As the nitrogen would large ly go to waste, and as fertilizer nitro gen costs about three times fertilizer potash or phosphate, it is plain that this loss is a very severe leak in the profits of the plantation. These condi tions are practically equally true for other crops as well as tobacco. Of course in actual planting conditions, such exact results as are shown in the above computation could not be realiz ed, but as a proposition of economical manuring they are absolutely correct. Soil fertilizer is much like a bank ac- Whole No. 1344. count; it is inexhaustible until ex hausted, and when exhausted a scan ning of the stubs shows that every dol lar drawn out has helped quicken the final collapse. From all this it is evi dent that fertilizers should be used on cowpea stubble, and used liberally. Of course only potash and phospliatic fer tilizers are necessary, and fortunately these two forms of fertilizers are the cheapest. Bryan Tyson. Long Leaf, N. C. ♦ For Florida Agriculturist. Tobacco in Chicago. A vast amount of tobacco is used in Chicago, both for cigars and coarser grades of the manufactured article. Florida does not now, nor has she ever figured very largely in the com mon grades of tobacco for plug and pipe smoking. But she has cut quite a swath in the cigar line in the past, and is still holding a fair share of the trade of the old time makers of cigars. But Florida cigar tobacco is roundly tabooed by many enterprising firms who have had but little experience in the Florida cigar leaf of years ago. In fact so many failures in the Florida product are reported to me that I am compelled to believe that something more than barep rejudice is at the bot tom of this state of affairs. One of the leading firms won’t touch it. Many others say, “I get it in the neck hard every time I touch it.” I asked an old timer of the fifties, who knew of the “old Florida speckled wrapper,” what was the matter. He said: “Well, there is a number of things the mat ter. First, there must be lots of new men down there who don’t know how to raise, care or handle cigar tobacco. They send us stuff that is neither fill er, binder nor wrapper. It won’t burn, has poor color, no cigar odor, and is usually offensive to the taste.” I showed him a sample. “What is this?” I asked. “How do you class it?” “That,” said he, with a look of dis gust, “ is nothing. I can’t use it at any price. It is not wrapper; it is rank and too new for filler.” I then showed him a sample of fairly good filler, neatly packed, having both age and good curing, and asked what he thought of that. “Now,” said he, “You begin to get there. That is something like it.” Af ter haggling a little he offered 38 cents, and I sent his bid on. That is the way it goes. You can’t sell poor stock for anything to good men. You have to trot your legs off to sell it to poor men, and then at a poor price followed by lots of kicks and afterclaps. The objections to Florida cigar leaf caused by improper growing and worse DeLand, Fla., Wednesday, November 8, 1899. handling are giving away to more ad vanced and scientific methods in these respects. The growers should take courage and redouble efforts to make still further improvements. Tnere is always demand here for good stock at good prices, but little demand for poor stock at any price. L. D. Jackson. Starch and Canteloupes. Mr. J. H. Stephens, industrial agent for the Plant System, with headquar ters at Sanford, was in the city Mon day trying to help in the work of or ganizing a company for the manufac ture of starch from cassava. Mr. Stephens says there is a good profit in the business to both the grower and the manufacturer and he hopes to see a large number of these factories erected in South Florida. He expects to devote the entire win ter to this portion of the State, trying to set on foot various manufacturing enterprises and in encouraging grow ers to plant paying crops. He says the Itockaford canteloupe is one of the best paying crops that can be raised and he has already a pledge of'about 300 acres from Sanford south and west along the lines. Mr. Stephens will be here again in a few days and will report further as to the progress in the starch factory mat ter.—Courier-Informant. +++ A Way Out. The growing of cassava in Florida has up to this date, with the excep tion of Mr. Stetson’s fine crop of 250 acres at DeLand, been in small fields and patches for the owner’s use as feed for his stock. As such it is very valuable, and has been a great help to farmers, and, while oranges furnished the cash crop, no other thought was given it. Now, over a large portion of the State, the orange crop has gone, and taken with it the capital and in come of many a one who thought him self provided for the rest of his days. It is a loss which it is hardly to be hoped anytning else will replace en tirely; but an opportunity of turning orange groves and other cleared lands, upon which so much money has been spent, to some use and therefore bringing back to it a saleable value, has lately arisen in the slow and sure way the possibility of the manufacture of various staple products from cas sava has forced itself upon the notice of the manufacturers of those pro ducts from other sources. Of late a great deal has oeen written about cas sava factories at various points in the State, but, upon investigation, they have turned out to be small and exper imental and nothing to give the farui- $2 per Annum, in Advance. er much permanent encouragement. However, it looks as though what was wanted has come at last. The Plant ers’ Manufacturing Company, incor porated with a capital stock of SIOO,- 000, and composed of men thoroughly conversant with the most approved method of the manufacture of starch and other products made from cas sava, and how to dispose of tho-se pro ducts when made, are located at Lake Mary, a point six miles south of San ford on the main line to Tampa, and near the center of the Plant System of Railways. No care or expense is being spared to make their factory, now in course of erection, one of the finest and most complete in the United States. It is hoped that the machin ery will be in running order by the first of December, and its capacity will be such that, if necessary, 200 tons of roots will be ground and disposed of per day. With an enterprise of such capacity as this in our midst, the Flori da farmer has good reason to con gratulate himself, for here is a crop suitable and suitable only for the high pine land, anu which can be raised from that same piece of lanu upon which he has toiled and spent money for years in the attempt to grow or anges. There are few crops which can be grown remuneratively on this class of land, either for market or home use, and when the orange trees went down those who turned their attention to trucking or pineries, the only industry then in signt, found they had to go down in their pockets and make a fresh outlay of capital, before a dol lar could be maue. Cassava growing does not present this drawback, for in the neighborhood of every settlement in Florida, there are hundreds of acres of land cleared and ready to be plough ed and planted with this crop, owned either by residents or by absentees, whose permission to use it can in most cases be obtained by some resident free of any but a trifling expense. While cassava culture calls for no large outlay of capital, it is not pre sented as an industry out of which large fortunes can be made while the maker dozes in a hammock on his ve randa, but, as every one with a know ledge of farming in other States will readily see, the remuneration lies hi planting an acreage which will war rant the purchase of a few implements adapted to the saving of labor ex penses and almost entirely doing away with hand labor and in giving the acre, age the attention proper to good farm ing. The price offered by the above com pany per ton for roots Is $5, f. o. b.. any depot on the Plant System of