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Fertilizer Tests
Loss Of Plant-food
Phosphoric-acid Requirements
Physical Analysis
Potatoes And Crimson Clover
Prejudice Against Commercial Fertilizers
Soil Analysis
The Need Of Potash
The Use Of Nitrogen


Crops And Methods For Soil Improvement

A Bit Of Arithmetic
A Clean Seed-bed
A Few Combinations Are Safest
A Practical Test
A Southern Legume
A Three Years' Rotation
Acid Phosphate
Acquaintance With Terms
Adaptation To Eastern Needs
Affecting Physical Condition
All The Nitrogen From Clover
Alsike Clover
Amount Of Application
Amount Of Manure

Loss Of Plant-food

The soil is composed chiefly of material that
never will enter into the structure of plants, but that serves us by
affording a congenial place for plant-roots. It anchors the plants,
holds moisture for them, and offers opportunity for all the processes
necessary to the preparation of plant-food and to its use. In this
material are the abundant supplies of such plant-food as silica, but,
as has been previously stated, their very abundance leads us rightly to
disregard them in our thinking. Our interest is only in the very small
percentage of material that is composed of the four constituents which
may be lacking in available form in the soil: nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, potash, and lime. We believe that the only consideration that now
need be given lime is as a soil-corrective and, when there is no
acidity, we may assume that there is plenty of lime present. When
yields of crops tend to decrease, the only plant-foods with which we
are concerned are nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash.

The materials were stored in all agricultural land, and much of the
supply is in inert forms. They help to make what we call the natural
strength of the land. The rotting of organic matter, tillage, and many
other agencies bring about some availability. The removal of crops,
leaching, etc., reduce the supply. The right use of commercial
fertilizers involves the addition of some plant-food when the available
supply in a particular soil is inadequate.

Next: Prejudice Against Commercial Fertilizers

Previous: Potatoes And Crimson Clover

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