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Office Of Organic Matter
Soil Inoculation
Storing Nitrogen
The Legumes
The Right Bacteria
Time Of Application


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

Storing Nitrogen

Man needs protection from his own greed, and
nature's checks are his salvation. An illustration is afforded in the
case of legumes grown for the maintenance of soil fertility. The
clovers and some other legumes are seeded primarily for the benefit of
the soil. The need of organic matter is recognized, and a cheap supply
of nitrogen is wanted for other crops in the rotation. The purpose of
the seeding is praiseworthy, but if all of the product were available
for use off the land, observation teaches that the soil producing the
crop probably would fare badly. The crops grown prior to the season
devoted to legumes proclaim their need of better soil conditions, more
organic matter, and more nitrogen, but the legumes, appropriating
nitrogen for themselves, give to the land a more prosperous appearance,
and the disposition to harvest everything that is in sight prevails.

There is the excusing intention to return to the soil the residue from
feeding, which should be nearly as valuable as the original material,
while the fact usually is that faulty handling of the manure results in
heavy loss, and the distribution of the remainder is imperfect. There
is no happier provision of nature for the guarding of the soil's
interests than the unavailability for man's direct use of a
considerable part of most plants, thus saving to the land a portion of
its share of its products. The humus obtained from plant-roots,
stubble, and fallen leaves forms a large percentage of all the humus
obtained by land whose fertility is not well guarded by owners. This
proportion is large in some legumes, amounting to 30 or 40 per cent in
the case of red and mammoth clover.

Next: The Right Bacteria

Previous: The Legumes

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