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A Practical Test
Determining Lime Requirement
Irrational Use Of Lime
Soil Acidity
The Litmus-paper Test
The Unproductive Farm
Where Clover Is Not Wanted


Crops And Methods For Soil Improvement

A Bit Of Arithmetic
A Clean Seed-bed
A Few Combinations Are Safest
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
Amount Per Acre
An Excess Of Nitrogen

The Unproductive Farm

When a soil expert visits an unproductive farm
to determine its needs, he gives his chief attention to four possible
factors in his problem: lack of drainage, of lime, of organic matter,
and of available plant-food. His first concern regards drainage. If the
water from rains is held in the surface by an impervious stratum
beneath, it is idle to spend money in other amendments until the
difficulty respecting drainage has been overcome. A water-logged soil
is helpless. It cannot provide available plant-food, air, and warmth to
plants. Under-drainage is urgently demanded when the level of dead
water in the soil is near the surface. The area needing drainage is
larger than most land-owners believe, and it increases as soils become
older. On the other hand, the requirements of lime, organic matter, and
available plant-food are so nearly universal, in the case of
unproductive land in the eastern half of the United States, that they
are here given prior consideration, and drainage is discussed in
another place when methods of controlling soil moisture are described.
The production of organic matter is so important to depleted soils, and
is so dependent upon the absence of soil acidity, that the right use of
lime on land claims our first interest.

Next: Soil Acidity

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