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The Farm

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Now that Michigan'a wheat erop for 879 is mostly secured, it is time to urn attention to the erop for 1880. lt s scarcely to be expected that the State will horvest three such enormous wheat cropa in succession, but he prudent farmer will see to it that ,he failure, if there be a failure, will be due to the season, inseets or some unavoidable causes, and not to any negigence on his part in preparing the soil, selecting the seed, and taking every precaution his experience or foresight can suggest against failure. In nine cases out of ten the farmer looks forward to his sale of wheat as his main change, the payday which is to i, ,.,.„ i.; r--a accounts and make up for the small proias w v,tcvi ira.o, of his other farm transaciions. As to the variety of wheat and method of tillage which gives the best results on his farm, the kinds of feitilizers best adapted to his soil and the best way to apply them, these are questions which he must answer from his own expeperience and observation and not blindly follow the advice of some writer on the example of some farmer whose success depends on very different conditions. He should, however, profit by others' experience as well as his own and so lessen the chances of failure. On the question of the best methods of seeding fall wheat the agricultural editor of the New York World makes some general and practical suggest ions which seeme to accord well with the experience of successfal farmers in this State. We condense the following, which, like many other preparations, hould not be swallowed on sight but be "well shaken before taken." There is such a thing, he says, as sowing winter wheat too early, so early that before frosts have killed the Hessian ilies the wheat has come up and provided a hiding for them where their eggs are deposited and protected during winter to hatch out in the spring and devástate the entire erop. When the sowing is delayed so that the wheat will not spring up imtil after f rost, either the mature inseets or the larvas will be injured to such an extent as to prevent their propagation. A perfect wheat soil must coutain linie, potash, phosphate, and nitrogen, in their various combinations with other mineral elements and in due proportions, and at the same time be sufficiently porous to allow water to pass down readily and leave the surface dry andfirm. In either of the extremes of very light or very tenacious soil the roots of the wheat plant will be lifted and broken off by the action of the frosts in winter and spring and the plants destroyed. Lime soils are peciallv adapted to wheat. Sandy and gravelly soils by liberal manuring can be made productive, and no means and piaster or gypsum. There is a considerable difEerence of opinión among wheat growers whether manure should be applied previous to turning the soil for the erop, and buried more or less deeply in that operation ; whether it should be spread previous to seeding, and be in that way mixed with the top-lying soil in the work of harrowing and pulverizing the surface, or whether the operation should be deferred until af ter the wheat has germinated and started, and then, as soon as the surface will illow moving over it with wagons, spreading the manure on the field. When the use of fertilizers is confined to the practice of spreading and plowing in, or when it isscattered over the surtace and harrowed in previous to sowing the seed, the operation of manuring is confined to stated petiods of the year. But when the practice is adopted of surface manuring after germination and considerable growth has been made, the work of manuring may go on from fall to spring, and in that way the winter accumulation of manure be used. In no case is it advisable to spread manure heavily enongh to induce rank growth, and thus endanger the erop by lodging or rust. Oiover and field peas have come to be accepted among the cheapest and best renovators of soils, and usually produce excellent results, especially in hin soils. The application of lime inervases the y iel d of any of the grain crops, and is beyond question beneflcial to wheat, but will exhaust the land if persevered in whhout rotation. After the wheat is sown lime is advantageously used as a top-dressing, when mixed with ashes, muck, etc. In applying ground bone and the superphosphates on free-sown wheat it is generally spread broadcast, man y farmers contending that this is safer than mixing with the seed and sowing with the drill when seed and fertilizers come in close contact.


Old News
Michigan Argus