Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/94

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"There are now more than thirty thousand bottles of samples of experimentally grown vegetable produce, of animal products, of ashes, or of soils, stored in the laboratory. A botanical assistant is also occasionally employed, with from three to six boys under him, and with him is generally associated one of the permanent general assistants, who at other times undertakes the botanical work." Several computers and record-keepers have for some time past been occupied in calculating and tabulating the field, feeding, and laboratory results. Additional chemical assistance is frequently engaged in London and elsewhere. Professor Way, Dr. Frankland, and Dr. Voelcker, have done more or less work on material obtained at Rothamsted, and their published reports are of great interest. Mr. R. Richter, of Berlin, has for some years past been almost constantly occupied with analytical work sent from Rothamsted. A considerable, but of course varying, force of agricultural laborers find employment in the field-work.

"The general scope and plan of the field experiments has been to grow some of the most important crops of rotation, each separately, year after year, for many years in succession on the same land, without manure, with farm-yard manure, and with a great variety of chemical manures; the same description of manure being, as a rule, applied year after year on the same plot. Experiments on an actual course of rotation, without manure and with different manures, have also been made. In this way experiments have been conducted as follows:

"With wheat, thirty-nine years in succession: thirteen acres, thirty-seven plots, many of which are duplicates of others. On barley, thirty-one years in succession: four and a half acres, twenty-nine plots. On oats, ten years (including one year fallow): three quarters of an acre, six plots. On wheat, alternated with fallow, thirty-one years: one acre, two plots. On different descriptions of wheat, fifteen years: four to eight acres (each year in a different field), now more than twenty plots. On beans, thirty-two years (including one year wheat, and five years fallow): one and a quarter acre, ten plots; also twenty-seven years: one acre, five plots. On beans, alternated with wheat, twenty-eight years: one acre, ten plots. On clover, with fallow or a grain-crop intervening, twenty-six years: three acres, eighteen plots. The land is now devoted to experiments with various leguminous plants, commenced in 1878. On turnips, twenty-eight years (including three years barley): about eight acres, forty plots. On sugar beets, five years: about eight acres, forty-one plots. On mangold-wurzel, seven years: about eight acres, forty-one plots. On potatoes, seven years: two acres, ten plots. On rotation, thirty-five years: about two and a half acres, twelve plots. On permanent grass-land, twenty-seven years: about seven acres, twenty-two plots.

"Comparative experiments, with different manures, have also been made on other descriptions of soil, in other localities. Samples of all the experimental crops are taken, and brought to the laboratory.