xt7vq814pf80 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7vq814pf80/data/mets.xml   Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. 1894 journals kaes_bulletins_051 English Lexington, Ky. : The Station, 1885- Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin n.51. text Bulletin n.51. 1894 2014 true xt7vq814pf80 section xt7vq814pf80 § KENTUCKY
Q. ._.,   T
  BULLETIN N0. 51. ‘

 * . I  
i l
. . ·  
I Agricultural Experiment iilalien  
’ J _ J. T. GATHRIGI-IT, Chairman.
  N DR. R. J. SPURR. `  
I   B. A. srune.  
z`   l J. K. PATTERSON, President of the College.   I  
L   _ .{ M. A. SCOVELL, Director, Secretary. gv I
l » M. A. SCOVELL, Director.  
» A. M. PETER, 2 _  
. A Chemists. I .
. ~ · . H. E. CURTIS, * I Ip
;,   H. GAR)/IAN, Entomologist and Botanist.  
J C. W. MATHEWS, I-Iorticulturist.  
" I J. S. TERRILL., Assistant to Entomologist and Botanist. [lf
i ` _ A. T. JORDAN, Assistant to Horticulturist.  
g`   T. S. HAWKINS, Foreman of Farm.  
  ‘ MISS ALICE M. SHELBY, Stenographer.   A
I - Address of the Station 2 LEXINGTON, KY.   ‘
_ ——-:1-—~— ' `
E  The bulletins of the Station will be mailed free to any citizensof N  
Kentucky who sends his name and address to the Station for that i  
i p\11'pOS0. I-if  
’ Correspondents will please notify the Director of changes in their iij*t‘i·i
post-office address, or of any failure to receive the bulletins.  
Kmwucxy Aemcuuruizpm Exrnnmnm STATION,   ;·_
Lsxinsron, KY. _ . U

 i a L
Y-  ·
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  BLLLEFIN M). 51.
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  . I I
tif? IN'i`RODU("TION BY A. 11. Pnrizis.  
  * The study of the chemistry of plants in comparatively
Q V _ recent years has established certain important facts, the
, s knowledge of which is necessary to the intelligent use of
  fertilizers, and especially of that class called " Chemical, "
  or " Commercial Fertilizers. " `
 V V Plant Food Derived From Soil and Air.
  A growing plant increases in size and weight by con- ,
‘st·‘ . . , . 4
ji stantly adding to itself new material drawn from the soil -
  p\.' Q and the air through its roots and leaves. Aside from the - °
  Water which plants contain, the greater pa1·t of their sub- .
  " stance is drawn f1·o1n the air. When a plant is burned, $
1 V most ofthe substances that come from the soil are loft in _
f the ash, except a very important one, nitrogen, which is _ ·
i - largely derived from the soil; and the small amount of
V the ash, as compared with what was burned, shows I
1 roughly how much more of the substance of the plant
comes from the air than from the soil. 4
¤f s   ·
M __¢ i·._ Illl])0l't2l1l('€ of Soil Supply. i
dl.   - YGC, llltllongh relatively small in amount, it is fOlU1d
ip   tllilb unless the soil is capable of fnriiishnig C(31`f2l1ll Sul)-
i   SYHHCGS in the required 4pia11tity,a11d in a condiiiO1l to
it be taken up by the roots, plants will not thrive. The
_ substances which are most important in this respect, for

 ’ rs. i 1
l_ — r -Y
58 [fan/uc/cy A,gricz¢/mrnl EXj’C7'l.7}ZC}Zt Siatiozz,  xj
1 the reason that they are most likely t0 be deficient 111  
. soils o1· to become so by cropping, are polaish,_11it1·ogca and  
phospl»,orz'c arid, Ftlld it is these tl1at cominercial fertilizers ff?
l y are intended to supply, a11d they are referred to in our    
bulletins and analyses as the " essential iag1·edicnts" of  
1* "‘s
  COlHlllG1`ClZLl fertilizers. Even if the SCZISOII 1S favorable j ,·s_
r and the soil otherwise i11 good condition. plants will not  
fa . . . . 1  
Vg; tw reach perfection where any one of these substances is ab- 1  
‘ `*‘°·Y‘?lY' sent from the soil or deficient i11 quantity, or exists in    
. Q such Ftll insoluble combination as not to be taken up by 1 _>
gr ` the roots. t _
  g To use COlHlDGI‘Cl&l fertilizers intelligently a11d eco-   _
  A nomically, tl1e11, a farmer must know :   4_». fp
, lst. Whether his soil needs potash, nitrogen or phos-  
· . . . · . .  
1 ihoric acid for the iroduction of the desired cro J. ima,
. . , . ***1
1) 2d. What " esse11t1al ingredients " can be supplied by { `
`· ` · . . . . . . ,Z·;'
‘ X ‘ tl1e con1n1e1·c1al fertilizers l1e ca11 obtain.  
  . , .  
rx - How to Deterniine \Vl1at a boil Needs. Q  
- ~  
  1, · The best way to determi11e the first point is by field  
q   . experiinent-s 111 wl11cl1 we apply fertilizers COllJDlL1Ul1]g each l
gf ' _ o11e, two or all three of the " essential ingredients " to g
separate plots of equal size, say l-10 o1· 1-20 acre, tend P t_
all alike during tl1e growing season, and carefully har- ,
  vest H,ll(l. weigh the crop from each plot separately. By {
" comparing the yields of the plots we ca11 usually deter- Q
E i mine whether tl1e soil on which the experiment was made  
is very deficient i11 one or more of the " essential ingre- »p.v Z  
F clients " of fertilizers. Experiinents of this kind have  
’ been made at the station il2l~l`Ill with corn, potatoes, wheat,  
tobacco, oats, henip and grass, and the results i11 detail  
have been published in tl1e Bulletins of the Station, to  
which we refer the reader. Copies of nearly all of these  
bulletins can still he furnished on application. ' is

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2. ;.
  CO////}IU/’Cl.¢7/ F0/'flr/('Z(”}'.?. 59
  Good Result-s Froni Potasli on the Blue Grass
—€Y“i For lack of space, we can o11ly call attention here to
j _ the very remarkable agreement of these results for a se- 4
  __l&   _ ries of years in showing the benefit derived from a liberal ·
i lil use of potash fertilizers on the soil of the Station farm.
V   In nearly every instance, potash produced at very marked ,
{   increase in the yield; and, in some cases, it was the most l I
    profitable fertilizer used. The use of potash and nitro- P
  . gen, or of potash, nitrogen and phosphoric acid together,
  sometimes produced a still greater yield, but the profit
  was olten taken up in the additional cost of the nitrogen, '
  which is the most expensive constituent of fertilizers.
  .`., ;,~ A very conspicuous exception to the above statement ·
  was proven in the case of tobacco, where the greatest
Q' i`·’ protit was obtained from the use ot` potash and nitrogen
  together. The tobacco crop rerpiires a great deal ot both
  0i` these, but a comparatively small amount of phosphoric '•
r acid. li
  It must not he supposed that the results obtained upon ·
  the blue grass (limestone) soil ot` the Station {arm will i
; tl hold good all over the State. There is a great variety ol` {
l soils in our State, and upon a large part of them, espec-
, ially for grain crops, the use of' phosphatic manures is ·
found to be profitable. They serve to show, however,
  the need ot` determining by experiment the reotash and nitrogen. These results should also serve as

   1  V
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60 Iézrziucky A_g¢·[cz¢ltzzraZ E.vpcr1'12ze2zl Stalimz.  Y
an indication to the manufacture1·s of commercial fertili-  
— zers that a greater variety is needed in the composition  
. of their goods than now exists, to correspond with the  
requirements of different localities. The great majority  
1 ,_ ‘ of fertilizers offered for sale in this State at present are  
is highly phosphatic and contain comparatively small pro-  
  _ portions of potash and nitrogen; whereas it is clearly 'fiii
t shown that the soil of our blue grass region is already  
  i well supplied with phosphates.  
  Ep Nitrogen and Nitrogen-Gatlierers.   _
  ` Vifhile on this subject, a few words in regard to nitro-  
  i gen in fertilizers will not be out of place. As remarked  
  i i. above, this is the most costly constituent of commercial  
i. fertilizers; and, in many instances, the increased cost of  
l the fertilizer due to the nitrogen it contains will balance  
R;. , A or `even exceed the increase_ in the proceeds from the  
` X if crop, due to the nitrogen. Fortunately, we are not  
* ` ' ‘. obliged to rely entirely upon commercial fertilizers for our  
.\  1 supply of nitrogen to enrich our soils. Recent investi-  
- X gations have proved that the class of plants called " le-  
    guminous plants," to which the clovers, peas, beans, &c.,  
    belong, have the power of deriving from the air a part ld  
}/ A ` of the nitrogen required in their growth. For this reason    
they are sometimes called " ia.1'ti·oge·a-gafhcrers." This i i sa_V
i fact helps to explain why clover is so valuable in restor-  
  ing and enriching poo1· soils. The clover plant is rich i I
" in nitrogenous matters and, when the crop is plowed _ `
  under, they decay in the soil and add to its supply of  
p nitrogen for the next crop. lf we fertilize our crop of  
i clover liberally with potash and moderately with phos-  
° phates we cause it to grow more luxuriantly and to draw  
a larger amount of nitrogen from the air, thus enriching  
our soil in all three " essential ingredients" of fertilizers  
for the next crop, when the clover is plowed under, be-  

  .`?',Q  `
 Q, Cayzzmcrcfczi Fertilizers. 61
  cause the potasli and phosphates applied are returned .
  again to the soil, and as much of the nitrogen as has
  been derived from the air is clear gain. This is a very
  important principle in the economical use of cornmer- i
  cial fertilizers, and is in accordance with long estab-
  lished practice. '
  Analyses of Fertilizers. p ,
  The best way of determining the second point above  
j jf is by chemical analysis of all the fertilizers that are
  1 offered for sale in the state. By chemical ianalysis we
l y..'4 determine how much phosphoric acid, nitrogen, and pot-
  ash a fertilizer contains. The results of theianalysis are
  stated as per coat. which means ia the hundred. Thus _
  when we say a fertilizer contains 3.25 per cent. of potash
  we mean that in every hundred parts by weight of the
  fertilizer there are th1·ee and twenty—five hundredths
  parts by weight of potash; or, what would be the same ·,
  thing, in every 100 lbs. of the fertilizer there are 3:} lbs. `,
  of potash. e · ,
  The Fertilizer Law. E
  » Our State law requires that every commercial fertilizer .
’ ep sold in the state, thc price of which is more than $10 per '
    ton, shall be analyzed at the Experiment`ZStation, and that
` each sack or other package olfered for sale shall bear a I
_ `V label on which the 1·esult of such analysis is printed over ,
  the Director’s signature. This analysis, then, becomes Q
  the standard of quality and the guide by which the pur- l
  Chaser is to judge what he is getting. The 2lll£llyS€S
  D12LCle this year, up to the present date are printed lll Elle
  tables, at the end of this bulletin.
  AS an additional means of keeping the quality of the
  fertilizers sold in the state up to tl1e_standard, the law

 ’  sz UJJQDDWD ‘  ·
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62 Ifcyzizzcky A_g¢·z°cu/tzwnl EX-{7¢77’Z·/IZCIZK Simian.  
y also provides that any farmer purchasing a fertilizer may  
V r take a sample for analysis, according to the (rules and  
l regulations prescribed by the Director, and may have the  
. analysis made at the Station free of cost. Farmers who  
A desire to take advantage of this provision should always  
apply to the Director for instructions before taking sam- ,,;,2;
Z " ples for analysis, because it is very important that such  
    samples be so taken as to fairly represent the fertilizer ;  
t   otherwise the results would be useless. Commercial fer—  
>   tilizers are usually mixtures of several different mate-  
  li rials and it is, at best, a diiiicult matter to get represen-  
ii _ , tative samples. ~  
_ ` ·’ The rules also require that a tag from one of the sacks  
  sampled be sent along with the sample.  
  As these analyses are for the benefit of the public, as  
g` well as of the person taking the sample for analysis, it  
. ‘ · . is necessary for the Director to know the brand of the  
I __ _ fertilizer and its manufacturer and the date of issue of  tp
§ the tags in order that the results may be published and  ‘
l_ compared with other analyses of the same brand. The  
    tag gives this information.  
h 5*  It has sometimes happened, when a farmer has sent  
  in a sample of fertilizer for free analysis, without the  
' tags, that, after the analysis has been made and the r·e-  
sults reported to the sender ofthe sample with the re-  
; - quest that information be given of thc name of the fer-  
Q5 tilizer, such information has been refused or·, at least, has    
p i not been furnished. This leaves the Director powerless  
’ to make the results of benefit to the public, and the only  
, sure remedy seems to be to require that a tag be sent  
l with the sample.  
lt is also necessary, under the law, that the Director  
be assured that the person sending the sample is an ag-  
rieulturist and a purchaser and, as such, is entitled to  
have the analysis made free of cost,  
. r

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l 2 A*,  l
  Cozmzzcrcial }7`cn‘z`Z/zcry, 63
 Q To Pu1·cl1ase1‘s of FQ1'fi]iZ(B1'S.
  The Director makes the follow ing suggestions to farm·
  ers purchasing fertilizers : ‘
  1. To purchase with a guarantee that the fertilizer is as represen- ,
  ted by the official tag attached.
  2. Take a sample immediately, especially if purchasing in large
    quantities, and send it to the Director for analysis, to see whether ,
lfeii the fertilizer is as represented by the seller. i `
  3. To have nothing t0 do with fertilizers which are not labeled with ·
  a tag bearing an analysis, and certified to and signed by the Director,
  Manufacturers of genuine goods are always willing to comply with a.
${1} law which protects them as well as the purchaser, and their goods
  will be found labeled as required by law. It is generally those who-
  offer adulterated or inferior goods that do not desire the quality of
  their goods to be known.
  In order to obtain a fair sample for analysis the following directions ·
 V should be followed.
  How TO TAKE s,xM1¤Lns.
  ct. If possible. let the agent or dealer from whom the fertilizer is
  purchased, or his representative, be present when the sample is taken, '¢
  so that the claim of unfairness may not afterwards be raised. '•
  b. Select at least two average sacks of the fertilizer, preserving
 Q the lables to send with the sample. Open these sacks and mix well  
  together the contents of each, down to one»half its depth, emptying ,
  out upon a clean floor, if necessary, and crushing any soft, moist l
QZ4 lumps. in Ol'(lfil' to facilitate mixture, but leaving hard, dry lumps
l `·'i ,— unbroken. so that the sample shall exhibit the texture and mechani-
ll  cal condition of the fertilizer. In a large lot at least one sack in every ’
{ -   twenty should be taken.
  r. Take out five equal cupsful from different parts of the mixed ,
f   portions of each package. Pour them all one over another, upon a
E, , paper or clean floor; intermix again thoroughly. but quickly, to avoid
  loss or gain of moisture: till a can or jar from this mixture: encloic a A
  tag taken f1·om one of the sacks; seal; label plainly, giving also name 3
 yr  of sender. V
  d. Prepare and send with the sample a certificate signed by the
  i>Ul‘Cl12lser and attested by at least one witness, stating that the afliant
i   15 an agrienlturist and purehaserof the fertilizer and that the sample
  llil5 been taken in the manner prescribed, for the pllrposo of lrcc 1ll1·
·   alysis under the law.
y   SUll(l tllk) SL\1llI)l(j by QXPFQSS, U//(L’}`£/CN I/YY']/(lid, to
  Xl. A. SCOVELL, Director, Lexington. Ky.

 L  `si Y · i  i
I   i I
64 I(`c1z/ucky Ag¤·1'cz¢/tural Experizzzwzi Ylaliorz.  
These directions must be strictly complied with in sending samples  
for free analysis. 4  
Blank forms for the certificate and copies of the fertilizer law will  
be furnished on application to the Director.  
" Explanations in Regard to the Analyses.  
. E.·;i:»&
= - ” I The analyses in this Bulletin have been arranged in two  
  ~ tables;Table I contains the ground bones, while Table  
Iii,   II contains all those fertilizers in which the phosphatic  
    material has undergone treatment with sulphuric acid to  
l   render its phosphoric acid more soluble.  
  Bones contain both nitrogen and phosphoric acid and   .
  _i the finer abone is ground, the more quickly can plants  
Q   use these materials when the bone is applied to the soil.  
gi For this reason, in making the analysis, we sift the bone  
l into two grades of fineness, " medium bone " and " fine  
7*}.. ,_ _ bone, " and give the amount of phosphoric acid contained  
I A \_ I in each.  
2 U `_ "Medium bone" is that part which is fine enough to  
X I I pass through a sieve with meshes 1-ki inch square but  
·A‘_ will not pass through a 1-25 inch mesh, "line bone"  
§ *5 is all that passes through the sieve with meshes 1-25 inch  
  square. There is no ground bone on our market too  
if   coarse to go through a 1-6 inch mesh. The total amount  
of phosphoric acid is stated, with its "equivalent" of  
L _ bone phosphate, that is, the amount of phosphate of lime  
  that would contain this much phosphoric acid. The   >_·`i.    
° total amount of nitrogen is also given, with its ·‘equiva-  
  lent" in ammonia, or the amount of ammonia that  
A would contain the stated quantity of nitrogen. t 
I In Table II it will be noticed that the phosphoric acid  
is given under three heads: "solu.bl0," "rcvcrtad," and "·i·a-  
solublc" phosphoric acid. If these three be added to-  
gether the sum will be the total amount of phosphoric  
acid present in the fertilizer. If the "soluble" and "r€-  

 i  · ,
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  C`07}Z/}Z('7‘CI'£Z/ Fcrfilfzcrs, 65
  verted" be added together the sum will be the amount of
  phosphoric acid present that can be of immediate use to
  plants, or, as is commonly said, the "available"i phos-
  phoric acid. In judging a fertilizer by its analysis the ,
  amount of available ahos nhoric acid is im ortant for
 ·;% i
  this is much more valuable than the "insoluble " which ‘
  is in such a state of combination that it cannot readily
  be used by plants. , g
·" "l,·,¢;’_T§j· each of the "essential ingredients" of fertilizers. These  fi
f   prices are based upon the New York prices of the prin-  »
,, " cipai materials of which fertilizers are made, and include  
l _ , an allowance for freight from New York and for cost of  
, " mixing and loss in handling.  
  The frainers of the fertilizer law evidently intended  
l these estimated values to be an index that would show  
éh at a glance whether the purchaser was getting the worth  
- T ‘ . of his money, and in a general way they do serve this  
;   purpose. Thus, when the "estimated value per ton" is  
2 ivery much below the price at which a ton of the fertili-  
ig zer is sold, it shows that the purchaser at this price is  
§` _ paying high for the plant food it contains. But the esti-  
E   mated value alone is not a suliicient guide in purchasing  
,"/' Y fertilizers , it is necessary to consider the analysis also.  
Iinportaiice of the Analyses.  
a ln purchasing fertilizers it is ol thc first importance gg; }
p» to consider the analyses, either in the tables of this bul-  gl 
l letin or on the tags which should always be found at-  
g tached to each sack ; for by the analysis only can we tell  
» whether we are getting, in the fertilizer, the plant food  
that we want to supply to our crop. lf we were select-  
ing a fertilizer for corn, for instance, to he used in a soil  
that was rich in phosphates but deiicient in potash,  
we certainly would not buy a so called "Corn (lrowcr"`  

 t 1 .
·.  1
' I
  Comzzzercial FCf]l·/ZIZG/'5. 67 ‘
  that contained 110 potasli, even if it was offered at a
  price much lowe1· than the "esti1nated value." Let us
  illustrate this i`artl1er by example. Suppose that a far- p
  111er, desiring to purchase a fertilizer for l1is corn crop,
 1  is offered- by his nierchant eitl1e1· of two "corn g1`O\VG1‘SH *
iii? at $28.00 per to11. The pl'1C€, fortunately, does not help
gig . l1i111 to decide in this case. He next looks at tl1e tags , g
  attached to the sacks, and Hnds that the Director ll€LS es- l _
  tiniated the value of each fertilizer at $28.80 per ton. ’
  He next looks at the analyses a11d iinds fertilizer No. 1
  to co11tai11;
  Soluble Phosphoric Acid .......... 11 per ce11t.
  Reverted " " .......... 7 per cent. V
  Potash .......................... None.
  Nitrogen ........................ None.
  And fertilizer No. 2 to contain : l
_  _ Soluble Phosphoric Acid ) 9 O _ i
I  ._ Reverted M H 5- ....... . . pei ce11t. •
y ·_  Nitrogen . 2 ...................... 2.2 per cent. T
L   Potash ......................... 4.0 per cent. €
D jj'?
  He is 11ow able to judge quickly which of the two fer-
  tilizers to purchase. If his soil 11eeds phosphoric acid, ·
  he will quickly decide on No, 1, for l1e will get twice as
  much for the same inoney, while did he purchase No. 2 '
le   he would have paid $14.00 for the phosphoric acid which
l- ;  ll0 needed and $11.00 for the nitrogen &l](l potasli which 0
ti-   he did not need. But should he be i11 doubt whether l1iS 3
¤ll   lillld needed one or all the elements of a i`eriiliZe1‘, he A
1d   W0\lld be wise in purchasing No. 2, For should his Soil
et-   Need potasli and nitrogen, or all three of the essential ele-
1il   INCHES, to produce a large corn crop, and should he l1iL\‘0
ll,   PUl`0l12tSC(l N0, 1 it is (loul)tf`ul whether he WOlll   Acid Phosphate, containing 13 to 15 per cent. '
>   available phosphoric acid .................. $14 OO
 s Acidulated Black, containing 16 to 19 per cent. .
l   available phosphoric acid. ................. 23 OO
l   Double Superphosphate, containing 45 per cent. ·
t   available phosphoric acid .................. 56 OO
e   Sulphate of Potash, containing 48-$— to 51§· per _ i
y   cent. actual potash ,_,...,..... . ........... 50 OO X
·e   Muriate of Potash, containing 50;- to 53-§— per cent.
fo T   actual potash. ........,,.,,............... 41 OO
Za   Kainit, containing 12 to 13 per cent, potash.. .... 12 OO
·5-   Nitrate of Soda, containing 15%} to 16 per cent. of
[C   Nitrogen .....,...,._,_.,.....,........ .. 52_5O
hg   SUl[>l12`ltG of Ammonia, containing 2il{rPG1'CQlli3.0l'
‘_»= .  Q nitrogen ........................ . ....... 75 UO

 if t
70 Aizzfucky A,grz`cz¢/lzzrezl Exparizzzmzt Siatimz. _
Values Used.
  ` The following are the values used for the essential in-
, gredients in calculating the estimated value per ton:
Phosphoric acid soluble in water, 8 cents; “ reverted " _
. phosphoric acid, 8 cents; insoluble phosphoric acid, 2% __
cents ; phosphoric acid in fine bone, 4% cents, in medium  s
.. ’ bone, 4 cents per lb. ; potash from muriate G cents; from qi 
,_ ~ sulphate 7% cents, and nitrogen, 20 cents per lb.  
0::, ,-7;* · Fine bone is all that passes through a sieve with l.
Q K6   _ meshes 1-25 inch square. Medium bone passes through
f   a seive with meshes 1-6 inch square, but does not include
§* fine bone.
·. f
;_ Y Fertilizers Analyzed. -
  For the year 1891, up to August 1st, 28 manufacturers
* have had 109 difierent fertilizers analyzed in compliance r
tk » . V with the law, and 116,500 tags have been issued. These
.   analyses are printed in the following tables : {
X i  
. x _l 
if `  
t t
; t
» `

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