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Oats are extensively grown in almost every part of the State, and never fail to produce a remunerating crop. In order to prevent their lodging or falling out, which they are apt to do soon after heading out, the farmer sows on corn land, and harrows in the
without using the plough, putting from two to three bushels on the acre. Mr. Jas. N. Brown, former Secretary of the State Agricultural Society, in a letter to the above named institution, says, that in his judgment, farmers are in the habit of putting too little seed of oats or other grain upon the acre ;
he thinks that if the land is too thinly sown, the deficiency resulting will be supplied by noxious weeds. The accounts of persons
for many years engaged in farming, show that in some locations, only from 40 to 50 bushels of oats per acre have been obtained, while in other parts of the State, for example, in the vicinity of Springfield, from 60 to 80 bushels per acre, are obtained. It may not be a wrong suggestion that much depends on the quantity of seed oats planted in an acre; three bushels of seed will undoubtedly yield a more plentiful crop, than one and a half or two bushels, provided that the soil is well tilled.
Barley is commonly sown after Indian Corn. It seldom thrives on newly-broken soil. A gravelly soil, which is light, warm, and sandy, is best fitted for it. It should be prepared as early as possible in the season.
The ground for barley, more than for any other grain, must be deeply ploughed and finely pulverized. Twice ploughing is necessary, and unless the soil is very light, it would be an advantage to have one ploughing done in the fall. Barley may be sown after corn, potatoes, or beans; it is sometimes sown after wheat or oats, but though the grain in this case is always finely colored, it is bad farming, and, except under peculiar circumstances, should never be done. The earlier it is done the better, but it is sometimes sown as late as the last
No crop, perhaps, is benefitted so much by rolling as barley. Wood ashes are an excellent manure for barley. Fresh barn-yard manure should not be used. Well rotted manure from the yard, thoroughly mixed with the soil, will give the tender grain a quick and vigorous start, and add greatly to the yield. Dry weather, after sowing, is highly favorable to this crop, but wet weather is injurious.
On new prairie-land barley is not a profitable crop, unless the soil be deeply broken up in the fall, and then thoroughly worked in the spring, with a cultivator, or by light ploughing, so as not to disturb the sod. Barley is one of the best crops to sow grass-seeds with, and ranks among those species of grain which are much cultivated, and very successfully, in a portion of the State.
Although rye is not extensively raised in Illinois, it cannot be denied that if the culture of it is properly managed, pretty good crops may here and there be obtained. Some farmers in St. Clair County and neighborhood, have, for some years past, been pretty successful with it. The farmers who live in the neighborhood of towns in this State, generally devote part of their land to the cultivation of it, in order to meet the demands of bakers.
Is an excellent crop, as far as it goes, and for the uses required. It is easily raised, requiring neither an over rich soil, nor a culture more particular than good management would demand for any crop. The best time for sowing it is the advanced part of the summer, when it will also work the destruction of the weeds; so that the culture of this crop is favorable for cleaning the fields. It may
be sown in the course of the month of June, and it has even been put in as late as the 4th of July, and good crops have been obtained. It is usual to sow about one busbel per acre, or a little less, broadcast, and cover with the harrow. It is better to roll the ground after sowing. By so doing the crop grows slow; but without careful management, will be liable to become foul with sand or earth, and thus injure the flour made from the grain. The ground should be well tilled; there is no other difficulty in the culture. The crop is cut with the cradle before frost, and should be raked very carefully on a dry day, to avoid dirt. It is advisable to set up the gavels on the beds for drying, and to carry them to the floor and thresh immediately. The crop is liable to heat if staked or packed closely in a mow, and
the gr:in must be thoroughly cleaned, if it is desired to serve as food for human beings.
A correspondent of the Ohio Cultivator says, that he “has made experiments to render land designed for wheat-culture more fertile, breaking up and ploughing under buckwheat plantations." This seems to be a method which meets the general approbation of those who have ever made the same experiment, with care and attention.
and is very
This branch of agriculture comes more and more into use, lucrative to the farmer, if he understands the proper and judicious management. Considering the great increase of the production of beer, it is not to be expected that the prices will ever be lower than twenty cents. The middle and southern parts of Illinois seem to be particularly favorable for the growing of hops. In the neighborhood of Belleville, and in Missouri, the most promising beginnings have been made in the culture of hops.
Deep, loamy soil, is best for bops, and good corn land is good hop land also. To prepare land for hops, plough nine or ten inches deep, the land to be furrowed the same as for corn. Hops have running roots, from one foot to three feet long, with joints or eyes to them. These roots are cut from the old hill, every spring, after they have been planted two years. The joints or eyes are two or three inches apart. These are the roots to be planted; they must be cut so as to have three joints to a piece, and put three pieces to a hill. They are covered three inches deep. The second year, the quantity and quality are likely to be as good as ever from the field. Hops are generally planted at a distance which gives eight hundred bills to the acre They twine around poles from thirteen to twenty feet long.
In order to obtain good potatoes for seed, make choice of a small spot of arable, well-drained land—an eastern slope, and new land, are the best-ploughed early in the spring, and furrowed four or five inches deep, 2 feet apart. Select middling-sized potatoes, which have touched the ground during the winter previous; but do not cut them. Drop one every eight inches along the furrows, and cover them
by filling the furrows with earth. Then cover them with a top dressing of forest-leaves and straw, two inches deep. As soon as the tops of the young plants are two or three inches high, pass between them with a shovel plough, followed by a hoe, destroying the weeds and levelling the ground; do not hill. This is all you have to do until fall; when the ground begins to freeze, cover over'with straw, chaff, or forest-leaves, six inches deep, to keep them from frost. Your potatoes will now have a chance to rest and ripen during the winter. In this way you will have the greatest yield and best quality. Continue this course from year to year, and the rot will not only disappear, but your crop will increase from 25 to 100 per cent.
The third year you may increase your field crop, by ploughing in fine manure.
In some parts of the State we learn that the rank growth of the crop has chiefly developed itself in the vines, which are luxuriant beyond precedent, while the essential root itself, the potatoe, is found, upon being pulled, to amount to almost nothing, being very small and poor. This, however; may be no sign of a bad crop, for strong vines are considered a proof of good potatoes. There is time enough yet for the roots to grow to their full size, and they probably will, if the vines continue in good health. The crop is a very large one, and if the yield proves to be abundant, the price will fall much below its present cost.
Mr. Albert Weinberger, a farmer of thorough experience, in Whitefield township, Marshall County, Illinois, gives good encouragement in speaking of his own potatoe growths; he says, that the average crops in his neighborhood may be laid down at about 100 bushels per acre, although he himself raised 150 bushels per acre last year, and so did several of the neighboring farmers, in spite of the more or less injurious influences of the weather during the summer; this is a very good crop. The average price of potatoes last year, in some markets of Illinois, was about fifty cents per bushel, and it is not an uncommon occurrence, that speculators make engagements for potatoes, even as early as the time of their planting.
In opposition to the system of planting potatoes late in the season, a communication was made to us by a farmer, that he raised no less than two hundred bushels of potatoes per acre, having planted them about the middle of May, that they should be well advanced by the time the hot weather comes on; or, according to his opinion, they may not be planted till after the middle of June, that they may have the benefit of the September rains. He says that last season, late planted potatoes in his neighborhood were almost an entire failure.
SWEET POTATOES. — Convolvulus Batatas.
These are now existing in a number of varieties. The roots are usually spindle-shaped and farinaceous; the vines are herbaceous, taking roots at intervals; the leaves are bastate, (cross-bow shaped), and consequently three-lobed. The flowers, which are few, are white externally, and purplish within. In Northern Ilinois, only one variety succeeds perfectly, viz: the Nansemond, brownish-yellow, short variety, which can be grown as far north as the varieties of Indian corn.
The ground should be trench-ploughed, at least one foot deep, and the soil thoroughly pulverized; this should be done at the time of setting the plants, and is a principle to be observed in all hoed crops—to plant in newly-ploughed land. No manure should be used, as this gives an excess of vine at the expense of tuber, nor will the potatoes be so rich, for with high manuring, they incline to be watery.
The best seed-time is about the first of April, and as the season is usually pretty rough then, it is necessary to put the seed-potatoes in hot-beds, for sprouting, and then cover them with hay or straw, to shelter them from rain or snow, still much prevailing at that early
About the first or middle of May, the plants will be several inches high, and should be transplanted as soon as no more danger of frost is to be feared. The ground into which they are then planted, and which has been prepared as above described, is laid off with a twohorse plough, in ridges about four feet wide.
These ridges are then divided with a hoe into hills the same distance apart, making four feet each way, so as to allow of culture with a shovel-plough both ways. The hills should be made large, like a two-bushel basket, though a little broader at the base; a small excavation is made with the hand in the top of the hill; at the bottom of wbich a plant is set in the usual way, and a little water is then poured in, to settle the earth about the plants; if ordinary care has been bestowed on them, very few will fail. In the after culture a shovel