£outh Wales


co noi 145^2..%




OF    .

Australian Agriculture,






Author of “TnE Skmi-Tropical Agriculturist,” “Agricultural Mechanics,” “The Sugar Cane in Australia,” Memb. Franklin Ins., Engineering Association, N.S.W., etc.






The purpose of this work is introductory, merely. All through the various departments dealt with, there is the effort in each chapter to start from the foundation of one or more branches of agricultural science, and lead on to more full understanding of the subject. That the various departments run into each other, makes the study of agriculture all the more interesting. Those departments embrace the climate, seasons, rainfall, and prevailing winds of Australia; the chemistry of agriculture, which is common all over the world; plant and animal life, having many features peculiar to our climate; mechanical engineering; drainage, irrigation; the nature of manures; the common crops of Australian farming; dairying; insect pests of plants and animals, etc. Bee-keeping in Australia is a separate paper, and was not at first intended for this work, but is added because of the wide field which this industry is offering in connection with Australian agriculture. The subjects opened up are inviting; they can be made very attractive to the young, as well as those more actively engaged in field and garden pursuits. The main desire of the author is that they may lead to further and more advanced study of agricultural literature, and improved practice in the art. There are grand works available for reference; but it has been a drawback, felt by teachers all over the country, that something of a more elementary character was not at hand in order to lead on to the fuller

study of agricultural subjects. It is hoped that this little work is to prove a step in that direction, and towards making the terms and properties of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, as common to the agriculturists of Australia, as are salt, lime, charcoal, etc. Good authorities have been consulted in order to introduce more advanced works to Australian use. Amongst those cited are Volker, Hughes, Moreton, Johnston, Balfour, Scott, Russell, and others. The illustrations are also likely to aid in making the study interesting. It need not be dull, by any means.

The author has great pleasure in bearing testimony to the desire of the Minister for Education, the Honorable W. J. Trickett, that agricultural instruction should be encouraged in our schools. To the members of the Board of Technical Education, thanks are due for the aid readily given, to make a work of this nature a possibility, as emanating from a private publisher. That it may prove useful in the agricultural classes of the Board, and in the hands of school teachers for their advanced pupils throughout the country, is a very earnest desire on the part of the author. Expressions of the want of such an elementary work were common on all sides. This is not considered perfect, by any means. It may lead to something better. As it is, the work is placed in the hands of the agricultural population and teachers with confidence, that they will make the best of it. There is plain speaking at the points where it seemed necessary to explain that hard work and proportionate capital, as well as skill, are necessary elements towards success in Australian agriculture, as they are in other parts of the world.

A. M.

BaliMain, Sydney, 1885.


CARPELS anther






An Ideal Plant

(After Balfour.1»


learS af |ed|nical ]|3ueation


New South Wales.



Classes at Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, in Pitt Street Technical Institute, in Sussex Street; the Public School, in Castlereagh Street; and Nos. 64 and 65 Royal Arcade, Pitt Street.


Agriculture.—Messrs. Angus Mackay. J. N. Oxley, and W. M.

Hamlet, F.C.S., Monday, 7.30 p.m.

Botany.—Dr. R. Von Lendenfeld. Monday, 7.30 p.m.

Veterinary.—Mr. Edward Stanley. F.R.C.V.S., Tuesday, 7.30 p.m. Wool Sorting.—Mr. J. W. Addy, Tuesday and Thursday, 7.30 p.m.


Professor WARREN, A.M.I.C.E., Instructor.

Applied Mechanics (including Mechanical Drawing.)—Professor Warren, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday,

7.30    p.m.

Plumbing.—Mr. D. Nelson, Monday and Wednesday, 7.30 p.m. Ncival Architecture.—Mr. John Hyland, Monday and Wednesday,

7.30    p.m.

Metal Plate Working.—Mr. William Walker, Friday, 7.30 p.m. Fitting and Turning.—Mr. John Fagan, Friday, 7.30 p.m.


Mr. J. F. HENNESSY, Instructor.

Architecture.—Mr. J. F. Hennessy, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 7.30 p.m.

Carpentry and Joinery.—Mr. John Gardiner; Theoretical, Monday and Wednesday, 7.30 p.m. ; Practical, Friday, 7.30 p.m. Bricklaying.—Mr. J. Bustard, Monday and Wednesday 7.30 p.m. Masonry.—Mr. J. Howie, Tuesday and Thursday, 7.30 p.m. Cabinet Making.—Mr. C. M. Smithson, Tuesday and Thursday

7.30    p.m.

Carriage Building.—Mr. J. J. North, Monday and Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

Mr. J. KINLOCH, M.A., Instructor.

Mathematics.—Mr. J. Kinloch, Geometry and Algebra, Monday and Wednesday; Trigonometry, Conic Sections, and Mechanics, Thursday, 7 p.m.

Navigation.—Captain Everill, Monday, Wednesday,& Friday, 7 p.m.


Mr. J. ASHCROFT EDWARDS, Instructor.

Music.—Mr. Edwards. Tuesday and Thursday, 8 p.m.

Class Singing.—Mr.Edwards,Monday,Friday,& Saturday, 7.30p.m.


Mr. JOHN CONNERY, Instructor. Elocution.—Mr. John Connery, Tuesday and Friday, 7 p.m.


Mr. F. WRIGHT, M.P.S., Instructor.

Materia Medica and Pharmacy.—Mr. F. Wright, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

Anatomy and Physiology.—Dr. Anderson Stuart, Lecturer, Tuesday, 5 p.m.


Mr. T. E. HEWETT, Instructor.

Physics.—Mr. T. E. Hewett, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 8 p.m. Electricity (Practical).—Mr. T. E. Hewett, Wednesday, 8 p.m. Telegraphy.—Mr. T. E. Hewett, Thursday, 6 p.m.

FEES at the rate of 6d. per lesson for seniors, and 3d. per lesson for juniors. The following reductions are made to Students attending several classes, and more than one night weekly.

Fees for One Class per Quarter.






s. d.

s. d.

s. d.

s. d.

s. d.

Students (evenings per week)

6 6

13 0

15 u

19 6

23 0

Juniors do.

3 6

6 6

5 0

6 6

8 0

Fees for mare Classes than One per Quarter.





s. d.

s. d.

s. d.

s» d.

Students (evenings per week) .. ..

13 0

15 0

20 0

25 0

Juniors do. .. ..

6 6

6 0

8 0

10 0

Mr. LUCIEN HENRY. Instructor.

Geometry.—Mr. J. Wright. Monday, 7.30 p.m.

Perspective.—Mr. A. Tischbauer, Tuesday. 7.30 p.m.

Freehand Drawing.—Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 7.30 p.m. Special Class for Teachers on Wednesday, 7.30 p.m., and Saturday at 10.30 a.m.

Modelling.--Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

House Painting and Decorating.—Mr.P.W. Johnson,Tuesday and Friday, 7.30 p.m.; advanced, Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

'Wood Carving.—Mr. C. Pickering, Tuesday k Thursday, 7.30 p.m.


Mr. W. A. DIXON, F.C.S., F.I.C., Instructor.

Practical Chemistry.—Mr. W. A. Dixon, Monday and Friday,

7.30 p.m. Fee to cover chemicals, &c., £1 per quarter. Theoretical Chemistry.—Mr. W. A. Dixon, Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

Photography.—Mr. Vosper, Wednesday, 7.30 p.m.


Mr. ALEXANDER ADAMS, Instructor.

Commercial Class.—Mr. A. Adams, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

Caligraphy and Correspondence.—Mr. James Bruce, Tuesday and Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

Bookkeeping.—Mr. R. S. Cannon, Tuesday and Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

Phonography.—Mr. H. Graham, Friday, 7 p.m.

Actuarial Science.—Mr. D. Carment, Wednesday, 7.30 p.m. German.—Mr. A. Erythropel, Monday and Wednesday, S p.m. French.—Mr. R. Curtis, Monday and Thursday, 5 P-m- 1° 8 P*m* Latin.—Mr. G. E. Rich, B.A., Tuesday and Thursday, 7 p.m.


Mrs. STORY, Instructress.

Domestic Economy.—Monday, 2 p.m.

Cookery.—Tuesday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Wednesday, 7 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ; Friday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.


Mr. S. HERBERT COX, F.G.S., F.C.S., Instructor.

Geology.—Mr. S. H. Cox., Friday, 7 p.m.

Mineralogy.—Mr. S. 11. Cox, Friday, 8 p.m.

Mining.—Mr. S. H. Cox, Thursday, 7.30 p.m.

The following Private Classes are held in the College Rooms by permission of the Board;—

Drawing and Painting.—(Ladies). Mrs. Phillips and Miss Higginbotham, Monday and Thursday, 2.30 p.m., £1 is.; Tuesday and Friday, 9.30 a.m., £2 2s. per quarter.

Drawing and Painting.—Mr. A. Tischbauer, Monday, 9.30 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.; £3 3s. per quarter.

Drawing and Painting.—Mr. A. D. Riley, Wednesday, 10 a.m., £3 3s.; Saturday, 2 p m., £2 2s.; the two classes, £4 4s. per quarter.

Drawing and Painting.—Mr. L. Henry, Tuesday and Friday,

2.30 p.m.; £4 4s. per quarter.

Chemistry.—Mr. W. A. Dixon. F.C.S., F.I.C., daily, as per arrangement.

Theory of Music.—(Ladies). Miss Biddell, Wednesday, 15s. per quarter.

Elocution and Voice Building.—(Ladies).    Miss Meares,

Friday, 4 p.m., 6s. 6d. per quarter.

Arithmetic and Bookkeeping for Ladies.—Mr. Barnes,

Tuesday and Thursday, 2 p.m., 13s. per quarter.

Geometry, Plain.—Mr. Thomas, Wednesday.

University Matriculation for Ladies.—Miss L. Ellis, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 4.30 p.m , 15s. per quarter.

Free Popular Lectures on Technical, Science, and Art Subjects are delivered in the Technical College Hall, at the Sydney Mechanics’ School oi Arts, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 8 p.m.

The Board will endeavour to form classes in other subjects on the application of 12 intending students, and on payment of the fees.

Certificates of Efficiency will be granted at the Annual Examination in December to those who have completed courses prescribed in curriculum.

Further information may be obtained from the Secretary or Registrar of the Sydney Technical College, at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, Pitt Street.

Edward Dowling,

Secretary to Board 0/ Technical Education, 129 Phillip Street.



The Agricultural Classes of the Board of Technical Education of New South Wales include:—

Science and Practice of Agriculture for Australia.

Mechanics of Agriculture.

Chemistry of Agriculture.

Botany, and Study of the Indigenous Vegetation of the Country Australian Soils for Pasture and for Farming.

Australian Native Grasses.

Stock Raising.

Sheep and Wheat Farming.

Wool Sorting Draining, Irrigation.

Sugar Farming and Manufacture.

Ordinary Crops of Australia.

Veterinary Practice.

Fruit Farming.

Dairying, with nature of Silo and Crops.

Manures, haw to make and to use them.

Bee Farming and Honey Making.

Insect Pests, etc., etc.

Classes, under competent teachers, are now open in Sydney, and will be opened, soon as possible, in other districts.

Send for particulars to the Secretary, Sydney.




I.    Agriculture, Practice with Theory 17

Questions, Chap. 1.....21

II.    Climate, Rainfall, Winds, ..    22

Questions, Chap. II.....29

III.    Analyses of Australian Soils ..    30

Questions, Chap. Ill.....39

IY. Chemistry of Agriculture ..    40

Questions, Chap. IV.....49

V.    Plant Life........50

Questions, Chap. V.....52

VI. How Plants are fed    ..    .. 63

Questions, Chap. VI.....55

VII.    Root Life........56

Questions, Chap. VII.....61

VIII.    Mechanics of Agriculture ..    62

Questions, Chap. VIII.....67

IX.    Common Crops of Australia ..    68

Questions, Chap. IX.....75

X. What Drainage Does    ..    .. 76

Questions, Chap. X.....78

XI.    Principles of Irrigation ..    79

Questions, Chap. XI.....86


XII.    A Chapter on Manures .. 87

Questions, Chap. XII.....94

XIII.    Sheep and Wheat Farming ..    95

Questions, Chap. XIII.....98

XIV.    Dairying, a branch of Agriculture..........99

Questions, Chap. XIV.....102

XV.    The Silo, an aid to Dairying .. 103

Questions, Chap. XV.....106

XVI.    Insect Pests......107

Questions, Chap. XVI.....—

XVII.    Plant and Animal Parasites —

Questions, Chap. XVII.....138

XVIII.    Salt in Agriculture..    .. 134

Questions, Chap. XVIII. .. 136

XIX.    Pruning for Fruit and Uniformity ........137

Questions, Chap. XIX.....141

XX.    Steam on the Farm ..    .. 142

Questions, Chap. XX.....147

The Honey Bee in Australia .. 148




Australian Cultivation ..

.. 7

Climate and Rainfall 19,

Soils .. •.

35. 124

Insect Pests ..

.. 269

Root Crops ..

.. 149

Agriculture an Art .. .

.. 1

Defective.. ..

.. *>

Apple Tree Louse .. ..

.. 282

Agricultural Mechanics ..

.. 121

Alumina ......


American Blight .. • •

.. 282

Ammonia, Test for .. ..

.. 202

and Water ..

.. 109

Analyses of Australian Soils

.. 32

Aphis and Ants .. • •

.. 272

Ashes of Plants .. ••

• • 53

Banana Disease .. • •

.. 289


.. 137

Beans and Peas .. ..

.. 144

Bluestone, how to use ..

.. 305

Boiling down stuff .. ..

.. 217

Boilers. Steam, care of ..

.. 344

Bone Manures......

.. 214

Breathing of Plants .. ..

.. 101

Buckwheat ......

.. 140

Chemistry of Agriculture ..

.. 49

Capital necessary in Farming

.. 6

Cabbage Pests.. .. ..

271, 274

Carbon in Plants .. ..

.. 67

Carbonic Acid Gas .. ..

.. 96

Carrot Roots......

.. 112

Climate and Rainfall.. ..

.. 19

Clover, Rye, Grasses .. ..

.. 146

Codling Moth......

.. 280

Coast Rains......

.. 25

Capillary Attraction .. ..

.. 10

Cotton as a rotation .. ..

.. 153

Circulation of Plants ..

.. 64

Compost Heap......

.. 217

Cow Dung .. .. . •

.. 221

Cultivation, Meaning of ..

.. 122

Defective Agriculture ..

.. 3

Dairying, best Cattle for ..

.. 249

„ Crops for .. ..

.. 253

„ Feed for .. ..

.. 254

,, Exhausts Land ..

.. 259

Dr. Voicker’s Analyses ..

.. 36

Destroyers, Insect .. ..

.. 288

Dew on Grass......

.. 163


.. 324

Distilled Water .. ..

.. 103

Dodder in Lucerne .. ..

.. 310



Drainage, Principle of

.. 155

„ for Irrigation

.. 160

Drains, various ..

.. 154

Drought in Australia

.. 29

„ resisting Soils

.. 14

Dung, Farmyard ..

.. 200

Earth-closet Manures

.. 204

Evaporation and Rainfall

.. 7

Farming Capital ..

.. 6

Farm Draining ..

.. 156

Feeding Sheep with Green Wheat.. 309

Fibrous Roots .. ..

.. 114

Fire Test for Plants ..

.. 51

Fluke in Sheep ..

.. 311

Forest Soils of Australia


Fowl Manures .. ..

.. 218

Foot-rot in Sheep ..

.. 313

Furrows, in Ploughing

.. 129

Gardening, Drains for

.. 156

Grasses, Clover, etc. ..

.. 146

„ Where good are



Australia .. ..

124, 133


.. 88

Green Manuring ..

.. 227

Good Soil in Australia

.. 124

Grain Weevils.. ..

.. 291

Grass and Irrigation ..

.. 197

Grub in head of Sheep

.. 316

Guano, Value of ..

.. 215

„ Test for ..

.. 216

Gypsum, etc.....

.. 226

Hay, Richest Crops for

.. 139

Heavy and Light Soils

.. 123

Healthy Seeds .. ..

.. 86

Hoppers on Fruit ..

.. 286

Horse Manures ..

.. 220

Humic Acid .. ..

.. 62

Hughes, Professor, Analyses

.. 32

Hydrogen .. ..

.. 68

Inorganic Matters ..

50, 53

Insect Pests in Australia

.. 269

Insects. Scale .. ..

.. 283

Irrigation for Australia

.. 164

„ Good Soils for

.. 189

„ American ..

.. 165

„ Levelling for

.. 185

Model Farm

.. 179

On Uneven Land .. 183

Crops for......188

Quantity of Water for .. 194


Range of Cultivation in Australia.. 133



Kangaroos and Parasites ..    .. 317

Kerosine for Insect Pests ..    .. 279

Lady Birds as Insect Destroyers



„ Dodder in ..    ..

Maize, as a crop ......141

Manure, Earth Closet ..    .. 204

„ Various ..    ..    200,228

Mechanics of Agriculture    ..    ..121

„ of Ploughing    ..    ..    126

Millet, Culture ......142

Mineral Constituents of Soils    ..    53

Moisture from Draining    ..    ..    163

Molasses as Feed ..    ..    .. 257

Nitrogen ........72

Nourishment of Plants    ..    .. 95

Northern District Rainfall ..    .. 27

Oats, Soil for .. Oil of Plants .. Organic Matters Orange Enemies Oxygen ..    ..

Parasites of Plants and Animals .. 296

Patching a Boiler ......347

Peas and Beaus ......144

Pests, to check........278

Planter’s Friend ......142

Prevailing Winds and their characteristics ........30


„ Sweet........148

Phosphates ........211

Pig Manures ..    ..    ..    ..    219

Plant Life ........84

„ Lice ........270


Potash, Deficiency in Soil    ..    ..    79

Ploughing, purposes of    ..    ..    129

„ Colonial......130

Pruning for Fruit......323

Plough, a Scientific Implement .. 126 Professor Hughes’ Analyses ..    32

Poudrette Manure ..    ..    ..

Prairie Soil compared with Australian ........39

Phylloxera, the Vine Destroyer .. 273

Rainfall and Climate .. Red Soils and their Rocks Remedies for Insect Pests Rice, as a Crop..    ..

Rich Soil in Australia Root Crops ..    ..

,. Pruning ..    ..

..    19

..    43

.. 281 .. 143 124,152 .. 149 .. 331

.. 288 ..    76

.. 145 .. 310

.. 138 .. 86 ..    51

.. 285 .. 70

Root of Maize .. ..


Rotation Cropping ..

.. .. 136

Rose Aphis .. ..

.. ..271

Rust in Wheat.. ..

.. ..297

„ resisting Wheat..

.. .. 302

Rye .. .. ..

.. ..140

Salt in Agriculture, for Crops and

Stock .. ..

.. .. 317

Sciences of Agriculture

.. ..4

Seeds rich in fat ..

.. .. 87

Seaweed Manures ..

.. 225

Scale Insects .. ..

.. .. 283

Scrub Soils of Australia

.. .. 38

Seasons for Pruning ..

.. ..325

Sheep and Grain Farming

.. ..229

„ Green Croj)s for

.. ..234

,, Manures ..

.. .. 222

„ Parasites ..

.. ..311

Silo, how made.. ..

.. ..260

„ Croj.s suitable for

.. ..263


.. .. 74

Skeletons of Plants ..

.. .. 92

Slaughter-house stuff

.. .. 217

Soda, how derived ..

.. .. 80

Soils rich for Farming

.. 121,124

„ in Australia ..

.. ..124

„ for Irrigation ..

.. ..189

„ to resist Drought

.. .. 14

„ Tests for .. ..

.. 9, 11

Sorghum .. ..

.. ..142

Sugar Cane, Varieties of

.. ..150

„ „ Plants ..

.. .. 151

,, „ as Feed .. Starch and Sugar ..

.. .. 89

.. ..120

Steam on the Farm ..

.. ..334

Steeping Seed Wheat..

.. .. 308

Sulphur .. .. ..

.. .. 82

Summer Pruning ..

.. ..333

Sweet Potatoes ..

.. ..148

Tests for Soils .. ..

.. 8, 9, 11, 52

Turnips and Root Crops

.. ..149

Underground Draining

.. ..107

Vegetable Mutter in Soils

.. 18,54

Vine Bug .. ..

.. .. 285

„ Pruning .. ..

.. ..332

Water for Irrigation ..

.. ..190

„ as Plant Food..

.. ..105

Western Districts, Rainfall .. .. 27

Weevils, Grain.. ..

.. .. 291

,, How to destroy

.. .. 293

Wheat and Sheep ..

.. ..229

„ a Hardy Crop..

.. .. 112

„ Soils .. ..

.. ..45

Woody Fibre .. ..

.. .. 91

Wool and Wheat ..

.. .. 232

Yams, as a Crop ..

.. ..148



Bees, Native of Australia ..    .. 148

„ Black or English    ..    ..149

„ Ligurian or Italian    ..    ..    149

Bee Keeping and Poultry ..    .. 150

The Queen Bee........151

The Drone ........151

Worker Bees........151

Pollen Gathering ......151

Breeding ........152

Eggs and Larva? .. • ..    .. 153

Swarm of Bees........154

Hiving Bees ..     154

Swarm in Bar Frame Hive    ..    ..    155

Queen Cells ..    ..    ..    ..    156

Loss of Queen........157

Weak Swarms, Uniting ..    .. 157

Bee Nest in a Tree......158

Handling Bees........158

From Tree to Bar Frame Hive .. 159

Artificial Swarming......160

Handling Bar Frames    ..    .. 162

The Bee Master at Work    ..    .. 163

Bee, Nature........163


Stings of Bees .. ..

.. 163

Honey Gathering ..

.. 164

Honey Plants .. ..

.. 164

Bee Food .. ..

.. 164

Syrup for Bees .. ..

.. 164

Bar Frame Hives ..

.. 165

Standard Sizes of Bar Frames

.. 165

How to make Bar Frames

.. 165

Observing Hive ..

.. 167

Frame for Summer Honey

.. 167

Inside of a Hive ..

.. 168

Super Frames .. ..

.. 168

Comb Foundation ..

.. 169

Bee Glue .. ..

.. 170

Pollen, or Bee Bread ..

.. 170

Bee Quilt .. ..

.. 170

Bee Moth, Ravages of

.. 171

Honey Extractors ..

.. 172

Reversible Frames ..

.. 173

Bee Veils .. ..

.. 173

Bee Smoker .. ..

.. 174

Hints for Beginners ..

.. 174

Don’t Fight with Bees

.. 175



Australian Agriculture




1.    Agriculture is an art, combining practice with theory. The art is founded upon experience, gained in the various departments of soil cultivation, the development of live stock, etc.

2.    Portions of the art, from the earliest times, have been followed by individuals and communities who make little, if any, acquaintance with the advancing knowledge and practice with which all progressive arts must, of necessity, be associated.

3.    As a consequence, agriculture remains as it was in ages past, in some parts of the world ; and the agriculturist remains the poor, uneducated drudge of his day. Fortunately, in these times, the stand-still sections of agriculture are the exceptions. The art makes rapid advances where education and skill are making headway.

4.    The art of agriculture, then, is to so operate with success upon the soil as to get the best returns, in crops and live stock. With that end in view, the agriculturist takes advantage of the knowledge developed by geology, botany, chemistry, mechanics, biology, and other science, more or less associated with agriculture.

5.    The business of cultivation and the treatment of live stock differs, in this country, materially from similar pursuits as carried on in Europe \ yet the basis of the industry remains the same. It is a serious mistake to suppose^ that European agricultural education or experience are ot but small value here. I he facts are that rich soil, skilful cultivation, and the effects of plentiful and continuous supplies of rich feed to stock are much alike all the world over. The care and experience, and, above all, the skilful application of labor and machinery which tend to make agricultural pursuits profitable business pursuits in other countries, all do much to make it successful here.

6.    Capital also is necessary here ; the differences that exist in this respect are less than is generally supposed, and favors those mainly who bring to their work brain as well as muscle force, and ability as well as the desire to labor. A man, to flourish by agriculture in this country, must not be above pulling off his coat, and working hard early and late.

7.    The main differences experienced by Australian agriculturists in comparison with their brethren in Europe, arise from the greater irregularity of seasons, and the peculiarities of the rainfall and evaporation of Australia. It may be accepted as a fact of leading importance, that abundant though the rainfall actually is, experience proves that all over the country, the evaporation is still greater than the rainfall. It is to counteract the effects of this peculiarity, and to make the most of the good effects that flow from active evaporation with proportionate rainfall, that no small share of the best results of agricultural experience and knowledge come in.

Fig. 1. Testing Soil for Water.

8.    Other qualities, therefore, being equal, the soil having the greatest powers for retaining moisture, has high recommendations for the Australian agriculturist.

9.    This quality can be tested in a simple manner. Figure 1 shows two cylindrical vessels, of glass (or more than two may be used), each supplied with a glass

filler or funnel. The soils to be tested, and in a perfectly dry state, are put in separate vessels. Then shake down the soil until it is compact, but not firmly pressed. Next pour a given quantity of water into each funnel. As a rule, it will be found that the soil which absorbs the water most readily and up which it rises furthest by capillary attraction, is the soil best able to resist the effects of evaporation, and is the most likely to be the best for cultivation purposes.

io. Capillary attraction and the capacity of soils to absorb and retain moisture may be seen in the ordinary process of watering flowers in pots that have saucers below. Water poured into the saucers will be attracted and drawn up into the soil above in proportion to the capacity of the latter for storing water to meet the requirements of evaporation.

11.    The benefits of capillary attraction in soils become better appreciated as drainage and clean cultivation extend. The operation of this force may be demonstrated as seen at


Fig. 2.


Capillary Attraction.

Fig. 2. Here we have two sheets of glass, brought closely together at the dark edge of the diagram (A). The sheets are parted at B, are further apart at C, and are about one-sixth of an inch apart at the outer edges. If glass, in this form be placed upon a wet surface, it will be seen that the moisture will rise up, between the pieces, highest at A, and curving lower at B, C, and so on.

12.    Again, if a piece of loaf sugar is placed upon a damp surface, the moisture will rise in the sugar—which is really but a number of smaller pieces of sugar, having air spaces between, and the moisture has, in fact, displaced the air, and occupies the spaces.

13.    The process is similar in soils, all of which have, more or less, the same affinity for attracting moisture that we see in the glass and in the sugar. The fact is very suggestive for the agriculturist, and is a strong inducement for him to keep his soil in a loose, well broken up condition, the smaller the particles, as we have seen by the experi-merits, the greater the disposition of moisture to take the place of dry air therein.

14.    The experiments demonstrate how it is that loose, well cultivated land does not sutler to the same extent from droughts, or long dry spells, as clo soi.s that are compact and solid. The latter not only lose the benefits of capillary attraction, but rain is longer in penetrating them than the more loose soils, and they dry much more rapidly.

15.    With very rare exceptions, this capacity of a dry soil to absorb moisture quickly is associated with the kindred quality of giving off moisture slowly, and with the presence of substances that tend to make it a rich soil for cultivation purposes. Those other substances are numerous.

16.    For general purposes, soils are divided into two main parts—(1) those ingredients which are organised and have grown. They can be reduced to ash by fire. That portion which burns, and disappears as smoke, is the organic part. (2) The other is the mineral or inorganic part which does not burn.1 This division into organic and inorganic applies to animal substances as well as to plants.

Fig. 3. Fire Test.

17.    The separation by fire of the organic from the inorganic is illustrated at Fig. 3 by means of an ordinary candle flame, which reduces the organic part, and leaves the mineral part in the form of ash. To test soil, a portion of good loam, previously dried and weighed, can be heated to redness upon a piece of metal (Fig. 5.)

The soil will first turn black, the change in colour being due to the presence of vegetable or carbonaceous matter; then a greyish, brownish, or reddish colour is observed in the soil under test as the organic matter disappears. The mineral matter remains, and upon reweighing, after allowing for the moisture present even in dry soil, the relative weight shows what proportion of organic matter the soil contained.

18. The usual proportions of vegetable and ash matter in plants is about 5 lbs. of mineral from 100 lbs. of dried plant. Dry loamy soil contains from 2 lbs. to 10 lbs. of organic or vegetable matter per 100 lbs. The rich scrub soils of Australia often contain fully 10 lbs. of vegetable matter per 100 lbs., and are of the order of soils which give the best results as shown by test 1 (Fig. 1), and are also of the best quality for cultivation purposes. This subject is dealt with more fully in chapter on chemistry of agriculture.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter I.Elements of Australian


1. Upon what basis is agriculture founded? 2. Is the art universal? 3. What are consequences of defective agriculture? 4. What results from successful agriculture ? Which kindred arts assist ? 5. Is European experience useful in Australia? 6. Is capital necessary ?    7. What are main differences between European and

Australian practice ? 8. Describe a desirable soil for cultivation in Australia. 9. How would you test soils? 10. What is capillary attraction? 11. Give an instance of capillary attraction. 12. Give another instance. 13. Is capillary attraction important for the farmer? 14. Which soils best resist drought? 15. What are features of rich soil? 16. Describe the two main parts of soils? 17. IIow would you separate the main parts? 18. What are the proportions of vegetable and mineral or ash matters in plants and soils ?



19.    All these are of vital importance to the agriculturist. Study of the subject proves that Australia is amongst the favoured parts of the earth, as seen from the reports of Mr. H. C. Russell, government astronomer of New South

Wales:    . .

20.    Geographically, Australia has a grand position, lying between the 10th and 40th degrees of south latitude, that happy mean, neither too hot nor too cold. Surrounded by the ocean, the sea breezes temper what might otherwise be a hot climate in the summer; the air is clear and dry, and yet brings rain in heavy showers. Vegetation is abundant, and includes all the cereals and fruits oi the world.

21.    Australia measures 1,700 miles from north to south, and from east to west 2,400 miles, and speaking generally, has a rounded outline, the only great inlets on the coast-line being the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Australian Bight. The total area is rather greater than that of the United States, and almost equal to the whole of Europe. On three sides, and at a short distance inland from the coast, are found ranges of mountains, of no great elevation, yet almost the only high land. On the west and north-west coasts the mountains form a bold outline of granite, rarely more than 200 miles from the coast, and attaining to heights of 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Between these and the sea the land is low and good. On the inland side is found a vast table-land which slopes towards the unknown interior so gradually that the inclination is not easily seen, and no rivers running to the interior have yet been discovered—all known streams running to the sea. On the east coast we have the mountain chain parallel to the coast, but it is much higher and more extensive; the strip of low land by the coast is much narrower, often not more than 30 miles wide. At Point Danger the mountain range comes right to the sea. This grand chain of mountains is known generally as the Great Dividing Range, and extends for about 1,500 miles along

the east coast. Near its southern extremity is the Snowy Range, the only part of Australia where snow may always be found. The highest peak, Mount Kosciusko, 7,120 feet, is also the highest land in Australia ; the ravines on its sides always contain snow; and the mountains near it, about 6,000 feet high, aiso are almost always covered with snow.

22.    Of this great continent island the Colony of New South Wales holds the southern part of the east coast—the part where, with remarkable sagacity, the first settlement was made. It has fine climate, important rivers, the great bulk of the coal land, unlimited stores of all the useful minerals, and fine pastoral and agricultural lands.

23.    New South Wales is naturally divided into three portions ; the comparatively narrow coast district, from 30 to 150 miles wide, abundantly watered by rivers and smaller streams coming down from the mountains. The rainfall here, fed by winds from the great Pacific Ocean, is from 40 inches in the south to 70 inches in the north ; at Sydney 50 inches. The mountains have, doubtless, very much to do with this abundant precipitation, and at times the rains are so heavy that the rivers, fed by mountain torrents, carry heavy and dangerous floods. In years past wheat was largely and profitably grown, but rust has of late so frequently appeared that little or no wheat is grown. It pays better to supply the city markets with dairy produce, Indian corn, and the various kinds of hay. In the northern districts sugar-growing is a profitable industry, and increasing rapidly. About Sydney enormous quantities of oranges are grown for exportation. On the south, with the exception of the Monaro table-land, the country is rough and mountainous, but wheat grows well. Between Goulburn and Bathurst the western waters form the Lachlan, and the eastern the Hawkesbury Rivers. A part of the land is taken up for agriculture, some for mining. In its natural state the western country is open plains, or lightly timbered, and large areas are covered with rich volcanic soil which seems fit to grow anything; but the want of labour and carriage, and the profit and security to be found in raising wool and meat, have, for the most part, tempted capital into squatting pursuits. As railways reach this part of the country no doubt more attention will be given to agriculture. From Bathurst northwards to the boundary of Queensland, all the western waters go inland to form the various tributaries of the Darling Ki\er. These mountains are from 2,000 to 3^00 feet, with some peaks rising to nearly 6,000 feet. A very large portion of the high land is suitable for agriculture, and is being taken up for that purpose by degrees. European fruits the apple, cherry, currant, &c.—grow to perfection there, as w ell as in other parts of the mountain districts. The third division covers by far the greatest area, and consists of the Great Western Plains, extending away to the Darling River, and thence to the South Australian Border. The land there may be said to be held for grazing purposes. Sheep and cattle thrive in a remarkable degree, and form a most profitable investment, the climate being dry and wonderfully healthy for man and beast.2

24. Looking at the question of temperature generally, it will be seen that New South Wales is no exception to the general deduction of science that the southern lands are cooler than those of corresponding latitudes in the north, and it is only during hot winds, which are rare in New South Wales, that the temperature rises to extremes. But to leave Europe, and compare the climate of New South Wales with that of America: Our limits of latitude would place us from Washington to New Orleans. Now the mean temperature at Washington is 55P and at New Orleans 68°, while that of Eden is 6023° and Grafton 68°, so that if mean temperature were a complete test of climate it would appear that our coast is hotter than corresponding latitudes in America. But mean temperature is not enough : we must compare the summer and winter temperatures ; and summer at Washington rises to 767° and at Eden only to 677°, 9cooler ; New Orleans summer is 82° and Grafton 7722°, but 82° hardly represents the summer heat at New Orleans, for it is a steady broil, during which every day for three months of summer the heat is over 8ol>, a temperature that is only reached on this coast during hot winds, or in other words, very seldom. Winter temperature at Washington falls to 3728°, and at New Orleans to 530, at Eden 5322°, and at Grafton 56°. Hence it is evident that on this coast the heat is very much less in summer and greater in winter than upon the coast of America. Such facts place Australia in a very different position in regard to climate from that which it has occupied in published works. Instead of being a hot country, we see that its coast districts are much cooler than corresponding latitudes in Europe and America, and that its elevated districts, which comprise a large part of much of the best land, enjoy a climate no warmer than the best and most enjoyable parts of Europe in much higher latitudes. The western plains, however, are subject to greater heat, caused no doubt by the sun's greater power on treeless plains, and the almost total absence of cooling winds, yet, although in summer the temperature here frequently rises over ioo°, and sometimes up to 120°, yet, owing to the cold at night and in winter, the mean temperature is not greater than that of corresponding latitudes in the northern hemisphere ; and this part of the Colony being remarkably dry, the great heat is by no means so enervating as a temperature of 8o° in the moist atmosphere of the coast, and, what is of still more importance, it does not produce those terrible diseases which are usually the offspring of hot countries. This is also, no doubt, due to the dryness of the air. Stock of all kinds thrive remarkably well, and are very free from disease in those hot western districts.

25.    The rainfall along the coast districts is very abundant, ranging from 45 inches at Eden to 70 at the Tweed River. At Sydney it is 50 inches Along the top of the mountains the rainfall is from 30 to 40 inches, on the western slopes from 20 to 30 inches, and over the flat country from 10 to 20 inches. The coast rains are often tropical in their character, and deposit water in such abundance on the face of the mountains as to feed many rivers, the more important of which have been mentioned ; but the rains on the abrupt rise of the mountains run down so rapidly that floods frequently result, and are now and then dangerous; years often pass, however, between such visitations, and the fact that houses are frequently built on lands subject to them shows that they are not much dreaded.

26.    The coast and mountain rains come from the eastward. The clouds coming in from the sea at a small altitude, deposit abundant rains as they travel over the mountains, for as they rise in obedience to well known laws, they drop nearly the whole of their rain, and then having passed over, they become gradually, as they descend, dry clouds over the western plains. But when the force of the easterly current is over, and these clouds become subject to the usual drift from west to east, they have again to rise over the mountains, and in doing so deposit moisture.

27.    Hence it is that the western districts get a great deal of rain with westerly winds. In the northern districts tropical rains sometimes come from north-west or northeast.

28.    Speaking generally, the rainfall in New South Wales is heavy compared with that of England, that is, when falling, much more falls per hour here than there ; Sydney in 152 days has 50*05 inches rain, while London with 146 days has only 24-76 inches rain. So also with regard to dry intervals, forty years’ experience in Sydney has never furnished one month entirely without rain, but in dry periods, several months sometimes pass consecutively, during which the fall is too small for water supply; and of England exactly the same remark has been made; no complete month has ever been without rain, but at times several months are consecutive, during which no rain available for water supply falls.

29.    There is a good deal of misapprehension about droughts, and it is a common thing to speak of them as if they were peculiar to Australia, when the fact is that all countries are subject to droughts or temporary short rainfall, and some countries which have never been credited with a drought are by no means free from them. For instance, England is frequently subject to drought, not simply for a month or two, but for several years in succession. The rainfall of 1854 was only 75 per cent, of the average ; 1855, ’56, ’57, were all below the average; and 1858 was only 80 per cent, of the average ; 1863 and 1864 were both very much below the average. Going further, back four consecutive years may be found in which the rainfall in no year exceeded 65 per cent, of the average. No such drought has ever yet been recorded in Australia. In Sydney, with forty years’ experience, the lowest rainfall of any year (1849) was 44 per cent, of the average, and the smallest rainfall for two consecutive years gave 74 per cent, of the average for each year. Whence, then, it may be asked is the difference, for it must be admitted that the effects of dry weather are greater here than in England * In the first place, the high state of cultivation there tends to preserve the moisture in the soil, and in the next place, the heating effect of the sun is not by any means so great as it is in Australia ; and thirdly, the abundant supplies of food from other countries tend to mitigate the effect of a drought. But in Australia cultivation has not yet mitigated to any considerable extent the effects of dry weather, and a bright sky gives the sun terrible power over the water, which, so far, man has taken little care to conserve ; and lastly, in the early days of the colony when the glowing accounts of droughts were written, if supplies could not be grown, the nearest neighbour from which supplies could be got was the Cape ol Good Hope. Such difficulty in getting supplies naturally magnified the terrors of droughts ; but gradually and satisfactorily this state of things is passing, or has passed, away. A drought does not involve all the Australian colonies at once, and the need of one is supplied by the abundance of others, so-that to the many droughts have lost their terror. To the pastoral interests they may retain some ot their old power.

30. Regarding the winds, Mr. Russell reports that nine years continuous records of the anemometer give a much better idea of the distribution of the winds than any general description. The records have been distributed into the four seasons. Taking the summer—December, January, and February—the great prevalence of southerly and easterly winds, compared with westerly, is shown by the numbers 105 S. 95 E.N.E., and only 27 W. In autumn—March, April, May—however, things are changed, and chieliy by the great prevalence of westerly wind in May ; the average westerly prevalence is now 112, as compared with 59 S. and 32 E. ; and in winter—June, July, and August—the westerly hold still more decided sway, for we have 191 westerly, only 23 S. and 11 E. ; and in spring—September, October, November—we have a general distribution of wind all round the compass ; W. has a slight preponderance, being 78, compared with 67 S. and 46 E., or rather 73 N.E., which is then the prevailing easterly direction. Generally it may be said that inland the prevailing winds are from N. and W. The winds from N. to S.W. are dry, warm in summer and cold in winter. Easterly winds are humid, and in summer cool, and in winter mild. Southerly winds are in most cases dry, but in storms often bring rain.

31. Meteorological elements of the climate of forty-three places in New South Wales.

Latitude S.

Longitude E.


Mean Temperature.

Mean maximum temperature in shade during hottest month.

Mean tninimutn temperature in shade during coldest month.

Mean humidity of air— saturation, 100.

Prevailing direction of wind.

Average rainfall.






Casino .. ..


2 53









Tenterfield ..









• •



Grafton .. ..












Inverell .. ..












Bourke .. ..












Xarrabri .. ..











Armidale .. ..












Goonoo Goonoo












Port Macquarie












Mumirundi ..









• .



Cassilis .. ..











Scone ......









• •



Mu swell brook ..









, ,



Dubbo .. ..









. #



Mudgee .. ..









• •



West Maitland











Newcastle ..












Orange .. ..











Bathurst .. ..












Forbes .. ..












Kurrajong.. ..











Windsor .. ..












Mount Victoria












W oodford .. ..











Parramatta ..









# #



South Head ..











Sydney .. ..












Liverpool .. ..











Wentworth ..






64 4






Young .. ..







90 8


. .



Wollongong ..












Moss Vale.. ..











Goulburn .. ..












Wagga Wagga..












Cape St. George












Lake George ..












Queanbeyan .. Urana .. ..











53*6 62'I









Deniliquin ..












Kiandra .. ..












Albury .. ..












Cooma .. ..
























Approximate altitude.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter IL—Climate, Rainfall. Winds. &c.

19. Is knowledge of climate, rainfall, &c., of importance to agriculturists? 20. Define the geographical position of Australia. 21. What is the extent of Australia? 22. How is N. S. Wales located? 23. Describe some of the divisions. 24. How does the temperature compare with other lands ?    25. Are the coastal rains heavy ?    26.

Whence do the coastal rains come? 27. How do the western districts get considerable of their rainfall ?    28. How does the rainfall compare with that of England ?    29. Are droughts peculiar to

Australia ? 30. What are prevailing winds, and their characteristics ? 31. Climate and rainfall in N. S. Wales.



32.    The annexed analyses of Australian soils by Professor J. Hughes, F.C.S., London, and reports upon the same by Dr. Volcker, appear in Mr. Mackay’s “ SemiTropical Agriculturist and Colonists’ Guide.'’ They very fairly represent immense areas of the soils under cultivation throughout this country, and are of very great value for reference purposes and for guidance in the selection of land, and the maintenance of cultivated soils in fit condition for farming and gardening, for irrigation, the cultivation of grasses, and other purposes.

33.    The basis of the analyses is that an acre of soil, six inches in depth, weighs 2,000,000 lbs. The figures given are upon that proportion, as worked out by acid tests.

35* The Soils and their Ingredients.—The teacher might enlarge upon the natural vegetation which grows upon scrub soils, heavy and lightly timbered forest, and open plains country.


Water of Constitution.

■ Organic Matter.

Equal to Nitrogen.

Oxides of Iron.










Sulphuric Acid.

Carbonic Acid.

Phosphoric Acid.

Silica Soluble in Alkali.

Insoluble Siiicious Residue.















Best scrub, maize soil



9* »4°












Best forest soil......







6 040








Ordinary'forest soil





139 820










Trap-rock soil, St. Helena










i ,640

# i




Red soil, Ormiston











, ,




Moray field, heavy forest ..















Indah ,,














i. 360,660

lop sugar soil, Alexandra





162 480





5 080





Subsoil, „















30 inches deep, „














1 ;

Gairloch, open forest soil ..








4 820







Wheat soil, Killamey..


















36.    The analyses of Professor Hughes having been submitted to the famous Dr. Volcker for his report thereon, the following was forwarded from the laboratory, London : Having carefully perused the analytical tables of Mr. Hughes’ detailed analyses, which bear the stamp of care and accuracy, and the reports accompanying the said analyses, I beg leave to submit to you a short report, having for its object to point out some peculiarities which characterise the different kinds of soils, and to offer a few suggestions respecting the best means of maintaining the more productive soils in a permanent state of fertility, of increasing the yield of crops, and improving the productive powers of the less fertile soils. The twelve soils analysed by Mr. Hughes may be conveniently grouped into the following classes :

37.    1 st.—Alluvial Scrub Soils.

2nd.—Forest Soils.

3rd. Red-colored Soils derived from the decomposition of some kind of trap-rock.

4th. Black stiff Wheat Soil.


38.    All these are distinguished by remarkable fertility, and are naturally well adapted for the cultivation of maize, sugar cane, &c. A glance at the analytical tables clearly shows that they contain all the more important mineral elements of fertility in considerable proportions, as well as a large amount of organic matters, capable of producing, by their gradual decomposition, and finally by oxidation, a constant supply of nitrates, which in my opinion are the combinations in which nitrogen is assimilated by plants. It is in the form of nitrates that the nitrogen of organic matters becomes food for plants, and if it can be shown that the organic matters are subject to a ready oxidation, as is the case with well-drained or naturally porous alluvial soils resting on a porous subsoil, and consequently possessing good natural drainage, the relative proportions of nitrogen in different soils afford pretty good indications of their comparative state of fertility, presuming that the conditions as regards drainage, position, and depth of the various soils, do not present marked differences. Thus it will be seen that the soil marked ‘‘No. i, Best Scrub Soil,” contains nearly a half per cent of nitrogen in the shape of readily decomposable organic matters, or a larger proportion than was found in any of the remaining soils. It is very interesting and practically important to notice in the analytical tables that the large proportion (comparatively speaking) of nitrogen in the best scrub soil No. i, is associated with corresponding large proportions of available potash, phosphoric acid, and lime. The best alluvial scrub soils thus are not only richer in nitrogen (organic plant-food) but also in the more important mineral plant constituents. It must not be supposed that the Australian scrub soils are exceptional in this respect, for I find the same holds good with other alluvial soils which have been brought under my notice in the course of my agricultural experience.

39.    The scrub soil No. i shows a remarkable similarity in composition, and I may add in appearance, to the celebrated prairie soils of Illinois, several of which I had occasion to examine some years ago. I gather from the report and notes accompanying Mr. Hughes’ soil-analyses that most of the alluvial scrub soils are of great depth. They therefore contain, practically speaking, inexhaustible stores of plant-food, and with deep cultivation, and the occasional application of appropriate top-dressings, no fear need be entertained that they will become less and less productive.

40.    But it is desirable to return to the land the vegetable matter in some form or other. It would no doubt be the best plan to convert as much as possible of the megass into manure, or to make it, together with lime, weeds, &c., into a compost heap ; but I believe in many places purely practical considerations will determine the planter to burn the megass.3 The ash of megass, however, should be returned to the land under all circumstances. I do not think it necessary to apply salt of potash to any of the alluvial scrub soils, nor do I think they require to be specially manured with purely phosphatic fertilisers. Saline manures as a rule ought to be avoided on sugar plantations. The soil marked “ Moray-field,” I notice, contains more chlorine, no doubt in the

shape of chloride of sodium, than appears to me conducive to the healthiest growth of sugar cane and the production of good sugar juice. Land as rich in organic and mineral plant-food as the scrub soil No. i, in my judgment, requires no manure whatever, at least for years to come, and rather than spend money upon such a soil in the purchase of manures I would, by degrees, plough it deeper and bring up some of the deeper soil and incorporate it with the surface. On old sugar plantations I would recommend the use of nitrogenous manures. Instead of purely ammoniacal manures, such as sulphate of ammonia or nitrate of soda, which are both employed for the growth of sugar cane, I would advise the use of guano. By the use of 3 to 4 cwt. of Peruvian guano I have little doubt the yield of cane on soils like that marked “ Gairloch may be greatly increased; and indeed I would recommend Peruvian guano as a topdressing for sugar cane at the rate of 3 or 4 cwt. per acre on all the older plantations, feeling assured that in fair average seasons it will raise the produce in sugar very materially, and, in an economical point of view, produce most satisfactory results. Peruvian guano is not only rich in ammonia and nitrogenous organic matters, but also in phosphates, and it likewise contains appreciable quantities of potash, and unlike nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia which do not supply any mineral fertilising matters but rather draw upon the resources of available minerals in the land, does not exhaust the soil like the latter, and in my opinion is greatly preferable to purely nitrogenous manures as a means of increasing the yield of crop without detriment to the agricultural capabilities of the land. With regard to the supply of soluble silica, I would observe that all these alluvial soils contain abundance of soluble silica to meet all requirements, and that no good whatever—as proved by actual experience— will result by the application of silicate of soda or other silicates to the cane. It might appear that, on theoretical grounds, sugar cane is not likely to be much benefitted by nitrogenous or ammoniacal manures, but practical experience has fully established the fact that of all fertilising constituents none have such marked effect upon canes as nitrogen in some form or other, provided the essential mineral constituents exist in the land in sufficient quantities, which is the case in most alluvial soils. The comparatively much larger amount of nitrogen in the best scrub soils, when compared with the forest soils, fully accounts for their greater productiveness.

41.    As regards the relative rapidity with which the fertilising matters are removed by growing crops and natural drainage, nitrogen is the first which goes, and in relatively larger proportions than any of the essential mineral plant-constituents ; and hence there is the greatest necessity to make ample provision for the restoration of nitrogenous food which is constantly being extracted from the land by growing crops, and to a very large extent in the drainage, as is shown in my recent experiments on the composition of waters of land drainage.


42.    The two forest soils resemble in their general character the scrub soils ; they are, however, poorer in nitrogen, potash, lime and phosphoric acid than the best scrub soils, and require to be manured sooner than the latter. The best manure which can be used on these forest soils to make them yield good crops I consider to be Peruvian guano. I presume the forest soils are well drained—if not, they should be drained thoroughly before any manure is applied to them.


43.    A characteristic feature of these is the large proportion of oxide of iron which both contain. The iron is all present in the state of peroxide, and I believe, therefore, they cannot be naturally deficient in drainage. If the soils were not thoroughly penetrated by air they would contain more or less protoxide of iron.

44.    Thus far this is a good feature, but, unfortunately, both soils are poor in nitrogen as well as in-potash, lime, and phosphoric acid, and all these elements have to be supplied in the shape of manure if the soils are to produce good crops. My impression decidedly is, that the judicious outlay in the purchase of good artificial manures will result in the growth of well paying crops. The point to be decided by actual practice will be in what quantities Peruvian guano


will give the most economical results for a number of years ? And I would recommend trials with 2 cwt., 3 cwt., 4 cwt., and 5 cwt., of guano per acre, with a view to decide in what proportions the manure pays best. In conjunction with these experiments, I would suggest trials with mixtures of 3 cwt. of superphosphate and 2 cwt. of sulphate of ammonia per acre, and mixtures of 3 cwt. of superphosphate and 1 cwt. of sulphate of ammonia per acre ; also 4 cwt. bone meal, 2 cwt. of superphosphate and 2 cwt. of sulphate of ammonia per acre. I might have suggested to you other trials, but it appears to me undesirable to multiply experiments of that kind, and I have therefore fixed upon a few trials only as likely to lead to useful practical results.


45.    This is a very stiff, dark chocolate brown, almost black, soil, containing—like most clay soils—much alumina and a fair proportion of potash ; it appears, however, to be very poor in phosphoric acid, and it is likewise poor in lime. If lime or chalk, or chalk-marl, or calcareous sea or shellsand, could be applied to this land, such an application would have a wonderfully beneficial effect.

46.    Probably wheat has been grown for many years upon the land from which this soil was taken, which would account tor its being poor in nitrogen and in phosphoric acid. With regard to the means of improving its productiveness, or at any rate to keep up its fertility, I would observe that deep cultivation will do much for this land ; but at the same time I cannot help thinking this soil, although naturally well adapted to the growth of wheat, in the course of years will show marks of exhaustion if wheat is grown upon it year after year without manure. I believe, further, that it would prove advantageous to apply a small dressing of artificial manure to this wheat soil for each crop.

47.    Judging from my experience of similar wheat soils, I am inclined to think money might be well spent by drilling in, or sowing broadcast with the seed, about 2 cwt. of superphosphate per acre, and subsequently, when the plant is about two or three inches above the ground, to top-dress it with 1 to 1 o' cwt. of nitrate of soda per acre, mixed with three times its bulk of burnt clay or vegetable ashes. The

superphosphate should also be mixed with burnt clay or a similar diluent in order that it may be uniformly distributed upon the land. With the command of superphosphate and nitrate of soda, I should not hesitate to grow wheat year after year upon this land, care of course being taken to plough it deep and to keep it clean from weeds.

Yours, &c.,


48. Various analyses have proven the average proportions of nitrogen, and the various mineral matters contained in average crops. They are as follows, being calculated as pounds weight per acre of crop, an average weight of crop per acre also being given.























Oats .........







Beans ........







Beas .........







Mangolds ......







I urnips ......







Carrots ......














Lucerne ......







Sainfoin ......







Mixed Grasses ...














Cotton Seed







Tobacco Leaf ...







Tobacco Stalk ...







Cane Juice......







Megass ......









20 tons 20 tons

4 tons 4 tons

Weight of Crop.

i,800 lbs.    grain,    and 3,000    lbs. straw

1,750 lbs.    „    „    2,240    lbs.    „

2,000 lbs.    „    „    3,024    lbs.    „

2.200    lbs.    „    „    2,270    lbs.    „

2.200    lbs.    „    „    3.300    lbs.    „

20 tons roots, and 4 tons tops

12 tons green,    or    3    tons hay

20 tons    „    ,,    4    tons    „

14 tons    „    „    3    tons    „

6 tons    „    ,,    2    tons    ,,

3,000 lbs. grain 600 lbs. of seed 1,260 lbs. leaves 900 lbs. stalks

27 tons Juice, or 2 tons sugar 3 tons crushed fibre


QUESTIONS.—Chapter III.—Analyses of Australian Soils.4

32. Whose analyses of Australian soils are we to examine ?    33. What

is the basis of the analyses? 34. Name the soils analysed. 3$. Name the leading ingredients of the analyses. 36. Who makes deductions from the analyses? 37. Classify the soils. 3S. Describe the composition of the alluvial scrub soils. 39. Which soil is like prairie soil of America ?    40. What manures are necessary ?

41. What material do crops take first from the soil? 42. Of what material are the forest soils deficient? 43. From what rocks are the red soils derived? Are they naturally well drained? 44. What manures would enrich the red soils ? Is guano desirable ? 45. Describe the wheat soils. 46. What are they poor in ?    47.

What manure would you use for the wheat soils ? 48. Analyses of various crops.



49.    Being acquainted with the main features of the climate and rainfall of the country, leading soils and their peculiarities, the matters in which they are rich, and the matters of which many of our soils are deficient; and knowing, further, the leading substances which crops take from the land, and the weight of those crops per acre, we proceed to examine the nature of those substances so essential to successful agriculture, and whence they are obtained.

At the very outset of our investigations we are assisted by the fact that—

50. All plants, soils, and animals are made up of two main parts, one of which is reduced to gas by fire heat : that is the organised vegetable or organic part; and the other the inorganic, or mineral part, which does not burn ; and each of these parts is capaple of further separation by analyses, as seen in preceding chapter.

51.    To prove the facts stated, a piece of wood, straw, bark, or similar material, can be burnt in a candle flame, when the organic part will be separated, going off as smoke or gas, leaving the ash or mineral part.

52.    On a portion of soil being heated to redness by the candle flame acting on a piece of iron, or other metal (Fig. 5), the soil will turn black as the heat attacks and drives off the vegetable or organic

Fig. 4. fire test for plants, part; then a grey, brown, or reddish color appears, being the ash

or mineral part.

On a portion of animal matter—wool, bone, flesh, cheese, &c.—being tested by fire test, after the dark animal matter disappears, the ash. or mineral matter is left, as in the case of vegetable matters.

Fig. 5. Test for Soil, &c.

Fig. 6.


53.    The proportions per 100 lbs. of mineral matter left after the fire test are (about) 1 lb. ash from dry wood ; 2 lbs. from dry wheat or maize ; dry straw, 5 to 6 lbs. ; dry hay, 8 to 10 lbs. ; dry tobacco, 16 to 20 lbs. The leaves of plants, as a rule, contain more mineral matter than the other parts.

54.    Soils vary considerably in the proportions of vegetable matter they contain, rich scrub showing as much as 15 per cent, of the total weight; ordinary rich alluvial loams, about 10 per cent. ; good open forest grass land, 4 to 6 per cent.5

55.    Wool, flesh, hair, &c., leave about 5 lbs. of ash per 100 lbs. of dry material ; dry bone, from 50 to 60 lbs.

56.    Thus plants contain much organic, and little mineral, matter; soil, little organic, and much mineral; soft parts of animal matter little, and the harder parts much mineral matter.

57.    Plants derive their mineral matter from the soil ; animals, from the plants they eat; and the soil, from the rocks from which it is formed.

58.    The organic or vegetable matter of plants is derived partly from the soil and partly from the air ; that of the animal, from the food eaten ; the soil, from the remains of plants and animals that become mixed with its surface, and gradually mixed in the soil.

59.    Without constant and full supplies of food, plants languish and die. They obtain this food partly from the


Fig. 7. Roots ok Grain.

in vegetable matter. Nitrogen is taken up by roots in the form of ammonia, nitric acid, &c. The food substances are sucked up at the ends of the fine rootlets {See Fig. 30.)

soil and partly from the air—the roots taking up the soil food, the leaves sucking in their supplies from the air.

60.    The food of plants to be available for being taken up by the roots must be in a state of solution ; that is, the substances in the soil on which plants live must be mixed with moisture —with water—and hence the great importance of keeping the soil in such condition as will retain most moisture in a state of suspension.

61.    Carbon and nitrogen are the principal food taken up by roots, the former in the form of carbonic acid, humic acid, and other substances found

Fig. 8. Potato Root.

62.    Humic acid can be generated by dissolving common soda in water with a portion of finely powdered vegetable soil. Let the solution cool and settle, then pour off the colored watery part, and add weakened spirit of salt or vinegar to the liquor. Humic acid will be seen in the form of small brown patches or flocks settling towards the bottom.

63.    Plants take their food from the air through the mouths, or mouth pores, of the leaves. 1 hese openings are shown at P of Fig. 10. They are on the under side of land plant leaves, and generally on the upper side of water

or aquatic plants, and so numerous are they that 60,000 openings have been calculated upon a square inch of the leaf of a lily, and as many as 120,000 on a square inch of lilac. Hence one benefit of rain and dew is to wash dust, &c., from these minute openings, and how it is that plants Fig. 10.    fork- 01 jn c[^ies and towns perish from

the breathing pores being closed by dust, soot, &c. By the waving motion given to leaves they are still further able to absorb their food from the larger surface of air with which they are brought into contact.

64.    Plants, then, are seen to have a regular circulation system, akin to the blood circulation of animals. The food absorbed at the roots and at the leaves goes to build up the body of the plant.

65.    The watery matter taken up by the spongelike rootlets, or spongioles (a Fig. n), mingles with the sap of the plant, and rises in the centre of the stem, and thence to the branches (b), and to the leaves (c), where it mingles with the air food taken in at the mouths of the leaf. Considerable of Fig. 11. circulation system. the water brought up from

the roots is given off at the leaves. The sap is then in the form suitable for plant growth, and it circulates downwards (d), and reaches all parts through the bark or skin.

66.    Various substances, in various proportions, thus enter into the food of plants ; notably, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and smaller proportions of sulphur, phosphorous, &c.

67. Carbon in the solid state is seen as wood charcoal, coke, lamp-black, black lead, &c. The diamond is also carbon, and can be burnt like the others named, in the flame of a candle or otherwise.

68.    Hydrogen is one of the two gases of which water is composed, the other gas being oxygen. The former, with which we are now dealing, can be separated in the manner seen at Figs. 12 and 13. Into the tumbler put a few bits of

Fig. 12.

Hydrogen Test







1 uill'<vdi til


zinc, and pour over them a small quantity of water, and next a smaller quantity of diluted sulphuric acid. There will be a commotion in the glass soon as the acid comes into contact with the zinc and water, the latter separating into its parts and freeing a portion of the hydrogen. Cover the glass as shown in the illustration

HvmK'Gis. for a few minutes, and then, raising the cover gently, put in a lighted match. There will be a slight explosion, caused by the hydrogen in the glass being mixed with the ordinary air. For the next experiment, put the zinc, the water, and acid into the bottle (Fig. 13), and cork it tightly, the cork having in it a common gas jet, or a bit of a tobacco pipe stem will do.

In a short time it will be found that hydrogen is being generated, and that the gas will burn, giving a pale yellow light.6

69.    Hydrogen gas is the lightest of all known substances, and has the singular property of burning, as we have seen, when in contact with common air ; but a light cannot live in it, as may be seen by putting a light into the bottle containing the gas. The light will be extinguished, yet the gas will explode as seen in connection with Fig. 12. hydr^^ex^test.

Hydrogen, as obtained from the gas works of cities, is the substance used for inflating balloons, and raising them owing to its lightness, and it can be made in various ways.

70 Oxygen, the other constituent of water, is a much heavier gas than hydrogen. It can be obtained for experimental purposes in the manner seen at Fig. 15. Equal weight of chlorate of potash and oxide of manganese, after being rubbed together in a Fig. 15. oxygen.    mortar, are

put into a retort, which is set over a spirit lamp as shown. The end of the retort passes through water and under a glass receiver, as shown in the illustration. Into the receiver the oxygen expelled from the retort will be seen to rise in the form of air bubbles. The gas thus obtained, from its heaviness, can be poured into a bottle, and when a taper is inserted, as Fig 14, it will be seen to burn with vivid brightness Or the oxide of manganese and chlorate of potash can be put into an ordinary flask (Fig. 16), when the taper will be seen to burn as shown. After the experiment the manganese can be washed out of the flask, and when again mixed with chlorate of potash, will be available for further experimental purposes.

71. Still another method of testing oxygen is shown at Fig. 17. A small quantity of red oxide of mercury has been

put into the test tube, which    Fig. 16. oxygen test.

is held over a lamp or candle.


As the oxygen is liberated it will be A seen to have the same effect upon a taper as already described, while the mercury will distil into bright little beads of metal.

72. Nitrogen is amongst the most valuable substances available for agricultural purposes (see No. 41.) The gas is obtained for test purposes as shown at Fig. 18. Put a small piece of phosphorous into a small tig. u. oxv=°xidk Cup, or lid of a pill box, place it

upon water in a basin, and place over the flame a bottle (Fig.

18.) When the flame ceases, and the bottle is cool, the air at the upper end will be found to be nitrogen gas. It is lighter than atmospheric air; neither a light, nor any living animal, live in it

73. Oxygen and nitrogen compose the bulk of the air we breathe. The proportions being as one part of oxygen to

nearly four parts of nitrogen.    Fig. is. nitrogen test.

74.    Silica is the most abundant material in arable soils. All plants contain silica, some of them large quantités as shown in the analyses table, No. 48. Sand, as separated from the other ingredients of soils, contain the largest proportions of silica ; but all stoney particles in soils may be so classed. From granite, sandstone, &c., vast masses of silica are liberated ; and in the great laboratory of the earth, portions of the silica become soluble by mixture with water, and enter into the composition of plants.

75.    Alumina, or clay earth, is next most abundant in soil. It is the principal ingredient in clay land, and vast masses of it are found below the arable surface in stiff subsoils. Alumina, in combination with silica and lime, has strong power of attracting and absorbing ammonia, water, &c.

76.    Lime is also abundant in nature. The Australian colonies are enormously rich in this mineral. It is found in all vegetables, so that arable soils must contain lime, and it is necessary to see that it does not become exhausted. The

Fig. 19. Lime Test.

presence of lime can be told by adding an acid to soil reduced to a solvent state by means of water. W hen acid and lime come into contact there is bubbling or effervescence. When water is poured upon limestone that has been burnt in a kiln (Fig. 19), they immediately go into combination, the stone appears to absorb the water, great heat is evolved, and the heated mass falls into powder. This is quicklime, and is the best form for the agriculturist. It mixes readily with the soil, and aids, with the water of the soil, in forming various compounds that nourish plants.

77.    Magnesia is another plentiful earth. It is always found mixed with other substances, and is present in sea water and in the water of most rivers. It enters freely into the composition of plants, and is found in the ash after separation from the organic substances.

78.    Potash, as seen by the analyses (Nos. 48, 36 to 48), is an absolutely necessary ingredient in all soils under cultivation, whether in grass, field crops, garden, or orchard land. Unfortunately our forest soils, as a rule, are deficient in this material, and as it is amongst the first to become exhausted, the soils become unproductive.

79.    Many failures, from the presence of vermin and other parasites, in orcharding and other gardening, could be traced directly to the exhaustion of potash ; and its application to the land, about fruit trees especially, has most beneficial results. The most convenient source of supply is from ashes, leaf mould, and vegetable matters generally ; also sea weeds, which should be applied to the land on every opportunity.

80.    Soda is another necessary ingredient, and one easily supplied where it is deficient in soil The sources of commercial soda are salt, sea weeds, &c. Washing water from the household is a valuable addition to the manure heap because of the presence of sods, m ith the other nutters th^^ should never be wasted.

81.    Phosphorous, in some of the many forms found ;arable land, is a necessary ingredient for cultivation ai>grazing. \\ ith few exceptions our soils are not specially rich in phosphates; but the deficiency can be supplkreadily by adding bone manure, and especially superphOg_ phate, guano, stable manure, &c. In combination with lim^

Fig. 20.

Phosphoric acid.

phosphate is a main ingredient in tl^ bones of animals, and if it is deficient thky cannot possibly thrive. Phosphoric accan be collected by burning a portion phosphorous and placing over the flan,a cold glass (Fig. 20,. The fumes fro^ the phosphorous gather upon the glass in the form of phosphoric acid.

82.    Sulphur, in the form of sulphuric acid, is present :most of our soils It enters into the composition of veg<7. table and animal substances, in the wool of sheep, hair ^ cattle, &c.

83. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, anphosphorous, are found in the gluten of grain, in flesh, imilk, in eggs, and in bones. The chemical substances th^go to make up starch, sugar, gum, fat, oils, and the fibre (jf wood, are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.7 But all the su\_ stances stated must, in some of their forms, be in the soi| with other substances to be dealt with, in order to secur^ prosperous agriculture.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter IV.—Chemistry of Agriculture.

49. What should we learn from the preceding chapters ? 50. What are the two leading substances of which plants are formed? 51. How would you separate the organic from the inorganic parts ? 52. What is left after the fire test ?    53. Mention proportions of ashes

of plants. 54. Does vegetable matter in soils vary’ in quantity ? 55. What proportions of ash are left from animal matters ? 56. What are the proportions of mineral matter in soils, plants, and animals ? 57. Whence do plants, animals, and soils derive their mineral matters? 58. Whence do they derive their vegetable matter? 59. What occurs when plants have insufficient food ?    60. In what

state must the food be ? 61. What is the main agent in food taken up by roots ? 62. How can humic acid be generated ? 63. How do plants take their food from the air ?    64. Have plants a circulation

system ?    65. Describe the circulation system. 66. What are

chemical substances in food of plants ?    67. Describe carbon. 68.

Hydrogen. 69. What is the nature of hydrogen gas? 70. What is oxygen? 71. Describe an oxygen test. 72. Is nitrogen a valuable substance in agriculture ?    73. Where are oxygen and nitrogen

present ?    74. Is silica an abundant material ?    75. What is alu

mina? 76. Is lime abundant in nature? 77. Magnesia? 78 Potash ?    79. What occurs when potash is deficient ?    80. Whence

is soda derived? 81. Phosphorous? 82. Sulphur? 83. Name chemical constituents in various substances.


84. Water is a first necessity for the development of plant life. Seed placed in dry soil, however rich it may be otherwise, cannot grow ; it lies dormant. But when the seed is covered with moist, rich soil, it swells and opens (Fig. 21 a) and sends down the radicle or root (b) next, leaflets c and d rise above the ground, and if the conditions are favorable for vegetation the plant grows vigorously.


Fig. 21. First Stages op Plant Life.    Fig. 21 a.

85. Starch and oil are important ingredients in healthy seeds. Fig. 22 illustrates seeds of maize, wheat and barley, Fig. 22. Composition of seeds.    shows the position

of the oil, (b) the position and proportion of starch, c is the germ of the seed life, and the first part to move towards active vegetable growth, such seeds especially as those of rape, castor bean, cotton, flax, linseed, poppy, and various others, are very rich in oil, and their quality is judged by the proportion of oil in them.

86.    The fat of animals closely resembles the oil of plants, from which the fat is derived. The solid fat of olive oil is identical with the fat of the human body.

87.    Oats, maize, and oily seeds contain most fat making matter. Beans, peas, <Scc., are poorer in fat, but rich in albuminous matter, a substance resembling the white of ei;gs. Vegetable albumen becomes solid by heat exposure, and coagulates or curdles in boiling water. It is an active agent in early plant life, and extends into the mature plant, and into animal life.

Fig. 23. Gluten Test.

SS. Gluten is an ingredient in starch. It can be extracted as shown at Fig. 23. A portion of wheaten flour has been made into dough, which on being worked up with water as seen in the figure, separates the starch particles going through the thin muslin spread over the dish, and settles as a fine powder at the bottom ; the gluten remaining behind in a sticky mass, like bird lime.

Fig. 24. THE



89. Sugar, as the following analysis shows, is much like starch in composition : Starch :—

Per cent. 44*0 6*2 49'8

Carbon ...    ..

Hydrogen    ..

Oxygen ...    ..

Sugar :—

Carbon ...    ...    44*92

Hydrogen    ...    6*n


Sugar is an active nourishing substance, and is got plentifully from the sugar cane, from beets, carrots, fruits, and grasses, and in IN smaller proportion from other plants. In Fig. 24, a is the bud of a section of cane; at the cane is cut open and shows where the sugar is present in the cells of the cane.

90.    Woody or cellular fibre forms the greater bulk of wood, straw, hay, cotton, banana, stems, and all fibre plants, nuts, &c. This substance is not soluble in water; it is blackened by sulphuric acid, and is, by nitric acid, converted into an explosive compound—gun cotton.

91.    The presence of woody fibre and starch in. plants is distinctive as marking a difference between the organic parts of vegetable in comparison with animal life. The woody fibre bearing much the same relation to plants that bones do to animals.

92.    The woody skeletons of plants can be exposed or obtained by first drying the plant, then soaking it in water, and afterwards in alcohol or some other solvent that does not destroy the woody parts. This skeleton is as necessary to the healthy growth of the plant as any of its other parts.

93.    The whole life and construction of plants prove them to be under the laws of vitality in much the same sense as the life of animals, and that they require their proper nourishment—air, water, and plant food. Animals derive their nourishment from plants, from air, water, <Scc.

94.    Animals have a nervous system and suffer pain ; plants do not suffer in this latter sense.

QUESTIONS—Chapter V.—Plant Life.

84. What is a first necessity of plant life? 85. What are important ingredients in healthy seeds ?    86. Does the oil of plants resemble

the fat of animals ?    87. Name seeds rich in fat making material

and seeds rich in albuminous matter. 88. What is gluten ?    89. Is

sugar a nourishing substance? Is it like starch? 90. What is woody fibre ? 91. What does woody fibre indicate ? 92. Can the skeletons of plants be exposed ?    93. Do the laws of vitality

apply to the life of plants ? 94. Do plants suffer pain ?



95. At Fig. 25 we see how plants take in their nourishment from the air through the mouth pores of the leaves. That food is mostly in the form of carbonic acid gas, a substance which is destructive to animal life, but of vital importance to vegetation—another evidence of the perfect balance in the forces of nature.

96. Carbonic acid gas is much heavier than common air, has a peculiar heavy, earthy smell, and is sour to the taste. To prepare carbonic acid gas for experiment use the bottle shown at Fig. 14. Into it put some bits of limestone, and pour over it diluted muriatic acid. Or the gas can be generated from soda, over which vinegar is poured.

Fig. 26. Carbonic Acid Gas.    Fig. 27. Extinguishing a Light.

97. At Figs. 26, 27, we see how carbonic acid gas can be poured from one glass to another, proving its weight, although the substance cannot be seen. If a taper is placed in the lower glass, the gas will extinguish it, and a candle is extinguished by pouiing the gas over it. This gas is frequently generated in mines, and is then very dangerous, from its suffocating properties ; but it gives sparkling and frothing properties to wines, beer, and certain mineral waters, and is then considered wholesome, although animal life perishes in carbonic acid gas, as does the light.

98. The proportion of carbonic acid gas in atmospheric air, is calculated as two gallons in 5,000 ; but it is more plentiful in populous and unhealthy places. In the upper strata of air, 10,000 feet above the earth, the proportion of carbonic acid is doubled.

Fig. 28. Generating Carbonic acid.

other substances, being taken up continuously valuable in the right proportion, experience has shown that any excess of carbonic acid gas is destructive to vegetation

99. Supplies of carbonic acid gas are being added continuously to the air from various sources—all animals in breathing throw it off; this can be seen as at Fig. 28. In the glass is clear lime water, and when a person breathes through a tube into it, the water becomes milky, precisely in the same manner as when pure carbonic acid gas is brought into contact with lime water. It is generated also from decaying vegetable and animal matter, from burning wood, coal, and Thus are the supplies renewed that are bv plants. But though so

100. Plants suck in the gas (Fig. 25) during daylight. During the night they give off a proportion of the acid and absorb oxygen, which is again given off into the atmosphere during the day. The constituent parts of carbonic acid are : 16 lbs. oxygen, and 6 lbs. carbon form 22 lbs. carbonic acid gas.

101. The breathing life of plants, and the process by which they extract the carbon, and liberate the oxygen, can be seen as shown at Fig. 29. A plant, or branch from a living plant, has been put in water in the tumbler, which is then inverted upon a saucer or plate. The plant commences immediately to extract carbonic acid from the

Fig. 29. Breathing Process of Plants.


water. The carbon is retained, in order to build up the plant. The oxygen will be seen distilling out from the pores of the leaves, gathering in globules, and rising through the water to the upper part of the glass.

102.    During the night the process of plant breathing is reversed, oxygen being then absorbed, and carbonic acid given off. During the night also, plants absorb much water which is given off from the leaves during the day. So rapid is this process, that, in the vicinity of Sydney, the roots of a fig tree that got into a well literally pumped it dry, and, by experiment, it was found that a single root not thicker than the finger of a man took up a large bucketful of water, or about two gallons, in five hours.

103.    The process of breathing (Fig. 29) is seen best while the plant is in the sun, or by adding a few drops of sulphuric or muriatic acid to the water. When distilled water is used, which contains no carbonic acid gas, the process of plant breathing is suspended.


QUESTIONS.-—Chapter VI.—Leaf Life.

95. How do plants take nourishment from the air ? 96. Is carbonic acid gas heavier than common air ? 97. Does carbonic acid gas extinguish a flame? Does it destroy animal life ? 98. What is the proportion of carbonic acid gas in atmospheric air? How is it supplied to the air ?    99. Explain how the generation of this gas

from the lungs can be seen. Is excess of carbonic acid gas injurious to plants ?    100. When do plants suck in this gas ? What are the

constituent parts of carbonic acid gas? 101. When do plants breathe oxygen ? Describe how the process can be observed. 102. Does the breathing process go on during night? Do plants absorb water? Give an instance of pumping by a plant? 103. How is the breathing process quickened ? Does distilled water contain carbonic acid gas ?





c —

S P.—

Fig. 30. Point of Root.

104.    The points of roots (Fig. 30) are masses of a tender substance, like sponge, which suck in or absorb the plant food in the soil in a liquid state. Water is the active agent in the process ; without the presence of water, however rich the soil may be, the roots can absorb nothing, and the plants—from the most tender flower to the hardy tree, must wither and die as the soil becomes dry.

105.    Water, acting upon the vegetable matter in the soil, the carbonic acid, humic acid, and the various other substances tha: go to make a rich soil, dissolves the ingredients as they are required by the plant. The root points absorb or suck them in, and they go to the building of the plant. This process of dissolving substances can be seen by mixing soda (an active alkali food of plants), salt, sugar, &c., in water. So perfect is the mixture that the soda completely disappears in the water. So it is with the other ingredients of plant food.

Fig 31. Composition of Water.

106. The composition of water (two parts of oxygen to one part of hydrogen) can be shown by the experiment illustrated at Fig. 31. The lower vessel contains hydrogen gas which has been lighted, as explained at Fig. 13. Another bottle is held over the flame, and the burning hydrogen, amalgamating, as it must in combustion, with its proportion of oxygen from the air, settles upon the upper glass, in the form of drops of water. This experiment proves conclusively that nothing can be destroyed, not even gas when it is burnt; and it shows further, that the gases of which water is composed are highly inflammable, and yet when combined they extinguish fire

107. The experiment also explains how by the contact ■of hydrogen, oxygen, and heat, dew is formed, and moisture is generated in underground drains and in the soil itself. The facts are highly suggestive of the benefits of draining, ■of irrigation, and of cultivation to keep the soil open and the moisture of the soil in a continuous state of motion.

108 Nitrogen is another of the necessary constituents ■of plants. It is obtained, through the agency of water in the soil, from ammonia, nitric acid, &c.

109.    Ammonia is generated from decaying animal and vegetable substances (see chapter on manures) and enters largely into the life of plants. Water will absorb or take up several hundred times its own bulk of ammonia, which is then absorbed by the roots coming into contact with ammonia-charged water, as liquid manure.

110.    The power of water for dissolving the substances •with which it comes into contact in the soil is enormous, it is beyond calculation. It prepares plant food in all directions; but it must be moving to be effective; hence the necessity for keeping the soil under crop, trees, &c., in such condition that water and air can do their work freely.

in. Temperature also has much to do with the root life of plants, and the action of water and the various substances prepared in the soil for absorption by the roots. Thus it is that some plants thrive in cold, and others in •warmer climates and soils.


Fig. 32.

112. Some roots, as those of wheat, barley, &c., flourish while earth temperature is cold, and cease to be effective when the temperature rises ; hence they are winter crops in our climate. Others, as the roots of maize (Fig. 50), stTgar cane (Fig. 55), the banana, pine apple, and others, require tropical heat for their full development, and are summer crops in different parts of Australia.

113. The habits of roots, or their mode of entering the soil, vary from the vertical root (Fig. 32) to those which run along the surface, and spread out almost horizontally. By taking advantage of this knowledge of the habits of roots, plants are found to grow in almost every position, and in different ,    qualities and conditions of soil. In the case of the

'root, carrot (Fig. 32), so closely can the root be made to

grow to the body of the plant that fine specimens for exhibition are got by making a hole with a dibble almost the form and size of the carrot desired, filling it with rich compost, and growing the seed on top of the prepared soil. If the compost is of the nature to supply the right food for the carrot, the plant will absorb the compost, and develop in the place it occupied.

Fig. 33. Fibrous Roots.

114.    Fibrous roots spread more and penetrate deeper for food. The horse radish root (Fig. 33) is of this type, and many of the grasses are eager searchers after food, and especially after moisture. Roots of lucerne have been traced through veins of rich soil, over 10 feet deep, when they had become mere threads, but each having all the properties for suction described with Fig. 9.

115.    The common potato has spreading roots, but they do not penetrate far in search of food. They require potash material, and it must be accessible within two feet of where the seed is planted, or

there cannot be crop. Hence potatoes do well on new land, rich in vegetable matter. "This plant also requires much moisture, as feed for the roots, and also for the leaves, and the soil should be loose to allow the tubers to swell. Under such conditions, many crops ol potatoes can be goi from the same land, season after season ; although for various reasons, amongst them, in order to add such manure as the compost heap affords (see Chapter XII ), the potato does best when the land has an occasional change, to say maize, which has different

Fig. 34. The Common Potato.

much of a

and much more searching root, and can be fed to any desired extent, with any manure available.

116. The sweet potato, yam (Fig. 35), banana, ginger, arrowroot, and various other of our warm weather products, have much more hardy and tougher roots than the common potato, can withstand more changes of weather, and travel further for food and moisture. All of them extract much nourishment from the air, as does sugar cane (Fig. 55), another of the established products of Australia. For them the soil should be of more uniform

richness, and it cannot be too deep.

117. Sweet potatoes and yams do well in sandy soils, but they must have considerable proportions of plant food, potash and phosphates especially. Then they yield heavy crops, without to any serious extent impoverishing the soil.

Fig. 36. The Strawberry.

118. In Australia the strawberry has hardy roots, and is a wonderfully hardy plant, that adapts itself to the changes of climate from the snowy regions around Cooma and Kiandra, to the glowing summer heat of northern Queensland. Let the strawberry have reasonably good garden soil, keep weeds from it, and it will yield fair, and, as a rule, heavy crops of excellent fruit. Absence of moisture soon tells on it, and the plants die oft' in very dry weather.

119.    The sap taken up by the roots, being water holding in solution the various ingredients necessary for building the plant, is carried along the cells or chambers, until it is further enriched by contact with the gases absorbed by the leaves—the process as a whole being much akin to the blood circulation system of animals. During dry weather the leaves make heavy demands upon the roots to pump up water in order that their pores may be kept open by evaporating it into the air.

Fig. 37. Cellular " FORMATION.

120.    Sugar, starch, and various other substances, very valuable to man, are developed largely from the gases taken in by the leaves. Sugar as found in the sugar cane, in sorghum, planter's friend, and other plants, is formed in much the same sort of cells as seen at Fig. 37. Such plants take but little nourishment from the soil, beyond the silex

which gives stiffness to the hard outer shell of the plant, and when this is returned to the soil, it is but little poorer from the crop taken off; yet it is the safer course to make up the little taken away, by adding manures.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter VII.—Root Life.


Of what are the points of roots formed ?    105. What part does

water take in the feeding of plants ?    106. What is the composition of water ?    107. What has underground drainage to do with

the process? 10S. Is nitrogen a necessary constituent? (see Chapter IV.) 109. How is ammonia generated? no. Must water be moving to be effective ? hi. Has temperature any effect ? Is wheat a hardy plant? 112. What sort of roots have carrots? 114. Do fibrous roots spread ? Give an instance. 115. Does the common potato search far for root food? 116. Can the sweet potato, yam. and arrowroot, withstand dry weather better than the common potato ?    117. What soils answer for those hardier rooted

plants ? 118. Are strawberry roots hardy in Australia ? 119. \\ hat becomes of the sap taken up by roots ?    120. How is sugar, starch,

&c.. formed ?


121.    We have seen, in part, how various are the qualities of soils cultivated in Australia, and the ingredients which aid so materially in making a soil fertile, and the absence of which can be made good by adding manures. But it is not advisable in any case, not even for a small garden, to commence cultivating a soil which requires heavy manuring at the commencement. Exception may be made to this rule where a garden can be made profitable near to a city, or other centre of population.

122.    By cultivation is meant the operations in farming

Fig. 38. A Soil Suitable fob Cultivation.

and in gardening, whereby a suitable soil is brought into condition for bearing crops and for maintaining the soil in that condition, and improving it.

123. The soil seen in the illustration is upon a scale of three feet in depth. The top soil is loamy, that is to say, it has fair proportions of sandy and other matter. It pulverises finely, or breaks into particles easily when turned up by means of spade or plough. This loamy soil may be of much the same character as described by analyses in Chapter III. The subsoil may be heavier or lighter in proportion to the quantities of clay it contains, to make It heavy ; or the proportion of sand, limestone, marl, or gravel,



to make it light or loose. For farm crops, the heavier subsoil would be the best ; for garden purposes, the more open subsoil is preferable.

124.    Such soils, in their natural state, are found in Australia covered with dense scrub or jungle (the richest of soils), or with heavy timber trees far apart, and well coated with grass ; or they may be found in open country, free from timber, in which case the grasses and herbs the rich soil bears are rich and succulent.

125.    The plough is the most effective implement for bringing new land under cultivation. Although in the case of scrub lands, in which the soil is literally fifled with roots,

hand hoes may have to be used for getting in and cultivating the early crops, until the roots rot. Then heavy ploughs, weighing up to 300 lbs., are used for breaking up the land, and tearing out all but the largest roots.

126. The plough is a lever of the first order. It also acts as a wedge, and when well and proportionately made, is a most effective and scientifically arranged implement. At a (Fig. 39), the draught of horses or bullocks is brought

Fip. 40. Surface View of Flourii.

to bear ; b b are the handles for the hold of the driver; c the points of the share and the coulter. When leverage is required at c or higher up on the mouldboard, power applied at b is very effective. In good ploughing, the implement should run perfectly true in the furrow from the draught at a without extra application of power at b.

127. At a (Fig. 41) is the point where tthe share, acting as a wedige, to raise the soil or ifur-row slice, and the coulter cutting downwairds

from the surface of tthe Kig.41. Af* Wedge axd section op Scrkw. ,and> exen their forces.

The soil being cut loose by the coulter, is raised on tthe share. When b is reached the slice of soil is still furtlher raised, and the top is being tilted gradually outwards fnom the surface. When at c the soil is turned over, the top) of the sod being covered from view.

Fig. 42. Moving the Soil.

128. The movement of the soil by the aid of the plough is more effectively 3, seen in Fig. 42. ab (Fig. 42) is the surface of the soil, and the course of its movement until covered is seen in the following sections of the same diagram At Fig. 43 we see, in section, the furrows laid! up in regular order for the reception of seed or for harrowing down for other crops. When grain is sown by handl or

Fig. 43. Regularly Laid Furrows

by sowing machime it falls into the anigles between the furirows , (F'g-    43)- a»d is

covered by passsing harrows over the hand, which smooth dtown the tops of the furrows. The movement of horses and imen over the land tend also to break down the furrows, and close up the spaces under them. The covered surface growth is thus converted into manure for nourishing the young roots of the crop. The process shows further Tow green manuring (the growth of green crops for manure)^ enriches the land.

129. There are various forms of furrow, much skill and taste being exercised in this branch of cultivation—in the ploughman’s art. Two kinds of furrows are illustrated (Figs. 44 and 45). The first shows a very Fig. 44. Crested Furrow for Grain.    sharp angle, and

is a desirable

style of work for stiff land, that is improved by exposure to the sun in summer or cold in winter. Prize ploughing is of this type, and it is common in England, Scotland, and other countries.


Fig. 45. General Purposes Furrow-Colonial Style.

13°- Fig- 45 is a more common form of furrow. Here the surface growth, grass, weeds, &c., is turned right over, and buried at the bottom of the furrow. The soil is more broken, the slice of land being broader than for prize ploughing. When the work is well done, however, this style of ploughing presents an excellent seed bed for grain—wheat, oats, barley, &c. ; and when well harrowed, it is in order for corn, potatoes, beans, sugar


cane, &c. When grasses are to be sown, and lucerne especially, as it requires an extra deep soil, being a very deep rooting plant, a subsoil plough should be run in the furrow (Fig. 45), after the plough has turned the soil over. The white streak at bottom of furrow (Fig. 45), shows where the subsoiling is done. By this means the soil can be loosened to a depth of 10 inches, or deeper.

I3I- At I b Fig. 46 we see how the soil is turned — over, and the

Fig. 46. now the Soil is Turned Over.    principle up

on which the

share and mouldboard of the plough do their work. At a the soil has reached the mouldboard, and as the implement moves forward, the furrow slice is raised gradually, until finally turned over and laid against the preceding furrow by the und of the mouldboard, b. The first part of Fig. 46 shows, in section, the more common form, or hollow mouldboard ; the bulge form, modified in various degrees, is also in use. .

132. By ploughing we make the soil ready for seed and for plants, and by after ploughings, shallow or deep as may be required, the surface of the soil is kept loose and clean, and in the best state for the growth of crops. The cultivator, scarifier, grubber, and other implements, drawn by animals or by steam, are used for cultivating the land by pulverising it, killing weeds, &c.8

QUESTIONS.-Chapter VIII.—Mechanics of Agriculture.

321. Should rich soils only be cultivated ? Mention an exception to this rule. 122. What is meant by cultivation ?    123. Describe

soil illustrated at Fig. 38. Describe heavy and light soils. 124. Where are rich soils found in Australia? 125. Is the plough an effective implement? 126. What mechanical principle is seen in the plough?    127. Are the wedge and screw principles

in the plough?    128. Describe how the plough turns over

the soil. 129. Why are furrows laid up in regular order? Describe different methods of ploughing. 130. How is subsoiling •done? 132. What are the general purposes of ploughing ?



133.    The immense range of crops produced in Australia bear ample evidence of the wide range of climate, soil, rainfall and temperature. Than the products of a country, its grasses in particular, the practical botanist requires no better key to the soil and climate.

134.    In the same tribe of plants as ordinary grasses are placed the varieties of grain which form the chief food of man. They include wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, rice, sorghum,

millet, sugar cane, <Src. Those mentioned are in European botanical practice, divided into six or more geographical divisions of the earth.

Fig. 47. Seed of Maize, Wheat, Barley. All grow freely in this

country, though in sections far apart, and come within the ordinary agricultural practice of our time. Maize, wheat, and rice are most extensively distributed over the earth ; maize has the greatest range of temperature, rice supports the greatest number of the human race. All of the plants mentioned contain silex ; none of them can come to perfection without extracting silex in a fluid state from the soil. The fact is significant of the absolute necessity for irrigation, when the natural seasons and rainfall are not suitable for such crops.

135.    Wheat stands in the front rank of the cereal grasses for its great productiveness, nourishing qualities, hardiness, and aptitude to respond to good farming. There are many varieties of this cereal under cultivation, and much difference in the quality of the grain for milling, or what may be termed commercial purposes. The time for sowing the seed, in Australia, extends from early March till late in May, according to location. Wheat requires fairly rich soil, rather stiff, or more inclined to clay than sandy.

Fig. 48. WiiEAT, Oats, Baulky.

136.    Wheat does well on new land; as a rotation crop in Australia, it comes after any of the grazing grasses, or after lucerne, clover, vetches, beans, or potatoes; and is all the better for following a crop that has been manured. Lime may be beneficially applied to the soil before wheat is sown. Rust, a parasitical fungoid plant, is the great enemy of wheat. Of rust, its nature, and how to prevent it, we shall see more in another chapter.

137.    Barley is second only to wheat as a bread corn. In some countries, where unleavened bread is in favor as food, barley is held in high esteem. It is deficient in gluten (No. 23), hence it is not so well adapted as wheat for baking purposes. The grain makes very excellent food for cattle, including horses, for which latter purpose it is used largely in California. It is the principal grain used for brewing. Barley does well on wheat land ; its season for growth is the same as wheat, and it comes as a rotation crop after roots—potatoes, mangel wurzel, turnips, &c.

When malted, that is, soaked in water until it sprouts, and then dried, the starch of barley becomes sugar; hence its value for brewing, and as food.

138. Oats do well on land that is too light, rough, or poor for wheat or barley, yet oats are amongst the most wholesome and nourishing of the cereals. The constituents of oats are : 40 parts starch, 10 parts albumen, 4 parts oil or fat, the remainder of 100 parts being water, woody fibre, and mineral matters.

139.    The straw of oats, and oats in the green state, are amongst the most valuable feeds for stock ; barley, rye, wheat, and wheat straw come next in value for feed. Pea and bean straw are also valuable for feed.

140.    Rye and buckwheat are valuable grains, both being of the nature of wheat in their constituents, but neither being

so palatable. As catch crops, rye and • buckwheat deserve attention from Australian agriculturists.

141.    Maize is a most valuable crop for cutting green as stock feed, and as grain. It is very fattening, analysis showing that the grain contains 60 parts starch (see No. 22), 10 parts albumen, and 5 parts oil or fat. The white varieties are still richer in starch, and are used for making the well-known maizena or corn starch ; pop corn and 90-day corn, small varieties of maize, are richer in oil. Maize is a summer crop, and when eaten green it is a delicious culinary vegetable. The planting season is from August to February. It does well on any rich soil, and can be manured to any extent. Maize has the peculiar property of throwing out air roots (a, Fig. 50), which feed and support the plant. On rich, well-manured land, these air roots are strong

A and fibry.

142.    Sorghum, planter's friend, and millet, all do well as summer crops. Plant-

Fig. 50." maize, ing time same as corn. The two first are rich in soft sugar, but it is not easily

granulated as cane sugar. In America, sorghum is oTown extensively for syrup making ; the treatment for that purpose being much the same as that for converting cane into sip ar * In this country they are grown for cattle and stock feed,"and are cut green several times during the season. All the varieties are rich in seed, which is a bread corn in Egypt India, and other places. It makes excellent poultry feed. ’

Fig. 5i. rice.

143. Rice is a more tropical plant. Varieties of rice are indigenous in Northern Australia. It has been grown in much the same way as maize, and on maize land. During wet seasons, rice has done very well without irrigation, or grown “dry” as it is termed; but the natural habitat of rice is in damp, heavy land, and paying crops are grown only with certainty where _    fresh water can be supplied

in sufficient quantity to flood the crop two or more times during the growing season, which extends from September to March or April. Rice contains 75 parts of starch, 7 parts albumen, less than one part oil or fat.

144.    Beans and peas are desirable crops, coming on well in a rotation after roots. Beans and peas contain 24 parts legumen, 45 parts starch, 2 parts oil or fat.

145.    Of the cultivated herbage plants, lucerne stands first. It can be grown with profit only on rich, very deep (the roots are known to go down 10 or more feet) and thoroughly clean land. It is aspring crop ; the seed sowing time extending from March to August. Being tender at first, and until the deep roots are pushed down, it is best to drill in the seed, from 12 lbs. to 16 lbs. per acre, and cultivate between the rows to check weeds. Under such favorable conditions, lucerne will stand cutting from four to eight times yearly, and can also be grazed during five or more

9 For full particulars concerning all the sugar yielding plants, see “ Mackay’s Sugar Cane in Australia,” 10s. 6d.

years without resowing. It is rich in starch, 40 parts ; albumen, 8 parts \ oil or fat, 4 paits.

146. Clovers, rye grass, prairie grass, and various of the European pasture grasses, stand in value, under ordinary circumstances, to the Australian agriculturist in the order

named. They are all rich

Fig. 52. The Potato.

in the ingredients of lucerne, though to less extent, and all have the merit, the deep rooters especially, of bringing up elements of fertility from the subsoil, so that the surface land is left in as good order for grain crops (which succeed them properly in rotation) as before they were sown.

147. Potatoes do best in the southern or cooler parts of the country, but they are grown, generally of good quality, as far north as Port Mackay, in Queensland. The nutritive matter of the common potato

is almost identical with that of rice. The constituent parts include starch, 20 parts; albumen, 5 parts. The remainder is almost all water.

148. Sweet potatoes and yams are summer crops, and suited for the warmer parts of the country. The sweet potato is richer in starch and sugar than the common, or Irish potato, and like the yam, it does best in deep loamy soil, inclining to sandy. The tops or vines of the sweet potato are used for plants; they are also good for stock feed, especially for dairy cattle, being rich in starch and albumen.

149. 1 urnips of various varieties, carrots, mangel wurzel, and other root crops do well. Ordinary wheat or maize soils answer for root oops, and all can be manured * bone manures and potash being suitable, drilled in with the seed. Their nutritive properties are starch, sugar, and albumen, the proportion of water in root crops bein'as from 86 to 90 parts of the whole. Their value in Australian agriculture is principally for stock feeding, for which carrots and turnips come in during the spring time of scarcity of grass (September to November), Fig. 54. turnip, and the mangels during the winter time of scarcity (May to August).

150. Of sugar cane* there are many varieties, some of them being so hardy that they can be grown to maturity in the vicinity of Sydney. All along the coasts northwards, wherever the soil is sufficiently rich, and not exposed to killing frosts, sugar cane grows luxuriantly. When ripe it is cut down and crushed between heavy rollers, yielding from 65 to 75 per cent, of the entire weight of the cane as juice.

From this juice the sugar is made.

The proportion of sugar in the juice varies considerably, and the proportion of dry sugar obtained, and its quality, depend largely upon the character of the machinery employed.

In the natural state (Fig. 55) the sugar is in minute crystals in the cane (Fig. 56), but these crystals are very liable to injury or total destruction from the action of acids, which Flg,t>5SUGAK CANK

aFor details of cane growing and sugar making, see “ Mackay’s Sugar Cane

iu Australia.”

commence to be formed as soon as the juice is exposed to the atmosphere In no branch of agriculture has the skill of the chemist and mechanical engineer done so much as in the production of sugar—from the beet root as well as from the cane. As an average it may be accepted that an acre of fair quality cane land will yield 30 tons of cane fit for the mill. This cane may yield 70 per cent, of juice ; yielding in turn about 20 ozs. of sugar per gallon of juice ; or from cane averaging 90 (by the saccharometer, a test instrument used in sugar houses), about one ton of sugar from 14 tons of cane.

Fig. 56.

Section of sugar Cane.

151. Sugar cane tops are used for plants, as a rule, but all the cane is suitable for the purpose, all the healthy buds (a, Fig. 56) being capable of developing young canes. Tops and canes, when cut up in the chaff or hay cutting machine, make good feed lor horses, cattle, pigs, and poultry. It is very fattening, and should not be given to breeding cattle.

152.    Lucerne, clover, and rye grass, maize, peas, beans, or the ordinary indigenous pasture grasses of Australia, make good rotation or resting crops between crops of cane, which in suitable land stands five or more years without replanting. The manures suitable for sugar cane are indicated in Dr. Volcker’s analysis, Chap. III.

Fig. 57. Cotton.

153.    Cotton, one of the few fibrous plants suitable for Australian agriculture, has recommendations as a rotation with cane, maize, or other of the warm climate crops. Cotton takes very little nourishment from the soil. When the seed, which is rich in oil, is returned to the soil, either directly or as feeding cake for stock, the land under cotton is enriched. Small quantities of cotton are grown in Queensland, but large areas of the country northwards from the Hunter River, and also areas of the inland plains, were irrigation available, are suitable for the production of cotton.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter IX.—Common Crops of


. Is the range for cultivation in Australia very extreme? 134. Name some of the crops. Name a special ingredient in grain crops. Is irrigation beneficial ?    135. Is wheat a leading crop? 136. With

what crops does wheat come as a rotation ?    137. In what is barley

deficient as a bread corn? Is barley a horse feed? 138. Do poorer soils answer for oats ? Mention constituents of oats. 139. Which are richest for hay ?    140. Are rye and buckwheat valuable

grains? 141. What are constituents of maize ? What is peculiar about maize roots? 142. What are sorghum, planter’s friend, and millet grown for? 143. Is rice a tropical plant? What soils are suitable for rice? 144. Describe constituents of beans and peas. 145* Is lucerne a deep rooting plant ?    146. How do the clovers,

rye, and other grasses, compare in Australian agriculture? 147. Where do potatoes do best? Mention constituents of potatoes. 148. What parts of the country do sweet potatoes and yams answer for? 149. Describe root crops for Australia. 150. Are there many varieties of sugar cane ? How is the sugar obtained ?    151. What

Parts of cane are used for plants? 152. Name rotation crops.

153. How does cotton come as a rotation crop?



Fig. 58. Drains.

154. There are various sorts of drains put down for agricultural purposes. Three are seen at Fig. 58. The first is laid with stones, with saplings, or with slabs, so arranged as to allow water to flow freely at the bottom. B has a tile drain; c a pipe drain, laid on the bottom as shown. Various forms of tiles and pipes are illustrated at Fig. 59.

Fig. 59. Drain Pipes.

155.    The leading principle of all drains is alike, that is, they should be so arranged, and the material into and from which the water is to pass should be so laid that water can pass through freely.

The depth at which drains can act most effectively, depends upon the nature of the soil and the character of the cultivation.

156.    For gardening purposes, drains can scarcely be laid too deep, in order to deepen the soil, and to place the drains below the roots of trees, which try to get into them (proving the nourishment they get) and choking the water passage. For general farming, and for irrigation purposes, drains are laid from three to four feet below the surface.

157.    The objects in view, by draining, are three fold— first, to get rid of surface water, by passing it through the soil; next, in order to deepen the soil; and also, to retain and develop moisture in the soil.

158.    When water passes through the soil, it is followed by atmospheric air, and the oxygen coming into contact


with ingredients in the humus, carbonic acid is generated and plants are nourished (see Chapter IV., Chemistry of Agriculture). I he air and moisture combined, by expansion and contraction, crack or split up the subsoil (this operation is especially noticeable in stiff and clay subsoils), and the roots of plants are thus able to obtain more nourishment at greater depths.

159.    Air, having thus gained access to the deeper soils, is affected by the temperature, and is converted into moisture, in much the same manner as dew forms on the surface. 13 y this means, soils are made deeper, more open, or porous afford more nourishment for roots, and retain moisture much better and longer than undrained land.

160.    For the reasons stated, and because water which evaporates or stagnates upon the surface, is injurious or poisonous to plants, irrigation without drainage might injure rather than nourish crops.

161.    Unless land is so well drained either naturally, or by laying down drains, as to allow water to pass through freely, the application of water by irrigation might be injurious rather than a benefit to crops, for the reason given in the preceding paragraph.

162.    Natural drainage is that state of the soil (see Fig. 38) which allows water to pass freely into the surface, and gradually percolate through the subsoil, without stagnating in any part of the land. The subsoil must be of such open texture, say marly, sandy, or other substances predominating, as allows the water to pass through. Clay or other stiff subsoils have to be drained, in order to allow the water to pass through, and have its beneficial effect upon the land.

163.    Drained land not only retains moisture longer than undrained land, but moisture is formed in the drains in the same manner as dew is formed on the surface, and on grass and other vegetation. This operation is more noticeable in Australia than in colder climates, and is caused by the air, in the drains, coming into contact with the cooler soil, and condensing into moisture.

QUESTIONS—Chapter X.—Drainage.

154. Are various sorts of drains laid down for agricultural purposes?

155. What is the leading principle in agricultural drainage? 156. Are deep drains useful in gardens? How deep are farm drains laid? 157. Name the leading objects for draining. 158. What takes place when water passes through the soil ?    159. Do drains aid

in keeping arable soil moist? 160. Is stagnating water injurious to vegetation ? Should land be well drained before it is irrigated ? 161. What is natural drainage in comparison with artificial draining ?    163. Is moisture deposited in drains as dew on grass ?


164.    Irrigation is the application of water to land by artificial means; that is, by running water upon the land from canals, ditches, or pipes, in which the water has been conducted from a higher level; by raising water by pumping from lower levels in rivers, creeks, waterholes, or dams, and spreading it out upon the land ; or by raising water by pumping from wells (artesian or other wells), and discharging it upon the land.

165.    Of late years irrigation has been receiving much attention in Australia. The marked success attendant upon artificial watering in America has induced the Governments of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and other colonies, and private parties as well, to send gentlemen of experience to America, to describe the methods of irrigation followed in that country, and in order to see if the experience gained there could be applied effectually in Australia.

166.    American experience is considered suitable for Australia, because of the similarity of climate, much of the states of California, Colorado, Utah, and other parts, being very similar in climate to large areas of Australia. The cost. of labor also, and the conditions of life, are similar in those countries. As a rule, the rainfall is heavier in Australia than in the States mentioned.

167. In the Murray River district of Victoria, and in sections of New South Wales, and also in Queensland, irrigation is being tried for wheat and other grain crops, for lucerne and the fodder grasses, and also for orcharding and gardening purposes. The results are such as warrant a

belief that irrigation can be carried on in Australia with very beneficial results.

168.    The first consideration in connection with irrigation is the supply of water; whether it is sufficient in quantity, and of suitable quality for irrigation; and whether it can be brought upon the land at such cost as would warrant its use for agricultural purposes.

169.    The next consideration is the quality, formation, and other points of suitability of the land which it is intended to irrigate.

170.    Those points being settled, the means for conveying the water to the land have to be seen to. In America, where most of the water is got from mountains that are covered with snow during winter and spring, and from which creeks and rivers flow during summer when water is wanted on the land, the usual course is to divert the streams, lakes, &c., into ditches, canals, pipes, flumes, &c., and carry the water through them to the cultivated lands.

171.    In Australia the bulk of the water for irrigation will have to be raised from the great inland rivers, through • which countless millions of gallons flow to the sea every year. By diverting those currents into artificial catchments, by damming the rivers or their branches, or other means, immense quantities of water can be stored. It then becomes a matter of pumping to sufficient elevation, and then allowing the water to flow by gravitation to where it is to be used.

172.    When the water is led in ditches or canals it must move slowly, otherwise the sides of the ditches, and the bottoms, would quickly be injured by the rush of water. A fall of one foot per mile is ample for the purpose. Where, from the formation of the land, or other cause, a greater fall has to be overcome, various contrivances are used for lowering the water, and flumes of timber, or pipes of iron, are erected to overcome the difficulties. Iron pipes, made of plates and riveted much in the same manner as boilers, are being used in preference to ditches or flumes, as there is no waste or loss by evaporation when pipes are used.

173.    Objections to pipes arise from their greater first cost, and from the confinement of water in them.

174.    Water for irrigation is found to answer best after being exposed to the air and sunlight, from which much that is beneficial to plants is absorbed, as explained in preceding chapters.

175.    In America, irrigation directly from wells has been abandoned in several cases because of the presence of iron in too large quantity, and other mineral substances which proved injurious to plants. For similar reasons, plants watered in towns, through small iron pipes in which it had been confined for several days, and taking up excess of iron and other mineral during the journey, has been found injurious to plants, to grass, and to trees.

176.    But where large pipes can be used, and no great distance has to be travelled, and waste of water is a consideration, pipes are the best for conveying the water.

177.    The water being brought to the land, its application in the best manner is the next consideration.

178. It is all important, in all stages of the work, that the water be not allowed to run sufficiently quick to carry the soil with it; otherwise, loss of water, trouble, and injury to the land follow very quickly.

Fig. 60. A Model Irrigation Paddock.

179 At Fig. 60 we have a model irrigation paddock. At the upper end is the ditch, flume, pipe, or other source of water supply. The arrow shows the course of the water-flow. Near the butt of the arrow, by a dam or other means, the water is stopped and the flow directed into the feeder, from which it is led upon the ground in furrows, or small ditches (a a a). At the lower end of these furrows it may

be turned (b b b) into the channels between, or allowed to flow into the lower channel (shown by arrowy, and so returned to the ditch again.

i go. Such might be the arrangement of the field, orchard, or paddock, but in the most effective irrigation all the water allowed to pass into the feeder is absorbed or soaked up by the soil, without allowing a run of water at any point.

iSi. Such a paddock as described would have a fall of not more than i foot in ioo feet in the course of the water-flow ; and there is much land near the great inland rivers that could be laid out as described, the almost level formation and nature of the soil being suitable.

182. In such favourably situated land the plan of laying off shown at Fig. 61 might answer very well, the water flowing through the channels a a a, and soaking downwards to

Fig. 61. Channels for Water.

b b b, through which any superfluous water could be conducted to a lower level, or returned to the ditch or pipe according to the formation.

183. At Fig 62 we have a very irregular field, garden or paddock, laid out for irrigation. The water has been

Fig. 62. Irrigation on Uneven Land.

(After Scott.)

brought in at a, which must be the highest part of the land b b are feeders from the main supply, and the water is then carried on to still smaller channels (cc), following the formation of the land, so as to allow the water to soak in or saturate, without running, which would be as dangerous as in the lust instance cited. In cases where the water must

be let down to lower levels, in order to do what is necessary_

that is, saturate the soil—catchments or shallow wells (A h) might be made, and the overflow water from them used in the still lower parts of the ground.

184.    For farming, grain growing, in lucerne or <rrass paddocks, the plough is used for making the water furrows (c d e fg), men being actively at work while the water is flowing, stopping and directing it in small streams as required upon the field.

185.    In order to irrigate land thoroughly, the channels or furrows for the flow of water have to be laid out by levelling instruments, and by this means ridges and inequalities are saturated by carrying the water round their sides.

186. At Fig. 63 we have a water gate for admitting water from a ditch, or other channel, upon the land to be irrigated. The flow is regulated by lifting one or more of the pieces of wood which slide between grooves in the side posts, and so

Fig. G3. water Gate. a^ow water to flow in, or stopped, as may be required.

187.    Valuable experience has been gained in America concerning the soils best adapted for irrigation, the effect of water upon cultivated land, the quantity of water most advantageous for various crops, the frequency and time for using water, and other points.

188.    The crops upon which irrigation has been used with profit are—

Lucerne, clover, rye grass, and other forage or hay crops.

Wheat, oats, barley, &c.

Orchards and fruit gardens.

Sugar cane, tobacco, rice, &c.

1S9. The soils found best adapted for irrigation are, in their relative value, much the same as those dealt wuh in Chapter III. ; but, with irrigation, it is found that com-naritivelv poor lands, such as sand}’ loams, that would be, in the natural state, of small, if any, value without the water, not onlv yield good crops of grain, and answer for orchards, grass paddocks, &c., but become richer by the process of irrigation.

190.    That the quality of the water used—that from run-ninu,' streams being the best has much to do \\ ith the improvement of irrigated lands is now beyond a doubt.

191.    Water from forest country passing through limestone formation is of good quality for irrigation, bringing, as it does, much fertilising material with it, and which is caught in the soil as the water soaks through.

192.    Water from sandstone country, and in which there is much iron, is not so valuable. It may even prove injurious to crops unless it can be allowed to settle in open spaces, where the heavy matters fall to the bottom, and the sun and air have opportunity to have their effect upon the water.

193.    When the sediment brought down by water is rich, and the soil irrigated is of such character—as containing, say, 50 per cent, of sand—as to allow the water to pass through freely, as much water as possible can be used without injuring the crops.

194 There is much diversity of opinion regarding the quantity of water necessary for irrigation; but when the different character of the soils irrigated are taken into consideration, the temperature of the water, the crops grown, and other features, the seeming contradictions disappear.

195.    In the early days of irrigation in California, Utah, and other places, crops were injured, and some destroyed, by putting too much water on the land ; and statements were made that the artificial application in those dry climates would not answer for agricultural purposes.

196.    For wheat, barley,and other grain crops, two or three soakings of water are found ample for the production of heavy crops. One soaking is given after the seed is in the soil; the other when the ears of grain commence to fill; and a third soaking may have been given between the other two. and while the crop was growing.

197.    Grass lands, orchards, gardens, and sugar cane take more water with good effect to the crops, water being applied once a month during warm weather to grass lands^, orchaids, sugar cane, ¿vc. \ egetable gardens are irrigated still more frequently, and rice land can be maintained"in a wet state until the grain begins to fill the ear.

198.    Soaking or saturating of the soil is, in all cases, found more advantageous to crops than merely wetting the surface, the roots of plants in the former case being able to penetrate in all directions in search of food. By surface watering, the roots are induced to come towards the surface, and the plants are more liable to suffer during dry spells.

199.    The quantity of water necessary for saturating land depends upon the nature of the soil. Such vegetable loams as described in Chapter III. might be saturated by three inches of water, or even less. More sandy soils take five inches, or even more than that, and they become dry more quickly.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter XI.—Principles of Irrigation.

164. What is irrigation ?    165. Is irrigation receiving much attention T

166. From what country may we gain experience ?    167. Have

results of Australian irrigation been beneficial so far? 168. What is a first consideration in irrigation ? 169. What the next consideration ?    170. Whence do the Americans obtain water for irrigation ?

171. How can water be got in Australia? 172. How is water led in ditches, &c. ? Are iron pipes suitable ?    173. What are objections to pipes ?    174. Should irrigation water be exposed to the sun

and air? 175. Is water containing much iron beneficial? 176. Where can iron pipes be used with advantage ? 178. Should water be run quickly upon land? 179. Describe a model irrigation paddock. 1S1. What would be a good fall for carrying water upon cultivated land ?    182. Describe how the water channels might be

laid off. 183. Describe how water might be made to saturate more broken ground. 185. Is levelling with instruments necessary 186. How can the flow be regulated by a wrater gate ?    188. Name

crops that are being irrigated with advantage. 189. How does-good soil for irrigation compare with other soils ?    191. From what

sources are the best waters for irrigation obtained ?    192. Is iron

stone country suitable? 193. Is the sediment brought by water beneficial ?    195. Can too much water be given ?    196. How often

are grain crops irrigated? 197. How often for grass, orchards, sugar cane, &c. ? How often vegetable gardens? 198. Should the land be saturated ?    199. What quantity of land is necessary.



200.    Farm yard dung, as generally understood, should be a mixture of vegetable and animal matters, as collected from the field, stables, sheds and pens, and from straw, garden and farm refuse, weeds and such other materials as ought to be gathered together carefully for the manure heap. The droppings ot horses, cattle, pigs, and other animals, with their urine, the latter material of the greatest value ; when all this is amalgamated, we have a compost which affords all the materials necessary for plant food.

201.    In our climate, the compost heap should be formed under cover, in order to save the potash and other salts that rain washes away. The mass should be turned over sufficiently to rot down the straw and weeds, and no more. The heap should not be allowed to heat or smoke, nor should any of the liquor be allowed to escape from it; otherwise the most valuable ingredients of the whole will be lost. What those ingredients are we shall see in what follows.

202.    Ammonia stands first on the list. This substance is very plentiful in nature, and is presented in various forms. Chemically, it consists of one part nitrogen to three parts of hydrogen. It is generated naturally from decaying animal and vegetable substances, and is the principal ingredient in the odors of stables, cesspits, &c. Water is a very active absorbent of ammonia, taking up seven hundred times its own bulk of ammoniacal gas. In this form—that is, water impregnated with ammonia—we have the common hartshorn of chemistry, which can be made as shown at Fig. 64. Mix a small quantity of quicklime and sal-ammonia, and put them quickly into an experimental flask, having a bent tube passing through a tight fitting cork, and through another cork in a bottle, as shown in the figure. The bottle is half filled with pure water; there is a second tube in the cork of the bottle to allow superfluous gas to escape, the ends of both tubes being above the water. When a lamp is put under the flask, gas is driven off quickly, and as quickly absorbed by the water, which soon acquires the taste, smell and alkaline properties of hartshorn. After long dry spells, ammonia is brought to the earth in large quantities by rain, and hence the almost magical effect which showers have upon crops, and the marked difference seen in gardens by rain in comparison with ordinary watering.

Fig. 64. Ammonia Test.

203.    In the climate of Australia, where dry earth can be stored under cover, and so retained in a perfectly dry state till required, we have one of the most valuable aids for cleanliness, for insuring health, for making manure, for saving ammonia and other substances of great value to the agriculturist. This dry earth is especially valuable for saving human excrement, urine, &c., and as its great value as a deodoriser is taken advantage of, one of the greatest troubles and dangers to our towns will be removed.

204.    Dry earth, in which considerable vegetable matter is present, has a sponge-like power for absorbing water. This property in combination with the property of absorbing ammonia and other gases, makes dry earth so very valuable, cleanly and wholesome for use in closets. By its use, the noxious and dangerous elements are absorbed at once, considerable of the urine and the moisture of excrement taken up by dry earth is given oft' again in the form of mere water evaporation, and does no harm whatever. When the mass of a properly managed earth closet—that is, where sufficient dry earth has been used—is turned over into the manure heap, there is very little smell perceptible. A few days after, the whole mass has become mere damp earth, and if not required for the garden at once, it can be dried again, by turning it over and exposure to the air, and can thus be used in the form oi dust in the closet over and over again, each time becoming richer and richer as a fertiliser. It can be treated without mixture with other manure by adding more dry earth, if it is too moist, and turning it over and over until dry, when it can be used again and again as in the other case, while it is ready for use on the land whenever required.

205.    This is “poudrette” manure, and a fertiliser of great value. It should be spread upon the surface, and merely covered or harrowed in Excrement or urine should never be buried in pits or deeply in the ground until it is thoroughly mixed with dry earth. Otherwise the ammonia and other gases are lost, and become poisonous to animal life. When treated as described the most foul matters are absolutely innoxious, and become rich manures.

206.    The foregoing is the true earth closet system, and a more reliable and perfect agency for town and city cleanliness than any system of sewerage yet devised. The main point towards success, and towards the formation of a rich and reliable manurial agent, is to have available a stock of dry earth. Unless perfectly dry the earth has no effect as a deodoriser. When dry, it at once absorbs the gases and moisture from all animal substances; even dead carcases can be treated in this way, and rendered innoxious at once.

207.    Neither quicklime nor fresh dry ashes should be added to the manure heap where ammonia is present. The lime sets this gas free at once, and the ashes have similar action, though in much less degree. A rough analysis of guano, or other ammoniacal manure can be made by wetting it, and adding lime, when the ammonia will be liberated (see Fig. 19).

208.    The nitrates (nitric acid) embrace ammonia, potash, lime, soda, magnesia, &c.

209.    The carbonates (carbonic acid), potash, lime, soda, iron, magnesia, manganese.

210.    Humates (the humic acid of soils), lime, <fcc.

211.    Phosphates (acid of phosphorous), lime, potash, soda, magnesia, alumina, &c.

2 12. Sulphates (sulphuric acid), ammonia, lime, potash, soda, magnesia, alumina, manganese, iron, copper, &c.

213.    Silicates (acid of silica), lime, potash, soda, alum ina, magnesia, &c. Citrates (citric acid) of potash and lime. Such are principal combinations of acids and alkalies or alkaline earths known to agricultural chemistry, and used in the science as ingredients absolutely necessary for vegetable life.

214.    Bone manures, whether used as crushed bones or bone dust merely, or burnt and used in the compost heap as bone earth, or reduced by fermentation, or by sulphuric acid

_in all these and other forms, bones yield most valuable and

reliable manures for our climate. In the latter form mentioned (superphosphate) bone manure is immediately available for plant food, and can be mixed with ashes, and put into the drills with root crops, or mixed with some rich earth. It is used as top dressing for grass or crops ; the effect is very marked. During dry seasons this manure is not lost, but becomes available when rain falls. Bones are specially valuable for dairy pastures, and can be used in any of the forms mentioned. Four bushels per acre makes a fair dressing.

215.    Guano, the dung of sea birds, is valuable in proportion to the quantities of ammonia, phosphates, and organic matter it contains. This is easily discoverable by analysis Peruvian guano, when pure (which is not the case always), ranks very high as a fertiliser, especially for orange and other orchard purposes. Guano of good quality is being introduced from various islands on the Australian coast. When found in caves (rain is injurious to the open air deposits), it is of high quality. A good guano should give by analysis :

Ammonia from 12 to 15 parts Phosphate „ 15 „ 25 „

Water    ,, 12 ,, 15 „

Organic matter 50 ,, 60    ,,

Guano answers well when mixed with dry earth and applied as recommended for poudrette (night soil). No fixed quantity per acre can be named for either of these manures.

216.    Experience has proven that too much guano can be used ; also too much poudrette. The better course is to apply small quantities, say 100 ibs per acre mixed with dry earth at first, and mark the results. By pouring lime

Fig. 65.

Test for Ammonia in Guano.

water upon guano (Fig. 65), the ammonia is set free, and its Quality may be judged roughly by this means.

217. Boiling down and slaughter house stuff, blood, &c., are all available manures for the Australian agriculturist; but there has been much waste in their use from being applied too fresh. It is better to work them up as in the compost heap, using dry earth, sawdust, &c. They soon become amalgamated, and can be used, say three loads per acre, either as top dressing or in drills; or double the quantity can be used if corn is the crop, or in vegetable gardens; and it can be applied to corn as soon as the earth has absorbed the liquid and gaseous matters.

218.    The droppings of fowls are very valuable, but care should be taken that rain does not wash out the valuable ingredients. The fowls should be well housed, and the manure scraped together and added to the compost heap, or it can be used direct, mixed with dry earth, to cabbage, cauliflower, and other garden crops ; also to corn, where its effects are seen very quickly.

219.    Pig droppings come next in richness, but should never be applied directly to crops. Pig manure is too heating in our climate, and gives a peculiar flavor to vegetables, as found in products of Chinese gardens; it affects even corn and tobacco. It should be composted as recommended in preceding paragraphs.

220.    Ilorse dung is rich but heating, and should also be first treated in the compost heap. With the aid of dry earth, scarcely a trace of ammonia need be lost from horse manure; although as ordinarily treated it becomes heated, and much waste follows in addition to bad smells.

221.    Cow dung is much colder, and does not ferment so easily as horse droppings Except during wet, muggy weather, cow dung scarcely ferments at all in our climate, and makes an excellent mulching material for gardening. The Chinese gardeners use all of it they can get, covering

seed beds with about half-an-inch in depth of cow dung; they also spread it between the plants, covering all the surface of the land, where it retains the moisture in the soil, prevents the surface from becoming crusty and dry, acting as manure and mulch at the same time. The dung of cows is cold and less liable to ferment because of the greater proportion of the heating material passed in the urine, which, wherever possible, should be drained into the compost heap.    .    ,

222.    The droppings of sheep form a manure immediately

available, due, largely, to the manner in which sheep chew and digest their food. The urine of sheep contains but little ammonia or other caustic material, and does not injure grass ; and so finely is their food digested, that it has but little odor, and their droppings almost form a natural

compost.    .    -ill

223.    Pigeon droppings, geese dioppmgs, indeed, the

void mgs of till birds that can be collected, should be mixed with dry earth quickly as possible, otherwise so rich in ammonia and other caustic materials are they, that their fertilising power is injurious rather than otherwise, unless absorbed by earth, or other dry substance.

224.    Salt is amongst the dressings that might with advantage be applied in situations beyond the influence of the sea breezes. The constituents of common salt are 60 of chlorine to 40 of sodium, and it can be used as a top dressing for grass lands, for lucerne, clover, &c. Applied to wheat on the inland plains, it is decidedly beneficial. About 3 cwt. per acre, either mixed with compost, or in the water used for slacking limestone, or as a top dressing, would be a safe quantity for a commencement.

225.    Sea weeds, sea shells, shell sands, &c., are all available for the Australian agriculturist. The former should be rotted or mixed in the manure heap before using. Shell sand, shells, &c., are used as top dressing on grass land with good effect. Their properties are of much the same character as those of limestone, marls, &c.; carbonate of lime is common to them all.

226.    Gypsum has not come much into use in Australian agriculture, though deposits of the mineral (sulphate of lime) are reported in various parts of the country. The component parts are sulphuric acid and lime. It is used extensively for top dressing in I Airope and America, principally for grass lands. When strewn on stable floors, dry or burned gypsum (plaster of 1 ans) lias a powerful affinity for ammonia, which it takes up or fixes, and is thus enriched for manurial purposes. It can then be used as recommended for pou-drette, and with markedly beneficial effect during dry seasons.

227.    Green manuring—the practice of ploughing in green stuff grown for the purpose—is not so common in Australian agriculture as the system deserves.

228.    There are various growths available for the purpose, amongst them being rape, rye, sorghum, maize, young turnips or lettuce (sown thickly and broadcast for the purpose), buckwheat, the heavy growths of summer grass got during rainy seasons. For lands poor in vegetable matter, for scrub soils long in use, that are beginning to run together, green manuring at once supplies the material necessary to keep the land open and supply nourishment to crops. The green stuff is simply turned under (the furrows as shown at page 65), it rots very rapidly, and the land is then ready for cropping.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter XII.—Manures.

200. What is farm yard clung? 202. What is ammonia? How would you save ammonia in Australia? Describe a test for ammonia. 203. How does dry earth act? 204. Describe the earth closet system. 205. How is poudrette manure made ?    206. Is dry earth

suitable instead of sewerage ? 207. Should lime or ashes be added to the manure heap ? 208. What are nitrates ?    209. Name car

bonates. 210. What arehumates? 211. Phosphates? 212. Sulphates? 213. Silicates and citrates? 214. Are bone manures of value. 215. In what proportion is guano valuable? 216. How would you apply guano ? How test the presence of ammonia ? 217. How would you compost boiling down, slaughterhouse, and other animal refuse? 218. Are fowl droppings valuable? 219. Pig droppings ? 220. Is horse dung heating ? 221. How can cow manure be used ? Why is cow dung colder ?    222. How are sheep

droppings available ? 223. How would you treat pigeon, geese, and similar manures ? 224. How can salt be used with good effect ? 225. Are sea weeds, shells, See., useful? 226. Is gypsum much used ? 227. What is green manuring ? 228. Name plants suitable for green manuring in Australia.



229. There is much country in Australia that is peculiarly adapted for a system of combined wool and grain production. Such country is open, or but lightly timbered, as a rule, thus enabling the farmer to get lar(re areas of good grass, and for putting under crop, without the expense of clearing off timber. Such land is put under wheat, as a rule—wheat being an easily portable product, and a crop that pays when it can be produced, say not more than 20 miles from a mill, market, railway or port, where it can be sold.

230 It might be a rule in Australian agriculture that no crop pays unless it can be marketed at such cost, in time, and wear and tear of teams, as still leaves a profit to the grower.

231.    But wheat is an exhaustive crop on all the soils yet farmed in Australia. The yields of grain become lighter and lighter, unless manure is given the land, or sheep or cattle can be pastured on it sufficiently to keep up the fertility. On this subject we have the experiences of Professor Cunstance, the painstaking gentleman in whose care the South Australian experimental farm is placed, and who gives his experience in the following terms :—

232.    “ A farmer holding 1000 acres of land might keep, say from 500 to 600 ewes as a permanent flock all the year round. Considering the state of the land, and the low price of wheat, I am of opinion that, to farm profitably, sheep must be kept. As a rule, of course, feed must be provided for the sheep during summer. That this can be done has been proved at Roseworthy.

233.    “ Sheep folded on a root or green crop improve the land in the cheapest way. This is an important point, worthy of consideration by farmers, for by this system the land is improved and made capable of producing good crops, at the same time being kept comparatively free from weeds.


234.    “ By a little management, a succession of crops can be grown. For instance, thousand-headed kale or drumhead cattle cabbage could be ready by November, and with a run in a lucerne paddock for a few days, now and then, would last through November and December. Then a few acres of mangel, previously sown on a portion of a wheat paddock, would be ready when the sheep are turned into the stubble. By the time this was finished the second crop of kale would be sufficiently advanced to commence feeding oft the second time. Some kohl-rabi, mangel or clover might be reserved for the latter end of the summer. There cannot be any doubt about the practical success of these root crops after seeing the crops grown on the Roseworthy Farm under ordinary farming conditions.”

235.    Where water can be applied, when irrigation is possible, such a system of cultivation and feeding combined might be worked out to great perfection, whether sheep, dairying, or cattle fattening be the object in view, and with such alterations of the crops produced to maize, sorghum, sweet or common potatoes, pumpkins, and other products, as the soil, climate, and location of the farm might warrant.

236.    A very notable feature of Australian agriculture comes up in connection with any system of combined wool and grain farming; that is, the production of high class wool, for as a rule the carcass is of secondary importance to the Australian farmer. That the turning of sheep upon grain stubble, with sufficiency of root or green crops to fall back on and keep them going until they effectually manure the land, is a most effective system for keeping up fertility is beyond doubt (see 222.) But it is not the way to produce high class wool. The driving, mustering, and dirty places for camping, are all damaging to the quality of the fleece. That must be taken into consideration.

237.    To work the system with effect, for wool mainly, the paddocks must be so small that the sheep have no inducement to roam about and raise dust, which is very injurious to wool. And there should be water in every paddock, so that driving from place to place for water is not necessary. Such an arrangement, with an occasional run on lucerne, clover, or good grass for the sheep, would be most likely to have the success desired.

238.    Amongst the very best Australian merino wools are those got from paddocks not very large, but well watered and grassed. Sections of the Riverina, Mudgee, Wagga, Albury, Darling Downs (Q.), and western districts^ Victoria, might be mentioned for illustration of the system. Other sections are noted for bold, strong wools, that waste considerably in the hands of manufacturers, and are valued accordingly. Much of the New England, Deniliquin, Echuca, and South Australian country could be cited for instances of this second rate wool; yet from these very districts come, year after year, clips so clean and well got up that they take top rates in the highest classes of Australian merinos.

239.    The system followed by the very successful wool growers last cited is to graze in very small paddocks, each having its water supply. The sheep are not mustered, seldom disturbed—never unless there is absolute necessity for the operation, and then only, when at all possible, the mustering is done early in the morning or while the ground is moist, and dust is less likely to rise. It is by such methods that values of from }4d. to 2d. per lb. are got, time after time, above the ruling rates got for wool from equally good country, but where the more rough and ready process is followed.

240.    Farmers who cultivate crops, and whose land is divided into small fields and paddocks, ought to produce the best wool. But, as a rule, they do not, and not always because their sheep are inferior, but more likely because of want of system in the management of the sheep.

241.    There are cases again where manuring of the land and the value of carcass for butchering purposes more than counter-balance the value of the wool. Farms of that kind are seen in the vicinity of many of our towns, where high prices can always be got for well fed lamb and mutton animals, and bulky crops can be grown that, from the short distance to town, are marketed with profit. In the latter case the conditions are changed, and wool becomes a secondary consideration for the farmer.

242.    So far, we have seen to the production of wool only; but every care should be taken with the shearing and classification, so that the clip may come to market in the form most acceptable to buyers, and for which the producer has every right to expect the highest ruling price.


QUESTIONS.—Chapter XIII.—Combined Grazing and


229. What sort of country is suitable for combined farming and wool production ?    230. What is a safe rule in grain farming ?    231. Is

wheat an exhaustive crop in Australia? Will sheep keep up the fertility ?    232. What does Professor Cunstance say ?    234. What

green crops answer for sheep ?    235. What would be the effect of

irrigation ?    236. Is high class wool of first importance ?    237.

What is necessary to secure first-class wool on farms ? Is water necessary ?    238. Name districts noted for high class wools. For

strong but wasty wools. 239. The system followed by successful wool growers. 240. Should farmers produce high class wools? 241. Are there cases where carcass and crops are of more importance than wool? 242. How should wool be got up for market.



243.    Dairying is a very important division of agriculture. Under certain conditions of suitability of the land, and facilities for marketing the products, dairying has many inducements for the farmer.

244.    The products of the dairy are milk, butter, and cheese. In Australia, cream, as a maketable commodity, scarcely enters into the calculation for dairying.

245.    Land for dairying cannot be too rich. There are locations where, from the hilly character of the surroundings, convenience to a large town, and the native excellence of the hilly land for pasture grasses, dairying has peculiar advantages. But such instances are exceptional.

246.    As a rule, the dairy farm has to be made much in the same way as the grain, sugar, or other farm, and land should be selected of the very best quality.

247.    Good grass and good grazing, which mean good milk and plenty of it, can be got only from really good land, and it is a difficult and very expensive matter to make such land good by cultivation and manuring unless it is of high quality to commence with.

248.    Next to the quality and location of the land, come the stock for dairying. Too much care cannot be devoted in their selection.

249.    Excellent milking cows are found in all breeds common in Australia, but the excellence of dairying qualities runs in but few breeds. In Australia they may be ranked as ist Ayrshires ; 2nd Alderneys ; 3rd Shorthorns. Then come a variety of crosses, that between the Ayrshire and Shorthorn turning out very excellent animals.

250.    The genuine milking cow, irrespective of breed, is a milk making machine. She must be well fed and comfortably housed against cold and continuous wet, or her milk quickly fails. Chilling cold is especially destructive to milking stock.

251.    Milk, in its best form, consists of water, curd, butter or fat, milk sugar, and mineral matters, all in quantities easily gauged, as proven by analyses. The proportions are, in 10 gallons, or about 102 lbs. of milk :—

4^ lbs. 39

5    »


Curd ...    •••

Butter or Fat ...

Milk Sugar ...

Mineral matters

the remainder being water. The mineral matters are nearly all phosphates, potassium, and common salt.

252.    To supply such rich materials, the feed must be plentiful, juicy, and good ; and the land to produce such feed continuously must be kept in first-class condition ; otherwise, failure comes quickly.

253.    In Australian agriculture, lucerne occupies the very first place as feed for dairy cows ; then come oats, mangels, turnips, maize, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, sorghum, &c.10 Bran and pollard, cooked and given warm during winter and wet weather, and maize meal cooked and given as a drink, are excellent additions for milk making. But sufficiency of good pasture grass, and any desired quantity of clean water for the animals, are absolute necessities.

254.    To insure the proper milk for good butter, more fatty feed is necessary. Oil cake is the best, but it is not common as yet. Oats, barley, corn meal, are all desirable feeds for butter.

255* ^or cheese making, oats with vetches, lucerne and clover hay, peas, beans, and other feed rich in albumen and legumen, are desirable, as being rich in the elements of cheese curd.

256. The drier the feed the richer the milk, as a rule. The more juicy the feed, the larger the flow of milk.

257* As winter feed, molasses has been given with good results to milking cows. It answers best when, after being reduced with water, it is sprinkled upon the feed hay ; or it can be mixed with cooked bran, pollard or maize 'meal. Molasses, when mixed with warm water, attains an acid flavor quickly, and in that state is all the better for stimulating the flow of milk.

258.    To fatten stock, either cows or other cattle, the rules for good pasture apply with equal force as to dairying. Beef, mutton, and wool, are all encouraged and developed by rich and abundant pasture and feed, and plentiful supplies of water.

259.    The drain of phosphate from grazing land is very great. Animals cannot be maintained long in a healthy and growing state unless the supply of bone making material is maintained.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter XIV.—Dairying, a Branch of Agriculture.

243. Is dairying an important branch of agriculture ?    244. What are

products of the dairy? 245. Is good land necessary for dairy farming? 246. How are good grass and grazing got ? 247. Is rich feed necessary ?    248. Is care necessary in selecting stock ?    249.

Name the notable dairy breeds. 250. Is the cow a milk making machine ?    251. Of what does milk consist ?    252. Must

the land be in good condition ?    253. What crop occupies a first

place in Australian dairy farming? Name other feeds. Is cooked feed desirable? 254. What is necessary for butter ? 255. What for cheese ? 256. Does dry feed give the richer milk ? Is sugar cane desirable for milking cows ?    257. Is molasses a desirable addition

for winter feed ?    258. Do the rules for good pasture, water, &c.*

apply to the fattening of stock generally ?    259. Are phosphatic

manures necessary to keep up the fertility of grazing land ?





260. The silo, for underground storage of feed, has lono-been recognised as a desirable addition to prosperous dairy farming. As early as the beginning of the present century, it was customary in Britain to put brewers’ grains into pits, lined with brick, to cover up the contents with earth, in order to induce mild fermentation, and to preserve the feed for winter, and for times of scarcity.

Fig. GG. A MODKRX Si 1.0.

261.    The modern silo is an improvement upon the old time brick-lined pit. A (Fig. 66) is a bam or shed covering the silo (B) ; A may be used for ordinary barn purposes, for storing hay or feed, &c. Cattle stalls may be arranged at the sides of the main barn, and so be convenient for feeding from the silo—as the case is at the very complete silo and cattle stables of Alfred Bennett, Esq., near Camden, New South Wales.

262.    The silo, or pit (B), may be of any desired length or width, according to the storage accommodation required; 10 feet is a convenient depth. The sides (C) are of brick laid in cement. Where the ground is damp, there should be an underground drain, with a low level outlet, or a pump, as shown. It is desirable also to puddle behind the brickwork to keep out damp. 1 he walls of the building should have concrete (Z>), or other sound foundations, to prevent sinking or pressure of the walls towards the silo.

263.    The pit being ready, it is filled with the feed available for storage. This may be lucerne, clover, rye grass, prairie grass, oats, wheat, barley, maize, sorghum, vetches, ordinary grass, or mixtures of one or more. The stuff may be put in as brought from the field, or it may be cut by chaff cutters, horse or other power being employed. In the cut state, the feed can be mixed and pressed more closely, the necessary fermentation is likely to be more complete, and the preserved feed can be cut out with more convenience.

264.    As the pits are filled, heavy weights of iron, stone or other material, are put on to press the contents closely, and this is repeated until no more can be squeezed into the silo; then boards are laid over the feed, and a covering of earth over all. This keeps out the air and prevents rotting.

265.    The effect of this treatment of feeding stuff is to induce a mild fermentation, and amalgamation of the whole into a semi-solid cake-like mass.

266.    Numerous silos have been opened during the past few years, and, almost without exception, the contents were found to be sweet and wholesome, and were eaten up readily by cattle.

267.    It is claimed that the feed is enriched by silo treatment; probably, some of the starch and sugar in the green feed is converted into alcohol, and some into vinegar, giving the mass a semi-sourish flavor, which is always

welcome to cattle, and especially to milking cows (see 257).

268. 1 hat the silo will prove a boon in Australia is very probable. It will induce more cultivation for dairying and stock fattening, and as provision against times of scarcity’, all of which are very desirable.    ' ’

An American Silo of Timber.


The engraving represents what might be a desirable silo in places where timber for construction is abundant. It has been patented by Mr. C. W. Jefferson, of Rugby, Tenn., U.S. The parts are so arranged as to provide for very great compression of the ensilage by the use of a common lever or pinch bar. To the inner faces of the opposite walls of the silo are fixed the metal plates (.4). Placed loosely on top of the fodder filled into the silo are planks, across which rest timbers, one at each side.

Acro?> the timbers rest press beams set with their ends facing the opposite pairs of plates: when these beams are made of wood the ends are provided with metal caps secured by bolts, and formed with lugs in which the pawls (D) are pivoted. The pawls are pressed into engagement with the teeth of parallel racks (B) formed in the wall plates, by springs. The central portions of the plates are set back to form grooves into which enter tongues formed on the ends of the caps ; at the backs of the grooves are formed racks. The flanges (C) of each plate project sufficiently to prevent the end shoulders of the beams, or the caps, from striking the plate. By this construction very little friction occurs between the ends of the press beams and the silo walls or wall plates.

The ensilage having been placed in the silo, and the covering boards and timbers adjusted, the press beams are carried downward by means of the pinch bar, the end of which engages with the central rack. As the beams descend, the pawls engage lower teeth of the rack to keep them in position. It is obvious that by the use of this press enormous pressure may be brought to bear on the ensilage to pack it closelv for preventing active fermentation, and keeping it in good condition until consumed.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter XV.—The Silo System.

260. Is the silo a recent discovery? 261. How are silos made ?    262.

What is a desirable size for a silo ? 263. Mention some of the feeding stuffs suitable for the silo? 264. What is done when the pit is filled ?    265. What is the effect on the stuff in the silo ?    266.

What has been the condition of feed preserved in silos ? 267. Is the feed enriched ? What is likely to be developed ? 268. Is the silo likely to prove a boon in Australia?



269.    It is true, unfortunately, that to the cultivator of the soil, vast families of insects are pests—some of them serious, and not a few ruinous pests. Of these, a few of the typical destructive insects are to be described and illustrated in our series of lessons. But ere referring to them at length, brief mention is made of the more useful insects, as the honey bees (a class of live stock well worthy of the attention of Australian agriculturists of all classes). Then there are silkworms, which so far have, in this country, been a source of amusement for children, rather than profit for the heads of the household. But the time might come when the production of silk may be a profitable industry in Australia. Meantime, there is instruction and amusement to be got by cultivating a few mulberry trees, that the youngsters of the family may rear a few hundred silkworms, and see them spin their beautiful cocoons." The cochineal insect is another of the useful of the series which, by-and-bye, may yield a product of this country. There are some insects, too, that have the special recommendation of destroying or preying upon, in one way or other, the notorious insect pests of the agriculturist. Would there were more of them. They are worthy of acquaintance, as we shall see.

270.    Foremost in the numerous families of the pests of the agriculturist are the aphides, or plant lice. The name means exhaust. They are fearfully numerous and destructive during dry summer seasons. They are with us all the time, more or less, on the roots, limbs, branches, and leaves of plants, and continuous war should be waged against the 11 whole tribe, for they are destructive in the field, in the vegetable garden, and orchard. They are terribly annoying in the flower garden and summer house.

271. The rose aphis and cabbage aphis afford easily observed specimens of the family generally, their mode of life and methods of destruction. They appear for the season in numbers during August, and continue to increase and destroy all through the spring, summer, and autumn, in proportion to the dryness of the season, and the means taken to keep them in check from the time of their first appearance. The rose aphis is seen in the form of a light green fly or insect, congregating in sleepy-lookmg masses near the points of the younger shoots of the rose plant, and on other parts of the plant as well. Some of these aphis insects have wings, others are without, but all congregate in masses, and, when examined under a powerful glass, they seem to be crawling about listlessly, as it appears, or fastened by their proboscis to the plant, the juices of which they are sucking. The cabbage aphis are found in similar masses under the younger leaves of the plants. Almost every tree, and other plant in the garden, has visitors of similar kind, and their mode of life is much the same.

272. The presence of aphis on trees can generally be detected by the movements of ants. These latter insects do not, themselves, harm the trees directly, but they live upon the juices extracted by the aphides. Their mode of operation is seen at Fig. 67. A mass of aphis (much magnified for illustration purposes) are seen (a) clustered upon and sucking the juices from a plant. Each aphide, it will be seen, has two small tubes near the base of the body. From these tubes a sweet milky juice is ejected, and the ants lick up this Fig. 67. Aphis and ants. juice which is intended by


nature for the nourishment of the young of the aphides, but the ants displace them. Below the group of plant lice a single aphide (c) is shown, and an ant (d) extracting the juice, which it causes to flow freely by tickling the tubes of the aphide by means of its antennae. The aphis are really the milking cows of the ants; between them, plants soon become exhausted. The subject is very interesting and deserving of all the study that can be devoted to it. B is an aphide in the winged state.

273. The dreaded phylloxera vastatrix, the grape-vine destroyer, is a plant louse. In some stages of its life, the leaves of plants are attacked by it; but the most destructive attacks are upon the roots. It sucks the juices as the others do, but being under the soil and clinging closely to the rootlets, its destruction is not so easily checked as in the case of plant lice above ground.

274.    The family of anthomyia, the flower, fruit, and vegetable flies, also furnish numerous enemies in our gardens. That shown at Fig. 68 is the cabbage fly and grub, which have been doing fearful mischief during late years. In New Zealand, Victoria, Tasmania, and New

FflyS1ndAghubK South Wales, this little pest (which is shown magnified at Fig. 69) has caused immense destruction to cabbage, cauliflower, onions, raddish and other crops. It is possible that even the dreaded phylloxera

could scarcely be more injurious to cultivation. Gardens of all kinds have suffered from the visits of these flies; the Chinese as badly as others. A is the grub, slightly enlarged; b is the same grub Fig. 69 Cabbage Fly and grub Magnified. very much magnified.

275.    These fruit and vegetable flies are of the same general order (muscidce) as blow flies, gall flies, and others.

The vegetable flies are considerably smaller and more feeble or jerky in flight than house flies, and, when disturbed, usually flit from one plant to another, as though too tired to fly far. During the very dry weather of the summer of 1884, when vegetables were perishing in masses, numbers of these flies could be seen about sundown, sporting and mating in parties, after the fashion of mosquitos, gnats, and similar insects ; but, usually, they are seen singly and flitting about, without apparent attention, from one to the others.

276.    In color these vegetable flies vary from steel grey to black. Their eggs are minute white specks. In cabbage, cauliflower, and similar plants, the eggs are laid in the folds of the young leaves. In the onion, raddish, carrot, and similar plants, the eggs are laid in the crowns at the base of the leaves. The eggs are readily washed away by heavy rain or water; they seem to perish with cold or continuous wet.

277.    The eggs of anthomyia hatch out in about a week during close, dry weather. The young grub, of dirty whitish color, immediately commences eating into the heart of the plant. Cabbage and cauliflower never recover the attack. The grub ravages the plant for about two weeks—others coming to carry on the destruction ; then the grub enters the ground for its next change, which occupies about two weeks more. Next the flies emerge ready to lay eggs for another brood, and so the destruction goes on with fearful rapidity, unless checked by heavy rain, or the vigilance of the gardener.

278.    In the application of means for checking the foregoing and other destructive pests, it is well to note that all insects obtain their food by sucking or biting ; sucking insects are provided with tube-like sucking mouths, by which they penetrate the tissues and pump out the juicy contents. Biting insects have jaws, with which they bite and devour the entire substance. It is evident then that an insect subsisting upon the liquids inside of a fruit, leaf or twig is not likely to be killed by a poison applied to the outside of the leaf, which might kill an insect eating the leaf; but there is another way of reaching them : insects do not breathe as


we do. d hey have, instead of noses and lungs, rows of very small breathing openings along the sides* of their bodies, with air tubes, which branch and spread out through all the tissues of the body, carrying air to them. It \s a. fortunate circumstance that a very little of any oily substance will close these small openings, and smother the insect as effectually as clasping the windpipe will smother a man.

279. Beyond keeping the flies off by means of smoke very little can be done to destroy them ; the grubs, however* are more easily readied, and many remedies are used for their destruction. Coal oil has proved one of the most effective, keiosene oil is dearer, but it also answers the

Fig. 69. An Insect Destroyer.

purpose. I he difficulty, hitherto, has been to so apply these oils as not to waste them, and yet to be effective. I lie apparatus shown at Fig. 69 will do something to overcome the difficulty. I he object of the contrivance (it is not patented) is to so mix soap water or milk with the oil as to keep the oily mixture ready for use, and apply it in an effective manner, i he machine can be made of tin, or the pump tube may be of iron. I he whole length of the pump is 30 inches, one-third of which is wider than the upper part (A). The plunger (B) is of wood, with yarn stuffing. C is an outlet nozzle, with a stay underneath. E is a tin box, holding about half a gallon, and into this the liquid, kerosene heated up with soap suds, is poured at E. A small pipe allows the liquid to flow down to the piston chamber, from which it is forced by the plunger through the nozzle (C). When the plunger of the pump is moved up and down, a small quantity of the liquid is forced out through the nozzle (C), and can be directed into the heart or other part of the plant infested by grubs ; and as the operation goes on, the movement of air in the plunger chamber churns the liquid in (Z>), keeping the kerosene mixed

with the other contents. The plunger (£) when at the bottom of the chamber, closes the liquor supply pipes, and so stops the flow when the pump is not in use. The bottom point of the pump should be of iron, but a pointed plug of hardwood answers. When the point is pressed into the ground it keeps the pump steady. The ravage of the grubs upon onions is checkmated by discharging the oily liquor upon them, and also by hilling up the earth around the bulbs, which keeps off the fly, and prevents the grubs from feeding so easily as they otherwise do.

It is known in New Zealand and in

Fig. 70. Tiie Codling Moth.

280. The codling moth (<carpocapsa pomonella), the fruit devourer, is a scourge of the orchard. It has long been known in Europe ; in America it has done much mischief duiing late years.

Victoria. N e w South Wales and Queensland have escaped, as yet, but it is well to know, and be in a position to recognise such a pest as the codling moth. The insect is very beautiful; it is of the size seen in the illustration (<f).

The wings appear like brown watered silk, crossed with brown and grey lines ; the edges, scalloped like the feathers of a bird. At / the moth is seen with closed wings. It approaches apples in the early spring months, soon as the fruit is formed, and deposits a single egg in each apple, though other moths may also deposit each an egg on the same fruit. Like the eggs of the cabbage grub, these hatch out most readily during dry, still weather, and the grub at once enters the heart of the fruit


(a), which it destroys very rapidly. About three weeks after entering the fruit the core is damaged, as seen at Fi0-70, and the grub eats its way out (V), usually crawling down the bark (e); it seeks a hiding place upon some rou<rh twig where it forms a cottony cocoon (/), and therein undergoes its next change, and then comes forth a moth to lay e<^for a succeeding race of pests.    J

281. Many remedies have been tried for destroying these pests. In America the habits of the insect have been studied closely, and poisoning the grub has been found effective. It is accomplished by using Paris green dissolved in water, and thrown in the form of spray over the trees while the fruit is young. The proportions used are 1 lb. of Paris green to 50 gallons of water. This mixture is showered upon the trees, when the young apples are the size of hickory nuts, and before the stems have bent over so that the calyx, or blossom end of the fruit hangs downward. The poison falling upon the upper surface of the young fruit, where the eggs are laid, is eaten by the worms when boring through the skin, and of course causes death. Long-before the fruit is large enough to be eaten the rains have washed all traces of the poison away This method is now practised by hundreds of large apple growers in Iowa, Michigan, New York, Missouri, and other States, with success. The details are well given in a paper read before the Missouri Horticultural Society, by Mr. H. Shepley : “ I placed three empty coal-oil barrels in a wagon and filled them with water ; I then took a pound of Paris green for each barrel; first mixed it well in a pail of water, and poured it into the barrel. The wagon was driven along the windward side of a row of trees, if there was much wind, and with a fountain pump, with a fine rose, the liquid was thrown over the trees. The water in the barrel must be constantly stirred during the operation, to prevent the poison from settling. Great care should be taken not to breathe any of it, nor to allow the wind to carry the liquor toward the men or horses. With two teams and four men, 300 or 400 trees could be sprayed in a day. The entire cost, including pumps, barrels, poison and labor, was about twopence a tree for twice spraying.”


282. The woolly apple tree louse (misnamed American blight) has long been known in Europe. It is proving very destructive in parts of Australia. The insect is very small, and fastens itself in crevices of the bark, where it deposits masses of minute eggs, so small that a very powerful observing glass is necessary to see them. The eggs are wrapped in a downy, cotton-like substance, furnished by the body of the mother insect. The whole brood suck the juices of the tree, and multiply rapidly. Though so well known, it is not yet satisfactorily proven whether this insect ever acquires wings. Its effects upon trees are to literally Fig. 71. exhaust the part they settle on of all sap. The N wood seems honeycombed, and soon becomes prey to disease. Many remedies have been tried to cure trees infested with this scourge. When taken early, they may be eradicated ; but when the disease has got into the wood, the better course is to cut down and burn the tree, root and branch, and plant sorts of apples which resist the attacks of the louse. To check the disease, scrape the bark clean, and wash the parts with a strong solution of potash. When dry, coat the wood with a paint made of resin, melted, and thinned to paint consistency in fish oil.

283. Scale insects (coccidce.) are another description of plant vermin that are very destructive upon apricot, peach, orange, and other trees. They are more easily kept in check than the former, unless they have been allowed to become too numerous. They are dark in color, and cling to the bark singly and in masses, sucking the juices, portions of which they eject, until black sticky patches are seen on the wood. The stationary scales are the females, and they cover their eggs with their bodies until the young hatch out, when the mother insect shrinks and dries up. While the young are increasing in size, masses of dirty-looking, cottony-like fluff may be seen sticking out all around them (Fig. 72.) The males have wings    72

and are much smaller than the females. scale insects.

Scraping the tree, and painting with lime and salt, or with soap and coal oil, clears them off.

284. Another sort of bark louse (Fig. 73) has become very destructive in our gardens during late years. It is most injurious on French beans, but attacks other plants as well. The parent is a very small cream colored fly. The maggot looks like conchiformis, described by Gamelin as a most destructive pest in France. Most likely the insect has reached us from Europe. Beyond sprinkling with lime, soapy water, &c., and stirring the soil, little can be done to check this ravager, which, like the others, is most destructive during very dry weather. When the flies are seen in numbers flitting about patches of beans, and lurking under the leaves, the very best course is to dig them out and burn the whole lot.

285. At Fig. 74 we have the vine bug, which does much mischief upon young melon, cucumber, and other vines, by puncturing the leaves, which become wrinkled, and perish— hence the name of the insect (C. Rugator.) The others seen at Fig.

7 5 are hoppers.

They puncture the bark of fruit trees; much damage is done to oranges in the northern dis- Fig. 74.    Fig. 75.

tricts of New

South Wales and in Queensland by insects of this kind puncturing the fruit, which quickly perishes. These hoppers look like little knots on the bark, and do not move unless disturbed, when they open their wings and seem to spring to another part of the tree, where they sit motionless as before. Smoke drives them away, but individual killing is the only reliable remedy known for them.

286. Attention was Aspidiotus ostreœformis)


Fig. 74. Oyster Scale.

called to the oyster scale (Fig. some years since by Mr. W.

Hemming, Sydney. Mr. Hemming said —“ As will appear by the specimen orange herewith sent, showing thereon this creature in its scale state, in great numbers, very many of which are living and full, but some are empty (the minute creature having reared its numerous family under the covering of the scale being It is exceedingly object that should the orchardist, and The diagram shows its winged and scale

dead, and the progeny distributed), destructive to vegetable life, and an receive very anxious attention from more especially the orange grower, the appearance of the insect both in form—natural size (A) and magnified (B). It is only by very carefully turning over the scale, and bringing it under the operation of a very powerful glass, that we are enabled to see the very minute living animal carefully performing the natural functions in rearing its young. The flying insect forms one of the vast army of atoms which renders man so powerless to contend against. Some sixteen years ago I first saw this insect in the living state by the aid of a very powerful magnifying glass. The small and beautifully white creature, when suddenly exposed to the light of day, on the scale being turned over, ran about seemingly in great anxiety at the change to which it was suddenly brought in contact. I have been informed by Mr. Lawless, of George Street Markets, that he knew of the existence of this creature some thirty years ago in the Hunter districts ; but he may have then seen the Coccus hesperidum, which is the scale insect natural to the orange tree, and presents, in its young state, a similar appearance to the Aspidiotus, but


considerably alters as it grows older. On turning over the scale with very great care, the appearance presents a somewhat similar aspect to the opened oyster, and the cavity in which the Coccus lives requires to be very carefully examined. It is not possible, I conceive, to tell the number of eggs, for the texture that covers them is so slight that the smallest weight crushes the mass. The whole body of them, when crushed, presents a very curious substance of a dirty yellowish color. The remedies for its destruction are similar to those used for the woolly louse (272). At a meeting of the fruit growers and importers, in Sydney, Mr. R. Power, of Seven Hills, expressed great anxiety with reference to this insect, and was very desirous of knowing how to counteract its growth. At a meeting of the Horticultural Society, held some twelve years ago, feeling desirous to impart the information I had gained to the orchardist and horticulturist, a paper was read by me on the Coccidie or Gallingecta, and I then pointed out the difference that existed with reference to the Coccus hesperidum or Orange Scale, and the Aspidiotus ostrcczformis or Oyster Scale, and endeavoured to impress on the members the absolute necessity of using all care in its destruction. I had found the winter Nelis pear trees in my then orchard badly infested with the scale. It is known in Europe as the pear tree oyster scale ; but, like the apple tree mussel scale, Aspidiotus conchifonnis, it seems to have found in the orange what is more suitable wherewith to propagate its species, and increase its numbers.”

287.    Scale insects are very destructive in Californian orange groves. The mixtures used for keeping them in check are—a soap that consists of forty pounds of whale oil soap, four gallons of coal oil in 100 gallons of water. This is showered or “sprayed” upon the trees (see paragraph 281). For the red scale use 35 lbs. of soap and 2\ gallons of coal oil to every 100 gallons of water. For the black scale, use 30 lbs. of soap and 21 gallons of coal oil to 100 gallons of water. A stronger solution is necessary if the scale has increased very much.

288.    Were it not for the natural enemies which plant lice, like all other animals, have, they would soon become destructive beyond the powers of man to keep them in check.

The best known destroyers of plant lice are the lady birds (<Coccinella) and their larvæ (Fig. 75.) The lady birds are about the size and form of split peas. The perfect insect is of dull orange color, and usually has nine small black dots

on the wing shells. These insects lay their tiny eggs near the plant lice, and soon as the grub hatches out, it proceeds to devour its natural food. They may often be seen upon potato vines, upon melon vines, and on other plants. They

Fig. 75. Insect Destroyers, of bluish-black color, but vary

on different colored plants. They do not look nice, but it is safe to conclude that when they are about, more disagreeable visitors still are disappearing* The young of various flies (Syrphus) are also destructive to plant lice, upon which the mother flies deposit their eggs. The young maggots devour great numbers of aphides.

289. The banana, for many years one of the most healthy plants grown on the river banks of the semi-tropical rivers of Australia, has been suffering from attacks of a parasite at the roots. Of this pest, Dr. Joseph Bancroft, of Brisbane, a very careful observer, says :—“ The general features of the disease are sufficiently plain. The lower large leaves turn yellow, and wither in the midst of summer ; a few central ones retain their green appearance ; a flower spike is thrown up which unfolds in a weakly fashion ; a few of the fertile flowers attempt to form fruit, which become little, ill-developed bananas, green, skinny, and uneatable, the stem gradually dies, and is replaced by numerous suckers. Soon some of the suckers show yellow leaves, often the stem bursts lengthwise, exhibiting rotten sheaths inside, with an offensive odour. On section of the solid root-stock the spiral fibres may be seen, bright yellow turning to brown ; they may be traced into the sheaths as water-logged rotten lines. Why does this happen ? Does some fungus ascend the air tubes and destroy the breathing power of the plant ? On digging up old bananas, the roots will be found decayed, with apparently burnt off black ends. I thought this might be the ravages of the cotton down, but experiment negatived the conclusion that it was a fungus. I then had some scores of suckers collected; had them washed carefully in salt water, then dipped in dilute sulphuric acid, strong enough to act on the skin ; these were

' W

Diseased Banana Plant, with


Fig. 76.

Microscopic Appearances.—A, diseased root. B 11, diseased leaf stalk. C, point of young leaf diseased. 1. Eggs . of the parasite. 2. Eggs enlarged. 3. Newly hatched amined

then planted on new scrub land, that had never before been cropped. When they began to grow, I had them dug up again, and dipped once more in the acid solution. I left, then, for England, and on returning took an early walk to look at the bananas. They had scarcely grown, so severe had been the punishment they had received from the acid and the dry season; yet they were alive. I waited some months and they grew fairly well. The first plant that showed a yellow leaf I dug up and ex; now I

worms, onc-fiftieth of nn incli long. 4. Appearance of sup- r*nr]    j;.-

posed male worm. 5. Worms assuming fiask-likc form. C. AUUI1U «- LUiiUlllOll Parent worm, one-thirtietli of an inch across. 7. Section of TOOt that I had of diseased root, showing seat of parent flask worms,    ,    ,

natural size.    never before no

ticed, though very

many had been cut up for me by my gardener. Here were a number of knotty excrescences threatening to cause the root to die and break off. I carried them home for microscopic examination, feeling sure that I had got some clue to the cause of the burnt-off appearance. On dissecting them there came into view an old acquaintance that I had met with on vine roots, sent by Dr. Benson, of Gympie, and others, and which had caused a fear that phylloxera had attacked the grape vines.

290. “ This creature is a bladder-like body of the form of a Florence oil flask. It is large enough to be visible to the naked eye as a small white point. The neck is curved and the extremity sharp. The flask-shaped creature lives in the centres of the knotty growths in the root of the vine and the banana also. It lays great numbers of eggs, which contain a worm coiled up like a figure of eight. The worms, when they escape, are pretty active, and measure one-fiftieth of an inch in length. They are of an eel-like form, and may belong to the family of Angiiillutcz. When these worms settle down, they begin to swell at some distance behind the head, gradually assuming the form of their parents. Some grow to a greater length without swelling, and possibly are the males. The root of Musa maculata breaks ofi where the worm colony has been located. The sugar banana is more tolerant of the parasite and does not break off. On examining further for the flask-worm, I find scarcely any roots of cultivated plants free from them. It is common in most of the roots of culinary vegetables, and many weeds, particularly sida retusa ; indeed, I have found the roots of sida covered with these excrescences here exhibited, in waste ground never under cultivation, hundreds of yards from gardens. I am satisfied the flask worm is doing much injury in gardens, and may be the cause of people often abandoning them after a number of years. Ploughing up and summer fallow ought to kill the parasite, together with careful destruction of neighbouring weed patches, particularly sida. It will be, however, of little use to plant the large banana without carefully trimming the root stock from all roots, and washing away carefully all the wormbrood. I have not found the flask worm in the solid root stock.”

291 The grain weevil is too well known to require illustration. It has long been a subject of debate amongst naturalists whether weevils attack grain in the field. They certainly do so in this country. In hot weather, particularly about the beginning of the year, the beetle lays eggs in the grain of maize, wheat, barley, and rice, according to the districts where grown. It deposits one egg in each seed

I 2 I

until its stock is finished ; the parent weevil then expires • the eggs hatch out in a day or two in close hot weather! The grub commences immediately to eat out the heart ot the seed, and thus becomes very destructive.

292.    The effects of temperature upon the weevil are worthy of notice. Under a heat of 6o° it is almost dormant, and causes very little destruction ; under 50° it is perfectly dormant. A temperature of 320 kills the insect. This is proved by exposing about a pint of them upon a sack in the open air during a frosty night. During the months of August, September, and October, we do not suffer much from weevils ; but towards the end of the latter month they commence to breed. The female lays a great number of eggs—fifty-three seeds have been found pierced by one insect which had been confined in a bottle, and there was an egg in each. The female bores a hole with her sharp snout in the grain, deposits a single egg, and covers it with a pasty substance, then proceeds to another seed, and so on. By the time she has finished laying, the first grubs are hatched, and, in the form of a small maggot, eat out all the inside of the grain The insect then becomes a pupa, and, in the form of a brownish rice-like substance, continues for six or eight days, and then breaks out of the grain a full-grown weevil. Dicksen says that weevils breed once a month, and that in the course of a year a single pair multiply to over 6,000. When full grown they live in masses under the grain heap, and in a barrel of corn cobs they can be heard gnawing. They also eat flower, meal, biscuits, and everything which contains farina. As they multiply, the heat in the grain increases until it is about ioo°, and then the destruction caused by them is fearful. They even attack the grain in the field, and are carried into the barn with the cobs.

293.    Weevils are destroyed at 150° of heat. Fumigation by sulphur also destroys them, but leaves such a smell in the corn that horses will not eat it. Possibly weevils can be systematically destroyed by heat and by cold and without going to extremes in either case. One going into the business of grain storing could do it; and taking the great range between the price of corn when dear, and the price of corn when cheap, it would pay to build suitable premises for storing grain, and erecting machinery for increasing or reducing the temperature, so that weevils inside would be

destroyed. A heating once or t\\ice a month \\ ould be sufficient to keep them in check.    #    .

294.    Flint, in his treatise on “ Insects Injurious to Vegetation,” says that—“ Weevils, in the winged state, are hard-shelled beetles, and are distinguished from other insects by having the fore part of the head prolonged into a broad muzzle, or a longer and more slender snout, in the end of which the opening of the mouth and the small horny jaws are placed. The flies and moths produced from certain young insects, called weevils by mistake, do not possess these characters, and their lame, or young, differ essentially from those of the true weevils. The latter belong to a group called Rhynchophoridce—literally, snout-bearers. These beetles are mostly of small size. Their antennae are usually knobbed at the end, and are situated on the muzzle or snout, on each side of which there is generally a short groove to receive the base of the antennae when the latter are turned backwards. Their feelers are very small and in most kinds are concealed within the mouth. The abdomen is often of an oval form, and wider than the thorax. The legs are short, not fitted for running or digging, and the soles of the feet are short and flattened.

295.    “ These beetles are often very injurious to plants by boring into the leaves, bark, buds, fruit, and seeds, and feeding upon the soft substance therein contained. They are diurnal insects, and love to come out of their retreats and enjoy the sunshine. Some of them fly well, but others have no wings, or only very short ones under the wing-cases, and are therefore unable to fly. They walk slowly, and being of a timid nature, and without the means of defence, when alarmed they turn back their antennae under the snout, fold up their legs, and fall from the plants on which they live. They make use of their snouts not only in feeding, but in boring holes into which they afterwards drop their eggs. The young of these snout-beetles are mostly short, fleshy grubs, of a whitish color, and without legs. The covering of their heads is a hard shell, and the rings of their bodies are very convex, or hunched, by both of which characters they are easily distinguished from the maggots of flies. Their jaws are strong and horny, and with them they gnaw those parts of plants which serve for their food. It is in the grub state that weevils are most injurious to vegetation.


Some of them bore into and spoil fruits, grain, and seeds : some attack the leaves and stems of plants, causing them to swell and become cankered ; while others penetrate into the solid wood, interrupt the course of the sap, and occasion the branch above the seat of attack to wither and die. Most of these grubs are transformed within the vegetable substances upon which they have lived ; some, however, when fully grown, go into the ground, where they are changed to pupae, and afterwards to beetles.”

QUESTIONS.—Chapter XVI.—Insect Pests.

269. Are insects, as a rule, michievous to the cultivator? Name exceptions. 270. Are aphides destructive? 271. Describe rose and cabbage aphis. 272. How can the presence of aphis be detected ? Are ants injurious ?    273. What is phylloxera vastatrix ?    274.

Are the anthomyia injurious? 275. To what general order do they belong ? How do they attack vegetables ? 277. Describe the life of the insect. 278. Plow do insects obtain their living ? How do they breathe ?    279. How can they be destroyed ? Describe

method for applying kerosene remedy. 280. What is codling moth? 281. How is the insect destroyed ?    282. Describe the

woolly or American blight. How can it be checked ?    283.

Describe scale insects and plant lice. 285. Are vine bugs destructive ?    286. Describe the orange tree oyster scale. 287. How are

scale insects dealt with in California? 288. Describe some natural enemies of insect pests. 289. Describe a discovered cause of banana disease. 291. Does the grain weevil attack grain in the field ?    292. Does temperature affect weevils ?    293. At what heat

do they perish ? Are weevils beetles ? 294. Do they injure plants ?



Fig. 77. Rusted Wheat.

296.    A parasite may be either a plant living upon another plant, or it may be an animal living upon plants, as in the case of aphis and plant lice; or the parasite may live upon other animals, as the case is with flukes in sheep, the scab insect, and others. Australian agriculturists have to contend with numbers of such parasites in the field. Domestic animals in this country, so far, have been wondrously exempt from ailments of epidemic kind, a fact due, in great measure, to the very excellent system of stock inspection common to all the colonies, and the departments of which work well to each other, to the great benefit of the whole community.

297.    Wheat rust (Fig. 77), thepaccinia graminis of botanists, stands in the front rank of the scourges of cultivated grains. It is a true parasite of the order fungi, which exist only by living upon other plants. It is supposed to be the peculiar parasite of the barberry plant, but rust is known to attack and live upon oats, barley, and several of the indigenous grasses, as well as wheat, and upon all of which the parasite, which increases very rapidly during warm, moist weather, does immense damage. The minute spores, or seed of the rust plant, are double ; that is, two of them are attached to each other, and being minute as small dust, they are blown about by the winds, and carried about in the clothes of passers-by, and on the hair or fur of animals. As soon as these minute seeds reach a


spot suitable for their vegetation, they become fast to it and in a few hours start into their destructive life, pushing roots into the wheat or other plant, and living upon its juices. The skin of the wheat plant is ruptured and burst by the thread-like mass of rust. The first indications of the enemy are yellowish spots on the straw or leaf of the crop, and these when examined under a powerful glass are seen to be blisters caused by the parasite. As the parasite continues to grow, the skin over the upraised spots on the crop is burst off, and the multitudes of oval bodies, the matured seed or spores of the rust, are exposed to view. They are of a bright reddish, orange color, and produce the characteristic appearance of the surface of rusty wheat plants. The color and the substance which shakes out upon the boots and clothes, is not unlike that of iron rust, and the name, therefore, is well chosen. The spores are easily detached from the minute thready stalks that bear them. These spores also germinate in a few hours, when provided with suitable conditions of warmth and moisture.

298. At Fig. 78 we see two spores (,a, a) that have fallen upon the surface of a young wheat leaf—the sketch showing, the spores and method of growth, magnified four hundred times. The spores germinate at two points on opposite sides, and the filaments grow irregularly over the surface (b) until a breathing pore of the wheat plant (c) is found in the skin of the leaf, when they pass into the interior of the leaf. After an entrance is effected, the filaments branch, and rapidly increase in length and number, at the expense of the juices of the wheat plant, and in a few days new rust spots are produced. In this manner several generations of the rust plant succeed each other with fearful rapidity, the pest proving most destructive where it appears in abundance shortly after the wheat has blossomed, and especially during moist, warm

weather. In such case, it is soon seen that the substance of the wheat plant has been stolen, and employed in the formation of countless yellow spores of the fungus.

299. Fig. 79 illustrates a portion of a diseased wheat leaf, three times enlarged, showing the rust in small oval spots scattered over the surface. Each one of these spots is a ruptured place in the epidermis or skin of the leaf. If a young spot, just forming, is cut with a sharp razor, and a thin slice placed under a microscope, we will have in view, when magnified 200 times, the process by which the parasite is seizing upon the juices of the wheat plant are seen, and the mode by which it lives.

300.    At Fig.

80 the mode of life of the parasite is still further enlarged. The circles at a are the ordinary cells, making up the substance of the leaf, and from which the skin (b) has been    Fig.80- section op rust pustule.

burst away by the

growth of a multitude of threads and oval bodies, between them ; these fine filaments are the roots, so to speak, of the minute rust plant, and the bright oval bodies are the “ seeds,” the red dust with which we become acquainted in passing through rusted grain.

301.    Wheat rust may appear at any time after the crop has commenced to grow vigorously. It has been observed on self-sown wheat—which is the most likely to be first attacked during August. At other times the grain went on all right until the ear was filling, when rust appeared, and


did mischief in proportion to the dampness of the season or the state of ripeness of the grain. When the straw is pretty well ripe, and the grain has commenced to harden rust makes little headway.    ’

302.    There is much difference in the strength of various sorts of wheat to resist rust. Those sorts with the stiffest and hardest straw, are, as a rule, the hardiest. The proportion of silica in the straw, and the consequent effect upon the juices, have, in all probability, much to do with keeping rust in check ; but there are exceptions to this rule, due to atmospheric causes no doubt, when very hard Indian and bearded wheats yielded to rust. Still, it is safe practice," in selecting seed, to choose the varieties having the best reputation for resisting this scourge.

303. As all that can be done, with any degree ot certainty to check rust, is in burning and clearing off all old stubble and grass patches likely to be maintaining rust spores; and in the selection of healthy seed, and its preparation for sowing, these matters have to be attended to closely. From the very nature of the rust spores, in the form of fine dust as they are, it is important to select full and plump grain ; otherwise, there may be masses of rust seeds in the skin of the seed ere it is planted.

304.    It is to overcome the latter risk, to destroy any seed spores of rust that may be in the seed grain, that the custom of steeping the latter has become almost universal, and with the very best reasons for the practice. Various substances have been used for steeping seed wheat, amongst them strong pickle of salt, lime and salt, chamber lye, ammonia water, carbolic acid, and various other substances. The best and most reliable of all, however, is bluestone, or sulphate of copper. This substance is easily obtainable, it is not costly, and its action upon grain is well known and reliable. It is a dangerous poison, however, and every care has to be used in employing it, and to see that neither the bluestone liquid, nor grain soaked in it, is reached by live stock of any kind.

305.    The mode of using bluestone is to allow about half lb. of the mineral for each bag of seed to be steeped. The bluestone is powdered, and dissolved in warm water, then mixed with cold water for use. If, say, five bags of seed are to be steeped, 3 lbs. of bluestone dissolved is put into half-a-cask of water, which is ample for the steep. The usual practice is to put about two bushels of seed in a bag, and place it in the steep for not more than three minutes, then the bag is allowed to drain over a tub, until all the steep water runs from it—the grain may then be sown at once ; if that is not convenient, it should be spread out to dry, or it can be rolled in ashes or lime until dry, and then bagged for use. Another, and possibly the better, way for using bluestone water is to put the seed, say four bushels, in a trough, having a perforated bottom, and sprinkle the bluestone water over it until all the seed is wet, then sow, or dry it. as in the other case ; but the steeping must be done quickly, otherwise the bluestone water will destroy the seed.

-06. Mr. R. W. E. M‘Ivor, an agricultural chemist of much experience in Australia, bears evidence to the effects that solutions of bluestone had upon some varieties of wheat—particularly Tuscan. Experiments were undertaken to discover what strength of solution would effectually destroy the spores adhering to the seed without damaging the grain. It was ascertained that where Tuscan wheat was treated to a solution of 2 oz. to one quart of water (which is equal to 1 lb. of bluestone) to the bag of wheat, more than one half the seed was killed, germination of the other half being delayed eleven days. With a solution half this strength one-fourth of the dressed seed was killed. For this reason, and because carbolic acid was being advertised as a certain preventive of smut, an extensive investigation was made, and the following conclusions arrived at: 1. That sulphate of copper (bluestone) is the only substance effective in killing smut spores. 2. That with adulterated bluestone the effects are relative, according to the copper sulphate present. 3. The carbolic acid is useless. 4. That bluestone retards germination, weakens the young wheat plant, and in strong solutions even kills a large proportion of some kinds of wheat. 5. That solutions containing 1 oz. of bluestone to tw^o quarts of water, or 2 oz. per bushel of seed, are strong enough to kill the smut spores. 6. That it is probable that by damping the wheat a fewhours before dressing it, so that the smut spores are swelled up and made more susceptible, a much weaker solution of bluestone may be used.


307.    Ihe latter is a most valuable recommendation as can be seen by experiment, in order to force the growth of rust spores. 1 his can be done by placing some wheat seed infested with the pest, upon a piece of flannel placed over a water bath, which must be kept at a warm temperature, say between 90 and 100 . In this position the rust spores are seen, with the aid of a powerful glass, to burst into growth, which quickly covers the grain with a network of threads. These are the roots and shoots of the rust parasite already described, and if the moisture and heat are maintained, the rust will go through all its stages of growth, and mature its seed—the red dust, only too well known in our wheat fields.

308. ^ Taking advantage of this readiness of the rust to sprout, it might be a profitable course, as saving seed and bluestone, to steep the seed first in warm water and in a warm place; a few hours would be sufficient, under such favorable conditions, to start the rust into growth, then it could be very effectually killed by a much weaker bluestone steep.

309.    Steeping the seed kills the spores that may be on it. To check the advance of rust growth in the field, it is now customary, when the early season of growth is favorable, and the young wheat starts rank, or “ proud” as it is termed, to eat it down with sheep. This is undoubtedly good practice; so is rolling the grain, and seeing that the land is so drained as to prevent water stagnating about it. In heat and moisture rust luxuriates. Dryness checks it.

310.    The dodder of lucerne is caused by another parasite plant which, twisting itself about the lucerne in threadlike masses, lives upon the crop, and chokes it to death. Dodder, like rust, ripens upon the plant which it infests ; but the seed, unlike the spores of rust, has the power of vegetating in the soil, where it puts out roots like an ordinary plant, and sends up a thin twiny stalk, which fastens itself to any plant near it. It will ripen and seed thus independently; but should the plant near it be lucerne, the dodder roots die off, and the parasite then lives upon the lucerne. As the dodder increases, it separates into bits, each of which continues to extend. The presence of


dodder in lucerne is seen in one or more dirty brownish patches that look as though fire had fallen there* On examination these spots are seen to be masses of fibre twisted in all directions amongst the perishing lucerne. Active measures are necessary to check this destroyer, which flowers and throws off masses of seeds, in addition to separating and spreading, as described. The infected portions "should be chipped at once with the hoe, and allowed to dry. During a windy day, this work can be done with safety, as the dodder quickly loses the power of reproducing itself and spreading when chipped. Then cover the patch or patches with rubbish, branches, leaves, &c.. and burn up the whole lot. It is best to leave the patches bare for a time, in order to watch for any extension of the dodder around the edges. When the parasite is seen to be totally destroyed, the patches can be resown.

311. Sheep suffer from various parasites, as do other animals; amongst them being the fluke insect, shown in various stages in Fig. 81. In some countries the disease induced by this parasite is termed “ rot.” It is very destructive, but it can be controlled. Figs. 1, 2 and 3, in the engraving, illustrate the cause of the trouble. These insects are found in the biliary ducts of sheep and many other animals as well. The fluke insect, in the natural state, is about an inch in length and one*third of an inch in


breadth. The eyes (Fig. 2) are placed on the most prominent part of the head, and are very similar to those of a bird. Sometimes the pests are found in hundreds in the liver, and every organ is then more or less diseased. Sheep of all ages suffer from them; and while in England the disease is almost confined to low, swampy ground in Australia it is rife in the high lands, and is not so often fatal.

312.    Salt is the remedy found most effective in checking the advances of fluke, and of intestinal parasites generally, rhe use of salt, in Australia, is undoubtedly beneficial to stock of all kinds, and its use is becoming more and more general. Gut-rot and coast disease are almost identical with fluke disease, and succumb to the same remedy, salt, which seems a panacea almost for all the ills that sheep are heir to in Australia. In the absence of salt bush, the best plan is to lay salt in troughs or on the ground, forming licking places, to which the sheep eagerly resort so long as they have need of it. Under any circumstances sheep require salt in some shape.

313.    Foot-rot is not infectious. It is chiefly caused by despasturing on low, wet ground. The hoof grows faster than the sheep can wear it away, and the crust or wall of the hoof bends over the sole; or, from the weight of the sheep pressing on the walls alone, without the aid of the sole, the hoof detaches itself at the coronet. Ulcers and other complications occur, which are successfully treated with a solution of arsenic or lime water, after the hoof has been pared away. The sheep should then be removed to dry pasture.

314.    Scab in sheep is a cutaneous disease similar to mange in horses, and itch in men. It is caused, and propagated, by a minute acari insect. M. Waly, a German veterinarian, says, if one or more female acari are placed on the wool, they quickly penetrate the skin and propagate, till the poor animal has myriads to prey on him. Fig. 10 represents the acari of their natural size, on a white ground, being mere specks. Fig. 11 is the male on its back, magnified many times its natural size. Fig. 9 is the female. The


heads or suckers of both point upward, between the inner pair of legs. The legs have trumpet-like appendices. Hairs are seen on them, to which the young ones adhere, when they first escape from the pustule. The merino is less liable to its attacks than long woolled sheep. The disease is highly contagious. It is watched with much vigilance in Australia, and stringent quarantine regulations are enforced to prevent its introduction.

315.    There are numbers of remedies for scab—tobacco, sulphur, arsenic, mercurial ointment, oil of tar, corrosive sublimate, and others. The old Australian remedy is 5 oz. good tobacco infused in 1 gallon of boiling water, and 3 oz. sulphur. Mr. Randall, an American authority on sheep, recommends the occasional addition ot a little spirits of turpentine, which, of course, does not mix with the infusion but floats on the top. Two or three dippings in the above, as a rule, insure a cure. Each sheep should be caught, and the scabs scoured off with hard brushes, dipped in the infusion, before the animal is plunged in. The head also should be carefully dressed with the same. Sulphur does not destroy the acarus, but acts as an anti-contagionist.

316.    Gnib in the head is a local disease not very common in Australia. The sheep gad fly is led by instinct to deposit its eggs in the nostril of the sheep, and when these flies are about, the alarmed animals collect in mobs, with their heads inward and their noses thrust close to the ground to avoid them. When attacked they sometimes become frantic with the irritation. If a ploughed furrow or loose soil is near in which the sheep can thrust their noses they will do so. Tar rubbed on the nose is supposed to keep away the fly. The disease is very vague, and there is no remedy. Fig. 7 represents the gad fly one half size. Figs. 4 and 6 give the shape, and an upper and under view of the full grown larva. The chrysalis is shown in Fig. 5, and Fig. 8 shows the upper extremity or head of the pupa, detached by the fly in its escape.

QUESTIONS—Chapter XVII—Plant and Animal Parasites.

296. What are parasites ? 297. What is wheat rust ? 298. How does rust attack the leaf ? 299. Has rust got roots? 300. Is moisture necessary for the growth of rust? 301. When may rust appear in Australia ? 302. Do some wheats resist rust ? 303. What can be done to check rust ?    304. Why is seed wheat steeped ? 305. How

is bluestone used? 306. Describe experiments with bluestone? 307. Can rust spores be forced to grow ? 30S. What effect would steeping in warm water have? 309. Is feeding down with sheep advisable? 310. What is the dodder of lucerne? How would you destroy dodder?    311. Is fluke in sheep destructive? Where

are flukes found ? 312. Is salt a remedy? 313. How is foot-rot caused? 314. What causes scab? 315. Name remedies for scab. 316. What causes grub in the head of sheep ?



317.    Of late years no agent has come into greater favor amongst agriculturists than salt. It is now used extensively in the°feeding of stock of all kinds, many graziers believing, and with good reason, that without salt, sheep, cattle, and horses become prey to worms, flukes, and other parasites (311)- Much of the land of this country being destitute, or nearly so, of salt in its natural state, the native animals—kangaroos, wallabies, ’possums, and even birds— are, in many places, found to be swarming with intestinal


318.    Sheep put upon land of this kind suffer from the same pests, but a remedy is afforded them in the free use of salt, which they lick up greedily. Cattle and horses soon acquire a liking for salt, but at first it has to be given them sparingly in troughs or in their feed.

319.    The action of salt upon the animal system is evident to a degree, and easily understood. After acting as a relish upon the palate, it stimulates digestion in the stomach, and passing through, a portion remains in the blood. The greater proportion, however, passes directly through the system, and, in conjunction with other ingredients met in its passage, it becomes a fertilising agent in the soil. It is an absolute fact, therefore, that graziers who use this agent freely, in addition to directly benefiting their stock, they also, and very decidedly, benefit the herbage and the soil by adding an ingredient to it of which Australian soils are very generally deficient.

320.    Without salt in the system no animal can thrive (they may exist) without a full supply of it. Salt acts actively and powerfully upon the digestive organs. When these are full, blood accumulates in sympathy around the coating of the stomach, and, largely through the agency of the salt, draws off the moisture of the food. It promotes the circulation, prevents flatulency, and aids digestion and appetite and the power to lay on flesh as natural consequences. In addition to this beneficial action in the system


of the larger animals, salt is destructive to the life of parasites that infect the system (see Chapter XVII.) Its effects in this respect may be seen by applying salt directly, or as a watery solution, to worms, grubs, leeches, or other animalcule of similar nature to those that inhabit the animal system.

321.    Salt is also used as a wash for destroying insect and fungus growth on plants. It is used largely as a mixture with lime, potash, soda, urine, &c., for destroying oidium, American blight, &c. It is also used for steeping seed wheat, and with markedly successful results. Mr. Spreadborough, an agriculturist of the Darling Downs, was very decided in his testimony regarding the beneficial effects of salt for steeping seed, and also for fertilising wheat soil. He took especial note of the use of salt as a steep and as a manure while in England, and found it in very high favor. Thus the agriculture of the present day bears out Baxter, who says—“ Salt, it should be remembered, rarely causes the wheat plant to grow larger and taller, but it fills up the ear better, and brings the weaker plants forward. We have it on the authority of Mr. Sinclair, ‘ that salt appears to lessen the produce of straw and increase the weight of grain.’ We have never been able in our experiments, or any we have witnessed, to see an increased quantity of straw, even in cases where there was an increased produce, by means of salt, of six bushels of wheat per acre.’’ The same authority adds—“ I cannot enforce this too much upon the attention of the agriculturist. Let not the farmer be deceived by appearances ; let him have the salted and unsalted portions, at harvest time, carefully separated and examined by weight, if the plots are small, or measure will answer if extensive. A few square roods, or even yards, of each, will be sufficient; and we have no hesitation in saying that he will find the result highly in favor of salt.” In field practice it is recommended that the salt be applied some time before sowing the seed, at the rate of not less than ten, and not more than twenty, bushels per acre.

322.    The use of salt for stock, for sheep especially, was advocated many years since by C. H. Haly, Esq., of Queensland, and its use generally is due to his exertions. The late Robert Alexander, of Redbank, also did much to make graziers acquainted with the benefits of salt as a condiment.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter XVIII.—Salt in Agriculture.

317. Is salt beneficial in agriculture ? Do kangaroos suffer from parasites? 318. Do sheep and cattle like salt? 319. What is the action of salt upon the animal system ? 320. Is salt necessary for health? 321. For what other purposes is salt used ? 322. Name men prominent in recommending the use of salt.



323.    Ours being a forcing climate for fruit trees, with few exceptions, pruning is a primary necessity towards success in fruit growing. From the first season of growth, the young tree or vine should be attended to, in order to prevent overgrowth, and to regulate the form, in order to secure the best results as a fruit yielder ; and this system of regulating the growth has to be continued all through the life of the plant.

324.    There are various kinds of pruning. The most effective and natural of all the methods is disbudding, or rubbing out the leaf or fruit buds that are not considered necessary for the development of the plant. The process is very simple. During early spring (mostly during the months of July, August and September, according to the family of the plant, and the position in respect to climate), the buds, both fruit buds and leaf buds, are seen to swell, and soon open out into flower and leaf. At this time, the connection of the bud with the parent plant is very tender, and by simply rubbing the bud it comes away upon the fingers. Scarcely a scar is left where the bud was, and it is seldom that sap flows from the place where it grew. In a few days the slight wound is healed up. This is disbudding, or rubbing out the buds, and when attended to, after the manner that careful gardeners attend to such matters, the growth of a plant can be very closely regulated by disbudding.

325.    In other cases, the pruning shears or pruning knife, and saw, have to be used. While the trees are at rest, during winter (May, June and July) is the season for pruning, as a rule. The exceptions are in the case of evergreen and tropical plants, and for summer pruning— the latter to be described in another paragraph.

326. Every' one who has an orchard, or even a few trees, should have some standard guide book upon proper tree management, and give it intelligent study. The principal pruning needed by a young fruit tree will be: First, to remove altogether those branches that make the head too thick, or by crossing other branches, interfere with their growth. Secondly, to shorten in or cut back such branches as have outgrown others, and if allowed to grow will make the head of the tree out of proportion. In making the simplest cut, remember there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Suppose a branch is to be shortened ; look at it well before cutting. There is at the top a bud, which, if left, would grow and prolong the branch ; besides this, there are buds at intervals along the sides of the branch, which, if left, will push and form other branches, those uppermost being the most vigorous. Suppose a branch has eight buds, if left to itself, all or nearly all of these buds may push, and eight, six, or less weak shoots be formed. If this branch be cut off, leaving only the lower two buds, the whole root vigor, which would have been divided among eight buds, will be concentrated upon the two that are left, and two strong shoots, instead of several weak ones, will be the result.

327. The kind of pruning recommended in former paragraph is called shortening in, or cutting back, and is most important in determining the future shape of the head and the character of the tree. In cutting back a branch, it is important that the cut be made properly; say, it is determined to cut at a given bud : That bud is to grow and prolong the branch. If the cut is made too close to the bud that bud may be injured by

drying and make a poor growth, or it is likely to die outright. If the cut be made far above the bud, all that portion of the stem above it will die and decay/ and may make a bad wound. The cut should be made cjuite near to the bud, leaving no superfluous wood to die, and yet leave enough to protect the bud. In Fig. 82 are shown cuts made too near the bud and too far from it. The correct cut is shown at A, all the others being bad.

328. In cutting back a young tree to control its form, the position of the bud that is to continue the growth, is very important. Buds are not placed on the alternate sides of a shoot, but in a spiral manner, and it is, as a rule, possible to select a bud pointing in any direction that l    2    8    may be desired.

Fig. 83. controlling tub shaits op treks.    If in cutting back

the young tree (1,

Fig- 83), the cut be made on every branch, at a bud pointing towards the centre of the tree, next season the branches are likely to present the appearance shown at 2. If on the other hand, the cutting had been made at an outside bud on each branch, the tree would, in all possibility, be shaped as at 3. In doing pruning of this kind upon fruit trees, a sharp strong knife is much better than shears, unless a pair of draw-cut pruning shears are available for doing the work, as the bark is not likely to be bruised, as it is very apt to be when common pruning shears are used.

329. The remarks about directing the form of a young tree apply equally well to pruning a single branch, and should be kept in mind in all pruning where the growth is to be continued from a bud. Where the head of a tree is inclined to be one-sided the growth may, by proper pruning, be so directed as to restore the balance.

330.    The consequences of neglect to prune are but too evident amongst us, in the form of badly shaped, exhausted, diseased trees and poor fruit. Taking the peach as an instance : the natural growth of this and stone fruits generally, in our climate, is enormous. When uncontrolled, the trees at first bear heavily, and, as a rule, yield fine large fruit, and more than fair quantity during three or four seasons. Then the fruit fails in quality and quantity, the trees become unsightly, dead and broken branches and limbs are seen. A few years more, and the tree is a wreck, beyond recovery, a prey to vermin at the roots, and disease in the limbs ; whereas, had it been regulated properly, the peach here may be healthy and vigorous for 20 or more years. Apples, pears, and their kind, require less pruning, after they get into bearing, their growth being slower.12-But in cutting them, and indeed all fruit trees, oranges and lemons included, the wounds should be made as smooth as possible, to reduce the risk of “ American " blight or other pests settling upon the wounded part, as described in Chapter XVI. upon insect pests.

331.    Root pruning is effective, at times, in forcing very vigorous trees into bearing. It is done by opening the soil from the truilk outwards, and carefully, so as not to damage the roots ; then lay bare such portion of the main roots as may be considered desirable—a little at a time is better than too much at once—and cut off, cleanly, one or more of the branches of the root.

332.    Root pruning of the grape vine is useful as a means of preventing the fruit suffering during dry weather. To effect that object, the surface roots, which are the first to feel the effects of dry weather, are cut away ; that is, all roots springing from the main stem within six inches from the surface.

333. Summer pruning, of stone fruits mostly, is found useful and beneficial, especially in the warmer and more forcing parts of the country. It is done after the crop is taken off say during December or January, by removing such of the branches or limbs as it is considered desirable to get rid of, to check overgrowth, or regulate the form of the tree. It is seldom that bleeding follows this summer pruning.

QUESTIONS.—Chapter XIX.—Pruning.

323. Is ours a forcing climate for tree growth ? 324. Are there various kinds of pruning ? Describe disbudding. 325. Mention season for ordinary pruning. 326. Are guide books useful ?    327.

Describe ordinary pruning. How is a proper cut made? 328. Are buds placed as by rule ? 329. Do the rules for pruning apply to branches, as to the tree ? 330. What are consequences of neglect to prune? 331. Describe root pruning. 332. Is root pruning advantageous in the warm parts of the country ? Is root pruning recommended for the vine ? 333. Describe summer pruning.



334. The boiler is the most important part of the farm engine. The steam power is made and maintained in the botler. When that part is attended to properly, the engine is as safe, for ordinary purposes, as a chaff-cutter or other machine with gearing.

335.    Short boilers are found to do more work, in proportion, than long ones. This has been confirmed by experiments on the rapidity of evaporation by Mr. Charles Wye Williams, and others. Also, short boilers strain less

Fig. 84. Cornish Boiler.

than long ones, and are therefore less liable to need repair. A length (¿-) of 30 feet should be the maximum ; while, with regard to the minimum, some Lancashire boilers, to suit particular positions, have been made as short as 21 feet, and found to work well, though the fittings become rather crowded. The length recommended, and now generally adopted, is 27 feet. The diameter of the boiler is governed by the size of the furnace (a), which should not be less than 2 feet 9 inches to admit of a suitable thickness of fire, and afford convenience in stoaking.

336.    Next to the condition of the shell of the boiler, is the water supply in importance. As a rule, the water nearest


at hand is the substance that has to be used in colonial boilers. It is not often that there is a choice, and verv curious mixtures have to be used. There may be minerals in the water that are injurious to the metal. Iron salt magnesia, mud, and various other substances have to be taken with the water, and every one of them, except the pure water itself, is injurious in some way to the plates tubes, gauges, or taps of the boiler. The collection of dirt salt, &c., in the bottom of a boiler decreases the effect of the fire, and there is more risk from this dirt than when scale is formed. No composition to prevent scale formation is recommended. When those in charge know what they are dealing with, they are the more likely to so attend carefully to the boiler and engine, that the best results are got and no risk or danger results.

337. Every boiler has a level (W.L. Fig. 85) above which it is not desirable to have water, in order to get the best results from the firing used and from the steam generated. That highest and best level for water becomes known only by experience and acquaintance with the boiler. And

Fig. 85. Section of Boiler.

to slacken the fire,

there is a lower point in every boiler below which the water must never be allowed to go while steam is being made. About the lower and safety point there is no doubt whatever—the water should never be allowed to fall under the furnace crown of the boiler. When this does occur there is danger, and the fire should be drawn or damped down, the furnace doors and safety valve opened, in order and to relieve the boiler of steam pressure.

338. The glass water gauge is an important feature of the boiler. It is, as a rule, so arranged as to show water at the lower end when the crown of the furnace is covered. When the glass is from one-half to two-thirds full, we usually find the level which experience proves to be the best for making steam and maintaining pressure. When that level is known, we have the correct and safe working gauge for water, and it should be the constant aim of the man in charge of the boiler to keep the water at that level. In no case should the water be allowed to fall below the lowest level of the glass. When such an occurrence takes place there is danger, and the fires should be drawn, and the steam pressure lessened, as recommended.

339.    It is of the greatest importance, then, that the water gauge should be in free working order all the time. When there is mud or sediment of any sort in the water, continuous watchfulness is necessary to make certain that the taps connecting the water gauge with the boiler do not get chocked. Should this occur, there might be water in the gauge, while that in the boiler has gone below the level of safety. To make sure that the water gauge is all right, turn the tap frequently and see that the water runs free and without check.

340.    In getting up steam, as much time as possible should be allowed for heating the water. It is not advisable to more than cover the crown of the furnace (top of a, Fig. 85) with water. Every inch above that level delays the heating of the water. As steam rises in the boiler, the feed pump, or injector, should be started to rise the water to the desired level; but do this gently, so as to make steam and economise fuel. Open the steam feed valve, and give the engine a good blowing through ; the operation warms the cylinder, and clears out any cold moisture or water lodging about the cylinder and other taps.

341.    Look to the safety valve; raise it by hand and see that it is working free and clear. On no account put any weight upon the safety valve, but see that it is so free in its seat, that steam can blow off directly the regulated pressure is reached. When the engine is started, see that the stuffing boxes are tight, and so prevent waste of steam. The state of the stuffing boxes may afford a pretty fair indication of the manner in which the engine is looked after.

342.    In firing, spread the fuel as much as possible over the grate surface (F.P. fire place, Fig. 86). When coal is used the gauge of good firing, in addition to keeping up the required regular pressure of steam, is to make as little smoke as possible. Australian hardwood, in a dry state, makes from one-third to one-half as much steam as an equal weight of coal; a thicker fire of wood has therefore to be maintained


IV.L. is the water line inside the boiler;    steam

space; F.P., fire place; A.P., ash pit; £., bridge of furnace ; a, tube connecting with boiler at ¿'and/.


Fig. 86. Longitudinal Section Cornish Boiler.

343.    Thick fires are more economical than thin ones. The space between the furnace tubes should not be less than 5 inches, and that between the furnace tubes and side of the shell 4 inches, in order to afford convenient space for cleaning and free circulation of the water, as well as to give sufficient width of end plate for enabling it to yield to the expansion and contraction of the furnace tubes. With this width of water space it will be found that the furnace having a diameter of 2 feet 9 inches requires a shell of 7 feet, which will afford a headway of about 2 feet 9 inches from the crown of the furnace to the crown of the shell. A furnace 3 feet in diameter gives room for a better fire than one 2 feet 9 inches, but it requires a shell 7 feet 6 inches in diameter. For high pressure, the smaller diameter of 7 feet is generally preferred, and has come to be adopted as a standard size for mill boilers through Lancashire, though one of 7 feet 6 inches makes a good boiler, and gives greater horse-power per foot of frontage than one of 7 feet diameter.

344.    Attention to the feed pump or injector is necessary all the time, to see that there is no stoppage of the water supply.

345. When emptying a boiler, ease off the steam pressure before running off the water. Cool down the boiler gradually. It is not only poor practice, but there is danger to the boiler by blowing off or discharging water in such manner as to leave the plates and brickwork in a heated state. Boilers are ruined by such treatment.

. K

346.    Save all the waste steam possible, by heating the feed water or other purpose. Keep the boiler and engine, and their sheds or shelter, clean and tidy. There is no recommendation whatever in having dirt or unnecessary grease about the engine-house.

347.    There is often much trouble in making repairs to boilers in out-of-the-way places. Some patches are made of iron or steel, from one-eighth of an inch to three-sixteenths of an inch thick. Patterns for patches are made of sheet lead, and may be taken to town to get the necessary patch made. After the patch has been formed according to the pattern, the holes are punched (allowance being made for inequality of thickness between pattern and patch), trimmed and lipped; the latter process being simply turning a small bevel flange all round the patch, as evenly as possible, to aid in holding the cement by which the patch is made tight. If a skilful workman is not employed at this business it frequently happens that the patch is heavier than the sheet, and in such case an imperfect job is the result. It is necessary to get into solid iron for the outer edges of the patch to be bolted to; the inner part, no matter how much worn, can be pulled to the patch by inside washers. The cement used is generally made of red and white lead, mixed with fine cast-iron filings or borings. Sometimes a cement is made of sugar of lead, litharge, and other chemicals. The cement being made and the patch all ready, bolts are put in “ where they will do the most good,” and where regular machine bolts are used the head is protected with a grummet, or packing of lamp-wick slushed with white lead. A washer is put on the outside, the nuts carefully, but only partially, screwed up, until all the bolts are in, when they are screwed up with care and precision until the patch is tight and secure. This is easily written, but the patch is not put on so easily.

QUESTIONS - Chapter XX.—Steam on the Farm or


. Which is the most important part of the engine ? 335. Are short boilers recommended ?    336. Is'dirt in a boiler dangerous ?    337.

Has every boiler a best water level ? 338. What is the use of the water gauge? 339. Is vigilance necessary ? 340. Should the getting up of steam be hurried? 341. Should the safety valve work freely ?    342. Should the fire spread over the grate surface ? 343.

Are thick fires economical ?    344. Is attention to the feed pump

necessary ?    345- In emptying a boiler, should the cooling be

gradual ?    346. Should waste steam be saved ?    347. Describe a

method of patching a boiler.


By Angus Mackay, AuthorSemi- Tropical Agriculturist

' A Modern Bee Farm,

For practical purposes, three kinds of bees only need be mentioned, as coming within the range of bee keeping in Australia, they are :

The Native Bee, a small, dark blue fly-like insect. It does not sting, and lives in communities, under much the same conditions as the other bees to be described. But the native bee is not without its means of defence, as may be seen when other bees come near the little mite while honey gathering. It does not hesitate to fly at them, if molested, and it then ejects an odor which makes the more powerful insects retreat. The native bee stores honey in much the same way as the others, but it is a thinner and more watery compound. During favorable seasons, when honey is


plentiful, and the blacks and ants can get all the sweets they require without hunting this poor little insect the native bees multiply exceedingly, especially in the coastal districts. I hey are hived occasionally, by those who are curious, in small boxes, and seem to thrive for a time working in their quiet, sleepy-looking style (so different from the active, go-a-head Ligurian bees), and then suddenly, they are found to have disappeared, leaving their stores behind. They are of no practical use for the bee farmer. As curiosities they are well worth attention.

Í he Black, or English Bee, has become acclimated throughout Australia, in New Zealand, &c. The writer has seen them in the far North-West, long distances from the settlements of men. No doubt they had spread outwards during good seasons, hiving in hollow trees, and holding their own, and increasing during seasons of plenty; but they disappear in whole colonies from insect pests and other causes, during dry seasons. They are a fighting, bold, penetrating, warlike race ; but they can be handled with absolute freedom and safety by the modern system of bee keeping.

Ligurian or Italian Bees are of much the same size as the common bee; but they are beautifully striped over the lower part of the body with yellow, giving them a bright, graceful appearance. They are as bold as the others, and sting quite as severely when roused; but they are naturally gentle ; yet they are more than a match for the blacks, and, with careful handling, are likely to displace the others. Meantime, they mix by means of Ligurian queens mating with black drones. The result is a cross or mixture, which is not so good as the pure Ligurians ; the crosses are more nervous and irritable, and every effort should be made to keep them pure, by replacing a mixed queen with a pure mother bee, or a young queen from a pure stock.

Of the possibilities of bee keeping, it is safe to say that, with a moderate degree of skill, ten hives or colonies of bees are as easily taken care of as a flock of twenty fowls, with this difference, that while fowls require attention on holidays and Sundays, bees, properly managed, allow their keeper to choose his own time to work with them. Bees


require less labor than fowls but more observation. To all who desire to undertake the care of bees, let the lirst step be to get interested in their actions.

With box hives, one cannot observe many of the habits of a colony of bees ; but even if a movable frame hive is not to be had for a while, many little things may be learned from observing the bees when outside of their homes. During spring they are working on many flowers—go and see how they do it. During the morning hours, sit near the hives and watch. You can see numbers of bees leaving the hive and darting off almost noiselessly. Others are returning, some with little yellow balls on their legs, and still others so laden with honey that they can hardly reach the entrance. The little balls they carry are not wax, as many suppose, but pollen, the fertilizing powder of flowers. The bees use pollen with honey to make a jelly-like food for their young—the little bee worms, called larva. If we listen well, we will notice that the bees starting from the hive, hum on a higher note than those which are loaded. If we rap sharply on their house and cause a few of them to start in anger, their hum is shriller still.13 It is useful to know this when handling bees.

Early in the afternoon, if we go again to watch the colony, we see that it is more active than before. Do not imagine that this lively appearance means that they work harder at that time. It is simply due to the coming out of numbers of young bees for the first or second time. Now follow the motions of one particular young bee. See how it surveys the hive and its surroundings, circling in flight around and around its home, so as to make no mistake as to the location and appearance. We notice, also, that a young bee is just as large as an old one, but its coat is more

downy......What is that large, noisy fellow just emerging

among the workers ? You may catch him without any

danger. It is a drone, and has no sting......At night, if the

bees keep up a steady, loud hum, you may infer that they are doing well. They always sing or hum after a day of abundant harvest.

the hive, except it be to go with a first swarm. The average age reached by the queen is from three to five years, and she is treated with the greatest respect and affection by the bees. If she is taken from them by death or accident, the whole colony are thrown into a state of intense agitation as soon as they ascertain their loss.

A prosperous colony of bees at the beginning of the swarming season (September usually) consists of a fertile mother bee or queen, several hundred drones, and from twenty to thirty thousand workers ; the queen is the mother of the whole colony. Her only aim in life is to lay eg<;s.

A good queen is capable of laying from two to three thousand eggs in twenty-four hours. In shape, the queen or mother bee resembles the worker more than the drone, but she is longer than either, and, like the worker, the queen has a sting, but she seldom uses it unless in combat with a rival. For several days after she is hatched, the queen is of the form and Fig. 85. size shown in our illustration, and is much bkk. smaller in bulk than when full grown, and when she commences laying eggs. She usually leaves the hive when about three days old to meet the drone, for impregnation, which, once accomplished, suffices for life, as ordinarily she does not afterwards leave

Drone Bee.

The drones are the male bees. Their bodies are large and clumsy; their buzzing is loud, and different from that of the workers ; they have no sting, and may be taken in the fingers without fear. Their proper office seems to be to impregnate the young queens ; but one only out of thousands answers the purpose. The number reared depends upon the strength of the colony and the stores on hand or being collected. Strong stocks retain drones more or less all the year round.

The workers, or common bees, are all females. They are of much the same form as the queen, but have shorter bodies and larger wings. Each worker has a sting. As a body, they compose the bulk of the population of a hive. All labor devolves upon them. They are provided with a sac or bag for storing honey, and basket-like cavities on

their hind legs (£, C) in which to pack the pollen of the flowers in little pellets for carrying it home to the hive. They range the for ests for honey and pollen, secrete wax, build combs, prepare food to nurse


the young, carry water, obtain propolis or bee glue to close up crevices and flaws about the hive, mount guard to keep out thieves, &c., for the defence of their treasures. The worker is provided with a sting, but does not use it while unmolested. For two weeks after the young worker is hatched it is engaged within the hive ; afterwards it assists in gathering stores.

The worker lives but a short time—from three weeks to three months in the busiest season.

When hatched in colder weather, its life is extended several -pSt months.

Breeding. The yield of honey, strength of the colony, the season of the year, and other circumstances, have

great influence both on Hokey C0MB c Natcral Siz

the amount of brood raised and the time required for its development; the average time, from the laying of the egg t0 the hatching of the perfect insect, is—for the queen, about fifteen days; for the drone, twenty-three; and for the worker, twenty days. The illustration shows a portion of honey comb, the cells being shown the natural size. The cells in which the workers are raised are the smallest, those for drones are nearly one-third larger; a queen cell’is still larger, and of a pear-shaped form, requiring as much wax for its construction as fifty worker cells. The illustration gives a good representation of drone and worker cells

In stiong stocks having plenty of stores, the queen will lay eggs every month of the year, and thus keeps up the strength of the colony.

Eggs and Larv/e.—The eggs are deposited by the queen at the bottom of empty cells, as at the left-hand side cell in illustration, commencing to lay her eggs in the centre or warmest part of from ego to Bee.    the hive, and spreading re

gularly from the place of commencement. At first the eggs are mere whitish specks, but in a few days they hatch out, and become little mites snugly coiled up at the bottom of the cells. These mites are carefully fed by the bees, and in about six days after the worm hatches it is sealed over with a convex waxen lid. It is now hidden from our sight for about eleven days, when it bites off the cover and comes forth a perfect bee.

Swarming.—In the spring and early part of summer— from September to December—more brood or young bees are raised than at any other period. The hive soon becomes crowded with bees, and royal cells are built in which to raise queens. When some of these young queens are old enough to be sealed over, the old queen, with the bulk of the workers, start in search of a new home, leaving those remaining to maintain the prosperity of the hive. Those that issue or swarm from the hive soon gather in a cluster, and when put into an empty hive at once commence their labors, building comb, rearing brood and storing honey.

Hiving Bees.— The method of hiving is simple, and generally understood.. When a swarm leave the hive they follow scouts, that have selected a place on which to settle*—most likely upon a tree or bush near the ground. They can then be secured by being shaken or brushed into a hive at once ; or a sheet may be spread under them, with a hive slightly raised at one side upon it. Shake the bees upon the sheet; some of them soon discover the new home,, and by a joyful hum they give forth they communicate the tidings to the whole swarm. The bees being filled with honey when swarming, unless crushed or bruised, are almost as harmless as flies. They do not sting at such a time, unless hurt. If any should crowd the entrance to the hive, disturb them gently with a feather ; and if any remain outside, see that all enter, lest the queen be left out; and this done, carry the hive to where it is intended to remain, and be sure and shade it from the sun. Any bees that may be on the wing will soon return to the parent hive. The new hive should be placed at once where it is to stand. If left till evening, the bees that have left the swarm in search of honey and stores—and some of the most active do so as soon as the swarm settles—these workers will return to the place where they settled the previous day,.

A Swarm ok Bkes.

and will be lost. If a frame or two of comb can be put into an empty hive ere putting in the bees, they will take to it more readily ; indeed, when hiving is done with a barframe hive, with a frame or two of comb to start with the operation is much simplified, and the bees seldom leave the new location, it being one of the weaknesses of bee nature to cling stoutly to stores got in this easy way.

PuttiNi3 a swak.m in a Bak-Fkame hive.

At times it is possible to spare a bar-frame hive with a number of frames ready for a swarm. In such case, the bees can be handled as shown in the engraving. Ere swarming, the bees fill themselves with honey, and at such times they are not at all disposed to sting. They can then be handled with ease, and when put into the hive, as shown in the illustration, they take to the combs at once, evin.c'ing their pleasure at the discovery of the new residence, by the joyful humming of bees when in a state of pleasure. All the other bees of the swarm, to the very last one, on such a sound being heard, join in the melody, and march in regular order after their fellows, into the new hive. If the queen is with them, then the prospects are that the swarm has been hived most successfully.

Second and other Swarms.—The most profitable plan is to allow but one swarm to issue from a hive the same season. This can easily be managed by the use of

the moveable-comb hive, which should be opened in about five days after the first swarm has come out, and all the queen cells must then be cut out, except one which contains H —    the young queen. The

Cluster of Queen Cells. yaaa, size of cell when the eprg is deposited

engraving shows queen cells (a, b, c) in relation to the other cells on a section of brood comb. Clusters of queen cells, as shown, are usually found on a frame in the centre of the hive. They are easily observed, being much larger, as shown, in proportion to the others. This power to observe and handle the queen and breeding cells, as may be desired, is one of the advantages of the moveable-comb

b, finished cell: c, cell from which a mature hive. r>y this method we

queen has emerged ; J, cell which his l" cn 11 •.s-    „ ■nrpvpnf nndpsinhlp

troyed by a rival, and removed by the workers. can prevent unuesiraoie

swarming, and so have all our stocks strong ; with ordinary boxes the best that can be done is to unite two or three second swarms together, as they are not more than half the size of first swarms, and so make a strong hive of them. After the first swarm leaves, if the yield of honey continues good, the workers will guard the queen cells, and thus cause the issue of one or more after-swarms. A few bees cluster about the cells, and prevent the first hatched queen from destroying the others. She is greatly enraged, and makes a sound with her wings, like the “Peep, peep!” of a young chicken. This cry is answered in a rougher tone by the older of the imprisoned queens. The senior queen continues “ piping ” for two or three days, and making every effort to get at the imprisoned rivals, but being prevented by the workers, she leaves the hive with a swarm. Piping cannot be mistaken for any other sound made by the bees, and may be heard a day or two before the issue of any swarm after the first by holding the ear close to the hive for a minute or two.

*5 7

If the bees decide to swarm but once, and the queen cells are not cut out as directed, the first hatched queen is allowed to have her own way. She rushes to the cells of her sisters, and stings them to death, when the cells of the insects thus destroyed have the appearance of d in the illustration.

Ax Inserted queen Cell.

Loss of Queen.—When a Queen is lost or removed from a stock which has eggs in the hive, tlie workers at once commence to raise another queen ; but should she be lost in her flight to meet the drones, which she does on the second or third day, the stock will be left without means to rear another, as the eggs left by the old queen at her departure with the first swarm are too old to be used for that purpose, consequently the stock will dwindle and completely die oft unless means are given them .    to raise themselves a queen,

which is no easy matter, unless we have moveable comb hi\ts. W ith their aid, a queenless colony may always be put in possession of means to raise one by simply giving them a sheet of comb from another stock containing eggs and young larvae. Or a queen cell can be given them cut out of a comb in another hive, as b in preceding engraving, and inserted as shown in diagram. I he white mark over the queen cell is the edge of the wax taken with it from the other comb, and so shaped as to keep the cell in position in its new location. Great care is necessary in making such a transfer that the young imprisoned queen is not injured. In time she will emerge from the cell, and, when mated, will become the mother of the hive.

Uniting Weak Swarms.—Two weak swarms, when united, will use no more honey than each would if left separate. The reason of this is, a strong stock is able to keep up the proper degree of warmth in cold weather, which lessens the consumption of food. They can also allow more workers to go abroad for stores.

Handling Bees.—In order to unite swarms, or to shift them from a tree, or from one hive to another, prepare a thin roll of calico. Light one end of it, and blow a few whiffs into the hives that are to be slutted or united. Repeat the smoke in five minutes, and in ten minutes or so after that the bees will have gorged themselves with honey.

after a Bke Nest.

They do not care toasting then. Now, if the object is to unite one stock with another, carry each hive to some quiet corner, turn both bottom up, putting an empty box on each hive, and covering each of them with a sheet to prevent bees from escaping ; then, with the help of an assistant, beat or

drum on the lower boxes for, say twenty minutes ; by that time the bees will have gone up into the top boxes Then carry them back to their own stands. Lift off the top boxes with the bees, and transfer the comb into a new hive and mind that the comb containing brood is put in the centre of the hive, in the order in which it was in the old boxes Then put on the crown-board of the new hive spread a sheet in front of it, bring the two boxes containing the bees and shake them out on to the sheet in front of the°hive \s they are shaken, sprinkle the bees well with sweetened water scented with peppermint or nutmeg. If the bees are slow at entering the new hive, rouse them with a feather or a few leaves, and they will then enter the hive'as one family. Let the uniting be done in the evening, when'the bees have ceased to fly, and put the new hive where one of the transferred colonies stood. When the two queens are seen, it is as well to take aw ay one j in any case, one will be destroyed as soon as they meet.

It is well, in handling bees as described, to have a bee-veil over the face, as shown in the illustration. It is made of white mosquito netting, with a dark colored piece let in in front of the eyes, it being easier to see through the dark than the light color. Gloves of india-rubber, and other substances, are used for the hands, but the naked hands are best, giving the finest sense of touch, and less risk of injuring the bees, and less actual risk of stinging. In transferring combs from common boxes, gin cases, or a tree, to the moveable-comb frame hive, do the work carefully, striving not to break the comb. Then, with a long knife, cut out the sheets of comb, and, if possible, take each as it is cut out, and put it on several thicknesses of cloth, and rest it on a board ; then place a frame on the comb, and, with a sharp knife, shape the comb so that it will fit in the frame, and fasten it there with two small wires, or thin twine, by tying it round the frame, to hold the comb in position. Several bits of comb may be fastened into a frame in this way. In two or three days the bees will have fastened in the combs, and you can, protected and armed with smoke, proceed to take off the wire or strings. As a colony of bees will labor as well on any other combs and brood as their own, it will be well, if there are moveable-comb hives at work in the same apiary, to take one comb each from several hives for the transferred bees to cluster on, and as soon as a frame is filled with comb, give this to a hive from which one comb was taken, and we have very little danger of the tied-in combs tumbling down, for they are distributed about one in each hive, and the transferred bees have all good combs, and are accordingly strong, and an old colony at once. Amongst other advantages derived from the moveable-comb system is that you can readily introduce combs of brood into weak stocks, whether natural or artificial swarms, from stocks that are stronger, and can spare one or more frames of brood, which very soon strengthen the weaker stock.

Artificial Swarming.—It is no longer a matter of doubt that natural swarming can be prevented entirely, and yet such an increase of ne\v stocks secured as may be desired. Indeed, the only way to keep bees, with certainty of regular profit, is to take the matter into one’s own hands, and secure a moderate increase, and at the same time more or less honey according to the season. Early swarms are the most profitable, and as soon as stocks are in good condition they may be increased when most convenient to the owner. A good method for beginners who have gin case hives, is as follows -.—First of all, cover the face with a veil as already described, and with knife and smoker in hand, go to a hive and blow a few whiffs of smoke up the entrance ; then turn the hive upside down, and use a little more smoke, so as to drive the bees well into the combs ; then, with your knife, cut out a piece of comb containing larvae (explained in previous paragraph on the breeding of bees), and return the hive to its stand. Now place the comb containing the larva} in a clean box, leaving it against the side. Then proceed to a strong stock, and treat it to some smoke in the manner already described ; then carry it to some quiet corner, and leave it a minute until you have put the box containing the piece of comb on the stand that was occupied by the strong stock. Then turn up the hive and put an empty box on top of it; fix a sheet over both boxes, and pass a string round them so that the bees cannot escape ; this done, commence to drum on the bottom box with two sticks (some prefer the open hands; for twenty minutes or so, by which time nearly all the bees will be in the upper box, and the queen is almost certain to be with them. Then take off the box containing the forced swarm, and place it on a clean bottom-board ; then take the hive that has been driven and set it on the stand of a populous stock, which must be removed to the new stand a few rods away from the other hives. The majority of the bees will return to the old stock, and the hive that has been driven will catch up sufficient bees to make a tolerable swarm. The bees, finding themselves without a queen, will at once commence to raise queens, and if honey is coming in freely this colony will throw off a swarm in about two days after the first queen emerges. As soon as it swarms, remove it to the stand of a strong colony, and in a few days it will swarm again. Repeat the process, and it will swarm until there is but one queen left in the hive; thus you have one hive supplying the queens and the other hives the workers. It must be remembered that all operations of this kind should be performed about midday, and in favorable weather, when the bees are flying with vigor. We now return to our forced swarm : before removing the bees spread down a sheet near their old stand ;


then place the box containing the piece of brood comb on the sheet, and bring the bees and shake them in front of the box : they will soon take possession, and may then be lifted on their own stand, and will work as vigorously as a natural swarm. It may be known in from five to fifteen minutes after the bees have entered the hive whether or not the queen is with them. As soon as the bees have clustered in the hive, if they do not find her, some will come out and run about as if searching for something. The alarm is soon communicated to the whole colony, and soon the air is filled with bees; and if they cannot find the queen they return to their old stand, and if no hive is there, will soon enter one of the other hives. A small piece of worker comb, containing eggs and larvae, if placed in an empty box, will often pacify a colony of bees that have lost their queen, as it provides them with the means of raising one.


The illustration shows Mr. Jas. Carroll, of Lizzielea apiary, Queensland, and amongst the first practical bee masters in the colonies. The position shows how the bar frame hive—largely introduced by Mr. Carroll—facilitates artificial swarming, changing frames, for examination purposes, to strengthen another stock, or other necessary operation. I heie aie so many plans of making swarms with barframe hives, that no two experts would likely agree as to which is the best. The system followed by Mr. Carroll is certainly of the simplest for beginners : Take two frames, one ot honey and the other of brood, with all the adhering bees, being very sure not to include the queen, and place them in a new hive on a new stand. If you have a sealed royal cell, give it to them; if not, they will raise a queen. Strengthen the hive thus made by giving them frames of brood from such colonies as can spare them. Another plan : I ake one from each old hive until enough frames have been obtained to fill a new one ; shake most of the bees off; the old bees will shake oft easily while the young ones will stick close to the brood, and you will have enough young bees to take care of the brood and to rear young. Fill out the old hives with empty frames; thus you keep all the stocks full all the time, and there is no danger of making them weak.

Bee Nature.—Artificial operations cannot be performed with success unless honey is coming in fast. When bees are not gathering honey they are irritable and suspicious, which is not the case in times of plenty. Strong stocks soon ascertain the more defenceless condition of their weaker fellows, and the latter are certain to be robbed if the hives are incautiously opened—a common practice with unskilled bee-keepers. The proper time to open hives, when food is scarce, is before sunrise or after sundown ; but if the stock is removed into a room or an out-house it may be examined at any time. In all operations while honey is scarce be sure that no combs are left unprotected ; in fact, this ought to be observed at all times of the year ; not a drop of honey or syrup ought to be within reach of the bees, as it only encourages robbing. It is much easier to raise honest bees and keep them so, than to reform them or those that have learnt to steal from their neighbors.

Bee Stings.—Bees, when at work, seldom sting; they are too busy with their own affairs. We must be careful not

to molest or crush them. In the event of a sting, the pain ceases in a few minutes, whether any application be made or not, and when a remedy is applied it generally receives the credit of the relief that follows. There is not much ground for faith in the virtue of any remedy for bee-stings, unless the poison can be at once extracted ; and this can be done— first by removing the sting, and then applying the barrel of a large-sized key to the wound and pressing it firmly for a few seconds. Upon withdrawing the key it is seen that a drop of clear liquid has issued from the wound. 'The key should be applied until no more poison will come.

Honey-Gathering.—Bees suck honey from the flowers very fast; they are very eager at such work ; but depositing it in the comb-cells is not accomplished so quickly. It may be observed that the bees enter either their whole body or the head only, into the cell, and it takes them some time to discharge their burden. Some honey is quite watery when gathered, especially that from the tea-tree. Such honey is generally placed in the lower cells, and afterwards removed to the upper cells; and this is performed by the young bees.

Honey Plants.—The principal honey-yielders in this country are the ironbarks, gums, bloodwoods, tea-trees and apple-trees. The couch and other grasses are also much liked by bees. In the western pastoral country bees gather from the different grasses, and also from horehound. On the coast the greatest honey-yielder is the mangrove. The scrubs afford abundance of forage, and bees do well near the scrubs, especially in winter. When the seasons are good, bees gather honey, more or less, at least eight months in the year, and in some parts all the year round. In the north, bees, in good seasons, fill their hives in June, during midwinter. The general honey season in the mountain districts commences about the beginning of October and lasts till January. Bees go more than three miles in search of honey, but the common range is two miles. All flowering plants, fruit blossoms, &c., come within their range, but they take nothing from them but honey syrup and pollen.

Bee Food.—Plentiful as the sources of honey are in this country, feed does get scarce sometimes, and bees die in masses from hunger. The bee-keeper must prevent this. To make feed, use 5 lbs. white sugar to a pint of water, with

a few drops of vinegar to prevent the syrup from cry stalking aiiain. Put the syrup to simmer for five minutes, ¿kin* off the scum as it rises; when cool, it is fit for use. To "feed the bees, first take oft the crown-board and cut a place in the quilt on three sides; then put on a block of wood with a 2-inch circular hole ; perforated zinc, or coarse wire gauze must be tacked over the aperture that goes next the frames • or if it is a box hive or gin case, a hole must be bored on the top to correspond with the feeder. A pickle bottle may be used neck downwards. Put a piece of net over the neck of the bottle to prevent the syrup coming out, except when taken by the bees. After the hole is cut in the quilt the crown-board may be put on again, and the block placed over the hole. When inserting the bottle, place one hand over the net and turn it over quickly, and when it is put in, the atmospheric pressure prevents the liquid from running away.

I he advantages of bee-keeping are all in favor of those who adopt the bar-frame system. Various sizes of frames and hives are in use in difterent countries, and in Sydney excellent hives are kept in stock. The principle of all is much the same. It really matters little which of the standard sizes be adopted ; but when adopted, that size should be adhered to. By this means the bee-keeper has all his frames of a uniform size, and he can change them from strong to weak stocks, or put frames from two or more hives into an empty hive in order to make a new stock. In fact, there is no limit to the convenience which the bar-frame gives the bee-keeper. Under that system he has complete control over his bees.




Langstroth. ?

Callup. =!


Standard Sizes of Bar Frames.—The foregoing are the sizes of frames favorites amongst the leading bee-keepers of Europe and America. The Langstroth, as improved for colonial bee-keeping, is a favorite size in Australia. The form is well adapted to the climate. Tike any of the other sizes, the Langstroth bar-frame (i7§ in. by 9i in., inside measurement) can be made ot the sawn lath stuff, now common enough in the stores of timber dealers. Plane down the stuff until it is about i in. broad by £ in. thick. Then cut it into the lengths necessary to make a frame of the size shown, and nail the parts together with i in. wire nails. The shoulders on the upper part of the frame project i in. bevond the sides—o- in. of each shoulder it sting on the edges of the front and back of the hive, when the frames are in ^position, as shown in the illustration following. The other ^ in. of the shoulder allows for the space left clear between the frames and the sides of the hive. 1 his i in. of space should be clear all round sides and under the frames, to allow the bees to move about. When the frames are in position as shown, from i in. to i in. of space should be left between the frames of comb.

Hive Showing Frames in Position.

Hives are made of i in. pine, planed. Californian redwood or New Zealand pine answers very well. Cut the sides 21 in. long; the ends io in., 12 in., 14 in., 16 in., or 18 in., as may be desired. The frames, when in position, hang by their shoulders upon the front and back ends of the hive, and the larger the ends the more frames can be used. A good handy size for Australian use is, ends 12 in., sides 21 in., both being 10 in. deep. This allows of eight frames being used. On putting the sides and ends together, the joints should be quite close so as to prevent ants, moths or other enemies from getting in. The hives are all the better for being painted outside.

1 he top boards and bottom boards are separate pieces and need not be either screwed or nailed to the sides unless the hive is to be moved to a distance. In ordinarv beekeeping it is best to have the bottoms and tops of the hives moveable, so that each hive can be examined, or its parts changed at any time, should moths or other enemies attack the bees. But all the parts should come so closely together that no spaces are left for the entrance of enemies.& The entrance ioi the bees can be made either by cutting out a notch in the bottom board, or by cutting the front& The entrance should be about in. in height, and from 2 in. to 4 in. in length.

Observing Hive.

The observing hive has a square of glass in front, and there may be a similar square at back. The bees work as well with the glass as in the dark; they take no notice of the difference, but it is best to have a small shutter over the glass to close when necessary.

Broader frames than those described can, during the honey _    .    season, be used with advantage.

Frame for Summer Honey.

T he stull in this frame may be 2 in. broad, and the form is found useful during the active honey season, when bees, in Australia, sometimes build combs 2 in., or more, thick. Ihese broad frames are useful only for honey gathering, and are placed at the outside of the tier of frames. The inside or centre frames are those used by the queen and bees for breeding, and the ordinary frames are the correct width for that purpose.

It is necessary, at    ^

all seasons of the year, to occasionally lift the frames to see that no enemies are amongst the bees, and also to see that the combs are being built straight in the frames.

Hives of the kind described can be doubled in capacity by placing one on top of another. Being all oi one size, they fit evenly, and when honey is coining in very fast, the bees store in the upper tier of frames, which can be moved and the honey taken as required. It is preferable, however, to use super boxes for storing purposes. I hey are oi smaller size than the others, and can be placed as shown at O in the

engraving, which represents the inside of a pattern of hive in favor in New Zealand. The smaller, or super frames, as shown, are arranged to rest on shoulders placed lengthways over the larger frames. These supers are of various

sizes. A favorite is 6 inches long by 4 inches deep, and made of lathe i^-inches or 2 inches wide. This holds about 2 lbs. of honey when full, and is a nice, handy, marketable size for sending into town. In other cases, ordinary frames are portioned or made up of six

a Super frame. or ei8ht supers, after the form shown in the illustration, and these also are arranged to come apart, so that each little square of comb arrangement does very well when double frames, or one hive on top of the other, are in use. A further improvement is also being adopted, by having bits of glass pre^ pared to fit the super frames, say 6 by 4 inches. When the frames are filled and taken from the hive, a sheet of glass is put on each side, and held theie by stung. I hen we have a neat, tidy packet of honey comb, fresh irom the hive, and which looks well on the table.






Supkrs Arranged infra mk.

Comb foundation is another of the many improvements in modern beekeeping. It is simply bees-wax, prepared by melting and rolling into very thin sheets of the form shown. The foundation thus prepared is sold in sheets, of sizes to fit the frames. It is made precisely similar to the ioundation of the comb as manipulated by the bees, and is found of immense advantage, not only for inducing the bees to take more readily to hives thus furnished, but as being an immense saving of toil and energy to the little workers.

As animals must be fed on large quantities of grain to enable them to secrete a few pounds of fat, so bees, on like principle, consume from 20 to 25 pounds of honey for the production of a single pound of wax. The wax exudes from rings in the abdomen of the workers. It forms thin flakes which are removed as soon as formed, and used for combmaking, the bees kneading it into the form desired; and they adopt the same course when working up the artificial foundation into comb. Two pounds and a half of wax will be used to fill a hive of ordinary size with comb. If a colony of bees are confined in a moveable-comb hive, and fed with sugar, syrup, or honey,'they will consume 20 pounds to produce a pound of comb. It will readily be seen that wax is the most expensive article used by the bees. 'The time taken in building the comb should also be taken into the account. The time used in making comb, when applied to gathering honey, enables bees to store much more sweets. Hence

Starting Supers avith Foundation.

the value of foundation to the bee-1 keeper. The illustrations show how M portions of foundation are fixed into the frames—either the full-sized or the super frames. By the aid of a little melted wax run over the edges of the foundation, while being held in place in the frame, it is fastened sufficiently. When put into the hive, the bees very quickly make the fastening complete. Either portions of foundation can be used to start the combs merely ; or the frames may have half their capacity filled with foundation, as seen in the first illustration of a super frame. The use of this article has the further advantage of inducing the bees to build straight combs in the frames.

Propolis or Bee-Glue.—'This is a resinous gum collected by the bees from the leaves, buds, and trunks of trees and plant, and is used for filling holes and cracks within the hive. When cold and hard, it is very brittle, being quite a different substance from wax, of which the combs are composed.

Pollen, or Bee-Bread.—This is the fertilising dust, or fine meal-like substance, discharged by the anthers of flowers, and which worker bees can be seen carrying in upon their legs. It is used for feeding the young. It is bitter to the taste, and is stored in separate cells from the honey. Pollen is furnished by different species of flowers of almost every variety and shade of color, the most common being yellow : this has caused many to mistake these yellow pellets for wax to be used in comb-building. Such should observe that quite as much pollen is taken to hives already filled with comb, as to any others.

The Bee Quilt is another decided improvement in bee-keeping. It is made of strong grey calio. Two pieces are cut half an inch larger than the inside measure of the hive ; then place a sheet of cotton wadding between them and stitch them up ; the whole as in ordinary’ quilting I his quilt is placed on the top of the frames, and is much warmer and easier moved than the ordinary crown board as it can be rolled back, whereas the board is very liable to*be fastened with bee-glue, and has to be wrenched oft', and all operations of that kind should be avoided. Bees do not like noise or jars of any kind.

The Bee Moth.—The ravages of all otherenemies of bees are trifling in comparison with the destruction caused by the bee moth. More than one-half the bees kept in common boxes in this country have been destroyed by it. But as long as a colony is strong it is safe. Should it be suffered to decline from scarcity of food supplies, over-swarming, loss of queen, or other cause, the moth manages to lay her eggs in the exposed combs, and as the bees die oft from natural causes, the moth-worms increase, and (if not dislodged) finally gain entire possession of the hive. Hence the heavy losses from bee moth when the bar-frame hive is not used. The female moth is larger than the male. Both are of yellowish color, the female being about £ of an inch in length. She may often be seen lurking about the hive; she runs very quickly, and at dusk is often on the wing, hovering about the entrance waiting for a chance to enter. This lets us see the importance of having the hives tight. She has little trouble in finding a place to deposit her eggs where gin cases are used for hives, as they usually show many cracks and crevices. The worms of the moth, as they are hatched, are thoroughly protected from the bees, as each covers itself with a silk cocoon and then attack the combs as they please—hence the destruction of whole apiaries. It must be remembered that we have very little weather in this country cold enough to destroy the worms. To test this thoroughly, some moths, grubs, and cocoons were placed in a glass bottle, where they remained all winter exposed to the weather, and in September they commenced to hatch out. The queenless and weak colonies are the first to be attacked. The manner in which bee-hives are often packed on each other also allows the moth the opportunity she desires to lay her eggs amongst them. Clean, strong, tight hives, and strong stocks of bees, are the best preventives against the moth. The following are given as means of destroying it also : 1 oz. ot corrosive sublimate in 1 pint of spirits will kill any insect, or its egg, that it touches. Put it on with a feather j wet the joints and places infested. Another remedy is a mixture ot vinegar and water, well sweetened ; place this at night among the hives, in white dishes—many millers, or moths, may be drowned. Put, as before stated, the surest remedy recommended is to have good tight hives, and keep the hives overflowing with bees. They will then be their own best protectors, and do more to defend themselves than if the owner devoted the whole of his time to fighting the moth.

Honey Extractors offer further advantages to the bee-keeper. They are of various patterns, but the principle is similar. It is the same as that of the centrifugal machines used for expelling the moisture from sugar ; but in the case of the honey extractor, two tiers of arms—four in each— spring from a central shaft; four faces, of any desired size, are thus obtained at the ends of the arms. The planes between are fitted with wood for the reception of bar-frames filled with comb and honey. Outside of each face of the machine, and in front of the frame to be emptied, is wire netting, size 4 to the inch. There is an outside stationary casing of tin, against which the honey is thrown as the machine revolves. To use the extractor, the caps of the honey-cells on one side of the frames are pared off with a thin-bladed sharp knife. Four frames are then slipped into the faces of the machine. Power is applied by a handle on the centre shaft, and the honey is expelled from the cells in from three to four minutes ; the speed being about 250 revolutions per minute, with a machine the arms of which are 10 inches in total length from the centre shaft. One side of the combs being emptied, each frame is turned, the caps of the cells on the other side being cut as in the former case. When the whole is emptied, the frames with empty cells are returned to the bees to be refilled. In addition to the honey gained by returning the empty combs, the article itself is superior to strained honey.

Reversible Frames are designed in order to induce bees to work in super boxes or in an upper hive. This

1 73

the bees are not always inclined to do, and bee-keepers are bothered accordingly. Various theories have been propounded to explain why some bees so readily take to storing honey in the supers, while

,    „    .    others decline them

entirely. Ihe most feasible is that, as bees store honey

mostly    on    the    upper    part of    their combs, and over

A\heie    the    queen    lays eggs    and the young are

hatched out, they are not inclined to travel over the tops of the honey cells. Acting upon this belief, the reversible frame has been put into operation to overcome the difficulty. It is simply a frame pivoted within a frame,


as shown more clearly in the second illustration. The mode of operation is to allow the bees to partially fill the frame, as seen in the first diagram ; then it is turned round. In practice, the reversing of the frame is not found to affect the bees in any way, in so far as honey storing is concerned, but they go more freely over the reversed frame, and store in the super boxes set over them in the manner desired. The lines shown in the frame are of very thin wire, and these wired frames are found to strengthen the comb, and is especially useful where the honey is extracted by machine.

Protection.—To guard the face, get ii yards of thin mosquito netting, or calico may do, but it is much warmer; sew the ends together, and gather one edge on a rubber cord to fit the crown of a hat; cut out a hole on each side for the arms, and put a string in the bottom to gather it close to the body, or it can be made shorter to tie round the neck, or to tuck the ends under a coat collar; cut out a piece in front for the eyes and insert a piece of coarse black netting, that which is just fine enough to prevent a bee from passing is best. To keep the veil from falling against the face, sew a wire around in front of the eyes.


Tin-: Bek Smokkk.

The Bee Smoker is a handy little contrivance, and very effective. A and B are made of tin ; C is a bellows. screws oil just above the bellows, and rags, brown paper, or other good smokemaking material, is put inside of B ; light the stuff, or drop in a piece of burning wood from the fire, and screw A into position again. The machine is worked by putting the thumb of the right hand over the bellows and under B. With the fingers the bellows are worked, and a nice bolt of smoke can be pointed where desired from the nozzle of A.

Hints for Beginners.—Work quietly, and avoid sudden jars. Never fight your bees (see illustration) ; always keep cool. If you get stung and don't like it, if the bees look angry, retire quietly and remove the sting at once ; apply the barrel of a large-sized key to the wound. Use plenty of smoke. If you are timid, use a bee-dress or veil over the face and head. Transfer bees when there is the least brood and honey in the hive—June or July. Always work among the hives during the middle of the day when the bees are busy, and crowds of the workers are out. Stocks without brood in August are queenless, and unless they are supplied with a queen, queen cell, or larva, must dwindle away and perish. When symptoms of robbing occur, contract the entrances of weak hives, and allow no honey or sugar syrup to be around. Place the hives as far apart as convenience will allow. Avoid weak swarms, as they gather but little honey, breed slowly, and are in danger of being destroyed by robbers and the moth. If you suspect that a hive is queenless, place your ear close to the hive at night, and tap it sufficiently hard to wake the bees. If the response is energetic and ceases quickly, they have a queen ; but if the response is languid and dies out slowly, they are



without a queen. Bees do not intend to sting when they come prospecting about you. They are curious to see what you are. Stand very still and they will go. Should they seem irritable, leave them for that time; or you can pacify them with smoke as recommended ; but do not run away

Don’t Fight with Beks.

fighting as you go. The bees will beat you at that, sure. Handle them carefully and you can take every pound of honey they can spare, which should be from 50 lbs. to 100 lbs., or more, from each hive annually.

'J ake every opportunity to see how practical bee-keepers work their stocks. The lessons learned under such circumstances may make plain and simple what seems difficult in print.



-A-Hsr G-TTS hvt-A. c

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“ One of the most useful and practical works ever issued.”— Leader. The contents include cattle, sheep, horse, and poultry keeping. Australian farming in all branches. Fruit growing, for the warmer parts of the country. A special chapter on “ Medical Aid in Time of Need ”—how to treat accidents, fevers, snake bite, &c.

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The Honey Bee in Australia, 2s.; by post, 2s, 6d.

Contains brief account of native Australian bee; the black or English bee; Ligurian, or Italian bees; modem bee-keeping and honey making ; how to make and use bar-frame hives, &c., <kc.


Possibly the more easily understood terms would be organised and unorganised.


For more detailed particulars of the various districts, the “ Physical Geography and Climate” of Mr. Russell is recommended.


Megass is the woody refuse of sugar cane.—A. M.



See paragraphs 7 to 10, and Chapter IV., Chemistry of Agriculture. The teacher might describe the nature of analyses of soils, and the importance of every agriculturist knowing the chemical character of his soils, in what they are rich, and in what defective.


The teacher might enlarge upon the percentages in calculating analyses.


Care has to be used in these experiments, for hydrogen gas, when mixed with air, is explosive, as described, and may be dangerous if large quantities are generated.


There are other substances in the forms stated; but for ordinary practical purposes the distinctions given are sufficient.


For further particulars concerning ploughing, cost in the colonies, the use of the spade and other implements, ■8 The Semi-tropical Agriculturist,” by the same author, is recommended.


it does not answer, reducing the flow of milk, and tending to fatten off the cows.


Sugar cane, cut tine in chaff cutters, has been tried for dairying stock, but


The teacher might enlarge upon that very interesting subject, the Silkworm. Bee keeping in Australia appears as an additional paper in this series.


The natural methods of bearing of fruit trees and vines generally are described in all standard horticultural works.


This experiment is somewhat risky. When a colony has been aroused to anger and not immediately subdued, the angry spirit may show itself for weeks afterward. Some colonies of bees are much more irritable than others. Vicious bees can be thoroughly mastered, and should be, before any operation is performed.