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May says: Although the stand is not perfect by any means, I think I may claim without boasting that today I have the best plot of 14 acre of alfalfa in Maine." There are other small pieces in Brunswick that are partial successes. Rust which has proven so destructive in Vermont and Northern New York has not been reported in Maine. Weeds are apparently the greatest menace of any one thing to successful alfalfa growing in the State. A representative of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, who has made two trips through New England studying the alfalfa growing, is of the opinion that the dying out of alfalfa may“ possibly be from winter killing but more probably by being run out by native grasses."

Unfortunately, as noticed on page 29, the cultures that were sent out last year for inoculating soils proved unreliable and cannot be counted upon for soil inoculation. Any one desiring to experiment with alfalfa will therefore have to grow it without inoculating the soil, or will have to obtain soil from a field where alfalfa has been grown and produced an abundance of root nodules. In order to be of value to Maine agriculture a good stand must be obtained and the stand must be able to continue not one, but several years. The Station does not advise anyone in this State to grow alfalfa at present except in an experimental way. To those who have land that seems to be suited to alfalfa and have the time and patience to thoroughly care for the crop, the Station will gladly lend assistance in any way that it can. That alfalfa would be a valuable addition to our forage crops needs no demonstration. If the difficuties which thus far have prevented its successful culture can be surmounted, it will more than recompense the cost of the many hundreds of trials that have been given this plant in Maine during the past 25 years.

HOME MIXED FERTILIZERS FOR POTATOES. There are sold in Maine a large number (about 40) brands of fertilizers that contain the word “potato” in their name. In the case of more than half of these brands there seems to be no reason, other than the attractiveness of the word, to call them potato fertilizers. More than half of them have the composition of general purpose goods, carying about 3 per cent of nitrogen, 8 per cent of phosphoric acid, and 3 per cent of potash. The same formulas could, with equal propriety, be called corn fertilizers. A few are seriously intended as special formulas for potatoes. These goods carry proportionately more potash and less phosphoric acid. Such brands carry from 3 to 4 per cent nitrogen, about 6 per cent available phosphoric acid and 5, 8 or

, even 10 or more per cent of potash.

In 1904 experiments with home mixed fertilizers in comparison with standard high grade mixed goods were made on two farms in the town of Houlton and also in Fort Fairfield. The materials were bought at one time and were all mixed at Houlton. The formula was :-Portland Rendering Company's (rescreened) tankage 420 pounds; acid phosphate 400 pounds; cottonseed meal 200 pounds; sulphate of potash 200 pounds; and nitrate of soda 100 pounds. Analysis showed the mixed goods to have the following composition: Water soluble nitrogen 1.37 per cent; availabe nitrogen 2.72 per cent; total nitrogen 4.09 per cent; available phosphoric acid 7.01 per cent; total phosphoric acid 9.87 per cent; and potash 7.61 per cent.

The details of these experiments are given in Bulletin 112 of this Station. With the exception of one field of early planted potatoes the results were all in favor of the commercial brands.

Average yield of merchantable potatoes grown on home mixed fertilizers in 1904 compared with commercial potato fertilizers.

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This smaller yield was explained as follows: "The tops kept greener in color during the last half of the growing season with the home mixture. September 1, there was a severe frost all over Northern Maine. The late potatoes grown upon the home mixture had greener and more succulent vines than those upon the standard fertilizers and in consequence were damaged much more by the frost. In fact, the vines of the late planted potatoes on the home mixed goods were practically killed at this time, while the same varieties planted at the same time upon the standard potato fertilizer continued to grow after this frost. As a result, the potatoes were larger and better ripened with these than upon the home mixed plots. For quick maturing, the home mixed goods apparently carried too much slowly available nitrogen and too little available phosphoric acid.”

In 1905 three formulas were compared with one commercial potato fertilizer. The formulas used were as follows:

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Arrangement of acre plots, pounds of fertilizer and constituents

applied and yield of potatoes.

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The irregularities of the yields on the first 4 plots can be explained by the differences in the character of the soil. Comparing the yields on the home mixed plots with the average of the commercial fertilizer plots either side of the home mixed plots the following results are obtained :

Formula No. 2, 87 barrels; Watson's Improved, 87 barrels. Formula No. 3, 81 barrels; Watson's Improved, 88 barrels. Formula No. 3A, 91 barrels; Watson's Improved, 96 barrels.

It will be noted that the results on the whole are again lower with home mixed goods than with the commercial fertilizer. The results are not consistent, however, with each other, and no conclusive interpretation of the results are apparent. It is planned to continue the comparisons another season.

THE EFFECT OF THE RATION ON THE VALUE

OF THE MANURE.

J. M. BARTLETT. In digestion experiments with steers, where both the feces and the urine were saved, potash and phosphoric acid determinations as well as nitrogen were made in order that the fertilizing value of the manure from the different rations could be compared. It will be noticed that no figures are given in the table on page 46 for the percentages of potash found in the urine. The determinations were made, but owing to a probable error in calculating the results from the dry to the fresh bases, which at this time cannot be corrected, they are omitted. Other experiments show that the potash of the food is practically all given off in the excretions, so the figures given for potash in the urine are obtained by subtracting the potash of the feces from the total amount taken in the food.

Only traces of phosphoric acid were found in the urine. the first experiment with hay alone, more nitrogen was found in the excretions than was taken in the food. This discrepancy was probably due to insufficient nitrogen in the ration to maintain the animals and they lost flesh, excreting some body nitrogen. Therefore the feces from this ration relatively contains more nitrogen and value higher than they should, for it is evident that the animals could not continue for any length of time to give off more nitrogen than they received.

The results are given in the tables which follow.

The first table on page 46 gives the weights of food eaten and feces and urine excreted for each animal for the five day that the experiment occupied and the second table contains the percentages of fertilizing ingredients in both food and excreta.

The tables on page 47 contain the amount of fertilizing ingredients excreted by each animal and the total amount of fertilizing ingredients in the food, feces and urine, also the percentages excreted.

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