We do not hold ourselves responsible for tha opinions expressed by our correspondents LIMING LAND. TO THE EDITOR. Sib, — I was pleased 10 see m your fesoe of yesterday' a short reference Id your leadiog column to the v*lua of lime as a dressing for land, and with your permission would llko to offer a few remarks on the sabjeot. If you speak to any farmer In this oounty about liming he will generally tell yen that* he knows that liming land Is a good thing, but, In the same breath, will say that -h does not pay here. This, notwithstanding that he has ne vat made theexpnrlmont andoonaeqc»i!ly has no prnotloal experience on the subject anent which he speaks so dogmatically and confidently, his opinion ou tho matter being born of a natural apathy or an oldfashioned and ultra-Conservative antagonism to a departure from the one old rut along which he fcaa crawled for years. Yet In agrloulture, an m all other matters, t.ho law of the Bnrvlval of the fittest mast m the end prevail, and In » few yeais hence such non-progressive Individuals will be as rare aa the dinornis Mantelli, if not altogether extinct, like ttio dodo. They will no longer bo kuowu as farmers, for the keen competition whloh is going on will assuredly force them to the wall. But not all farmers are of this stamp, and there is here and there one who founds bis opinions and his consequent practice upon the results of actual experimeut — npon ascertained da* and proven facts. Of saoh is Mr Winter, of the L'Jiin and, &Joroantlle Agency Oompauy. That gentleman last year tried lime on clover, with the result that he is satisfied of tho financial cacaoes of his experiment, In a word, h»B found that it pays. lie Intends liming largely this year, and is m point of experience a dear twelve month ahead of bis neighbors. Iv another cape, whera oats was the crop treated, the increased yield fully paid for the llmo, while the land has been heartened up and will give better returns for the next five or six years, and thus a handsome profit will be reaped from the outlay. One often hears New Zaaland run down, but It Is not the land but the people who tell it who are m fault, For whom have we among our farmers? Some who are really agriculturists m the true sense of the word, but as for the rest (and that rest is a large proportion) thay are olergyman. lawyers, doctors, merchants, linen-drapers, and what not — m faot representatives of every trade and profession that you oan think of, save the professional farmer who is as rare a? he is valuable, 'the old saying "fools rush m whore angels fear to tread " has its application la this direction, as witness the w»y m whloh mauy trbo, knowing nothing abont It, have sunk their money m tryiug to farm, and who go floundering along without the least idea how to improve matters, and consequently ~ with no hop? of retrieving their fallen fqr tones even if they have the energy to try Not a few of them h«vo come to grief solely because they are ignorant of the faot (or act ob If* they were), that you otnnot keep on taking evetyihi g out of the land without pntting eomothiug Into Jt, and very often the something thkt li wanted is lirao. To show wby lime Is so beneficial to all plant life it is only nocessary to note the large percentage whioh lime, and also potash, form of the chemical constituents of nil tho principal fatm crops, The indlaponslblo alkali— potash— appears to have buen originally derived from the grauitlo rooks m whloh it exists m com- ' blnatlou with silieto acid and alumina m '• tho well-known minerals felspar and mica, ] these rooks having iv cornea of time din- : integrated to form soils for the support of ' plants. The chief substance employed for j acting chemically upon the constituents of the soil, bo as to render them more ' serviceable to plant Ufa, is lime, whloh" ' modifies In a very Important manner both the organic and taineral portions. ' Its action upon the former (the organic ' portion) consists In promoting deaay and ( the conversion of its elementa Into the forms (viE.,oarb<nio sold, water, ammonia, and ni<rio acid) In whloh it Is most ' serviceable to the plant, while, as regards ' the inorganic constituents of the soil lime ( acts by assisting tho decomposition of ' minerals, particularly of those whioh con- • tain the alkalies, such as felspar, thus ' converting them into the soluble forms, In whioh condition they are taken up and " aßsimllatod by vegetation. With the * above fao s before him the farmer will ' easily see why it Iq that lime ii so beneficial m Its action upon the soil and wby it Is that a continuation of good oropa r cannot be leoored without its employment l —Thanking you, sir, m antlglp^tlon, for « space for thq foiogolnp. a I am, etc., Agbioola . 1
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CORRESPONDENCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2094, 26 March 1889
CORRESPONDENCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2094, 26 March 1889
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