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Superphosphates for Roots.

During the next two or three months an immense amount of superphosphate will be used to promote rapid growth m the early stages of various root crops; an* call it what we like, "jumping powder," or artificial, or any more or less depreciatory name, it has now so far justified itself that the proportion of root- growers who are opposed to it is very" small, although there are probably .some who oppose it because they have bought inferior stuff, and are only entitled to give an opinion on an article which shrewder men would not have bought. One of the largest and most successful potato-growers m Lincolnshire recently remarked to us that " he always put on half a ton to the acre, and he would make ifc a ton if he could afford it." For root-growing such large quantities are not required except for special purposes, but if for no other reason 2cwt or 3cwt should always be applied to hasten the germination and early growth of roots. Of course there are mixtures sold under the name of superphosphate which have really very little claim to the title, and there are special preparations—generally with a smell to them—as earnest of the good properties which are not there—with high-sounding names and other inducements to tempt the unwary purchaser, which are proved to be of very little value at all; and because these do not give the expected increase they cause many genuine articles to suffer. There are firms which may be relied upon to supply a sound and genuine article, and unless business is done with these sound firms it is most unbusinesslike to purchase without a guarantee, and a guarantee is of small use unless the bulk is tested, which is unfortunately a state of things which is very commdn. Mineral superphosphate is the most common of the phosphatic manures, and should never be bought under 26 to 28 per cent guaranteed soluble phosphate, and according to recent quotations should cost slightly under 2s 6d per unit m London, and still less m Liverpool. It is not sufficient that a manure should analyse up to guarantee, for condition is a very important matter —m fact, we have seen manures sent out by firms of good repute, which, though the analyses were the same, we would have given preference to some to the extent of several shillings on the point of condition. When a manure is dry it is so much more easy to distribute, and there is not the danger of the phosphate becoming retrograde or insoluble, for it must have been made some time, and the change will most probably have taken place. Superphosphates from English coprolites are less liable to go back, as they as a rule contain less iron than the foreign. The sulphuric acid, too, will most likely be converted and will not effect the soil injuriously. If a superphosphate will cake when pressed m the hand, the condition is bod, and as a rule the dark-coloured manures Are moist while the grey are dry,—" Mark Lane Express."

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Bibliographic details

Superphosphates for Roots., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2513, 9 September 1890

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Superphosphates for Roots. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2513, 9 September 1890