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and stimulating intellectual pursuit, the most varied, the most complex, and, for the great majority of our Teutonic stock at least, the most attractive and fascinating of all the callings that are open to men.
I bave already passed the limits of time assigned to me, and must hasten to a conclusion. Let me gather up the points I have tried to make.
I have sought to show that there are three possible sources of the knowledge which agriculture is obliged to have and to hold, viz , tradition, experience, and science. I have sought to show that three types of agricultural practice result from the acceptance of one or other of these threefold sources of knowledge, and I have characterized these systems as traditional, empirical, and rational. I have named as an example of the first system the agriculture of China. T
The prevailing system of American agriculture comes under the second head; but there is no land nor nation to which I can point as fully exemplifying the third. Rational agriculture, in the large way, is the agriculture of the future; but it is coming in spots all through the civilized world. It is coloring and affecting our own best practice to a marked degree. The old jealousy of any knowledge that was not gained by practical experience, and uninstructed experience at that, is passing away, and it is becoming obvious to all progressive farmers that the questions pressing upon them for solution are questions of number and weight, of chemical or physiological law, and that no answers can be satisfactory that do not come from the full and exact knowledge which we call science. Take a single example-the que-tion of artificial fertilizers--that is already assuming quite large proportions in this State. There never was a more momentous discovery made in agricultural science than this, viz., that the ashes of the several groups of plants are constant in quality and quantity. Wheat takes one kind of mineral matter from the soil, and clover, for example, another. What a flood of light this discovery throws on all the best practice of the world! As a final result, there comes the manufacture of artificial fertilizers, so compounded as to return to the soil the elements that production has slowly drained away. Every step is dependent on science, and the questions can not be solved outside of a chemical laboratory.
Where on the face of the round globe can a better field be found for the establishment of a truly rational system of agriculture than the forty thousand square miles that we represent to day ? Happily located in the great Mississippi Valley, covered with soils of all varieties and capabilities, many of them of unsurpassed fertility, with a generous rainfall that never forgets its times and seasons, with a climate that allows and invites the culture of a wider variety of grains and fruits than almost any other equal area, with an intelligent and progressive population that have already made for themselves magnificent provisions for general education, with the best and most extended training in the sciences on which agriculture depends to be had without money and without price, where can the progress from merely intelligent to thorough scieniific husbandry be better made than just here?
I believe that the State Bɔard of Agriculture is working in the line of this progress.
Maj. J. M. Millikin was called upon to read a paper or address the Convention on the subject assigned to him, “Which are the best breeds of swine in Ohio." He declined doing so, stating that the subject had been discussed in the Swine. Breeders' Association the previous evening, he believed to the entire satisfaction of the swine breeders, and, as there were many important papers yet to be read before the Convention, he suggested that this matter be postponed, and said that he had no paper prepared on the subject.
Dr. N. S. Townshend was requested to present the subject assigned to him, " What books should be in an Ohio farmers' library ?" Dr. Townshend suggested that the question be passed, as the answer would be chiefly a catalogue containing the names of the books which he would prepare and hand to the Secretary to be printed in the annual report.
J. B. Bort then read a paper on the next subject named in the programme,
DOE3 LONG WJOL SHEEP-BREEDING PAY IN Ohio ?" MR. PRESIDENT: I regret that the task of writing an essay on longwool sheep did not meet with an abler writer. But, without further a pology or preface, I will proceed to answer the allotted question in the allirmative.
It is an admitted fact that a flock of sheep are both profitable and necessary on every farm. More than two hundred years ago this subject was discussed in England by the ablest landlords in that country, and the forementioned statement acknowledged. This rule applies with equal force in this country and State, and in all countries where people manufacture and wear woolen clothes.
No animal that we raise and keep will relish and devour to great a variety of fcol as the sheep. They keep down weeds and noxious vegetation, which soon gives place to tame pasture, such as blue grass and white clover. And the droppings of no domestic animal is so well cal. culated to fertilize the land. If there is any poor knobs in the pasture, there is where the sheep will be likely to rest during the night and deposít their droppings. Does long-wool sheep breeding pay in Ohio? It pays in Canada,
Tbat lies in six degrees
Of more inclement skies. They are also successfully bred in Kentucky, which is a milder climate than Central Ohio. They are raised and are healthy in the northern counti:8 of our State. We see flocks from those counties at our State Fair perfectly healthy and wearing as lustrous a fleece as the imported stock. It is a marked fact that most of the flocks of long wool sheep are kept by Englishmen or their direct descendants. It is said that a flock of long-wool sheep will not thrive only in the hands of Englishmen. Certainly our Buckeye farmers must be dull scholars indeed if they cannot learn as well as our British brethren.
Twenty years ago the best long.wools grown in this country was manufactured into carpets, but now we have machinery for the manufacture of such wools into all classes of goods, the same as in England, and the demand is steadily increasing. Certainly this state of things will make a good demand for the long-wool of Ohio. We will not attempt to discuss the merits of the three classes of long.wool sheep in our State, namely, the Leicesters, the Lincolns, and the Cotswolds. There is probably some little difference in their frame as well as the wool; but they all have a fleece that may be made into any of the fabrics for which long wool is used. I know that many object to this class of sheep, saying they are not healthy. They failed to make a success of their flocks; hence they conclude that they are not the kind to keep. I have known many to fail with fine wool flocke; the fact is, they were not good shepherds; they must turn their attention to bogs; in that they may succeed well.
Ano:her advantage we have with long-wools: they are not loaded down with grease and dirt. I will make an extract from an exhibit made in our State and published in Ohio Agricultural Report for the year 1866,
Now for the carcass. It is not denied that mutton is, by far, the most healthy and nutritious of all flesh diets; it is also cheaper than beef, and at the same time loses less in ccoking. Since railroads have become numerous and running in all directions through our State, almost every farmer is brought into close connection with our large cities, where lamb and mutton åre extensively used, and the demand increases in a greater proportion than the population. ·
As the use of the larger breeds of sheep increases for food, the relish for it also increases. One prominent objection to mutton was, it tasted strong and sheepy, which was certainly the case with the small finewool breeds. How often has my wife cautioned me, when slaughtering a sheep, to be careful and not let the wool touch the flesh, as it would make it strong. Since I have butchered the long-wool sheep I have had fewer admonitions of that sort. But it is further objected that long.wool sheep are great eaters. I am glad of that; for, if they did not each much, they could not be made to weigh one hundred and thirty pounds at one year's growth, which is no uncommon thing for the English breeds. The lambs, at six months old, will average one hundred pounds. Surely it does not cost as much to keep a Leicester or Cotswold sheep one year as it does to keep a fine-wool two or three years, and then they seldom come up to that figure.
I trankly admit that long-wools require better feed than fine-wools, and also shelter in winter storms, from the fact the wool parts on the back, and is not so compact and oily as Merinos, and of course will not resist the wet and cold as well. They having a much larger surface for the wool to grow on, they will yield more pounds of cleansed wool than Spanish sheep
In the year 1868 the aggregate of sheep in Ohio reached the almost incredible number of 7,688,845, while in the year 1878, ten years later, the amount had dwindled down to less than 4,000,000. What amount of those were long-wool it is impossible to determine, but one thing is certain the per cent. was very small. The average of wool per head then was four and one-third pounds. Thit, of course, included what was washed on the sheep and that not washed at all.
The average value per head, as returned by the assessors, was $2.19. Had the long-wools been listed by themselves, the average value would have been much greater. I listed my long-wool sheep at about $1.00 por head. With this enormous falling off in numbers, combined with other causes, has increased the price of wool from ten to fifteen cents per pon nd, so that none need be afraid to invest money in sheep.
N. S. Townshend followed Mr. Dort with a short lecture on the subject. The Convention was then addressed on the subject of
ANALYSES OF FERTILIZERS.
BY PROF. NAT. W. LORD
I do not wish to make many remarks on the subject of farm manures, but to speak more particularly on the question of fertilizers as applied to the soil. The use of fertilizers is simply the use of chemicals to supply to the soil the ingredients it lacks naturally, or the ingredients that plants have taken from it. In this view of it, the fertilizers that are used are to be, of course, regarded merely as chemicals, and it is in that light that I wish to speak of them. The fertilizers on the market have a great variety of names. Some of them merely trade names, others bearing, more or less remotely, on their composition, but when examined, you will find that their sources are but few. We have, however, farm fertilizers which are not commercial fertilizers. Then, there are fertilizers that are derived from bones and refuse of that character. Other fer. tilizers are made from the r sfuse of slaughter houses, dried blood, and scraps of all kinds. Then, the guanos which are brought from their deposits on certain islands. Then the various chemical salts which are used. These are advertised by the parties selling them, frequently, without any reference to their composition, being sold simply as fertilizers and under different names. When these are examined, especially in connection with the chemical constitution of the ashes of plants, and the various demands made by plants on the soil, and in other ways
from the material necessary to build up the structure of the plaats, it is found that they all have certain points in common in regard to their composition; that is, certain ingredients, giving them their real value as fertilizers, are common to all.
These ingredients are phosphoric acid, potash, and ammonia, and most of the commercial fertilizers differ not so much as to the quantity of these which they contain, as to the proportion in which the different ingredients occur. In regard to the ammonia, it can be present in two forms, either as ammonia already formed in the fertilizer, liable to escape into the atmosphere as it usually does, or combined in connection with acids in such a way as to be present in an insoluble form, or it can exist in the form of nitrogen, not as ammonia. The nitrogen, by the action of the atmosphere and moisture and exposure to the diff:rent conditions of the soil, will be converted into ammonia. This nitrogen generally exists in the form of organic matter in the various albuminous compounds, and is converted into ammonia with more or less ease, accɔrding to the form in which it exists in the organic matter.
In regard to the phosphoric acid, it is important for agricultural purposes, only in so far as it is soluble phosphoric acid. Any of these ingredients, to be valuable to plants, must be soluble and taken up by the water in the soil, and in that way they become valuable to the plants. Phosphoric acid, as it is found naturally in manures, is not soluble in water. Fertilizers in which the phosphoric acid is combined with minerals, are of very little value for the pho-phoric acid they contain. The phosphoric acid is made soluble, however, by the treatment of the minerals with acid, and where it exists in bones, as phosphate of lime, it is