Document the agricultural industry

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  • The cultivation of tea in China and Japan is another of the great industries of these nations, taking rank with that of sericulture, if not above it, in the important part it plays in the welfare of the people. There is little reason to doubt that the industry has its foundation in the need of something to render boiled water palatable for drinking purposes. The drinking of boiled water has been universally adopted in these countries as an individually available, thoroughly efficient and safe guard against that class of deadly disease germs which it has been almost impossible to...

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  • On May 15th we left Shanghai by one of the coastwise steamers for Tsingtao, some three hundred miles farther north, in the Shantung Province, our object being to keep in touch with methods of tillage and fertilization, corresponding phases of which would occur later in the season there. The Shantung province is in the latitude of North Carolina and Kentucky, or lies between that of San Francisco and Los Angeles. It has an area of nearly 56,000 square miles, about that of Wisconsin. Less than one-half of this area is cultivated land yet it is at the present time supporting...

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  • You have perhaps observed the regularity of arrangement in the twigs and branches of trees. Now pull up the roots of a plant, as, for example, sheep sorrel, Jimson weed, or some other plant. Note the branching of the roots. In these there is no such regularity as is seen in the twig. Trace the rootlets to their finest tips. How small, slender, and delicate they are! Still we do not see the finest of them, for in taking the plant from the ground we tore the most delicate away. In order to see the real construction of a...

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  • All plants when carefully burned leave a portion of ash, ranging widely in quantity, averaging about 5 per cent, and often exceeding 10 per cent of the dry weight of the plant. This plant ash represents inorganic substances taken from the soil by the roots. In addition, the nitrogen of plants, averaging about 2 per cent and often amounting to 4 per cent, which, in burning, passes off in gaseous form, is also usually taken from the soil by the plant roots. A comparatively large quantity of the plant is, therefore, drawn directly from the soil. Among the ash...

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  • The large amount of water required for the production of plant substance is taken from the soil by the roots. Leaves and stems do not absorb appreciable quantities of water. The scanty rainfall of dry-farm districts or the more abundant precipitation of humid regions must, therefore, be made to enter the soil in such a manner as to be readily available as soil-moisture to the roots at the right periods of plant growth. In humid countries, the rain that falls during the growing season is looked upon, and very properly, as the really effective factor in the production of large...

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  • The basal food crop of the people of China, Korea and Japan is rice, and the mean consumption in Japan, for the five years ending 1906, per capita and per annum, was 302 pounds. Of Japan's 175,428 square miles she devoted, in 1906, 12,856 to the rice crop. Her average yield of water rice on 12,534 square miles exceeded 33 bushels per acre, and the dry land rice averaged 18 bushels per acre on 321 square miles. In the Hokkaido, as far north as northern Illinois, Japan harvested 1,780,000 bushels of water rice from 53,000 acres. In Szechwan province, China,...

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  • In the preceding chapter advice is given that applies to groups or classes of plants, and many lists are inserted to guide the grower in his choice or at least to suggest to him the kinds of things that may be grown for certain purposes or conditions. It now remains to give instructions on the growing of particular kinds or species of plants. It is impossible to include instructions on any great number of plants in a book like this. It is assumed that the user of this book already knows how to grow the familiar or easily handled...

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  • With the vast and ever increasing demands made upon materials which are the products of cultivated fields, for food, for apparel, for furnishings and for cordage, better soil management must grow more important as populations multiply.

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  • The demonstration in the last chapter that the water which falls as rain or snow may be stored in the soil for the use of plants is of first importance in dry-farming, for it makes the farmer independent, in a large measure, of the distribution of the rainfall. The dry-farmer who goes into the summer with a soil well stored with water cares little whether summer rains come or not, for he knows that his crops will mature in spite of external drouth. In fact, as will be shown later, in many dry-farm sections where the summer rains are...

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  • The object of cultivating the soil is to raise from it a crop of plants. In order to cultivate with economy, we must raise the largest possible quantity with the least expense, and without permanent injury to the soil. Before this can be done we must study the character of plants, and learn their exact composition. They are not created by a mysterious power, they are merely made up of matters already in existence. They take up water containing food and other mat[Pg 12]ters, and discharge from their roots those substances that are not required for their growth. ...

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  • We had returned to Japan in the midst of the first rainy season, and all the day through, June 25th, and two nights, a gentle rain fell at Nagasaki, almost without interruption. Across the narrow street from Hotel Japan were two of its guest houses, standing near the front of a wall-faced terrace rising twenty-eight feet above the street and facing the beautiful harbor. They were accessible only by winding stone steps shifting on paved landings to continue the ascent between retaining walls overhung with a wealth of shrubbery clothed in the densest foliage, so green and liquid in...

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  • One of the most remarkable agricultural practices adopted by any civilized people is the centuries-long and well nigh universal conservation and utilization of all human waste in China, Korea and Japan, turning it to marvelous account in the maintenance of soil fertility and in the production of food. To understand this evolution it must be recognized that mineral fertilizers so extensively employed in modern western agriculture, like the extensive use of mineral coal, had been a physical impossibility to all people alike until within very recent years.

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  • The castles of the great landowners have been so often described that there is no need to do this again. The popular idea of a baron of the Middle Ages is of a man who when he was not fighting was jousting or hunting. Such were, no doubt, his chief recreations; so fond was he of hunting, indeed, that his own broad lands were not enough, and he was a frequent trespasser on those of others; the records of the time are full of cases which show that poaching was quite a fashionable amusement among the upper classes. But...

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  • There is a knack in the successful handling of plants that it is impossible to describe in print. All persons can improve their practice through diligent reading of useful gardening literature, but no amount of reading and advice will make a good gardener of a person who does not love to dig in a garden or who does not have a care for plants just because they are plants. To grow a plant well, one must learn its natural habits. Some persons learn this as if by intuition, acquiring the knowledge from close discrimination of the behavior of the...

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  • The acre-yields of crops on dry-farms, even under the most favorable methods of culture, are likely to be much smaller than in humid sections with fertile soils. The necessity for frequent fallowing or resting periods over a large portion of the dry-farm territory further decreases the average annual yield.

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  • The great depth and high fertility of the soils of arid and semiarid regions have made possible the profitable production of agricultural plants under a rainfall very much lower than that of humid regions. To make the principles of this system fully understood, it is necessary to review briefly our knowledge of the root systems of plants growing under arid conditions.

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  • Plants have diseases just as animals do; not the same diseases, to be sure, but just as serious for the plant. Some of them are so dangerous that they kill the plant; others partly or wholly destroy its usefulness or its beauty. Some diseases are found oftenest on very young plants, others prey on the middle-aged tree, while still others attack merely the fruit. Whenever a farmer or fruit-grower has disease on his plants, he is sure to lose much profit. You have all seen rotten fruit. This is diseased fruit. Fruit rot is a plant disease. It costs...

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  • We have seen that the landlords' profits were seriously diminished by the Black Death, and they cast about them for new ways of increasing their incomes. Arable land had been until now largely in excess of pasture, the cultivation of corn was the chief object of agriculture, bread forming a much larger proportion of men's diet than now. This began to change. Much of the land was laid down to grass, and there was a steady increase in sheep farming; thus commenced that revolution in farming which in the sixteenth century led Harrison to say that England was mainly...

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  • In the foregoing section, we have studied the character of plants and the laws which govern their growth. We learned that one necessary condition for growth is a fertile soil, and therefore we will examine the nature of different soils, in order that we may understand the relations between them and plants. What is a fixed character of

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  • Let us now examine plants with a view to learning the location of the various plants. The stem or trunk of the plant or tree consists almost entirely of woody fibre; this also forms a large portion of the other parts except the seeds, and, in some instances, the roots. The roots of the potato contain large quantities of starch. Other roots such as the carrot and turnip contain pectic acid,[J] a nutritious substance resembling starch.

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