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Southern Wisconsin Cheesemakers' and Dairymen's Association / Proceedings of the tenth annual meeting of the Southern Wisconsin Cheesemakers' and Dairymen's Association held at Monroe, Wisconsin, Thurs. and Fri., January 27 and 28, 1910
(1910)

Readheimer, J. E.
Phosphorus as a fertilizer on the dairy farm,   pp. 75-83 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 78


78           TENTH ANNUAL CONVE'NTION
ed. It should be well drained and well manured, and on
any but limestone soil, liberal amounts of limestone should
be applied.
By growing clover and alfalfa to furnish the protein
of the feed and by using large amounts of straw for bed-
ding to absorb all of the liquid manure, sufficient nitrogen
andl humus should be provided for in the manure produced
on the farm to grow large crops of corn and oats.  The
clover and alfalfa of course get their nitrogen from  the
air. Enough phosphorus then can  be purchased at a no-
minal expense to maintain the soil in a permanently pro-
ductive capacity.
Phosphorus might be applied in the form of manure,
but where only produce grown on the farm is used, not
enough can be made. It might be applied in bone meal
but this form is comparatively expensive. It might be app-
lied in acid phosphate, but this form is also expensive and
not very satisfactory because of the free acid which it con-
tains. The only other form that could be used is the na-
tural raw rock phosphate. This is very much the cheapest
form, and dairy farming provides ideal conditions for its
proper use. Raw rock phosphate, as its name implies, is
a raw product. It is simply a raw rock ground into a
very fine powler. In its natural state it is almost wholly
insoluble in water. The fertilizer manufacturers treat it
with strong sulfuric acid to render it soluble in the making
of acid phosphate. But we have seen that this is object-
ionable because of the free acid which it contains as well
as because of its expensiveness.
The phosphorus in the soil is in the form of rock phos-
phate, and is insoluble except as the farmer makes it soluble
by using large amounts of decaying organic matter, as
farm manures and green manures. The phosphorus in a
soil deficient in humus is in just as inert a condition as the
raw rock phosphate fresh from the mines of Tennessee.
If the phosphorus in the soil can be made available by de-
caying organic matter, raw rock phosphate can also be


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