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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Thirty-second annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Platteville, Wis., February 10, 11 and 12, 1904. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests
(1904)

Henry, W. A.
A lesson in fertility: the importance of feeding milling by-products in Wisconsin,   pp. 31-41 PDF (2.3 MB)


Page 32

 
3hiirty-second Annual Report of the 
is sufficient to supply the fish with all needed air and the fish's 
gills are arranged to take up and utilize the air in water. When 
the fish is thrown on the land its gills dry up and the air cannot 
penetrate them; the blood is poisoned for want of air and the 
fish dies. Strange that it should die where there is so much 
air, yet such is the case. Strange, too, that plants cannot get 
the free nitrogen of the air, yet this is likewise true. The 
nitrogen which plants as a rule can use must be in organized 
form. It must be combined with some other elementary sub- 
stances. Then under certain conditions the plant roots take 
hold of this combined nitrogen, send it in the sap currents about 
the plant and build it up into its tissues. Now, when the 
farmer or gardener feels the need of nitrogen for his lands and 
searches for it in the market he is obliged to pay a goodly sum 
for it. So precious is nitrogen in combined form that when 
we seek it as a fertilizer for our field or garden crops we are 
forced to pay about 15 cents per pound for that which is in best 
combination and not less than 12 cents per pound for that which 
is in only fairly useful form. In the rainless districts of Chili 
and Peru are great beds of what is known as Chili saltpeter or 
nitrate of soda. This material is secured in enormous quanti- 
ties, leached and purified and sent by the ship load to all parts 
of the world. Another source of nitrogen is the waste products 
of the slaughter houses, such as dried blood, the ground up 
parts of dried fish and the bones of animals, all of which fur- 
nish large quantities of nitrogen. Still another source of nitTo- 
gen is the various seeds and grains which contain small pro- 
portions of nitrogen but more particularly such by-products as 
wheat bran, gluten feed, linseed oil meal and cotton-seed meal. 
The next constituent of fertilizers to be considered is phos- 
phoric acid. The bones of farm animals contain a large amount 
of phosphorus. This they must get from the food supplied 
them, hence phosphorus is an important constituent, although 
in small amount, in feeding stuffs.  The grains we grow are 
partly produced to furnish phosphorus. They get this from 
the soil. The soil being drawn upon for phosphorus may be- 
come depleted by constant cropping of the lands of that constit- 
uent as well as others, hence to fertilize our fields we seek 
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