Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/91

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81
SCIENTIFIC FARMING AT ROTHAMPSTED.

the United States, and consequently also over the intervening continent of Northern Asia, when the climate and geography were different from what they are now. From the close of that age, marked in Britain by the development of "the silver streak," the animal has steadily been retreating southward in the direction of its present haunts through all the period recorded in history. This has probably been brought about by the rivalry of the hunter, the loss of cover, and the increasing scarcity of game. Its disappearance, however, from Northern Asia and North America must have been due to some other causes, as in the parallel case of the horse, which abounded in North America in the Pleistocene age, and afterward became extinct, although the conditions of life are now so favorable that the animals introduced by the Spaniards have run wild, and now form vast herds. It became extinct in Britain at the close of the Pleistocene age, and in Europe between the time of Aristotle (340 b. c.) and that of Dio Chrysostom Rhetor (80 to 100 a. d.).—Contemporary Review.

 
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SCIENTIFIC FARMING AT ROTHAMSTED.
By MANLY MILES, M. D.

IN the literature of every department of agriculture, the references to the Rothamsted experiments are getting to be as familiar as household words, and it is now generally admitted that they have had an important influence on English farm-practice.

In this Country, however, the direct and practical bearing of these experiments on the every-day business of the farm is not fully appreciated, and this is perhaps largely owing to the fact that the American farmer is owner of the soil he tills, and is not therefore compelled to give that strict attention to every detail of the economy of farm management that is essential to the successful practice of farming in Great Britain.

It would seem that the leading object of inquiry at Rothamsted has been the solution of agricultural problems, but the relations of science to agriculture are so broad that what may be considered purely practical lines of investigation can not be limited to considerations that are of interest to the farmer only, as they involve the discussion of questions that are constantly presenting themselves in the progressive development of the sciences of chemistry, botany, vegetable and animal physiology, including dietetics and the laws of assimilation and growth, and thus lead to an examination of topics that are properly included in the domain of social and sanitary sciences.

In fact, when the original object of inquiry is the attainment of some practical end, the dominant work of experimentation, when