Page:Journal of botany, British and foreign, Volume 9 (1871).djvu/310

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Z8b PUOCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES.

liiglier than tliat of Brussels. Thus the mean temperature of both was alike. Now the cultivation of the beet in Belgium succeeded admirablj', and he was in a position to satisfy them, and hoped to prove conclu- sively, that so far as climate was concerned, it would succeed in Ireland too, and that the slightest diflerence of temperature in summer and winter was immaterial, thou^',h, of course, temperature was a material element in the growth of any crop. Some persons Avere of opinion that, in order to a successful cultivation of sugar beet, not only a high degree of tempera- ture was required, but a hot, blazing sun. This was altogether a mistake ; in order to induce the secretion of a large cpianlity of saccharine matter in beet, the root lecjuired to be earthed up, and thus shaded from the sun. Sunh'ght, so far from inducing a large secretion of sugar, was rather inimical to it. After his return from the Continent he grew some speci- mens of beet, which were amilysed in order to ascertain their cpinlities. Some were grown at Glasnevin and some in county Cork, and he would just say that the specimens grown in Cork, on a light soil, exceeded any- thing grown in France. In 1870 he grew roots on six different fai'ms in different parts of Ireland, including the Model Farm at Ballymoney, in this county. Dr. Hodges analysed six specimens with the following result: — No. 1 contained 12"19 per cent, of crystallizalile saccharine matter; No. 2, 12-33; No. 8, 12 19; No. 4, 12-22; No. 5, 10-63; and No. 6, 9 per cent. Dr. Voelcker analysed a number of specimens grown at the Model Farm in county Cork, on a poor, hungry, gravel soil with the following result : — No. 1 contained 9-91 per cent, crystallizable sugar; No. 2, 10-60 per cent.; and No. 3, 10-98 per cent. Two specimens grown on a light, sandy soil, at the Athy Model Farm, and examined by Dr. Voelcker, were found to contain 10-78 and 10-99 per cent, of crystallizable sugar respectively ; while three specimens, grown at the Model Farm, Ballymoney, were found to contain 901, 9 37, and 10-52 respectively (see also ' Journal of Bolany,' p. 253). The specimens examined by Dr. Hodges were grown at Glas- nevin ; and though the investigations were conducted by different modes, the results agreed very closely. Now, an important question arose, viz., what was the quantity of crystallizable sugar that would justil'y the manu- facture? Mr. Beauchamp expressed the opinion that when roots contained from 8-50 to 8-75 per cent, of crystallizable sugar, the manufacturer would be justified in extracting the sugar, and Mr. Duncan, who hiis established a large factory near London, wrote to him to say that anything under 9 per cent, would scarcely justify the manufacture. Now, the very lowest percentage exhibited by the analysis that had been made was 9 per cent., and was equal to the mininuun that had been tixed on as justifying the manufacture.

He now came to the question of questions. He thought he had clearly shown that the beet grown in Ireland contained a sufficient percentage of crystallizable sugar to justify mamifacture ; and the question now was, could the manufacturer give the fai'uier a price that would remunerate him for the cultivation ? He believed he was rather under the mark in stating that farmers might easily raise eighteen tons per acre of clean roots — they could do this without the slightest dithculty. Assuming that for carefully grown roots 20*. a ton could be obtained, the farmer wcmld have got £18 per acre for his crop, which, he thought, woidd pay very fairly. Considerable injury had been done to beet cultivation in Ireland by ex-

�� �