Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/267

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of corn on Field A was only 58 bushels, but the limestone and phosphorus together increased the yield of corn by 29 bushels, the yield of oats by 10 bushels, and the yield of clover seed by nearly one bushel per acre. The total value of these three increases is $19.40, counting 40 cents a bushel for corn, 30 cents for oats, and $6.00 a bushel for clover seed. The increase has paid for the cost of the limestone and phosphorus and given in addition a net profit of more than 100 per cent., and besides this the soil of Field C is growing richer and richer, while the soil of Field A and Field B is growing poorer and poorer.

As an average of the three years 1905, 1906 and 1907, the yield of air-dry clover hay in the first cutting was as follows:

Field A .8 ton.
Field B .9 ton (with limestone applied).
Field C 1.8 tons (with limestone and phosphorus).

These clover crops were harvested and removed, thus removing much more phosphorus from Field C than from A or B, but since 1907 all clover except the seed is returned to the land, on all three fields; and hence this story is to be continued.

Nota bene.—Once upon a time a young man came into what is now the heart of the Illinois Corn Belt and found the green grass growing luxuriantly upon the dark prairie soil as far as the eye could see. He had very little money, but the land looked good to him and since it could be obtained from the government at small cost he decided to buy a farm. He began to raise corn and cattle, and even though the price of those products was very low he was soon able to buy more land, and by continuing as he began he became the owner of twenty-seven thousand acres of land before his death. His children and his grandchildren are still living upon the land, which is now worth $200 an acre, even though it requires fertilizing to maintain its productiveness.

While there are eight times as many people in the United States in 1910 as there were when that young man came to McLean County, Illinois, there is now no cheap land anywhere on which corn can be grown with success and profit. Thus the farmer of the present and the farmer of the future must make his success and profit by improving the land now occupied.