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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 68

Soil

Soil.

The soils occupied vary very considerably in quality and composition. Even on the great plain the widest diversity is found, due here chiefly to the action of the rapid waters of the large rivers, and also to a considerable extent to the effects of wind. For there can be no doubt but that the poorness of some of the central part of the plain—through most of which, unfortunately for the credit of the country the main trunk line of railway runs—is due to the action of strong westerly winds upon the river deposited silt. Thus the finer particles being carried seaward, accounts for the richness of the land toward the sea coast, where we find this deposit—loess—presenting us with soils of the greatest fertility.

These deposits being to seaward, have in many cases to receive the waters of the easterly running streams, the result being often swampy lands, which on being drained prove to be exceedingly rich, the accumulated vegetable matter having added to the natural fertility of the wind deposited loess.

It is from these lands the astonishing results that appear in the public prints from time to time, are obtained—results [unclear: which] often thought to be exaggerations by persons unacquainted with the productiveness of these soils.

On the low downs, both South and North, is land above average quality of that of most of the plain. And [unclear: the] here also are very diverse in character, being in some localities more or less calcareous, in others a stiff or less adhesive clay. page 7 Again we find that friable volcanic soil so conducive to the [unclear: pid] growth of good grass, having in abundance all the elements of [unclear: t] food, And all these lands are exceedingly well watered and [unclear: ined]

Towards the scientific examination of soils much has been done in the laboratory of the School of Agriculture, at Lincoln.

The following table of the chemical analyses of some soils, may prove of interest.

lts Calculated on 100 Parts Of Soil Dried At 100 deg. C. No. 36 College Farm. No. 4 College Farm. No. 8 College Farm. No. 18 College Farm. Salop Downs. Salop Downs. Island Farm. Hinds. Peaty Soil. 7.701 5.604 5.996 9.082 6.34 5.94 5.62 11.60 53.307 80.519 87.410 87.075 81.383 84.99 86.K5 83.46 77.85 37 509 .217 .031 .040 .198 ... ... ... .31 339 4.336 2.658 2.419 3.890 6.87 6.88 7.95 7.71 3.241 4.586 2.870 2.975 3.419 1.970 .617 .152 .219 .332 .22 .33 1.56 1.35 1.685 .335 .308 .394 .575 ... ... ... .73 .141 .564 .174 .187 .495 .51 .34 .43 .04 .387 .289 .167 .314 .169 ... ... ... .14 .253 .148 .144 .118 .205 .17 .03 .17 .19 .324 .044 .172 .020 .188 ... ... ... .09 .637 .021 .07 .005 .011 ... ... ... .07 .031 .623 .303 .232 .053 .90 .08 .81 ... .176 100.000 100.000 100.000 100.000 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.08 100.000 3.590 2.485 1.945 3.070 2.35 1.77 2.05 11.28 15.315 .245 .186 .328 .294 .238 .154 .182 .230 1.652

Table No. II.—Analyses of Some Canterbury Soils.