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and that the seed transferred from the barberry to the corn, is one cause of the disease? Misletoe, the parasitic plant with which we are the best acquainted, delights most to grow on the apple and hawthorn, but it florishes occasionally on trees widely differing in their nature from both of these; in the Home Park, at Windsor, misletoe may be seen in abundance on the lime trees, planted there in avenues; as likewise at Cobham Hall, near Gravesend, the seat of the Earl of Darnley; at Anchorwick, near Staines, it grows on the Carolina poplar. If this conjecture is founded, another year will not pass without its being confirmed by the observations of inquisitive and sagacious farmers.

It would be presumptuous to offer any remedy for a malady, the progress of which is so little understood; conjec tures, however, founded on the origin here assigned to it, may be hazarded without offence.

It is believed' to begin early in the spring, and first to appear on the leaves of wheat in the form of rust, or orange-colored powder; at this season, the fungus will, in all probability, require as many weeks for its progress from infancy to puberty, as it does days during the heats of autumn; but a very few plants of wheat, thus infected, are quite sufficient, if the fungus is permitted to ripen its seed, to spread the malady over a field, or indeed over a whole parish.

The chocolate-colored Blight is little observed till the corn is approaching very nearly to ripeness; it appears then in the field in spots, which increase very rapidly in size, and are in calm weather somewhat circular, as if the disease took its origin from a central position.

This, though believed, is not dogmatically asserted, because Fontana, the best writer on the subject, asserts that the yellow and the dark-colored Blight are different species of fungi.

May it not happen, then, that the fungus is brought into the field in a few stalks of infected straw, uncorrupted among the mass of dung laid in the ground at the time of sowing? it must be confessed, however, that the clover leys, on which no dung from the yard was used, were as much infected last autumn as the manured crops. The immense multiplication of the disease in the last season, seems, however, to account for this; as the air was no doubt frequently charged with seed for miles together, and deposited it indiscriminately on all sorts of

crops.

It cannot, however, be an expensive precaution to search diligently in the spring for young plants of wheat infected with the disease, and carefully to extirpate them; as well as all grasses, (for several are subject to this or a similar ma. lady) which have the appearance of orange-colored or of black stripes on their leaves, or on their straw; and if experience shall prove, that straw can carry the disease with it into the field, it will cost the farmer but little precaution to prevent any mixture of fresh straw from being carried out with his rotten dung to the wheat field.

In a year like the present, that offers so fair an opportunity, it will be useful to observe attentively whether cattle in the straw yard thrive better or worse on blighted than on healthy straw. That blighted straw, retaining on it the fungi that have robbed the corn of its flour, has in it more nutritious matter than clean straw, which has yielded a crop of plump grain, cannot be doubted; the question is, whether this nutriment in the form of fungi does, or can be made to agree as well with the stomachs of the animals that consume it, as it would do in that of straw and corn.

It cannot be improper in this place to remark, that although the seeds of wheat are rendered, by the exhausting power of the fungus, so lean and shrivelled that scarce any NO. XII. Pam. VOL. VI. 2 D

flour fit for the manufacture of bread can be obtained by grinding them, these very seeds will (except, perhaps, in the very worst cases)' answer the purpose of seed corn as well as the fairest and plumpest sample that can be obtained— and, in some respects, better; for, as a bushel of much blighted corn will contain one third at least more grains in number than a bushel of plump corn, three bushels of such corn will go as far in sowing land, as four bushels of large grain.'

The use of the flour of corn in furthering the process of vegetation, is to nourish the minute plant from the time of its developement till its roots are able to attract food from the manured earth; for this purpose one tenth of the contents of a grain of good wheat is more than sufficient. The quantity of flour in wheat has been increased by culture and management calculated to improve its qualities for the benefit of mankind, in the same proportion as the pulp of apples and pears has been increased, by the same means, above what is found on the wildings and crabs in the hedges.

180 grains of the most blighted wheat of the last year, that could be obtained, were sown in pots in the hothouse; of these, seventy-two produced healthy plants, a loss of 10 per cent, only.

2

By a careful analysis in the wet-way, conducted by Mr. Davy, Professor at the Royal Institution, 100 parts of

Gluten.

75

Best Sicilian wheat afforded,
Good English wheat of 1803,

77

70

6

52

35

Spring wheat of 1804,
Blighted wheat of 1804,
The loss to the miller, from the increase of absolutely insoluble mat
ter, or broad bran, is, when compared with good English wheat,

In Blighted wheat
In Spring wheat only

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20

19

24

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Starch. Insoluble

Matter.
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31 per cent.

2 per cent,

It is customary to set aside, or to purchase, for seed corn, the boldest and plumpest samples that can be obtained ; that is, those that contain the most flour; but this is unnecessary waste of human subsistence; the smallest grains, such as are sifted out before the wheat is carried to market, and either consumed in the farmer's family, or given to his poultry, will be found by experience to answer the purpose of propagating the sort from whence they sprung, as effectually as the largest.

Every ear of wheat is composed of a number of cups placed alternately on each side of the straw; the lower ones contain, according to circumstances, three or four grains, nearly equal in size: but towards the top of the ear, where the quantity of nutriment is diminished by the more ample supply of those cups that are nearer the root, the third or fourth grain in a cup is frequently defrauded of its proportion, and becomes shrivelled and small. These small grains, which are rejected by the miller, because they do not contain flour enough for his purpose, have nevertheless an ample abundance for all purposes of vegetation, and as fully partake of the sap, (or blood, as we should call it in animals,) of the kind which produced them, as the fairest and fullest grain that can be obtained from the bottoms of the lower cups, by the wasteful process of beating the sheaves.

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POSTSCRIPT, 1806.

The argument in favor of sowing small grains of corn taken from an ear of a good sort, is not founded on conjecture; it has been deduced from a variety of experiments tried with different kinds of seeds; fortunately for the inves tigation of truth, it has met with opponents, who have com

bated it with theoretical arguments, and censured it severely, without adducing one experiment to contradict it; the consequence has been, that some old experiments have been recollected, and several new ones tried, some of them no doubt by persons prejudiced in favor of its opponents; a part of these have been published, and several more privately communicated not one, however, has not one, however, has yet been brought forward, the result of which does not tend to confirm the original statement.

It must, however, be remembered, that although the smallest grain of wheat taken from the ear of an approved kind, will, when sown, produce as good a sample as the plumpest grain of the same sort can do; seminal varieties may occasionally be produced, differing from the original sort by yielding smaller grains: the small corn, thus produced, will mingle with the offal, and in time, if the offal corn is sown, alter the produce for the worse; this tendency, however, will always be detected, by an increase in the proportion of offal corn, by which the necessity of changing seed will be rendered obvious.

In seasons when wheat is cheap, this change may be made at small expense, and ought therefore to be resorted to, if the smallest suspicion of a deterioration is entertained: in dear seasons offal corn should be used for seed, first, because it saves much expense to the farmer, as bold seed corn is always at such times exorbitantly dear; and next, because the selling of such corn at market, instead of burying it in the ground for seed, brings a great profit to the individual, tends to diminish the market price, which all good men wish to lower when it becomes oppressive to the poor, and manifestly prevents a large transfer of national property from this to other countries.

Supposing the annual consumption of wheat in this island

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