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Soil No. 18.
This soil is taken from Brickendon, an estate belonging to William Archer, Esq., of Norfolk Plains, situated in the most advantageous position for effecting improvements in agriculture, and, from those which have already taken place, entitled to be classed among the best of the Australian settlements. Its fields, in general, are slightly inclined, and within the range of high greenstone mountains. They are obviously composed of rich alluvium and the disintegration of the above hills. Their present position is, however, such, that they are neither exposed to denudation nor to further accumulation. The sample of soil was taken from one of the largest fields; its specific gravity is 2'20; colour a darkish brown; cohesion moderate; and it feels soft to the touch. Its permeability secures to it all the benefit of rain: thus, it resists well the drought; yet, though upon a level ground, it is not swampy. When worked, it requires a strong team. It has been manured, but not irrigated; it produces of wheat 35 bushels per acre, for 1£ of seed; it is fallowed, and receives wheat every three years. The subsoil is gravel and clay. Mr. Archer looks upon this soil as possessing the highest productive power.
Power of absorption of solar roys - + 12
Power of terrestrial radiation - - 3
Capacity for moisture - - - -f- 4
Solubility of 100 parts : —
Soluble in acids . - - - 32'80
Insoluble in acids - 67'20
Soil No. 19.
From the same farm as the preceding, but situated somewhat higher, and more on an inclined plane.
Its specific gravity lies between 2-50 and 3 00. It is a light brown soil of a fine texture, rather loosely cohering; feels gritty when rubbed between the fingers; is porous, and subject to denudation and renovation of the surface; was never manured nor irrigated. Wheat, barley, and oats have been tried with little success. The crops failed, and the field has been abandoned. Mr. Archer pronounces it to be the soil of the least productive power upon the farm, and subject to frost. It rests on a bed of brown clay.
Soil No. 20.
Is the soil immediately adjoining the south part of Longford, Norfolk Plains, on the banks of the Lake river. It is alluvial; its specific gravity is 3-27; its colour a blackish brown; it is finely grained and moderately cohesive, resisting equally well the effects
of drought and heavy rain. It is neither manured nor irrigated. This soil is pronounced to be of the highest productive power. It yielded forty bushels per acre, and has yielded ninety of Cape barley; but the crop is considered peculiarly precarious, being more subject to injury from frost than on any of the adjoining lands.
Soil No. 21.
From the farm of the Van Diemen's Land Company, called Circular Head. The arable ground is isolated from all hills: it stands on a neck of land jutting out into the sea, and rests upon greenstone, trachyte, and greywacke, from the disintegration of which it takes its origin. The whole extent of the cultivated fields is most systematically divided and laid out, and presents, together with the farm buildings, the residence and gardens of the commissioners, an entirely English aspect. The sample of soil was taken from a field of the highest productive power: its specific gravity is 1/95; its colour of a reddish brown. It is fine grained, of moderate cohesion, and friable; unctuous to the touch, porous, and easily dries up. It does not crack during drought, neither does it clog when wet. It is manured: the principal crop it produces is wheat, of which forty bushels is the average return. The rotation of this field is two crops of turnips, and then a fine crop of wheat.
Power of absorption of solar rays - + 14-0
Power of terrestrial radiation - - — 3"5
Capacity for moisture - - + 9'0
Solubility of 100 parts : —
Soluble in acids .... 35'10
Soil No. 22.
Belongs to the same farm as No. 21. The soil from which the sample was obtained is situated lower down.