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It is a marshy soil, and, notwithstanding its apparently inferior quality, possesses a high productive power. Its specific gravity is 2*70; its colour fight brown; its substance fine-grained and unctuous. It feels dry to the touch; is extremely porous, owing to the vegetable fibre it contains being easily saturated, and becoming quickly dry again. It is not manured nor irrigated, and is now under meadow grass, but yielded forty tons of turnips previously.
Power of absorption of solar rays - - + 24-70
Power of terrestrial radiation - - — 7'00
Capacity for moisture - - - + 13-00
Solubility of 100 parts: —
Soluble in acids .... 30-00
Insoluble ----- 70-00
10000 Constituents in 100 parts: —
Animal and vegetable matter - - 18-93
Water .... - 8-50
Silica - ... - 49-17
Alumina - /)•<)()
Peroxide of iron - 3-10
Carbonate of lime - 4-20
Sulphate of lime .... 2*80
Potash and soda • • . - 1-80
Magnesia - - - - - 3-10
Loss ..... 2-50
Soil No. 23.
From the same farm as the two preceding soils, but taken from the heathy plains which surround the farm to the southward. It is of the lowest productive power: its specific gravity is 6"09; being heavier than any of the preceding soils, and nevertheless the lightest to cultivate. It is divided into minute particles, and is uncohesive and porous. Every crop on this soil has failed.
Power of absorption of solar rays - - + 27-5
Capacity for moisture - - - + 4-0
Solubility of 100 parte : —
Soluble in acids - 5*50
Insoluble .... 94-50
Soil No. 24.
This soil was taken from Mr. Steiglitz's (Breako'-day) farm, which is an alluvial tract situated in a narrow valley of the same name, flanked by a high range of greenstone, and watered by the Break-o'-day river. Its fields lay on a slightly inclined plane," subject neither to denudation nor to accumulation. That from which the sample was taken, is thought by the farmer to be of the highest productive power, yielding a crop of wheat of thirty bushels per acre for every two bushels of seed. It has been under cultivation these three years, and was twice under wheat, and once under turnips and carrots, of which it produced equally heavy crops. It has not been irrigated, nor manured; neither have the turnips been fed off. Its specific gravity is 2*24; its colour is dark grey; its texture coarse; it agglutinates or aggregates in angular fragments, which are crushed between the fingers with difficulty. It absorbs well the water, and resists drought. In Avorking, it needs a strong team. Its subsoil is limestone.
Power of absorption of solar rays - -f 21
Power of terrestrial radiation - - - — 6'
Capacity for moisture - - -(- 3
Solubility of 100 parts : —
Soluble in acids - 25*20
Insoluble in acids .... 74-80
Constituents in 100 parts : —
Animal and vegetable matter . . 8*50
Water ..... 6-60
Silica ..... 54-50
Alumina - 15-10
Carbonate of lime .... 8'10
Sulphate of lime .- - - - - 1-40
Peroxide of iron - - . - 3-10
Sulphurets ..... 1-20
Magnesia - X'50
Soil No. 25.
The farm to which this soil refers, Malachite, the property of the Honourable Mr. Talbot, is situated, like the last-mentioned, in the narrow valley of Break-o'-day, where it branches into a second, called Evercreach, or the South Esk. In its geological position, it is pretty similar to that of Mr. Stieglitz; but in its capability of improvement, by means of irrigation, it has perhaps no equal in Van Diemen's Land. The fields under cultivation extend over an undulating surface, and, from the proximity of greenstone hills, are susceptible of accumulation. The field from whence the sample of soil is taken is of the highest productive power. It yields thirty bushels of wheat per acre, and takes about two of seed; is alternated with crops of wheat and barley, and has been under cultivation six years. It suffers from frost; and was never manured, fallowed, or irrigated. Its subsoil is clay; specific gravity 2*77; colour a blackish grey; texture pretty fine, but uneven; the grains are angular; the cohesion moderate, and the permeability great; the water drains away easily; and the land suffers from drought. Its cultivation requires little labour or expense.
Soil No. 26.
The soil belongs, like that which preceded it, to the farm of Malachite. In a geological point of view, it is similarly situated; but being upon a more inclined plane, and cut off by the adjacent ravines from communication with the greenstone hills, it is more subject to denudation than to accumulation. The field from which the soil was taken is looked upon as possessing the lowest productive power, and it is subject, like the previous soil, to frost. Turnips, potatoes, and carrots have been cultivated upon it, but with little success. Its specific gravity is 2-80; its colour is a light grey; its substance is fine, but loose and uncohesive, like a sandy soil, dry and gritty to the touch, and very permeable. Under water it does not agglutinate. It has been neither manured, irrigated, nor fallowed: its subsoil is the gravel of a diluvium.