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“Engrais Complet”


IN England many people have no faith in simple remedies with simple names such, for instance, as brimstone and treacle; but make the same materials into a jam, disguise its flavour, and call it, say, the “Universal Purgative Extract,” and then believers in its efficacy will soon be reckoned by the thousand. It seems from a review in a recent number of NATURE, that farmers in France are similarly incredulous on the subject of manures with intelligible names, that they require what is really useful to be mixed with something useless, and called “Engrais Complet,” before they will apply it to their land. The English idiosyncracy benefits a large number of patent medicine vendors, and I presume this French variety of it benefits the manure merchants. Let us hope, however, that English farmers will continue to mix their own “Engrais Complet,” obtaining, as heretofore, their nitrogen from farmyard manure, guano, and nitrogenous salts; their phosphorus from guano and superphosphate; their potash from organic excreta and potash salts. Under ordinary circumstances, with the Norfolk four-course system, the “Engrais Complet” for barley is left on the land by sheep feeding off roots and oil-cake; that for roots is farmyard manure and super-phosphate; that for wheat is clover roots, with a top-dressing of guano and salt. Clover requires little from the land but potash and good cultivation; but every crop should be fed well enough to leave something handsome for its successor.


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ONLY A CLOD “Engrais Complet”. Nature 1, 482 (1870).

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