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they will discharge a body of water far greater than most persons would believe, unless they witnessed their action. There may be places where larger tile are needed. In one instance I found it necessary to use six inch tiles for sixty rods and laid them in double rows.
This would only be necessary where the thaws of early spring or heavy summer rains are apt to collect large quantities of water on the surface. To prevent a wash of the surface in such places I have at regular distances filled the ditch directly over the tiles with small stones for a length of from 12 to 18 inches, the stones to rise a little above the surface to prevent the covering of the stones by the plow, through these stones the surface water will pass rapidly down into the tiles and be carried off at once.
When the tiles are laid in the ditches with regularity and care, the earth is thrown in by a plow having a doubletree 94 feet long to enable a horse to go on each side of the ditch, which is a rapid and economical way of filling them. In regard to cost, I find that drains constructed with two inch tiles can be finished complete for 30 cents per rod, yet something must depend on the digging, whether the earth be hard or soft and the distance to draw the tiles; mine have all been drawn five miles, and I find that two inch tile are large enougn, except for main and sub-main drains. In my own case, I was compelled to feel my own way and discover the best system and best adaptation to my lands, consequently the drains have cost me more than they would if I were to construct them with my present experience.
In order to show the benefits derived by me, the following remarks will be necessary-to me the results are very satisfactory and conclusive; my farm is on the east side of the Seneca Lake, opposite to Geneva, and immediately adjoining the farm of your honorable President, John Delafield, Esq. About six years ago I began to drain a field on the boundary line between Mr. Delafield and myself; the field contains about 20 acres, of which six were then subject to drainage; the six acres had seldom given a remunerating crop, even of grass ; after draining the six acres, the whole field was plowed and prepared for corn, two acres being reserved for potatoes. The usual care was given to the cultivation of the
whole crop, which, during its growth, showed a marked difference between the drained and undrained portions of the field : the yield of this field proved to be the largest ever raised, as I believe, in the county, the product being eighty-three bushels and over, per acre; when the corn was husked and housed, it was weighed and measured in the ear, and allowing seventy-five pounds to the bushel, as has been customary in this region, for corn and cob, the product was as above stated. This field attracted much attention, from my neighbors and other gentlemen from more distant places; it was examined at the time of draining, and after plowing, both the first and second season, permitting the parties to walk on the drained parts, without any undue moisture, while all other undrained land in the neighborhood was muddy, and, as before statod, the corn was found to be far more vigorous in the plant and abundant in the grain. In the following season after the corn, I cropped it with barley, and found the drained land produced altogether the finest plant, and the best yield of grain; when the barley was harvested, I prepared the field and cropped it with wheat. The difference again was so striking and distinct in favor of the drained land, that I felt the propriety of thoroughly draining the whole field, which was completed withiout loss of time, at a cost of twenty-two dollars per acre for the whole field. I then plowed and sowed with barley and seeded with clover; of the latter I cut a very large crop last summer, and not one square foot of the clover froze out, and now I can rely on a good crop of anything I may sow or plant. I had previously drained several other fields, or at least those parts that needed drains. Encouraged by a considerable increase of products derived from my farm from draining, I determined to extend the system as rapidly as convenience and circumstances would permit. Upon examination, it appeared necessary to possess a piece of ground belonging to a neighbor, that I might secure a good and sure outlet for the water from some of my upland fields that required draining in places. With this view I purchased 10 acres of low land, saturated with water. A part of this land, say about four acres, from twelve to eighteen inches of the surface was a black vegetable mould lying on a stratum of clay of the same
depth, under which I found a hard bottom for my tiles, not over three feet in depth, I felt persuaded that those ten acres were wet from my own upland, as well as from my neighbors wet land adjoining. The first ditch I dug was directly on the line betwixt the land I got of my neighbor, and that he still owns. This I found cut off all the water on that side. I then commenced draining that 10.60 acres; also about thirty acres of upland ; a large proportion of the upland did not require draining. In the two pieces, which, made into one field, containing about forty acres, I laid 1,072} rods of drain which have drained the whole extent in a thorough manner. The flow of water is so large at times, I was compelled to use a large number of the largest sized tiles, and for main drains, as I had to have three, I had to lay double rows of four inch tiles, and in one locality I had to use a double row of six inch tiles for over fifty rods; this received a great flow of water from a public road which was let into the tiles by digging a basin at the upper end of the drain, and then filling with small stones over the tiles. These extra sized tiles increased the expense of these drains, making 1,072} rods, to cost about 40 cents per rod. The first year after completing the drains on this field, the whole or nearly the whole, upland and all, was planted with
the season was not favorable for that crop in this neighborhood, yet the crop was fair, say full 40 bushels shelled corn to the acre; the low ground was excellent, where nothing but coarse grass grew for twenty years before. This year, 1851, I harvested, from this field a crop of wheat, and a heavier crop I never saw stand up. Heretofore many acres of wheat were lost on the upland by freezing out, and none would grow on the low lands. Now there is no loss from that cause ; only two small patches; in all less than one quarter of an acre was lodged; in fact, the whole field was so even that it was difficult to pronounce any five acres worse than the rest. The wheat fly injured it a little, but I think not a great deal; I have not yet thrashed enough to know the yield of wheat per acre. The wet ground got from my neighbor, was the source of much curiosity to all around, as none would believe wheat could be ripened on land so long saturated with water. It was watched, therefore, from the
time it came above ground, in the fall, until the last of it was harvested. The result was a crop of wheat, from that ground, abundant in quantity and excellent in quality.
Such, gentlemen, is the result of my labor in draining. I have forty acres of wheat, now growing on thorough drained land. The improvements in my fields and crops have been great and satisfactory, giving me fine crops of wheat, where formerly it froze out. So well satisfied am I of the advantages derived from the system that I have drained six acres this fall; and shall continue to drain while I have a wet spot on my farm. Your premium list requires that I should give the increased value of the drained land. I feel it difficult to state it in figures. Our farms here are assessed at from $60 to $70 per acre on the tax books. One view of the value, therefore, may be taken ; land wholly unproductive, and land worth $60 to $70 per acre. Another view may be taken in the difference in the cost of improvement, say about $22 or $24 per acre, and its cash value, at this time, of $65 per acre; but on such land as I have, if I get two crops of wheat from my drained land, I am paid by the excess of crop, so as to cover all cost of draining, and sometimes more than paid by one crop, that is by the excess of crop beyond what it would have been had the land remained undrained.
The extent of this system of improvement is not, with me, sufficient to give comparative data, or to induce advances on established values of farms originating in drainage. I hope others may have exceeded my sixteen miles of drains, made with tile, then by comparison of cost and results we may better ascertain the increased value of our acres.
We were upon Mr. Johnston's farm in July, and ascertained that he had laid down, since this statement was prepared, upwards of 16,000 tile in drains.
EXPERIMENTS IN DRAINING,
By Theron G. Yeomans, Walworth, Wayne county. In pursuance of the expressed wishes of the New-York State Agricultural Society to collect practical information on the subject of draining, I will proceed to give as explicitly as my numerous engagements will allow, an account of what I have done during the last three years in this important branch of agricultural improvement.
First, in reference to soil and situation of the land: The soil is mostly a loam with a slight mixture of sand and gravel, and in some of the lower places a portion of mucky or decomposed vegetable surface soil, which has doubtless been formed by the wash of the land around, and which has settled in these places. The land is elevated much above the average of lands in the immediate vicinity, and lies in a rolling and sloping position, so much so that my draining operations have caused nearly all who beheld them to wonder that I should incur so great an expense in draining land which was already (as they thought) quite dry enough. This loam soil extends to the depth of 15 to 18 inches, below which there is uniformly a tenacious or hardpan sub-soil, which is about as impervious to water as an unmixed clay and which when dry is very hard, so that in digging the drains a well sharpened pick-axe is always necessary as soon as the surface soil is removed, which is done with a common spade. The sub-soil, after being made loose with a pick-axe, is thrown out with a round pointed long handle shovel; and the ditch is only made wide enough for the operator to work the shovel in it, and he, standing one foot before the other in the ditch, plies the shovel, bearing the forward hand upon the forward knee as a fulcrum, operates with comparative ease and advantage. The first drains which I constructed, in the spring of 1849, consisted of about two hundred and fifty rods, which were dug 21 feet deep and one foot wide at bottom and filled with stones within a foot of surface, first laying the bottom stones so as to form a throat or channel for the passage of the water; these were then covered with straw and the ditch filled with earth.