United States Magazine 2(8): 241-249 (January, 1856)

(Zea Mays of LINNAEUS)

The discovery of America gave three important staples to the civilized world; Indian corn, potatoes and tobacco, all of which have been proven to be indigenous to the New World. Although among the scores of European adventurers, who at its discovery flocked to this country in search of the precious metals, thousands were disappointed, and left their bones to whiten in climes far distant from the land of their birth; still, the incalculable value of the two first-mentioned products have since—even as preventives of starvation in cases of national famine—like their own prolific yields-—saved at least one thousand for every life sacrificed as above, and in their manifold blessings to the great human family, are of more import than all the gold and silver mines extant. As evidence of this last fact, it would be well to state, that the whole yield of the gold regions west of the Rocky Mountains cannot be estimated at over $50,000,000 per annum. As early as 1839, the Indian corn crop of the United States, at the lowest valuation, was worth $170,000 000. In 1840, according to the census returns, the crop was 377,531,875 bushels; of 1850, 592.071.104 bushels; showing an increase of 214,539,229 bushels; the whole crop, at the average valuation of fifty cents per bushel, amounts to $296,035,552. Competent authorities estimate the yield of this cereal in this Republic, in 1855, at 750.000,000 bushels which, as above, represents $325,000,000—over six times the value of the gold mines in the product of this grain alone.

Of the whole value of the cereals cultivated in the United States, Indian corn unquestionably takes precedence in the scale of crops, as it is best adapted to the soil and climate, am furnishes the largest amount of nutritive food When due regard is paid to the selection o varieties, and cultivated in proper soil, it may be accounted as a sure crop in almost every portion of the habitable globe, between the 44th parallels of latitude north and south. Thus in every region where the hand of civilization has broken the turf, this beautiful grain generally receives a large share of attention. On this continent it is raised from ocean to ocean—from Canada to Patagonia, and the adjacent islands, through almost every variety of climate and people, and over an extent from north to south of more than six thousand miles. It was introduced into Africa by the Portuguese, early in the sixteenth century; and is known to have been sown in Spain in the time of Philip II., (1555-1598). The Turks, Italians and French became acquainted with it about the same time; from the former it became known among the people inhabiting the banks of the Danube. Hungary's alluvial soil seemed to be particularly well suited to it; from there it made its way into Styria, under the name of Turkey wheat; from Lombardy it was taken to Karinthia, Tyrol, and from thence it was carried over the mountains into Germany, where it was raised in gardens up to the seventeenth century as a curious plant. The repeated loss of the potato crop by rot, has given a wonderful impetus to the growing of Indian corn in many parts of the eastern continent, and it is now cultivated more or less from the Mediterranean Sea and the Libyan Desert to the Cape of Good Hope. In Java and the Asiatic isles, it forms an important product. In Central Asia, it is known and valued, as well as in Australia and the islands of the Indian Ocean. Considerable s produced, and vast quantities consumed in Great Britain; and in Hungary, In Lombardy, in France, in Spain, and we might almost say, from the Ural chain to the Atlantic, it is cultivated. No grain could secure such favor from all parts of the world, except from its intrinsic value, and with the single exception of rice, is the most extensively produced. As it flourishes in warm climates, on high and dry land, where rice will not grow, it will enable Hindostan and all the countries of northern Asia, including Turkey and the isles of the ocean, to maintain at some future period, a population twice as numerous as they could without it; and as it is a very certain and safe crop, it will permanently relieve these countries from the severe famines, with which they have so often been afflicted, and thus contribute immensely to the comforts, and welfare of our race. American farmers regard Indian corn as one of the most important crops. Indeed, for general usefulness, it must be admitted as inferior to none. Although, in the present state of society, it is not used for bread so much as wheat, still there are so many modes of preparing and cooking it, by which such varieties of delicacies and substantial are formed, and dishes improved, that, as an article of food, t is almost indispensable. For domestic animals, it is far more important than wheat. Its oil, and other elements, places it among the most fattening of the cereals; thus its parts, as the leaves and stalks, furnish a fodder superior to straw. In short, there is nothing in the crop which may not be turned to account: even the cob should not be thrown away—it is meal, meadow, and manure for our agriculturists, and, like oats in Scotland, food for man and horse. Were the sugar cane to become extinct, the stalks of Indian corn would become substitute, and sugar would be one of the essential products of the corn crop.

We take it for granted that there is no further dispute in regard to the nativity of Indian corn. The learned thesis of Baron Humboldt, and hosts of other undeniable evidences, among which are the following, places the point beyond cavil. It did not grow in that part of Asia, watered by the Indus, at the time of Alexander the Great's expedition, as it is not, among the products of that country, mentioned by Nearchus, the commander of the fleet. Neither is it noticed by Arrian, Diodorus, Columella, nor any other ancient author; and even as late as 1491, the year before Columbus discovered America, Joan di Cuba, in his "Ortis Sanitatus," makes no mention of it. It has never been found in ancient tumulus, sarcophagus or pyramid; nor has it ever been represented in any ancient painting, except in America. But on this continent, according to Garcilaso de la Vega, one of the earliest Peruvian historians, the palace gardens of the Incas were ornamented with maize in gold and silver, with all the grains, spikes, stalks and leaves; and, in one instance, in the ''Garden of Gold and Silver," there was an entire corn-field, of considerable size representing the maize in its exact and natural shape—a proof no less of the wealth of the Incas, than of their veneration of this important grain. As further evidence of the American origin of this plant, it may be stated that it is found growing in a wild state, from the Rocky Mountains, in North America, to the humid forests of Paraguay; where, instead of having each grain naked, as is always the case after long cultivation, it is completely covered with glumes, or husks, as denoted by the engraving on page 243. It is, moreover, a well authenticated fact, that maize was found in a state of cultivation, by the aborigines, on the island of Cuba, at the time of its discovery by Columbus, as well as in most other places in America first explored by Europeans. Several Peruvian mummies, were unwrapt in Philadelphia some years since; inside the envelope were found several small bags of Indian corn meal, and one car of Indian corn entire.

Most probably, the long-continued controversy in regard to the nativity of this plant, was occasioned by the various applications of the noun corn—Saxon corn; Dutch koorn: German, Danish and Swedish korn—which, abroad) is used to distinguish all the cereals, viz., wheat, rye, maize, oats, barley, rice, millet, and buckwheat, where that term is generally added to the above, as wheat-corn, rye-corn, maize-corn, barley-corn, etc.: whereas, in this country, we say as above, wheat, rye, corn, etc.; and in each case, mean the plant as well as the shelled grain, as a field of corn, a sheaf of wheat, a stalk of rye, a head of barley.

Some time since, in one of the counties of Pennsylvania, a man having been indicted for stealing so many bushels of corn, exception was taken by his counsel, that this was not a perfect description of Indian corn; the exception was, however, overruled by the court, who thus decided that, in American jurisprudence, "corn" was the established name for Indian corn.

Zea, the name of the family to which maize belongs was derived from the Greek (aa, to live, from the grain possessing those nutritious qualities, which are capable of sustaining life. The word maise, in the Gaelic or Irish, is food. In the Lettish and Levonic language, in the north of Europe, mayse is bread. The French name Ble d' Indie; the Spanish, Trigo de Indias; the Italian Grano de India; and the Portuguese, Milho da India, are so called from the grain having been first introduced from America, which, at the time of its discovery was called the Indies; and the French. Ble de Turquie; the Italian, Grano Turco; the German, Turkischer

Korn; the Dutch or Holland, Turksch Koorn; the Swedish and Danish, Tuskish Heede; and the Russian, Tureskoichljeb, probably had their origin, from the circumstance that maize was early brought to the notice of these countries from Turkey. The French, Ble d’ Espagne, and the Italian Grano Siciliano, had, no doubt, their origin from a similar source.

Wild, or Rocky Mountain Corn.

Among many extracts in regard to the cultivation of Indian corn by the native Americans, we select the following by Captain John Smith, from his account of the Indians of Virginia. "The greatest labor they take is in planting their come, for the country naturally is overgrowne with wood. To prepare the ground, they bruise the bark of the trees neare the root, then doe they scorch the roots with fire, that they grow no more. The next yeare, with a crooked peece of wood, they beat up the weeds by the rootes, and in that mould they plant their corne. Their manner is this: they make a hole in the earth with a sticke, and into it they put foure graines of wheate (maize), and two of beanes. These holes they make foure foote one from another. Their women and children do« continually keep it with weeding, and when it is growne middle high, they hill it about like a hop-yard. In Aprill they begin to plant, but their chiefe plantations is in May, and so they continue till the midst of June. What they plant in April, they reape in August; for May, in September; for June, in October. Every stalke of their corne commonly beareth two ears, some three, seldom any, foure, many bnt one, and some none. Every eare, ordinarily, hath betwixt 200 and 500 graines. The stalke being greene, hath a sweete juice in it, somewhat like sugar cane, which is the cause that when they gather their greene corne, they make the stalkes; for, as we gather greene pease, so doe they their corne, which excelleth their old. Their corne they roast in the eare greene, and bruising it in a mortar of wood with a plot, lap it in rowles in the leaves of their corne, and so boyle it for a dantie. They also receive that corne late planted, that will not ripe by roasting in hot ashes, the heat thereof drying it. In winter, they esteeme it being boyled with beanes for a rare dish they call Pausorowmana. Their old wheat (maize) they first steepe a night in hot water, in the morning pounding it in a mortar. They use a small basket for their temmes (seive), then pound again the great, and so separating by dashing their hand into the basket, receive the flour in a platter made of wood, scraped to that forme with burning and shels. Tempering this flower with water, they make it either in cakes, covering them with ashes till they are baked, and then washing them in faire water, they drie presently with their owne heat; or else boyle them in water, eating the broth with the bread, which they call Ponop. The groutes and pieces of the cornes remaining, by fanning in a platter or in the wind, away, the branne they boyle three or foure houres, with water, which is an ordinary food they call Vatatahamen. But some more thriftie than cleanly doe burn the core (cob) of the care to powder, which they call Pungnough, mingling that in their meale, but it never tasted well in broad nor broth." Some tribes cultivated the plant in fields of sufficient size to entitle them to the name of agriculturists. It was undoubtedly highly prized by them as an essential article of support, and it has been stated that the warriors of the six nations were in the habit of undertaking journeys of thousands of miles in extent, carrying no other food than a little meal from parched and pounded corn, relying on the forest for meat One table spoonful of this meal, mixed with a little sugar and water, will sustain a warrior for twenty-four hours, without other food.

The corn plant, or its grain, frequently entered into the forms, the ceremonies, and the mythologies of many of the Indian tribes, both in North and in South America. From accounts handed down by the celebrated Incas, it appears that the Peruvians cultivated maize at an early period. Their traditions say, that about 730 years ago, they consisted of a great number of wandering tribes, who were cruel and barbarous in their habits and customs. About 400 years before they were conquered by the Spaniards an Indian by the name of Inca Marco Capac, of more than ordinary refinement and sagacity, succeeded in persuading his fellows that he and his wife, Mama Oello Hanco, originated from the Sun, and he had descended from heaven to instruct and bestow benefits upon them, agreeable to the wishes of their father, whom he called Paehacamac, (the soul of the universe, and sustainer of all things). By his wisdom he succeeded in bringing these tribes together, and making them believe in his celestial origin. He taught them that his Father, the Sun, traveled every day around the world, to discover the wants and necessities of all things, that he might apply himself to their succor and redress. He also taught them to build houses, to cultivate the soil, raise maize and other grains; and his wife instructed the women in spinning and weaving cotton and wool, to make garments for the men, the children and themselves. From this, Inca Manco Capac is supposed to have been the founder of the celebrated line of Incas, who reigned in direct lineage from his time till they were conquered by the Spaniards, some 400 years afterward. During this period the Peruvians made rapid advancement in wealth, agriculture, and the arts. This race of kings made their subjects believe, that after the universal deluge, the sun's rays fell on the island in Lake Titicaca, before they looked upon any other part of the world; thus showing that from that spot should first emanate the doctrines of light and knowledge: that this was the place where Manco Capac and his wife first landed, when they proceeded from the Sun. The Incas and all their subjects venerated this spot as a sacred and holy piece of ground, and accordingly erected upon it a magnificent temple, all plated with gold, which was dedicated to their father the Sun, to which the Indians from all the provinces brought yearly, gold and precious stones. The sterile land of the island was brought to a high state of cultivation. They grew upon it maize, flax, and other seeds. The produce was thrown into the public granaries, and into those of the Sun and the king, believing that some divine virtue wag contained in it, and that it would bless and increase the corn with which it was mixed, preserve it from decay, and make it better adapted to sustain life; and that the Indian who was so fortunate as to be able to get but one grain of this maize to throw into his heap, was persuaded to believe that he should never be in want for bread. During the high feast, Capacrayni held in the first month Raymi, agreeing with our December, no stranger was suffered to lodge in Cuzco, to which they again all assembled as soon as the festival was over, to receive cakes made of maize, and the warm blood of a white Alapaca. by Mammarunas (select virgins), and distributed by certain priests, who, in carrying them about in dishes of gold, gave each of the Indians one, saying, as they delivered it—" If yon do not reverence the Sun and Inca, this food will bear witness against yon to your ruin; but if you worship them, then their bodies, by this pledge, will be united to yours." After which, those who had eaten of the cakes promised obedience, and thanked the Sun and Inca for their food. In the beginning of the month Ilatunauqui, which corresponds to our May, the Peruvians gathered their maize, and kept the feast Aymarai. They returned home singing from the fields, carrying with them a large heap of maize, which they call Perua, wrapping it up in rich garments. They continue their ceremonies for three nights, imploring the Perua to preserve their harvest of maize from any damage that might chance to befal it, and also to cause that to grow prosperously, which they should next plant. Last, their sorcerers consulted their god whether the Perua could last till the next year; and if they did not answer in the affirmative, they carried it into the fields, and burned or parched it, with the view of making a new Perua, which they bore to their granaries in great triumph, and mingled it with other com.

Our western Indians have a tradition, that the seeds of the plants they cultivate were presented by the Great Spirit:—that on a certain occasion the Great Spirit had descended to this earth in the form of a beautiful squaw; that where she first touched the ground with her feet, there sprung up the Indian corn; where she placed her right hand grew up the bean: and where she put her left hand, pumpkins and squashes; and where she seated herself on the ground, grew tobacco. Another tradition respecting the origin of maize was obtained from the Ojibwas, by Mr. Schoolcraft. A young man went out in the woods to fast, at that period of life when youth is exchanged for manhood. He built a lodge of boughs in a secluded place, and painted his face of a sombre hue. By day he amused himself in walking about, looking at the various shrubs and wild plants; and at night he lay down in his bower, which, being open, he could look up to the sky. He sought a gift from the Master of Life, and he hoped it would be something to benefit his race. On the third day he became too weak to leave the lodge, and as he lay gazing upward, he saw a spirit come down in the shape of a beautiful young man, dressed in green, and having green plumes on his head, who told him to arise and wrestle with him, as this was the only way in which he could obtain his wishes. He did so, and found his strength renewed by the effort. This visit and the trial of wrestling was renewed for four days, the youth feeling at each trial that although his bodily strength declined, a moral and supernatural energy was imparted, which promised him the final victory. On the sixth day his celestial visitor spoke to him. " To-morrow," said he, " will be the seventh day of your fast, and the last time I shall wrestle with you. You will triumph over me, and gain your wishes. As soon as you have thrown me down, strip off my clothes, and bury me on the spot, in soft, fresh earth. When you have done this, leave me, but come occasionally, to visit the place and keep the weeds from growing. Once or twice cover me with fresh earth. He then departed, but returned the next day, and as he had predicted, was thrown down. The young man punctually obeyed his instructions in every particular, and soon had the pleasure of seeing the green plumes of his sky visitor shooting up through the ground. He carefully weeded the earth, and kept it fresh and soft, and in due time was gratified by beholding the matured plant, bending with its yellow fruit, and gracefully waiving its green leaves and yellow tassels in the wind. He then invited his parents to the spot, to behold the new plant. "It is Mondamin," replied his father, "it is the spirit's grain." They immediately prepared a feast, and invited their friends to partake of it; and this is the origin of Indian corn.

One of the grand features in the history of Indian corn, was its introduction into Ireland to supply the place of the potatoe during the famine of 1847. Of course, its original introduction into Europe, probably dates back to the days of Columbus; but in Great Britain, until within a few years, little attention has been paid to its use or culture. A most amusing; and in many respects instructive, work was published some years since by William Cobbet, upon the merits of Indian corn, whose sanguine wishes upon the subject of its introduction as a field crop into England, led him further than most people have been inclined to accompany him. It was remarked that Cobbet was corn-mad at one time. He saw too soon by twenty years, and depended on cultivation rather than importation. He wrote about Indian corn— planted Indian corn—ate Indian corn—raised Indian corn—made paper of Indian corn husks, and printed a book from the Indian corn paper." This work presents a very minute and interesting account of various manipulations which must be attended to by the corn grower, before the grain is ready for market, as well as very particular directions for turning the produce to the best and most profitable account in domestic economy. At the Great Exhibition in London, in 1851, among the many specimens of maize, from various parts of the world, there were exhibited varieties cultivated on that island, which gave evidence that the British nation are rapidly becoming convinced of the great value of this cereal. During the last two or three years, the Royal Consort, Prince Albert, has devoted much attention to the subject, In which he has been ably assisted by Mr. Cauldwell, of Wisconsin, who was called to Europe expressly for the purpose.

The first successful attempt of Europeans in North America to cultivate this grain, was made by the English at James river, in Virginia, in 1608. The colonists sent over by the London company adopted the mode then practiced by the Indians, which, with some modifications, has been pursued ever since. The year following, thirty or forty acres were broken up and planted by the colonists near Jamestown. The yield at that time is represented to have been from two hundred to more than a thousand fold. In 1621, the Indians. Samoset and Squanto, visited the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and instructed them how corn should be planted, and the manner in which the ground should be manured with alewives. The colonists planted twenty acres with corn, and six with barley and peas. The corn produced well, but the other two failed. The same year Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins visited the Indians at Namasket, in Middleborough, who received them with great joy, and regaled them with bread, called mazium, made of Indian corn. In 1629, the yield at Massachusetts Bay. was from two hundred to five hundred to one. Thirteen gallons of seed gave fifty-two hogsheads of corn, of seven bushels each. The returns in many of our Western States, during their first settlement, have been most prolific: in Illinois, and one or two other States, the first yields of Indian corn, have in many instances been a thousand-fold.

The wide and wonderful climatic range of Indian corn is due, in part, to a peculiar elasticity of the plant, different from that controlling in adaptation in almost every other, and which admits its compression within a very brief period of growth. It seems to be restricted to but one condition, rigidly, which is the temperature of the period in which it ripens; and this is less than that required for every other plant, for the growth of which the same temperature is necessary. The three summer months are the extent of this requirement of time (two months often suffices), and the thermal distribution on this continent is such, that every portion of it, almost to the limit of cultivation at the north, gives the necessary summer heat The most important exception is a narrow line on the Pacific coast, and to this there is a general addition of some of the more considerably elevated localities in mountainous portions. Even in the valley of the Red river of the North, at the 51st parallel of latitude, a small variety may be successfully grown: and in the St. Lawrence valley the same cultivation may be carried to the 47th parallel.

1 and 2. Original Wild or Rocky Mountain Corn.
3. Rice Corn
4. Jersey White Flint.
5. Tuscarora.
6. Ohio White Flint.
7. Kentucky White.
8. Virginia Golden
9. King Philip.
10. Middle-sized eight-rowed Yellow.
11. Samasoit.
12. Improved Dutton.
13. Ohio Dent.
14. Small eight-rowed Yellow.
15. Blood Red.
16. New Mexican Black.
17. Oregon Shoe-Peg.
18. Canada Pop Corn.
19. White Gourd-seed.
20. Golden Sioux.

Although undoubtedly all derived by cultivation from the same parentage—the Wild, or Rocky mountain corn—there is an almost incredible number of varieties at present produced on various parts of this continent, exhibiting many grades of size, color and conformation. Annexed we present outline sketches of about twenty varieties, embracing from the original to the most improved qualities. Mr. P. A. Brown, in his interesting thesis on this subject, presents a large classification, embracing over fifty varieties. It is an interesting fact, that the rows of grains on a cob, however numerous or limited, always present even numbers. The varieties best adapted for the middle and southern States are the large white and yellow Gourd seeds; the yellow Shoe-peg or Oregon, and the New Mexican and North Carolina White-flints. In the more northerly and eastern States, the improved King Philip, or Eight-rowed yellow; Twelve-rowed Dutton; the large Golden and White-flints; the Tuscarora; the Mammoth sweet, and the Stowell late green, are particularly deserving of culture. We have lately observed most glowing accounts of the Wiandot, a white-flint variety, said to be most prolific in its yield—producing half-a-dozen stalks from each grain, and several ears upon each stalk. Indeed, it has been stated that twenty-eight sound full ears were gathered from one plant A new dwarf variety, called Forty Days' Maize, from the south of Spain, reputed once to have ripened high up in the Alps in forty days after planting, was distributed by the Agricultural department of the Patent Office during the last year. The object of introducing this variety among us, was on account of its quick growth, early maturity, and sweet flavor in the green state, as well as the delicacy of the flavor of the bread made from its meal. Beside, it appears to be well adapted to the high latitudes and elevated valleys in many parts of the country, where other kinds of corn will not thrive, and with a chance of crossing it with the larger sorts, to which it might impart in a degree its qualities of early ripening, if not of taste.

Mr. John Lorain, in his "Practice of Husbandry," says: — "There are five original corns in use for field planting in the middle and southern States, to wit, the big white and yellow, the little white and yellow, and the white Virginia gourdseed. The cobs of the two first-mentioned are thick and long, the grains are much wider than deep, and where the rows of grains meet and unite with each other, their sides fall off almost to nothing. This gives the outside of the grain a circular form; and communicates to the ear an appearance something like a fluted column. This formation greatly diminishes the size of the ends and sides of the grains, and is the cause of the hard flinty corns being less productive, in proportion to the length and thickness of their cobs, than the gourdseed corn. As the little white and yellow are formed much in the same way, and the cobs are considerably smaller, they are still less productive than the big white and yellow, but ripen earlier. The grain of these four flinty kinds are very firm, and without indenture in the outside ends. The two smaller kinds seem to be still more hard and solid than the larger; and the color of the little yellow, deeper than that of the big. The ears of the Virginia gourdseed are not very long, neither is the cob so thick as that of the big white and yellow; but the formation of the grain makes the ear very thick. They frequently produce from thirty to thirty-two, and sometimes thirty-six rows of very long narrow grains, of a soft, open texture. These grains are almost flat at the outside end, are also compactly united from the cob to the surface of the ear, without any of that fluted appearance, between the rows of grain, which causes the flinty corn to be much less productive in proportion to the size of the ears. The gourdseed ripens later than any other, bat is by far the most productive. It is invariably white, unless it has been mixed with the yellow flinty corns: then it is called the yellow gourdseed, and too many farmers consider it and most other mixtures original corns. I have often heard of original yellow gourdseed corn; bat after taking much trouble to investigate the fact, could never find anything more than a mixture. So frequent are mixtures of this kind, that I have never examined a field of corn (where great care had been taken to select the seed), which did not exhibit evident traces of all the corns in use for general field planting, with many others that are not used for this purpose. None can be longer or more readily traced than the gourd-seed. If the smallest perfectly natural indenture appears in the grain of the hardest corn, these grains, with their descendants, may be grown, until a perfectly white gourd-seed is obtained, be their color what they may. In the northerly division of the United States they frequently plant the smail Canada corns. These are solid and very early, but have been generally thought too small to be very productive, and are seldom planted in fields where the larger corns ripen. These corns, and others, which are still much smaller and earlier, are grown by many for earlier boiling, or roasting while green. The Canadian corn plant is considerably smaller than the corn plants generally in use for field planting. It is also productive in ears. Therefore, the intervals, as well as the clusters in the row, might be closer together. If the soil were as well manured for this kind of corn as is done for the larger corns (when the farmer is well informed and able to do it), very valuable crops may be obtained from it: particularly if it were only slightly mixed with the gourd-seed corn. There are also red, blue and purple corns, but none of these are used for field planting; still, having been introduced, they, too, often appear in our fields, either in their native colors, or in variegated or enameled grains. The leaves of the plant are also variegated from the same cause. It is said that a good purple die is formed by using the purple corns for the purpose; and the stalks and leaves of this plant are purple, or a shade between that color and green. I have also seen corn with red stalks and leaves, but mixed with more or less green. As novelty and other causes have introduced such a great variety into our fields, they will continue to appear in them until farmers generally give more attention to the economy of maize, and see the necessity of growing out inferior kinds, so far as it may be practicable. Although they may be divided almost ad infinitum, they cannot be entirely eradicated; they may, however, be readily reduced and kept under, so as not to do any material injury to the crops, provided the cultivator very carefully and annually selects his seed. It may be from the latent remains of these mixed varieties that nature, from combining causes, sometimes produces plants and animals more perfect than the classes from which they sprang!"

To produce cheap corn on poor land, one needs a clear understanding of what elements of the crop air and water will furnish, and what they cannot supply. It should be remembered, that the atmosphere is precisely the same over ground which yields one hundred bushels corn per acre, that It is over that which produces only five bushels per acre. Now, the whole matter which forms the stems, roots, leaves, cobs, and seeds of corn, where the crop is one hundred bushels per acre, is not part and parcel of the soil. A harvest equal to fifty bushels per acre, can be obtained without consuming over ten per cent of earth as compared with the weight of the crop. No plant can imbibe more of the substance of the soil than is dissolved in water, or rendered gaseous by the decomposition of mold. The quantity of matter dissolved, whether organic or inorganic, during the few weeks in which corn plants organize the bulk of their solids, is small. From ninety-three to ninety-seven parts of the dry waiter in a mature, perfect plant, including its seeds, cobs, stems, leaves and roots, arc carbon and the elements of water. It is not only an important, but an exceedingly instructive fact, that the most effective fertilizers known in agriculture, are those that least abound in the elements of water and carbon. The unleached dry excrements of dung-hill fowls and pigeons, have five times the fertilizing power, on all cereal plants, that the dry dung of a grass fed cow has, although the latter has five times more carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen per 100 lbs., than the former. Although it is desirable to apply to the soil in which corn is to grow, as much of the organized carbon and water as one conveniently can, yet, where fertilizers have to be transported many miles, it is important to know that so much of the manure as would form coal if carefully burnt, can best be spared. The same is true of those elements in manure, which form vapor or water, when the fertilizer decomposes in the ground. Carbonic acid and nascent hydrogen, evolved in rotting stable manure, are truly valuable food for plants, and perform important chemical offices in the soil; but they are, nevertheless, not so indispensable to the economical production of crops, as available nitrogen, potash, silica, magnesia, sulphur, and phosphorus. These elements of plants being less abundant in plants, and quite indispensable in forming corn, cotton, and every other product of the soil, their artificial supply in guano, poudrette, and other highly concentrated fertilizers, adds immensely to the harvest, through the aid of a small weight of matter. If a moiety of the elements of bread and meat, fruit and garden vegetables, annually consumed by the twenty-eight millions of people in the United States, and then thrown away, were judiciously applied to the produce of the grain crops, the yearly profits accruing would be many millions of dollars. In all sections where corn is worth thirty cents, and over, a bushel, great benefits may be realized by the skillful manufacture and use of poudrette. This article is an inodorous compound of the most valuable constituents of human food and clothing. It is the raw material of the crops. Although it is unnecessary to restore to cornfields all the matter removed in the crops, yet to maintain its fertility, at least a small portion of each seed should be carried back to the soil, to make good it a loss by the harvest. In every barrel of flour or meal sent to market (196 pounds), there are not far from in; pounds of carbon, and the elements of water. When a bird eats wheat or corn, there is reason to believe from actual experiment, that over eighty per cent, of the food escapes into the atmosphere through its capacious lungs, in the progress of respiration; and yet the twenty per cent of guano left, will reproduce as much wheat or corn as was consumed. Imported guano, which has been exposed to the weather for ages, often gives an increase in the crop of wheat equal to three pounds of seed to one of fertilizer; while it has given a gain of seven to one of corn, and fifty to one of green turnips. Chemists have ascertained, that the air expelled from the lungs of man, and his domestic animals, in breathing, contains one hundred times more carbonic acid, than it possessed when it entered the organs of respiration. While carbon in bread, meat, potatoes, grass, hay, and straw, consumed by warm-blooded animals, constantly passing out of the system as carbonic acid gas, the elements of water (oxygen and hydrogen) are also escaping from the lungs in the form of vapor, which in cold weather is often visible. Over fifty per cent of the solids consumed by man and beast, is thus thrown into the atmosphere by a slow, continuous combustion, which generates animal heat. These elements of. the farmer's crops fall upon his cultivated fields, in the form of rain and dew. Hence, a pig or other animal, eats one hundred pounds of corn, and voids by the bowels and kidneys forty pounds of the matter consumed; these forty pounds will reproduce one hundred pounds of corn again. Even this, forty per cent, of the elements of corn may be reduced one-half by skillful fermentation, by which carbon and the elements of water are still further removed; then reproduce an amount of grain equal to the original.

Many scientific agriculturists contend, that they have never met a satisfactory analysis of Indian corn, and it must be admitted that, in this particular, an extensive field of operations remains unexplored. The following is one of respectable authority:—

Silica 38.46
Potassa 19.51
Phosphate of Lime 17.17
Phosphate of Magnesia 13.83
Phosphate of Potassa 2.24
Carbonate of Lime 2.50
Carbonate of Magnesia 2.16
Sulphate of Lime and Magnesia 0.79
Silica, mechanically found 1.70
Alumina and Loss 1.65-100

making one hundred parts in all. In other words, we may say on the authority of Doctor Dana, of Lowell, there are in it, of—

Fat forming principles, gums, etc 88.43
Flesh forming principles, gluten, etc 1.26
Water 9.00
Salts 1.31—100

A glance will show how greatly the fat-forming principles predominate, showing there is hardly any substance which yields so much for the support of human life.

Perhaps the most valuable scientific treatise on the chemical composition of corn, is the production of Dr. J. H. Salsbury, and for which he was awarded by the New York State Agricultural Society, a premium of $300. From it we select the following:—A corn-plant, fifteen days after the seed was planted, cut on the 3d of June, close to the ground, gave of—

Water 89.626
Dry matter 10.374
Ash 1.354
Ash calculated dry 13.053

By the above figures, it will be seen that nearly ninety per cent. of the young plant is water; and that in proportion to the dry matter, the amount of earthy minerals which remains as ash, when the plant is burned, is large. This excess of water continues for many weeks. Thus, on the 5th of July, thirty-three days after planting, their relations stood thus:—

Water 90.618
Dry matter 9.482
Ash 1.384
Ash calculated dry
(Ash very saline.)

Before green, succulent food of this character is fit to give to cows, oxen, mules or horses, it should be partly dried. Plants that contain from seventy to seventy-five per cent, of water, need no curing before eating. The young stalk, cut July 12th, gave over eighty-four per cent. of water. Such food given for soiling, without drying, will be likely to scour an animal, and give it the colic. The root at this time (July 12) gave of—

Water 81.026
Dry matter 18.974
Ash 2.222
Ash calculated dry
(Ash tastes of caustic potash.)

Ash of the whole plant above the ground, 6.77 grains; amount of ash in all below the ground, 3.93 grains. So late as July 26th, the proportion of water in the stalk was ninety-four per cent., and the ash calculated dry was 17.66 per cent. The plant gained 2136.98 grains in weight, in a week, preceding the 6th of September. This was equal to a gain of 12.70 grains per hour. The rapid growth of corn-plants, when the heat, light and moisture, as well as the soil, are favorable, is truly wonder fill. A deep, rich, mellow soil, in which the roots can freely extend a great distance, in depth and laterally, is what the corn-grower should provide for his crop. The perviousness of river bottoms contributes largely to the productiveness of this cereal. A compact clay, which excludes alike air, water and roots, forbidding all chemical changes, is not the soil for corn. When farmers sell corn soon after it is ripe, there is considerable gain in not keeping it long o dry and shrink in weight. Corn grown by Mr. Salsbury, which was ripe by the 18th of October, then contained thirty-seven per cent, of water, which is twenty-five per cent more than old corn from the crib will yield. The means of many experiments tried by the writer, has been a loss of twenty per cent in moisture between new and old corn.

The butts of corn-stalks contain the most water, and the husk or shuck the least, when fully matured and not dried. The latter have about thirty per cent of dry matter, when chemically desiccated. Dr. Salsbury gives the following as the composition of the ash of the leaves at different stages:—

  July 19 Aug. 2 Aug. 23 Aug. 30 Oct 18
Carbonic acid 5.40 2.850 0.65 3.50 4.050
Silica 13.50 19.850 34.90 36.20 58.650
Sulphuric Acid 2.16 1.995 4.92 5.84 4.881
Phosphates 21.60 16.250 17.00 13.50 5.850
Lime 0.69 4.085 2.00 3.38 4.510
Magnesia 0.57 2.980 1.59 2.30 0.855
Potash 9.98 11.675 10.85 9.15 7.333
Soda 34.39 29.590 21.28 22.13 8.520
Chlorine 4.55 6.020 3.06 1.63 2.664
Organic Acids 5.50 2.400 3.38 2.05 2.200
  98.14 97.750 99.58 99.75 99.523

The above figures disclose some interesting facts. It will be seen that the increase of silica, or flint, in the leaf, is steadily progressive from 13 1/2 per cent, July 19th, to 58.65 per cent, October 18th. Flint is substantially the bone-earth of all grasses. If one were to analyze the bones of a calf when a day old, again when thirty days of age, and when a year old, the increase of phosphate of lime in its skeleton would be similar to that witnessed in the loaves and stems of corn. In the early stages of the growth of maize, its leaves abound in phosphates; but after the seeds begin to form, the phosphates leave the tissues of the plant in other parts, and concentrate in and around the germs or chits of the seeds. On the 23d August, the ash of the whole stalk contained 19 1/2 per cent, of phosphates, and on the 18th October, only 15.15 per cent. In forming the cobs of this plant, considerable potash is drawn from the stalk; as it decreases from 35.54 per cent, August 16th, to 24.69 per cent, October 18th. When the plant is growing fast, its roots yield an ash which contains lees than one per cent of lime: but after this development is nearly completed the roots retain, or perhaps regain from the plant above, over 4 1/2 per cent of this mineral. Soda figures as high as from twenty to thirty-one per cent in the ash obtained from the corn roots. Ripe seed gave the following results in their ash:—

Carbonic acid trace
Silica 0.840
Phosphoric acid 49.210
Lime 0.076
Magnesia 17.600
Potash 23.176
Soda 8.806
Sodium 0.100
Chlorine 0.286
Sulphuric acid 0.516
Organic acids 6.700

The above shows a smaller quantity of lime than is usually found in the ash of this grain. It is, however, never so abundant as magnesia: and Professor Emmons has demonstrated that the best corn lands in the State of New York contain a considerable quantity of magnesia. All experience, as well as all chemical researches, go to prove that potash and phosphoric acid are important elements in the organization of maize.

By a very ingenious method, first discovered by Mr. A. A. Hayes, of Roxbury, and Dr. Charles T. Jackson, of Boston, Massachusetts, it will be found that if a watery solution of blue vitriol (sulphate of copper) be applied to a kernal of corn, longitudinally split, the germ or " chit" only, becomes colored green, thereby beautifully defining the limits of the phosphates, by the formation of phosphate of copper. The same method may be applied to all seed, tubers, roots, and stems of recent vegetables, except those producing oily seeds, and thus define the parts containing phosphoric acid. If a grain of corn be split open, as above described, and thrown into a solution of sulphydrate of ammonia, the chit will soon be changed to a dark olive color, which arises from the change of the salts of iron into a sulphate of that metal; a dark-colored matter forming with the ammonia, turns the vegetable coloring matter yellow, and the two colors combined produced an olive. By preparing specimens of corn, or other grain, as above, and soaking them in the tincture of iodine, the limits of the starch and dextrine will be distinctly defined—the iodine striking an intense blue with the starch, and a deep port wine red with the dextrine; so that from this test a rich violet will indicate the presence of both the starch and dextrine in the grain. If the oil be extracted from the transparent, horny part of the corn, by means of alcohol or ether, the tincture of iodine will show the presence of starch in that part of the grain associated with the gluten. By these means we may easily cause any of our cereal grains to represent the extent and precise limits of its phosphates, iron, dextrine, starch, and oil, and form by the eye an approximate estimate of their relative proportion of these ingredients. Among other curious results of these experiments, by Dr. Jackson, is the proof that the relative proportions of phosphates in grain depend on the appropriating power of each species or variety; for an ear of corn being selected which had on it two different kinds, namely, the Tuscarora and a variety of sweet corn, and these seeds being slit into and immersed in the same solution, soon gave evidence of more than double the amount of phosphates in the sweet than in the other variety. Now, since the kernals came from the same ear, and grew side by side, they obtained unequal quantities of phosphates from the same sap, derived from the same soil. A crop of sweet corn will take twice as much of the phosphates as the other variety, and, consequently, will soon exhaust the soil of them; and also, if the soil is deficient, will require more phosphates. Some interesting facts will also be noticed in the variable proportions of phosphates in different varieties of the same species of grain, and the great preponderance of them in Indian corn, beyond what is contained in the smaller grains, like barley, oats, and wheat—a fact that seems to explain their peculiar properties as food for animals; the more highly phosphatic grains being more likely to surcharge the system of adult animals with bony matter, producing concretions of phosphate of lime, like those resulting from gout. Perhaps that stiffness of the joints, and lameness of the feet, common in horses fed too freely with corn, may be accounted for by this preponderance of the phosphates. Young animals cannot fail to derive more osseous matter from corn than other food. With regard to the relative proportions of starch in the different varieties of corn, it has been observed that the Tuscarora contains the most, but does not contain either gluten or oil. The same may be said of the New Mexican black. Rice corn and pop corn contain the least starch and the most oil. There is a great difference in the mode of distribution of the oily and glutenous parts of corn; many of the southern varieties having it on the sides of their elongated seeds, while the starch projects quite through the grain to its summit, and by its contraction and drying, produces the peculiar pits, or depressions in those varieties known under the name of "dents." The horny or flinty portions of corn, when viewed in their sections under a good microscope, will be found to consist of a great number of six-sided cells, filled with a fixed oil, which has been successfully employed for the purpose of illumination. On this oil depends the "popping" qualities of corn; for when the kernals are heated to a temperature sufficiently high to decompose the oil, a sudden explosion takes place, and every cell is ruptured by this expansion of gaseous matter arising from the decomposition of the oil and the formation of carburetted hydrogen gas, such as is sometimes used in lighting large cities, the grain being completely evolutcd and folded bock, or turned Inside out. This property is remarkably strong in the pop-corn, and is common, in a greater or less degree, in all kinds of corn that abound in oil; but these varieties, destitute of a horny covering, as the Tuscarora, will not pop under any circumstances whatever. This change in corn is one of considerable importance, so far as regards facility of digestion; for, after the decomposition or extraction of this oil, it is more readily digested by man, though lees fattening to animals. One important use of the oil in corn is undoubtedly to prevent the rapid decomposition of the kernals when sown in the soil, and to retain a portion of pabulum, or food, until needed by the young plant, and is always the last portion of the grain taken up. It also serves to keep meal from souring, as it has been observed that a flint-corn meal will keep sweet for years, even when put up in large quantities, without being kiln-dried, while the meal of the Tuscarora will become sour in a very short time. The colors of Indian corn usually depend on that of the upper dermis, or hull, and sometimes on that of the oil. If the upper dermis be transparent, the color may depend either on the oil or the combined particles of which the corn is composed; but if the whole is opaque, the grain will present the same color. For instance, the yellow color of the Golden Sioux is derived from the yellow color of the oil; and the Rhode Island white-flint corn, from the colorless particles of its starch and oil, which are distinctly seen through its transparent hull; but red. black and blue corn, owe their lively hues to the colors of their upper dermis, and not the oil. The proportion of oil in corn, as far as it has been examined, varies from an entire absence to 11 per cent., according to the varieties employed. In the manufacture of whiskey the oil is saved during the fermentation, as it separates and rises to the surface. One hundred bushels of corn yields from fifteen to sixteen gallons of oil. When corn is hulled by means of potash ley, a portion of the oil is converted into soap and the upper dermis becomes detached. The caustic alkali also liberates ammonia from the mucilage around the germ. Oily corn makes a dry kind of bread, and is not sufficiently adhesive to raise well without an admixture of rye or other flour. The oil is easily convertible into animal fat by a slight change of composition, and as we have previously observed, serves an excellent purpose for fattening poultry, cattle, and swine. Starch also is changed into fat, as well as the carbonaceous substances of animals, and during its slow combustion in the circulation, gives out a portion of the heat of animal bodies: while, in its altered state, it goes to form a part of the living frame. Dextrine and sugar act in a similar manner, as a compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. From the phosphate of grain, the substance of hones, and the saline matters of the brain, nerves, and other solid and fluid parts of the body, are in a great measure, derived. The salts of iron go to the blood—and these constitute an essential portion of it, whereby it is enabled by successive alterations of its degrees of oxidation during the circulation through the lungs, arteries, extreme vessels and veins, to convey oxygen to every part of the body.

Indian corn, like all the cereals, is subject to disease and various insect destroyers. In an article on Wheat, published in the June number of the present volume, we gave some information in regard to parasitic fungi, and also in reference to the weevil, moth and other insects, which cause great destruction to grain, in all its stages, from and in the seed, to, and in the seed again. A portion of our statement (more particularly that regarding the insects) will readily apply to Indian corn. Still we have thought proper to here make more especial reference to those most destructive to maize.

Smut or Brand-Blasted Ear.

All the species of brand, more or less, cause decisive injury to the plants which they infest; but the maize brand, among all kinds of smut found in our cultivated passes, produces the greatest and most extensive local transformations. It attacks all the parenchymatous organs of In- corn-plant, and in many cases completely destroys them. The stalk, however, and the female and male blossoms, are the parts which it most especially affects. The leaves no longer furnish the great parenchymatous masses necessary for their development, and usually it seizes on their lowest parts, or in the husk-bearer, but its developments here is imperfect, and it forms on the leaf-organs only brand-bladders of the size of popy seed to a pea. In all the parenchymatous organs, however, it develops itself in the form of masses; and in good soil, and in actual cultivation of corn, it has been observed forming bladders of the size of a child's head. Its development is a peculiar one, as it forces out great masses of cellular tissue, formed from the tissue of the mother plant, and similar in formation to the alter. Some parts of the organs affected by the brand, swell and become white. The green color and compact formation of the outer skin gradually passes into a soft watery tissue of a silky luster, the skin of which allows the large cellular formation to be seen through it by the naked eye. If we more closely examine this pathological product, we find that it consists of tolerably large tender-walled substances, the cells of which, like that of the normal vegetable issue, contain sap and possess a large, slimy, cellular kernel striking on the side. In each of these cells, at a later period, is secreted a shiny, granulous substance, which is yellowish and afterward brownish, in which, still later, the brand is developed. Professor Meyen, who examined this brand most carefully, says:—"At first is seen in the large and juicy cells of the maize plant, or especially in the pathological cellular substance, the above-mentioned little deposits of slime, which are produced on the inner surface of the cellular walls. From these, at first, wholly irregular-formed, almost transparent deposits, proceed fibrous, dismembered and branching structures, which already exhibit a plant-like form, and which by their later changes more clearly evidence the same. These truly parasitic formations are in the beginning colorless, almost entirely transparent, and only under strong magnifying power exhibit a fine-grained, organized structure in their tender, slimy substance; but soon it is observed that particular boughs of this little plant are branched out; and in individual cases, yet more developed, branches and twigs stand closely crowded together. At the same time with this branching, the fibers are already partially separated into small globular bodies, sometimes at the base and sometimes at the point of the fibers; but, for the most part, their little side branches first separate off themselves. Many fibers are wholly changed into little branches in a wreathed form, which still hang together. They are originally ellipsoidal, and then become more or less globular; are at first of a yellowish and afterward of a brownish color, and at last, brown. But they likewise separate themselves from the branches producing them, and often before they have reached the normal size, which follows after their separation, as it were, by a sort of after-ripening. By and by, all the fibers fall away into such spores or grains of brand; by and by, too, the cells of the diseased vegetable substance is destroyed; and if we carefully cut through lengthwise the brand-bladders not yet opened or sprung apart, we find that the white cellular substance appears to be interwoven with irregular masses of brand, partially isolated and in the form of cells; the cellular substance, which still remains standing, form white sheath-walls and cells, or, better described, deficiencies, the hollow space of which is filled with the dark brown brand. By and by, this remains of the cellular tissue, constituting sheath-walls, becomes absorbed, and only the outer skin of the brand-bladder continues standing; but it begins likewise to be colored reddish or smutty, to become wrinkled or in folds, to dry up, and finally to tear open, by which the substance of the brand-spores is emptied, and, as it were, sown out. This species of brand causes manifold degenerations of particular parts and organs of the mother plants. On the stalk it forms irregular rounded brand-bladders very greatly differing in size. On the female blossoms, it never attacks all the blossoms of an ear; the blossoms of the top of the ear are, for the most part, more exposed to the brand than those at the base. Often those fruit buds that stand at the very tip, and frequently only the basilar ones, are diseased. Here the brand attacks only the fruit-knot, and changes it directly into a brand-bladder; so that indeed a person may find on the latter still the remains of a wasted pistil. But the rachis itself I have never found entirely gone. More frequently it seizes on the husk-leaves, and then changes the whole ear or the fruit-bearing branch, into an organ not unlike a pine-apple; it thickens all the leaves, and forms them similar to the scales of a fir cone. But in the male blossoms the brand seizes on the receptacle and on the anthers, more rarely the petals, and changes all these organs into white, curling-up, easily bent brand-bladders, one to three lines thick, and often two or three inches long, which are likewise white, and of a beautifully silky luster, slightly tinged with red at the tip, and on Die side springing up to let open the spores: which, in spores, in their normal state, are globular, but are very frequently likewise ellipsoidal; in a ripe state they arc brown. The sporeskins are covered with little warts, and on many spores may be observed a dark point in the middle, the little openings by which they are fastened to the fibrous bearer. Their diameter varies from 0.000320 to 0.000340 Paris inch. This species always impairs some blossoms as soon as it is seated in the ear, while the other blossoms standing near bear good ripe kernels. The brand-bladders can be very easily removed from the living plants, by cutting them out; only this must be done as timely as possible, in order that in cutting them out, the bladders may not scatter their powder, and thus a future crop of bran not be prevented."

Corn Worm: showing the moth, caterpillar,
cocoon, and manner of attack.

As before remarked, many of the insects Injurious to wheat, are, in like manner, destructive to corn. From a late article by Mr. Townsend Glover, who, a short time since, visited various sections of the southern states, to learn of the ravages, habits, and means of extirpating the insects that prey upon certain crops, we extract a portion of the following:—The corn worm (Heliothes) is produced from an egg deposited as early as June by a yellowish-colored moth, either in the silk or upon the apex of the ear of corn when in the milky state; and as it appears to be incapable of feeding upon the grain when once hardened, it is mostly from among such as are termed " roasting ears." The worm, or caterpillar, at first almost imperceptible, increases in size with great rapidity. It scarcely shelters itself by the husk from the sun and rain, and feeds with great voracity upon the milky and tender grains at the end of the cob. The destruction caused by this insect is much greater than has generally been supposed especially in South Carolina and Georgia where, out of several fields examined, scarcely one was found in which every third or fourth plant was not more or less injured. The worms, when fully grown, are an inch in length, and vary much in color, and markings—some being brown, others green, striped with brown, and of all the intermediate shades. The body is sparingly clothed with short hairs, which arise from numerous black spots, or warts, on each segment; and on each side is a yellow, or lighter-colored, longitudinal stripe. The younger caterpillars are of a reddish color, and similarly striped, and marked with numerous black spots; and it must here be remarked that there Is a striking resemblance between the "boll-worms" and these catter-pillars, which leads to the supposition that they ultimately will prove to be the same insect, altered in color by the food on which they feed. Experiments strengthen this supposition: several worms taken from the bolls of a cotton plant, in confinement with fresh bolls and an ear of corn in the milky state, simultaneously deserted the bolls, and eagerly commenced to feed upon the corn, as a nutriment more adapted to their taste. After casting and renewing their skin several times, when they have attained their largest size, they cease feeding, desert the ear, and descend by the plant into the earth, where, by constantly twisting their bodies back and forth, they work out a cavity, adapted to their size, of an oval shape. By gluing together the particles of earth with a viscid gum, or silk, which issues from the mouth, they form a rough cocoon, in which the caterpillar sheds its last skin, and changes into a shining brown chrysalis. This, in the early brood, changes again into the moth, or "miller," in the course of a few weeks. The moth measures about an inch and a half across the expanded wings, which are of a tawney yellow color; the upper pair are banded with two or more bars, or rows of spots, and have a crescent-shaped dark mark near the center. The under wings are somewhat lighter in color and are distinguished by a broad band of dark brown, or black, extending along the outer margin, which also incloses an irregular shaped spot of yellow, the same as the rest of the wing. There is, likewise, a dark spot in the center; and the nerves are black, or dark colored. The ends of ears of corn, when partially devoured and left by this worm, afford a secure retreat for hundreds of small insects which under cover of the husk, finish the work of destruction commenced by the worm eating holes in the grain, or loosening them from the cob. A species of greenish-brown mold, or fungus grows likewise in such places, as the dampness from the exuded sap favors such a growth. Thus, decay and destruction rapidly progress, hidden from the eye of the unsuspecting planter. It has been stated, that the corn-worm does much more damage in dry seasons, owing to the tassel, or silk, making its appearance at irregular intervals. The young worm devours the ends of this, hear the crown of the ear, and consequently leaves many spaces vacant, where the communication between the silk and unimpregnated germ, is thus cut off from the supply of polen necessary to perfect the seed.

Bill Bug: 1. Head (mag). 2. Leg (mag).
3. Manner of attacking the corn (reduced).

The "bill-bug," or "corn-borer," (sphenophorus?) is from four to six tenths of an inch in length, and of a reddish-brown, or reddish-black color. The head is furnished with a long trunk or bill, hence its common name. It is very destructive to com, in many parts of the south and south-west, and is thus spoken of by Senator Evans, whose crops on his plantation, on the Pedee river, was greatly injured by it:—"The perfect insect eats into the stalk of the corn, either below, or just at the surface of the ground, where it deposits its egg. After changing into a grub, the insect remains in the stalk devouring the substance, until it transforms into the pupa state, which occurs in the same cavity in the stalk occupied by the grub. It makes its appearance the following spring in a perfect state, again to deposit its egg at the foot of the young corn plants. These insects destroy the main stem, or shoots, thus causing suckers to spring up, which usually produce no grain, or if any, of very inferior quality to that of the general yield. Swamp lands, or low grounds, are the places most generally attacked." These bill-bugs are also common in Alabama, and Arkansas, bat their numbers have been greatly decreased, by pulling up the roots of the corn, after the crops have been housed, piling them up in heaps, and burning the whole mass. Perhaps quick lime, applied in layers to the corn-stalks and roots, would destroy them as the heaps heat and decompose, which would be particularly useful where lime is required, as a manure, for the soil. By these, the unhatched pupa in the corn would be consumed. A very perceptible decrease of the bill-bug has been observed where the practice of burning the roots has been followed, and if persevered in, might nearly eradicate them in the course of a few years. At the same time, the wild plants they infest should be discovered, and also destroyed by burning.

After making a compilation in regard to the "bill-bug" and "cut worm" from Mr. Glover's article, it appeared so inexplicit and unsatisfactory, that we addressed a letter to Professor Asa Fitch, the entomologist of the State of New York, to endeavor to obtain some positive data in regard to their species, habits, etc. The following is an extract from Dr. Fitch's reply:—All that can be made out from the Patent Office Report, respecting the so-called "billbug," is, that is a weevil. If the figure is at all correct, it cannot be of the genus sphenophorus, the insects of which taper from the middle backward, much the same that they do forward. The writer has evidently taken this name at hap hazard from my account of the sphenophorus venata SAY, or the Hunter weevil which destroys young corn here in New York. You will find my article in the "Country Gentleman" of June 14, 1865. I regret I have not a copy of it to send you.

No insect like that named the "corn-worm" occurs so far north as this. But some years ago I met with it, the last of September, in the suburbs of your city, in the soft sweet corn growing in the garden of Rev. Bradley Sellick, at Yorkville—about one-third of the cars having been spoiled, for boiling, by it; and I presume the market gardeners around New York, some years, suffer to no trifling amount from this worm. My memoranda, at that time, state as follows:—the worms, when small, appear to cat only the sides of the kernels. Commencing near the base of the ear, they mine their way toward the apex, eating a channel between two rows of kernels, which channel is partly filled with their castings. On reaching the apex, they gnaw around the ear, entirely consuming the kernels here, thus forming a broad shallow cavity between the husks and the cob When full grown, they gnaw a circular hole through the husks, out of which they crawl and bury themselves in the ground to change to pupae-. The full grown worm is about an inch long by 15-100ths of an inch in diameter, cylindrical, 16-footed, or a dull yellowish-brown color, striped longitudinally on the back with Blender white lines, and along each side is a dull, pale, yellow stripe, which is margined on each side with a white line. Each segment has a few elevated shining black dots, symmetrically arranged, each dot bearing a hair. The head is polished, dull yellowish, mottled with confluent black dots. The neck or second segment has a large polished black spot above, which is freckled with white dots and crossed by two white lines. Younger worms are much darker colored, but are otherwise similar to the mature ones." I wrapped four affected ears in newspapers, and brought them home in my trunk. Out of two of these the worms had escaped when I reached home, gnawing through the paper envelopes as well as the husks. —The other two ears became mouldy, and the worms perished, so I was disappointed in obtaining the perfect insect. They evidently cannot pertain to the genus Helothis, as intimated in the Patent Office Report, as the worms of that genus, feed openly exposed on plants, and have small heads which they withdraw into the second segment, when alarmed. I have some of the European species of Helothis, sent me by Dr. Sickel, President of the Entom. Soc. of France, and they are too unlike the figure and description in the Patent Office Report to be suspected of being co-generic.

I add a list of the principal insect enemies of the maize known to me.

The already extended length of this paper, precludes our giving even a brief synopsis of the numerous plans adopted in the successful culture of corn. However, there is abundant material of that kind within the reach of all who chose to grasp for it. Agricultural serial publications are issued in immense numbers in all sections of the country, in which the experiments and experiences of all parties, in every district, are discussed and laid open to the inspection of the people. Would that all the tillers of the soil would look upon these momentous facts, in regard to their most important calling. The agricultural interest employs more capital and labor in the United States, than all other pursuits combined; and its progress marks, in a peculiar manner, the advancements of the republic in wealth, civilization and power. By the aid of better farm implements, greater experience, and more skillful operatives, cotton, corn, wheat, and tobacco are grown very cheaply on rich lands; and if all the so-called improved farms were really fertile and exempt from the loss of the essential constituent of crops, American agriculture would soon approximate to perfection. As an art, it has made wonderful progress in the last thirty years; but as a science, the seed has yet to be planted, and. what is worse, the ground has to be grubbed, plowed, and manured, before the germs of rural science can thrive on our soil. From their great perseverance and industry, American farmers have no superiors, whether in the forest or on the prairie, in subduing wild lands, but in keeping up the soil they are sadly deficient. We have such a large extent of new country, that instead of our cultivators endeavoring to return a portion of what they take from their fields, in many cases it would appear that their aim is to make it produce as much as possible until worn out, and then change their location and subdue a new section. Of course this plan is all wrong, and in time must rectify itself. Those farmers who have nobly gone forward, and set the example of a proper system of rotation in crops; properly draining and preparing the fields; carefully analyzing the soil to learn the most suitable materials for fertilization; paid proper attention to the selection of the best varieties of seed, etc., etc., are deserving, not only the just reward they receive, in a bountiful return of crops, but are also entitled to the thanks of the whole community. Remember, "He that causes two spears of grass to grow where only one grew before, is greater than he who conquereth a city." Also remember, that the best course of proceedure is not to solely depend either on theory or practice. Combine them, using both to the best possible advantage—of course in all cases giving preference to the latter. The evidence of authority, on which the book farmer has to depend, can never equal the experimental evidence with which practice would furnish him; the former cannot inspire the confidence which one needs in directing the operations of his workmen; and though useful to illustrate the many subjects involved in farm management, it is so in much the greatest degree to the man who is already practically acquainted with the details it professes to explain The fact is, Agriculture is not merely a manufacture of agricultural products; it is as a field for the profitable employment of capital that its professors must regard it; and market transactions, expenses, prices, wages—matters of which no science takes cognizance—are precisely those from which its results, in this aspect of it, must, for the most part, be expected. Experience is absolutely necessary here. The circumstance that men of other professions, have succeeded as farmers, and benefitted the art, by no means disproves this assertion. The retired merchant or manufacturer will often make the best of farmers, and in many cases that class are held up to admiration to the disparagement of all others. It must be admitted, that among other advantages, they are unfettered by the prejudices of a merely routine agricultural education. At all events, they bring to bear in their new calling all the tact and business ability they have acquired in their life time of activity in their abandoned professions; and as they usually possess sufficient capital, energetic industry, and sound common sense, —the latter the thing of all others in farming as well as in other trades and professions most necessary—with what practical experience they hire, they are usually good farmers Thus, while our readers ought to appreciate the importance of personal experience as a necessary part of their agricultural education, they must also feel it of special importance to adopt the assistance which the man of science can offer them, and so reach the achme of success by the combination of the two principles.