Australia. Dept. of Agriculture New South Wales.

The agricultural gazette of New South Wales online

. (page 68 of 118)
Online LibraryAustralia. Dept. of Agriculture New South WalesThe agricultural gazette of New South Wales → online text (page 68 of 118)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

has none of the hindrances of railways, or other great undertakings ; it
requires no long series of years to bring it into general operation. And as
to capital to carry it out on any considerable scale, the present want is not
that of capital, but of employment for it. There are hundreds of millions
unemployed, and there are companies now in existence which exist for the
Tery purpose of supplying capital to any person and on any scale, however
small. Hundreds of millions nave been supplied by Englishmen to foreigners
under the vilest governments, and they have had so many losses in conse-
quence, that capital to be employed in this glorious land, under our own
flag, and within reach of inspection, is available for such a purpose to any

But, further, what is involved in this question? Does it extend to any of
the leading interests of the present time ? It involves : —

(1.) The return of the population from the towns to the land.

(2.) The employment of every man of the present multitude of the

nnem ployed.
(3.) The investment of anyjamount of the vast capital lying idle.
(4.) The relieving the country from absolute dependence upon foreign,

distant, and more or less inimical countries for necessary food for

man and beast.
(5.) The bringing back of landowners to residence among their people.
(6.) The providing abundantly for all classes employed on the land,

owners, tenants, and labourers.
(7.) The great improvement of the quality of food, both for man and

(8.) The lowering of the cost of all the necessaries of life, and conse-
quently of all our manufactures, giving us an enormous lift in our

competition with the foreigner.

Are these not all great and vital questions, especially in the present state
of things ?

It is said, if we do improve our agriculture, others will follow us. Eirst,
is not this the case with everything ? Do men give up all idea of improve-
ment in other arts for fear others may learn* from them ? But, secondly,
this move would be in the very direction in which we have the special
advantage — that is, in the amount of labour. In America, Australia, &c.,
the difficulty is about labour, the very thing in which we abound.

Now, in place of present reports of progress in fifty years, let us not
rest, though it take five or ten years, till we have to say, instead of 40 we
now grow 150 bushels of wheat ; instead of a weight of 60 lb. per bushel we
have now 70 lb. ; instead of 1\ tons of straw we grow 10 tons ; instead of
niillers and bakers pleading that so inferior is the English wheat that they
can only use it by mixing it with foreign, we challenge the whole world,
in this as in everything else, to exhibit such superior wheat as we produce ;
mstead of wheat costing 4s. a bushel to grow, we produce it at a cost of 2s.;
instead of unfavourable seasons bringing the produce down to 25 per cent.

Digitized by


568 Deejp Cultivation.

below the average, our lowest is 5 per cent, below ; instead of agriculture
being the onlj thing that makes no progress, we can show that we beat
every other art in the land in the change we have effected ; instead of taking
for our leaders those who have done nothing, we accept only those who show
us how to emerge from the slough of despond, whoever they may be.

I would now only urge that this subject is curiously appropriate for tk
Balloon Society to take up. It is one question of their own especial
element. Hitherto they have been occupied with that portion of the air
which is above the earth ; what is now brought before them is that portion
which is, or ought to be, under the surface of the earth.

May they be successful beyond all their thoughts in both departments, so
far as shall be compatible with the purposes of Him whose thoughts are
above our thoughts, as the heavens are above the earth. One thing is
certain, that it is ^proved that the capacity of the world to yield her increaee
is altogether beyond what has been universally supposed.

One thing I would suggest and earnestly recommend, because it could at
once be everywhere done, and I am fully persuaded it would be of eitensiTe
effect, and that immediately.

It is that on all lands, excepting those which are of perfect sand, a plough
of twelve shares, in four rows of three each, should be substituted for the
present plough. The first row would be 3 inches long and each of the
others 3 inches more ; the breadth to be 9 inches.

If the land has been hitherto ploughed 5 inches deep, I think this imple-
ment might at first be used to 9 inches deep, mixing 4 new inches with the
old upper soil, but I would repeat this ploughing four times the first year,
at intervals of two or three weeks, using it only when the soil was in such a
state of moisture as to facilitate its granulation. In this way I think the
soil might be considerably aerated to 9 inches the first year; the second
year I would plough to the full depth of 12 inches.

By this means there would be at once some approach to the breaking up
of the soil, whether light or heavy, as there could not be clods of more than
2 or 3 inches diameter.

Such a change would only involve the cost of a new plough, and it might
at once be introduced on every farm, large or small. The present plough,
as it is used on lands not before brought by other means to a proper state
of tilth, leaving great clods, is a complete mistake.

Digitized by


Digitized by


The Silk Indmtry.

^he following brief note appeared in the official catalogue of the Ii
[ Colonial Exhibition, London, 1886 : —

tracts from Reports, Colonial Sections, Colonial and Indian Exhibition, Lo



pedes of cocoon, name and address of producer and exhibitor. — Mulberry-fed silk
)on {Bombyx Mori), Produced by Charles Anthony Brady, Tumbulgum, '
er, New South Wales, and exhibited by him in the New South Wales Court,
No. 332.

description of cocoon, — -Form— Elliptical oblong, with slight medial depression.
CWour— Creamy white inside and outside.
Textwe — Fairly compact.
Reelinrf— Good,

>escription of the have of cocoons. — The reelable cocoon thread or have is compc
• cylindrical fibres or brins, consisting of homogeneous matter {fbrol, Schorle
rounded and cemented together by a substance I'esembling gelatine (seridn, (
ktin, Schorlemmer). This latter is called " gum" in England, and ** grr^s" in F
with other mulberry silks, the two brins polarize light very beautifully wh(
e is examined with the microscope and polanscope, but the surrounding silk ge
ch forms about 33 per cent, of the total weight of the have, has no po&rizing ]

VeigJU of cocoon. — 0'63i grammes.

Hmensions of cocoon. — 32 x 16 millimetres.

fcngth of have reeled.— 55^ metres.

Feighi of have reded, — 0*169 grammes.

V6rc of have, milligrammes per 500 metres. — 144 milligrammes.

^ibre of have in deniers, — ^2*70.

iean diameter of have. — 0*0328 millimetres.

lean elasticity qf have. — 18*1 per cent.

fean tenacity or strength qf have, — 6*7 grammes.

Percentage of silk reeled from the cocoon. — 25*08 per cent.

diameter, elasticity, and tenacity of the bave : —

1. 10 metres from the end at the outside of the cocoon.

2. y, „ at the middle of the cocoon.

3. ,, ,. at the inside of the cocoon.







Diameter of bare in ien-thoosandths of a millimetre...
Percentage of elasticity, average of six estimates
Tenacity or breaking strength in grammes, average of

six estimations 7*7 8*5

Veight in milligrammes of each 100 metres of bave reeled from the cocooo
icing at the end of the bave which is at the outside of the cocoon : —
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

41 37 33 28 15 54 metres remained, we

5 milligrammes.

'he cocoons were ordinary bnff-oolored, partially sun-dried, bat not prepared

ir. Brady, in a printed drcnlar, states that the dimate on the Tweed River foi
mulberry-tree in great abundance, yielding daily supplies of the leaf from the

y until April. The soil, he sa^s, is very fertile, the rainy season being from Ja

ipril, and followed by a dry winter.

[e states that he has, for many consecutive years, aided by the power of the c
country, managed to obtain a oontinnons hatching of silkworms day by day or

week, or, in his own words, " Assuming that the management of the eggs ha

y attended to at the proper time . . « . the continuous hatchings will p

in. -Metre = 89-87 inchee. ^Ma millimetre = OD00008OS7 inch Engliih. 100 iachei of I
ity indicated would stretch or extend before breaking to 118-1 inchea 1 gramme a 0*08587
Ush. The diameter and strength of the bave or natunu pair of fibres are of conne (?) doable t
single fibre or brln.

Digitized by


The Silk Industry. 6'

the tstnB^ phenomenon peenliar to New Soath Wales, of living silkworms in every da
or periodical sta^^e of prc^gresaion up to cocooning (every day's bt must be kept seven
separate) — ^that is, worms of every stage and dauy growth, and through everv moult a
change of forms (metamorphosis) contemporaneously, and at the same time the emergi
and coupling of the moths and deposit of the eggs (the graine again). This continues '
ofierations for the season are finaUy closed, when the staff emnloyed can respite foi
winter, during which refit and preparations are made for the following season.

** The whole of the natural history of the mulberry silkworm, absolutely unchans
in its natural annual habit, is in view at one and the same moment — worms hatched
the day itself, and of every other day, from one day old to full grown ones, actua
making their cocoons, the moths emerging, and new esgs being produced, which an
generation to proceed with in a 8ub8e(]^uent season, .^ranged beforehand, and in 1
hands of a skilled person, the process is as much under control as the machinery ii
factory. It is animated, self-reproducing machinery, maintained by supplies of the si
worms* only natural food — the mulberry leaf."

Many persons viewing the Silkworm Exhibits at the Agricultural Show
Voore Park, appeared to be impressed with the changed aspect of tl
raluable industry presented to their minds on that occasion,— hithei
neglected here> while largely adding to the wealth and comfort of grc
bodies of people — producers of the raw material for silk in Europe and
Asia. Casting off the silly fancies and childish toying which have so loi
pervaded the Australian mind in regard to the silkworm insect, some few
least of the visitors who thronged around the tables early and late, demandii
ittention and explanations, made it evident that they were desirous of usef
information, and to learn more than could be learned in the short time ti
exhibition would be open. In short, to be instructed about an occupati<
irhich offiers the inducement of profit to almost any one employing him
lerself therein.

The annual aggregate value of the cocoons (sold in the state just as ma<
)j the silkworm caterpillar without any winding or reeling or any oth
)reparation) raised in Italy and Prance is from about five millions to six ai
i half millions of pounds sterling (£5,000,000 to £6,500,000) for each
ihote countries. This affords an average return to each individual rearer
ibout £9 or £10 in Erance, £10 or £11 in Italy, while in regions borderii
he Eastern Mediterranean Sea the average reward to each rearer appears
>e from £10 to £12. In every case the whole time occupied is the sam
uunely, about six or seven weeks per annum.

If the cocoons are not sold immediately, or are intended to be kept, th<
nust be dried so as to destroy the life of the grub or chrysalis inside,
preferably) dessicated, that is, so dried that not only is the life within pi
01 end to and the boring out of the cocoon by the moth avoided, but tl
naect itself reduced to dost so dry that when crushed by pressure the coco<
hall not be soOed nor injured. When thiis treated they can be kept for i
Qdefinite period, and, packed in bales, travel to any part of the world.

Inexact and sometimes extravagant statements having appeared in n
(atkorised publications we now mention for general information and
)revent unreasonskble expectations, that the open market value of cocoons a
■ound is about from 9|d. to 12d. or 13d. per pound weight, according i
[uality, in the condition iust as completed by the worm. If dried (and <
NNxise in proportion to the degree to which drying or dessication is carrie<
ihe market value will be greater, and double or several times more than i
^ " green '* state. In short, as the cocoon becomes lighter by reduction (
^he weight of the moisture, &c., belonging to the grub, the proportion of tl
Suable matter, the silk, is greater. It is, however, very generally foui
Host eonvenient as well as most profitable for the rearer to sell immediate!;
^t is, as soon as the cocoons are fit to be taken from the *' bush " — lea vie

Digitized by


572 The Silk Industry.

the dealers (factors, but most generally the " Filandas " and reeling mill pro-
prietors) who employ many hundreds of workpeople all the year round, and
nave special facilities for wholesale drying, storing, &c., of the fresh cocoonB,
or to reel them at once as far as may oe practicable.

The value of mulberry leaf to the grower (the " plantation " value) may
be roughly estimated at about £3 or £4t per aero so soon as ready for use,
increasing with age to £7 or £8 and upwards.

Bj local experience it is known the produce of one acre of mulberry
property grown and fed to silkworms will realise by sale of the cocoons from
£15 to *£25, and still more if skilfully and economically used.

The Exhibits.

Although somewhat premature, arrangements being far from complete at
Booral, opportunity was taken of the Agricultural Society's show in Moore
Park for displaying some of the living silkworms raised at the Government
Silk Station — thus beginning in part a demonstration of the capability of
the Colony for raising cocoons at almost any time of the year — in fact
whenever and wherever mulberry leaf is available for feeding the worms.

Upon requisition the Officer-in-charge forwarded a collection for this
exhibition, consisting of a daily succession of silkworms (in separate lots)
hatched on the days of exhibition as well as on many previous days, showing
a lot of every day's growth, and through every -daily stage to full-grown;
mature caterpillars daily "mounting" the "bush," each day its separate
appropriate lot then due, and actually making their cocoons ; also motb
emerging from cocoons every day, and finally accomplishing their life round
of existence by each day's moths laying fresh eggs. There was displayed
the whole process and life history of the mulberry silkworm insect in all
stages at once, at the same place, all different, yet contemporaneous.

It is true similar demonstrations have been witnessed in this Colony for
years, but the scene of operations formerly of that novel and till then
unexampled process being at private establishments, the evidence failed to
gain adequate attention from the general public, though many leading
citizens recognised its value and prospective importance. Hence the present
action of the Department of Agriculture, witn a view to institute a better
understanding not only of the benefit that would accrue to an intelligent
public by much enlarged fields of profitable work, but also to demonstrate
the immensely extended scope arising from our capabilities here of cheaper
production, economy of labour and material, by frequent repetitions of
roarings, the same " plant '* and utensils, &c., serving again and again, using
up much good mulberry leaf hitherto wasted but which can now be converted
into silk.

The exhibits were taken in hand by Mr. George Valder, who had passed
a short time at Booral for a little preparation. Mr. Yalder's report is as
follows : —

" I left Booral on 9th March with exhibits of silkworms for the Eoyal
Agricultural Society's show, consisting of 30 trays of silkworms of various
ages, from 1 to 30 days, each day being represented by one tray, and a card
of eggs. The worms were all reared at the Government Silk Station, Booral,
from eggs obtained from Italy and the card of eggs was from Japan. The
Italian worms were stated to be of the Gransosso, Novi Ligure, Fossombrone,
and other races.

" The show took place on 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 26th March. By this
time the older worms brought from Booral were spinning and supplemented

Digitized by


The Silk Industry. 573

hj others hatched oat daily. I was enabled to exhibit worms all through
from hatching out, daily also, until ready to spin (make their cocoons)*
Then with help of numbers of worms and cocoons received on the morning
of the show from Booral, I exhibited a large number climbing into bushes
placed for them and making their cocoons. Moths also at same time
were viewed as they emerged day after day from the older cocoons and
proceeded to lay their eggs. Thus completing an exhibition showing at
one view every stage in the life history of the mulberry silkworm, from
the time of its birth, just hatched, come out of its shell (the egg) to the
mother moth again, laying the eggs for a future year. Such a complete
exhibit of silkworms as this had certainly never before been seen at any
public show, nor in any other part of the world.

'^ A remarkable feature about these exhibits was that, notwithstanding the
extraordinary disadvantages and vicissitudes to which the worms were
exposed, sucn as heat (as high as 88° Fah., and probably more), cold (as low
as 53°), sudden changes in temperature, foul air, dust, travelling packed
closely in cases, &c., &c., they went on working day and night without the
slightest apparent injury, thus proving how wonderfully healthy and strong
worms properly reared in this Colony are. Several Italian and French
gentlemen, who had had extensive experience of silk culture in Europe,
said they could not understand how the worms could be so vigorous and
healthy, for in their own countries they had to take great precautions to
prevent sudden changes in temperature, exposure to draughts, &c., or the
whole of their stock would be carried off.

" A general opinion freely expressed by people who professed to under-
stand about silkworms was that the labour required to manage a large
nmnber would be too costly to allow of any profit, but on questioning them
I found their ideas and * experience ' were gained by keeping a few dozen
or a few hundred worms in very primitive style. On my explaining and
showing how easily a few hundred thousand could be fed and managed their
eyes were opened. Many people told me they had learned more in five or
ten minutes' chat with me and seeing the worms than they could gather
from books in its many months.

" A number of Bathurst gentlemen who were present strongly urged that
the Department of Agriculture should send the exhibit to the Show to be
held in that city on 11th, 12th, 13th April. The Department complying
with their request, I accordingly left on the 9th, taking an exhibit similar
to that shown in Sydney, with the addition of two fine samples of silk
which had been * grown and reeled ' at New Italy. The whole of the insects,
to the great astonishment of the spectators, had travelled during the day
and ni^t about 280 miles from Booral, and arrived in perfect condition.
As was the case in Sydney, the worms proved one of the greatest attractions.
Mr. Williams, local Secretary to the Women's Silk-growing Association,
and an enthusiast, gave me every assistance, working hard, and relieving me
greatly in a portion of my duties, which here, as also in Sydney, required
constant attention early as well as late.

" The next occasion at which the Government silkworms were exhibited
was at the Chrysanthemum Show of the United Horticultural Societies, in
the Town Hall, Sydney, on 19th, 20th, 21st April. The exhibits were
rimOar to those at Bathurst, and the worms recently from Booral again
travelled, without loss or injury, to Sydney. What an attraction the worms
were, and the interest they aroused on the subject of silk-growing, was
very pronounced. The Government House party, including Miss Ottmann,
warmly praised the show, the latter lady expressmg her opinion that similar

Digitized by


The Silk Industry.

\ would be Tery useful at scbools and coUegee. A number of ch

8 Deaf and Dumb Asylum were admitted free to tbis sbow. Tl
play of flowers was an exceptionally fine one, no sooner did
* tbe worms tban tbe flowers were entirely neglected. Tbis im
A good many conjectures as to wbetber it would not be well to
lildren how to grow silk.

eacb sbow numbers of people congratulated me on baying 8
1 exbibit, as also did seyeral foreigners resident in the counti
in town who had bad experience, and were familiar with tb
J in their own countries. They considered the demonstration
interesting, most teUing, and instructive. So attractive on
1 did the worms prove the stalls were nearly all day simply era
lople eager for explanations, while many had to go away w
ble to get near enough to see or hear.*'


Lst be well understood that the G-ovemment has no intention 1

9 for learning. All that is contemplated is rather to lead tbe
ite persons to exercise their own wits and exert their own en
r own advantage, and only so far move in the cose of the i
; silk as to endeavour to save beginners from mistakes, and

\ much as possible from expense of failure in a
and to leave enterprise in this, as in every o'
;ural development.

Digitized by


On the Choice and Use of Artificial Manures. 5

On the Choice and Use of Artificial Manures


Departmental Chemist.

Manures Contftining Nitrogen.

S'lTBOGEKOirs manures &11 under thrt« heads, according as the nitro^
hej contain is combined with organic matter or exists in the form
unmonium compounds, or of nitrates. In the two latter forms it is solu
n water, and immediately available as plant-food. Most of the quick-act
^ncentrated fertilizers contain one or other of these compounds, usus
lalphate of ammonia or nitrate of soda, and sometimes nitrate of pota
l^hat is known as organic nitrogen is contained in animal products, ref u
ind excreta, such as blood, bones, hair, meat, guano, f armjwl manure, &<

The nitrogen in these products ia not in a state in which it can
mmediatelj utilised hj the plant, but reauires first to undergo a fermen
don within the soil, resulting in the first instance in tiie formation
unmoninm compounds before it is available as plant-food. Now, althov
ihe nitrogen in these different substances is usually classified for the sake
x>nTenience under the one heading of " organic '' nitrogen, it occurs ther
n a yariety of combinations, some of which are more susceptible to 1
Dentation than others, and consequently more rapid in tiieir action. 1
imell of ammonia w soon noticeable from such products as urine and fai
rard manure, which contain a large proportion or their nitrogen in the f o
i urea, whereas hair, wool, &c., resist decomposition for a considera
ength of time.

The following list shows the order of solubility of the most commo:
iccurring of these products, the most soluble standing at the head : —

Presh urine. Pish-scrap.

Dried blood. Dried offial.

Dried and pounded flesh. Coarse bone-meal.

Guano. Horn-meal.

Fine bone-meal. Dung.

Oil-cake. Hair and wool.

This list is of course only intended to show the relative solubility of
oitrogen in the different substances named. It is not meant to apply rigi
in all cases, nor is it possible to draw such ri^d comparisons, for
BolubiHty wUl vary according to the fineness of division of the material,
some extent also with the nature of the soil and with the substances n
which the manures in question are mixed, for they are seldom applied ii
pure state, but are generally mixed with lime, or gypsum, or ashes, and

Digitized by


576 On the Choice and Use of Artificial Manures.

nature of this substance will affect their rate of fermentation. The list will
serve its purpose if it makes clear the fact that some of these nitrogenous
products are more soluble than others, just as some forms of phosphoric acid
are more soluble than others, and that the percentage of nitrogen alone is
not always a sufficient indication of the value of such a manure unless the

Online LibraryAustralia. Dept. of Agriculture New South WalesThe agricultural gazette of New South Wales → online text (page 68 of 118)