The text is taken from my copy of FIELDS, FACTORIES AND WORKSHOPS: or Industry Combined
with Agriculture and Brain Work with Manual Work, Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, Edinburgh, Dublin and New York, 1912.
N.-PLANTED WHEAT . . . . Page 444.The Rothamsted Challenge.
Sir A. Cotton delivered, in 1893, before the Balloon Society, a lecture on agriculture, in which lecture he warmly advocated deep cultivation and planting the seeds of wheat wide apart. He published it later on as a pamphlet (Lecture on Agriculture
, 2nd edition, with Appendix. Dorking, 1893). He obtained, for the best of his sort of wheat, an average of fifty-five ears per plant, with three oz. of grain of fair quality perhaps sixty-three lbs. per bushel (p. 10). This corresponded to ninety bushels per acre that is, his result was very similar to those obtained at the Tomblaine and Capelle agricultural stations by Grandeau and F. Dessprez, whose work seems not to have been known to Sir A. Cotton. True, Sir A. Cottons experiments were not conducted, or rather were not reported, in a thoroughly scientific way. But the more desirable it would have been, either to contradict or to confirm his statements by experiments carefully conducted at some experimental agricultural station. Unfortunately, so far as I know, no such experiments have yet been made, and the possibility of profitably increasing the wheat crop by the means indicated by Sir A. Cotton has still to be tested in a scientific spirit.