No. II. THE BEET. Many varieties of the beet, Beta wlgaris, are known to botanists, some of these, the mangel-wurzels, being used as food for cattle and for other purposes ; others, the garden beets', as edibles for the table, while quite a number are mere horticultural curiosities. Among the first, we find the white Silesian, ox white sugar beet which is the only kind at present used by sugar manufacturers. It has been chosen from among all others on account of its superior richness in saccharine substance and its comparative freedom from coloring matter. Margraff, in the year 1747, was the first to discover sugar in this plant, and Achard, of Berlin, made the first loaf sugar from it. After 1812 the manufacture of beet root sugar became a regular branch of industry in France, from whence it has gradually spread itself over the whole of continental Europe, and has recently penetrated into the British Isles. ^ Crystallized beet root sugar is perfectly identical in composition with cane sugar, and is undistinguishable from it by the sight, the taste, or by chemical tests. The average composition of French sugar beets, according to A. Payen, in his last treatise, on the distillation of the juice of this root, is as follows: Water..............................................835 Sugar, with traces of dextrine___............ .......105 Cellulose and pectose...........* * * , * * . ............... 0*8 Albumen, caseine, and other nitrogenous substances..... 1*5 Fatty matter...................,..................... O'l Malic acid, pectic acid, pectine, gum, aromatic substance, coloring matter, ethereal oils, chlorophylle, oxalate and phosphate of lime, phosphate of magnesia, chloride of ammonium, silicate, nitrate, sulphate, and oxalate of potash, oxalate of soda, chloride of sodium, chloride of potassium, pectic acid salts, sulphur, silica, oxide of iron, etc., together. ...,.,.,,.............. 3*0 Braconnot had found: Water...................,............................87 Soluble matter (sugar).................................. 8 Insoluble matter....................................... 5 100 Payen finds: Water............................................... 835 Sugar............................................... 10-5 Various other substances. k............................ 6'0 100 Peligot says his experiments on French beets gave him an average of between 12 and 18 per cent of sugar; Krocker finds l o for German sugar beets. The percentage of sugar in American grown beets is highly satisfactory, as is shown by many analyses which have been made of them, as recorded by Grant, Blodget, and others. Roxbury beets contained 11*2 to 12*6 and 13*1 per cent of sugar; Dedham beets, 10*2; Shirley beets, 12#0 to 14*3 ; Deer Island beets, 10'4; Chatsworth beets, 9'12, 12*5, and 14 ; Haek-ensack beets, 14*4 to 17*6 per cent of sugar. The geiie^al average is 12#9 per cent of sugar, which, by recent processes, ought to furnish 10*3 per cent of raw sugar to the manufacturer. The quantity of sugar in beets varies more or less according to the nature of the soil, the method of cultivation, the meteorological status ot the season, and the nature of the fertilizers employed, all of which we shall practically discuss in our next article. The average crop to the acre, grown in any one locality, does not seem to differ very materially from one year to another, as is shown by recorded experiments. In various parts of France, Boussingault finds that this average is: For the department of Pas de Calais......14 tuns to the acre. " Aisne.............Hi " The Nord.........16 Cher..............17 " Seine et Marne.....13 " Gasparin gives the present average for the north, of France as 40,000 kilogrammes to the hectare or about seventeen tuns to the acre. In Belgium the average crop is 18 tuns to the acre. In 1867, the product of beets, for the German Zollverein, was 23 tuns to the acre, the total supply being grown on 239,775 acres, and producing 4j000,000 quintals of sugar. To arrive at a definite conclusion as to the average product of sugar beets per acre in the United States,we have had to gather notes from many different authorities, whose names and places of residence we here furnish so as to substantiate our figures. They are: 1, A. P. Goodridge, of Worcester, Mass.; 2, S. D. Smith,of West Springfield, Mass.; 3, W. Birnie, of Springfield, Mass.; 4, T. Messinger, of Long Island, N. Y.; 5, P. T. Quinn, of Newark, N. J.; 6, I. C. Thompson, of Staten Island; 7, Emory Rider, of Hackensack, N. J., 8, the Hon. Ezra Cornell, of Ithaca, N. Y.; 9. W. H. Belcher, of St. Louis, Mo.; 10, Theod Gennert, of Chatsworth, 111.; 11, Maurice Mot, of Cherry Talley,Newark, Ohio; 12, the late John W. Massey, of Morris, 111.; 13, John W. Walsh, of Chicago; 14, T. Pay-son, of Deer Island, Boston Harbor ; 15, E. B. Grant, of Boston ; 16, M. Ogden, of the Illinois Central Railroad; 17, Agricultural Department of the United States; 18, D. L. Child, of Northampton. Mass. We exhibit in a tabular form the results of the experience of the above-named parties, the numbers in the table corresponding to those preceding their names: . , _ __ - _ _ _ -_ Tuns per acre...........................VJH 17 34 49^ 25 80 20 20 Cost of production per tun..........$4'05 2#2'3 2*88 1*15 0*64 0'84 0f70 1*50 2*00 10 11 12 IS 14 15 16 | 17 | 18 15 Tuns per acre........................... 20 to 20 20 13 Cost of production per tun..........L$3;00 2~T65:' 1"50j j3 50 1 38 12;60|3^0 We see by these figures that the lowest estimate of beet production in America is rated at 13 tuns to the acre; the highest at 49 tuns, and that the general average is 24*48 tuns. We further notice that the lowest cost of growing beets was 64 cents per tun ; the highest, $4*05, and the general average $2*42 per tun. Multiplying 24*48 tuns by $2*42 we perceive that the cost of growing one acre in sugar beets would average $59*24 lor the whole country. The farmer selling his beets at $3*50 would clear a profit of $26*44 to the acre. For fear of being taxed with exaggeration, we shall, in all future estimates, average a United States crop at 20 tuns to the acre, the cost of production at $3 per tun, and the percentage of sugar at only 8 per cent, instead of 10*3 per cent. According to the reports of the Commissioners of Agriculture, the average yield and cash value of grain crops per acre in the United States during four years, from 1862, to 1865 inclusive, was as follows : Bushels. Price per bushel. Value per acre. Corn............32*99 $0*86 $28*57 Wheat..........14*34 1*57 22*44 Rye.............15*94 1*03 15*98 Oats............28*56 0*58 16*52 So that the total average value of a crop of grain gathered ; on one acre of land in the United States was only $20*87, or i considerably less than the net profit to be derived from the ' sale of the beet roots made on the same extent of ground. In France, the ratio of growing and harvesting a crop of beets, compared with that of growing and harvesting a crop of wheat is as 42*75 to 35, or in other words it costs 22 per cent more to produce one acre of beets than it does to cultivate one acre of wheat. , The proportion of leaves to roots in beets varies from 50 to 78 per cent by weight. The elementary chemical composition of the plant is, according to Gasparin, as follows : Dry root. Dry leaves. Carbon.................42*75...............38*11 Hydrogen..............5*77................5*10 Oxygen.................43*58................30*80 ^Nitrogen.............. 1*66................*4*50 Carbonic acid...........1*00 ^Sulphuric acid.........0*10 ^Phosphoric acid........0*37 ^Chlorides..............0*32 Lime..................0*42 Magnesia............... 0 28 *Potassa................2*51 Soda................... 0*37 Silica..................0*52 Iron and alumina....... 015 Those substances marked with stars have to be furnished by the fertilizers, which, it will be noticed, will have to be ' rich in potassa and phosphoric acid, and must furnish 0*21 per cent of nitrogen to every 100 lbs. of root and 0*45 per cent of nitrogen to every 100 lbs. of beet leaves produced, unless these last are returned to the soil, which would diminish the quantity of nitrogen needed, by the weight of what they contain of this substance. The quantity of water in beet roots varies from 83 to 88 per cent. According to Boussingault, four pounds of beet are equal in nutritive power for feeding purposes to one pound of dry . hay; according to Count de Gasparin, five pound of roots equal one pound of hay. Beet root pulp, after it has been pressed for the extraction of the juice, has the same value as the original root which produced it, weight for weight, so that its price may readily be established on the basis of 4 lbs. pulp being the equivalent of one lb. of hay; that is, 100 lbs pulp equal to 22 lbs. good hay. If 20 tuns of beet are made to the acre, and if the weight of pulp averages 18 per cent of that of the beet roots, we find 8,064 lbs. of pulp (equal to 1,774 lbs. of hay) to the acre, to be available for the purpose of feeding or fattening live stock. The growing and harvesting of one acre of beets need 46 days of human (partly children's) and of 14 da^sof horse labor. In the West Indies one acre of sugar cane necessitates 172 days of human labor. In our next issue we shall furnish practical details for the cultivation of the suga,r beet, with the necessary conditions of soil, climate, and manure suited to its proper development.