The treatment of cane setts with mercurial solutions
As long ago as 1870, when the sugar industry in Queensland was in its early infancy, a practical farmer said, "It is a natural presumption that both heat and moisture are necessary to develop the vitality of the cane sett," and an agricultural journalist associated with the paper, " The Queenslander," was moved to write of cold soil: "Plants put into it while in that condition vegetate but slowly; there is also some danger of losing them altogether, from absence of the stimulating heat which the more advanced season finds in the soil.'' The experience of nearly 80 years has served to emphasize the truth of these remarks and cane farmers generally are now aware of the conditions required for a satisfactory germination in a particular variety. The importance of a rapid, even germination in the production of a successful, profitable crop is also fully realised. A poor strike may force the replanting of a field and even if it does not, weeds grow in the 'gaps in the rows and frequently seed to be a nuisance in subsequent years; covering-in is delayed, and crop yields are reduced; and there is also the extra expense of supplying the misses, a practice which frequently can cost almost as much per acre as the original planting and then not repay the expenditure.
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