ROTATION OF CROPS. As we touch upon Agricultural subjects in this work only so far as relates to the mechanical appliances of the art, and to the economical uses of the crops produced, we will notice the Rotation of Crops simply as a means of showing what the expression means, and bow it bears upon practical agriculture. A further developement of the subject must be sought for in other works.
It has been found from experience that a repetition of the same crops in succession has a peculiar effect on the soil, so that if grain of the same nature be sown year after year in the same ground, it will not produce the same return of the seed, even when abundantly manured. It is the formation of the seed which principally causes the deterioration of the soil; for if the crops be fed off in a green state, or mown before the seed is formed, the same may be safely repeated, and no diminu tion of the plant is apparent. However judi ciously the land may be manured, it is not practicable to raise a crop of wheat or clover, or of many other plants, on a soil which has shown that, as the farmers say, it is tired of that crop; but clover grows well after wheat, and wheat after clover, so that the same effect is not produced in the soil by these two crops. In 011 countries where peculiar attention has been paid to agriculture, the most advantage ous succession of crops is generally ]mown; and certain general principles are commonly admitted as fully established.
In order to find the crops which may advan tageously succeed each other in rotation, many.
circumstances must be taken into consideration. First of all the quality of the soil, and its fitness for particular crops ; next the wants of the farmer and his family, and the maintenance I of the stock required to produce a sufficient supply of manure; and next the particular market which lies open to him. That which forms the food of man is always the principal object in the cultivation; and, excepting rice, which only grows in warm climates, there is no more universally used than that which is made from wheat. Rye, barley, oats, and pulse, are only substitutes where wheat cannot be raised in sufficient quantities. Next to grain comes meat, chiefly beef, mutton, and pork, of which the consumption increases with the wealth of a nation and the advance of its agriculture. Wheat and fat cattle are there. fore primary objects with every good farmer ; and he who can raise most wheat and fatten most oxen or sheep or pigs will realise the greatest profit. The rotation adopted depends on all these circumstances combined, and the farmer follows different systems according to the balance of advantages, such as the three year rotation (a year of fallow, a year of wheat, and a year of barley or oats); or the four year course (turnips, barley, clover, wheat,) &e.
ROTE,was a musical instrument mentioned by the early French and English writers ; it seems to have been similar to what the French call a vielle, and the English a Hurdy-Gurdy.