Planting. — Planting must be deep enough to secure moisture, hence, early plantings should be shallower then late ones. Some growers plant in rows 3-3i ft. each way, and use 2 lb. of seed per acre, or 6-7 seeds to the hill, thinning out at the second hoeing. Seed should not be planted in the trough of the marking furrow, where heavy rain is apt to wash it away, but on the edge. Others plant at 15-18 in. one way and 3 ft. the other, the rows running north and south. A tract of 4 acres sowa broadcast produced at the rate of 450 gal. per acre. Many planters practise stepping upon the seed its placed in the ground, urging that the close pressure of the soil around the seed enables it to germinate more rapidly. Stepping the seed causes the ground to bake, if it is wet day.
Culture.—The leading point presented in the culture is keeping clear of weeds. This requires prompt action with the hoe, drag, and cultivator. The plants are too tender for Thomas's harrow. The crop should be thoroughly hoed, until large enough to cultivate with the plough or cultivator.
Time to Cut the Caue.—The best results may be get from early cuttiugs, if there is a risk that extremely hot weather will invert the crystallizable sugar. The proper time is when the seed is in the " stiff dough," or from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1. The juice seems to improve for a few days, bat afterwards it begins to decline in saccharine matter. The earlier the cutting after the seed has reached llae dough stage, the larger the product, and the brighter and cleaner the syrup.
Harvesting,—With regard to stripping off the leaves, it is urged that if the leaves are put through the mill with the stalk, they absorb a large portion of the juice, but this should net be the case with mills of sufficient power. The cost of stripping the leaves before cutting is estimated at $15 (37.) per acre, and it would net pay unless labour were plentiful and cheap. The Agriculture Department experiments show little or no difference between stripped and unstripped cane, although the mill used was an indifferent one. The cane should be cut, seme say, at 6-8 in. from the ground, and ethers, at the first joint. The top should also be cut off at 18 in.-2 ft. Some planters lay the cane in windrows, and others oppose the practice, as exposing the leaves, if net the stalks, to mildew. Some insist that cut cane should be immediately placed under cover, te avoid evaporation by the sun ; others pile in iidges 4 ft. high, and cover the raass with marsh hay, laying peles along the piles every 2 ft., in order to admit fresh air ; ethers again pile it as sugar cane is sometimes piled in the field, crossing the hills in such a way as te secure ventilation, and shed the rain. Crops kept in these different ways for several weeks are reported to have produced
large and fine syrup returns.
Transport to the Mill.—It le beat for the farmer to manufacture the caue as well as raise it. In moving the cane from the field, there is much to be said in favour of bundling it. Some decapitate it with a broad axe, after biuding. The points to be kept in view, both in the transportation and in the storing of the cane, aro protection from the weather, and such ventilation through the ruass as will prevent mildew.
Manufaciure.—Tlic extraction of the juice .frorn sorghum-stalks, and its conversion into sugar, is almost an exact repetition of the operations connected with the manufacture of cane-sugar (see pp.1860-1902). The rnachinery and apparatus a,re identical in principle and purpose, but are usually constructed on a much smaller scale, as well as being oft,en of a portable nature.
Crushing-mills.—The Victor mill, made by the Blymyer Company, Cincinnati, is in very common use ill the United States. It is arranged either vertically or horizontally, and is adapted to all kinds of motor. There arc 7 sizes.
The smallest requires 1 H.P., gives 40 gal.
of juice per hour, weighs 395 lb., and costs about 10/. ; the largest takes 4 D.P., runs 170 gal. per hour, weighs 1900 lb., and costs about 46/.
Evaporators.—Figs. 1385, 1386, show respectively a portable and stationary Cook evaporator mado by the same firm.
The former consists of pans 44 in. wide, and 6-9 ft. long, ranging in capacity from 40 to 90 gal. a day. When the pans are of galvanized iron, they cost 13-17/. ; when of copper, 11-14/. more. Each contains a portable furnace. The whole can be lifted into a wagon hy two men, and conveyed thus from field to field. The stationary evaporators are made in 7 sizes, 44 in. wide, and 6-15 ft. long. With a capacity of 40-180 gal. a day, the prices are 6-18/. for galvanized iron, and 16-42/. for copper.
Fig. 1387 shows McDowell's evaporator, 6 ft. diam. and 2 ft. deep. It is furnished with steam coils 125 ft. loug, aud a diaphragm directing the ourrents of evolution over the steam-coils, up the outside, and down the middle axis. In the centre, is an adjustable funnel-shaped skimmer, which can be raised or lowered to the level of the boiling juice. It catches the scum, and delivers it by a pipe through the bottom of the evaporator. Two evaporators will reduce 600 gal. of defecated Woe by one-half in hours.