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the Aprils of the same years was but 3.27 inches. April, 1854, was, therefore, a remarkable month in this respect. If, now, we take the month of May, it appears that the amount of rain at Amherst, in 1854, was 3.19 inches. The highest amount for May at the same place, and during the same series of years, was in 1850, (8.72 inches, while the average was 3.91 inches. Thus the rain for May was less than the average. The difference in June was still more marked. The amount for June, 1854, was but 1.75 inches. There were but two years in the eighteen in which June was so dry; they were 1841 and 1849, when 1.65 inches and 1.53 inches of rain fell. The greatest amount in June was in 1843, (5.18 inches,) while the average was only 3.22 inches. The rain for June, 1854, was, therefore, much below the average. The rains for April, May and June, are more important than those of any other months. It is also, as we have seen, a matter of the greatest consequence, to all who cultivate the earth, that these rains should be distributed with some degree of equality.

The change from a great excess of rain to an equally great suffering from the want of it also illustrates the fact familiar to the observation of every farmer, that one extreme generally follows another. In a long series of years or of months, we know that we are to have about so much rain in a given number of months; hence we may infer that, if an unusual quantity falls in one month, far less than the average is to be expected the next. In 1850, for instance, when there were 8.72 inches in May, we had in June only 2.88 inches; and in 1844, when only 0.57 inch fell in April, in May following there was the unusual amount of 5.59 inches. Instances might be multiplied indefinitely to illustrate this general law.

In July, 1854, 3.52 inches fell at Amherst, the mean average for eighteen years being 4.05 inches. During the same month 3.70 inches fell at Boston, and 2.16 inches at Waltham. But in August the amount was less than has been known in any one month for many years. At Waltham it was but 0.57 inch; at Cambridge but 0.35 inch, at Boston but 0.38 inch. These statistics will appear more distinctly by the aid of the following tables.

The amount of rain which fell at Amherst since 1837, as

taken from the collcgc record, furnished me by Professor Snell, is as follows:

Rain and melted snow fallen in Amherst, in inches and

hundredths.

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1840, . 3.15 2.03 3.18 3.98 1.91 4.60 3.34 6.82 5.20 5.04 4.60 3.16 47.01

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From this it will be seen that the mean annual average is 43.84 inches. The largest amount of rain was in 1850, the smallest in 1846. The smallest quantity for the three summer months was in 1854, when there fell but 6.26 inches.

Table showing the amount of rain in inches and hundredths which fell in the summer months, at Waltham, since the

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1.38 1.14 2.08 2.71 5.00 5.99 6.09 5.13 3.23 3.38 4.88 8.63

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1.33

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1824, . 1825, . 1826, . 1827, . 1828, 1829, . 1830, . 1831, . 1832, 1833, . 1834, . 1835, . 1836, . 1837, · 1838, . 1839, 1840,. 1841, . 1842, . 1843, . 1844, . 1845, . 1846, . 1847, . 1848, .

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1.81
5.07
4.04
2.14
6.16
2.88
4.01
4.42

.54
3.97
3.69
2.16
3.73
4.06
5.09
3.16
2.41
1.17
5.90
3.73
1.26
2.63
2.44
5.94
3.10
2.00
3.72
1.64
3.26
.95
1.87

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8.03 12.16 13.35 10.44 11.80 12.08 14.64 12.96

9.60 8.68 11.22 14.26 7.10 8.04 11.69 11.70 19.72 18.43 12.80 15.10 6.55 9.87 7.00 12.48 2.7.30

9.52 16.84 5* 4.86

13.06 11.45 4.60

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1.66 1.86 3.71 2.09 2.42 2.20 2.77 2.44 3.84 2.38

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2.36

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1849,

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1850

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1.92 2.16 3.48 2.23 2.11 2.72 2.16

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Monthly average-June, 3.19 inches; July, 3.11 inches; August, 4.25 inches.

Average for the three summer months, 10.56 inches.
Average for 1854, 4.60 inches.
The largest quantity in the series was in 1850, 16.84 inches.

The average for the month of August is about 33 per cent. larger than for June and July.

Table showing the amount of rain and melted snow in inches and hundredths at North Attleboro', in 1853 and 1854, as kept by Henry Rice, Esq. :

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Table of rain and melted snow in inches and hundredths which fell at Princeton, 1854, as kept by Hon. John Brooks :

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2.31 5.73 3.16 7.74 5.35 3.14 3.38 0.22 5.07 2.65 8.10 4.27

At Cambridge, on an average of years, the greatest quantity of rain falls in December, and the least in April. In the eastern part of England, near London, the greatest quantity falls in October, and the least in March.*

These tables show conclusively that the drought of the past summer has not had its parallel for many years. Indeed, we have no reliable records of one which can be compared with it. Perhaps the famous drought of 1762 was equal to it; possibly that of 1749 was so; but we have no means of knowing with certainty.

But however this may be, it is bighly desirable to ascertain its effects upon the staple articles of food, for on these all de

* The arerage quantity of snow in inches and hundredths each month, for a term of

ycars, at Amherst and Boston, is as follows :Towns. Jan. Feb. Mar. April

Dec.

Year. Archerst, . . . 3.0 1.30 10.0 2.5 14.0 42.5 Boston, . . . 0.5 8.5 1.0 0.2 4.0 14.2

Total snow, 79.50 inches; rain and melted snow, 51.20.

pend. With the view of obtaining some accurate information on this subject, and of eliciting some valuable suggestions and useful facts in relation to others, the following circular was addressed to intelligent men in every town in the State :

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

BOARD OF AGRICULTURE, STATE HOUSE, I

Boston, Sept. 15, 1854. Dear Sir:—Will you be so kind as to favor me with answers to the following questions, together with such other suggestions as may be of general interest or value to the farmers of this Commonwealth :

If not in your power to give the desired information, you will do me a great service by interesting some one in your town who will procure and send it to me.

1. What has been the effect of the drought upon the Corn, Potato and other crops, the present season, and what is their estimated yield per acre:

2. What has been the comparative effect of the drought on deep and shallow ploughed lands ?

3. What has been the comparative effect of the drought on lands where the manure was spread and ploughed in, and on those where it was put in the hill ? '

4. What has been the effect of the drought on forest trees?

5. What is the best mode of guarding against the effects of droughts like that of the present season?

6. Have there been any experiments in irrigation in your town? and if so, with what result?

7. To what extent has the disease affected the Potato the present season?

8. What is the estimated decrease in the quantity of Potatoes cultivated, and the decrease, per acre, on account of the disease or other causes ?

9. What has been the result of experiments this season in the use of guano, superphosphate of lime, poudrette, or other concentrated manures ?

10. To what extent is guano used in your town, and on what soils does it produce the best results ?

11. Have you used guano several years in succession on the same soil ? and if so, with what apparent result on the soil and crops ?

12. What is the comparative cost or value, per ton, of the different kinds of manure used on the farm, and which produces the best return?

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