Guano fertilizer

Guano consists of the excrements of sea-fowl collected during long periods on certain islands in the South Sea. A soil which is deficient in organic matter is made much more productive by the addition of this manure. It consists of ammonia, combined with uric, phosphoric, oxalic and carbonic acids, with some earthy salts and impurities.

The urine of men and animals living upon flesh contains a large quantity of nitrogen, partly in the form of urea. Human urine is the most powerful manure for all vegetables which contain nitrogen, that of horses and horned cattle contains less of this element, but much more than the solid excrements of these animals. In the face of such facts as these, is it not pitiable to observe how the urine of the stable or cow-shed is often permitted to run off, to sink uselessly into the earth, or to form a pool in the middle of a farm-yard, from which, as it putrefies, the ammonia formed in it rapidly escapes into the atmosphere?

Cultivated plants need more nitrogen than wild ones, being of a higher and more complex organization. The result of forest growth is chiefly the production of carbonaceous woody fibre; of garden or field culture, especially the addition of as much nitrogen as the plant can be made to take up.

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