Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
In one experiment he planted hemp seeds in two boxes. One box had a thin piece of zinc the same width
and depth of the box, pressed almost to the bottom of the box. On the other side of the box was a copper
plate of similar size, which was connected to the zinc plate via a copper wire running on top. The use of zinc
as one terminal led it to become the positively charged terminal, and the copper subsequently became the
negative terminal. He saw increases in plant growth of 20 to 40 percent, which he attributed to the current
flow present in the soil. This was measured using a sensitive electrical current meter (known as an ammeter).
Note: He could have used a chemical battery (available at the time) for his experiment, but the earth battery
was significantly less expensive.
Many French scientists, including Barat of Aiguillon from Lot-et-Garonne in southern
France, experimented with the electrical stimulation of plants since 1880. Among Barat's
best results were the following:
• A row of hemp that was intermittently under the influence of electrical current
ended up with stalks 18 inches taller than those grown in another row under similar
conditions but without electricity.
• A kilo of seed potatoes in an electrified patch produced 21 kg of large,
well-conditioned tubers while the non-electrified potato patch produced only 12.4
kg of tubers that were far less healthy and smaller in size, a gain of 69%!
• Fruitripenedasmuchaseightdaysearlierontreesthatweretreatedwithanelectric
current 8 .
Around 1886, Speschnew, a Russian agriculturalist, was working in the Royal Botanical
Gardens in Kew, London. He used an earth battery system to attain the following results 9 :
• Vegetable stalks four times larger than normal.
• Grain yield 50 percent greater than normal.
• Radishes 17 inches long and 5 inches in diameter.
• A carrot 11 inches in diameter and weighing almost five pounds.
• Both the radishes and the carrots were juicy and tasted great.
• On the germination of seeds, he determined that the application of bursts of
electrical current onto seeds accelerated germination by 20 percent. He further
claimed that it increased the vitality of the germ, which he demonstrated by
successfully germinating very old seeds 10 .
A fantastic discovery came about from a person named Fischer from the Waldstein
with plates 65 by 40 centimeters in the soil, 30 meters (90 feet) apart. Using this method,
he achieved crops with faster growth and increases of 200 to 400 percent in yield for
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