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AGRICULTURAL ITEMS. IN THE APPLICATION OF FERTILISERS to land devoted to farm crops, it is necessary to obtain first a clear knowledge of what the soil requires, and to find the best market for the supply of the elements that are most in request. As a rule, what are known as strong soils are sufficiently rich in alkalies, and are very often rich also in phosphates, though the addition of calcareous matters is usually beneficial to such soils. Of necessity, chalk and limestone soils are often well fortified in respect of phosphates, but they are apt to be deficient of alumina, sulphur, and silica. When there is clay near at hand it is likely to be good.prac- tice to put clay on the chalk and chalk on the clay and, as a rule, mixtures of soils are immensely more productive than either of the mixed soils would be separately. A hungry sand does not need to be en- riched with silica, for it consists of scarcely anything .else, but so deficient is it of the elements required by plants that it is always a costly business to manure a sandy soil effectuallv. Of all men in the world who need a sound knowledge of agricultural chemistry, it is the light land farmer, the sand dune farmer, the tiller of gravel and silt, who may truthfully speak of his land as a sieve." To such a man knowledge is money indeed. The two most important manures for sandy soils are kainit and superphosphate, the first being the cheapest form of potash at our command, and the second the cheapest and most convenient sub- stitute for guano. POULTRY IN ENCLOSED SPACES should be provided with a rather roomy house, and a yard as spacious as circumstances will admit, for it is most difficult to keep the birds in a really satisfactory condition for any length of time if they have not sufficient room for roosting at night, or enough space for exercise during the day. It is not the less necessary to select a light and open situation for the yard, for poultry will not thrive if they do not enjoy a fair share of light and air and a moderate amount of sunshine. It is not, of course, desirable that these structures should occupy an objectionably prominent position in the garden, but they should, if practicable, face the south, and have a water-tight roof and a dry floor. The floor of the yard must also be quite dry, and a few heaps of ashes or coarse sand placed here and there for the birds to scratch and dust in. Hens that are laying should have special attention in the matter of feeding, and during frosty weather, when the ground is frozen hard, and there is but little food to be obtained in the runs," care must be taken that the whole stock has a sufficiency of suitable food. When kept on short supplies now the birds rapidly fall off in condition, and do not very quickly recover. WINTERING LIVE STOCK is an important matter with all stock-keepers. A bulletin issued last month from the Agricultural College, Guelph, Ontario, by William Brown, C.E., professor of agriculture, gives some interesting facts and experiences in preparation for this branch of farm work. The regulation food for all cattle is prepared thrice a week, and consists of 401b. pulped turnips or mangles, 151b. cut hay, and 31b. of bran per head daily on an average of kind and age. These foods are mixed in a heap about 4ft. deep, and used before much heating or during the sweet stage of fermentation, which is usually when the temperature reaches 70 degs. The nutritive ratio of this mixture is 1-5-9, and the market cost 16 cents per head per day; the cost to the farmer is about 9 cents. Water is given about 40 degs., and the stable is never over 50 degs., with proper ventilation. The breathing space for each animal is about 900 cubic feet. A saving, estimated at 12 per cent. in feeding horses, and 30 per cent. for sheep, was realised last winter with cut hay. The animals cannot leave any amongst their feet, and they eat more of the rougher portions. A 17 horse-power portable engine, with a 20-inch French burrstone mill, grinds 30 bushels of peas or barley in one hour at a cost of one cent per bushel, including every possible cost. The same power drives hay cutter and root pulper both at the same time, and in less than two hours prepares the food named above, being 20001b. hay and 60001b. roots. The cost of this is 55 cents per ton, or If per cent. per head of cattle daily, including 2 interest on cost of engine, fuel, tear and wear, oil, engineer, two hands at hay cutter, two at pulper, and two at mixing the food. THE CATTLE WEIGHING ACT, which came into force with the new year, contains no provision as to the weights to be used, a fact which may cause some confusion, owing to the different weights in use in different parts of the country. Sir J. B. Lawes has pointed out, however, that the legal stone of 141bs. will be the most generally useful, as this will roughly correspond with the value of the animal when weighed as dead meat at 81bs. to the stone as in Smithfield. Moderately fattened oxen or sheep, he says, give 571bs. of carcase for every lOOlbs. of live weight, and 81bs. is 4-7ths of 141bs., whilst 4-7ths of lOOlbs. is 57 l-71bs., or roughly 571bs. MANURES in relation to agriculture formed the subject of one of the most instructive and useful of recent papers read before an agricultural assembly, that of Mr. Edward Luckhurst, a well-known Suffolk land agent, heard at the last meeting of the Ixworth Farmers' Club. Based on the principle that only in the proper preparation of the soil, and ample manuring, can we hope in these times for anything like remunerative farming, Mr. Luckhurst gave several telling facts from his own experience as to how a full supply of manures required by crops under cultivation had effected results. He, how- ever (remarks the Agricultural Economist), com- menced by truthfully declaring that it is of no use to manure until the land has been rid of surplus water. He said he was once asked to inspect a field of wheat having a most unsatisfactory appearance although it had been manured for by 40 cart-loads of farmyard dung per acre. He found that the soil although firm enough at the surface, was in reality water-logged. On the manurial part of the question, he maintained that it is far cheaper to give plant food for farm crops by chemical or artificial manures than by farmyard muck. In proof of this, he had on one occasion a large pasture field about to be laid up for hay, which he divided into two equal portions, to one of which he applied 30 cart-loads per acre of muck in autumn, while to the other he applied a dressing of chemicals in February, consisting of fewt. nitrate potash, icwt. 2 nitrate of soda, fewt. mineral superphosphate, and 2 lcwt. steam bone flour per acre. The effect of the latter dressing was remarkable. Throughout the winter the other portion manured with dung in October had put on a highly superior appearance by being clothed with much more verdure, but soon after the chemical dressing had been applied the portion of the field receiving it took the lead and continued to maintain it throughout the spring and early summer, and eventually yielded a crop of hay twice the bulk of that obtained from the farmyard manure, although the cost of the chemicals was from 23s. to 24s. per acre, and that of the dung computed at 3s. per load, 90s. per acre. Another instance alluded to by Mr. Luckhurst was the treatment of a small seven- acre meadow on the top of a hill some 300 feet above a Sussex homestead, where a dung cart had never gone. This pasture when it came into his hands was so poor as to be practically worthless, yet by having the same mixture of 2J cwt. per acre of phosphates, potash, and nitrogen applied every February, it had been brought up to such a high state of fertility that last year it yielded fully two tons of hay per acre. MB. LUCKHUEST in his paper advised mixtures of chemicals to be employed instead of all nitrogen or all super-phosphate, stating that in general it would be advisable to expend about 20s. per acre for grass, 31s. per acre for wheat, 23s. 6d. per acre for oats and barley, and 43s. per acre for swedes and mangels. In addition to this expenditure for the root crop, he would give to it 14 tons of farm- yard dung per acre which would bring the cost of manuring for roots to about £ 5 per acre. That the crop would be likely to justify this liberal expen- diture, he thinks likely from the circumstance that Mr. S. Sherwood took the first prize at the Fram- lingham Farmers' Club competition for the best three acres of mangels, the manure for which had cost Xo I os. per acre. But the yield was 45 tons of roots per acre which fully justified the outlay. He would give farm- yard manure to the root crop instead of to corn, because dung in the soil during a drought summer has a tendency to retain moisture which might be a great benefit to the young swedes and mangels. Finally, in showing the advantage of a mixture of chemicals, he quoted the Norfolk experiments on Mr. Cooke's barley crop at Flitcham. The application of 3 cwt. nitrate of soda and 3 cwt. superphosphate per acre yielded only a wretched crop, but by the addition of 2 cwt. muriate of potash he obtained 45 bushels more marketable corn per acre. Mr. Luckhurst no doubt proved his point admirably, the only exception we have to make to his conclusions being that in some instances the soil itself may be already full of soluble potash, and in other cases of phosphates, and then it would, of course, be folly to add the particular element already in repletion. Every farmer ought consequently to know his own soil well, by having studied it attentively, or by having derived proof of its composition by chemical analysis. AT the Wisconsin Experiment Station a number of cattle have been dishorned, and Professor Henry, says the Farmer's Beiiew, is perfectly satisfied with the result. He considers winter the proper time to operate, and a carpenter's fine saw the best tool to use. He believes the painfulness of the operation to be greatly over-estimated, as in his experience cattle went to eating ten minutes after the horns were taken off just as if nothing had happened. Instead of being a cruel operation the Professor considers it a merciful one. With calves his operations have not been so satisfactory, some of the horns making an imperfect growth after they were considered eradi- cated. The gouge or nippers made by H. H. Haaf and that made by Miles Rice have been tried, but scurs also grow after their use. The Professor says of his dishorned animals It was remarkable to see how our steers were changed in actions. We had two feeding rooms, each 25ft. by 26ft. outside measurement; in each of these were six steers. Though these creatures had run together from calves, no sooner were they in these comfortable quarters than they began hooking and pushing until the weaker ones of both lots would have next to starved, I truly believe, while the bosses would have gorged themselves on the feed rightfully belonging to their more timid mates. In a couple of days after dishorning, the weaker ones learned that they could not be hurt, and crowded up to the troughs for grain to get their full share. From that date they were like a flock of Merino sheep, and we would no more have thought of tying each steer by itself or putting them into stanchions than we would of putting sheep into stanchions. I fully believe we gained over 50 dollars in the operation of cutting off the horns of the 12 steers pretty good pay for an hour's work. We are not in a position to give advice about dehorning calves, for the reasons named, nor have we operated on dairy cows, though several farmers report that they have dehorned their cows with satisfactory results; but for bulls and steers we are well satisfied that it is a valuable operation and productive of much good, and at the same time one that can be performed by anyone of ordinary intelligence."



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