Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page

J AGRICULTURE. --'--+----


J AGRICULTURE. -+- The Harvest and the Crops. Mr. Saandereon, the celebrated land valuer, sends the following account of the crop in England to the Times. Ha v is g, during the last five weeks, minutely inspected, probably, a larger area under crop through- out the United Kingdom than any other person, I now lay before your readers my opinion, based on many years' experience of testing the field estimate by the barn floor results, of the farm crops of 1865. "In my interim report, written in the end of May, which appeared in your columns, I alluded to the late and barren spring, the rapid growing of the crops caused by the singular forcing weather in May, and to the extraordinary prospects which the luxuriant state of the crops then warranted, and indicated that a third crop in succession would equal the great crops of 1863 and 1864. These prospects were soon blighted, and a sudden check given to the luxuriance of all cereal crops, and never was the brilliant promise of early cummer followed by such indifferent results. On the morning of the 12th of June a severe frost greatly injured the crops, especially on soft, peaty, and moorish soils-their luxuriant hue being suddenly changed into a blanched appearance, while the vigorous and broadly developed plant assumed a stunted and spiral form. It was chiefly, however, the absence of rain and the prevalence of singularly hct weather that continued throughout June which lessened the yield of straw, of which the crops, at an earlier date, indi- cated such great abundance. Fortunately, all early sown crops had passed the ear-forming stage before they suffered from the severe drought, or otherwise the scaroe year of 1826 would have been reDtoduced in 1865. This circumstance a CDunts for the loog ears of all the cereals compared with the length of straw. In the first week of July copious rains improved in bulk the later sown crops, but the earlier were too far ad- vanced to be benefited, hence, in many cases, espe- cially on light soils, the ears of the corn scarcely got clear out of the hoe. "Cutting commenced in East Kent, South Essex, Hertfordshire, in the earlier districts of Norfolk and Suffolk, and in Berkshire on the 24th of July, and fortunate have been those farmers who in the last week of that month secured the grain then cut as it was, from the overpowering sun that prevailed, in the best cond ition. With August came very unsatisfactory harvest weather—neavy rains falling every second day, and, being, accompanied with a humid temperature, harvest operations were not only almost daily inter- rupted, but grain from discolouration and sprouting considerably injured. The cereal crops being all ripe, farmers were at alosa whether to cut them in a wet state or to allow them to get over-ripe. The latter evil was doubtless the least; but where crops were laid and twisted from heavy storms, or becoming choked with sown grasses, their only resource was to cut them. Although a few fields are still to be seen uncut in the south and south-eastern counties of England, yet these are exceptional, and the great bulk of the crops in these counties has been carried. In the Midland Counties, too, cutting is all but finished, and three- fourths of the crops are in the barn-yard. In York- shire, Lancashire, and Cheshire three-fourths of the crop3 are cut, and fully one-third secured. In the most northern counties of England the greater pro- portion of the crops are in sheaf; but up to the end of last week scarcely a stook was carried. In Scotland, too, where the farmers, anticipating more favourable weather, delayed cutting, nearly one-half of the crops previous to the present week were uncut, and, with the exception of a very small area in the earlier coun- ties, little grain had been carried. As the operations of cutting and carrying have been uninterrupted this week, from the extraordinary favourable ehange in the weather, a very large area of corn has been carried in excellent condition, and with another such week there will be few fields outstanding. "It is worthy of notice that in the upland districts harvest has not been so early since 1826, nor have crops ripened so equally since that year. Indeed, cutting commenced nearly as so{)n in the Vale of Tweed as on the banks of the Thames; while, frem the hot sunshine that prevailed throughout June and July, crops in the upland districts have been as early as those in the lowest. This simultaneous ripening of the crops in the different districts caused, where reap- ing machines were not used, a short fsnpply of hands, which, added to the frequent interruption from weather, lias made the present a lingering harvest. "An cereal crops have been so variable this season that those in a county or parish can scarcely with accuracy be designated. Indeed, it was not uncommon to witness two adjoining fields on the same farm, the one yielding a good the other an almost worthless crop; or two contiguous farms where the crops of the one were a full average, and those of the other light. <1 The wheat cropirstclaims attention. InEast Kent, South Essex, on the deep soils in Wiltshire, and the strong red soils in Worcestershire and Warwickshire, in Leicestershire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Roxburgh, Berwick, the Lothians, and in the Carse of Stirling this cereal in point of bulk reaches close upon an average. Indeed, on all deep, strong, and alluvial soils the wheat crop has nearly the usual length of straw, and large and closely set ears, and plump, well-filled grain. Even on the best soils, however, there is a slight deficiency of plants. On the best soils in Surrey, Sussex, and Hants the wheat crop reaches the low average yield of these counties. Barring the rich loams in the north-east of Norfolk, the marl soils, which form a comparatively small area in Lincoln, the strong and well-farmed clays in Northum- berland and Yorkshire, this cereal is sn these counties decidedly under average. Spring-sown wheat is most deficient, being short in straw and thinly planted. Rust attacked the wheat plant in the second week of August; but, with the exception of wheats on fen land and those late sown in spring, the ravages of this disease have been comparatively limited. Like the quantity, the quality of wheat is very variable. The small breadth early secured is yielding a good bright sample, but the greater proportion carried previous to the present week, being in a'soft condition, will be same time before it is tit for market, and even then the grain will be coarse and rough; with the exception of some of the earlier varieties, such as Talavera and Australian, little injury has been caused by sprouting. Barley—happily termed by Mr. Caird the wine crop of this country-in many instances is now substituted for wheat; therefore, the area under the crop is rapidly increasing. This may partly be ascribed to the comparatively higher price now realised for barley, but chiefly to the fact that as stock husbandry is becoming more appreciated, and as barley is the best intervening crop between roots and grasses, it is the crop in the usual rotation that conduces most to the extension of stock farming. Early sown barley on deep soils has cut up well, being thick on the ground, and having a long, full, and closely set ear. In Norfolk— the great barley producing county, with its varied soils of clay, loam, sand, and gravel-the crop varies as the soils vary. On all the light soils which skirt the eastern coast the crop has suffered greatly from drought, in several instances being burnt totally op. On the loamy soils, which form a considerable area of the county, barley, though far short of last year's crop, is nearly average. Everywhere late-sown bar- leys are deficient, being thinly planted, the extreme dronght having prevented the plants from tillering. This cereal has suffered most from the weather, all of it being discoloured, while a considerable portion of the earliest cut in every county has sustained con- siderable damage from sprouting, so that maltsters will ook in vain for the silvery-tinged samples of last year. Where the practice is carried out, as in the southern oounties, of allowing the barlej to lie in swathe, andnot put in stock when cut, the loss from sprouting and discolouration has been great. Indeed, this mode of allowing grain to lie on the ground m wet, muggy weather is the most effectual way to cause sprout. The oat crop is by far the most deficient of the cereals. Indeed, a bulky crop I have rarely seen. This season the best crops I have witnessed were on the deep soils in Oxfordshire, in South Devon, aud in the western counties of Scotland. In Aberdeenshire, one of the largest oat-growing counties, the crop is about one-third deficient. Excepting on early light soils, where the sample is shrivelled and husky, the quality is good, the grain being full and plump and, on the whole, the oat crop has sustained little injury from the weather- As the ears of the grain are large, so the yield will be great, con)pared with the length of straw." ♦— —

[No title]



Mackerel Fishing.





[No title]