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Carmarthenshire Chamber of…


Carmarthenshire Chamber of Agriculture. QUARTERLY MEETING AT CARMARTHEN. The annual meeting of the Carmarthenshire Chamber of Agriculture was held at the Boar's Head Hotel cn Wednesday, the 6th in8t at noon. Mr Henry Davies, Typicca, waselecud chairman for the ensuing year; and Mr John Williams Llan- ginning > ice-chairman. The usual quarterly meeting was held at 1 p.m. The President occupied the chair. There were also present:—Mr J Alan Murray, B.Sc. (University College of Wales, Aberystwyth) Mr W 0 Brigstocke, Parkygors Rev Henry Evans, Rector of Pembrey Rev S. Jones, Vicar of Llangunnor Mr John Francis, Myrtle Hill Messrs D R Harris, Llynonnell-fawr J Thomas, Troedyrorfa Talbot Norton, Carmar- then W J Davies, Clvngwyn James Davies, Towy Works II F Pritchard, National Provincial Bmk J G Morgan, ironmonger Davies, Sarnau Dr Harris, Carmarthen David Prosser, Carmarthen Thomas Morris. Green Castle W Davies, Wern D II Tiiomas Croft C ittage Thomas Williams, Pontcarreg; John Is Orongar; J Phillips, Caeilleon \V Isaac, Old Foundry R W Stephens, Cnedybrain Columbus Jones, Pontcarreg Edward Francis, Penygraig J Davies, sac'dler D Davies, Waundrefi Dr Bowen Jones, Carmarthen J Jones, Priory Foundry; CFDavies, Fsoodvale D Hinds, Cwnin W Thomas, ironmonger John Williams, Penlan; W D Thomas, Ffynonlas; John B*:wen, Penffoiddlas W H Jones, !),Tiyralit David Davies, Cwmaubuch J Davie* Pentrff-i! W Harris, Fiood Percy Thoin-ij, Derllys Court; T \V A E*ans, Kidwelly J L i'homas, Tanlan J Rogers, Nantyci; D Walters, Bankyfelin Mill; W Yincent Thomas, Starling Pdrk II J Davie?, Brcnend* i' W Lewis, Newchurch W Davies, Tvgwyn John Jones, Ferrygidc; J Davies, j tn., L}crv.vid; F Rouflignac, Waterloo Cottage N Thomas, Msesy- prior; H Harris, Fiosra en; J Thomas, Talog j Jonathan Phillips, Ys^yborstcne W Jones, Rotten Pill T Davies, Custlo HowLli Dr Lawrence, Waungron Tom Jeremy, Penfcrehydd; J Footman, Havodwen; Griffiths, Llwynpiod J N Lewis, Cwm Glove W Evaiu, Paikyberllaa D Stephens, Lan Edward Lewis, Cillefwr D W Lewis, Pendegy George Thomas, Llrchdwni, and the secretary (Mr W W Proeser). After the dinner, catered by Mrs Olive, in her usuhl good style, had been disposed Gf, The Chairman proposed the rcitith of the Queen, who was drunk with the usual amount ot enthusiasm. NEW MEMBERS. The following new members were acl-nitted —Mr D R Harri*, Llynoinell-fawr, Mr .Tlmes, Rotten Pill and Dr Denzil Harris, Carmarthen. EXPERIMENTAL MANURING. Mr Murray then proceeded to deliver his address on Experimental Manuring." lIe said that he had promised to open the discussion, and he had been "stiuck all of a heap" when he found it announced that he was expected to read a paper. He did not at all anticipate havirg to address such a large audience. They might assume—to begin with- that experiments we:e a great means of gaining knowledge in agricultural as well as upon other subjects. In dealing with Nature, they often wanted to know certain things they then put a question to Nature in the form of an experiment. Farmers were experimenters by the very nature of their occupation. A farmer ccnchcted a great number of experiments whether he trA notice of the result or not. To be of any value at all an experiment must be very carefully carried out. Great attention should be paid to the conditions under which the experiment -was carried out, or else the interpretation placed upon it might lead one very far astray. The results ought also to be very carefully recorded and published, so that all who were interested in the results might have the benefit of them. AgriculturU experiments had been carried out extensively in England and Scotland and various places on the continent, but the subject had not been pursued with the same activity in Wales, and this he attributed to the fact that there was, so far as he knew, no rational agricultural fociety in Wales to organise the the work and take the letid in it. The work however could be very easily- undertaken by a society such as the Carmarthen Chamber of Agriculture and the work of collecting and publishing the results could he carried out by the agricultural department of the University at Aberyatwich. Experiments were very oltenjclassed under two heads the scientific and the practical. The distinction was somewhat unfortunate because no experiment was either purely practical or purely scientific. An experiment could be of no practical value unless it was scientific, and the ultimate object of a scientific experiment was to be of practical use. He thought it was much better to distinguish them as general and local experiments. The general or scientific experiments were those which had for their object the establishment of some general truth, whereas the local or practical were those which sought to determine how far those general principles. ascertained by the scientific experiment were applicable to the different districts. The scientific experiments should be undertaken by the landowners who had the money and labour to carry them out. The practical experiments should bo undertaken by the farmers and not upon too large a scale. An experiment carried out by a landowner could not in the nature of things be regarded as of a practical character, in the same way as if carried out by a farmer. He recom- mended that half a dozen farmers, in one district should try the experiment on a small scale, and then compare their results in this way, an average idea of the truth could be attained. The North Pembrokeshire and the Lampeter Farmtr's Clubs had taken the matter in hand that is to say a number of the members ot cich club had volunteered to try the experiments, and had sent him the results, according to printed instruction* which he had distributed amongst them. He had aiso visited the various crops as the experiments were proceHhlg, and made notes:on the result. In these particular cases he came to the conclusion that the results, did not mean very much, because the reports made by the farmers were very extra- ordinary. For instance, in some casfis the land which had not been manured at all gave bigger returns than that which had been heavily manured. This was very largely due to the peculiarity of the season, and he had simply ti suppress the report as being meiringless. At Rothamstead, where experiments were carried out, the truths ascertained by them were general truths, and only applicable in a degree to certain districts. For instance, one result went to show that all plants required phos- phates, and that most soils requirfel phosphatic manures. But that did not show what particular series of phosphates are particularly adapted to different districts. The second point of the experi- ments was t ) discover whether potash manures were good for turnips on the soils in those districts. This was b somewhat vexed question in Wales, and he believed there were very few farmers who wete in the habit of using potash manures. He attributed this to the fact that farmers tried it on grass and oats, and as it did not suit these, concluded that it would not suit clover or turnips. But the farmers did not take intj account the difference in the composition of different crops. It had been ascertained that one crop would grow cn a piece of land where others could not. Grass or green crops for instance, could grow on much more exhausted ground than turnips could. Therefore it did not follow that if potash manures were no good fur grass or green crops they were no good for clover or root crops. The third point was t) discover how far it would pay to use nitrogenous manures in addition to the other two, and to bee what was the cffect of using them alone or in conjunction with the phosphates and potash. The luurth was to compare the effect of these a-tifieul manures with that of farmyard manures. The latter manure was of a most valuable character at (I farmers simply could not have cnoagh of it. The amount of land occupied by the experitm n'.a that he spoke of was only one-fifth of an acre, and that was divided into eight plots, so that a great deal of land was not required, end there could not be any objection to carrying on these experiments on the score that they occupied too much land. As for the cost: In Pembrokeshire it came to 3" lid and in Lampeter 3s 9J for artificial manure. The Pembrokeshire and Lampeter clubs had sgreed to continue the experiments this year, and hoped to obtain more satisfactory resul's, while the Llanboidy Farmers' Club had also undertaken to carry them on next year. In conclusion, the speaker urged the members of the Carmarthenshire Society to go in for the experiments. lh would be happy to carry out the organising work and when the experiments were concluded end the results tabulated he would give a lecture upon them. All who were willing to undertake the carrying out of the experiments ought to give in Kheir names the secretary who would in tarn MmmunicatP with him (applause). After delivering his lecture Mr Murray again rose at the request of the Secretary to inform the members that he had been appointed by the Car- marthenshire County Council district analyst, under the Fertilisers and Fading Stuffs Act (1891). All the farmers who had purchased any artificial manure had to do was to forward a sample to him at Aberystwyth he would an-ilyse it and forward his report in due course to the sender. Of the 10s 6d fee for each analysis, 5s 6.1 was paid by the County Council, the other 5s being paid by the farmer who forwarded the sample (applause). Mr David Prosser said he hoped a good many farmers would take Mr Murray's advice, and try the experiments which had Veen suggested. He thought the Act of Parliament rcfeired to by Mr Murray was very useful, and ought to be much taken advantage of. There was a tremendous amount of trashy manure in the market, and it ought to be analysed occasionally. There was a greater amount of artificial manure used now than was used some years ago. Forty years ago there was scarcely a load of artificial manure brought into Carmarthen now there was any amount brought in. A good deal of this was nothing but rubbish, and farmers ought to protect themsdves by sending a sample to Mr Murray now 2nd pgsin. Mr John Frarrjis said he was cf opii'i. n to Mr Murray's lectUie would be vary ufivfu; to the farmers if they adopted the suggestions thrown cut. There wes the piaoticai and the scientific side ot the experiment. The farmers could cany out the experiments pratically and Mr Murray could show the scientific value of the txpeiimoi's. There was an imrr.2nse quantity of artificial manure wEd i1 this county at present, but the great mistake that farmers ma le was to put the wronst stuff on the wrong Jsud—the scientific knowledge was wani;nt; (hear, hear). If these experiments were tried—and they need not be carried out on a large SI ale HS Jir Idum.y had ?aid~they would find that Certain manures wre only suitable for certain land and would produce a much larger crop on some soil than others, lie remembered Eorap time go when basic first came into the country a tenant farm: r paying only £ 70 a year for rent tried basic slag on three of his lieid-i. The effect was quite different on each, one liild producing a much improved crop, the second a lit tie inferior, while the third field was not worth twopence. So that the farmer was able to see for which ifekl ba«ie slsg was susted. He (Mr Francis) could not under- stand why the Carm:thenshire Society did not take up experimenting. He w,:s sore that there were many farmers who would readily give up hall an acre or so for the pu-pose. The result would be very beneficial to the t rruers themselves and their children would be w le to itup-ove their own scientific knowledge by the practical results handed down to them by their parents (hear, hear), Of course ho k. ew that thiy would want none of those artificial manures if thev h-ul hrn:- yard manure. On the little land he farmed, lie used nothing but stable manure, because he was fortunate to have emugh. Very few farmers were able to act in thit mi.nner, and they had the consequently to fall back on artificial manures. It was, therefore, to their interest to be able to find ont, which was the kind of manure suitable for each crop and for the different kind of soil. Mr W. O. Brigstocke said he hoped they would bear with him, while he detailed a few of his experiences in connection with artificial manuring. He had for a good iUfmy years carried on—not scientific, but-practical experiments in manuring at Parc-y-gorse. He was now speaking as a tenant farmer, paying a considerable amount cf rent. The question of rent he would not cuter into, as it was a matter of private arrangement, and would not interest them there, Park-y-gorse was a small farm of 36 acres, about 500 feet above the sea ievel situated on a sub-soil of rock, with good barley and turnip land and with a strong tendency to revert to gorse although some parts of it were better because of a small stream which ran through it, and caused soane alluvial deposit. When lip entered it, it was in a very deplorable state. Some of it had been set out in the old Welsh fashion—he was sorry to speak disrespectfnlly of anything NVelsh (lau,h ter), with very poor rye grass and still worse clover. Ilis first object was to hrm it with a ptrmanent pasture. With the first crop of seeus he put a heavy dressing nf farmyard manure and reno fat )ig mixture. firdt rule he made was never to cut a crop of hy without a large of top dressing, and he arranged it so that one ye.u- it would have a good dressing of farm- yard manure, end the ti.ii-ci year one of artificial. He quite agreed with Mr Fnrncis as to farmyard manure if they had p'eaty of it, but as regards top dies-dug, he has found that nothing excelled one thing t(- Ret n:(ii-y for rnency value," pnl that was bones iiitrate of soda. He had tiied it in a variety of ways, and he thought the best results were obtained by putting a top dressing of G or 7 cwt of dissolved bones in the the autumn, and a very small top dressing of soda in the spring. His results were that whin he took the farm it was worth 153 an acre, and now he thought the letting value was 25a to 30s. He had actually let a choice bit of grazing at between £ 3 and £ 4 per acre. Nothing paid better than the literal treatment of grass land. This w,, s essentially a grazing country, and advised the farmers not to cut hay without a top dressing. It they had no farm-yard manure, let them try ua.ic: slag, lie had found excellent results with it a regards grass especially in clayey land. lie 1 sd also tried potash and found it very useful for potatoes. It County Councils and Welsh Universi;) Colleges had existed iu his diy, he would have availed himself (f the advantage- which they offered but as it was he had been left to grope in the dark (laughter). Mr Edward Lewis, Cillefwr, said he thought they were slightly out of order. There were several pupils of Mr Murray's in ihe room and all would te interested to hear what they would say (hear, hear), Air Davies, Froodvale, said that there were manv quite as competent to speak as he wan. They hud had a good deal of talk, but no one hf.d as yet volunteered to try the experiments. lie would, tor one, be very glad to undertake them (hal, ear). That was the only practical way of testing the matter. They might talk till they were black in the face, but that would not bring them any for'arder (hear, hear). Mr II. J. Davie1!, Bremenda, said I have very few comments to maso upon the subject, but it affords me no little pleasure to thank Professor Murray, as previous speakers have, fur his very able and interesting address and for the lucid manner in which he has expounded it. We may also cor.- gratulate ourselves on having procured and listened to such an authority on experimental manuring &t. Professor Murray. Sometimes we ha-re discussions at this Chamber which do not interest every class of the agricultural community, but to-day we have had a subject which eve y agriculturist to whatever class he happens to belong, has to contend with. Consequently it is a subject ct the utmost importance, but at the same time I tcnture to thi-di it is ciie wli;cli does i-.ot receive due coru-ideration atour hands. Artificial have of L.te years made most rapid progress which testifies to success- ful experiments until it has become a m'-st power- ful factor in present-day agriculture. Well, it is always well to judge by the lessons of the p ist, ar.d to take into consideration the possibilities of the future. I venture to think ti-at the lessens of the pabt indicate closely that as labour became scarce, the mere the farmer has to rcrort to art ficial manures. to the possibilities of the future I cannot see on what ground, can we recede from more experimental manuring. It is rt c for nie to t,,Il ,voti that we very often buy manures without knowing what ingredients it contains, but perhaps you are not all aware that according to the Fertilizers and Feeding Stuff* Act which came into force in 189i, anyone who buys not less than half a cwt of manure can demand an invoice from the seller steting the ingredients it contains, and if you think it does n't contains the prcscribed ingredients your remedy is to keep the sample yourf elf, give one to the sellers, and send the other to Professor Murray, who is retained by the County Council for the purpose, and who I know will be only too glad to analyse it for you and it will only cost you 58 6d. and it it is short of the ingredients prescribed on the invoice the seller is liable to a heavy penalty. The penalty for the first offence is, I believe-L20, and for- the eecond £41). So under present circumstances we are rot so liable to be sold as formerly. With reference to experimental m;>ntring and to what manures we should apply to diffeient soils, as a diligent student, of some years' standing, of rural life, especially the agricultural aspect of it, I think th rudiments of agriculture should be compuUorily taught in our country schools which would prepare those who intend to follow the pursuits of agriculture for a thorough agricu'tural curriculum at the Intermediate Schools, from thence to our National Colleges, such as Aber- ystwyth, that they may be thoroughly equipp- d tor eveiy branch of agriculture, analysing manures and so forth. lhat Government should make much larger grants towards agriculturai education as Continental Governments d J, which is the s?cret of the success of French, Danish, and Dutxh farmer, who outrival us simply and solt-ly because they are better equipped than us through their agricultural institutions As we are dealing" ilh experiments in some way or the other, may I venture to make another suggestion to you, and that is, I should like to see the Technical Education Committee of the Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, and Cardiganshire County Councils, which are purely agricultural counties, acquiring an experimental i'ar:n. which I take it, would come within the scope of technical education, to carry out experiments connec ed with agriculture, so that agriculturists from the three counties might see the results and benefit by them The Rev Henry Evans, Pembrey, said he thought that there should exist a closer connection between the college at Aberystwith and the agricultural intercuts of the county (hear, hear). The farmers should undertake the practical experiments and the college the scientific. He had tried experiments but he found the weather interfered with them (laughter) and it was with difficulties such as these that the College could help the farmers (hear, hear). Mr Stephens, Lan, said when doctors disagree the pupil is free (laughter). Mr Parry when lecturing at Llanstephan did not agree that all plants required phosphates. lie also said that phosphate was of 110 use for mangolds and the farmers were going to try the experiment this year. Mr Davies had alluded to the teaching of the young in science. Well, science would come, and it must come, and it was coming (hear, hear). If it did not they would not be able to pay their rents (hear, hear). He quite agreed with Mr Davies and advised them all to get Mr Parry to give lectures to them. Mr Parry would do it free of charge and would be glad to be invrt?d. He thought they would have him at Llanstephan again next year. Mr John Williams (Llanginrring, said he thought Mr II J Davies wa3 right about agricultural instruction in schools. It would be much better for the children than drawing and geography. Drawing would be no use to the children except they intended to be architects or contracted. There was not so ravch geography taught that the ehildrtn were half cracked about it (laughter). 1\1.- John 1'¡,i'I1;J" (:<1'11,>"n q'ór; "0:Tah1' of h'B esperier.- e f fcrnfi •,] m.v s, fie srer.ei>i!v •r.ix?d 2 c-.n. of r/u<-•, 1 cwt. ot nitrate cf s '} i. Mr Coi'.imS's Jon;». ■-•r,c r.f the student? of Abery>tivj Ui, said i.„ te'ittcd thai no'iily ell plants required ph^sphatcH t-eiher with nitrogen attd potash which were he- important constituents lequircd by rop*. He aUo pointed out how cffrta'.n manures wet- V omred by some soils and not by Oihers nnc explained the reason. He recorinrc-rded ihern to send samples of t.heir £ o:L to be analysed in cider tc first find out what rnonura suited it be-.t unci so s-a-e much expense (hear, hear). No doubt there was a great deal of monty waited by farm;s in putting manures cn the wrrng soil. Wi-.h potatre* ilie most important mar.urs was potash, which vai -or in cyi'ui<;e, W hen an element was missing from soil it should be supplied by putting the proper manure in it. If nitrogen was deficient it was no use expecting to get fertility by applying superphosphates and bthH n'mrnrps which did not contain much nitrogen so that it was very nccessary to get an anaiyi-is ot the s. il before buv-n» the manures (uea-, lira.'). Mr Jones concluded by warning those present that a regt mny of the manures whirh were supposed to c- .tain ■ iissoi«d tones had r.o bones in thim m a'; 'I c- y ii, z e, mrrely superphosphates with a Lt:1e bone-dust thrown in (laughter). Mr Davies, Clyngwyn, aocthrr student, spoke in similar term-, Mr 11 I1, i i itch ar-a ] oinffi out that no one had as yet nndertrkeu to car;y out. the e^.perimcrit* 1 he Rev umue; -1 lie always found that if he dea't liberally a i;h land that it Jealt liberally with him. THE RAFFLE then took p^ice as nsual with the following «e-ults: —Mr D R Harris, Llwyneuoil Finvr, hutt-r workc> Rev Henry Evans, Peis'irey, tarpaulin Mr Talbot Norton, Corbett's horse hoe Mr Dines, Ctynsvwi.. turmp drill; Mr H F PritcharJ, sin^e ieia ondle. Mr J G Mojgan, Mr Daries, Snrnsu Dr Harris, Mr W Davifg.^ We-n; Mr D II Th-mas, Croft Cottage; Mr Thomas Williams, I'ar.tcareg Mr John Mr Stephms Cccdvbrain Dr W Isaai, OM Fouuhy; Mr Thomas Morris, Greer.easlle and Mr E Francis. Penygraig, slvop shears Mr I'hiliijs, C-.erhern; M* Davies, saddler. Mr W W Profet-r, Mr Daviec. W a und re 11 Mr Jone*. Piiurv Foundry Mr Cyril F 0' Davies, Froodvale Mr Hinds, Cwni i": Mr Th,.ma- Ffynonlas: Mr John \Vdlirtms, Ptrdan Mr W Thomas, ironmonger; Mr Rowc-n, P.nfLrddlftSj and Mr AV U Bnsstockr\ hav fork.

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