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uulture* I HARVEST PROSPECTS. Since last writing, a considerable quantity of rain has fallen locally, materially improving prospects so far as the pastures and root crops are concerned, and though the rain has some- what retarded harvest operations, advance has been made in cutting and carrying all kinds of cereals. The rains have modified the tempera- ture, and work in the harvest-field has been carried on under comparatively comfortable conditions compared with the great heat of the previous week. All that is wanted now is fine dry weather, when most of the harvest will soon be stacked. Reports as to the probable results of course vary very much according to the sources whence they are derived. A second series of special reports has been pub- lished by the Times, in which the relative condi- tion of the principal crops at the beginning of July and of this month is shewn. The number 100 is employed to denote perfect healthfulness with average growth and development of crop for the time of year. Numbers above or below 100 indicate to what extent the crops are better or worse than might reasonably be expected at the beginning of August. Wheat, it appears, is the only crop which has materially improved its position during July, an advance of 1'5 points for Great Britain as a whole being recorded. Most English counties report an improvement, the exceptions being Cambridge, Chester, Hertford, Norfolk, Oxford, Suffolk, and Warwick, in which last county it has fallen 4°2 points. Barley has improved in Scotland, but appears to have remained pretty stationary in England and Wales, while on the other hand oats have fallen off slightly in England and Wales and have advanced in Scotland, the average (93 3) being fractionally lower than a month ago. The extreme county values for wheat are seen to be 102 for Cornwall and 80 for Norfolk, the latter being one of our leading wheat counties. For barley Dorset ranks first at 102, Cambridge being lowest at 80. The highest value for oats is Monmouth at 105, Northampton at 75 being at the other end of the list. The bean crop estimate is lower for Great Britain than at the beginning of last month. Potatoes have improved in many counties, while roots are said to have fallen off, nearly all counties reporting badly. Grass crops have improved in Scotland, though this fails to counterbalance the falling off in England and Wales. The crop, nevertheless, is considerably better than last year, standing at 94 7 in place of 68'5. Field peas are also much better than last year, and now stand at 93.5, as against 82'3 last year. It is worthy of notice that, excluding hops, the figures indicating the present condition of the field crops of Great Britain fall within the narrow limits denoted by the maximum of 9 65 for peas, and the minimum of 91*8 for wheat, the extreme range amounting to only 4-7 points. Nor can these values-all of them well over 90-be looked upon as other than satisfactory, when the meteorological conditions under which this season's crops have struggled are taken into consideration. Reports from Manitoba and the North-West indicate that wheat cutting is going on, and the crop is a good average, and the quality fine. On the whole there seems to be a trifle firmer tone in the cheese markets. From Liver- pool it is stated that with firmer advices from America, and the fear of a smaller make than usual owing to the hot weather, holders con- tinue very firm, and it is difficult to buy really fancy cool cheese even at quotations, which were for extra fancy, 41s. to 433.; good to fine, 38s. to 40s. The official (London) quotations were:— Canadian: Enquiry is chiefly for finest cool cheese, which being scarce and in good demand, commands 43s.; anything nearly best sells, 41s., 42s. United States: Sell as landed, 403., 42s. English: Finest Cheddar, 64s., 68s.; fine Cheddar, 60s., 62s.; double Gloster, 54s., 58s.; Wilts loaf, 60s., 62s.; Somerset loaf, 60s., 62s. THE HARVEST YIELD. Reports in the latter part of last autumn stated that an increased area of land had been sown with wheat, comparing the area with that of 1895-6, which was 1,731,976 acres for Great Britain and Ireland, not including the small islands. Putting this year's area at 1,900,000 acres, a yield of 28 bushels an acre would pro- duce 6,650,000 quarters, as compared with last season's 7,281,000 quarters. Allowing for a consumption, including seed, of six bushels per head of the population of the United Kingdom, estimated at a little over 40 millions, the total requirements will be fully 30 million quarters, and even if stocks should be reduced below their present low level, at least 23 million quarters will need to be imported, according to these reckonings. The rest of Europe will probably need quite as much from outside sources, but will not get the whole of the large requirements. The consumption in some Continental countries, however, is elastic, and if wheat becomes dear, other food stuffs will be used to a large extent instead. DAIRYING EDUCATION. Those who are familiar with dairying opera- tions and products in the Cheshire district, and for a considerable distance round, can testify to the progress that has been made in improving the quality of both butter and cheese—the former especially—and it may be safely said that much, if not all, of this is due to the in- creased facilities and impetus given to dairy education. Similar progress is reported from nearly all sides, though some folk seem to delight in taunting us with how much better these things are managed abroad. Since dairy instruction has been introduced into Ireland, Irish butter has begun to recover the position it had lost, though even now it is stated that it is sometimes sold as Danish butter, because Irish butter has a bad name. Money spent in dairy instruction seems to be well spent. The County Council of Westmorland reckoned that if, by means of improved instruction, they could improve the quality of their butter Id. per lb., the gain to the county would be 5,000 per cent. on what it is spending on teaching butter- making. Such a gain is by no means uncommon, and improvements of 2d. and 3d. per lb. have been reported as the result of dairy education. It has been estimated that if the prices of agricultural products could be raised only 1 per cent. the result would be a gain of 23,000,000 annually to the country's wealth. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE (MARKS) BILL. The Select Committee to whom this Bill was referred have agreed to a special report, which says: "Your committee are of opinion that the identification of foreign meat and cheese is desirable, and that there would be no great difficulty in carrying this out in the case of foreign carcases and cheeses. Your committee are also of opinion that any legislation in the direction of marking meat would be inadequate unless means be taken to distinguish between British or Irish meat on the one hand, and (1) that produced in our colonies, and (2) that pro- duced in all other countries and landed here alive to be slaughtered at the port of debarka- tion on the other." DISEASES OF ANIMALS. The statistics compiled by the Board of Agriculture under the Diseases of Animals Act again for the week ended August 7th shew a clean bill of health as regards pleuro-pneumonia. As an indication of the vigilance of the authori- ties it may be mentioned that seven cattle in four counties were slaughtered as suspected, but on post-mortem examination they were found to be free from the disease. There were only 18 outbreaks of swine fever and 392 pigs slaughtered as diseased or exposed to infection, the figures in the corresponding week last year having been 94 and 1,385; in the corresponding week of 1895 they were 136 and 1,056; and in 1894 they were 187 and 797. Seven outbreaks of anthrax occurred, attacking 28 animals, against 6 and 8 last year; 21 outbreaks of glanders, attacking 42 animals, against 16 and 24 last year j and one case of rabies in a dog was reported, against 3 last year. During the month of July fresh outbreaks of sheep scab were reported from 12 counties, there being 15 outbreaks. The disease was reported in July in 27 English counties, 6 Welsh counties, and 9 Scotch counties. LIVE AND DEAD STOCK IMPORTS AND EXPORTS. The Trade and Navigation Accounts for the month ended July 31st have been issued, and shew that during the seven months the value of the animals imported for food was X6,818,091, compared with X6,354,320 in the corresponding period of last year. There were 366,525 cattle imported (257,117 from the United States, 55,693 from Canada, and 52,704 from the Argentine Republic), the total last year having been 343,427. Of sheep and lambs 413,734 (246,641 from the Argentine Republic, 142,8Q2 from the United States, and 21,317 from Canada) were imported, against 485,372 last year. The value of corn imported was X29,586,950, against X27,068,794 in the corresponding period last year. The value of dead meat imported was ( R15,704,682, against .614,171,454 last year. The e quantity of fresh beef was 1,595,546 cwt., s against 1,457,499 cwt. last year, and of fresh r mutton 1,914,837 cwt., against 1,793,270 cwt. 1 The value of fresh beef was iE3,163,753, and of b fresh mutton £ 2,875,383. The value of bacon a £5,151,535, and of hams £ 2,182,785. Butter of H the value of 19,588,179, against X9,010,411, was o imported margarine, LI,441,371, against a £1,387,835; cheese, t2,768,,349, against 1: X2,218,769 and eggs, X2,382, 247, against £ 2,386,667. c The number of cattle exported from this I country during the seven months, ended July I 31st was 2,055, compared with 2,196 in the c corresponding period last year; sheep and 1 lambs 4,292, against 3,750; swine 58, against t 218; and animals of other kinds (exclusive of I horses) 20,934, against 13,589. The value of 1 the cattle exported was R59,107, against t £ 47,867; sheep and lambs E51,364 against 1 £37,595; swine £ 448, against £ 1,814; and animals of other kinds (exclusive of horses) ] X26,192, against £ 18,923. < During the seven months ended July 31st, the number of horses exported from this country was 17,911, against 15,065 last year. Of these ( 9,548 went to Belgium, 4,016 to Holland, 2,810 to ] France, and 1,535 to other countries. The value of the horses exported was R455,805, ] compared with R358,978 in the corresponding period last year. In the same period 31,997 horses were imported, against 26,466 last year. The United States sent 19,550 of these, against 13,261 last year; Canada 5,174, against 6,354; and other countries 7,267, against 6,851. The value of the horses imported during the past seven months was X804,463, compared with R669,436 in the corresponding period last year. THE VALUE OF AMMONIA AS A MANURE. The current number of the journal of the R.A.S.E. contains a general review of the ex- periments carried out at Woburn, written by Dr. Voelcker, who points out that for 20 years in succession the light sandy soil of Woburn has produced, without manure, crops of wheat averaging 15'3 bushels of corn per acre. Mineral manures alone have not increased the average yield; but where nitrogenous salts were added to the minerals the increased pro- duction has been great, the excess over the yield of the unmanured land having been 15 bushels per acre where ammonia salts (equal quantities of sulphate and muriate of ammonia) were used, and 16 bushels where nitrate of soda was applied. The quantities used where such as to supply 501b. of ammonia per acre.

LOCAL FLOWER SHOWS. 4

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