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ggrtculturc. "r' "o. THE WEATHER AND THE CROPS. Unfortunately there is little improvement in the weather prospects. As the weeks have progressed things agricultural appear to have been gradually going from bad to worse, so far as harvest work is concerned. Very unsettled weather has prevailed, culminating at times in continuous downpours of several hours' duration. In fact harvest operations have been brought to a standstill; a great deal of damage has been done, indeed some farmers go so far as to say that the crops have been entirely ruined. Especially is this the case with barley, a good deal of which has been cut and standing in the wet for at least a month, and is quite spoilt for malting purposes. In some parts no serious damage is as yet reported, but another week like that which has just passed cannot fail to tell severely on the quality of unsecured wheat and barley; but on the other hand, if dry, sunny weather should supervene, even yet the benefit of the rains would out-balance the disadvantages. It is stated that in the Southern counties a much larger quantity of the crops is still unsecured than was at one time reported. The excitement in the grain markets has abated, and prices have fallen somewhat, but the reports of deficiencies in several of the European countries continue, and there is a general feeling that a higher range of values will be established. Much depends upon ths harvests in Russia and the Argentine Republic. The trade for live stock presents few new features. Fat cattle and sheep of good quality maintain former quotations, but rougher descriptions are difficult to move. There is little doing in store cattle, but sheep and lambs sell steadily at an advance. Since the above was written the prospect has somewhat improved. Monday was a fine, drying day, and a good deal of corn was carried. In cheese a good consumptive demand is reported during the past week, and although prices have not advanced, markets close firm. THE POSITION OF CHEESE. In the course of an article on this subject, the Grocers' Journal remarks:—The manner in which the price has been kept up of cheese, both new and old, in face of an unpreeedentedly large make, is puzzling dealers on both sides of the Atlantic. It is many years since the market was so strong in the full flush of the make, and all sorts of reasons are sought and given why this should be so. One thing is clear—Canada and the States, Holland, and the United Kingdom have had a tremendous output, and the shipments from North America have already exceeded by a quarter of a million boxes those for the corresponding period of last year. In June and July alone the excess landings reached 202,000 cwt. while in competent quarters an estimate has been formed that the home-make is more than 200,000 cwt. ahead of last year up to date. And herein, to our mind, lies the key to the whole position. The addition to the home- make looks large; indeed, if the comparison were with an ordinary season, it would be prodigious. But that is just the point-last season was quite out of the ordinary. We drew attention last year to the limited output at home, consequent on drought and the discourage- ment to making caused by the previously pre- vailing low prices, and we opinionated that prices would remain high throughout the winter. This is precisely what did occur. PRICES IN FRANCE AND PROSPECTS AT HOME. An advance in the price of bread in France has caused much excitement, and popular leaders are already clamouring for the suspen- sion of the duty of 12s. 3d. a quarter on wheat. The difference between the average prices of wheat in France and England is greater than the amount, of the French duty, probably because millers are more dependent upon the native supply in France than they are in England, and the French growers are holding out for their prices. Even in this country there is already a good deal in the daily papers about possibly dear bread; but this is decidedly premature. We have not heard of any greater advance than a penny a quartern of 41b at present, and bread is still cheap, and it should be so even if wheat rose to 50s. a quarter, a price which was considered moderate 20 years ago. DISEASES OF ANIMALS. The chief feature of the statistics compiled by the Board of Agriculture under the Diseases of Animals Acts for the week ended August is the great reduction in the number of out- breaks of swine fever in Great Britain. These are now down to 25, with 268 swine slaughtered as diseased or exposed to infection, this being the smallest number since the very difficult task of exterminating the pest was undertaken by the authorities. In the corresponding week last year there were 86 outbreaks and 2,114 pigs slaughtered; in 1895 145 outbreaks, and in 1894 139 outbreaks. The total number of outbreaks for the 35 weeks of this year has been 1,783, with 31,746 pigs slaughtered against 4,019 and 57,493 in the corresponding period of 1896. It is clear that substantial progress is now being made in Great Britain, and if there should be no recrudescence of the disease we would seem now to be justified in hoping that the struggle will end in another victory for the Board of Agriculture. But, as a correspondent remarks, What about Ireland ? As regards the weekly returns, there is again a blank under the head- ing pleuro-pneumonia. There were six out- breaks of anthrax, 25 outbreaks of glanders, and two cases of rabies were reported. The figures last year were 15 anthrax, 25 glanders, and one rabies. FIGHTING THE WABBLE FLY. A writer in the Agricultural Gazette makes the following very pertinent remarks on this sub- ject :—The warble fly, with all his faults, has one redeeming characteristic. During many months in every year he places himself entirely in the hands of his enemy, the cattle-owner. During winter and spring the fly exists nowhere excepting as a maggot in the backs of cattle, and if cattle-owners could be induced to take but a very little trouble in the early spring for about two years, the pest can be practically, or perhaps absolutely, exterminated in these islands. I know from experience that fifty cows tied up in a cowshed can have every warble dressed by one man with sulphur and grease in much less time than one hour, and by going over the cattle a second time a few weeks later it is almost certain that not a maggot will escape to develop into a fly and propogate the species. When the warble flies first acquired the habit of wintering in the backs of cattle they presumed to think the farmers would never be induced to act together even for the very short time that would be necessary to exterminate them; but they reckoned without the Board of Agricul- ture. If I correctly read the Diseases of Animals Act, 1894, the Board of Agriculture in Great Britain, and the Lord Lieutenant and Privy Council in Ireland have power to declare warbles in cattle a contagious disease in the same way as they have declared sheep scab to be so, and these authorities can make an Order providing that all owners having cattle affected with warble shall dress the maggots while still in the animals' backs with some suitable dressing two or three times in the course of the spring, and that the police shall see the Order carried out as they do other Orders relating to cattle diseases.


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