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HARVEST HOME. The recent fine weather has been on the whole favourable for harvest operations, and the great bulk of the work has now been completed. it goes without saying, however, that all grain crops have been much damaged by the long spell of wet weather we have passed through, and farmers' profits in corn growing districts will be considerably curtailed thereby, as much of all kinds of white straw produce is scarcely marketable. Those who took time by the fore- lock, in July, and were lucky enough to secure their crops before the rain came may congratu- late themselves. Considerable complaint has arisen as to the scarcity of labour. In the South-Eastern division of Essex this has been specially the case. It is stated that in that district there has been a serious decrease in the number of farm labourers during the last 12 months, and as a consequence there has been such a searcity of extra hands for the hay and harvest as has not been known for many years. For- tunately for the farmers, glorious weather prevailed throughout both hay time and harvest, and they were able to gather in their crops with very little labour. If the weather had not been good, if the crops had been heavy and badly laid as in 1894. and with such a dearth of labourers as experienced, the crops never could have been harvested at the proper time. Some of the owners who occupy their own farms, and many well-to-do farmers, have had to doff their coats and fork the hay or stack the corn themselves, and in some cases the daughters have had to render assistance in tying up sheaves after the reaper. This may be a very healthy exercise, even more so than cycling, but it does not always come so agreeable. From Scotland the news is encouraging. The Dundee Courier gives reports collected from farmers in every county in Scotland regarding the yield of the season's harvest. These reports are all of a satisfactory character. The yield of barley is described as much above the average. and the quality is excellent. Wheat and oats were also very good crops. Turnips promise to be exceptionally heavy, though the yellow variety in some districts is suffering from want of moisture. Potatoes are not heavy, but there is not much evidence of disease. Beans and peas have turned out well. Even as regards Ireland a more hopeful tone prevails. A well-informed Irish correspondent writes :—Letters from various parts of Ireland say that the very gloomy aspect taken by the Press of the harvest is altogether overdrawn, and that in many places the crops are very good, and the damage done to them not at all what has been represented. A co. Cork farmer gives his opinion as follows, and as he farms very largely, it deserves respect:—1st. Cattle Better price than for some years. 2nd. Sheep: About same price as last year. 3rd. Hay: A much better crop than last year. 4th. Oats A better crop than last year. 5th. Barley: Ditto. 6th. Turnips: A good crop. 7th. Potatoes: A bad crop. As regards the oats and barley," he adds, "the crops have been difficult to save, but my experience is that the damage done up to the present by the rain is not serious." The Simla correspondent of the Times says:— During the past few days splendid rain has fallen over a very wide area, the Punjab par- ticularly receiving several inches. This not only secures a bounteous kharif harvest, but makes the prospect of rabi assured. This rain may be taken as worth crores of rupees to the country, for it has come exactly at the season- able time for the market. A fall in prices must shortly occur, and India should have a surplus of wheat to export a few months hence, for the crops are exceptionally good. The Government will benefit, as the land revenue will be easily collected during the cold weather. The crisis in the corn trade in Southern Russia (says the Daily News Odessa corre- spondent) has been further enhanced by the influx of some half-score Hungarian Com- missioners, who are purchasing wheat at any price obtainable. The majority of the great grain-exporting houses are in a very precarious position, and a large number of the smaller firms have already collapsed. One large foreign export firm alone will lose at least three millions of roubles in fulfilling its contracts previously made in expectation of a middling crop. With the exception of barley, all cereals ia this southern region are as light as they are scant. According to Dornbusch, the estimates of the world's wheat croo is as follows :— 1897. 1896. Qrs. Qrs. Europe. 157,570,000 192,274,000 America (North and South) 87,500,000 66,010,000 Asia (including India) 29,700,000 34,500,000 Africa 4,600,000 4,600,000 Australasia 5,000,000 2,750,000 Total. 284,370,000 300,134,000 This table shews, therefore, a shortage this year in the world's wheat crop of just over 15i millions of quarters. Only one country in Europe is likely to have a greater quantity of wheat this year than last. That country is Portugal, whose crop is reckoned at one million quarters, as against 700,000 quarters for the previous year. THE DANISH BUTTER INDUSTRY. A good deal of feeling-we might almost say sensation-prevails in agricultural circles, as well as in the mind of the general public, through the publication by Mr. D. Young, of Edinburgh, editor of the North British Agricul- turist, on the condition of the dairy farms and dairying in Denmark, as contained in a pamphlet entitled A Land Flowing with Milk and Butter: The Truth about Danish Dairying.' Generally speaking Mr. Young's deductions amount to this: Danish cows are very little exposed to the wholesome conditions of pure air and running streams. Extremes of heat and, cold keep them in the byres. These are low- built, pretty nearly hermetically-sealed against ventilation, and instead of being paved with tiles or glazed bricks, thickly coated with straw they provide no bedding for the cows other than the cobble stones with which they are floored, the interstices between which, difficult to cleanse, reek with filth and offensive odours. Moreover, the byres are built about a square, which contains the dungstead, and the pump and well in close proximity." One per cent. of tuberculous Danish cows are tuberculous at birth. The normal death-rate of Copenhagen, which is supplied by a very careful model company, is 48 per 1,000; and typhoid fever is exceedingly prevalent in the country. These remarks apply to 75 per cent of the Danish farms; and farm- ing is the one industry of the country. The United Kingdom imports about 78 million pounds of Danish butter annually. On the other side, the Copenhagen Dairy Supply Com- pany set an example of cleanliness and strict surveillance against disease which is worthy of imitation at home; and the Danish Govern- ment have voted an annual sum of X5,000 toward the cost of having the cattle stocks put through the tuberculin test. Here again the byre system prevents segregation; and the con- clusion is that the Briton should beware of giving his children Danish butter. Against this Mr. F. J. Lloyd, F.C.S., of the British Dairy Farmers' Association, enters a most vigorous protest, traversing most of the items advanced by Mr. Young. We have not space in this column to follow Mr. Lloyd seriatim, but against the statement that. through carelessness in milking, a great amount of filth falls into the milking pail,' and the milk on reaching the Danish creameries has to be run through a fine sieve, which collects a thick deposit of excrementitious matter,' he replies with a tu quoque, the truth of which, unfortunately, is but too self-evident at times in the bottom of our milk jugs :— Those who know anything about dairying in Great Britain know that the last two sentences would be as true of much of the milk produced in this country as they are of the milk produced in Denmark. As regards air space in the byres, it is scarcely possible to compare what is deemed necessary in a country where the winter is com- paratively short and the temperature seldom falls more than 10 deg. below freezing, with a country where the winter is not only longer but more severe, and where the thermometer stands frequently below zero. But the main question is, would such conditions be likely to produce typhoid fever ? It is a remarkable fact that no single case of typhoid fever known to have been produced by the consumption of butter has been, or probably can be, brought forward in confirmation of this assumption." THB DEMAND FOR FARMS. The Rural World remarks:—" It is singular how varied is the demand for farms in different parts of the country. One of our contributors who travels the country widely finds that in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Leicestershire, Rutland, Cheshire, Lancashire, and even far- ther north, there are very few useful farms without a tenant; while in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire, Essex, Nor- folk, and even in the rich county of Lincoln numbers of farms are tenantless. Still even where land is tenanted rents have been reduced, and the returns given by the Commissioners on Agriculture corroborate the foregoing statement. But it took the Commissioners four years to find out what every shrewd practical farmer has known for a long time. Commis- sioners on Agriculture need to move more rapidly about their work to do any material good. A few practical farmers would be able to shew as well in a few months what is going on in the farming world as takes the Commis- sioners as many years." AN AUSTRALIAN EXPERIMENT WITH BUTTER. The Australasian relates a qurious transaction in butter. It shews in more ways than one what science can do for us now. This excellent journal relates that" a portion of a consignment of butter, manufactured in the Colonies last February, and shipped to London in March, was re-shipped thence, per the steamer Lusitania, back to Melbourne, was on Monday last submitted to public auction here. The butter, which bore the brand Southern Cross,' was manufactured by the Southern Produce Company, and when opened on Monday its con- dition appeared to be in every way as good as when it was first made. The high prices ruling locally induced the company to order the butter to be re-shipped from London, and a hundred cases of half a hundredweight each were sub- mitted to auction. The price averaged Is. 3d. to Is. 2d. a pound, and this, it is asserted, will leave a margin of profit, notwithstanding the expense of the journey to London and back."


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