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EPITOME OF NEWS.

AGRICULTURE. -

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AGRICULTURE. Feeding Cattle. It is but a short time since, says the Fitld, that the wind pierced keen and cold, the season was backward, nature lagged in her efforts, and could not put forth her wonted appearance; and the denizens of these islands, full of the Englishman's acknowledged right of complaining, were fearful of a coming summer without the usual accompaniments of tne season. A change has come over the scene. We have since revelled in the enjoyment of delicious weather; the warmth has been grateful; a breeze has tempered the air, and the face of nature felt the genial influence; but all this fair scene has now altered its character. The summer sun still throws its rays abroad, the warmth remains, but it is no longer grateful; the air is sultry the soil, wanting its wonted moisture, has become parched and dry and the anticipation of a good harvest of hay has not been fulfilled. Day after day passes; there is no rain to slake the thirsty surface; the grass is dried up, and the cattle are thus deprived of their expectant food; the promise of the root crop is seriously endangered; the cereals lacking moisture, are unable to reach their natural growth, and the season of 1865 bids fair to be more disastrous than its immediate predecessor. Those who looked that meat might now have been cheaper find, on the contrary, that the price steadily rises. The farmer, fearful of a lack of food sends his beasts to market unprepared; the demand still continues, and so the prices remain; and though the foreign supply is large, it hardly keeps pace with the demand. If this is the case now, what must be expected when, in the autumn, the supply, having been forestalled, diminishes, and we are left to shift as we can P There is no exaggeration in this prospect before us, and the time must come when we shall have to face the difficulty of a short allowance. A corres- pondent of the Times lately .suggested to the people to abstain from the use of lamb and veal, is order that the animals might have the time allowed for mature growth. Such an expedient would be utterly futile, for even full-grown animals are hurriedly sent to the shambles, as there is no food for them in the present; and under the influence of the season there is bub little to look for in the future. A weakly contemporary suggests as food the use of Indian corn, as a makeshift for the usual sustenance. This is only an expedient, scarcely to be relied on under an immediate pressure. The only chance would appear to be in a large increase of the continental supply, stimulated, as it in all probability will be, by the high price of the markets here; and it may be that the great increase whijhJhas lately taken place in cattle-raising, in Ireland may have a beneficial influence. There has always been a large importation of cattle from the sister island, and the present cir. cumstances here may enable the Irish grazier to con- tribute still further to the wants of those on this side of St. George's Channel; for, according to the Belfast Whig, there is an immense increase of cattle-raising, and the number of calves now being reared is said to be by far the highest ever known. But while looking abroad for supplies, it is clear that every effort should be made to economise the food in- tended for our own cattle. The drought, although it has seriously affected the hay crop, has not yet taken away the chance of the root crops; a grateful rain may even now materially change the face of the future, but under every circumstance there must be a time of difficulty, and we must meet it as we best can. Ex- perience has proved that sugar is a very material element, not only in fattening, but in keeping animals in good condition. Now, fortunately, in the form of molasses there is an ample supply of the article, and the price at present somewhat low. This would be a very able supplement to any dry food, and available at any time. The cheapness of grain generally will naturally admit of a much larger consumption of it in food for cattle, and the eking out of green food with meal and oilcake may enable many to keep their stock until properly fitforthemarket. There is also the potato crop, which so far has been re ported of very favourably; the suspension of the potato disease within the last year or two has materially increased the breadth of land grown, and this source of food supply may be brought into operation with material advantage, for a corres- pondent of the Haddington Courier, giving his ex- perience of feeding cattle through the last winter on potatoes, as compared with pulped and sliced turnips, found, after a seven months' trial, that those fed on pulped turnips were in better condition at the end of that period than those fed on sliced turnips, while those fed on potatoes were superior to both, and the market price for these were 10s. per head each over both those fed on sliced and pulped turnips, and at a less cost for feeding, for the potato-fed animals were calculated to cost only 3. lid. each per week, while those fed on pulped turnips cost 4a. Gi. and those on sliced turnips 5s. 6d. each per week; and it is added, that the potatoes used were unmarketable, in so far that the firsts and seconds had been selected from them, and they were only available for the starch-mill or for feeding purposes." With the means thus at our disposal we may, with econcmy, look forward to meet the coming contingency; and, it may be after all, that with the high price of meat now ruling, the enormous facilities of transport may yet bring other regions of the habitable globe as con- tributors to the food supply of that material element of every Englishman's comfort, and we might almost say, necessity, for without it he would befwiess able to meet the exigencies of climate, or compete through his labour with the producing power of other countries.

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