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AGRICULTURE. WORK WELL FORWARD. October has ended with a week of almost per- petual fog, which kept the surface of heavy land in a sticky condition, less propitious to cultivation than it had been previously. Still, the month on the whole has been a remarkably favourable one for farm work, which is now in an exceptionally forward stage for the time of year. In most dis- tricts farmers have sown all the land intended for wheat, and a large proportion of the crop is al- ready up, thick and strong in the rows THE POTATO CROP. Potatoes have come off theJand well, and growers are cheered by the improved prices, which will compensate them partly, if not entirely, for the shortness of yield. The best potatoes are quoted in Covent Garden up to £ 5 a ton, and are selling there at 6s by the hundredweight. One of the satisfac- tory features of the present season is the good plant of young clover to be noticed in almost all parts of the country. BARLEY AT THE BREWERS' EXHIBITION. There was a very good show of barley at the Brewers' Exhibition, opened in the Royal Agricul- tural Hall, Islington, on Saturday last, the entries numbering 92 of English and 27 of foreign grain. In plumpness of berry the majority of the English samples are all that could be desired, and many are of excellent quality; but some, which are other- wise good, are a little harsh in texture of skin, and several were obviously weathered more or less injuriously before they were harvested. The championship f@r the best barley in the show has been won by a bushel of excellent form, colour, and quality, grown by Mr W. N. Howard, of St. Peter's Farm, Bury St. Edmunds. It is of Hallett's variety and was grown after roots on a mixed soil over the chajk, with the help of farmyard manure, having been sown on the 1st of March. In the Foreign Division there is none of the Danish barley which has attracted attention at previous exhibitions and only one sample of French and one of Russian are to be seen. Some of the best foreign barley is from Asia Minor, and there is one very nice sample from Montana, while the Saale and Moravian varieties are fairly represented. The display of hops is surprisingly small for a Brewers' Exhibi- tion, although the 26 entries compare with last year's 21. The quality of the hops is regarded as generally satisfactory by the judges, who alone have had an opportunity of examining them at present. » THE DANGERS OF FORCING. Mr W. Housman contributes to the Agricultural Gazette a thoughtful article on Injurious Effects of Early Forcing," in relation to live stock. While admitting that it is injudicious to allow animals to struggle on slowly to matmity through an early life of semi-starvation, and that it is desirable, on the contrary, to treat them generously, he points out that the shortening of their span of life must be paid for early maturity and quick profits. In the case of stock reared exclusively for the butcher, this is of no consequence; but when with stock for breeding excessive forcing is practised, there is a risk of seriously impairing the vital energies of generation unborn, and not only curtailing the length of life, but also preparing a seed-bed for hereditary disease. SWINE FEVER. There is great encouragement in the dwindling number of outbreaks of swine fever. During the week ended on October 23, only 14 out-breaks, resulting in the slaughter of 208 pigs as diseased or exposed to infection, were reported. These figures are the smallest recorded since the disease was taken in hand by the Board of Agriculture, and there seems to be some hope that during the winter, the troublesome malady will be extirpated. CHEESE MAKING. According to the North British Agricultnrist, the Canadian system of Cheddar cheese-making, adopted in Scotland about twelve years ago, has been thoroughly discredited, and the bulk of the cheese made in that country this year has been produced under the old Somerset system, with or without modification. The Canadian plan of pro- ducing the required acidity in the curd is that of heating the milk, whereas the old plan is that of adding sour milk or whey. The former has been discarded because the common fault of discoloration which has been a great trouble to Scotch makers in recent years, is attributed to that method. In some cases a pure culture, obtained from Professor Conn, of the United States, has been used as a starter," and this was the case with the cheese made by Mr Cross, of Knockdon, who carried off the chief honours at the recent Kilmarnock Cheese Show. »

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