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I FARMIXO VOTES. !

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I FARMIXO VOTES. (Prom Prof&vr WrigJi (ton's "ScasoJiaMe Xotes" in tin "Agricultural Gazette?) EARLY SPILIIO KEU.I,. The t-ppor unities for providing keep enjol r-y South-country farmers of light land ore superwr to those of North-countrymen. The variety of crops is greater, for in the more genial climate of Southern England wo find rye, winter barley, and winter oars, trifolium, vetches, and late turnips, rape, afnd cabbage all widely cultivated. In the Nori 11, grass and turnips are chiefly relied upon, alld, although vetches and other of the crops named are grown it is not with the view of following them with a root crop. The climatic conditions are different. Thus the latenets cf the spring is a bar to the early feeding of autumn-sown crops, %I) I the requirements of the turnip crop appear to in- volve earlier sowing. So far as catch-cropping is concerned, the Noitfh-country farmer finds himself between these two difficulties-namely, he cannot clear his land in time, and he must sow his turnips before the period when autumn-sown fodder crops are eaten off. It is somewhat strange that, Willi -the evident advantages for constant or catch-crop- ping enjoyed in the South, that agricultural depres- sion is more severe in these regions than in the North, where cropping is simpler. If such is, its seems probable, the case, it might appear that tiie simpler course of solid cropping with corn, roots, and grass, instead of catch-cropping, is the wiser plan. u would, however, be rash to come to any (mh con- elusion, as the circumstanoea are altogether different- A heavy crop of turmips of 30 tons per acre can he Eroduced upon winter-fallowed land in tho higher ttitudes of the country, and such a yield would be interfered with if an attempt were uiade to take a crop of rye or vetches previously. It is not so in the Southern counties; for, in the first placo, su. h heavy crops are not easily grown, even under ihn most favourable circumstances, and the cultivation of catch crops does not interfere with what, is there considered satisfactory crops of turnips. Titkin., the catch crop and the turnip crop together, a.g kvti rr amount of keep is produced than if the root crc p w taken after a winter fallow. I also find that th > rout crop can be grown at a less cost after a catch crop on soils suitable for the double system of cropping. llye, trifolium, and winter vetches need not entail a serious outlay, and after their consumption the land is rich and ready to grow roots without the help of farmyard manure. Take for example the case of well-farmed land of friable character and fairly clean. The wheat; atubble is worked down and sown with rye or trifolium. The young fodder crop soon covers the ground with a mantle of green, and by March or April the rye is ready for sheep. It is probably con- sumed by ewer! and lambs receiving cake, and poa- sibly a few mangels scattered abroad, and the ground is clear for tho root crop in good time. How far ) he catch crop may have paid its way is not now dis- cussed, but it is certain, from the prevalence of tiio practice, that it cannot be dispensed with. TI e system is pursued upon light land, and the subse- quent cultivation for roots will probably be us follows 9 a. d. 1 ploughing 0 8 0 I rolling 0 1 0 2 drsggings 0 2 4 4 harrowings 0 2 4 1 ro-1 0 1 0 1 d/ill with water or ashes 0 3 6 Seed at 8d. per lb 0 2 0 Superphosphate, 2cwt 0 6 0 1 Barrow 0 0 7 2 horse-hoeings m 0 9 0 2 band-boeings 0 2 0 Rent, rates, &e. 0 15 0 X2 13 9 A favourable result would be a crop of from 15 to 'I 18 tons per acre of white turnips grown at 3s. or Us. 7d. per ton, which is not by any means a heavy expense. As I am in the habit of growing a large area of roots every year upon this system, I can vouch for ti e tillages and expenses but it is not asserted that 13 to 18 tons of roots is to be reckoned upon. Taking IOn -acres of rye, winter barley, trifolium, and vetches, each of which is later than the last, the roots will range from eight to 20 tons per acre, and probably average about 12 ton3 and, as the expenses will be at the same rate, it is reasonable to put the cost of produc- tion at 4s. 6d. per ton. The expense of growing root crops on heavier land when the system of dunging and winter fallowing is followed, is much more serious, on account of the cost of dunging, and the higher rent, which may be 30s. instead of 15s. The cost per ton will vary with the crop and the kind of root grown. In the North of England the divisor [tons of roots per acre] should be at least 20, but might in many cases be 30. When wutgel is grown it might be 25 to 40, or even more, j It is therefore clear that, although the cost per acre j Is more, the cost per ton is not necessarily greater, j Take the following as a fair statement: ;g s. d. Twice steam cultivation at 4s. 6d. 0 9 0 Twice steam-dragged at 2s. 3d. 0 4 6 Coal and water 0 2 0 Twice horse-dragged f ") 0 2 4 Once rolled J r | 0 10 Twice harrowed 1 f 0 12 Twice chain-harrowed | J 0 1 2 Twice harrowed f 0 1 2 Twice chain-harrowed ( f 0 1 2 Couched and burnt 0 5 0 Ploughed 0 8 0 Dragged, rolled, harrowed, and n c 0 chained U 5 8 -Co-iched 0 2 6 Ploughed. 0 6 6 Twice harrowed 0 1 2 Rolled 0 1 0 Drilled 0 3 6 Harrowed 0 0 7 Rolled 0 1 0 Seed at 8d. 0 2 0 Superphosphate, 3 cwt 0 9 0 Cost of dunging (labour) 0 10 0 Hoeing 0 10 0 Horse-hoeing 0 2 0 Sent u. 0 10 0 £5 19 1 If the cost of dung were added, at so much per ton, this calculation would be brought into agree- ment, with the higher estimates often produced but I have frequently shown that the cost of dung as a purchased article is scarcely admissible. If it is charged on this principle, the roots ought to bo valued as if sold, because whoever buys dung for his roots should be able to sell them, and this would alter the terms of the calcula- tion considerably. Viewing the roots as for home consumption, the dung may bo also considered as a home production. Again, if dung is charged in any system of internal accounts, the grain crops -should be credited with their straw, although com- sumed at home, for straw is a very important itom in the cost of producing dung. The complications are, in fact, endless if once the principle of charging dung is allowed, and the apparent cost of raising a turnip crop becomes exorbitant. It is better to sink the dung and charge in the ordinary valuation, which is usually made ODOO a year for purposes of balancing the farm accounts, a fair amount for compensation for cake fed. It may also be urged in support of this vioiv that it is not convenient to charge cattle for straw and credit them with their dung, but to sink both, and let the cattle pay their way, if possible, without referenco either to the straw they consume or the dung they leave. Anyone who embarks in a system in which dung is charged for at a fixed price must land himself in endless difficulties. He will find it necessary to appor- tion the cost of the dung between succcssive crops, w no one crop exhausts its full benefit. Next he will find it necessary to credit corn crops with straw, to debit cattle with straw, and to credit them .'vith dung. Ihe simplest plan is to sink the whole matter and took upon the farmyard manure as something belong- ing to the holding, unsaleable, and therefore not to ,reS«ded as purchased; but, as above stated, the to be Valued as an asset to the exterzt to which it is allowed for by compensation on a kiicwn and accepted prineiple. The cost of produoiog root crops oa farms cnnn S, be solved without taking this matter into serious consideration, and it would eeem that the eost has been extiggerated, and tiA 7 question greatiy compli- cated by insisting upon eucfe an item as, say," 21 tons of dung at 4s. per ton." Tue cost of maintaining iheep bas recently been digouised, and it is nectary w a basis, to coma to a conclusion as to th6 wst of producing roots and gtnen foddzr liefore any valid I iecisioa can be arrived at. l — 'i

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