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"...... FIELD AND FARM. "----

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FIELD AND FARM. (P-, The Agricultui ■■ RUST IN UIE WHEAT CROP. Judging from observations in one district, feei that a serious attack of rust has just developed in the wheat crop. Nearly all the wheats beiweelt-Londor and Beading as seen from the traiOr.had a rusty ap- pearance at the end of last week, and a close examina- tion of blades, from two or three fields has revealed the spores of true rust, unless our diagnosis is a wrong one. J HAYMAKING. There are various interesting questions in connec- tion with haymaking well deserving of attention. The system of grazing-in preference to" making hay has its advocates, and I have known (remarks Prof. John Wrightson) the question discussed as to whether haymaking is worth the trouble and risk it entails. The general principle may, however, be conceded at once that fodder is valuable in winter, and that a good rick of hay is more valu- able than a -superabundance of grass in summer. Well made hay is- almost equal in feeding value to the grass from which it was" made. It is of greater commercial value, because it is held over to a period when fodder is scarce. The question as to the area which should be retained for summer grazing or devoted to hay must be solved' by the re- quirements of each case, but custom generally indi- cates the fields which are used as meadows and those which are usually grazed. i It may do good to a pasture to occasionally mow, it, but,Cas a rule, pas- tures Are always stocked arid meadows laid up for hay. Of all meadows water meadows -are the most extraordinary, for they are never directly manured, eicegt by water, and they yields, crop (jf. every year without diminution of average yield. A water meadow carries milieep-aird lambs in the spring, and these are always folded at night upon the upland, so that both spring feed and hay crop are removed without apparently interfering with the natural fer- tility of the meadow. W<}ter meadow hay is poor, but it is,useful as cow feed, and the quality of the hay is proved by that of the grass, to which it must be closely related. That hay is inferior to grass is well known. You cannot produce the colour in butter or the flavour in cheese from hay which you can from grass. This seems to prove that more is lost in the process of hay- making than water pure and simple, for water can be supplied from the pump. There is something subtle in the nature of grass which is lost in the pro- cess of haymaking. Something is no doubt due to the age of the grass when cut for hay. Young grass is very superior to old grass, and every day after flowering the grass deteriorates rapidly. It is, how- ever, doubtful if any hay can be equal in quality to the grass from which it came. It is not easy to ex- plain why, but there is no doubt that the combina- tion of water with the materials composing fresh vegetable matter is very intimate. Water in. a living vegetable tissue is a juice or sap, and is not mere crude water. It is vitalised, and possesses proper- ties not retained by the dried tissues, nor yet capable of. being restored by water from a well. COCKISG IJAY. Over whole counties it would be unnecessary to insist upon the importance of cocking. Still, it is equally true that over whole counties it is no use urging the claims of the hayrcock, because no one heeds, and all goes on as before. There are, then, cocking districts and non-cocking districts, artd these are found, the first in the North, and the second in the South. In the North no haymaker is satisfied until the grass is up," that is, off the ground, or in cock. In the South no one thinks of cocking, but everyone looks forward to safety in the rick alone. In all rainy districts, not only is the hay-ccck an in- stitution, but there are also to be seen hay-pikes or summer ricks, that is, an intermediate and larger cock, in which the hay safely rests until finally carted home. Over other whole counties the hay lies abroad, tedded and turned, until waked or "pooked" up ready for the pitchers. It is evidently a matter of elimate, for no one can persuade a South-icoantry farmer to oock his hay-, and no one could persuade a North-country farmer to neglect the operation. Still, in the highly complicated hay-making iescribed as the Middlesex system cocking figures as in important part of the system. It would be Interesting to learn how far this method, first described by Middleton, is still followed. It would take up too much space to fully describe it, but it may be epitomised as follows: First day Tedded, turned, turned, raked into single windrow, and put into grass-cocks. Second day: Shake out grass cocks, turn the staddles, rake into double windrows, and put into bitstard cocks. Third day Bastard cocks spread, turn staddles, and make up into full-sized cocks. Fourth day Cart into rick. The complicated character of the description, which is rather difficult to follow, lies in the fact that the operations described as taking place on four days with any one portion of grass, are also being carried out upon the grass cut each successive day. The third day is thus described: "Gras mown on the second day, and also that, mown in the early part of this day, is first to be tedded in the morning, and then the grass cocks are to be spread into ataddles is before, and the bastard cocks into staddles of larger size. These lesser staddles, though last spread, are first turned, then those which were in grass cocks, ind next the grass, is turned once or twice before twelve or one o'clock, when the people go to. dinner, as usual. In the afternoon there is first raking -into such windrow for grass cocks, .next raking o double windrow for bastard, cocks, next risking staddles of the first day into full-sized .cocks ready for carting on the following day &c. '.All thjg js not easy to follow, because grass at different "stagey Is all treated differently. H seems scarcely likely m Ae'stf days of doing things any how," according; to circumstances, and with a view to saving labour, that a system should meet with general approval. A great dejvl of hay is made much more simply, and clover and sarifoiri hay almost makes itself. That is, jVfs'cut and left alone for three or four days, turned and left alone until ready. far carting. It is not tedded, and the less it is'touched the better. It is cut with a machine, arid afterwards }ittle labour la expended'upon it until it is fit'tri carry. Tfjiin crops scarcely require turning, in fine weather, and may be raked together for arti11gw11eD sllm.Cletty, dry q y POULTRY NOTES. Objection has frequently been made by farmers (observes Mpna ") to,the adoption of fattening, on the ground that it is,requisite to have a properly iJtted 'shed, and most important of all, that the system of fattening requires considerably experience in the handling of Birds in order lo obtain a desir- able result'. That this is to a large extent true, cannot be questioned. I have known people put up birds for fattening, to find that at the end of three weeks they were thinner than at the beginning. Of course there is an explanation for this, but I do not propose at the present timer to go into that matter, merely saying that last year a lady living in Yorkshire started fattening after hearing a lecture upon the subject, and she found that the birds lost flesh rather than gained it. She naturally condemned the pro- cess, but it was pointed out to her that she was really over-feeding the birds, and had not taken certain precautions which are essential. We beg to remind readers that there is a consider- able demand at Cfertain seasons of the year for what are called half-fatted birds, that is chickens which have been confined in, cales- fed from troughs,-and considerably improved by tfcia process, but have not undergone any cramming. luring the summer months especially, the great; majority èf, the birds which are sent-out from Sussex are-of this kind, and t would be folly at that period to attempt to produce the highly-fed specimens. There is no reason what- ever why in many paYts of the country where lean fowls have hitherto been the only «"-es ava,labk, that the half-fatting system should and it would provide a splendid quantities of poultry, which would certain 7^ for table purposes than the lean specim which we are generally acquainted. These hai birds are known abroad as well as in this country, and the cost for food during the fortnight in which they are fed is comparatively small, tertainly not e needing 3d., whilst they are greatly enhanced in value. It may be here pointed out that in many markets there is no demand whatever for the fully- fatted chickens, and it would be useless placing them there but for birds rather above the average grade 8d. and 9d. more might be obtained, and thus con- sumers would be gradually brought up to the point of paying better prices for this article of food. For those who desire to make the best of their birds, it is essential that these be separated during the time they are being fed off. This applies to all -Ainds. of stock as well as to poultry, and during the, process it is also essential that they be restricted in the jHuounfe^f ^ercUe taken of-t^he jisstie is hardened -And1 lack's that mellowness which would otherwise be found. It will thus be seen that ,the sjsteni. Q.f ^Uo^p £ t fojvls tP kQ runabout as simply feeajijiTj them on different food, is not a wise one, and'further it is wasteful l,y l-easW qf the diflici^ty in restricting the food totW; "birds alone." Under all circumstances t^py slvould be .kept in "confinement: X1!§uss £ X. and elsewhere the usuaf plan .is tQ li^ye pens or,cages made of woo l placed in, op- ir, under the Tea' of .a'nedge-ro-.v qr ttye shelter of an orchard, or jeveri uncter a,simp's shed. In front of each cage ispTaced a trough, and the birds are fed twice a day from this. The food is always, ground oats mixed with soured skim milk,and there can be no question that by means of this system a considerable, imj)royejnent jsmade jn the quality ol thefl^sh. 'J i..

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