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MUTUAL HELP. -..-.~

HARVEST PROSPECTS.

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HARVEST PROSPECTS. Harvest in the southern counties is now rapidly approaching. Fields of oats, beans, and peas are cut here and there throughout Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire. The promise of the crops is admittedly good providing that the rain clouds disperse without any great further downpour. The time is, however very critical, as all sorts of grain will now take harm with continued wet weather. Wheat, taken as a whole, has withstood the rain better than might have been expected. The seed sown last autumn was necessarily of different quality, and did not all germinate. The dry weather in the early summer checked any exuberant growth of straw. We have, therefore, a rather thin plant on the ground and short straw, both of which circumstances have been valuable aids to wheat in recover- ing from the effects of the recent heavy rain and gales. In this matter this district com- pares favourably with the western and mid- land counties, where the rainfall in spring was much heavier, inducing a thicker plant and longer straw, so that the corn is now much more seriously laid. The ears are now ready for the sickle, and cutting will commence by Monday, or earlier, should the weather im- prove. There is, perhaps rather a large pro- portion of blighted ears than usual, and some rust; but on the whole there is so far every prospect of a full average yield of good grain but no expectation of any superabundance. Another week of rain would, however, con- siderably, modify this prospect. The promise of the bartay h*rveet is not so good as that of wheat. The grain was too nearly matured before the rain came it is therefore too hifrd for good malting. As a maltster would phrase it, the new barley is steely." There is every prospect of a fairly satisfactory yield of good feeding or grinding quality. Barley straw is also short. Cutting will commence as soon as the weather allows. Oats in the southern counties promise a more abundant yield than could have been anticipated earlier in the season. The straw is short but the corn is good. Cutting has commenced in a few places, and will soon become general. As a rule beans do well after a mild winter, but this year the bean crop is the failure of the SeaseB. The- haulm- grew well turd there was plenty of bloom, but the blossom never set properly, and the dolphin aphis has been at work to ruin the chances of such as did set. Judging from observation here, and from agricultural reports from other districts, beans Will be a poor crop throughout the country. Peas also have done badly. Early in the season slugs would not allow the bine to grow, and when their ravages were checked the drought did a great deal of mischief. Many fields of peas as of beans are cut. The yield must prove very small. Potatoes did well until lately. There is a little disease showing itself, but probably it has commenced too late to do any great injury. A more likely source • t » .• tliA 4-U MI i • ot miscniei is ww vuwra wui oegin to grow, which will seriously hurt their keeping qualities. All the early sorts are now ready for lifting, though magnums and other later kinds want another fortnight. The tubers run rather small, but at present are of good quality. Haymaking is now nearly over. The crop has not been so large as was anticip- ated. A deal of top, but very little bottom," was the opinion of a grass-farmer in East Sussex. This was partly owing to want of spring rain, and part to the want of a favour- able opportunity to replace by manuring the exhaustion following last year's enormous yield. The quality is all that could be wished for, and harvesting has been done under the best conditions. Pasturage for some time promised badly, but since the rain the fields look well, and are yielding a good bite. Orchards vary greatly. Some show fine crops but in others there is barely a leaf left on the trees. Peas apparently look well apples only poor.—July 30.

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