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--__--------I FARM MANAGEMENTI

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I FARM MANAGEMENT I AND VETERINARY QUERIES. RAIN WATER. The. question has sometimes been asked by corres- pondents about the storage of rain water for farm- yard purposes such as the watering of livestock, dairy work, etc., etc. As far as purity goes, rain water is the best we can have if the roofs are fairly clean, and the atmosphere not too near a manufac- turing town. It is of course generally ''soft, that is, free from mineral matter in solution, and would be rarher insipid for drinking purposes. The greatest drawback, however, would be the storage of the same. There would be no lack of water at various times of the year-for we must remember that, all our water, derived from springs, or wells, or streams, was rain-water at one time—and the amount that falls during the year on even a limited area is veiy large. With a rainfall of 25 inches, every acre re- ceives over 500,000 gallons in a year, so that quite a large amount could be obtained from the roofs of an ordinary homestead. It would require a pond of abour a fourth of an acre in extent, however, and 10 fRet deep to hold all the water that falls on an acre during the year with the above rainfall, though as the rain does not all fall at once, and the supply is successive, as also is its use, a smaller pond would do. POND OR TANK. It pretty much resolves itself into a question of a pond versus a tank. If the sofl is porous, so that it would not hold water, but require to be made up with concrete walls or puddled bottom, then it would probably be best to find well water or gravitation pipe water. But where the soil is retentive, and. there is perhaps a small pond already in existence, then it is worth while considering the feasibility of excavating a hole large enough to hold a supply to tide over a dry period. Aïi the rain water or other drains must of course be led into the same, while thn sewage must be kept out of it. This need not be such an expensive job as some may think: the writer made a pond of this sort by putting a dam across a hollow, and excavating the rest. with the ordinary farm hands after harvest. As a con- tractor's job it would have cost J650, but as part of the farm work it cost much less, while it held enough drain and surface water to supply a dairy refrigerator, and all the cows and stock on a large farm over five months of drought. MORNING VERSUS EVENING MILK. There is an idea abroad that if cows are milked at unequal periods of the day, night, and morning, that therefore the morning milk is poorer in solids, es- pecially fat, than that of the evening. The belief is current that this poorness is due to this irregular milking and that if equal periods were adopted then the analyses of the milk would be equalized. The writer would like to point out that this is an entire fallacy. In his youth he was accustomed to see the cows milked at the same hour night and morning to ;i minute, but yet the morning's milk was always poorer than that of the evening. Why this is so is one of the mysteries of nature: one would expect that owing to the quiet and comfort of the night- time either on the pasture in summer or in a warm byre in winter the best milk would be secreted in the morning, but as it is things happen the other way about, and nothing we can do will prevent this. It is probably correct to assume that the more unequal the milking periods the more unequal will be the analyses: to give actual figures—if the cows are milked at say 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. the cowmen will contrive to make these times equal to eight hours between the milkings in the day-time and sixteen during the night. The milk under such circum- stances will generally show over 4 per cent. of fat with the afternoon milk and generally under 3 per cent. with the morning supply. This means, of course, that the farmer is constantly liable to prose- cution. and cannot help himself. The difference between the two samples may be reduced by equalis- ing the tii-nes as nearly as possible, but it will never quite disappear. There does not seem to have. been any trials or "official" tests made on this point, but we have gained a certain amount of knowledge on the subject in various ways, and we cannot get rid of the difference in these analyses by any kind, f iiient. SHEEP PASTURED There is a feeling among the owners of the flocks Oil our hills that these do not yield so much mutton and wool as they used to do. though perhaps The land is still carrying the same number of scores of sheep. 1/' lowland country such a state of matters can- not happen whether the sheep are folded or allowed the range of several fields: they are most probably being fed with artificial food, or the land is being manured somehow, so that the fertility is kept up. On the hills and mountains of our country, however, it is impossible to give the sheep artificial food, even if it were desirable to do so, and it is equally impossible to manure the land, so that means have t) be taken to improve the latter in some other way. The great improvement of our hill pastures in the past has been draining—the cutting of open trenches up and down the wet places—and these "sheep drains" have always been one of the best permanent improvements on-a hill farm. It is remarkable, how- ever. though this has been practised for two genera- tions now, what a large area there is still to do. or how far from completeness the draining is on any given farm. Next to draining is liming, and there is a remarkable concensus of opinion as to the good that liming has done in-the past where ii could be practised. This is of course impossible on steep hill- sides. and can only be carried out in the valleys cr level parts between the hills, but the use of a small quantity of ground quick-lime, put on with a machine, has given such good results on arable land that it is worth the attention of the hill farmer. Heather burning has always been a fertile source cf quarrelling between the game tenant and the farm 'tenant. The game tenant is usually a man who 'knows or cares nothing about farming, and all that hangs thereby, but who wants to make a big bag in the shooting season, and therefore looks with a sus- picious eve on everything the farmer and his shep- lierds do. Bracken cutting does not seem to do -tytticli permanent good. We come back to draining again, and especially to the cleaning-out cf pre- viously made ditches every six or seven years: they Beem to have more effect after cleaning out than when first made. In peat they mu-t not lie too close together, however, or else they will kill the Draw- 'bent" (Sphagnum) and Moss-crop (Eriphorum) on which the sheep live Hi the early spring before the grass grows. In other words while on ordinary soil the sheep drains may be open trenches some ten yards apart, on the peaty land they may be as wide 1\ 30 yards: if closer they would drain the moss too •much, and thus kill those spring-growing plants. LUCERNE. This is a crop that is coming more and more to the front, especially in the south, for it is one that is practically independent of drought of surface, con- 41ilions, and which can be cut for hay or forage several times in a season. Its natural region is of course the warm dry counties of southern Europe and South America, and it prefers a calcareous Boil or one with some marl in it which has been recently limed, but it gives comparatively splendid results in fliir own country. long strong roots penetrate down several feet, find out any lime present in the soil and render the crop independent of summer rain. The seed may be sown in several ways: it ".ay v,0 drilled in on a clean seed bed after a fallow ""III with from 15 to .30 lbs. per acre. where if is in- tended to hoe the land afterwards: it may he broad- casted on such land, a preferable system, as there J" less room left for weeds to show; or it mav be in- cluded in a grass mixture. A HEAVY CROP. The writer has followed this latter plan for many years with success and can recommend it. He began1 with three pounds per acre in a 40 lb. mixture, but lias increase the allowance as the years passed till now 81bs. in a 241b. mixture is what he has arrived at, ami has used this year. The more of the lucerne in the mixture the better- the succeeding crop looks, for if There are only a few straggling plants of lucerne showing up after the hay crop is off the fields looks ragged. A crop of lucerne alone is reckoned to hold the land for from 5 to 8 years, but the writer found that. the plants grow and the roots thicken continuously in a grass mixture and there is no limit to its growth. It produces a Jarge bulk of rich forage or hay, so rich that barley or maize must be fed with it instead of cottoncake. while the cutting of it from two to four times in a season torals up to a heavy yield.

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