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CARDIGANSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL.

CONWIL-GAIO.

-CARMARTHENSHIRE FARMERS'…

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CARMARTHENSHIRE FARMERS' CLUB. THE INSECT PESTS OF THE FARMER. The quarterly meeting of this club was held at the Cawdor Arms Hotel, Llandilo, on Tuesday, under the presidency of Col. Gwynne-Hughes, of Glancothy. The vice-chairmen were Mr Davies, Castellhowell, and Mr T. Davies, Typicca. The members in attendance were The Hon. A. Campbell, Clynderwen Major Thomas, Moreb, Llandilo; Messrs Lewis Bishop, Llandilo; Henry Jones Davies, Bremenda J. Walter Jones, Ystrad D. Davies. Waundrefi; W. Jones, Rotten Pill; J. Thomas, Trefynis Thomas, Danrallt; W. H. Jones, Danyrallt; D. Prosser, Brynderwen; John Francis, auctioneer, Carmarthen; J. Phillips, Caerlleon Edward Francis, Penygraig Isaac, Old Foundry; W. W. Prosser (secretary), Alltyferin Griffiths, Llwynpiod; J. Williams, Penlan; W. Griffiths, Llwynpiod Rees, Llwynfortune; Hopkins, Cawdor Arms Hotel, Llandilo John Thomas, Penlan; Phillips, M.R.C.V.S. Samuel Rees, Penlan W. Thomas, ironmonger, Carmarthen John Evans, Cwmdihen Jones, Pencnwc Thomas Jones, Penlanvoss Jones, Canton, Llandilo D. Jones, Market Hall, Carmarthen David Davies, Cwmmebach Thomas, Cilarddu M. Thomas, Llwynmendy; David Hinds, Tyllwyd; David Hinds, Cwnin H. D. Williams, Tynycoed Mr Henry Thomas, Bremendaissa; W. Lawrence, Reporter Office; J. Jones, Cilrychen J. G. Harris, Penybont, Llangadock Stephens, Cwm; Thomas, Carregwen. A paper on farm insect pests was read by the Hon. Allister Campbell, of Clynderwen House, Clynderwen, after which a general discussion followed. The paper was as follows There are so many insects which cat up and damage the crops of the farmer that the study of them has become a distinct branch of agricultural science, and great advance has been made in collecting evidence, and many excellent books have been written on zoology within recent years. Thus we are enabled to obtain far more practical in- formation now than our forefathers were. The great object in studying the lives and habits of these insect pests is, of course, to enable us to carry on a successful warfare against them. Miss Ormerod (the consulting etomologist to the Royal Agricultural Society) gives us interesting estimates of the harm which some insects have done. She says "The hop failure through Aphis blight in 1882 caused a loss of over a million and a half pounds sterling." In 1881 the turnip fly (or more strictly the turnip flea beetle) caused a loss ef over a half million of money to the farmers of Great Britain. One of the most injurious pests which we have attacking us early in the season is the wire- worm, and I have therefore selected it as the sub- ject of this afternoon's discussion and, in order that we may be able to make plans for checking its career, it is important for us to know something of its life history. Now, in the first place, we IlH¡st know what insect lays the eggs from which wire- worms afe hatched, where the eggs are laid, what the wireworm is like, so that we may recoguise it when we find it, the manner in which it datila-est the crops, how long it lives, and what becomes of it when it ceases to be a wireworm. Before going into these important questions I must ask your patience while I say a few words on the peculiar- ities of insect life. Insects have three distinct exis- tences after being hatched from an egg, or pro- duced alive. In the first ftage of their develop- ment they are either worms, grubs, maggots or caterpillars, according to the family to which they may belong and it is in this first stage that they are voraciously hungry, and do most damage. In the second form of existence they have passed into a chrjsalis state, when they are apparently lifeless, though not really so; and, finally, they come out of the chrysalis, and appear in their perfect form, with legs and wings complete. The time which insects take pasing through these three stages varies very much, and, unfortunately for farmer?, the wireworm remains in his destructive state four or five years, whilst his life, as P harmless full- grown beetle, lasts only about as miny months. The wireworm begins his life by being hatched from the egg of a click beetle, sometimes called a Skip Jack, because it has the power of skipping up in the air from the flat of its back with a click. The eggs are laid on the ground or just below the sur- face of it, the beetle preferring undisturbed land— old pasture, clover ley, and such liko places. Pro- bably you know the wireworm by sight only too well. He is about an inch long, of a yellowish colour, and has six legs, and is very much like a piece of flattened copper wire; he is very tough, and so the breaking up of the land does not hurt him. As soon as the young blades of the crop begin to show, the wireworm glides along just beneath the surface of the ground nipping through the young stems here and there as he passes, 1 hereby damaging the whole crop. He travels along the lines of the drill, wantonly destroying as he goes and the only crop which he does not touch is mustard, and as mustard is a very good catch crop to follow an early harvest, and is very valuable either for feeding off with sheep or for green manure, ought we not to grow it more than we do ? With this life history before us, we will consider the best means of preventing an attack, or of exterminating the pest if already on the land. In the first place, to prevent egg lay- ing no farmer should leave trash or grass round his ploughed land. Grassy headlands, untrimmed hedges, and ditches full of long grass, arejust the places where the click beetle loves to lay her eggs. Then before breaking up clover ley or pasture, it is recommended that the surface should be pared and burnt (care being of course taken not to wait until wireworms have left the heaps), or to fold sheep on it, moving the hurdles forward so that the whole field is thoroughly trodden. This not only prevents egg laying, bntdwroys any eggs already on the land. The land should be prepared so as to be good for the plant and bad for the wire-worm, the seed bed being a thorough mixture of soil and some chemical manure, which is disliked by the insect. We are told that stubble and roots, cabbage stalks, and all such matters are wire- worm helpers. The best applications are salt, gas lime, hot lime, litne and salt, and alkali waste; besides those, strong fertilisers, such as nitrate of soda, guano, superphosphate, and others, are of service. When the crop is actually attacked it is found to be a good plan to roll the land heavily, and I have seen wireworm stopped by cross rolling wheat with heavy rim rollers, and, in this way, pressing the soil into square compartments, the divisions of which were too hard for the worm to pass through, and, as it cannot live where mustard is grown, that crop is recommended for cleaning. Authorities had us to believe that wireworms arc drawn off from their attack upon a crop by dressings of rape cake or Indian rape, but they like the rape cake so much that they care for no other food, while another view is-that they are driven away by their dislike to it. Indian rape, being made of mustard, has been proved to kill wireworms within a fortnight, when they had nc 5 other food. Now cue word about farm-yard r manure. It has often been found to be the homE I of insect pests, especially when sawdust has beet used for litter. Would it not be well to examine the manure, and, where evidence of the presence of wireworm exists, to mix it well with s:dt, liine, cr gas lime, in such proportion as to destroy all insect pests; thereby making the .<ianuie safe and at the same time, iucreasing its value ? VOTE OF CONDOLENCE. The Club unanimously passed the following 11 vote That the Club condoles and syrupathise3 with Mrs Philips, of Bolahaul, on the death of the late lamented Mr J. Lewis Philippe, and begs to record its deep grief in the loss it has sustained through the death of one of its oldest and most esteemed members, and that the secre- tary be requested to convey the same to the family of the deceased gentleman." NEW MEMBERS. Mr E. H. Bath, Alltyferin Mr John Hughes, Bank, Llandilo Mr Henry Davies, Kincoed Mr W. Lawrence, Reporter Office. RAFFLE. A raffle was made as usual, the result being as follows :—Chain harrow, David Hinds, Ystrad churn, Col. Gwynno Hughes, Glancothi grind- stone, Henry Williams, Tjncoed; cart bridle, H. Thomas, Bremenda issa cart bridle, Thomas, Garregwen single rein bridle, J. Rees, Llwynfortune; single rein bridle, J. Phillips, Caerlleon seed lip, David Prosser, Brynderwen do., John Francis, Myrtle Hill; do., J. Walter Jones, Ystrad digging fork, Thomas, Cilar- ddu do., Thomas, Llwynmendi do., Wm. Lawrence, Reporter Office do., D. Griffiths, Llwynpiod do., Davies, Waundrefi do., W. Jones,[Danyrallt thrashing hook, J. G. Hariies, Penybont; do., D. Thomas, Danyrallt do., T. Davies, Typicca do., J. Williams, Penlan do., W. W. Prosser, Alltyferin do., Jones, Rotten Pill. The usual votes of thanks terminated the proceedings.

LLANDILO PETTY SESSIONS.

CARDIGAN.

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