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AGRICULTURE. 1 DISEASE IN SHEEP. A writer in the home correspondence of the Gardener'3 Chronicle says :—" A somewhat rare disease, not fatal, but of a perplexing nature, occurred amongst my ewe flock during last lambing season, the treatment of which, if not understood, might have occasioned me heavy loss. To middle of February lambing has been highly favourable; 300 lambs were dropped in four weeks, with loss of only one ewe and six lambs. This good fortune was of short duration. An eruption, some- thing like boils upon the human skin, appeared upon the udder, tongue, and lips of the ewe, and on the lips, tongue, and gums of the lambs. Within a week upwards of 200 ewes and as many lambs became affected with the disease. Boils formed upon the teats, inflammation extended deep and far about, involving the whole sub- stance of the udder; in milder cases there was one or two small pimples, with redness of surrounding parts; in numerous cases the bag appeared bordering on mortifi- cation (black brown in appearance). A black scab enveloped the old teat, which, on falling off, exposed a raw, ragged surface in one case the teat sloughed away, and the milk escaped immediately from the udder. From soreness, the ewe would not allow the lamb to suck, and the imprisoned milk caused garget to attack the udder; and this became more serious than the original disease. Disease extended deep into the gums of the lambs, causing many teeth to fall from the mouth. A heavy land farm, with only one cow, and it suffering from garget, and upwards of 50 lambs deprived of milk of the dams, and requiring artificial food, and as many of the ewes suffering acute inflammation of the teats and udder consequent upon the boils and garget. So great appeared the sufferings of both ewes and lambs that, so far as ailments of animals are concerned, I never witnessed a more pitiable sight none but a shepherd and owner of a flock in such a condition can comprehend the difficulties of my case. By the. direc- tion of Mr. Seaman, veterinary surgeon (under whose management I now placed the whole stock), the young lambs were fed with barley, malt, sweet wort, and linseed cake porridge. The older lambs had crushed beans (not bean meal), all they would eat and I have great plea- sure in stating, that so appropriate was the food, and so efficacious the medicines used by the doctor, that fatality amounted to but one ewe and two lambs. Scores of ewes suffered from garget of the most painful kind, yet but one ewe lost a part of the bag. I believe it is Mr. Seaman's intention shortly to publish a pamphlet upon this (to us) new disease, which, if.it contains the particulars of treatment, will be a great boon to the flockmaster. An artist has been employed to make drawings of the diseased parts, for the purpose of illustration." THE BEST TIME FOR CUTTING GRAIN. The Pall-mall Gazette says :—" As the harvest is now rapidly becoming general all over the country, it is as well to remind both farmers and millers that now is the time for continuing the experiments which have been made at different dates for deciding upon the best period for cutting wheat. The opinions current in the agri- cultural world are still so contradictory that nothing but a frequent repetition of these experiments will settle the matter. The subject was first publicly mooted in the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture for June, 1841, by Mr. Hannam, an eminent Yorkshire agriculturist, who asserted -most positively that wheat cut when thoroughly ripe is both less in weight and inferior in quality to that which is cut a week or even a fortnight before thorough maturity. His first experiments were made in 1840, when he took three separate samples of wheat to market, and found that the grain cut on August 4, when still 'green,' fetched 61s. per quarter, while that which was cut on August 18, and technically called 'raw,' fetched 64s., and that cut on September 1, quite ripe, fetched only 62s. In 1841 he instituted more extensive experiments, and the judges at the following agricultural show at Wetherby awarded an extra premium to the wheat which had been cut a fortnight before it was thoroughly ripe, and the price it fetched in the market fully bore out the deci- sion. He then had samples of the various kinds of wheat ground and dressed by a careful miller, and found that the produce of half a rood cut on August 26, while raw,' yielded 15st. 101b. of grain that a similar produee cut on August 30, also 'raw,' yielded 16st. 61b. and that cut on September 9, ripe, yielded only 14st. 131b.; while the weights of the grain per bushel were respectively 62 6-71b., 62 22-591b., and 59 5-71b. Further, 1001b. weight of the various samples of the grain yielded in flour 80 40-431b., 77 8-221b., and 72 19'201b. respec- tively. The advantages of the early cutting were, in fact, in every way surprising. There was a gain of above 15 per cent. in weight of flour upon equal measures of grain, and nearly 8 per cent. of flour upon equal weights of wheat in favour of the earlier cutting. The theory upon which the results are explained is this, that as the sugar in the green plant becomes changed into the starch of the grain, so if permitted to remain till fully ripe another change takes place, the starch being gradually converted into wood fibre, it being a well- known chemical fact that sugar, starch, and fibre are composed of the same constituent elements. Mr. Hannam also claimed a better quality for the raw-cut grain, Professor Johnston having analysed the several samples, and found 9 "9 per cent. of gluten in the raw wheat, as against 9*6 per cent. in the ripe. Another eminent Derbyshire agriculturalist, Mr. Fletcher, pub- lished the results of similar experiments in 1844, show- ing that the raw-cut grain brdught him in Xl 10s. 9d. per acre above the produce per acre of that which was reaped when it was ripe. Fourteen days before ripeness was the period at which he fixed the time for reaping so as to secure the largest yield and the finest flour.


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