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I— AGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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— AGRICULTURAL NOTES. Tha past week's weather has been pleasing and profitable to the British farmer. Nearly all parts of the Kingdom have participated in splendid rain, which if not copious and all-sufficient, was in reality of immense benefit. The nioisture will add thousands of tons to the hay crop, though it cannot affect to any important extent the yield in some sections of England. In this part of the country we have much to be thankful for as the grass crops have suffered little, and. with .great frequency splendid fields of grass are rapidly approaching the time for cutting. Farmers are beginning to be very busy haymaking, and some fields have already been cleared. The rains, too, have had a fine effect on the pastures, which have responded promptly to the frequent showers, and as there are signs of the weather continuing of a growing character, stockowners are somewhat less anxious about food for their beast and sheep. All growing crops have benefited by the rain, and it will soon be clear how far the drought has affected the mangold seed; it may be found necessary to drill the land with swedes through the mangold, not having germinated, or having first germinated and then killed off in its very early stage by the extremely dry weather. REARING CALVES. It is considered that stock-raising in England will be helped by the slaughter of all foreign stock in our ports. Whether that will or will not turn out to be the case, there is no question about the importance of breeding, and then of rearing, calves in England. Many are the ideas which practical men possess as to the best means of performing the latter operation, and different men acting on varied lines appear to bring about an equally good and profitable result. It is not always that a noted breeder of stock is willing to tell the public how he does it; but such an instance has just occurred, and it may prove advantageous to many breeders. Mr James Hobbs, of Maisey Hampton, a noted raiser of shorthorns with high-class milking qualities, is he who has not kept all his knowledge to himself. He tells us that his custom is to allow the calf to suck its mother for about a week or ten days after birth, after which it is taught to drink from a bucket. At first a liberal allowance of milk is given, but it is afterwards gradually decreased and a calf meal substituted. This calf meal is made at home at a lower cost than that at which manu- factured meals can be bought in the market. The meal which Mr Hobbs has generally prepared for his calves is made up in the following portions:- Three parts of linseed cake, three of oats, two of linseed meal, one of malt, three of peas or beans, one of wheat, and one of maize. This is a mixture to which some breeders will take exception, not- withstanding that it has proved successful during a series of years. Many would add locust bean, sugar, or treacle, and flavour it with fenugreek or spice of an appetising kind. Others, whilst adding the locust bDau, or treacle, would sternly taboo the appetising flavouring, and probably rightly so, for a growing calf does not need to have a fictitious appetite created like a fattening beast. It will be a good practice to experiment with this recipe. A farmer who has a number of calves might follow it precisely for the feeding of a few animals, whilst others could have the meal prepared with one or other or more of the additions recommended. The effect of the varied foods could be recorded and compared, and a thoroughly good food eventually fixed upon. Farmers who have facilities for grinding are wise when they work up as much as possible of the material produced in their own fields, and supplement it with that which they cannot produce. Beans and peas are not, grown so widely as they used to be, and yet they are most valuable for the feeding of stock if they are not available their place has to be filled by some other material which has to be purchased. WHAT TO DO FOR THE CALF. In the early days nothing does so well for the calf as plenty of pure milk, but the practice is to get them off it and on to something else as soon as possible. There are good men b who rear more calves than they breed, obtaining the extra number by purchase. A plan adopted is to allow the calves to suck for six weeks, and one cow will feed four calves. After that period they are weaned. Very many breeders thoroughly believe that to let a calf suck at all is to injure the cow's milking qualities, and that it is afterwards difficult to get her to give down her milk to the milkers. After weaning, the calves should be well fed, but it is neither necessary nor advisable to make heifer calves fat, as it decreases their milking properties and makes them more uncertain breeders. The practico on Mr Hobbs's farm is to turn into the grass fields in the summer the calves dropped in the previous autumn, and they are given. daily about 21bs. of linseed or corn meal. Animals so treated do far better in their second year than those which are kept in all the first summer. Younger cow-calves are turned into a field by day and brought up at night. Au extremely important point to be remembered is regularity of feeding. It is hurtful and dangerous to stint them at one time and overfeed them later, as it will probably conduce to black leg or murrin. Calves should always be kept on unmown grass, and not be p rmitted to go upon aftermath, as on the latter they will more likely suffer from hoose or husk. It is most wasteful to allow animals to remain on the pastures late in the autumn without assistance, thus losing much of the flesh they have made during the summer; therefore it is well to have them in at night at tho end of September and give them additional dry food. The second year the heifers are turned into the pastures, and should thrive on fairly good land, without artificial assistance, if the field is not over-stocked. BUTTER MAKING IN WALES. There is a desire in the Principality to obtain « f' than it has had hitherto of the I dairying business of the country. If the people go to work in the right way they may secure it, I but they will have to change some of their present practices. According to the reading of a paper at the British Dairy Farmers' Association conference this week, Welsh butter is a fearful compound. Montgomeryshire was most pointedly referred to. In that county the holdings are mostly small, and only a few cows are kept on each consequently the butter is sent to market in small quantities of very variable quality. The butter so bought," we are told, is purchased by higglers, who, with dirty hands, pack it in a rough aad ready fashion into still dirtier boxes and hampers-the good, bad, and indifferent lots altogether—and consign it to conoumers in the large towns, where it is brought into competition with the clean and neatly-packed foreign butter." It is not to be wondered at that Welsh butter has a bad name, and that the price made for it is 80 low. There is no donbt that in some parts of Wales it is diffi- cult to get butter and other produce to market, owing to the great distance from a railway or large toAms, but that need not affect the quality or cleanliness of the butter. It does appear to do so, however. We have heard this summer of English butter makers sitting in the markets un- a^)le to sell it at 8d per lb., whilst in the shops in those towns Brittany and Danish was being retailed at from Is. to Is. 2d. There is something dread. fully wrong when this is the case. Either quality is bad, or people's tastes have grown into a pre- ference for the blended and mild Brittany butter, or the retailer will not trouble himself to sell the English when the foreign causes him less trouble in purchasing and greater regularity of supply to customers. There is said to be a lack of enter- prise on the part of the Welsh producers in not sufficiently realising the necessity of making a better article. But as a matter of fact they are beginning to realise it. Only this week Welsh farmers wives were lamenting that they could not sell their butter even at 8d. per lb. and that a gentleman who is making this article on the best and most approved principles is spoiling the trade by making it difficult to sell good, and im- possible to sell bad, butter at any price-the stan- dard of quality being that of the Welsh diary folks, though good might not be considered so by an experienced buyer or judge. Quality and preparation for marketing is what Wales is defi- cient in, and it is the case unfortunately with only too many makers in all parts of the kingdom. The difficulty might be got over by the estab- lishment of blending factories, whi-h could be put up for very little money, and from them could be sent butter of unvarying quality in quantities sufficient to induce the retailer to undertake its distribution as readily as he now does the foreign article. Professor Long, the special correspondent upon agriculture to the Manchester Guardian, writes UfP°R •r tanOVe =-The receQt conference of British Dairy Farmers-the 13th of a series, all of which I have been enabled to attend-has afforded me an opportunity of seeing a great deal or Welsh farming in a short time. It is character- istic of the local committee who organist) the excur- sions which follow each conference that examples of the best class of farming only are shown, and it is no doubt for this reason that the party was un- able to inspect anything which is suggestive of agricultural depression. No doubt it is more gratifying to show visitors the very best work in a district, but it is still more necessary that as the visitors leave home as much for the purpose of seeking information as of imparting it they should see something which will enable them to learn some practical lessons. It must not be inferred however, that there is no depression, that there are no:farniers who find it difficult to pay their way. I am assured that this is not the case, but I do not hesitate to say that so far as we have gone there is no evidence of that acute form of failing prosperity which is to-day in evidence in the southern, eastern, and east mid- land counties of England. I may not please every reader if I venture upon a statement of my belief that severe depression is partial, and that nature has just as much to do with it as prices. Where there has been sufficient rain during the past five years, there farmers have bees able to hold their own. I do not suggest that they have been able to do more, inasmuch that with prevailing prices farm- ing manifestly cannot be a medium of money- making. If we Be -k to make money on the land we shall be d sappo.nted. In the majority of the western counties of England, and it would appear in the case of Wales also, the rainfall has been more general, and from Devon and Cornwall in the south to Cumberland and Westmoreland in the north, and Cheshire more than midway between, complaints are fower and the causes of dissatisfac- tion infinitely less numerous. I cannot forget, too, that, as in every other occupation, there are farmers who have not the great gifts which are so essential to the achievement of success. It is not true that every man who is trained to farm can farm with success, however advantageously he may be situated. An inspection of the celebrated farm of Colonel Hughes, near Denbigh, is quite sufficient to deter- mine this point. Farming is often regarded by the outsider as a series of mechanical operations, the least important of which merely consist in the placing of seed in the ground and of food in the manger. Colonel Hughes has shown very prac- tically, and withal very modestly, that it means a masterly grasp of principles and of detail, perfect organisation, and that knowledge of human nature which is essential to the proper management of men. I have suggested that there is apparently a certain amount of agricultural prosperity in North Wales, but I do not forget that onr visits were not only confined to the more luxuriant districts such as the Vale of Clwyd, but that in the hill districts the prevailing condition of the farmers is said to be very different indeed. The resnlta of the Confer- ri.re x.-iii be f«r wider in t'uvir r"aeh than may npp-:vr in the present moment. The great question whether some form of co-op< rarii>n—not- merely L,r the purpose of makisss? b i«'er, but fur th:' '-r^neral agncnituml weal—.h.-nlci nor U- «< At. the De:.bi'h Cu:if-'re:i--e t>* v-me was ec- d;i vvi :.y. T w vi: e;- p.i^ez, Sir. O'Calhurha: w ho poss- ;i h.>r yrti.cp of i MtHj.f( ex«»')h:» -.1 th:- i;iv<>iv.l lYum "aeii sitie wjrh marked eninui..» and f; ir:iess but, as might- be expired considering That tho Irish creamery movement has succeeded—with a decided leaning towards the creamery movement. He told us that farmers ;Oll Id ba.ve to be prepared to accept 3d. a gallon for their milk, that in Ireland they subscribed £ 1 par cuw in the form of shares, and that £ 1000 was required for a factorv dealing with 500 cows. It was claimed that under this sytem the butter was better a (I more uniform —costing lecs to produce, and realising a higher price per pound but he admit'ed that there were difficulties and loss from the divergences of opinion among the members of the managing committees. I suggested, in the course of the discussion, that of all forms of dairying home dair_ ing was the most all forms of dairying home dair. ing was the most profitable, inasmuch as by skilled workmanship the best article was made and the best price at- tained and this fact is truer of France, which was specially referred to by Mr. O'Calla than of England. Success in farming means fair payment for the labour and sk:;l involved, and it is athieved by the united efforts of the family of the farmer. If the labour of butter or cheese making is put out, the loss involved is considerable, and, as i* is admitted that it costs a penny to make a po ind of buti.er at a factory, it is quite easv to lofee £ ^.3 or £30 a year from this one source alone. There was not a skilled butter muker in the party who wouki be content—there is no skilled maker among the hundreds of my acquaintance who would dream of accepting any such prices as the factory system produces and yet I am prepared to admit that there are conditions under which—as in Ireland and Denmark—that system is inevitable. These conditions do not, however, appear to exist in North W ales. But this is Dot all. The cost of conveying I milk to a factory,asro a railway station, twice I daily is considerable, and can scarcely be placed. as regards the average of farms, at less than a peuny per pound of butter in the case of a 20 cow dairy. These facts cannot be ignored, and I hope they will be well weighed by the many farmers. Many factories have failed, others barely exist, and I know that in one case at least-for I had it from the lips of the director—imported butter (?) is pur- chased and blended with that produced in order to meet market prices. In Ireland in 1894 the 30 co- operative factories, taking the milk of 20.700 cows. produced 8 33 ounces from each gallon of milk, the butter realising 10'22d per pound at a cost of l'03d per pound for manufacture. Since then pI ices have fallen and are still falling. Let us next turn to the blending system, about which North Wales will, if I mistake not, hear more. It is essential that the butter should be well made, as nearly as possible to a recognised standard. The cost of blending need not be half the cost of making, and it is an admitted fact that the best home-made butter is superior to factory butter. So the farmer who does the best work gets paid for his pains, and his product graded in the first class will realise a better figure than any factory butter in the market. This system is adapted to the hill as well as the dale farm, and it is better calculated than any other to induce the careless and un- skilful to put forth some effort. I recognise that the local market is not the best and that something is necessary to enable good home-made produce to obtain the advantage of the better prices which prevail elsewhere. That something is, as I remarked at the Welsh- pool, co-operation and blending. Where, howevei, oo-operation is attempted it shculd not be confined to butter. So far as is consistent with the capacity of whatever build- ing is Haced at the disposal of a society, it should be adapted to any form of dairy work which necessity may demand. I have often attempted to show that co-operation for purchase is even more advantageous than co-operation for sale. Hence provision should be made for the pur- chase of seek cake, millers' offal, manure, and even implements and machinery. The cost is nothing beyond that entailed by the expendi- ture of time; the profit is decisive, and, owing to the security given by analysis, not to be measured even by the 10 to 20 per cent reduc- tion in the prices of the goods purchased. It should be needless to say that pp fac-toty- should be unprovided with a cold room for the storage of butter during the cheap season. There is a wider question than even co-operation, however, to which I would direct the attention of the Welsh farmer, who has not so far recognised it, and in which no one can help them but themselves. Co-operation may and probably will enable them to add 10 per cent. to their buttel-making returns, an amount not to be despised, but closer attention to the selection of stock and the production of bulky forage crops will in many cases add 50 per cent. to the return from their cattle. If good grass is the best of nature's foods-inferior grass is one of the very worst—third-rate pastures should therefore be encouraged by liberal feeding with such manures as are shown to suit their requirements, until they possess a well-balanced mixture of clovers. Col. Hughes has shown them the way to produce abund- ant forage crops, and more economical and even profitable crops they cannot grow. This plan will, in the first place, by improving the quality and in- creasing the quantity of the food on the farm, enable a farmer to keep more cattle in a given acre- age and to produce more valuable manure. There should, however, be no inferior milker on a farm, and yet there is probably not one farm in twenty upon which these inferior cows do not predomi- nate. Every man believes himself, with more or less confidence, to be a judge of a cow, but as a matter of fact very few among us are judges; and why ? Because if we note the probable quantity of milk given at the time of purchase we are quite unable to estimate how soon that quantity will fall —in other words, what is the approximate number of gallons an animal will give during her milking season. We must use the scales, record the yield of our stock, weed out the unprofitable servants and replace them with others of whose capacity we are able to obtain some definite knowledge, even if we have to pay for it. North Wales is more greatly favoured by nature and a well-organised system of agricultural education than some of our English counties, in which of late years we appear to have been under the ban of both nature and the County Councils. At her gates is a population equal to that of a small European nature; she is in the pos- session of a people who are as warm and generous as they are frugal and industrious; and her farmers can iustly claim in any good cause the sup port of the ablest and wealthiest among her sons. I hope to be enabled from time to time to refer to the lead- ing features of Welsh agriculture. Forthe time let the farmers themselves reflect upon the inci- dents of the past week, and endeavour, by the aid of those who provided the programme, to evolve something from the uiscussions which it evoked. ANNUAL WOOL SALE AT WELLINGTON. The Shropshire great wool sale, established by the late Mr John Barber in 1859, was held on Wednesday, at Wellington, when upwards of 75,000 fleeces, including the -.I,p of 10,000 Iambs, were sold by Mr R. J. Barber, of the firm of Barber and Son. The sale commenced at 12.30, concluding at 5 o'clock, the Auctioneer averaging 123 lots per hour. Prices were good, the best Shropshire wool making 10d down to lOd; the average would be nearly 10id per lb. Lambs wool made from 8!d to 6d per lb. Wool was sent to this sale from the principal breeders of Shropshire sheep in this and the adjoining cou-nties. Wools sent by the follow- ing made 10id per lb :-Messrs P. and G. Evans, F. Stainer, W. Gaitside, T. Jefferies, J. Davies, T. Simm, T. Heatley, W. Vaughan, R. Raywood, Ridley, Mapp, Cartwripht, Simpson, R. Davies (The Lodge, Bishop's Castle), and others. Also wool was sent from Messrs Jones (Lydham), T. Fenn (Ludlow), J. E. Farmer (Ludlow), Lloyd (Eyton House, Wrex- ham), Davies (Stalloe, Montgomery), Davies (Colfryn), &c. There was a very larpe attendance of buyers from Bradford, Leicester, Newtown (Mont.), London, Huddersfield, Elland (Yorkshire), Carmarthen, Llanidloes, Cork (Ireland), Bury, Rochdale, Farsley, Manchester, Scotland, &c., &c. THE PRICES OF CORN. The following table shows the farmers' deliveries during the week, together with average prices (season 41 weeks) L Average Average Avag Wheat price Barley price Oats prices Or s d Qr s d Qr B d This week 25/249 25 1 936 19 3 4.136 14 8 l^t week 24,731 25 5 1,384 21 6 4,971 14 8 This season 1364,665 25 li 3/51.293 23 4 656.577 13 10 Last 1,875 092 20 5 3,130.027 21 10 650,930 14 4 £ Back numbers of the COUNTY TIMES can be obtained at the ofrlee.-Price 2d. each. A few copies of every number in stock. The final stage in the proceedings at Bow Street against Dr. Jameson and his officers was reached on Monday. The Attorney General asked that six of the defendants should be committed for trial and the remaining nine discharged, and Sir E. Clarke offered no opposition. Sir John Bridge then form- ally committed Dr. Jameson, Sir J. Willoughby, Hon. F. White, Colonel Grey, Hon. R. White, and Major Coventry; the others were discharged.

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