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AGRICULTURAL NOTES. We have been favoured with ideal weather;. the rains and the heat of the sun have been most favourable to ail growing crops. The corn and the grass freely absorbed the moisture which fell, and yielded themselves to the forcing influence of heat following on the rain. It is too early yet to imagine, as some people have done, that the rains of this week have been the means of turning what promised to be an indifferent hav crop into a good one, and bringing the deficient crops of corn to at least an average condition. It is, however, certain that in this part of England the rains have been the means of raising to an average point the hay crop, and grass is in many places being allowed to stand a little longer in consequence of the growing character of the weather. In the southern counties, where the hay has been gathered in very small quantities, the rains have given a good start to the aftermath, and should this "dropping" weather continue for another fortnight or three weeks, it will soon be on the way to a second hay crop. There is likely to be little difficulty about feed for livestock, uniess, unfortunately, conditions entirely change. Wheat has benefitted considerably by the rain, and it will not be a matter of much surprise, should the harvest period be favourable, if we had an average yield the straw may still be somewhat short, but this deficiency will not be so great as at one time appeared probable. The barley crop has been set going, but there is a serious unevenness about it, which will probably prove to be irre- mediable. Oats also do not look so well as they should, although they show a better face than they did a fortnight ago; and the condition of peas and beans is much better than might be expected, after the droughty circumstances of the earlier season. The rain has started both mangolds and swedes, fields now showing a nice braird that had per- sistently refused to appear before the rain. The potato crop looks very healthy, and, notwith- standing the large quantity of old potatoes which still remain on hand, there seems to have been a full average area planted. The growing weather has, of course a forcing effect on weeds, which will demand prompt attention with the hoe. Another effect of the rain has been to get rid of insect pests, which have been rather more troublesome than usual, and amongst them the latest of which com- plaint is made is the red maggot in the wheat. In the hop country the vermin has begun to disappear from the plants, and if an ordinary amount of success is met with in keeping uown these pests, it is quite possible that there may be a good crop but in hops, as in other crops, it is price that is wanted. MARKETS AND PRODUCE. The tone of the markets, both for meat and corn, does not -k show any very striking characteristics. If we look at the grain trade, we find that any favour which the dry weather seemed to show towards holders of barley, oats, and maize has passed away in the face of the more growing weather. There is a slow market for Euglisli wheat, of which the stock in hand is larger than it was last year, though, perhaps, rather smaller than that of 1894. Nevertheless, trade is inactive, and there is no sign of a recovery of the slight fall of 6d. per quarter which took place last week. The last imperial averages show wheat to be about 8d. per quarter under the corresponding period of last year, barley 6d. under, and oats Is. ld. This is not an extraordinary difference in the values of the three leading cereals, but it is not pleasing to find that the difference is on the wrong side for the producer. Further, the prospects are such that prices are not likely to advance very much between now and our own harvest, although grain statisticians calculate that the prospects are more favourable to holders of wheat than to purchasers. The meat trade is showing a declining character, in some cases both sheep and cattle selling at 2d. per 81bs. less money. When we come to compare the prices of last year we find beef from 2d. to 4d. per 81bs. under-prices then existing, and mutton show- ing a fall of 2d. The only quarter in which an im- provement is at all manifest is amongst pigs, and a more than corresponding rise is to be noted in the value of bacon. On the whole the meat trade can- not, be said to be in an improving position, and the sellers of fat animals have had a corresponding advantage in the price of stores, but the change in the. weather will quickly wipe out any slight ad- vantage which, under less favourable circumstances, they were able to obtain in the store stock market. With weather like the present there will soon be plenty of feed for as many stores as the farmer will be able to buy. HORSE BREEDING PROSPECTS. What are the prospects of horse breeders ? is a question which is now occupying the attention of those British farmers who include in their opera- tions the raising of horses. Many men have made a good pull" out of a specially promising colt, and many others do fairly well in a regular way with young horses. Those who seem to have a regular run of ill-fortune need hardly be taken in account when the general position of horse breeding is con- sidered. It is not any special danger from disease or ill-luck in raising that agitates the agricultural mind it is rather a question whether horse-breed- ing can be profitably continued. For a considerable time the British farmer has been assailed and become uneasy through foreign and colonial com- petition in horses, which has had the effect of reducing the prices of ordinary useful horses to a somewhat serious extent. This outside competition has become severe enough to suggest whether the days of horse-breeding had not already begun to decline, and the supply of motor power to vehicles in our streets intensifies the idea that it will to a large extent pass away from us, as has the produc- tion of meat, corn, dairy, and other produce. This rivalry is altogether put in the shade by the craze which has seized upon the people for cycling, fol- -1 the offers which are being made to put upon the roads all kinds of horseless vehicles. The British farmer regards most seriously this new I attack upon his industry, feeling that he is helpless in the matter, and has no means to combat it. He considers it, too, rather hard that one of the so- called champions of agriculture should be found on the Board of Directors of a horseless vehicle com- pany. The depreciation in the value of horses is not only observable in this country, but it is plainly admitted in America, where horses are at present both plentiful and cheap. The motor movement will be as great and as permanent an injury to agri- culture as that which has followed the introduction of unlimited foreign farm produce into this country. THE PRICES OF COB.N. THE PRICES o' CORN. I The following table shows the farmers' deliveries during the week, together .with average prices (season 42 weeks) :— Average Average Av'ag Wheat price Barley price Oats prices Qr s d Qr s d Qr s d Average Average Av'ag Wheat price Barley prjce Oats prices Qr s d Qr s d Qr s d This week 22,758 25 1 1,655 22 8 4,361 15 1 Last week 25,249 25 1 936 19 3 4,136 14 9 This season 1,387,423 25 1J- 3,552,94s 23 3] 600,938 13 lU Last „ 1,916,862 20 7 3,130,828 21 9 656,498 14 5