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7HE FARMERS' CIRCLE.

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7HE FARMERS' CIRCLE.

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AGRICULTURAL RETURNS. UttlQQI The usual advance summary of Agricul- tural Returns of Great Britain for the current year was issued last week by the Board of Agriculture. The returns were collected on the 5th of June last, and are given, along with these of the two preceding years, as follows :— ACREAGE OF LAND IN GREAT BRITAIN. Wheat. Barley. Oats. Potatoes. Hops. Year. Acres. Aores. Acres. Acres. Acres. 1891 2,307.277 2,112,798 2,899,129 532,794 56,142 1892 2,219 838 2,036,810 2,997,545 1.525,361 56,259 1893 1,897,488 2,076,097 3,171,756 527,821 57,576 NUMBER OF CATTLE, SHEEP, AND PIGS = IN GREAT BRITAIN. CATTLE.|I < Cows and l Heifers in Two Years 'I Ir,{, milk or Old Under Two Year. in calf. and above. Years Old. Total. NO. NO. NO. NO. 1891 2,657,064 1,504,649 2,691,118 6,852,821 1892 2.660,891 1,666706 2,627,186 6,994,783 1893 2,554,624 1,580,242 2,565,810 6,700,676 SHEEP, LAMBS, AND PIGS. Year. Sheep. Lambs. Total. Pigs. NO, NO. NO- NO. 1891 17,786,941 10 945,617 28,732,558 2,888,773 1892 17,957.049 10,777,655 28,734,704 2,137,859 1893 17,039,739 10,240,595 27.280334 2.113,530 It will be seen that a comparison of the figures for the three years specified does not produce a very favourable result for the present year. The wheat area shows a con- tinuous falling off, while the oat break, on the other hand, maintains an upward ten- dency. Barley and potatoes have recovered some of the considerable falling off wit- nessed last year, and hops, like oats, con- tinue to gain in popular favour. The figures relating to farm live stock present a still more disheartening state of affairs. With one insignificant exception, there is a general decrease in numbers. FARMERS AND PROTECTION. At Peterborough an impo tant meeting of agriculturists was held under the auspices of the Peterborough Agriculturists' Associa- tion, Mr G. C. W. Fitz-William, of Milton, presiding. The Earl of Winchilsea, who was unable to be present, wrote:—"I am cer- tain we cannot live in the stress of foreign competition unless we take prompt measures to unite in defence of our just claims to be heard, and to have our present wants attended to. We have been put off with fair words quite long enough." Mr G. H. Deen (Market Deeping), said he thought it was a pity the rules of the National Agricultural Union were so ambiguous. If Lord Winchilsea had advocated protection plenty would have gone in for it. Mr Almond (Stilton) That is what he means. Mr Dean: Then I wish he had the courage of his convictions. Mr Vergette: It can be carried to-day if any one will take it up; public opinion is ripe for it. Mr. S. Egai lfhornley), proposed;, that the Earl of \Vinchilsea. be asked to address a meeting it Peterborough with a view of the local association being affiliated to the National Union. Mr Dean seconded. Mr Almond relieved it was useless to hope for protec tion, and the sooner they got it out of their heads the better. Mr Yergette said i1 would benefit them if the tax was taken oil tea and put on oats, barley and maize. Wneat could not be grown profitably at 258 ind 26s. a quarter, even if the landlord, gave them the land; and it was necessary, he urged, to grow wheat in England in case of war. The resolution was carried, as was also the following resolution submitted by the committee:—" That inasmuch as in the opinion of this society no system of marking foreign meat can be devised which wii prevent existing frauds, this society con- siders that all dealers in imported meai should be compelled by law to rllgistp) themselves and to publicly announce th t fact of their being so registered wherever the meat in question is sold A resoluiioi 1--Claring it to be highly desirable that all orewers should be compelled to declare till ingredients of their beer, "in order tlizi the consumers may be able to indulge tbei) preference for beer made from malt a[](. hops only," was also passed.