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THE IIA'RYEST. 1 The harvest' b?inj» now completed, vre have ap- plied to prominent a<jricaltnmts in iiontgomerj- shire and Kadnoi'shiru to supply us witn tliei. opinion on the following points, lor publication ir the Express:— 1.—The probable yield, cereals and root crops. 2.—The prospects with regard to keep for stoeb duving the coming winter, and how they compart with previous years. 3.—The financial prospects of the farmer. Art they better or worse than they were a year ago ? 4.-Any suggestions calculated to benefit agri- culturists. The fellowing replies have been received, i, addition to those published last week. join cf tiae writers' names are omitted at their request IV. 1st. The probable yield of cereals. In the valleys Wheat, under average barley, average oats, mac over acreage. On the hill sides The corn will bt wiry and short in straw and much under average also the root crop will be under average whit,- leaves to he seen in the turnips now on the fields, aI, indication of ripening. fori The prospects of keep for stock during thf coming winter are very bad, hay oeing in the valleyr Not half the usual quantity and on the hill sides no a fourth. Straw very light, and probable light root .ùp. 3 d. The financial prospects of the farmer are worse than last year. Price of stock much the same as last year, but with heavy bills to meet for cikl and corn, to make up for hay place them in a worse position i'or the coming winter.. 4th. As to suggestions calculated to benefit agri- culturists, I will mention:-(a) Equalisation of rates, etc.; (H a more judicious mode of collecting rates (c) greater economy in the expenditure of the rates and (a) lower rents. D. V. Dear air,—To your four questions I beg to offel the following replies lijt. The probable yield, etc. Cereals, good in Juality and quantity on good land; quite the reverse fear on poor land, and even on good land not well- manured. Boot-crops, good on the whole. Mauj Jieids rather patchy. The mildew also, 1 fear, is iecting in ou early sown turnips. 2nd. About half the average quantity of hay and .bout two thirds the average quantity of straw. What there is ia good. and likely to be nutritious. fcfcould be used with great economy. 3rd. («) Bd: everything has been selling badly. (b) Worse, far worse; hundreds of them on their last legs. 4th. («) They should make every haste possible to Sow rye or buckwheat in land intended for turnips 3sext year, so as to have some keep for their sheep iu spring. (b) They must go in for a general reduction of rent at once, and agitate for a good Land Bill, which, amongst other things, should give farmers tar better security for unexpected impruvents. A TENANT OF 200 ACRES. VI. 1st, Cereals: Wheat and barley above the average, and bf excellent quality. Oats a fair yield, but rather thin. Roots Potatoes, a splendid crop, and free from disease. Swedes and turnips, generally good with but here and there a patchy field. The area of land under plough in this district is now very limited. 2nd. The comparative failure of the hay crops, the smallneas of the straw crops, and the total absence of fcg on most farms, combined with the utter un. aaleableoesa of store stock will make the coming winter the worst ever known. Much of course will depend upon the weather, as its character will either relieve or intensify the difficulty. 3rd. Very much worse, several farms already vacated. 4th. It ia now rather late to advise the sowing of c-ueh-oropa. A few farmers have taken advantage of the early harvest to sow turnips, rye, etc. A wholesale and permanent reduction of 50 per cent. in the rents is needed. N. D. T. WATKIN. Penarth, Llanfair. VII. 1.—I am unable to give a good account of the yield, so muoh having been threshed yet in thisi neighbour- Itood owing to the scarcity of water. Wheat, not much sown. The straw is about two- thirds of an average crop, but I expect the yield will be good ac* cording to the quantity of straw, and the sample good. Barley is certainly the beat crop of the year, but a little under the average got in very wall, and is expected to turn out a good Bample. Oats, straw very short, and much under the average probably w:U yield well. Mangolds, done fairly well. Swedes, eany sown have done well up to this last fortnight; some fields are now getting badly mildowad for the want of rain; the late sown ones look very bad, *6 *rcely anything bat leaves. 2.—1 never knew the prospect for winter anything like so bad almost heart-breaking to face it. Clover, Jialf a crop. Hay, only a quarter of a crop a field where usually one had twelve loads off, only had three this year. If it comes a hard winter it will be very serious indeed. 3.—The financial position of the farmer is very JIluch worse, owing to the very low price of every- thing which tbe farmer had to sell during the last year. 4.—I scarcely know what to suggest to benefit the farmer. The only thing which seems to be to me is to look to the landlord fcr help. I don't see that the pates can be lowered much, neither do I think that the farm labourer's wages are too high. J.E. Buttington. ~VIII. I.-Who-&t seemq to be a good yield according to stray. Oate and barley, a fair crop. Clover, an ftvecupe crop. Hay, not half a crop, and aftermath 4doge not hold maca grazing. Potatoes had not a good #t±rt, but a fair crop considering the weather. Swedes, a fair crop, but are effected with mildew for want of rain. The prospect for winter looka very ffloomy, not half the keep for stock as in former years. The farmers are far worse off this year than a year ago. Payments are higher than last year, farm produce and store stock are making very little »an*y. I don't know what will come of us poor JiLrmers just now. IX. I.-The yield of grain this season in proportion to Atraw will be g-ood, but the straw generally round jaere is 20 per cent. below an average quantity. The grain yield will probably come within ten per cent. of an average crop. Barley requires less rain than other cereals, and this with us is the beat crop of the feason. The quality of all kinds of grain will be good and harvested in excellent condition. Root crops Tc"se are late and patchy. Some of the early sown start id well, but the dry weather since has been too much for them. Later sown are an irregular plant, very small as yet in the bulb, and on the whole root orops will be far short of a full crop. 2.-The prospects for wintering stock are gloomy inueed. With clover hay 40 per cent., and meadow bay 45 per ceut. below average, and both straw and turnips 2') par cent. below, it will be seen that as a whole the winter reap for live stock is fully one-third below that of an average year, and during this antumn poor cattle, I fear, can hardly be sold at any price. 3.The position and prospects of the farmer may be Snmmed up in a few words, namely that every year he is becoming financially poorer and poorer. His jiicoaie from stock and grain produce during the last twelve months mait be from 10 to 15 per cent. less than it Wd the. year before, while his expenses, if he 4o36 duty to the land would be much about the same. This, however, is a very mysterious problem, which puzzles many of us who go into the question. If we jnike a comparative statement of farmers' income and expenditure now, and say ten year ago, the won- der is that half their number are still solvent and able to pay their way 4.—The only suggestions I can make is that one of two things must shortly come to pass if farming is to continue. Either (first) that more money must be made of farm produce (grain and live stock espeoially). or (secoadj that expenses of all kinds upon land must be very sensibly reduced, so aa to make its cultivation remunerative to the occupier. JOHN SHUKEB. X 1.—Winter wheat varies very much spring wheat ▼ery good, yield over average; quantity good. Barley and osta, a very heavy crop quality good; harvest finished last week in August or nearly so gathered in good condition. Turnips, exoellent crop and looks healthy. Potatoes, good. Hay, crop under average some meadows good, tiking into consideration the lat-nesa they were grazed. This being a sheep dis- trict, we are obliged to graze them until tha middle of May. We cannot send the sheep to the hill be- fore. Grass has been very short on the pastures. This being a good neighbourhood for water, stock looks welt. I think with the good crop of corn and turnips we shall be able to carry through the winter. Arable land is generally in a better state ef cultiva- tion than it has been for many years, being afine dry spring, land was cleaned and in good condition for tha sped which was put in early, (to early sowing I attribute the good crops), and turnip land was well cleaned, and harvest early gathered, and the weather still fine for cleaning any foul land. Sachworkdone ttow will be of great advantage next spring. One great drawback is the lowness of stook. We don't suffer much from the low price of corn we sell bat Mttle; it pays better to give it to the stock. Some Earms are not adapted for feeding, but they will grovr ( voung stock to pay providing they are properij- [It. .ended to. Breeding farmers generally^ do not keen he younsr steel:, properly. Care should be taken the youi.fr is tak-n from tt.e dam. It should not b- ,I lowe,i to hilk it ought net to loose tho sucking flush There 1 think we do err very much. In proct of thi3 go into the cattle market there you will see i calf three months old sold from £ 3 to £ 4. Look ohroagh the market. You will see scores 18 or 20 months old you can bay for the same money. That must be radically wrong; that is, losing 14 or ]6 months' time. That is not the way to compete with foreigners. Young stock should always be kept i thriving, but to do that we want warm and comfort- able shedding, which generally is very deficient. We "uffer great loss in the lambing season for want of oetter shedding with large yards and proper places to feed the e\ es. Should the landlord provide better dousing for the stock, and put up corn sheds to save che tenant loss and labour (.the farmer keeping the best breed of all stock, down to poultry, and paying ittention to them), we can do a deal further in com- potmg with the foreigner. JOHN JONES. Hall on forest, Newcastle, Clun. XI. As a farmer of now twenty years' experience, I do tiot recollect during that time the root crops effected so much by the mildew as this present season, especially the ear.y sown. There are fields in thia locality in appearance as if they had been dusted with lime; the hedges also are quite white around several fields of turnips. Crops effected by mildew are of very little value, they become rooty and dry, and contain but little feeding matter. This being the case, it will tell very muca against the farmer. Other crops, such as wheat, are light, short in the straw, but yield fairly weii, very dry, and grinds Nott, Tue oats are Jean and light; yields well to the quantity of straw, but not to the acre barley much (oe same. As a whole the crops were very light. l'he prospects of winter keep for stock is very weak indeed in several places it does not reach t'-ie halt previous years. Fields which formerly cut up about fifteen waggon-loads have come off this time on three. And not only that, but the harvest being early the stock have the run over the whole of the land, and by a few weeks it will be necessary to feed the stock, thus reducing the keep proviaed for the winter. An early summer neceasitatto an early winter also, the stock being Jew in price during the spring and the sainmer, farmers who formerly sold in the early spring held over their cattle until they were com- pelled to dispose of them on account of the scarcity of keep, and that at a less price than could be realised in the months of March or April. Therefore, the financial state of the agiiculturist will be greatly effected. It is quite clear that at least 50 per cent, oi tue farmer's cupital cannot stand this great trial, as the last three or four years has been telling against him, the demand for the produce being 80 limited to a few things, such as pigs (owing entirely to the ilCdolCity in the country), whereas sixteen months or two years ago they were too plentiful, thus effecting a very slow demand. Several farmers having to buy feeding stuffs found to their dis- appointment that the cost of feeding was more than tue amount reatised by tie stock when sold, after having spent care and labour for nothing. This takes place frequently. Farms on which cattle are reared and sold as stores are in these days the dearest takings, and how to dispose stock at this time of the year is a mystery. Dairying this time may be in more demand, especially salt butter, which will be very scarce. The quality may not be as good as we should like, owing to the great heat in the months of June, July, and August, and in several places a deficiency of clean water for the oows to drink. Agriculturists, to keep up some amount of their capital to work upon, will have to depend largely upon the generosity and goad will of their respective landlords. At some future time, by your permission Mr Editor, I shall make some observations aa to the real outcome of the land. B. Llanfair. XII. 1. The yield of wheat, where there was a fair crop of straw, may be considered a fair average, but the ruinously low prices at which new wheat is sold must ieave a great deficiency in cost of production to the grower, only that the straw this year must be con- sidered v-iry valuable. Barley and Oats—A great de- ficiency of straw, but appears to have a good head. Prices are hardly equal to last year at the beginning of the season. Mangolds-An averagp. crop. Swedes have done fairly wail in this district, but early sown ones are beginning to mildew. 2. The prospect for winter keep is very discourag- iug, Hay not being more than one third of a crop in most cases. Some good crops of Clover have been stacked in excellent condition. Straw is certainly very short, but has been had in excellent condition, so that all will be good provender, which is certainly better than a larger quantity of inferior, as we some. times have dnring bad harvests but the pastures are as bare as possible—and much of the stock has to be fed now—in the middle of September. GM 3. The financial position of the farmer is certaiuiy worse than a year ago, as rates and taxes, wages, and all tradesmen's bills, have never been higher during the last thirty years than at the present time. I am at a loss to know how rent and all other pay- ments are to be met during the present half year, as lean stock is sold at ruinous prices, and to feed them eutireiy upon artificial food at this time of year is most expensive. If landlords cannot see their way to make some substantial abatement, inevitable ruin must be in the near future awaiting many an honest industrious farmer. 4. There have been many suggestions brought out to remedy the present state of the farming commun- ity, but I think it is for the serious consideration of landed proprietors as well as tenant farmers, for if farmers are ruined and the land goes out of cultiva- tion (as has been the case in some districts that I could mention) it is a serious loss to the country generally, and takes a number of years to restore that district to its former presperity, and such I fear will be the eaae in many districts. B. Berriew. XIII. 1.—Judging from the appearance of the corn crops when growing, and after being cut, I should say generally, all cereals, will be much under he aver- age. Here and there a field of wheat, barley, and oats were to be seen of full average crop, but taking the whole of the district, grain cnt up lighter than was expected, straw in many places being very short. Although we were favoured with splendid weather for maturing and harvesting the grain, I fear when threshing time comes there will be a greater variety in the quality of wheat and barley than has been seen for many years. As with the crops, so with the quality, there must necessarily be some exceptionally fine samples, but the majority will be mixed, through not ripening together. Oats varied considerably, there were some excellent crops and some very poor indeed. The few new oats I have seen on the market have been light. Boot crops, with the exception of mangolds, have suffered severely for want of rain. Early sown ewedes are at a standstill and mildewed in many places. Potatoes are up to the average, but disease is showing itself in some places. -.41j.040 2.—With only one-third of a hay crop, and a less bulk of straw, the prospects for winter keep will baffle many of us; I am experiencing it already. The great difficulty being to know how to carry on our stock, until the usual time for housing, without using some of the winter fodder. Our pastures are as bare as they can be. The aftermath, which at one time promised abundance, was checked for want of rain, and on light soils was scorched by the heat, The little which was lett has been eaten; and where not turned into has been severely checked by the cold frosty nights the Jast nine days. Should these early frosts con- tinue, the gloomy prospects for the coming winter will be more severely felt. Grass land in some parts is so bare that cattle had to be foddered with straw on the frosty mornings we have had, and ate it srreedilv as in winter. M— 3. You ask are the financial prospects of the farmer better or worse than they were a year ago p- I answer and speak from experience, decidedly worse, and feel sure many can corroborate my state- ment in fact, I fear they are so bad, in mauy in. stances, that farmers are afraid to look into them. How can it be otherwise, when we take into con- sideration the enormous decrease in the value of store stock, and no demand even at the reduction, the low price of beef, mutton, wool, and grain must tell seri- ously on the income of the farmer. It may be asked. Why do they not give up ? Because many dare not, and others would be alarmed at the sacrifice they would have to make. No doubt, auctioneers will have a busy time of it shortly. 4. Keep and breed the best of all kinds of stock, whether horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, or poultry. I would suggest the use of moss litter, instead of straw for bidding. It is an excellent substitute, and by its use, much straw may be saved for fodder. In many instances a better knowledge is required in the use and the purchase of artificial manures and feed- ing stuffs. Greater combination amongst us, as a class, to make use of the power we do possess, to have our grievances redressed both in and out of Parliament, independent of Liberals, Unionists, or Conservatives. „ Bahaillon, RICHARD MORGAN, XIV. I consider the prospects of farmers at present very gloomy. IThe crops of all kinds, with the exception of barley and potatoes, being much below the average. Hay, one-third of a crop; Clover much better; Wheat, 50 per cent. below Oats; 20 per cent. below. Boots fair, but now beingspoiled by mildew. Pota- toes very gtoo. These remarks apply to the Severn Valley—New- town to L.aridloes. The hill farms have had much more rain than those in the valle/s, consequently their er ps of all kii-ds are very much better. EDWD. JONES. Park, Casrsws. XV. 2. Wheat in this neighbourhood is much below the average, the straw being short, and thin upon the ground. The quality of grain is excellent. Barley is a full crop, over the average in quality and quan- tity. A few fields sufferod from too dry a need bed, causing the grain to spurt very irregularly, conse- quently it has not ripened together. In the eouthem coanties a large acreage will not make good malt from the same cause. Oats are short in the straw the yield will be an average, with a bright and heavy sample. Roots-Swedes and turnips promised to be an excellent crop until a fortnight ago. When mil. I dew made ita appearance on most of the early sown. All roots greatly need rain. The weight per acre will be much reduced by the dry weather of the last four weeks. 2. Fanners with rearing stocks will experience great difficulty in keeping them through the next wintpr, hay and straw being very deficient in bulk, although good in quality. Those who buy in their stock will not, in many instances, require half their usual number. This will cause lean stock to continue until next April at a ruinously low price to the rearer. 3. Financially, the majority of farmers are in a much worse position than a year ago, only those who have some speciality are able to make ends meet. That farmers are rapidly losing their capital is plainly shown by the last agricultural returns. The number of cattle and sheep are less, while much land has been laid down in grass. In addition, a third of the value must be taken off all stcre cattle and sheep from prices in 1890. Only those intimately connected with agriculture know the hard and heart-breaking struggle most farmers have experienced for several years, and which have been greatly increased in 1893. 4. Would that I could comply with your request, Mr Editor, to suggest something calculated to bene- fit my fellow farmers. Undoubtedly, the present ruinous state of agriculture is caused by the severe competition from abroad. Fast steamers and rail- ways are opening up countries where the soil is rich and land cheap; tax collectors, few and far between; while the climate is a certainty, and calculated to produce some speciality to compete with the English farmer, who ima to contend with an uncertain climate, heavy rates and taxes in addition to rent, while the railway companies Cirry the goods of the foreigner at a less cost than those produced tit home. LAWTON MOORE. Brampton Brian. XVI. Since the harvests in ,.i. district were completed only a week ago, I am unable to say definitely what the yield of our crops will be. The crops of cereals and roots are very lair, but the latter are not very extensively cultivated here. The size of the oats is not so large as many may think. We depend more ia this district on the rearing of stock than on thi growing of grain. With regard to Keep for stock our proap^ct^ fur the coming winter are fair, and compare lavourably with what they have been in recent years, lair average crops of hay and clover, except on shallow rocky soils wlere they were light, have beeii harvested in excellent condition. Owing to the splendid harvest weather that prevailed throughout the season the quality of the fodder and other crops is better than it has been for some years. The year 1891 wti3 the worst we ever witnessed. The financial prospects of the farmer are still as gloomy as ever. The stock we are able to rear, being of interior kinds, does not in the markets command but a very low price indeed, which are now no higher than they were last year. With respect to the last point I may say that Í1> my opinion, before farm ing can become a paying industry there must be a permanent reduction in the rents. For many years we have received no return for our labour and our capital. How many of our class have gone to the wall whilst struggling to make both ends meet? For the last half-century or there. abouts there has been a constant teudeucy to an increase in rents. It is utterly im possible to pay such high routs with the price we now realise for our produce. Occasional reductions are good in their way, but do not meet our case or difficulties. FARMER. Llangurig.








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