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THE FARMERS* CIRCLE.

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THE FARMERS* CIRCLE. (BY ONZ wrretH ;rr.,¡) A sample oi oats in the Crieff sxmrket last week weighed 48i lbe per bushel. This is believed to be the heaviest sample ever seen in the market. A London Dairy Company have issued a notice to their customers informing them that "the very serious and lengthened droughts that have occurred during the year have caused food and litter for cows and horses, &c., to become so scarce and dear that the increased cost thereof to the com- pany for the next twelve months is esti- mated at about 94,750. It will therefore be impossible for this, or-in our opinion- any other firm to deliver pure whole milk with all its cream to private customers un- der.5,1 a quart." At a meeting of the members of the Chester Farmers' Club a discussion took place as to the advisability of memorialising the authorities at Somerset House to reduce the standard in testing the quality of milk. It was contended that it was unjust to con- vict farmers of adulterating milk when it was only of poor quality, as it was known that the season and the method of feeding ws was the cause of the inferior quality of mueh of the milk. A resolution was carried requesting the Somerset House authorities to adopt a more reliable standard when making milk analysis. In leply to a farmer, who asks advice as 0 the treatment of young clover growing n oat stubbles, Professor James Long says: —reeding off a young clover plant is not good farming. It needs every protection, and, when the young plant is eaten down closely by sheep, it is less able to withstand the rigours of winter. By far the better plan wcllid be to simply give it a coat of manure, which will have the effect of strengthening and protecting it. Clover ia i "lfhcult plant to obtain, but it is easily J destroyed, and the best plan, therefore, on run part of an inexperienced man is to a rro vly watch the result of any experi- ment he tries upon it for his own informa- tion there is nothing like practical experi ment in this direction. A small pieee mi^ht sown and manured, and another small ;rece eaten off by sheep. 8 ELLINO STOOK BY WEIGHT. L, rd Coventry in his interesting com uunuation refers in a mild but suggestive fashion to the selling 81 farm live stock by weight. Although, probably, this is not a question for the Commission to 3well at any grea length upm, it nevertheless largely concerns the interests of the farf If the Commission, after inquiring into the matter, could recommend that the selling by weight be made compulsory, so much the better. But we hold that the case is not one that should be left to legislation to rectify. The farmers have the remedy in their own hands, and it only requires a little skilful and united manoeuvring to bring the obstinate salesmen into line. If tne* t'x. posers insist on having their animal* sold by weight or simply weighed in the ring before being sold, as is already done in many marta in Scotland, the auctioneer can- not very well refuse to comply. At least, if he does so it is at the risk of losing the custom or patronage of the progremve I farmer. We are strongly in favour of the auction system of selling farm stock, but only when it is conducted on the best and I most approved principles, and certainly one of the chief of these is the weighing of the auitpuls, and the exposing of the weight while they are being sold. Mr Westly liichards has worked long and persistently to briag the system into general practice. We regret to say, huwever, that his praise- worthy efforts have met with but indifferent success. England is unaccountably slow to move in the matter. Scotland, und-ir tl indefatigable leadership of Mr John D. McJanet, has made much more rapid pro- gress. In almost every auction mart of uay importance a weigh-bridge is placed at the disposal of the exposer, and the privilege is very largely and generally tak n udvauiu^t of. This fact is cle irJy continued by tilt recent return issued by the Board of Agri- culture, which shows that in Scotland non one-fourth to one-third of the cattle solI art- weighed, whereas in England only aboui one-forty-fifth of the total animals past- over the scales. The progress the method has made in Scotland, as already hinted, is entirely due to the energy and anthusiasm of Mr J. D. McJanet Some ears ago Mr McJanet instituted at his farm in Fifeshire what is now generally known as the" Block Teet," and to the active and self-sacrificing manner in which he has worked this convincing system of instruction is largely due the gratifying advance the reformed method of dealing has made be- yond the border. After a few very surcess- full demonstrations at his own farmtwh r. he invariably at ractt-d large companies o; stockowner-, the originator of the" Blo k lest" sought and secured wider fields 0: operation, with the result that a Scottish agricultural show is now hardly reckoned complete that does not number among its attractions the popular and instructive block test. Participation in these very useful competitions clearly showed the farmer that he almost invariat ly under-estimated the carcase value of his animal, and, therefore,: he became a convert to the use of the scales. It was just another instance of demonstra- tion succeeding where argument had singularly failed. Mr McJannet has greatly aided the cause he has so persistently advo- cated by preparing and publishing tables, the contents of which were ascertained from his own practical experience, and which have been proved to be thoroughly reliable. [Oa the principle that what succeeded in Scotland should succeed in England, we elieve that a well-organised system of Block Test" demonstrations would do much to bring the English farmers to fullv realise the unquestionable advantage gained by the use of the scales. Because there is probably some slight extra care required, we expect "proved benefit" by the process would have a more agreeable and effective iafluence in establishing the system than enforced regulations. JtfAJJTnUNG PASTU=. The report of the last eighteen months* [field experiments conducted at tho Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, has just been on Wished. Professor Kinch tabulates the results, and supplies the necessary com- ments In his pamphlet we have the results of t!i« ;'fistuio experiments of li#- and 893 The former are regarded as far from satisfactory; but what of the present year's returns? Ia 1892 about half an average crop was obtained; this year the growth was of even lees account, but, as the neces- sities of the College herd caused the whole field to be grazed, the exaet weight of the trifling yield could not be ascertained. The results at this well-known centre of agricul- tural knowledge and learning, as revealed by the small publication to hand, appears to convey a pretty accurate index of the hay crcp of the last two seasons, as pertaining to the southern three-fourths of England. In 1892 the hay crop was decidedly disappoint- ing at the College, as it was throughout al- most the whole of England. The heaviest yield obtained from any of the twenty plots experimented with was only twenty Midi one-eighth cwt. to the acre, while the lowest was but nine and seven-eighths cwt., while the half of them returned under 13 cwt. per acre. The peculiar nature of the year re- ferred to—1892—seems to have exercised a strange effect upon the influence of the re- spective manures. If the figures submitted by Professor Kinch supply trus.wor hy evi- dence several of the dressings, such as farmyard, Thomas' basic slag, sodium of nitrate, kainit, and rape meal, when applied alone, produced an injurious rather than an aiding result. The plots on w h ch these manures were applied singly all failed to reach the manured plot in the matter of quantity of yield. The best yield was ob- tained from the plot dressed with kainit, superphosphate,and sodium nitrate. This was followed for the second place by the plot re- ceiving kainit, superphosphate, and am- monia sulphate, which gave twenty cwt. per acre, compared with twenty-two and one-eighth cwt. from the other, and twelve and a half from the unmanured plot. The other successful dressings were superphos- phate and ammonia sulphate, nineteen and one-eighth cwt.; kanit and sodium nitrate, nineteen cwt.; superphosphate and sodium nitrate, nineteen cwt.; kainit and super- phosphate, sixteen cwt.; ammonia sulphate alone, sixteen cwt.; kainit and ammonia sulphate, fifteen and three-eighths cwt.; and uano alone, fourteen and seven-eighths cwt The best of these yields are far from reach- ing a satisfactory standard, and give a miserably poor return for the outlay en- tailed. The accounts for th" present year are immeasurably worse. The repor: dis- misses the subject with the doleful remark, there was very little grass, owing to the drought; where soluble nitrogen, especially nitrate, had been applied, the grass was darker and grew a little more, but even here the crop was not worth much." The par- ticulars, we are afraid, famish but too true an estimate of the past two seasons' hay crop—-in 189*2 about half an average crop and this year a great deal less. +

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