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THE FARMERS' CIRCLE. (BY ONE WITHIN IT.) Farm sales in East Kent this autumn are considered to be unparalleled for the disast- rous prices which have been obtained by sellers who have been obliged to realise. In all probability the dairy farmer will not long be confronted with opposition from New Zealand. A report states that, after investigating the cost of laying down butter and cheese in London, th6 National Dairy Association of New Zealand has come to the conclusion that the export trade must die out unless freights are reduced. Allowing 2! gallons of irilk at 3jd. a gallon to a pound of butter, each pound cost 8 £ d., and the cost of making and packing is put ld., while the expenses of freezing and shipping amount to I j-d., thus bringing the total ex- penses up to llid. a pound. Only the besi of the butter sells at is. to Is. Id. a pound, and after deducting for London charges, little or nothing would be left for profit, while most of the butter sells at less than Is and upon this there is a loss. Cheese at one gallon of milk to the pound, costs 3jd a pound for milk, and other expenses, includ- ing London charges, bringing the total up to 5Jjd. pound, or 51s. 4d. per cwt, which is quite as much as the average returns of the last season. CATTLE IN AUTUMN. There is an especially strong temptation this year to ignore the best principles of good cattle management and leave the ani- mals out of doors as long as possible. But, however strong the temptation, there is nothing to justify a departure from the sys- tem that is generally recognised as the best if not always practised. When stall food is so scarce, and while the fields still afford a bite, farmers are to be excused for keeping their stock on the pastures so long as the temperature is not altogether unbearable. In this there is not much amiss provided the animals are taken under roc* ver night. It is doubtful wisdom in ord.1 ° reasons to expose cattle a whole do -dinary L lemencv of October or Novemlb,,y to the Inc t, never it is advisable to c jr we^her, bu. s night in the baro '^PeltJ.themvt0 P** 18t of October, eat'.J held,8 »fter abo"1 th« v nature of tb- lier or later' wording to the should nof d seaeoa. Even this year cattle quarte 8elecfc their night's roof fs. They ought to be forced under cr over night as soon as the evenings be- „jme chilly. They are infinitely better in Weltered quarters without food than they would be on the fields, where they would have all the chilling winds and trying night frosts to withstand, and very little food to aid them in doing so. A good deal is said r, t5 about animals where optional shelter is pro- vided preferring of their own free will to stay out of doors even in wild and stormy nights. It is argued that because they pre- fer the open fields to the covered bed that the exposure does them no harm, but rather that it benefits them. That argument how- ever will not hold good in practice. If closely and carefully tested it will be found to be nothing more than a delusion. It is quite true that the animals may at times have a desire to stay out of doors, especially if the shelter provided, as is frequently witnessed is not very inviting; but that is no reason for jumping at the conclusion that they grow and prosper best when left to roam on the pastures during the hours of darkness and of low temperature. As the animals are from first to latt but creatures at the •iispoeal of man there it is not often con- sidered, and this is one of the instances where man is justifierl in exercising his superior skill and judgments—superior be- cause man knows and understands the pur- pose for which the poor innocent creature is being prepared. It would just be as pro- per to assert that because preferable to the animals-dam or calf-tke latter should be left with and allowed to monopolise its mother and her milk, as to say that because an animal chooses to pass the night in the open air of winter it should be allowed to do so. In all these matters the animals de- sires may be consulted with advantage, in so far as they lie in accordance with the rules of quick and economic fattening, but when a parting point is reached the animal must be made to taste the bitters of self-sacrifice. If early maturity and a consequent quick realisation of money is the object, as it usu- ally is and always should be, the starvation of animals in any form, whether in respect to food, shelter, or anything else, is a grave and unpardonable mistake. Keep thp animal progressing from its very infancy should be the motto of the feeder, and if faithfully carried out in practice the creature would never be left to shiver and waste it- self away in defying the attacks of the chill- ing winds and frosts of early spring or late autumn. BUTTER FACTORIES. Whatever may be the opinion held by farmers regarding the factory system in the production of butter, there is no doubt about the success of that method where it has been given a fair and thorough trial. The utility of the factory system is fully illustrated by the wonderful results that have followed its adoption in Ireland not to speak of Denmark and other parts of the Continent. The Irish factory companies made almost a clean sweep of the honouis in two of the principal butter classes at the re- cent London Dairy Show; all that were left for English exhibitors being a couple of very highly commends and a com- mended "-and these were secured ty makers adopting the factory lines. The two clesses in which these wonderful and significant resulis were obtained were those for fresh and salt butter prepared for the market. In the classes for small samples of either fresh or salt butter few of the factor- ies were competing, and those who did enter the fray met with very moderate suc- cess, the private dairies completely ousting them for fancy small packets. But when it came to the larger lots the farmer or dairy farmer had no say in the results. The ex- hibits from private dairies were simply no- where. That is a very significant fact which farmers would do well to ponder carefully. But it may be urged that so long as the pri- vate dairy can more than hold its own in the smaller sample resolves itself into a question as to whether the former or the latter contests have the most important bearing upon the trade. We at once assert that the larger sample contests are of in- finitely more importance than the other, as indicating the character and quality of the produce of a dairy, and therefore it is inves- ted with the more general interest and value The email sample is equally important as indicating the class of butter churned or made in a diary, but there its influence may be said to end. It affords no reliable representation of the article, as it is placed upon the market, which, is the state that most concerns the trade and con- sumers generally, as well as it ultimately does the farmer himself. The larger sam- ple exhibits, in the judging of which the claims of the package are taken into consideration, really indicate as nearly as possible the class and character of the pro- duce as it is placed on the market. There- fore we maintain in the competitions whcih nearly denote the qualities of the saleable produce the results at the Dairy Show gave a complete victory for the factory system. In actual practice we believe the superior- ity of the factory system is even more njarke 1. It is unquestionable that it is to an almost universal adoption of that method of butter making and assorting that such countries as Denmark and Ireland owe the enviable position they have attained in the butter markets. And so long as these countries continue to proceed upon these lines, and the farmers of Great Britain pur- sue with wilful blindness their present course which possesses no shred of system, so long will the produce of English and Scottish butter dairies have to take a secondary place oven in British markets. The factory which has an output large enough to form special and independent consignments to the mar- ket has an infinitely better chance of re- ceiving the full value of its produce than has a private dairy, whose small contribu- tion is sent up mixed with scores of others, and which altogether form a most irregular sample. THE AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS ACT. The sub-Commissioner, appointed by the Royal Agricultural Commission to visit cer- tain parts of the country to hear and collect evidence or opinions in regard to the question of the depression are now hard at work. So far as it is ascertained, these investigations useful and interesting as they are, have re- sulted in the unearthing of very few ideas with a just claim to originality. No genius has yet been discovered who can offer a full and absolute solution of the mysterious de- pression. But, while the various investiga- -ms have as yet failed to exceed the gene- 11Y ^oectation, it is so far satisfactory that rai e^ ev-ery promise of attaining the they gn uaefuines8 expected of them. It measure of ,jng few fregh suggestions is not suprie og tQ reme(jies are forthcoming, ot any note » subject had urevous- for that branca -,iscJu3ae(1 ly been so thoroughly u and digest- ed that these meetings have been forestalled ia almost any scheme they could bring forth The Sub-Commissioners, however, will re- turn loaded with hints and plain statements of existing facts which could not have been obtained by any other means and which should be of considerable service to the Commission in their deliberations. Almost every conceivable point relating to agricul- ture in all its varied forms has been minute- Jy entered into and discussed. Among the other matters that have passed under review was the Agricultural Holdings Act. The terms of this Act have been a good deal criticised in past years, and at the Sub-Com- missioners'meetings that have already been held it has been a favourite theme for complaint. It has been found exceedingly complicated and cumbersome to administer, so much so, indeed, that almost rather than run the costly risk its application entails many farmers would waive their claim, and content themselves with accepting what they consider the lesser evil, and many may be the lesser loss. The most befitting and terse description of the Agricultural Hold- ings Act we have yet observed was given at Mr James Hope's court of inquiry, at Cupar, Fifeshire, last week. Mr J. D. McJannet, the leader of the selling-of-stock -by-live-weight movement in Scotland, in giving his opinion of the Act, is reported of having disposed of it with the brief but sig- nificant remark, "My brother, who is a lawyer, has benefited a great deal more by the Agricultural Holdings Act than I have or am likely to do." We expect the general experience is pretty much in accordance with that of Mr McJannet—that the Act proves infinitely more fruitful in value to the law- yers than it does,or ever will do in its present i intricate form, to the farmer.