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THE FARMERS' CIRCLE. t» (BY ONE WITHIN'IT.) When what are called half-meated beasts sell so badly, and really well-fed animals fetch capital prices, it seems a pity farmers do not take some pains to finish them off properly. With roots now available, a few bags of Indian meal would often nearly double the value of beasts; and who would be without meal, or, indeed, any other pure feeding stuffs, when it can be obtained direct from the mill at wholesale price through the Stores which Mr Bather (of' Morda Steam and Water Mills) has estab- lished in Newtown? We are glad to ob- serve from the enormous trolly loads which are continually passing into the Stores that many of the farmers of this district largely avail themselves of the excellent opportunity thus placed within their reach. Mr H. Gardner, President of the Board of Agriculture, has consented to visit Os- westry to-morrow (Wednesday), to address a conference of agriculturists of the dis- trict in the afternoon, at which it is ex- pected that a large number of farmers and others interested in the land question from Shropshire and the bordering Welsh coun- ties will be present; and also a public meet- ing at night, convened by the Oswestry Liberal and Radical Association. As an agricultural authority, Mr Clare Sewell Read stands in the forefront of his generation. His nam6, indeed, is associated with so much that is heard and read by practical farmers that he is hardly ever thought of as one of themselves. But Mr Read is himself a practical farmer of the most unassuming type. He spends most of his time-since he retired from St. Stephen's, where he represented the county of Nor- folk for many years-on his farm at Honing- ham Thorpe. He has also another farm in the county to which he devotes a great deal of personal care and attention. Than uoiuDgQazn xnorpe, it would be dimcuit to find a more desirable holding. It is level in surface, and skilfully laid out,being sub- divided by neatly-trimmed hedges and well. kept ditches and roads. The land on Honingham Thorpe is chiefly of a loamy texture, rather heavy, but well- nourished and productive. It grows good crops as a rule, both in bulk and quality. But it is well-cared for. Mr Read is a thorough believer in liberal manuring and seasonable cultivation. His land is as well- nourished as it is clean. There is a magni- ficent crop of roots on it this year, which ap- pear fresh and still to be growing, while the pastures were good and well stocked with cattle, and the stack-yard moderately well filled. The farm is well fitted with build- ings—commodious and modern in structure. The cattle courts are covered, and are lofty, big, and airy, while the arrangement of the other portions of the steadiug leave little to be desired. Mr Read feeds a large number number of cattle and sheep, for which, being well-bred and fattened young, he finds a ready market. The statistical tables showing acreage under crops and grass and the number of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs in the United Kingdom have just been issued by the Board of Agriculture. During the year ended June 5, 1893, 165,260 acres were withdrawn from arable cultivation, and oon- verted into pasture, with its lesser demand for labour. Of corn crops—under which head are included wheat, barley, oats, rye, beans, and peas—the area was diminished to the extent of 157,521 acres, this follow- ing upon a previous decrease of 114,808 acres in 1892, as compared with 1891. Thus, in the two years, the United Kingdom has lost 262,329 acres of its corn-growing area, so that a great displacement of labour must have resulted. A suggestion worthy of consideration was made la^t week at a meeting of the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture by the President, Mr Hugh Lindsay, Meadowfiat, in the course of his opening remarks. The suggestion, which was received with applause, was to the effect that the Royal Commission on Agricultural Depression should recommend to the Queen to confer a new star or order, or other high mark of distinction, upon those proprietors who had done most in en- couraging their tenants to develope to the utmost the natural resources to their estates In view of the competition from royalty downwards for the chief prizes at their National Cattle Shows, it was surely not too much to expect that these badges of honour would become popular, and that the green ribbon land would become more highly valued than the blue ribbon of the Garter. The victories of Peace are surely as great as those of War, and there is ample room for encouragement in the direction indicated. JUSTICE TO THE HOME PRODUCER. Among the various other important matters touched upon in his useful address at Paisley, Mr Gillespie made timely and appropriate reference to the transit of home-produced goods. He called attention anew to the great injustice to which British farmers are subjected at the hands of the railway companies. jb or several years past this has been a prolific source of just com- plaint, but, curiously enough, the dissentient feeling has never grown beyond the rudi- mentary stage of complaint. No definite action has been formulated for the abate- ment or the abolition of the injustice. Far- mers may probably be guilty of the charge of being ready and persistent grumblers, but they certainly cannot accurately be accused of being hasty or determined in acting. It is full time their great griev- ance against the railway companies was taking some definite and substantial shape. They may have grumbled loud and long, and may continue to do so still, regarding the partiality of railway rates but never in time will the desired point be gained in so flimsy a fashion. United and precipitate action is what is demanded. If thp railway companies persist in remaining obdurate against all direct appeals, the aid of Parliament must be invoked. Rural members of Parliament can be compelled, at the risk of losing their seats, to support the needed reform. Let worthless party politics take a back seat for a time, so that all agri- cultural constituencies may return represen- tatives who know and can feel what is best for the landed interest, and all such will quickly realise the tremendous injustice now meted out to home-grown or home- made articles on transit. The foreigner has P-aioyAlthe good graces of the railway companies long enough. Surely the direc- tors of these gigantic concerns will not re- fuse to extend their indulgencies to their countrymen, and to aid in encouraging home industries and advancing home prosperity. As we have so frequently stated before, there is no desire to create a material dimi- nution of profits from the transit of agricul- tural produce. What is actually required, and what assuredly will shortly be sternly demanded, is common justice in proportion- ating the rates of carriage of home and foreign produce. Fair honest treatment is all the British producers ask, and such treatment they are justly entitled to do all in their power to enforce. JAGRTCULTTTR VL KENRIWPJ .Th chie.f. features of the returns are with regard to wheat, in that there is an increase of 393 acres in Montgomeryshire and of 80 in Radnorshire, though still far less than the acreage of 1891. At the same time there is a considerable decrease in every part of the kingdom. Of barley 150 acres more were sown in Radnorshire, only 8 more in Montgomeryshire. England alone shews an increase, while the other nation- alities all shew a decreased area. Oats are an increase in both these counties as well as in other portions of the kingdom. The other cereals are of comparatively little account. Potatoes vary but little, while swedes and turnips shew a slight increase. There is a generally reduced acreage sown with mangolds, but Montgomery has an increase from 265 to 340 acres. Of rotative grasses there was a general decrease, but a steady increase of permanent pasture. Of horses of all classes there is a slight increase in Montgomery, a decrease in Radnorshire and in Wales as a whole, but an increase in the other parts of the kingdom. In cattle there is a general decrease throughout the kingdom, but we are pleased to state that this county ha3 an increase of 770 in all but as there are 728 Jess cows there must be an increase of 1498 in-going cattle under two years. There are nearly two millions loss sheep in the United Kingdom and this decline seems to be uniform throughout the various countries. In fdct there is only Cardiganshire in Wales and a few Scotch counties that record an increase in their flocks. Of pigs, there is a small increase in Montgomery; there are le8s in England, but more in the other portions of the king- dom, and the grand total being an increase of about 12,000, but it mast not be foi-gotten that there was a decrease of over a million in the previous year. I I TOTAL ACREAGE under ALL KINDS OF CROPS. BARic FALLOW, and GRASS. Con, j™!«* C»P»- TEY.. Total C Potatoes •? Turnips and Swedes I Mangold Total Clover and Glrasses under Rotation Permanent Pasture ot grass MONTGOMERY. II "RADNOR. 1893. 1892. I 1893. I 1892. Acres, Acres. Acres, 4rret j 276,189 272,727 169,217 167,938 11,420 11,027 3,533 3.453 9,083 9,075 3,817 3,663 23,498 22,759 12,689 12,249 43.981 42,861 20,439 19,365 2,294 2,287 954 973 8,000 7,872 5,838 5,723 340 265 35 55 j 10.634 10,424 6,827 6,751 | "28,812"" 31,022 14,116 13,625 I -190,514 185,919 127,401 127,032 Horses us*d solely for Aifi iculture Unbroken Horses oo, ,oo Mares kept solely for Breeding Total of Horses .$. (Jows and Heifers in Milk or in Calf Other Cattle-Two years and above „ One year and under two „ Under one year Total of Cattle Ewes kept for Breeding Other Sheep—One year and above „ Under one year Total of Sheep »•« Total of Pigs It* Ml Ml MONTGOMERY. RADNOR. 1892. 1892. 1893. 1892. No. No. No. No. 7.281 7,458 i 4.110 4,1" 6,840 6,675 I 4.478 4,63:2 I 1,488 1.389 I 1,295 1,301 15,609 15,522 9.883 10,065 23,314 24.042* 10,224™" 10,776 15,525 15,374 8.398 8,369 e|w } 73,351 72,581 33,662 33,961 136,364 ") n»A iqi 89,838 ") 123,842 274)131 100,796$iy7'0dl 126,002 129,069 82,497 84,203 386,208 403,200 272,631 281,234 19,562 19,299 4,304 4,347 PRODUCE THE BEST. This was the high-sounding advice the Rev John Gillespie offered to his agricul- tural audience at Paisley the other vening. And the counsels that were left with the Renfrewshire farmers may be applied with equal appropriateness to the agricultural world at large. Mr Gillespie repudiated the idea that British farming can regain its former flourishing condition by any attempt to extend the cultivated area, or to increase the production by any other means. That theory and its advocates he dispose o- with the sweeping remark that it wu* generally the case that the expressions of those people werw strong according to the mAHsure^ of their ignorance." That was, indeed, plain speaking, and possibly it was not altogether without warrant. At the present time, in fact, everything seems to support the rev. gentleman's assertion. It is maintained that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of acres now under cultivation at a loss to ] the cultivator, and these unhappy circum- stances decidedly point to a diminution of the ploughed area. But if the foregoing statement is liable to be called in question, Mr Gillespie completely defied adverse criti- cism when he urged his farmer hearers to devote their efforts to the production of the best class of whatever article they were to place upon the market. There are no two opinions as to the soundness of that advice. It is, perhaps, in this direction more than in any other that the British farmer has allowed the foreigner to displace him, whereas it is just on this very point that he should have guarded against foreign com- petition and foreign success. The British producer has been guilty of the grave error of expecting to meet the invaders on the lower level, while the latter have studiously been preparing for the loftier position, an ambition they have succeeded in seeing realised' There is no getting away from the fact that we have, by resting thoughtlessly on the liberal success of the moment, allowed our foreign opponents to walk over our heads into highest favour with the most remunerative class of consumers. That remark applies more particularly to products of the diary, although in respect to other articles we have not been sufficiently mind- ful of home interests. It is, therefore, the home producer that must play the part of the attacking force now, and, needless to say, if a successful issue is to be attained, it will be found a more arduous task than that of defending. Undoubtedly the new road to agricultural prosperity lies in the direction Mr Gillespie indicated. The first tep is to improve the quality of all home-produced articles. The prices paid by a class of consumer sufficiently numerous to utilise most of the home-grown articles are quite high enough to render the work of production remunerative. What we have to strive after and obtain is the cat- ering for these liberal-paying consumers. Meantime, and for some years back, what- ever our ambition, comparatively little of the home-made article has succeeded in find- ing its way on to the tables of the classes who, regardless of price, demand the best of everything." It is foreign competition that we may have to battle with, and strive and struggle as we may, never until we can excel our stubborn rivals in catering for the consumers' palate will British agriculture enjoy a return to anything like its former prosperity. If we should succeed in ousting the foreigner from the first place in the mar- ket, and obtain impartial treatment from railway companies, we would not be long in having to record an increased cultivated area in this country. Enhanced prices, and that alone, will keep the plough going, and all depends upon the result of our perpetual warfare with foreign producers.