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SPORTS AND PASTIMES. I

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WORK AND WORKERS.-I

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CHIPS OF NEWS. I

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I REVIEW OF THE CORN TRADE.

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LITTLE BOAT FOR BIG JOURNEY.…

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IMARKETS.

I AGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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I AGRICULTURAL NOTES. I BY A PRACTICAL FARMER. I THE HACKNEY SHOW. The list of prizes to be offered at the annual show of Hackneys, harness horses and ponies fixed for March 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th next at the Agricultural Hall shows that the substan- tial sum of £ 1,490 will be awarded in prizes, and tbene are champion cups to the amount of X461. The programme is agreeably diversi- fied with driving competitions, both single and in pairs, champion cups, &c. The show includes hackneys and ponies both in hand and in harness of every age and height, and iiii very many of the forty-two classes it is only necessary for the horse to be sired by a regis- tered hackney. It is pointed, that the hackney is one of the soundest of the breeds of English horses, last year only six out of 402 failing to pass the ex- tremely stringent veterinary examination, which is. in fact. more comprehensive than the existing official Government examination of the Board of Agriculture. There is every facility for careful examination of horses by purchasers. Entries close at ordinary fees 011 January 26th to Mr. Frank F. Euren, secre- tary, at the society's offices, 12, Hanover- square. London, W.. of whom all particulars of the show may be obtained. LINSEED CULTURE ADVISED. In an interesting leaflet, No. 278, just issued, the Board of Agriculture thus sum- marises the advantages derived from the growing of linseed: As a food for stock it can be grown more cheaply than it can be purchased at present prices on the open market. It allows of the profitable employ- ment of land which, owing to lateness of the season, cannot be sown with spring corn. In a dry early season it can be removed in time to allow of a catch crop being taken. It grows on a large range of soils of vary- ing fertility. Those best suited to its culture are deep, moist, medium loams which are well drained and in a good condition of fertility, overlying rather heavy, compacl sub-soils. It is sown from April to the mid- dle of May perhaps the beginning of May is the best time. Either broadcasting or drill- ing may be practised. The seed, being flat and smooth, rons readily from between the fingers, and care is required to give a uni- form distribution. When the seed is drilled an ordinary corn drill may be used, the coulters being set about eight inches apart. For seed production a satisfactory plant" will be obtained on tilthy land by broadcast- ing 70 to 801b. or drilling 40 to 601b. Imr acre. Thicker seeding is practised for fibre production, as much as three bushels (1501b.) per acre being sown in some districts. I i TWO SHETLAND BREEDS. It is a very satisfactory sign of the tunes that stock is being taken of our various local breeds with t-he objects primarily of per- petuating their distinctive characteristics and of improving them to meet modern requirements. From Shetland, whose wonderful little ponies have come in a few years to be world famous, there is news of increased interest in the local breeds of cattle and sheep. The sheep have lately shown signs of deterioration through overcrowding and unregularised in- breeding, and while the need of outcrosses is evident, the problem is how to bring about improvement without sacrificing any of the far famed fineness and general quality of the wool. As regards the cattle, it is announced that they are to receive recognition in the list of pure-bred cattle by the Highland and Agri- cultural Society at their Show at Hawick this year. Shetland cattle are a hardy breed. living under somewhat rigorous conditions. When full-grown the cows are, like the Shet- land ponies, of a sturdy, chubby form of build. In the yellowness of their skin they somewhat resemble the Channel Island cattle. Their milk is rich in butter-fat. The crofters or smallholders who breed the cows let them run 011 the hillsides, housing them at night in winter. The original Shet- lands have been crossed with Polled Angus, Shorthorn, and Ayrshire bulls, which crosses have increased the size of the animals and also the quantity of milk given 400 to 450 gallons per year would be a good average. At the present time an effort is being made to obtain authentic records as to milk yield and percentage of butter-fat, and the Council of the Shetland Cattle Herd Book Society are pressing for the institution of a Milk Records Committee. » » LAST YEAR'S IMPORTS. I In reviewing the imports of agricultural products during the year 1913, we find that eight items, viz., fresh beef, total dead meat, eggs, margarine, condensed milk, net wool. net hides, and tomatoes, exceeded in the total of their imports all previous records. Wheat and flour fell slightly below the re- cord of 1912, while other kinds of grain did not approach the quantities of more or less distant years. Imports of cattle and sheep have shrunk to quite insignificant propor- tions. For the former we have to go back twenty-three years to find the maximum, and for the latter thirty-one years. Pigs for many years have been represented by a blank in the list of imports, their maximum having been the receipts of forty-eight years ago. There was an increase of nearly 2,000,000cwt. of fresh (including refrigerated) beef over the quantity for 1912, while mutton has not quite, recovered from the decrease after 1910. Pigs' meat of all classes is among the imports which have fallen much below those of more or less distant years. The total of dead meat, however, mainly on account of the great in- crease in beef, stands for 1913 no less than l,707,400cwt. over the previous maximum of 1911. Eggs, after falling short for some years after 1904 of the maximum of that year up to 1912 inclusive, increased so greatly in 1913 that the present maximum is 1,637,356 great hundreds of 120 above the previous one. Mar- garine had fallen off considerably before 1912, when it advanced to the maximum up to that time, now beaten by the quantity for I 1913. Since the United States fell behind so remarkably in exports of cheese, there has not been any close approach to the receipts in 1900. Condensed milk has been going ahead for some years; but wool and hides reached their maxima last year; for, although the gross imports fell short of those of 1912, exports decreased more still. < LIVE STOCK EXPORTS. These, for the first time on record, ex- J ceeded 92,000,000 in declared value, and were some 32 per cent. more than in 1912. A detailed examination of these may there- ) fore be of some interest. Especially will the year be memorable in connection with the export demand for horses, both in re- spect to the number exported--68,636-and to the declared value— £ 1,783,215. In both of these particulars, and also in the average of declared values-L25 19s. 7d.-the year's totals are in excess of any of the previous eighteen years. The increased activity in the export de- mand for cattle brought about a yearly total E274,297 which compares favourably with any sineo the year 1907, and the good < prices are indicated by the fact thai the whole of the oat.t;w. Mnortod me • wraijje or tw;, tne nignest veariy on record for the ps-s-t ninete-en years, except that for the very restricted trade which took place in 1912. when the average worked out at L66 5s. lid. The number of sheep exported reached 6.5:38, and the average realised for the twelve months, £ 14 2. 9d.. is. with the ex- ception of those in 1906 and 1905, the highest on record for many years. The de- mand has come from many sources, though the Argentine took nearly half the total at an average of £ 19 2s. 8d. Uruguay. Austra- lia, and New Zealand were other consider- able buyers The number of pigs shipped during the year was within two of the very .satisfactory total for 1907. though nearly 900 feweT than in 1906, whilst the average declared value of this year's shipments— £ 13 6s. 6d.—is the highest on record for any year since the year 1895. The Argentine demand was ex- ceptionally good, and Canada was a largea buyer than in previous years.

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