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AGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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AGRICULTURAL NOTES. I BY A PRACTICAL FARMER. I THE ROYAL SHOW. The prize-sheet issued by the Royal Agri- cultural Society of England for live stock, poultry, produce, implements, &c., for the show to be held at Shrewsbury from June 30th to July 4 ill next, shows that the total value of the prizes offered (inclusive of champion prizes, special prizes, and medals) is Y-11,700, of which £ 2,188 are contributions from the Shrewsbury local committee, X2,606 12s. 6d. from various breed societies, and £ 793 10s. from other sources. As the show will be held in the district of Welsh ponies, Hereford cattle, Welsh cattle, Shropshire sheep. Kerry Hill (Wales) sheep, and Welsh mountain sheep, an extended classification has been provided for each of these breeds. In the horse section prizes amounting to £ 3,735 are offered, and the Coronation Challenge Cup, value £ 50, is offered for the best Suffolk stallion. The prizes in the cattle section aggregate £ 3,113. and those for sheep 92,171. In the produce section two new features will be prizes for bacon and ham, and also for bottled fruits. In the bacon and hams classes the exhibitors must be the curer and bona- fitle owner of the pigs, which must be bred in the United Kingdom. < < I SMOKE AND LIVE STOCK. Some interesting notes have been compiled on this subject as the result of investigations by the Agricultural Department of Leeds Uni- versity. Various farmers, whose misfortune it is to farm in a smoke-laden atmosphere, have reported that young stock of all classes are seriously affected. Foals, for example, do veiry well so long as they are with their dams. but lose flesh and grow weak as soon as they have to live on grass. Great difficulty IS experienced in rearing calves, and, like hor.-es, cows require extra care and feeding, the milk yield being injuriously affected. One breeder lia.s found it advisable to change his breeding stock every few years, a.s the smoke causes them to be more liable to illness. Sheep are so seriously affected that they are rarely kept in the smoky districts round Leeds. Not only is it found that injury is suffered by the impurities deposited on the grass, but the blackening of the wool causes a depreciation in the market value of the animals. Post-mortem examinations often s how the effects of both ingestion and in- halation of matter carried in smoke. Although this is a trouble that is most serious in the manufacturing areas, it probably applies to the immediate neighbourhood of all large towns, and is a consideration worth remem- bering when farming in such a locality is contemplated. MUTTER PEAS. A reference to these peas was made in the annual report of the consulting chemi-st to the llighlamdi and, Agricultural Society, a specimen having been submitted! to him for analysis. It was found to contain 1'76 per cent, of oil andi 34'09. per cent. of albu- minoids, and was. therefore, a good normal sample. He thought that it was well, how- ever. to remind farmers that under certain conditions the mutter variety of peae ex- hibits poisonou.5 properties. The active principle appears to be dissipated by means of heat, and it is held that after such treat- ment the peas may be taken safely for food. Quite recently an action was taken against a firm of corn merchants in Hull to recover £ 100 damages for the death of three foale and deterioration of live -stock, alleged to be due to the presence of a poisonous substance or poisonous substances in mutter peas. Lengthy evidence was given on both sides, and the defence was- that d-eath wa-s more likely to have occurred' from over-feeding of the animals. The jury disagreed, and the CMe against the defendants failed. In view of the fact that on several occa- sions suspicion bad beeh raised: against mutter peas as being quite -safe for feeding purposes, an investigation has been under- taken in order to ascertain the definite con- stitution of these peas, and what variation occurs in the proportion of active or poison- ous principles, if any are found to be present. WHEAT VARIETIES. I Comparative trials of varieties cannot fail to be of practical interest and assistance in these days of the unrestricted multiplication and booming of varieties. Trials were made last year by the Department of Agriculture for Ireland in continuation of some experi- ments made in 1912 to ascertain the value and ral suitability of the varieties Red Fife, BurgoyneV Fife, Red Chaff White, and Queen Wilhelmina. The two varieties of Fife represent what may be termed "strong" wheat or wheats of high milling quality; Red Chaff White, although of lower "strength," is a variety generally acceptable to millers, while Queen Wilhelmina is a heavy yielding white variety of inferior quality to the three others. The experiments were continued in order to ascertain the value of the four varieties in different soils, two centres exhibiting strong contrasts in this respect being chosen. The soil of one centre is described as a strong loam, and that of the other centre as a light gravelly loam with gravelly subsoil. As a re- sult Queen Wilhelmina produced remarkably good crops at both centres. It is inferior in quality to the three other varieties, but its high productivity on soils varying so much awakes it a variety to which the attention of wheat growers may be safely directed. Com- paring the two Fifes and Red Chaff White first, there was found to be only a small dif- ference between them in regard "to yield. This remark applies to the results at both centres. In point of quality. Red Fife is highest, and is closely followed by Burgcyne's Fife; Red Chaff White is inferior to both, and on ac- count of its equal yielding capacity is pro- bably a less profitable variety to cultivate. The experience gained in this and previous season's shows that Red Fife and Burgoyne's Fife produce the best crops when sown in the spring. Red Fife is an exceptionally poor tillerer, and it is therefore necessary to sow more seed of this than of the heavier tiller: ing varieties; on most soils eighteen stones per statute acre is not too great a quantity of seed. Queen Wilhelmina and Red Chaff White should be sown in the autumn, but the latter, on light soils, may be sown up to the end of February. # HELPING THE VETERINARY PROFESSION I Mr. Runciman, the President of the Board of Agriculture, did right the other day to draw attention to the fact that the British Isles arc freer from disease than any other, country in the world. There is not a single, animal affeoted with foot-and-mouth disease or cattle plague, and not a single case of pleuro-pneumonia, there being no other coun- try in Europe or America that can say the same. This is highly satisfactory, but, of course, we cannot rest content with this re- cord, and the present unrest about the ad- ministration of the Swine Fever Order and the Tuberculosis Order is a healthy sign of a growing desire to fight these and other diseases. The latter Order, by the bye, Mr. Runciman has promised to revise. It is satisfactory to find that this Minister thinks aonwt.bintf more ought to M dlm.8 foi me vest-unary profession. ne aisagrees witim the idea that as mcior-cars are coming morn into vogue the veterinary surgeon is likely to be swept out of existence. It would be' far cheaper to spend a few thousands a year more. on veterinary surgeons in order that they might help to stamp out swine-fever and other diseases, and thereby save tens of thousands of pounds in eonipei.sat'oi:. He had been con- sidering a scheme which he hoped to put before the Development Commission for strengthening the veterinary profession. it was absolutely necessary that greater assist- ance should be given from national funds in th-e education of veterinary surgeons. It certain that thj horse population was going down, but there was much work for veterinary surgeons to do witl: cattle, sheep, and pigs, and he wished to see professors on whom we could rely for doing that. research work in regard to animals which distinguished scien- tists had been doing for human beings.

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