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SPORTS AND PASTIMES. I

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WORK AND WORKERS.

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I TT ARRETS. -I-

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I AGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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I AGRICULTURAL NOTES. I BY A PRACTICAL FARMER. I THE SERUM TREATMENT. Those pig-breedor.s and dealers who have been resting their hopes for a great revival in pig-keeping on the treatment of swine fever by means of a serum or vaccine will not find much encouragement in the report on the -subject just issued by the Depart- mental Committee on Swine Fever, which, of course, i-s a quite impartial body. The reo suits of their investigations into the use of serum treatment are "that no satisfactory evidence was obtained to how that effective immunisation by artificial methods can safely be employed, except in conjunction with insolation and restriction on movement." Particulars are given of the experimental work in Holland. Hungary, and the United States, and the inquiries made In those countries have led the committee to the opinion that (a) inoculation with serum alone affords too brief immunity to be of practical value; (b) every known method of vaccina- tion or simultaneous inoculation with serum and virus exposes the inoculated animal to risk and render-s it infective to others; (c) existing methods of inoculation do not pro- mise assistance in the eradication of swine fever, though they might be serviceably em- ployed in connection with a policy of con- trol (el) further experiment is necessary with a view to finding a form of vaccination which will give active immunity to the in- oculated animal without risk of further loss and dissemination of the disease. I FOREIGN MEAT AS HOME GROWN. I There is undoubtedly a good deal of misre- presentation in the sale of meat. and the British grazer and the consumer alike are in- terested in attempting to check it. The suc- cessful prosecution by the Board of Agricul- ture of a Smithfield butcher for selling chilled Argentine heef as Scotch has, therefore, given a good deal of satisfaction. Repeated efforts have been made to force the hands of the authorities with a view to preventing fraudulent substitution by compulsory label- ling, marketing, or registration. But the question has been deemed too complicated for solution by legislation, and it has been con- tended that the existing law is sufficient to deal with the case where wilful deception can be proved. But easier means for the detec- tion and proof of unfair trading are un- doubtedly needed. It is to be hopr>d. however, that the case re- ferred to, in iN.-h;c-h the defendant was fined £ 20 and costs, will have a salutary effect in discouraging the permission of laxity or fraud in the libelling of meat exposed in markets or shops. Let us hope it is also a sign that the Board of Agriculture are not ne-gleetful of their duties in looking after the interests of the home producer. U- I PRIZES FOR WOOL. I I should like to call the attention of flock- masters to an item in the prize list issued by the Royal Agricultural Society in anticipation of their show at Shrewsbury, from June 30th to July 4th next. This is an offer of prizes to the value of F.76 which will be given for wool of the following descriptions: Oxford Down, Shropshire. Southdown, Hampshire Down, Ryeland, Leicester, Border Leicester, Wens- Icydale, Blue-faced, Kent or Romney Marsh, Cotswold, Dartmoor, Exmoor Horn, and Welsh Mountain £ 30 will also be given in five classes for wool from cross-bred sheep, viz. (1) First cross between two distinct breeds of short wool; (2) first cross between two distinct breeds of long wool; (3) first cross of long and short wool; (4) first cross of pure-bred sheep, of which one must be mountain or moorland (5) primitive British-bred sheep or first cross from them. Wool-buyers are often complaining that this important product is badly marketed. This competition aims to instruct farmers in the way of appealing more successfully to buyers, and it is to b2 hoped that an exceptionally large number of sheep farmers will enter this year. Not all can win prizes, but those who fail may gain more than prizes if, as a result of the contest and of their inspection of the successful exhibits, they market their wool in better condition in future. Entries for these wool classes must be made by Saturday, May 30th, addressed to the Secretary, at 16, Bedford-square, London, W.C. HOME-GROWN AND IMPORTED FOODS. I The importance of keeping a close watch upon the fluctuations of the market was well demonstrated by some experiments held under the auspices of the Irish Department of Agri- culture. These concerned the feeding of cattle on grass and indoors respectively, home- grown concentrated foods being compared with imported foods of a like description. In both cases the mixture .of home-grown pro- I ducts consisted of one part wheat meal, one and a-half part barley meal, and two parts ground oats, and that of imported foods of one part decorticated cotton cake anà two parts maize meal. The cattle on grass gave slightly the better return on the home-grown foods, the average daily gain being about ilb. per head greater, and the cost of production per hundredweight live weight increase 4d. less than in the case of the cattle fed on imported foods. On the other hand, with the stall-fed cattle the posi- tions were reversed, the animals fed with im- ported stuffs giving l-101b. per head greater daily average gain, and a saving of Is. Id. per hundredweight live weight increase in the cost of production. Allowing for the natural error in all experi- ments with live stock, the differences are so small, however, that the selling price of the home-grown and the purchase price of the im- ported foodstuffs must largely determine the selection of the concentrated rations that will give the most profitable return either on the pastures or in the sheds. Any hard-and-fast method of feeding is bound, therefore, to be less profitable than a dietary adapted to the market. BASIC SLAG AND WHITE CLOVER. in ordinary manuring the most economical system is to give repeated applications of comparatively small quantities rather than large dressings at one particular time; the case of slag applied to grass land, however, is usually different. As is pointed out in a leaflet on the subject which has just been issued by the Board of Agriculture, basic slag does not act on the grasses of a pasture directly, but indirectly, by first en- couraging a strong growth of white clover and leguminous plants, which in their turn enrich and improve the soil in different ways. This growth of white clover is most I readily brought about when the pasture is in a poor, unimproved condition, as then the clover ha.s room to develop, and meets with comparatively little competition. The aim should therefore be to get the maximum growth of white clover at once, and it is ad- visable to try a comparatively large dressing of qlag (say, from 7cwt. to lOcwt. per acre, according to quality) at the outset, rather than a. moderate quantity with the intention of repeating the dressing in two or three years. Surprise is frequently expressed at the development of white clover; very often there is apparently none at all in the unim- proved pasture. The explanation is that plants are lusuaUv unt. hut fJiev ara v: v .Mi-.iti ana aw^rrett ny nnravouraoie oon- ditvvis ihey are quite concealed from casual notice bv a coarse growth of feent or other grass. Ocea-tonally, however, it may happen that, t'erc are none of ihese sm;:Il, suppressed plants present, in which case the slag cannot exert ?t« effect. a is rare, but if it docs occur a little wild white clover seed should be sown in the spring following the application of the manure; 21b. or 31b. per acre would be sufficient, and to give it a of germ ir at ion it should he sown fairly early, and the ground thoroughly har- rowed b"f,rc sowing, and well rolled afterwards. The idea is sometimes entertained that bivio slag- if talHm even in small quantities, T"nv k. highly in-furious to stock; it may, the?-"ore, be observed thai there is no dap- 4 err <>■" spepis! imurv resulting from the con- p..r»>r>en of small quantitie". It is. however, a heavy shower has slaq off the herbage before turning stock into the pasture.

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RBVIEW OF THE CORN TRADE.

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