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AGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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AGRICULTURAL NOTES. I BY A PRACTICAL FARMER. IMPROVING IRISH LIVE STOCK. Excellent progress is evidently being made in the Government schemes fcr improving the breeds of Irish live stock. The total number of sires allocated under the horse- breeding premium scheme was 393, of which 181 were thoroughbreds, twelve Irish draught stallions, 100 half-breds, seventy-five Clydes- dales, and nineteen Shires. The attempt to revive the old Irish type of draught horse appears to meet with fair success, and the half-breds and the^ Clydesdales both show continuous progress, while Abe thoroughbred and the Shire had a slight set-back as com- pared with 1912. The number of mares passed at the 229 local exhibitions as sound and suitable was 5,024, made up of the dif- ferent breeds in about the same proportions as the sires, and ihe total amount expended for nominations, including £ 1,810 from the Development G -ant, was £ 11,467. There were 13,765 mares inspected, of which 8,251 were passed by the judges as eligible for nominations, but of these 797 were rejected as unsound, and 72 per cent, of the nomina- tions were given to mares six years of age and under. The total amount expended in premiums for bulls was £13.032, and funds were set aside for the award of an aggregate of 959 premiums. Local exhibitions were held at 440 centres, and 579 bulls that had held pre- miums in 1912 were passed as suitable for further service, but only 560 were actually re- tained. Only 340 new applicants were selected, making the total 900 instead of the maximum of 959 provided for. Of this total nearly two-thirds were Shorthorns--namelv, 592—185 Aberdeen-Angus, sixty-seven Here fords, and fifty-six other breeds, and with few exceptions all the bulls were less than four years old, and more than a third of the total were yearlings. In addition, 265 bulls were placed under special arrangement for congested counties, making the total number of sires distributed under the scheme 1,165. The number of premium boars was 395, comprising 250 large whites, twenty large blacks, and 125 white Ulster. The sheep- breeding scheme is only on a limited scale, being confined mainly to the congested coun- ties, in which 103 black-face mountain rams were sold at reduced prices. • HOW TO TAKE SAMPLES. I With reference to my recent remarks on the failure of the Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act to achieve what it was intended to do, I am reminded that failure to comply with the sampling regulations is not infre- quently the reason why successful proceedings are not taken when there has clearly been contravention of the Act. It may be well, therefore, to mention. the following points in the official regulations: The sample must be taken within ten days of arrival of the manure or receipt of the in- voice—whichever is later. The seller must receive three days' notice of intention to sample, with notice of time and place for the operation. The sampling must be performed in conformity with the instructions of the Board of Agriculture. Bags of manure must, of course, remain intact until after the opera- tion. The buyer should always carefully com- pare the percentages of nitrogen, phosphate of lime, and potash inserted in the invoice with the quality agreed upon at time of purchase. A sample should then be sent, as per Board of Agricultural instructions, to the Official analyst for the county; but if the buyer should not desire the certificate of analysis to be of such a formal nature, he can forward the sample to the analyst of his local agricul- tural society or to any well-known analyst. He will have the iatisfaction of knowing that the "samples have been drawn in such a manner that the certificate of the analyst will be accepted without demur, and can be used as a basis for compensation should it show that the quality was inferior to the quality purchased. < LOSS IN WEIGHT OF CATTLE IN I TRANSIT. An important investigation has been car- ried out for several years in order to test the loss in weight of the different classes of cattle when conveyed by rail, and to discover the various factors causing a greater or smaller loss in* the course of the journey. The loss in weight depends very materially upon the length of time the cattle are kept without food and water before being loaded; the nature of the feed which the cattle have before loading—good hay is recommended as Being superior to beet pulp or silage; the weather conditions at the time of loadÜJg. during transit, and at the market; the char- acter of the journey—slow, rough journtys causing greater loss—and the treatment the cattle received at unloading stations; the time of arrival at market-if the cattle arrive just before being sold they have no time to have a good feed. It wa-s found that cattle reaching the market ^ariy on the day of sale or the afternoon of the previous day fed better than those arriving during the night. The tests showed that an exceedingly large feed at market is not desirable, as it de- tracts from the selling price. The shrinkage in the case of calves holds about- the same proportion to their weight as is found with grown cattle. Steers usually shrink somewhat less than cows of the same weight. The loss in weight over a long jour- ney is greatest proportionately during the first twenty-four hours. The shrinkage during a journey of thirty-six hours is found to range from 3 to 4 per cent. of the live weight, and during a journey of seventy hours from 5 to 6 per cent. It is advised' that cars conveying cattle be well bedded with sand or similar material to prevent slipping or falling, which, of course, tires them unnecessarily. KILLING WEEDS AND MAIMING I CROPS. Readers may be interested to have particu lars of some experiments carried out at fifti different centres last year, to test the efficacj of calcium cyanamide in the eradication ol charlock and wild radish. There was a wide range of fcoil and weather conditions at thes< centres. The crops were spring-sown, and, in most cases, oats; the calcium cyanamide was applied at the rate of 1341b. per acre on the average. The weed plants were at different stages of development at the different centres when ) the calcium cyanamide was applied. The ap- j plications were always made in the early, morning after a dewy night. In most cases j the succeeding weather was favourable—i.e., without rain, and in these cases the effects of the calcium cyanamide on the charlock and wild radish were visible on the two succeed- ing days, plants with from four to six leaves being completely burnt, and even stronger plants being usually killed. Plants in bloom were not completely burnt, but were weakened to such an extent that the oats overgrew them later. At four centres where there was rain after the application of the' calcium cyanamide the effect was not visible nntil a few davs later and was 1-s marked man in tne preceaing cases, ine experiments also showed thistles to be very susceptible to calcium cyanamide. Although there was a yellowing of the oat plants a few days after the applications, it was established at all centres that the calcium cyanamide had no harmful effect on the young oats. At eleven centres clover was sown in the oats. In nine cases, when the oat crop was taken, the clover was seen to be better than on untreated plots; in two cases it was worse, but attained a better growth by the autumn. In no case did the calcium cyanamide permanently harm the clover. At all centres the manurial effect of the calcium cyanamide was very noticeable-equal, in fact, to that of either sulphate of ammonia or nitrate of soda when these were tested. In the less badly infested fields the gain from the treatment was about 5cwt. of grain per acre over the control plots. But for the treatment in some of the badly-infested fields these frould have had to be ploughed up.

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REVIEW OF THE CORN «TIiADE.

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