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IAGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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I AGRICULTURAL NOTES. I BY A PRACTICAL F ARIER. I ASSISTING FRUIT CULTURE. There are vast numbers of fruit trees in this country which yield but a very poor re- -turn, and largely because of this fact there is much land that might- be and is not planted under fruit. Yet the British Isles grow excel- lent fruit of various kind's, and numerous growers are able to secure a good average profit,-o,ii it. So there seems to be no practi- cal reason why British orchards should not secure a far greater proportion of the vast expenditure on fruit by' consumers. In opening the new Agricultural and Horti- cultural Research Station in connection with the University of Bristol, Mr. Runciman, President of the Board of Agriculture, said the staff- there would be concerned' with the positive side of their work. very largely with fruit breeding, and at a time when everybody was concerned in raising the standard of live stock he thought it was not outside the range of human possibility that some good work should be done within the sphere of fruit breeding. Professor Barker had already done good work, and by crossing various qualities of fruit he was evolving some remarkable types, which they hoped in time would add to the incomes of those who grew them. Their director had not only done excellent- work in the production of the cider apple, but he was also dealing with many diseases' which were the cause of great loss to fruit growers. More and, more attention was being given to fruit growing, and many men of large re- sources now realised the great openings there were for British fruit, and how possible it was even in this climate to produce fruit which had a readv market at home. It was difficult to esiimate the losses that came from plant disease. They ran into ten of thousands of pounds per annum, and it was because he believed a great deal of that disease was preventable that they called science to their aid. Monev was being spelit to prevent disease and enable fruit growers to produce their fruit. They called that a great national investment, which wa.s likely to give a good return. Alreadv fit that pl.iee work was done that would tend to improve the crop- ping svstem of strawberries, and experiments were being made with autumn fruits, especi- ally in the production of autumn raspberries. I EXPERIMENTS IN GROWING LINSEED. I The growth of linseed was again under- taken last year at different centres in North Wales under the management of the Univer- sity College of North Wales. A report states that the crop in many cases did not prove as satisfactory in 1913 as in previous years. This, in some cases, appears to have been due to the fact that the crop was sown late, and that, owing to the wet spring, the ground was not in very good condition. The seed re- quires a very fine tilth for satisfactory ger- mination. In addition to the plots grown at the various centres, a series of plots were laid out at the College Farm to test seed obtained from different sources. The seed for these were supplied by the East Anglian Institute of Agriculture, Chelmsford. where the varie- ties had been grown the previous year. The varieties included Russian. Morocco, and Calcutta seed. Of these, the Russian seed gave distinctly the best results, both as re- gards weight of seed and straw. The Morocco linseed was characterised by ven big seed and grew well, but the crop was very thin. The Calcutta linseed was almost a failure, the plants never attaining a height of more than a few inches, and could only be har- vested with great difficulty. Evidently an climatisation is an important feature in this as in other plants. But it is not unlikely that a cross between the Russian and the Morocco kinds would bring greater hardihood while maintaining some of the good qualities of both. It is pointed out that one of the most serious drawbacks to the production of lin- seed is the difficulty experienced in threshing. For satisfactory results the drum of the threshing machine must be carefully ad- justed, and it is advised that the crop be put through the machine at least twice. METHOD OF APPLYING FERTILISERS. I With the object of ascertaining whether it is better to apply fertilisers by drill or broad- cast, experiments were carried out last year by the National Society of Hungarian Agri- culturists to test the relative advantages of the two methods. Unfortunately, the first experiment with barley led to no definite results, as, owing to the heavy rainfall, the crop was" badly lodged. It was, however, noticed that a moderate ap- plication by drill of superphosphate and nitrate of soda produced no ill-effects on the germination of the seed, and rather stimu- lated the first development of the young plants. More successful results were obtained with sugar beet, manuring in the drills leading to better development of the crop, and, while there were no great differences in the sugar content of the beets, the yield obtained was greatly in favour of this method. A very re- markable result was that even where the amount of superphosphate and nitrate of soda applied in the drill was only half that broadcasted, the surplus over the control plot was more than double that contained after broadcasting the manure. Not only was this found to be true for well cultivated land rich in humus, but it also held good for poor, ex- hausted land. As I pointed out in a recent note, the quickness with which such manures as nitrate of soda acts makes it desirable that the crop should be able to utilise it with the utmost readiness, and it follows that if it is broad- casted on a good deal may be lost because the roots do not come sufficiently near to utilise it before it has all dissolved. The fact that superphosphate does not waste but re- mains in the soil until used by plants makes it less needful to apply it in the drills, whereas by broadcasting it is more uniformly distributed over the land, and not confyied to drills, wlie-,c- any residue may be missed by the roots of another crop in the rotation. But the possibility of effecting a saving in fer- tilisers by applying in the drill is worth bear- ing in mind, particularly when a tenancy is to be terminated at the end of the season. « ORGANISING THE WOOL INDUSTRY. An instructive feature of the Royal Show at Shrewsbury were the demonstrations by the Agricultural Organisation Society's Wool Expert, Mr. Digby Grist. Short and Long I woolled sheep were shorn, and it was ex- I plained and demonstrated how wool is picked I up, thrown out, skirted, and rolled for pack- < ing in the Colonies. ■ j The need and importance of organisation in the wool-producing industry may easily be seer, when a comparison, is made between the I prices to be obtained for English wool when marketed on the usual lines, and prices ob- i tained for Colonial wool of a similar cl^ss on the London wool market. It is clear that the more highly ofganis-ed methods adopted by th? Colonials in respect of classifying and packing ensure a larger return to the pro- ducers. The outstanding features of the Colonial ?yst?'m are the sorting of wool and the Dlacín of it when cl&ssi?d in. lAme lo+.» ) unut-i u car;-li-s euiisuuuuig guarantees 01 quality. It is. easier for the L Colonial pro- ducer "to do this than for British farmers, owing to the fact that ihe average clip of, say, an Australian- sheep farm is very much larger than that of an avernge home farmer. The former is, therefore, able profitably to divide the wool up inh the classic, required hy different buyers for ar'cus objects. In order to obtain the same ends 'i; this coun- try sheep farmers must co-operate, -:o that in a particular district, fin amoHnt nf \y[:ol HlèlY be collected, graded, packed, and marketed on the most up-to-date lines, and obtain the best prices. 1 understand that the organisation of tl,,e, wool industry is being carried on this year by the Agricultural Organisation Society in th following counties: Anglesey, Carnarvon- shire. Doi'ser. Flintshire, Hampshire. Mont- gomery, ;:nd Yorkshire; in all it is estimated some 30.IHMi fleeces are being dealt with this year on cooperative lines. L

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