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-FIELD AND FARM. l

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FIELD AND FARM. MANURES FOR GRASS LAND. In some experiments in the manuring of grasa land carried out by the Agricultural Department of Yorkshire College, the greatest crops of hay in two seasons together amounted to 79cwt. 2qrs. per acre, or 31owt. 3qrs. more than the produce of the un- manured plot. This weight (the Agricultural Gazette- points out) was obtained on a plot dressed with 10 tons per acre of dung in 1899, and l^cwt. of nitrate of soda and 2cwt. of superphosphate in 1900. The addition of 3cwt. of kainit in HJOO did no good. The two years' total on the plot dressed with 10 tons of dung in each season was 78cwt. lqt. Where artificials only were used in both seasons the addition of the kainit to the dressing named above increased the yield from 71fcwt., to 2 76-jewt.. showing that potash is useful when dung has not been recently applied. Nitrate of soda gave more increase than sulphate of ammonia; but the is that the former manure has usually an injurious point effect upon the herbage of permanent pasture by encouraging the coarse grasses, which are apt to smother the finer varieties of grasses and clovers. Nothing is said of the effect of the several dres- sings upon the character of the herbage-a strange omission. In another trial of different propor- tions of artificials the quantities named above proved the most satisfactory. WEEDS IN PASTURES. I Anyone who examines pastures in this country (remarks Professor Wrightson) must have been struck with the large number of plants which make up the turf. There are dandelions, butter- cups. daisies, hawk-weeds, yarrow, burnet, bed- straw, silver-weed, cowslips, thyme, and a host of others. They all make a herbage, and all seem to be grazed. It is impossible to eradicate them, and the field is accepted as a good pasture by the or- dinary farmer, without his criticising the exact character of the growth. Few pastures are entirety composed of the best grasses and clovers and tlie inference seems to be that many sorts of weeds are relished by stock and form component parts of good grass land. It is the same on the Downs, for you can scarcely sit down without feeling the prickly thistle and shepherds' dogs will whine and shift their place from the same cause. Weeds therefore, appear to be an intrinsic part of every pasture. If land is laid down either in the autumn or spring, without a crop, an innumerable army of weeds spring up with the young seedlings. By the time this land has been once ipown or fed, as the case may be, the weeds have disappeared and the grasses prevail. A good many of these weeds must continue to live, although the more purely arable land weeds, and those which are annuals, may speedily die out. Weeds are not necessarily bad for cattle or sheep, and as long as a pasture grows abundance of grass we: may well excuse an admixture of mis- cellaneous herbage, which cannot be classed either as a grass or clover. There has been too general a denunciation of certain plants as worthless, for whether they are so or not depends quite as much upon the character of the land as upon the species to which they belong. A very interesting botanical study is a square foot of pasture with its numerous progeny of plants. Some weeds impart a pleasant flavour to milk and butter, as is well known in Switzerland, although the opposite is also true. To the cattle themselves it must be an agreeable tonic and appetiser to meet with a choice of fragrant and aromatic herbs among the less tasty grasses and clovers. Plants like dandelion, burnet, and good-King-Henry, which have been recommended for salads, cannot be bad feed for stock. BERKSHIRE PIGS. I During the interval since the early days of the improved Berkshires (writes W. G. in the Live Stock Journal) several considerable changes have taken place in the appearance of the breed, as well as in some of its characteristics. The open coat has been in most cases replaced by a much denser one, and the fine quality of hair by one harsher and stronger. Many pigs have shown a tendency to thicken out, and, when feeding, to produce more fat and less of the fine-quality flesh of the early days. The pink underskin, so indica.tive, in whatever breed it exists, of superior table quality, has also in great measure disappeared, while the distinctive white markings of the breed, until the subject was taken up by the Herd Book Society, were almost entirely overlooked and uncared for by Berkshire breeders. Thus, it has been easy to find, even at shows, Berkshires exhibited with wholly black tails, others with a spot or patch over one eye, instead of the correct blaze straight up the face; and, time again, when judging, have I been tried to be persuaded by the herdsmen that a small spot of white by the side of the toe was equivalent to a white foot, or that white running up to the ham or shoulder was no detriment. The action taken by the Herd Book Society is having its effect, though still prize-taking pigs are to be met with now and then which do not conform to the old type, nor to their standardof points. And although some may hold the opinion that a rasher of bacon from a Berkshire with a black tail would be as appetising as one from a Berkshire with a white tag to its tail, it should not be forgotten that distinctive markings and distinctive properties are associated in every breed, and that neglect of these opens the door to mongrelising and cross- breeding. Some animals of the old type doubtless still exist. About ten years ago a herd at Little Ness, in Shropshire, now dispersed, possessed the correct markings and salmon under skin of the original breed. One characteristic, however, pervades both past and present Berkshire pigs, and that probably is one inherited from the days of their semi-wild ancestors, that, roaming at large about the country, derived the greater portion of their sus- tenance from natural sources, while now present- day Berkshires never thrive so satisfactorily, as when, if the weather is suitable, they are allowed their liberty. The young pigs grow doubly asfast if allowed to run about the field, while the breeding sows will get their living off a grass or clover field, and among the hedgerows, and in this manner grow into enormous weights upon the smallest modicum of added food. The action of the Herd Book Societies in insist- ing upon correct markings should induce all breeders of Berkshires who are desirous of their herds being eligible for registration, and, conse- quently, eligible for exportation to foreign countries, to use every endeavour to revert to the original and true type. All mismarked specimens should be at once drafted out for slaughter, and only those bred from which meet the present-day requirements, for these are likely to be more stringent as they become better known. AILING STOCK. Usually the value of a pig that goes wrong a bit is so small that he cannot afford to pay a big doctor's bill; he is, too, an awkward, ungrateful patient. If there is any flesh on his bones (advises a writer on home farm matters tin the Joumcd of Horticulture) make him into bacon before he loses every bit of condition. It does not require the eye of a savant to tell whether the meat is wholesome or not, and if there is any doubt, use quicklime. There is one thing to remember. If you have administered strong medicine it won't do to kill at once; there will be too much flavour abroad. When we come to horses, the case is different. They are the most valuable stock on the farm, and their ills and complaints are fairly well understood by the better class of "Vets." Person- ally, we do not like much amateur physicking of the horse. If he is of any value at all he ie worth a doctor's care and attention. There are certain complaints and forms of lame- ness that are practically incurable, and in any case where there is sufferiug we should counsel the kennels. It seems hard that a horse which has been a faithful servant when at his best should be compelled to continue work when aged and worn out. Even if the work given is only slight, we con- fess to a great objection to see that work done. In any case, we cannot stint food, and unless we are above such petty economies we had better fill his place with a sound, workable animal. We wonder if it is real kindness to turn old horses out and give them the run of their teeth! We believe a speedy death after a go6d working day would be a better way of showing our appreciation than by allowing a weary time of lingering decay. We I know there is a good deal of sentiment on such matters, but it does not do to allow sentiment to get ire better of common sense It is not heart- lessness that makes us advocate the happy di h patch" for worn-out horses and toothless dogs; it is only a humane feeling. There is more true kind- ness in ending a tired life than in striving to pro- long it.

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