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FIELD AND FARM.

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FIELD AND FARM. NITRATE AND STRAW Nitrate of soda produces a grtlat increase in straw. In some cases (as Prof. John Wrightson points out in the" Agricultural Gazette ") this is not desirable, but in most years an increase in straw is accompanied with a satisfactory increase in grain. The grain must in a sense first exist in the straw. The ear is nourished from the straw, and filling is regarded as a process of migration of nutrient matter from the straw to the ear. A strong growth of straw is, therefore, closely related to an abun- dant yield of corn. An addition of three to five cwt. per acre of salt is considered by many practical farmers to check the growth of straw, and to throw the energies of the plant more to- wards the formation of grcvin. This is probably the case, or salt would not be so generally et-edited for stiffening straw and causing it to be more fruitful. In cold and wet seasons the undue growth of straw is certainly favoured by nitrate of soda, and this is sure to be followed by an attack of mildew. The dark green colour of the growing straw is accompanied with a broad flag and close growth, which help to exclude the air, and the condition becomes favourable for the develop- ment of blight germs. It is in such circumstances that wheat actually suffers from applications of Tiitrate of soda. There is, therefore, an element of risk in its application which regular users are content to run. WARBLES IN CATTLE. A considerable sum of money is annually lost to British farmers owing to the existence of warbles in ca ttle, the injury to the hides of animals slaughtered for beef being estimated at upwards of one million pounds sterling. In addition to this, we have the further loss of thriving in the animals, both fatting and store beasts, as well as the pain caused to them by the warble sores. The assertion that the loss on the hides does not fall on the farmers, but on the butchers who sell the hides is entirely a fallacy. Knowing the prevalence of warbles, the butchers make allowance for warbled hides and licked beef when buying fat stock, and the real sufferer is thus the farmer. It seems a pity that this monetary loss and suffering to the animals should take place, as by a little care and attention the warble fly might be exterminated, and cattle and horses left in peace. I have (writes Samson") actually heard witnesses declare in court that warbles in animals were, like boils on human beings, healthy. The only relation be- tween the two is that both are painful and weakening, preventing thriving in man or beast. Boils in man arise from poverty and impurity of the blood, and the idea that they are healthy is that the impure matter, if it did not exude in the shape of boils, would work worse internal mischief; but the inference is plain, that if the blood had re- mained normal and healthy there would not have been boils. Warbles in cattle are the result of eggs deposited by the warble fly in the hides of the animals during the hot days of summer. In the autumn and winter months these eggs penetrate the hides of the beast and develop into maggots, drawing their sustenance from the tissues of their host. I have counted as many as twenty of these warbles in the back of one animal, and it thus is certain that there must be a considerable amount of suffering, preventing proper thriving, as well as causing damage to the hides, and consequent loss « of value per lb. when it comes to be sold. In the openirg months of the year these warbles or maggots are coming into life, and on passing the hand over the backs of cattle and horses they will be felt as so many peas. This is the best time for treatment in order to save the animals from pain, and also for the extermination of the pest, for if the maggots are left to grow to maturity, in the summer months they roll themselves from the backs of the animals on to the grass, come into the fly stage, and begin a fresh attack. Each maggot has a very fine breathing pore through the hide, and if, as the late Miss E. A. Ormerod, LL.D.. told us, a small piece of fat or smear is placed on the top of each warble, after parting the hair, the maggot is suffocated, the animal is saved further suffering, and the future crop of warble flies lessened. PRESERVING EGGS. I Eggs will now be becoming exceedingly plentiful as after the rest of winter many of the hens will be recommencing to lay, and moreover all the later hatched pullets will also be coming into full lay, and thus the markets will be flooded, and as a con- sequence the price of eggs will be very low. The great advantage of being able to preserve eggs so that they may be kept from the cheap to the dear season must be apparent to everyone, and it is a surprising fact to those not closely connected with the trade to what a great extent this preserving of eggs is carried, out. Although many excellent methods of keeping eggs during a period of several months have at one time and another been dis- covered, yet it must be admitted at the outset that there is no known method by means of which it is possible to preserve an egg in a perfectly fresh condition, and I do not (says E. T. B.") advise using preserved eggs for boiling purposes. More than this, preserved eggs should never be sold as new-laids, because, however well they may have been kept, yet they are not new-laids, and have no right to be disposed of as such. There is always a ready sale for preserved :eggs, chiefly for cook- ing purposes, and I know of a case in which a lady preserved over 3000 eggs for a period of six months, and retailed all these at one penny each during the scarce season. This shows a consider- able amount of profit, and it pays well to preserve eggs, as there is always a ready market for them. There are several excellent methods, blitperhaps tic best of all is by means of water-glass. This is an in ven- tion of very recent years, but it is the method most commonly adopted at the present time. Water-glass is the common name given to soluble silicate of soda, and it can be purchased it nearly all good chemists. There are, however, one or two firms who make a speciality of supplying it, and can send it out immediately in any quantity, j whether large or small. When bought it is about the consistency of treacle, and it requires to be mixed with 10 or 12 parts of water before being used. The eggs are placed in a vessel, the size depending upon the number of eggs to be preserved, and the liquid is poured over them so as to entirely cover them, and nothing more requires to be done. The eggs are kept in an excellent manaer, and I think this is the best way undoubtedly of preserv- ing eggs. One of the distinct advantages of tliia system is that more eggs can be added day by day, whereas with some of the other methods, when the vessel containing the eggs has to be sealed up, the eggs have all to be put down at one time. This is not nearly as convenient, as it is of the utmost importance that the eggs shall be absolutely fresh when put down and thus with some of the other methods it would mean that there would have to be a large number of vessels whereas in this case, one, if sufficiently large enough, is all that is required. THE MILCH COW ON TRIAL. I Every gyear (observes Mr. James Long) adds something to our knowledge with relation to the value of our native breeds of milking cattle, from the point of view of quality and quantity of the milk produced. There is certainly no form of test which is so extensive and which has been conducted so long as the annual test at the Royal Agricultural Hall at Islington in October. Let us examine the results of last year's work, and the cumulative results of several previous years in the light of the report which has recently appeared. Ninety-nine animals competed, and it will be re- membered by those who have followed this ques- tion, that points are allotted for the quantity of butter-fat produced from the weight of the milk, for solids other than fat, and for the number of days which have elapsed since calving after the first 40 days. Further points are deducted when an animal produces milk containing less than 3 per cent. of fat, or 8i per cent. of other solids. Animals of each breed are not eligible for the prize unless these reach a figure which represents a minimum number of points. Excepting in the case of the Shorthorns, the Jerseys, and the cross-bred cattle, the entries were not numerous, although there were 8 Kerries and 7 Red Polls. First, we turn to a question relating to the solids of milk. It is shown by Mr. Whitely, one of the judges, that during the past 12 years 59 Shorthorns have produced milk containing less than 3 per cent. of fat, together with 18 Red Polls and 16 crosses, but that there have been only 6 Guerp- ■eys, and Ayrshires. Last year of 34 Shorthorre IS fell short, and of 30 Jerseys, only 2. With regard to the solids other than fat, in the 12 years previous to 1902, 122 Shorthorns fell below 9 per cent., and, in addition, 65 Jerseys, 29 Guernseys, 40 Kerries and Dexters, 37 crosses, and a number of Red Polls and Ayrshires. Last year, 25 Short- horns and 11 Jerseys fell below this figure, as well as some animals of every other breed.

I GARDEN GOSSIP. r-

1OUR SHORT STORY. I

1 SEARCH FOR A TREASURE SHIP.

ITHE ORIGINAL BUDGET. I

I SALARIES OF DIPLOMATS. I

, COST OF THE DENARY STRIKE.…

WHITECHAPEL WIT. I

I NO HELP FROM THE WAR OFFICE.

THE PRINCESS'S GRIEF. I

ICRIMINAL ALIENS BILL.",

11 AIILLIONS A-BEGGING."

MEMORIES OF DICKENS.

SUPPLY AND TRANSPORT.

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—L8 IEPITOME OF NEWS.