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HELD AND FARM. I SEEDING- TRIALS WITH BAHLEY ANL OATS. The report on experiments carried out for the Agricultural Bepariment of University College, Reading, last season, by Mr. John Percival, M.A., contains the results of some trials in the thin and thick seedings of barley and oats, and in the drilling of the seed with narrow and wide spaces between the drills. In the case of barley," the quantities of seed began with one bushel per acre, and rose by the half-bushel in five different quantities up to 31 bushels. When 2 sown in drills 7 j-in. apart, the greatest yield of grain, 3,1601b., was obtained from one bushel of seed but there was a little more head corn from 2* bushels per acre of seed. This quantity produced also within lcwt. of the greatest quan- tity of straw, which was grown from 3 bushels per acre of seed. Drilled in rows llin. apart, the crop gave the greatest total yield of grain, and the most head corn from 2 bushels of seed per acre, and the greatest weight of straw from 2 £ bushels. On the average, the several narrow- drill plots gave practically the same yield of grain as the wide-drilled ones but the latter produced most straw. The result from sowing only one bushel of seed is remarkable. As a rule, however, thickly-seeded barley is of coarse quality. In a like trial with oats, the widths of drills were the same as with barley but the quantities of seed per acre rose by a half-bushel from 2-h to 5 bushels per acre. On the whole, the yield was greatest from the narrow drills. With oats, as with barley, the total yield of grain was greatest from the smallest quantity of seed on the narrow-drill plots, and the quantity of head corn was also greatest, while 31 bushels per acre gave most straw. In wide drills, on the contrary, the greatest quantity of seed, 5 bushels, gave most grain and most head grain, while 4- bushels produced slightly more straw. On the whole, Mr. Percival's conclusion is that, so far as the trial of 1902 shows, the best quan- tity of seed for the oat crop is 4 to 5 bushels per acre. This, however, is not in agreement with the results of 1901, and further trials ara to be carried out. SPRAYING POTATOES. There has never (remarks the "Agricultural Gazette") been mere need of spraying the po- tato crop than there is this season, after so much rain as we have had but in the last two weeks the operation, when possible, has been rendered almost futile by rain following it im- mediately, and washing most of the Bordeaux mixture off the baulm. In the meantime disease Tn has shown more and more in the crops, and in many cases it will have got too much hold of them for spraying to stop it when settled fins weather comes-if it ever is to come again this season PASTURES AND MEADOWS. The advantage of grass-land over arable is particularly evident this season. The hay was well secured, and the after-growth has been stimulated by repeated rains. There is an abun- dance of grass, and stock are doing well. JICOISOMY IN THE POULTRY YARD. W ith.the advantages at their disposal in the shape of plenty of room and often of houses suit- able for sheltering the fowls at night, farmers can (u Sussex," writing in the "Agricultural Gazetie," points out) keep poultry far cheaper than the average man whose space is limited, and who has to begin by building or buying houses for them. There are, too, pretty consider- able pickings in and about the average farmyard which the fowls have the benefit of. But these advantages are often minimised by the poor return m eggs the 'birds make, and "if they cost little, they bring little in. To ensure a good return in eggs certain conditions must be fulfilled and the chief of these usually neglected is running the birds in too big a flock. The mere fact of herding together in a large number has a peculiar and detrimental effect on the egg return, probably because it is rather against nature for the birds to herd together. It is, how- however, of little value to speculate why fowls fail to thrive in big lots; the fact remains, they do fail, and when this fact was less understood than it is to-day a good deal of money was lost in starting poultry farms that promptly went to smash. But the farmer who does not charge the fowls with rent, who can keep his fowls cheaply, and probably does not keep very careful account of the outgoings and incomings in connection with the poultry, do^s not always see how much he is losing, or, to put it in another way, how much more he would make by letting a hundred or so fowls all live together, for even if they keep healthy they will lay very badly. Fifty is the maximum number that should sleep in one house, run together, and feed together. When more than fifty fowls are kept they should be divided up into lots, preferably of about twenty-five, and bestowed in various parts of the farm land. It is not sufficiently know by farmers with plenty of giass land that fowls can run, say ten to the acre, housed in movable houses, and do no harm to the grass, but rather improve it; on ordinary land they pick up so much natural food in the shape of grubs and worms that one good meal of corn per day will suffice them. The initial out- lay of the house will soon be repaid in the increased number of eggs, and a hen house will last a great many years if tarred or painted outside and whitewashed inside. This initial outlay for houses cannot be avoided by poultry keepers; unfortunately, too many farmers think that money spent over the fowls is thrown away they keep fowls, and feed them more or less wisely, letting them sleep in the existing houses, and careless if they pay or not. Probably the birds just pay about their keep, whereas if better looked after they would do a. great deal more. The keeping of superfluous cockerels is another source of loss only enough males are wanted for the breeding pens, and these should be killed off immediately their second breeding season is over. Some poultry keepers hold that running a male bird with pullets hastens laying activity, but the point has not been proved definitely. The pullets in the laying competitions held yearly run without a male bird, and some of them lay very well, and some again very badly. But this is. not the point; every superfluous male means a loss of four or five shillings a year besides, his value does not rise 'once maturity is reached. When cockerels are of a pure breed the owner often hesitates to sell at killing price, but there is never the demand for cockerels that there is for pullets, and to let four or five, as so many poultry keepers do, run with forty or fifty hens is simply throwing away a sovereign I a year, for one would do as well as five. In buying food the quality and price must be taken into account; cheap grain in some cases floes not answer. For instance, oats, a capital poultry grain, contain a good deal of husk, and those oats that weigh under 401b. a bushel are not good feeding value, even if offered much cheaper than bolder oats. But small wheat selling at bottom prices is capital feeding value. The farmer who runs his fowls at liberty should rely chiefly on grain it is no trouble to prepare, soft food for breakfast being only given in the very cold weather. Maize may be given in winter to fowls at liberty if they are Leghorns or crossed Leghorns, for such birds are of active habits, and not so likely to develop liver disease if fed on it. Potatoes, unless practically given away, are not of much feeding value, as they con tain so much water. Expensive poultry food3 should be done without; a little biscuit meal when chicken rearing and for cold weather should be bought, and the rest of the food consist of in meal and grain. It is not always that chicken rearing pays one cannot definitely say the exact amount of mortality which renders the survivors more expensive than they are worth, but if for any reason the casualties are yearly very numerous, it is far better to drop hatching and buy the pu llets, needed. It ought not to be necessary to do this the chickens should yield a profit. But sometimes rats devastate the chicken ground, and if the rodents cannot be kept down chicken raising cannot be profitable.

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