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FIELD AND FARM. ]

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FIELD AND FARM. ] VARIATIONS IN CROPS. ( I Careful inspection of the crop returns pub- lished by the Agricultural Gazette" reveals some striking differences in the estimates re- ceived from different parts of the United King- dom. In the case of wheat there are wide dif- ferences in the same division, and even in the same county, and this is explicable mainly by the fact that where a good plant was. obtained, the crop generally turned out fairly well, the great fault of the crop being its thin or gappy plant in most parts of England. It is notice- able, however, that in nearly all the northern counties of England, in Scotland, and in Ire- land, the estimates of this crop are generally satisfactory, whereas, in the greater part of England, the under-average returns greatly pre- ponderate over the good ones. Conversely, the oat crop is the best of the white straw cereals in three-fourths of England, but the worst in the North of England, Scotland, and Ireland. It also appears to be the worst in Wales. There are no broad lines of difference in relation to barley, which comes out, on the whole, about as badly as wheat. Similarly with the bean crop there are no large districts in which it has done strikingly better than in others, the majority of estimates of it from most counties being favour- able. Peas, too, vary in a county, as a rule, more than in separate divisions of the country. On the other hand, the hay crop proved a bulky crop in most parts of the Midlands, the Home, the Eastern, and the Southern counties, variable in the West, and generally deficient in the Nor- thern counties of England, in Scotland, and in Ireland. As a rule, where hay was best, po- tatoes are worst, and where the former proved deficient the latter are generally promising. This is not surprising, because hay was best where the rainfall was greatest; while potatoes, where they have done badly, were put into an unkindly seed-bed, in consequence of the wet- ness of the spring, particularly in the south and south-east of England. Speaking broadly, tur- nips go with hay, while mangels follow the lines noticed with respect to potatoes. In our sum- mary totals of last week, wheat comes out less unfavourably than it should, because most of the over-average estimates are from those parts of the kingdom in which it is very little grown. Oats, similarly, are finest in those divisions in which the crop is not the most important of the cereals and, speaking generally, the unfavour- able verdicts on turnips are most common, with some exceptions, where the crop is most exten- sively cultivated, as in Scotland, for example. SALEABLE STOCK. I There is (writes Mr. F. Wilson) no question that the farm devoted to the raising of live stock has a decided advantage over the farm devoted chiefly to grain production in these days. Look- ing round one becomes cognisant that many far- mers seem to have discovered this fact. Good mutton is nearly always saleable at a paying price, and this may be said of both store and fat sheep, so is good beef-for some time past the average prices for both have been very good in- deed, though varying a little, of course, in dif- ferent localities-and pork and bacon have been well worth attention. When rent-day comes round, and a considerable sum has to be pulled together, it is everything if one has some really good saleable stock to fall back upon. The plan to follow is not to buy stores in a dear market and sell them again some length of time after- wards when they have consumed pounds' worth of food for little more than they were bought for, if as much, as is not infrequently done; but breed and feed, the latter not sparingly, re- membering the adage which says that "feed is half the breed"; then sell in a good market. Good stores, put upon the market at a time when the demand is keenest for them, often realise almost as much as fat stock at vastly less expense to the seller. But they musb not be sold anyhow, nor at any time. Unless a keen outlook is kept as to how things are going, and they are disposed of as profitably as possible, it will be better to keep them at home than let them go for the proverbial old song. Never, therefore, be compelled to sell if you can pos- sibly help it. Just as much judgment is required to sell well as to buy well, but there is not much chance to exercise judgment when the stock must go at any price. Another warning is, never get overstocked. This seldom means anything else than that the animals must be disposed of at a loss. The on- coming of winter, a late spring, or the like makes keep run short, and there is nothing else for it. It will pay the best to have such stock as your farm will easily carry and keep in good condi- tion, parting with them, as far as poslsihle., when buyers are looking out for them and prices are worth while. It is just as well to learn tOo adapt ourselves to circumstances a little, since circumstances will not always adapt themselves to us. If one thing is dear and another cheap it may sometimes be wise to turn stores into fat stock, or, should the latter not be fetching a paying price, to hold ona's hand at the meal and cake. The best of the stock rearer-and this applies especially to heifers from the shining lights among the really first-rate cows—should be re- tained on the farm. The owner wiU benefit him- self in the end by following this method. Your finest fat beasts will make their price in the mar- ket, they have been fed to that end; but your finest stores take the pick of for yourself. It does not always pay to sell stores any more than it does anything else. Slack prices recur again and again in almost all marketable things. As a rule, however, good money can be had for good stock. A well-grown yearling in excellent store condition will often make as much, fre- quently more, than an indifferent. cow. A new milch cow, especially in the autumn and winter season, will nearly always find a buyer at a pay- ing price, and, if she is not wanted, for the benefit ctf her owner's dairy she should go; but not otherwise. The demand for good store sheep in sarly autumn is fairly brisk as a rule, but most sellers put them on the market practically at the saute time, and in consequence of the rush the ssle yards become glutted, with the result that on a busy day they are rushed off in a hurry and prices come down considerably. The markets must be watched, and as far as possible the stock sent in at the best time. I Again, with pigs, the shortsighted breeder has "his litters farrowing in the late summer srd thereabouts. They do not even get a fair start before the cold weather sets in, and, if fed fer bacon, come in at the hindmost end of the killing season—in the following March or April. The pig-breeder who practises foresight does a great deal better than this. His stores are saleable at a time when people are looking sharply out for likely animals to feed for the Christmas season and onwards. His baconers are early in the field, when the price per stone or score is really a paying one. His porkers, likewise, are ready for "the season." On any farm that carries a good head of stock, keep should be looked to first and foremost, and grown in proportion. It is shortage in the food supply that is the cause of most stock being sold in a bad market. Better be in a position to hold in hand, and feed at a little extra cost, than sell in a giving-a.way market-to use an Irishism t, What a great standby saleable stock is to the average agriculturist in these days is daily be- coming better and more widely realised. Grain no longer pays the rent, nor is there any prospect of it doing so. He is a wise man, therefore, who moves with the times, and fits in his own arrange- ments to meet existing circumstances. ————————————

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