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-FIELD AND FARM. I

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FIELD AND FARM. I OAT SOWING. This cereal is becoming very popular, and de- servedly so. It is valuable (observes a writer in "The Rural World") in corn and straw. The corn is the best we have for horses, is excellent for daky cows, and beneficial for ewes and lambs. As for the straw, why, if harvested well, it makes good fodder by way of chaff if mixed with equal quantity of hay. This is well said just now, when farmers are hesitating whether to plant oats or root. Oats require a fine, deep seed-bed—much the same as barley —and should be sown before middle of the month. Four bushels of seed are needed per acre, and it should be drilled shallowly in fine mould. Then harrowing and rolling completes the sowing. As to fertilisers, why, guana has a Z-1 great name for dressing this cereal; about 4i- ewt. per acre sown at seeding time tells a good tale, and what is all the more to "the purpose, tells it quickly. TREATMENT OF YEARLINGS. Yearlings, that is, last year's foals, may now be gradually drawn from their corn if they can be provided with fresh food—sweet pasture grasses—but, otherwise, oats should be served on until May-Day. They are apt to lie in the way among sheep and lambs, hence may well be removed farther afield. It is characteristic of these young equines that they prefer fresh green herbage to hay or corn, and thrive on it better, too. There need be no provision of sheds for comfort, even in cold weather. Horses, neither young or old, care for coddling up in this way; and they always are more healthy in sound, sheltered pasture fields at this season than when under cover. It is fur- ther remarkable about horses that, while they care not a jot for sheds on cold days of winter, they flee thereto fast enough when hot sun distresses, or flies annoy in summer that is, if shady trees do not abound. CATTLE. J There is often a great deal of trouble with ¡ horned stock in April. Grass is coming, but not come, and the animals are growing tired of dry food. Moreover, fodder stacks begin to wear away, and root clamps are not as they were. So, while it is hard to provide, victuals even such as are served are not received with relish. Well; it's fortunate that fattening stock is mostly got off. Straw yard animals should get hay, mingled with the too dry straw. By using a chaff-cutter and pulper freely, hay, straw, and roots mixed may be made toothsome; and, if served with care, there need be little waste. And if there be some rough gnawing on any old sound pasture fields, now is the time to turn the hungry stock out for half a dozen hours each day to clear it off, for the kine won't thank you for such when the sweet herbage of May obtains. MEADOW LAND. Where "haining" of the meadows is not already I done there must be no further delay, else it will leave little chance of good swaths. It is nibbling off the fresh blades in April that checks future growth, and sometimes leaves the surface so bare that May droughts make the ground dry, hard., and unfruitful to a degree. But get the surface well covered with herbage early in the present month, and a fairish crop at least is -ensured if the meadows are fertile. Nor must farmers too far rely upon past wet weather keep- ing the sward moist, for over-soaked ground is the first to thirst and crack after a few weeks' dry I weather. CLEANING UP THE FIELDS. I A little more care in cleaning up meadows and working in manurial dressings than is always I bestowed would be well repaid for, and now is precisely the time to see to it. If the work is done too soon it has to be done over again, in a measure, or ought to be, and if too late an effectual job cannot be made because grass get3 i too long. It does not take a big pebble to snap a mowing machine knife, and ant banks and mole throws will stop any machine, so all these should be looked to. Remnants of manurial dressings should be worked in with chain harrows and fork, and where the knobs will not powder down the lot ought to be removed. There may need a rolling to level the surface, and, if so, opportunity should be taken of using the implement when surface is malleable. To roll a too wet surface damages the sward, and the roller, too, while pressing an over-hard turf is vain, as it makes no impression. So it is that there is more even- in the apparently simple process of cleaning up and preparing a meadow for mowing than appears I at first thought. MANURING OF ROOT CROPS. I Roots require liberal manuring. Besides the farmyard manure usually given, it is mostly necessary to apply artificial manures as well, in order to make good the deficiency of fertilising ingredients, especially phos|3horic acid. Mangolds.—These are gross feeders. In addition to farmyard manure, 4cwt. basic slag, 3cwt. kainit, and K—2cwt. nitrate of soda or sulphate of ammonia should be given per acre. If no farmyard manure is allied, a manuring with 6—Scwt. basic slag, 5—6cwt. kainit, and 5—SiVcwt. nitrate of soda is a suitable one. Where kainit is applied, common salt can be dis- pensed with. Turnips and Swedes.—Phosphates are the characteristic manures for these root crops', in which connection basic slag holds a special posi- tion. An experiment at Auchneel in 1902, by the West of Scotland Agricultural College, indicated that roots grown with basic slag have a consider- ably higher feeding value than those grown with equal quantities of phosphates in superphosphate. The basic slag-grown roots effected a live- weight increase of 15 per cent, in excess of that obtained by the same quantities of super- phosphate-grown roots and the 1902 experiment was repeated elsewhere in duplicate in 1903 with confirmative results. The basic slag-grown roots showed at Awhirk 22 per cent., and at Tocr 20- per cent. higher feeding value than the super- phosphate-grown roots. Owing to its alkaline nature, basic slag checks fmger-and-toe, whereas acid manures encourage it. If, therefore, the land shows a tendency to this disease, it is tetter to avoid superphosphate and dissolved bones, and to use basic slag, which will produce a rounder crop. On soils in fair condition, 10-15 tons farm- yard manure, and 4—5cwt. basic slag per acre give good results. If without farmyard manure, the quantity of basic slag should be mcm^ed to 6—8cwt. (or on soils poor in phosphoric acid to lOewt.), and 1-Uewt. nitrate of soda should be j added as top-dressing. On -light soils, an addition of Scwt. of kainit is also desirable. I Potatoes.—A dressing of 10-15 tons of farm- yard manure should be supplemented by 4—5cwt, "asic slag, lewt. sulphate of potash, and 1 l-^owt nitrate of soda per acre. If without farm- yard manure, the artificials should be increased ibv half. bv half. SIDEBONE IN HORSES. The posterior portion of the bone of the foot, 'j on eaeii side, is surmounted by an irregular quadrilateral cartilage. These are called the lateral cartilages. In the healthy foot they can be ¡ easily felt just under the skin surmounting the I heels. A conversion takes place of these cartilages into bone sometimes, and the condition J is called sidebone. In the healthy foot. the cartilages are quite elastic, and yield readily to II pressure, but resume their normal position at once on the pressure being removed. When diseased they lose this character, become hard and unyielding, and also become considerably enlarged- and can be easily seen, unless the animal iias considerable long hair. This disease is usually observed in horses of the heaviest breeds, and in the fore feet. It is seldom seen affecting the hind feet, and is not frequently met with in light horses.^ The usual causes are hereditary predisposition and shoeing with iugh calkins, but it may be caused by injuries, as treads, etc. The process of ossification is usually slow, and often unaccompanied by pain or lame- ness, but sometimes' lameness is present, and -when absent is liable to appear at any time, especially if the animal be worked on hard roads. When appearing in the hind feet, it seldom causes inconvenience. When no lameness is shown, treatment- is not called for, as it is not possible to restore the parts to the normal condition. When treatment is J called for, it consists in counter irritation, as | blistering or firing and blistering. This will, J iig in many cases, cure the lameness, while in others it fails.

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