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FIELD AND FARM. FARM IMPROVEMENTS THAT DO NOT PAY. Mr. Clare Sewell Read writes in the" Agricul. tural Gazette Better cottages and more cottages are needed. But who is to build them? No notice is taken of the vast number of excellent cottages which have been provided during the last fifty years upon most of our large estates, many of which are now empty. The land that was once arable has now become some sort of pasture, which does not require one-fourth of the labour that it did when under the plough, and upon cur large arable farms where cottages were built in ord?r that jtlie labourer should be near his work, many of them are now deserted, as the men, and espe" cially their wives, prefer the inferior, dearer, and over-crowded cottages in the village. The women say they like to be near the school and the shop, as well as to the church and chapel; and the men, who don't say it, prefer being close to their club—the public-house. More- over, in building cottages with three bedrooms for married labourers with families, the difficulty iv. in preventing one room being occupied by ledgers and then the boys and girls are all off and gone, nothing will induce the old couple to move into a smaller dwelling at a less rent, and if they are forced to move the owner is called a fearful tyrant. And if there are two fair-sized rooms below, only one is occupied for meals and every domestic purpose, the other is decorated with all sorts of ornaments and muslin curtains, and is strictly reserved for Sundays and high holidays. v ° In most of our winter grazing districts, the old- fashioned stalls, or the more modern covered yards, loose-boxes, or small open yards with good wide sheds, are common. From none of these modern buildings should there bo any drainage, all the liquid manure being absorbed when properly littered. Where only store stock are kept in the winter, and fed upon the rough produce of the farm, open yardSl are best, with some sort of shelter round the outside. In some districts, like the Fens, for instance, the diffi- culty is to get all the straw trodden down into manure, for straw is seldom worth mere than 20s. per ton on the farm. It is all very well to say that cattle would be more comfortable on grass than in an open yard in wet winters—which, however, is questionable, even if there is no more shelter than big straw stacks; but there is no doubt the pasture would be all the worse for being poached and mired by the cattle. The liquid manure which may escape from such open yards is not very valuable, and certainly never pays the expense of pumping and carting to the grass land, save in the early spring. It is better to lead the drain to some pasture and let it irri- gate a few rods of land, and if this is impossible, then it should flow into some dry ditch or pit, where all the siftings of the corn-chaff and other rubbish may be rotted for two or three years, and then thrown out in the summer and applied to any grass fields during the winter. z, CHEAPNESS NO ECONOMY. I should here (says Mr. G. Walton Hinton) like to say a few words upon the error that most farmers commit in letting cheapness rule all their transactions on the farm, forgetting that a good article is generally the cheapest in the end. This applies to every department—to the purchase of live stock, to implements, to seeds, and other matters. With regard to live stock, pure-bred beasts, let it be remembered, cost no more to keep than mongrel animals, and the reason for the scarcity of good stock is that farmers have been content to buy the cheap and inferior article, and many have not gone in for breeding at &U. In no department will the tenant-farmer be better repaid for a little enterprise than in the breeding of pure-bred horses and cattle, whose progeny must always command higher prices-. Then, again, as to seeds. The cheapest are almost invariably selected regardless of the -fact that they are proportionately inferior in germin- ating power, and are almost certain to be accom- panied in their growth by a host of weeds. Tested seeds from old-established and respectable firms should always be bought, and the result will be a much higher standard of crops and the preven- tion of the loss that amounts to a positive scandal on many estates. Even those who urge their impecuniosity as an excuse for bad farming should recollect that cheapness is no saving .in the end, and that it will pay them well to go in I for high quality in every department of the farm, although the extra outlay may temporarily entail special sacrifice. The question of cost is naturally one that every man must settle for himself, but nothing is more ccrtain than the fact that every possible effort should be made to keep up the quality of our stock and of the crops, and this will never be done so long as farmers content themselves with buying in the cheapest market, regardless of the inevitable results. EXPERIMENTS ON CROPS. I Reports on experiments (says the "Agricul- tural Gazette") in the manuring of various crops are now very numerous. Some of them would be valuable if they were comprehensive enough, especially those relating to crops now abolt to ba put in. In most cases, however, while the trials show that a particular dressing is better than •wny other tried, they fall far short of in- dicating the best application of manure for a given crop. In some experiments on oats carried out by the Irish Department of Agriculture, for example, sulphate of ammonia was the only nitro- genous manure tried. Trials on potatoes, re. ported in the Journal of the Department, are useful so far as they go, but are too meagre in scope. The highest average yield in 1903 on twenty farms was 10! tons per acre, obtained on 4 plots dresspd with 15 tons of farmyard manure. 1 cwt. of sulphate of ammonia, 1 cwt. of muriate of pota,sh, and 4 cwt. of superphosphate. This dressing paid better than any other; but the question remains as to whether double thai quantities of sulphate of ammonia and muriate of potash would not have been more profitable still. The average yield of the unmanured plots was only 3 tons 1 cwt. per acre. Fifteen tons of farm manure increased it to 7 tons 9 ewt., and 20 tons i to 8 tons 2 cwt. but the combination of artifi- I cials with the 15 tons of farmyard manure proved superior to the 20 tons of the latter alone. Seeing I that in many cases there is no farmyard manure for the potato crop, artificials alone should be j tried in experiments. On eleven farms manures for mangels were tested. The average without any manure was only 3 tons 3 cwt., and 15 tons I of farm manure increased its yield to 16 tons 5 I cwt. Where there were additions of 4 cwt. of I superphosphate, 2 cwt. of sulphate of Ammonia. I and 4 cwt. of common salt, the average produc tion rose to 25-1 tons. In this case a trial of nitrate of soda against sulphate of ammonia was i desirable. The results of trials on turnips were very remarkable. Where no manure was used the average yield on twenty farms was the ex- tremely low one of 2 tons 2 cwt. per acre, the crop being a complete failure on eleven of the farms. A dressing of 4 cwt. of superphosphate alone raised the average to 14 tons 7 cwt., and j the addition of 1 cwt. of sulphate of ammonia and ¡ 3 cwt. of kainit brought 4t up to 18 tons 16 cwt. I The most successful result, however, was a crop j of 19 tons 9 cwt. grown on the plots dressed with 1 2 cwt. of superphosphate, 2 cwt. of dissolved j bonea, 1 cwt. of bone flour, 2 cwt. of kainit, and I; t cwt. of sulphate of ammonia.