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.rIELD AND FARM.

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rIELD AND FARM. SHEEP AND SHEEP KEEP. Shesp keep is at present scarce (remarks Professor John Wrightson in the "Agricultural Gazette "), and the mutton market has suffered in consequence. The difficulty experienced last fall in seeding fodder crops for early spring use is now telling upon prices, and the tegs shown in the market lack firmness of touch and turn out light. The season has been favourable to the gfowth of wool, and sheep look bigger than they really are—hence some disappointment at the prices realised. It will be necessary to supple- ment natural food with liberal allowances of cake, and in a few weeks' time the extra cost will probably be well repaid, as what the sheep now require is "finish." It is satisfactory to learn that the later flocks are lambing down better than was expected, and that the number of doubles is considerable. Some cases of fluke are reported, but we, have been spared from a general out- break, which at one time there was reason to fear. MANGEL-WURZEL. This is about the best time for putting in mangel. It may be sown up to the second week of May, or even later, but early swedes may prove more profitable than late mangel. Some farmers object to the crop because it is expensive cultivate, but the view is short-sighted. Those still have some good' clamps will now realise 11lue of mangel for all descriptions of stock, 4 and pigs included. As swedes grow short flly a few loads of mangel may be fed with IO.aad thus prepare sheep for a diet of grass mangel. a. late spring this crop is a most excellent In M$y.d-by, and, besides, it may be sold, when Early ee is a surplus, at a very remunerative price. lie expense of growing it is due to the high quality of land upon which it is cultivated, its manurial requirements, and the cost of hoeing and storing. The amount per acre is, after all, not excessive, and may be placed at £8 or £ 9 per acre. If it is grown after late roots or rape fed, the direct cost is much less, as one ploughing suffices, and farmyard manure is unnecessary. Having frequently grown the crop in the manner indicated, I find it (observes Professor Wright- son), far from costly. If £ 1 per acre is charged as a fair price for close-folding, the following estimate of costs will not be thought inadequate for light land — £ s. d. Close-folding 1 0 0 One plough 0 8 0 One roll 0 1 3 Four drags at Is. 2d 0 4 8 Fo-ur liarrows 0 2 4 Seed, 51b. at 7d 0 2 11 Drilling cleanseed. 0 1 0 Top dressing with nitrate of soda 0 12 0 Hoeing 10 0 Horse hoeing 0 4 0 Storing 1 0 0 Rent,etc. 1 5 0 £ 6 1 2 Such a cultivation is quickly performed, and the crop should be at least twenty-five tons per acre, or 4s. lOd. per ton. The cash value of the crop is considerable, and if it is reserved until the spring, ought to be double the cost as above given for home consumption, and three times the cost of production if sold. If grown after winter fallowing after a corn crop the cultivation ought, as far as possible, to be performed in the autumn, and the initial cost would be at least doubled. Those who are about to sow would do well to remember that a regular crop of moderate-sized roots is preferable to a wide-dridled crop of large roots. Six to eight pounds is quite heavy enough for quality, and these may best be grown by drilling eighteen inches apart, and setting about 15 inches from root to root. EARLY TURNIPS. These may also now be drilled for use in July and August, and as a preparation for wheat in the autumn. Ewes always do well and come into season quickly upon a piece of forward turnips, and they are useful for cows at a time when pastures are often bare. For early sowing, Pomeranian White Globe may be recommended. LATE SPRING CORN. A. good piece of early turnips is better than a ¡ piece of late-sown corn, and the land can be got into wheat, which again may be followed with barley. There is no extravagance in such cropping, as two corn crops can still be grown in four years. The corn area is still regarded as of great im- portance in rural economy, in spite of the com- mon remark that corn does not pay. Probably corn pays better than anything else usually grown. We grow root crops for corn, and we keep sheep for corn we buy cakes for corn, and fatten bullocks for corn. Corn is, in fact, the outcome of it all. The corn area ought to be kept up on arable land, for stock is not very profitable as a rule. Lambs bought last Sep- tember at 35s. have not as yet paid much for wintering, and I hear of bullocks which have sold for f.1 or £ 2 less than was given for them before winter. This is not encouraging to capitalist farmers. It is a question whether the man who bought lambs last summer is now so well off as the man who took in other people's sheep at a few shillings a head, and a little cake to be fed on the land. The question as between corn and stock is not settled as yet, because it is doubtful if keeping stock is the best method of keeping up the fertility of land. If agricultural experiments go for anything, they indicate that by using artificial manures just as good crops can be grown as through the use of farmyard manure. As to the comparative cost of the two methods, much depends upon the markets; but of all disappointments in farming, one of the worst is fattening a lot of bullocks and finding that they have left a heap of clun- costing 5s. a ton to produce, and no- thing else. All the straw, roots, cake, labour, risk, and skill gone, and the doubtful value of the dung only left as an asset. Probably milk- production will be held up as better than bullock fattening, and so it is; but the two systems must go on side by side. TILL THE GRASS GROWS. I Stock-owners have to face a period of short- ness of keep awing to an adverse time for sow- ing eatch cropSIn the autumn and a wet winter, which caused a good deal of forage to be wasted, even if it was harvested sweet, which was the exception rather than the rule last year. And up to the time of writing the weather has been in most places chiefly harsh and drying, and therefore unfavourable for producing an early bite of grass. This means (as "F." observes) that, on most farms, horses, cattle, and sheep have to be what the Americans call "hand fed," and this involves a large amount of labour tor chaff cutting, root pulping, etc., which is wanted in the fields. At the conclusion of harvest most stack-yards looked full to overflowing, but farmers who have wintered the average number of animals have found that the wet winter i-ias upset calculations quite as much as a more severe one would, and it has left the soil in a state which renders it much more expensive to get a good seed-bed than if there had been less rain to batter it down and more frosts to make it friable. FOR FOWLS. I Broken china is a good substitute for flint, and it may be a comfort to housewives to feel that their best dishes need not lack use when broken; they can with little trouble be broken much smaller and given to the poultry, and will be much appreciated. Green bones are very good for birds if they can in any way be ground up and given, and any flesh may be boiled and given with advantage in small quantities in the winter. Any dead animal on a farm (not diseased) may be used for this purpose. I know of several large poultry keepers who buy an old horse and boil it down, mixing the soft food with the liquid, and grind- ing the bones and meat, which is given in small qmjatities twice a week. Sometimes useful food can, be obtained cheaply, such as refuse from hotels. This contains meat, etc., which is use, ful for winter feeding, but care must be taken not to use fat. Eggs must be regularly col-" lected from the nests daily. Broody hens should never be allowed to remain in the nest, but should be removed to a coop and properly fed until they recover.

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