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FIELD AND FARM.

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FIELD AND FARM. QUICK WORK IN HARVESTING. I Rarely has progress in the harvesting of the corn crops been as rapid as it has been in the early dis- tricts of England (says the "Agricultural Gazette ") this season. The reaping machine has cleared a maximum of area in a day, and has very seldom been interrupted by rain. Then the corn and the ground have been both so dry that shock- ing has been dispensed with to a great extent, the sheaves being left where they were thrown by the machine till picked up and loaded on to waggons. Since carting began in earnest there has been no stoppage at all in many districts up to the time of writing, so that not a few stackyards are more than half-full already. In too many cases they will not be completely filled, as the crops, as a rule, go into a small compass. As anticipated, the verdict of the markets on the new wheat is that it is of excellent quality. Barley, it is to be feared, will be somewhat steely." A shower or two after its ripening would have mel- lowed it, besides plumping out the grain a little. But it is a great advantage to get wheat and oats catted in perfectly dry condition, and without any waste from the blowing-out of grain, and with- out damage from rain to corn or straw. Crops in the late districts are ripening very rapidly, so that harvest will soon be general in nearly all parts of the Kingdom. If the dry weather lasts, we shall have one of the shortest harvests on record, counting from the start in the early districts to the finish in the late parts of the country. For many reasons, however, a break in the drought is I desirable. A drenching rain, followed by fine weather, would not injure the corn crops, while it would be of great value for roots and pastures. A CONTRAST, The difference between the harvesting conditions of this year and those of 1903 is as striking as it well could be. Last year, in most districts, the corn was nearly all flat on the ground, so that it had to be cut by hand at a great expense, and the work was very slow, even when it was not inter- rupted by rain, as it was frequently. Then the sheaves, after being set up, were knocked down by wind and rain repeatedly, and almost the entire crops of corn of all kinds were injured badly in colour and condition, the straw being as much damaged as the grain. This year, up to the pre- sent time, there has been nothing in connection with the harvesting of corn to cause farmers any anxiety. Work has gone on without break, or nearly so, and with half the expenditure which was incurred last season. The only trouble is that the yield of corn will be generally deficient. What has been grown is being secured with a minimum of loss, and all in marketable condition. If the weather remains generally fine, the money returns will probably be greater than those of last season's greater, but damaged, crops. CATCH CROPS TRIFOLIUM. No plant (remarks Prof. John Wrightson, in the "Agricultural Gazette") can better be described as a catch crop than trifolium. It is the earliest sown of all autumn crops for spring use, for now is the best time for getting it in. It requires the simplest of all cultivations, for it is only necessary to scratch the surface of the stubble with drags and harrows, wheel in 201b. of seed, and then harrow and roll the land. It is the che&pest of all the clover seeds, costing from 2id. to 3d. a pound. There is no difficulty in culti- vating it, for the above description includes everything that is needed, and yet such are the complications of agriculture that the subject cannot be left entirely without a few cautions as to possible causes of failure. In the first place, trifolium will not grow everywhere, and success depends upon sowing it upon the right soil and situation. Trifolium, unlike trefoil, is not suitable for thii white chalky soils. It ought to be sown upon loams, dark-coloured gravels, or any good land. Neither can it be successfully cultivated on high-lying poor land, like sainfoin, or ordinary mixed seeds. The area is restricted, and is best selected on the lower and richer portions of good sheep farms. It cannot be recommended for couchy or foul land, as the cultivation is too superficial and is not calculated to disturb the roots of weeds. If the corn stubble is foul it is quite practical to plough and clean it for trifolium, but the simplicity of the cultivation is then lost, and the prospects of the crop are not I improved, as no plant is more dependent upon a fine surface tilth and a firm sub-stratum. Where the cultivation is best understood sowing takes place from the.middle of August to the middle of September, and ought not to be much later. The work is often performed after rain on a damp day, when corn carting and harvest operations are stopped. It is then that the teams may be ob- served harrowing a cleared wheat stubble and the sower among them wheeling in the seed. Germina- tion is very rapid at such times, and in a very few days the surface is covered with the characteristic freshy cotyledons of the seedlings. Before winter the ground will be well stocked with a thick growth of trifolium, which will stand any degree of frost, and be ready to start rapid growth in April, and be ready for stocking with sheep in May. DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF TRIFOLIUM. I These are generally divided into early and late, the latter being white in the flower, while the former is of a beautiful carnation tint, from whence the name Trifolium incarnatum is derived. The lateness refers to the time of consumption rather than to the time of sowing, and a few acres of late trifolium will be fit for folding after the early variety is finished. TRIFOLIUM MIXED WITH VETCHES, &c. I Simple as the cultivation of trifolium is, it is not free from risk, as the crop is liable to be eaten off with slugs, and to damp and die off in early spring. In order to guard against these misfortunes it is desirable to sow early and to well harrow and roll the ground. It is also advisable to mix half a bushel of vetch seed and half a bushel of winter oats with the seed, reducing the quantity of trifolium to 12 or 141b. per acre. Such a mixture produces a very useful fold for sheep, and insures a plant, even should some of the trifolium die out. WEANING FOALS. I The season for taking foals away from their dams is at hand, and if the youngsters are strong and able to eat crushed oats there is no reason why draught mares should not help to secure the corn crop, rather then spend their days in idleness, while the remaining portion of the team horses are overworked with the various demands made upon them. In the days when arable land gave a better return for cultivating than it does now, farmers used to make a practice of working brood mares through the busy seasons, and shutting the foals in a loose-box meanwhile, but owing to the reduced acreage of ploughed land less workers are wanted, and the nursing mares are rarely called upon to help, although there is no reason why they should not if carefully managed, and the foal shut into a roomy and well-ventilated and littered box with a tempting bait of oats and beans, and a bucket of water placed in the manger. Just in the midst of harvest extra horse strength is often needed, especially if binding and carrying has to be pro- ceeded with at the same time, and a weighty mare comes in well for taking a turn in the collar, and if it is not desired to wean their foals till nearer Michaelmas the temporary separation will prepare them for a longer one, provided they are not turned to the foal in a heated state at midday or evening. Hitherto the pastures have not furnished the bite of fresh young grass which they usually do after being mown, consequently some foals may be lacking in slackness or bloom," as it is called, but the recent thunder-showers have altered ;.the brown appearance of grass fields. so that there is still time to make amends before mid-September, when foal shows and sales are chiefly held. Foals, like most other animals, like company, so that, if possible, at least two should me shut together; and when the actual weaning takes place a well-fenced yard is preferable to a box, for the reason that there is less danger of a cold being contracted when the youngsters are allowed their liberty again. Before leaving the daiii every foal should be taught to lead, and if a halter is slipped on and it is allowed a few short walks behind its mother the process is naote simple than at any other time, and a foal that will go where wanted in a halter is much handier than one which has had no training, especially in a show-ring, or when being boxed at. a railway station.

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