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--'-'--,-I AGRICULTURE. j

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I AGRICULTURE. j A "GREEN CHRISTMAS." The old saying respecting a green Christmas is familiar to everyone, but its assertion as to its accompanying circumstance, fortunately, has been exploded long since. A green Christmas betokens a mild atmosphere, a state of things necessarily favouring freer respiratory aotion for old people, and therefore oondueing to extension of health. If the converse were the case, as asserted by the old saw, the mortality at the present season would run the risk of being high enough in all conscience; but the returns of officers of health in the various districts do not tw-ar out such a state of things, but on the contrary shew smaller per oentagos of mor- tality. With the exception of a slight degree of frost on Christmas Eve, the weather has been accompanietl oy no suvcrtty, such as is supposed to give zest to tho season. The atmosphere has been fairly cool, with prevalent north and cast winds out as a rule the weather has remained dry, enab- ling town and country visitort3 to move about freely and with enjoyment, iioowithstanding the absence of frost a.nd snow. The intervention of the holidays has almost tis a matter of course put an end to all but absolutely necessary fai-ni work, except in a few instances where the zealous anel conscientious fanner tempted by the comparative dryness has turned tt furrow or two just tur luck." The first real snowfall of the season took place throughout luv emtjss-shire on the night of December J7th, the ground next morning bemg covered down to sea level, a depth of several inches. There was over two feet ot snow at the Ben Nevis Observatory, and at that station on the night referred to 16 degrees of frost were recorded. Flockmastersof the ) elistriot are much concerned, as the phenomina.lly wet weather has causeei grejat ruity of fodeler. A Reuter s telegram from Melbourne sttite4 that the Auatralian harvest this year is generally excel- lent, exceeding1 the prev ious forecasts. It is estimated that the total yield of the six Australian States amounts to 76,000,000 bushels the highest previous yield being 'l,uOU,OOO bushels. Through the act of an incendiary, Mr. Hum- phreys, of Gunrog Hall Farm, Welshpool, recently lost about £ 500, his farm buildings and thirteen, head of cattle being completely elestroyod. His neighbours shewed their practical sympathy by subscribing £ 143 to help him to make a fresh start. In consequence of the very trying time through which farmers have been passing, Mr. R. U. Graham, of Bcaulanda Park, near Carlisle, has j allowed his tenants a remission of tire per cent. in their year's rent. On a County Leitrim estate which has been in the land courts for 25 years tho tenants have paid no rent for over 10 years, and refuse to puronase their holdings. During the week ten steamers arrived in the port of Liverpool, bringing 3,573 cattle, 6,342 ti heep, and 17,780 quarters of beef from van OILS North and South American and Canadian ports, s hewing an. inarou-r. of 199 cattle, 1,097 she-ep, and a decrease of 2,217 quarters of beef on the pre- ceding week. So bad has boen the weather during the autumn that, harvesting- operations in both ¡!I(, Eugbtl and Scotch Border elisir.cus have only jus-t iJ.v' been brought to a close. The elùost. farmer m tho distriot cannot- remember such a late harvest. I "TH. DAY." •rroiessor triiciinst, who has been recently en- gaged in carrying out some milking- experiments for the Durham College of Science on live herds or portions of herds of dairy cows, re[K); i ed re- cenily, in an address to the Northumberland and Durham Dairy Farmers' Association, some facts which may be already known to most Cheshire dairymen, but winch may be worth repeating as confirmatory evidence. Thus, it is well known that the morning's milk is poorer in quuiicy than that taken during the latter part of the day, ami the Professor found that it was often under the standard of 3 per cent, of fat when the milking. were unequal. As a remedy, it is suggested that milking should take place three time's a day. Such an idea, however, if not entirely impracticable, would be found to be almost impossible <>f attain- ment, as well as adding to expense, to "ay nothing I of the elifficuity of inducing milkers to undertake the third operation. It was found in the course of the experiments that no variation in the feed- ing materially affected the proportion of butter fat, but it was found that at one of the locations, where the cows were on pasture, it requireel eleven quarts of milk to produce a pound of butter, whereas only nine quarts were requisite when they were housed during the winter. In another case it was found that when from 51b. to 81b. of concentrateel food per head pen- day was fed to animals on pasture the milk was a, rich in summer as in winter. j AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION IN LANCA- [ SHIRE. 11 he report of tile Agricultural Committee ot the Lancashire County Council states that there are more students in the agricultural classes this year than in any previous year. The number which eutered was 62. and tho average attendance had been 56. compared with 51 last year. The number of students who received instruction in the dairy and poultry schools at Hutton during the past year wa,-ln dairying, 84; in poultry keeping, 44; also at the migratory dairy classes, 120; and at. the migratory poultry classes, 75. During tho same year, 1.157 persons attended lectures in agricultural subjects; 2,674 attended lectures in poultry keeping: about 5,380 attended lectures on horticulture, beekeeping, and veter- inary science the total number of lectures given in this country on these subjects being no fewer than 270. Tho migratory dairy instructresses visited over 2CO farms, the migratory cheese in- structor 570 farms, and respectively gave instruc- tion and aelvice in the manufacture of butter and cheese. It will thus be seen that while 51 students attended the full course at tho Harris Insti- tute, the total number who attended definite courses of instruction under the Agricultural Department amounted to 375 students, and that under the same department the number of farmers, dairymen, and others who benefited by public lectures in the county amounted to 9,20Q. No fewer than 101 of the pupils who have at- tended the classes at the instituto since the system of agricultural education was inaugurated have obtained situations, some of an important and lucrative character. THE WHEAT CROP IN RUSSIA. The winter wneat crop ot Russia is officially estimated at 24,970.C00qr3.. as compared with aoll estimate of 27,445,000qrs. for 1902, believed in the trMk- to havo been greatly overset. The estimate of the spring wheat crop is not yet out. It is always much bigger than the winter crop. Ap- parently this year has not been a great one for wheat., a.s it, rule, in either of the two greatest producing countries—the United States and Russia. CATTLE RAISING IN AMERICA. A New York correspondent oa.Ils attention to the fact that this year, and particularly this fall, have marked the passing almost everywhere in the Middie-We^t and North-West of the big cat- tle ranches. The cattle-growing industry, he 93V3, has reaohed the stage of development where the va"t area -of plains that used to be utilised as ranges for tho herds are no longer profitable. After mentoILng several very prominent instances of this tho writer remarks that enclosures of the big ranges have been demolished, the Govern- ment land abandoned where leases could not be secured, and pastures fenced whe-re they could be leased. Several explanations are giveTh for the abandoning of the ranges. Ono is that they have become depleted, so that where two acres used to be- enough for the support of a single animal ten are now required. When the cattle first followed the buffalo on the range land gra-ss was thick. Continued grazing by the herds and a series of dry seasvns from 1893 till two years ago made the plains almost sterile. Of course, the range land can be replenished by the re- moval of herds for a few seasons, if there should be plenty of rain, but the cattlemen have di&- covered that another class of land pays better than the ranges. The great trouble cattlemen. use d to have was to cbtain water for their herds on tho range. The introduction of the windmdl brought relief where the cattle en- closures were permanent and confined to the uso of herds owned by a single man or company. No one wanted to erect mills for the use of another's herds, so the water problem was one of the first causes of the decline of the ranges where cattle cwned by dczens of growers fed indiscriminately. The growers soon made. anot her discovery-that, feed of higher quality and grejat quant ty could be raised on the mall, well-watered enclo ures, and that cattle fed here were heavier and tho beef of better quality than the rango-fod animals. Fencing the pastures is an expensive underiaking, and a slow one, but is bound to corne, because all the big catle- opera- tors are- reaching the conclusion that fat bec-f can- not be made on the open range at the same profit the pastures make possible.

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