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- - - - - - THE HANDS IN COLD…

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THE PASSING SEASON. I The rapidly, and, it may be added, pleasantly moving season, has called for little variation of description during the last few weeks, and according to present appearances there seems the likelihood of a continuance of the agreeable conditions. True, the pastures for the most part are brown and worn, as is to be expected at this end of the year. But the autumn has been mostly noticeable for its mildness, attested by the early singing of the thrushes and lively twitterings of numerous smaller birds. It is even reported that a robin's nest full of eggs has been discovered, and taken altogether, present indications do not favour the "desperately hard winter" early prognosticated by some prophets. We read in some papers devoted to the agricultural interest of the country in places, principally in the South and about London, being in the grip of winter," and if that has been so we in the North may consider ourselves fortunate; for beyond a slight frost on two or three occasions there has been little or nothing to complain of in that respect. Of course there is time for plenty of rough weather yet, the three months of winter being all before us. For the sake of the thousands of unemployed, and others but scantily provided for, however, if for no other reason, one can but hope that the present prospect may not be marred. A "nip of frost" would be but seasonable during the Christmas holidays, if only to keep the butchers, poultry dealers, and other purveyors of Christmas fare in countenance. People's thoughts and fancies are naturally directed towards the approaching holidays, and without dwelhng on other matters, which must be self- evident, we take the opportunity of wishing our readers "A Merrv Christmas." The Suffolk Punch appears to be finding favour in Australia At a sale in Sydney recently the prices realised ranged from 140gs. to 320gs. The butchers and cattle salesmen who have been clamouring for the reintroduction of Canadian cattle into this country, have recently formed them- selves into kn association called the Free Importa- tion of Canadian Cattle Association of Great Britain. Doubtless they imagine that the new- comers of the Board of Agriculture will be more pliable than their predecessors, but it is question- able whether they will incur a risk so long and successfully shunned by the late president of the Board. There has been a goodly trade during the past year in che export of Shropshire sheep. The total amounted to 1,032, compared with 703 in 1904, and 785 in 1903, including 253 to North America, Canada and Newfoundland, 497 to South America, 153 to Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, 54 to South Africa, Algiers, and Algoa Bay. and 75 to the contment of Europe. THE KING'S FAT STOCK SALE. The sale of the King's Christmas fat stock last week as usual attracted a large company at Slough Market, buyers coming from places so widely apart as London, Sheffield, Southsea, Merthyr Tydvil, and Warrington. The sale was conducted by Messrs. Buck land and Sons, and comprised 34 prime Devon bullocks. Mr. Willis, of Sheffield, as usual, paid the highest price, that of JB48. The total for the cattle reached £ 1,060. The Hampshire Down and Southdown wethers numbered 140, and the top price of the Hiunpwhjres was 5gs. per head for a pen of five, which fell to the bid of Mr. Spenser, of Man- chester, who also was the purchaser of the lowest at 80s. per head. The Southdowns were an un- commonly even lot, the highest price being 67s., purohased by Mr. Taylor, of Chesterfield; and three pens went to different buyers at 60s. per head. The pigs, as usual, excited a Brisk de- mand, and as much as lOgs. was paid by Mr. Bryant, of Sheffield, for a very heavy Berkshire hog. The porkers also sold well at about 80s. each. Ninety-two pigs made 2560, and the sale aggregated £ 2,108. WEIGHTS AT SMITHFIELD. From the published compilations we gather that while last year there were five classes under the age of two years that gave an average, daily gain of over 21b. per day, the Herefords, which took precedence this year, made an average daily fain of 21b. 2.10oz. for an entry of ?ix. The rix breed, which were first last ya!r, came second this with an average daily gain of 21b. 2.8oz. Then followed the Shorthorns with 21b. 1.54oz.; the Cross-bredls with 21b. 1.29oz., and the Welsh with 21b. 0.17oz. The highest indivi- dual average this year for steers under two years was 21b. 6.07oz., for Mr. J. Phipp's first-prize Hereford. In the older steer classes the highest average daily gain, 21b. 0.78oz., was made by a small class of South Devon cattle; thle Hereford class, with its six entries, taking second place with an average daily gain of lib. 12.97oz. The Oroes-breds came next with lib. 12.41oz, and then followed the Sussex with lib. 12.16oz., and the Aberdeen-Angus with lib. 11.21oz., as against lib. 13.60oz., the top average in this section last year. The highest daily gain for a steer above two years of age was that made by Mr. B. Trant's third-prize South Devon steer (21b. 3.53oz). The highest average daily gain in the heifer classes was made by the ,Ct-oss-br.eds under two years old, tiamely, lib. 15.66oz., and the Shorthorns were second with lib. lli34oz. The highest individual average daily gain in the heifer classes was 21b. 4.67oz., shewn by Mr. R. Greaves's third-prize Welsh heifer. Indeed, an exceedingly notable feature in the competition was the splendid show made by the Welsh, cattle, which took two out of three first prizes, though the championship went to a Cross-bred (Aberdeen-Shorthorn). THE CARCASE COMPETITION. I The younger steer class numbered eight, all of which were present. The aggregate ago of the class was 5,148 days, and the live weight. 9,2451b., which gave a percentage of 62.29 of carcase weight, and an average daily gain alive of lib. 12.78oz., and of carcase weight of lib. 2.08oz. The highest percentage of carcase t) live weight was 65.66 for Mr. Young's third-prize Cross-bred steer. The older clas6 of steers had six entries present, the aggregate age of whic. was 6,070 days, and the I live weight 8,3241b., which gave a percentage of 65.36 of carcase weight, and an average daily gain alive of lib. 5.94oz., and of carctae. weight 14. 34oz. highest percentage of careaso to I've weight W3 72.84 per cent., given by Mr. L. Phillip's reserve Cross-bred steer. There were eight entries pre- sent in the heifer class, the aggregate age <'f which was 6,827 days, with an aggregat weiqbf of 10,297ib. This gave a pc.c^ntage of 64.93 of oarNI. weight with an average daily gain of lib 8.13oz. alive, and 15.68oz. of carcase weignt. The largest percentage of carcase weight was ohewn by Lord Tredegar's reserve oross-bred heifer, 66.42 per oent. BLINDNESS IN BARLEY AND OATS. I A leaflet on this subject is to hand from the Board of Agriculture pointing out that this disease, which has lately made its appearance in this coun- try, is on the increase. It comes as a parasite. The young leaves and leaf sheaths are at first marked with minute, scattered, pale green spots, which increase in number and size, and the leaf gradually changes to a sickly yellow green colour, after which it droops and ceases to grow. The stunting of the plant is in proportion to the severity of the attack, but in almost all instances the plant is practically killed before the ear is liberated from the leaf sheath enclosing it, hence the disease is known as blindness." Even where the ears grow out many of them die prematurely, or remain erect without becoming" sickled" as in a healthy, well- ripened crop. The preventive measures advocated are the sprinkling of the grain with 1 per cent. of formalin in water, and the steeping of the seed in water at a temperature of between 130 and 135 deg. F., the seed barley to remain in the water from five to seven minutes. IMPORTATIONS INTO FRANCE. I The Board of Agriculture and Fisheries have been informed that difficulties have arisen at some of the French Channel ports owing to the fact that the formalities prescribed by the Decree of the 11th June, 1S05, with regard to the importa- tion into Franoe of horses and other animals have not been complied with in Great Britain. The Board desire to bring to the notice of all pereons exporting horrses, asses, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs to France that the landing can only take place through certain specified Custom-houses. The stock must be accompanied by a certificate of origin from the administrative authority of the place from which they come, certifying that no contagious disease affecting animals of the species in question exists or has existed in that place during the preceding &ix weeks. The certificate must state the number and description of the animals, and should not have been issued more than three days before the despatch of the animals. Animals not accompanied by such a' certifioate or which are not presented with as little delay as possible after the expiration of the voyage will be rejected. Cattle presented for importation into France will be submitted to the tuberculin test, and for this purpose are to be kept under observation, at the expense of the importers, for forty-eight hours at the least. Fuller particulars were published in the "Journal of the Board of Agriculture for August, 1905.











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