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EISTEDDFOD BETHLEHEM, TREFDRAETH,…

Y Geninen.

Y GWEITHIWR.

AGRICULTURE.

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AGRICULTURE. EARTHWORMS AND THE LAND. Earthworms are thngs despised and trodden under foot, but it does more in the way of fertilising the land and making it productive for man's benefit than any other creature is.iys the al Wo id '). vast nuaauties OI earth are constantly being passed through The bodies of worm and voided on the sur/aue as castings, and when it is stated that on an acre of ordinary land there are usually 53,000 of these creatures busy, the effect they must have on the soil can easily ge ima,d. They are, in fact, continually ploughing the land, and in such a way, too, as to make it. best adapted for the production of olants. At one paiL oi me ainnenraiy canal oi mo worm is a gizzard, or hard muscular orpan, capable of grinding food in fine particles. It is this gizzard which is the main factor in triturating the soil, being aided by small stones swallowed with the earth. The soil, by being passed through the bodies of worm, becomes reriuced to fine mould, and in this state is very beneficial for seedlings. -1:11:¡I- SOIL PERIODICALLY LIFTED. By their agency, alse, the lower soil is periodically litted and exposed to the air, and in thi, way is able to retain moisture and ab orb soluble substances of use for the nutri- tion fit plan*L-. X. its this all; the action of the v. orni contributes moie than anything else to transform dry, barren soils into fey- tile ones by imparting the needful humus to them. Wherever leaves or any vegetable matter her, on th^e ground, ths worms drag it -loo n beneath the surface, where it de- composes and makes humus, one of the most important elements in all fel.tPe soils. If some tree leaves are left lying on the grass, it will be noticed that they are drawn into masses, and in the course of a short time will entirely disappear. Although the opera- tion rather mars the trim appearance of the lawn, the grass is greatly benefited by it, and were worms permitted each autumn to do their part in this way, less difficulty in keeping grass plots in good order would be experi- enced. H: «- POULTRY PERCHES. If it is possible it is far the best plan to arrange the poultry perches in such a way that a board comes underneath them. This board can be cleaned every morning while the hens are eating their breakfast. No time is lost, and the house is thus never allowed to be otherwise than perfectly clean. in most cases want of cleanliness arises through the ladder method of erecting perches. There can hardly be a more foolish plan. The hens injure themselves when jumping down, and the ground gets into a terrible state under- neath. Most probaby there is the added of- fence that the perches are nailed, so that there is no possibility of thoroughly cleaning them. The result is that vermin increases rapidly, and in perfect safety to themselves. Consequently the sitting hens become rest- less, the chickens drop off, and the hens prefer laying astray to going to the hen house. SPROUTING SEED POTATOES. Growers of early potatoes have been for many years in the habit of storing their po- tato seed in trays and boxes in thin layers in order that, the tubers should sprout before being planted, and lately it. has been found that the sprouting of late potatoes would be profitable. Potatoes will sprout on a floor or in any kind of box. They must be placed in the boxes when lifted in the autumn, or removed from the pits any time in winter. They require no arrangement, but are simply- scattered in the boxes in one or two lay- e s, without earth. When the sprouts are about two inches long, growth may be stopped, and the sprouts toughened by exposure to light. When hardened in this manner the sprouts do not break off easily, and the sets may be dropped in the drills in any position SHOEING THE FARM HORSE. Occasionally, a farmer is found who is as particular about having his horses properly shod all around at all seasons of the year as is the man who drives a fancy carriage pair, and it is generally noticeable that these are the men who have the best class of farm horses, and keep them looking at heir best at all times. Then there are others who keep their horses shod all around, and have them reshod only when the shoes come off or become loose, paying Dittle o- no attention to the appearanca of the horse's feet, or the inconvenience and suffering which is caused the animal by overgrown toes, unprotected heels, and sagging soles if the horse be of the flat-footed type. Then some men can be found who think money paid for horse-shoe- ing when it can possibly be avoided is wasted, and ailow their horses to cripple around with broken hoofs and tender soles when doing all kinds of work. ECONOMY IN FEED BILLS. Then there is another class of farmers who take into consideration the kind of work the horse is doing, the kind of feet with which lie is blessed, and use a wise economy in the matter of horse-shoeing bills compatible with a minimum of discomfort to their horses or inconvenience to themselves. Or course, there is a gieat difference in horses' feet, and a great difference in the kind of work which they are called upon to perform, and while a man can be extravagant in the matter of horse- shoeing as in any other department of busi- ness, yet it would be a grand thing if more farmers realised that the matter of horse- shoeing is worthy of more than passing at- tention, and that proper attention along this line would result in ecoxomy in feed bills, and in his capital stock so far as the in- ventory value of his horses is concerned. WORK ON PASTURE LAND. Apart from what may be done on pastuie land in the iorm of improvement, such as lé- newing with fresh grass seeds, and by the application of artificial manures, there is much work that may be done that is not only bene- ficial to the pastures, but actually necessary. It is very generally allowed that although ir some of the best grazing districts in the coun- try the land is well looked after and well farmed, there are many districts where poor pasture land, and because it is poor pasture, gets very little, if any, attention bstowed upon it, says the "Agricultural Gazette." The land is well grazed and the herbage eaten down close, and the fact overlooked that the more the pastures are cleaned up and well covered with stock, unless they are helped either by a dressing of compost or artificial manure, or by auxiliary food in the form of cake or corn, they become poorer by degrees. Leaving, however, the question of imporving the land, manuring, etc., there remains the necessary work to be done. -¡;:1I:¡¡- WATER FURROWS. On muih pasture land that may already be drained or that docs not require draining, after a continuous wet time, the surface is so wet that not only is it in an unfit condi- tion for sheep, but will not even cairy them. This may be very much improved by surface drainage. An ordinary plough, cutting an 8in. to lOin. furrow and 3in. deep, will leave a good surface drain that will carry off a lot of water. The depth nmy be regulated to suit the irregularities of the land it has to cross, and a spade used to finally connect the furrows at the ends with the dyke. !I. -,i. ii. ii- ANT HILLS. On most poor pasture land these ant-hills may be seen. They' are not only eyesores, but seriously inteifere with grazing. A hard frost should be chosen as the time for cutting them, so that the ants may be exposed to its influence. A deep cross should be made over the top of the heap, and then by horizontal cuts, made level with the surface of the ground, turn the four quarters of the hill upside down. Cut the nest of ants from the bed on which the hill rested, as well as from the four quarters, and spread them about. In the spring return the turf to its original place, so as to form a smooth, level sur- face. -¡¡:¡¡:;[-- GRASS LAND. Although modern teaching shows that au- tumn is the best time to scarify grass-land, and to apply the slower acting kinds 01 manures, the vast majority sti.'l seem to defer all work of the kind until late winter or early spring. Provided vegetation has not be- come ateive, no evil results aie likely to ensue from narrowing, but if plant growth has started heavy harrowing must necessarily in- jure the young plants to an extent sufficient to delay and impair their progress. For this reason, as well as for others, it is desirable that whatever heavy harrowing is considered necessary should be performed in the early winter, when it is impossible to injure the stock of plants or to produce any result that is not beneficial' to the well being of the meadow or pasture. Light chain harrowing however, may be prosecuted in spring without seriously injuring the plants, but this opera- tion is not of such telling efiect in pro- moting the aeration and freshening of the soil, and, in fact, is only of such superficial advantage as the light impression upon the soil indicates. Rolling stands on quite a dif- ferent footing. This proceus is frequently re- sorted to in the autmn and winter, but it is especially a spring operation, and whether carried out before winter or not should be repeated in the spring, particularly in the case of meadow land. -1::[: GRASSES. When the cell walls are the most perme- able, and the cell contents richest in food material, grass crops are evidently at their lrghest nutritive value. The state of perfec- tion is usually reached when the plant is com- ing into flower, and before this seeds begin to form. The usual time of flowering for grasses Perennial ryegrass, first week in June; Italian ryegrass, second week in June; Cocksfoot ryegrass, third week in June; Timothy ryegrass, first week in July. The clovers flower in order of duration thus: Tre- foil, earliest; red d'over, with ryegrass; alsike, and white, latest. When cut after flowering the product contains more fibre and less di- gestible nutriment. WIlen taken before flow- ering the crop it. very digestible, and contains more amide;, and lers fibre. -11:1- SUPERPIIOSPHATE. Superphosphate is made by treating po,,k-. deled mineral phosphate of lime with sul- phuric acil of vitriol"), care l'einq tak^n that vht'le the tricalcium phosphate left, in excess is as small as possible, the resulting mass shall be fairly dry and friable. If too little sulphuric acid be used. the resulting pro- duct, though dry and readily powdered, is low in "soluble phosphates," i.e., contains but a luw percentage of phosphoric acid capable of being dissolved by water. On the other hand, if too much acid be used, the product though rich in "soluble phosphates," is too damp to be handled or distributed. For trade purposes, superphosphate is valued only for its water-soluble phosphoric acid, which is usually expressed as "soluble phosphate,' by which is meant the percentage of tricalcium phispha'e ("bone phosphate"), corresponding to the phosphoric acid which will dissolve in water. Thus, it a superphosphate is guar- anteed to contain "26 per cent. soluble phos- phates," it should contain in every 100 parts by weight, a quantity of soluble phosphoric acid equal to the phosphoric acid, contained in 26 parts s by weight of tri I calcium phosphate. This is the ordinary qua- lity, though samples containing 37 to 39 per cent. "soluble phosphates" can be obtained. Alo--t superphosphate contains also from three to ten per cent. of "insoluble phosphates," i.e., unchanged tricalcium phosphate or iron or aluminium phosphates. For trade pur- poses, these are usually regarded as of no value, though doubtless, they may in some cases serve as plat food.

. RURAL LIFE.

--DREADED EACH DAY.

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