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.-------RURAL LIFE. ;".....-

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; .~FARM NOTES.

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FARMING IN 1908.

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FARMING IN 1908. HORSES. Shire Horses have been in keen demand dur- ing the year, and the best average for the home sales of the current year was realised by Lord Rothschild, at Tring, when 35 head made an average of iP,266 13s. Last year the best average of the year was iEl48 18s. for fifty- one head At Lord Rothschild's sale three- year-old stallions made 800 guineas, the high- est price of the year. At the same sale the best prices for two year old stallions and for yearl- ing stallions was also realised—i.e., 460 guineas I and 900 guineas. The top price of the year for three-year-old fillies, 620 guineas, was also made at this sale. The next best average was Z106 19s. 10d., realised by Sir A. Henderson, Bart., for twenty head sold at Peterborough. At the sale held on the last two days of the Shire Horse Show no fewer than 139 breeding animals were disposed of at an average of Elll 14s. 7d. Suffolk horses, whose breeding is confined to the Eastern Counties, have been in good de- mand, for at the Royal Show three stallions averaged £84. At the annual sale at Ipswich stallions made up to 88 guineas, tiiree-year-old fillies to 75 guineas, two-year-old fillies to 70 guineas. Hackneys, as was the case last year, have had a year of a highly-satisfactory character. At top of the average list is that notable sale held by Mr. H. Le Marchant, at which 35 head gave an average of 4100 4s. The top price for two-year-old stallions for the year was realised at it—i.e., 690 guineas. Brood mares made up to 400 guineas, and two-year-old fillies, 255 guineas-also the top-price of the year. Mr. H. B. Evans' sale, with an average of E82 8s. 6d. for thirty-four head was equally successful. Mr. R. Whitworth averaged £ 78 12s. for forty-nine head, and his top price was 460 guineas for a yearling stallion- Mr. R. Scott averaged £ 75 8s. 3d. for seventeen head, Mr. H. Morse, £60 2s. 10d. for thirty-six head, Sir G. Greenall, JE60 Is. Id. for thirty-six head, with 450 guineas, the top price of the year, for three-year-old fillies. For well-mannered hunters, the demand re- mains a keen one; 500 guineas is the best price we have noted, a large number making from 400 guineas to 350 guineas, and a great crowd realising from 150 guineas to the latter price. Amongst the averages one may mention as in- dicative of many, PZOO lis. 3d. for eight of Major Mair's, Z288 15s. for Mr. W. J. Larnach and Viscount Castlereagh, e273 for the late Lord Chesham, Z262 10s. for the Countess of Chesterfield, E250 15s. for the Marquis of Lin. lithgow. The demand for ponies has been a remarkably keen one, for instance, Sir J. Barker, Bart., M.P., realised an average of L45 lis. 6d. for fifty-seven head. At Messrs. Jones and Sons' sale at Dinarth, such prices as the following were made:—135 guineas for two-year-old stal- lions, 115 guineas for brood mares, 200 guineas for three-year-old fillies, 135 guineas for two. year-old fillies, and 225 guineas for driving ponies. f TLE. The Shorthorn sale record is a lengthy one, so that we can only touch upon the salient figures. At the head of the average list this year, of those sales at which cattle of various ages and sexes were included, stands that real- ised by Mr. A. T. Gordon, i.e., £ 98 6s. 4d. for twenty-two head, with 600 guineas as the top price for bull calves, and an average of Z303 19s. 6d. for four of this age, and 20 guineas as the top price for heifer calves, three of which realised iCll2 10s. The late Mr. S. Hill's heard averaged for forty-six head, £92 12s. 2d., the females making up to 230 guineas, with an aver- age of iE59 6s. 8d., 210 guineas being paid for a yearling bull, and 240 guineas for a heifer. At the annual sale held by Mr. W. Duthie, at Collynie, the remarkable average of £235 14s. was realised for 14 bull calves, with the top price at 620 guineas, the highest price bull calf of the year, and L131 2s. 10d. for ten heifer calves, at which the highest price for these during thfpyear was also realised—i.e., 260gs. The public sales were well supplied, and prices ruled high. In the Royal showyard at New- castle ninety-three head were sold for the very excellent average of £79 5s. 10d. At the .9 Birmingham Spring Sale individual prices and averages are published. It would be better in the interests of the breed as whole if in every sale such detailed records wer6 placed at the service of the breeders. 459 animals were sold, realising an average of P.51 3s. 5d. Of these 349 were bull calves, and the gave an average of £54 9s. 9d. Lincoln Red Shorthorns have been in keen demand at the April Bull Fair; 187 head aver- aged £28 8s. 8d., and the top prices realised include 180 guineas for the Exors. of T. B. Freshney, 69 guineas for Mr. F. Scorer, 97 guineas for Mr. G. E. Sandars, 76 guineas for Mr. R. Roberts, 60 guineas for Mr. T. Wallis. Aberdeen-Angus cattle maintain their popular- ity. Sir J. Mecpherson Grant's sale of thirty- one head for an average of £47 7s. was the best average for sales of this description during the past year, cows making up to 100 guineas, and heifers 85 guineas. Among Hereford cattle the best home sale average of which particulars have been found was Mr. C. Blatherwick's, at which 56 head averaged E20 9s. 7d. The Earl of Coventry sold 36 head at JE19 17s. 6d. The sales of Sussex cattle are notable for the dispersal of that great herd of the breed owned by the late Earl of Derby, at which 144 head gave an average of iEl7, bulls making up to 61 guineas, cows and calves to 54 guineas, two-year-old heifers to 40 guineas, and yearling heifers to 21 guineas. Among Devons, Mr. C. E. Norrish's sale aver- age is the best we have found for the home sales of this breed, thirty head making an average of Z37 3s. 9d. The females realised up to 115 guineas, and the bulls to 33 guineas. Mr. E. Bryant's average for 18 head was £27 16s. 6d. At Mr. Bond's sale some gooa prices were real- ised, including 62 guineas for bulls, 81 guineas for cows and calves, and 50 guineas for cows. The South Devon sales were very successful all through the year. Amongst the better prices realised were 70 guineas for yearling bulls at the Totnes April sale. Jerseys, taken as a whole, have sold well, the best average fo the year being realised by the Duke of Connaught, who sold 33 head at an average of £ 26 13s. 10d., cows making up to 46 guineas, and balls up to 29 guineas. The Guernsey sale record is a small one; Mr. Ozanne's average for 24 head, E179 was the best, bulls making up to 20 guineas, and cows to 31 guineas. SHEEP. Long wool sheep have been in fair demand this year, but export buyers are becoming more and more particular upon the question of pedigree. Lincolns have not experienced such a keen inquiry. Last year's top price was L945 paid by Messrs. Dean for one of Mr. Henry Dudding's rams. This year these gentlemen themselves received the top price of the year, i.e., 165 guineas for their first prize yearling at the Royal Show. Mr. Dudding's top price fol- lowed closely after this, i.e., 160 guineas. Amongst the other leading prices of the year was 120 guineas for Mr. J. Pear's, 110 guineas for Mr. J. E. Caswell's, 70 guineas for Mr. T. Caswell's, 64 guineas for Mr. G. Marris's, and 61 guineas for the late Mr. R. Fisher's. Among other Longwool breeds, Cotswolds have made up to Ms guineas, while Leicesters have aver- aged 4= for ten with a top price of iE22 10s. t The Down breeds have done better than the Longwools. Oxfords especially have had a good yetir, and they appear to be growing in popu- larity. Mr. J. T. Hobbs made the best average for the year, Z20 Is. 3d., realised at his annual home sale, for forty-nine head of yearling rams, at which the top price of the season, P-135, was realised. Messrs. J. and S. Treadwell averaged £ 16 3s. 6d. with 44, guineas as the top price. Mr. H. W. Stilgo's 25 gave an average of P,13 17s, with 47 guineas as the top figure, and several other individual prices were made of between 30 and 40 guineas. The best price for ram lambs—and a record ene, too, for the breed- was 52 guineas paid for one of Mr. R. W. Hobbs and Son, at Oxford Fair, where 33 head averaged klO 15s 5d. Among Southdowns the sale of the season was unquestionably the dis- persal of the Duke of Devonshire's noted flock. Here most of the top prices of the ye^r #were realised. That for yearling ewes, 19 guineas, with an average of £ 7 5s. 7d.; four-tootli ewes, 16 guineas, with £ 5, 4s. 6d.; six-tooth ewes, 16 guineas, with £ 6 2s. '6d.; flock ewes, 10 guineas, with i23 16s. 2d.; ewe lambs, £4 Is., with £ 2 7s. lOd.; yearling rams, 80 guineas, with £ 16 2s. 7d.; and ram lambs, 44 guineas, witn £ 7 19s. 3d. Hampshire Down sales were not so numerous as in some former years. The best average of the year was that realised by the late Sir W. ■ G. Pearce's well-known flock, 872 head making an average of £3 148. shearling ewes selling at from £3 16s., four-tooth ewes from £9 5s., six- tooth ewes from L4 4s., flock ewes from £3 2s., and ewe lambs from L3 10s. Mr. C. Bugg aver- aged from his flock of 757 head £3 10s. 6d. at the Royal Shiw sale. Mr. H. C. Stephens made 50 guineas, the top price, and those sold gave the capital average of £23 4s. Turning to that other important section of the Hampshire Down sale record—i.e., thoses ales at which a portion of the ram lambs are let and the remainder sold, we come across as the top average a not- able one, E20 10s., realised at Britford Fair. Ten of these lambs were let at from 170 guineas and gave an average of iC67 17s. Mr. H. C. Stephens's sale gave an average of E17 for sixty head let and sold. The top price for the let lambs, ten in number, was 65 guineas, these averaged £33 3s. 6d. The best price for the selling lambs was 60 guineas. Turning to those sales at which large lambs were sold and not let, the best average was that for sixty-seven head at the late Sir W. G. Pearce's sale, with the top price of 125 guineas. Shropshires made the heading prices of 170 guineas for Mr. T. S. Minton, 130 guineas and 121 guineas for Mr. M. Williams, 80 guineas for Sir Richard Cooper, and 65 'guineas and 50 guineas for Mrs. W. F. Inge, all realised at the Royal Show sale, where 38 head gave the grand average of iE33 2s. Mr. Minton, at his home sale, averaged £18 3s. 6d., with 55 guineas as the top price. Suffolks made some satisfac- tory prices. Two shear rams made up to 42s guineas; for one of Mr. H. E. Smith's. An average of £10 15s. 3d. was realised by Mr. A. J. Smith for 14 yearling rams. The best price for ram lambs noted during the year was 77 guineas, realisedb y Mr. H. E. Smith at the Ipswich Fair. Among Kent or Romney Marsh, as was the case last year, Mr. Charles File, made the top price of the year-130 guineas for a ram sold for New Zealand-his best five averaging something over 70 guineas, and his nineteen making an average of 436 10s. 5d. Devon Longwools made up to 20 guineas and South Devons to 35 guineas, whilst amongst Dorset Horn sheep, ram lambs made up to 30 guineas. PIGS. The demand for pedigree pigs remains keen, and good prices were realised. At Lord Elles- mere's sale of Large Whites 120 head averaged £ 10 9s. 3d.; the best price for boars was 66 guineas, the top price of the year of this or any other breed of pigs. Another boar made 46 guineas, sows up to 18 guineas, and gilts up to 44 guineas. Messrs. Wherry, whose 81 aver- aged £7 10s. 6d., with 23 guineas as the top price for boars, 18 guineas for sows, and 18 guineas for gilts. Mr. C. Spencer, at Holywell, who averaged £6 10s. Bd. for seventy-eight head, realised 50 guineas for a gilt, the top price of the year; his boars made up to 30 guineas. Among Berkshire-the best sale averages of the year was Mr. Arthur Hiscock, juno's, at Motcombe, at which forty-five head gave the average of £10 lis. 5d., boars making up to 20 guineas, sows to 28 guineas, and gilts to 34 guineas, the latter being the top price of the yoar. The Duke of Devonshire's sale was a good one, ninety head making an average of 97 17s 6d. Mr. R. W. Hudson's sale pro- duced the top price for sows during the year (41 guineas), and his eighty-eight head gave an average of E7. Mr. N. Benjafield's sale realised £6 15s. 6d. for thirty-four head, with 27 guineas as the best price for boars, the top price of the year. The Tamworth Sale record is not a lengthy one, but some good prices have been made. At Mr. R. Ibbotson's^eale 121 head averaged £6 2s. 6d., boars making 15 guineas, gilts the same figuile, and sows 28 guineas. Among large blacks the best sale average was Mr. J. H. Kingwell's, at which 89 head averaged £ 3 18s., boars making up to Hi guineas, and sows to 13 guineas. The Lincoln- shire Curly-coated pigs have but one sale re- ported, and that a good one—i.e., the joint sale held at the Lincoln County Show, at which forty head realised an average of L10 17s. 7d., boars making up to 50 guineas, sixteen of them giving an average of £ 12 12s. 7d. THE SHOW SEASON. The agrcultural shows of the year have pretty generally been favoured with good weather and the early summer shows were generally fortunate in this respect, but many of the one- day fixtures at the latter end of August and the beginning of September experienced wind ani wet, although those at the later end of ni ber and at the beginning of October weri m'-re favourably treated. The county show season, wh.:ch 1;e;n:t v. iih the Oxford and Somerset meetings, was cf a very successful character, the Batti ii-I vVest Show at Dorchester was with almost uWl weather, and a fine show of South ^ounzry breeds and produce was the result. The Royal Show at Newcastle eclipsed ary- "thing yet previously attained by the Society; agriculturally speaking, the show was t h' Limst ever got together in this country, whilst the exceptionally brilliant weather had a rt-maik- able effect upon the attendance, '.i lie ent-xnitr s sum taken in gate money left a profit on tie whole exhibition somewhere about £ 12,000. The Royal Lancashire exhibition >j,Ja!j,Olr, ter worthily maintained the prestige of tl is terprising society, but the Great Yorkshire Srow which took place this year at Talifax, v ao by no means so good as we have s'n it The International Horse Show «.hicn t Ol: place at Olympia for the second yar in ,i)e- cession was quite a success. It A,).l fce. < gain held at Olympia next year, but II is thought that it may migrate to Italy for 1910.

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FAIRS AND MARKETS. I

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.-------RURAL LIFE. ;".....-