HINDS TO RANGITATA.
[by OUR TitAVKLI.INO RBUORTER.]
The Anama Downs, and slopes of the plains adjoining, at all times known for the rich quality of their pastures, are nowlooking remarkably well, and those paddocks; laid down in English grass this season arc as fully forward as similar places nearer the sea. The native blue tussocks, on which all classes of stock thrive so well, exhibit more than ordinary growth, and appears not only to have held its own against the intermixture of English clovers, but rather to have increased during the last few years. The grain crops at present in the ground are looking well, though, as in other places, they are inclined to run up a little thin in the blade, owing to the rapidity of growth. This, however, will tend to be checked by the rolling, which operation is now being proceeded with almost universally. In some instances feeding olf} the young crops with sheep has been adopted. This plan finds great favor with some farmers, and we have known crops which looked hopeless completely renovated, and made to yield a good return, when treated in this manner—both in the old country and in the colony. From various causes the farmers seem to have delayed their ploughing until the season was rather far advanced for wheat sowing, and between the South Ashburton and Rangitata the breadth of wheat sown compared with oats and barley is much smaller than in previous seasons. In fact, barley has never been sown to so great an extent in any previous year, and there is scarcely a farm in this area which will not have a paddock of this cereal. Towards the upjier Rangitata plain the farmers have a first-class quality of land, but have had a difficulty to overcome in the shape of the exceptionally large stones, or we should say rocks, which encumber the surface, in some places the land being completely paved witli them. It is astonishing to notice the progress which has been made in this part of the country bv sheer energy and hard work—much of this land being now comparatively clear of stones, under crop, and looking as well as any other portion of the district. Stone-picking hero is altogether beyond a joke, and the numerous pyramids of boulders, 20 feet in diameter and upwards of 5 feet high, will testify to the work the pioneers of this district had before they could attempt to cultivate their land. The quality of the laud here is, however, good ; and it is satisfactory to report that the farmers here have a good prospect of success, which will he furthered by the speedy prospect of railway communication. The settlers, one and all, are loud in their demands for the continuation of the Mount Somers line to its terminus, so as to bring them within a day’s carting of a railway station. The Hinds Forks, some 15 miles above the Hinds railway station, and which will for the future bo known as Mayfield (the name given to the lately-established post-office here) is already becoming an important centre of population, and a petition -is now in course of signature for a school in the locality.
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