NOTJ33 FROM SEAFIELD,
FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT,
X promised in my last that I would say something about the north Seafield and Cambridge districts, and I now proceed to redeem my pledge. At North Seafield I find that Messrs Saunders Bros, have a nice paddock of wheat. The seed was drilled in by the M‘Shorry grain drill, and the young plants look very hearty. Mr J. 'Bayliss junr’s 75-aere paddock of wheat is the best I have seen, and ho gives me to understand that ho only sowed one bushel to the acre. I was so pleased with the appearance of the paddock that I drew up, and had a prime look at it. While doing so the ring of Mr G. S. Brown s anvil near by was in my ears, and I am glad to learn he drives a good trade in the district. I find that Messrs. Sfcrouts and Hayward have a fine lot of crop their land, and so have Messrs M‘Lcan, Smith, Williams, and Edwards. The crop is in fine promising condition, especially the wheat, and there is a fair proportion of barley and oats. Messrs Colley and Co. grew twelve bushels to the acre ou their land last year, but if all goes well, this year will be a boomer with them, comparatively speaking, at any rate. Mr Daly has some very good-looking crop in, and it is doing very well indeed. He goes in for stocking tqo, to some extent, and I saw some fine cows in milk, and a few pigs. Not the le ist important farm hereaway is Mr Maidens’. It is a fine tidy place,, a nice garden of flowers setting it off very much. He only sowed 401bs to the acre this year, and his 140 acres promise very well. Mr Maidens has a steam threshing machine on his place. It is in fine working order, and I hope he will have a good run. The more work he does in that line the more will everybody be pleased. On the neighboring farms, wheat, barley, and oats snow up well, as in fact do they all round where I have yet been. I may here mention, while in the neighborhood, that Mr Parker has an excellent concrete tank, and 1 have no doubt he knows the value of it ere this. Down the Dromore Road everything points to a good harvest, and farmei’s are shaking hands with each other on the good prospect —a prospect which we hope will not be disappointing in the end. Mr Smith has shown his sense by putting in a nice aveni’e of gums, right down to his house ; and I’ll go bail he don t regret .that bit of planting after a while. In passing the Cambridge school I noticed that the land adjoining it is all ploughed, and some laid down in English grass, while a belt of trees enclosed with a sod and wire fence surrounds the whole. Mr Megson, Chairman of the School Committee, has worked very hard in its interests. Messrs. Lloyd, Watkins, and Leßrcton have very good looking crops, and the latter gentleman has a fair lot of clover that ought to give his land a good name. Grass seems to be very good this year here ; Mr Daley has also a fine sward. Taking the back track to Seafield, I had occasion to pass Mr James Bayliss’s farm, and admire hia fine lot of crop also Mr Denshire’s, showing well with wheat, and blue gums are also prominent. Messrs Hooper and Dodson’s also promises well to give a good account of itself in wheat, barley, and oats, and the windmill pump recently erected j sets the farm off to the best advantage. This firm has a very good short-horn bull I noticed. It is round this part of the district that planting trees seems to have been most gone in for, Messrs Hooper and Dodson having a very fine lot showing out well from a distance.
At a farther period of the crops’ history I will go round again, and tell you as I go along how things are progressing. If wo keep getting such showers as we have been blest with for some time past, and keep getting them for a month, we may say we shall have a fair harvest.
The Apple Trade,
(From the New Zealand Herald —Auckland.) A considerable quantity of fruit has been imported into this market during the last few days, from California and Hobarton, and as both are now fairly in the hands of the trade, we have been at some trouble to elicit an expression of opinion on the relative merits of the two shipments. With regard to the shipments from Hobarton great dissatisfaction has been expressed. Similar complaint has been common for a long time past, on account of the inferior quality of fruit sent from Tasmania, and buyers candidly admit that the refuse is now sent from Tasmania here, while the Sydney and Melbourne markets are supplied with the choicest. Up to a recent date it was a matter of Hobson’s choice, and we were compelled to take what we could get. But now a change has come over the scene, and a formidable rival has entered the field. This rival is California. The mail steamer brought 600 cases, and the packing of this fruit is simply perfection when placed alongside that of Hobarton. Each case is a neatly got up box, machine planed, and every apple is wrapped in thin tissue paper, and not a mark or flaw is to be seen on the fruit. Those from Hobarton are packed in rough cases and chafed by friction, &c., and when the case is opened many have black scars, caused by being in contact with the lathed cases they are forwarded in. The truth of this statement can easily be ascertained by stepping into the first fruiterer’s shop, and purchasers may there judge for themselves. With regard to the quality of the fruit, out of eight houses we visited each stated that the last shipment of Californian apples was far superior to any they had ever received from Hobarton. The next shipment will be still better, as the fruit will come from the most northern parts of California, where a little frost is experienced during the winter months. The wholesale price of Californian apples is from 3£d to 4d, which is very little more than that paid for Hobarton, and we should not be surprised to see the Hobarton shippers completely beaten out- of this market, unless a very superior class of fruit is sent us. Hobarton apples are reputed to keep longer than American. This;remains to be proved ; but for flavor, either in dessert or cooking, the American -apples are by far the best, while the 'irimnty. of color, &c., is beyond comparison Superior to the Hobarton. In the course . of a year of two a very large supply of - apples will be available from our own orchards. In former years the nurserymen issued a large number of worthless trees, but of late a large number of valuable fruit tra.s of various kinds liave been introduced and widely distributed.
The Rabbit Nuisance.
In “Land and Water” there is an interesting article upon the Rabbit Nuisance at ti e Antipodes, in which the writer says that even from the time of the Romans we have evidence that wild rabbits have, in some instances, proved a great nuisance. In the Balearic Islo 3 rabbits are said lo have increased to such an extent that the inhabitants wore obliged to implore the aid of a military force from the Emperor Augustus to exterminate them, but we are not aware however, what success attended the doughty warriors in their expedition against the enemy that was devastating the islands. Rabbits have been the cause of more bitterness t f feeling between two very important sections —landlords and tenants —of the community in England for many years than anything else within our knowledge. Indeed “rabbits” are a political question of the day, and we have at no very remote date witnessed that the effect at the hustings of “ rabbits,” not only as an electioneering cry, hut in the flesh, has been not considerable. But the commercial importance of the rabbit withal is by no means insignificant, and on waste and sterile tracts of land, sandhills, amd uncultivable regions these animals are made to yield many hundreds of tons of wholesome flesh to the national food supply. In cultivated districts, however, if not kept down, the rabbit becomes a terrible nuisance and highly prej idicial to successful farming. In New Zealand and in some parts of Australia the rabbit question has assumed such proportions that the Colonial Government has been applied to for pecuniary assistance to check the evil. It appears from the latest Australian files tliat a deputation of pastoral tenants and selectors from the malice district of New South Wales recently waited on the Chief Secretary and the Minister of Lands, and pointed out that so rapid was the spread of these “pests” that the question had really to be considered whether holdings and sheep runs would have to be abandoned unless vigorous measures were taken for the suppression of the nuisance. In New Zealand, too, there seems to be “much cry.” about rabbits and “little wool ” indeed, in the literal reading of the adage, for we gather that a Mr Cowan, a runholder in Southland, New Zealand, states that on his rim of 20,000 acres he killed 26,000 rabbits in four months. The cost of destroying them was 3d per rabbit, while he got no more than 1-Jr per skin for the skins in winter. Their presence on his - land had reduced the lambing of his flock by 20 per cent. Another gentleman recently stated in the New Zealand House of Representatives that tracts oi country had been rendered almost valueless by the rabbit nuisance. On twenty-four holdings in the South during 1876 no loss than 1,059,000 rabbits were destroyed. On the same runs there were 153,000 sheep less than wore shorn previously, and these runs produced 1700 bales of wool less than they did formerly, That amount of wool, taken at a moderate computation of £ls per bale would, he estimated, bring a return of £25,000, which at 10 per cent, would represent a capital of £250,000.
How to Train a Collie. There has been much said and written about the great intelligence and sagacity of the shepherd dog, especially the Scotch Collie, and yet his merits are not overestimated in the least. We have known and have bred them for years, have sent them to almost all parts of the country, and have always received favorable reports from the purchasers. In all reasonable things the Scotch collie will give unbounded satisfaction, and no more trusty or faithful friend can be had than ho will invariably prove himself to be ; but those who expect him to do their work in their own particidar way, without having first been taught how it should be done, will be disappointed. r lhese dogs well bred, drive and tend sheep, naturally, for they have been bred for this purpose for so many years that it has become an inherent propensity, and they must be accustomed to the stock and the stock to them, and must be brought to understand just how you wish your particular work done before you can expect them to prove entirely satisfactory. This is one of the great troubles which is experienced by the purchasers of train ,d dogs, for they expect to have them “ start in ” the first morning they arrive, and drive the stock well, and they disappoint their owner, as anyone would well know they would, if he would give the subject any thought. Generally much better satisfaction is experienced by purchasing a pup, and then gradually accustoming him to your own particular work, than in buying a well-ti-ained dog. The very first thing to do when you get your pup is to accuston him to your voice and command, and until you do this thoroughly you cannot commence handling your dog. The best and soonest way to do this is to always feed him yourself, .and make it a point not to permit the pup to be played with and mauled while too young. Our advice to those who want to have a firstclass dog is to let the pup run comparatively wild so it does not get into mischief, until he is at least eight or ten months old, by which time ho will have got steadier and more easily managed, though you can in the meantime take him with you when you go for your stock. Do not force your clog, but let him take to his work gradually, and by all means treat him kindly, for there is one peculiarity about this breed : if you break the will of the pup by harsh treatment, which is as useless as it is cruel, the dog will be useless. After he has once reached full growth with his courage unimpaired there is but little danger of having him made cowardly and sneaking. Whether a dog bo a good one when full grown or not depends a great deal on the one who handles it, for a violent-tempered man will make a cowardly dog out of his pup, while a careful, kind, considerate man will soon have an animal which will repay him for all his care, for it will be invaluable in herding, driving, and. tending almost all kinds of stock ; will be invaluable as a watch-dog, carefully guarding the premises at all times, and will be a source of pleasure to the members of his owner's family. We know of no dog which will better please the farmer, stock breeder, poultry fancier, or country gentleman, than a well-bred Scotch collie.
Free Trade and Protection.
The “ American Miller,” in reply to an article which recently appeared in the •‘London Miller,” says “We freely acknowledge that Protection and Prohibition may be errors. To assert that Protection is the true policy of every nation would bo quite as absurd as to declare Free Trade the only true policy of every people. Our British friends seem to lose sight of one fact in discussing the question of national policy. They forgot that Protection built up their own industries, and made them so strong that they needed protection no longer. Free Trade is one thing for a country with her industries established, and quite a different thing for a country with no industries at all. To the first it means commercial domination ; to the second, commercial vassalage. Do our English friends believe that Portugal and Turkey, which practice the Free Trade doctrine in all its; virgin purity, will ever have any industries that will compete with those of Great Britain ! We cannot credit them with so great a faith. Do they imagine t'*iat the United States would now be such a manufacturing nation had it not been for eighteen years of Protection i We can hardly believe that. We have but taken a leaf from the political history of our transatlantic brethren, We are building up our factories, forges, and mills, and protecting their produce. In a few years we can manufacture just as cheaply as any nation under the sun, and then we will take another leaf from English history and cry lustily for Free Trade. We intended no disparagement of English wisdom when we said a parallel for Protection and Prohibition could be found in English history. It was the very height of wisdom to discard Protection when it had served its purpose. Extremes meet. Free Trade is the doctrine of barbarians, and the highest type of civilised and independent beings. Protection is the means of advancing to independence and Free Trade. The United States only desii’es to start even in the race with every other nation, and then we can echo the sentiment of 'Joraee, ‘ The devil take the hindmost.’ We hardly think that our British friends understand the difficulties that stood, and still stand to some extent, in the way of adopting Free Trade as the national policy of this country. When wo tell them that we have more and cheaper coal, iron and all other metals than they have, and far greater manufacturing facilities than ary other part of the world, it is hard for them to see why we cannot compete with Great Britain on a Free Trade platform. We can only answer that history shows that we could not compete with the artisans and the millions of capital of England. Our industries could not start. We had no capital, and English competitors could starve out our feeble factories in a few months’ time by underselling. Protection was necessary to give the impetus. We do not care to argue this after the local methods of Mill and Cairns. We only appeal to the facts of our history to prove it, and they do prove it most abundantly. We are only using protection as an instrumentality, and how perfectly it has done its work can be seen in the changed condition of our manufacturing industries. When Protection was adopted in the United States, our people were very poor. A great many were thoroughly imbued with the idea that “hog, hominy, and whisky ” were the only legitimate products of this country. What has been the result 1 To-day wo are commercially independent of every European nation. There is scarcely an article of manufacture, from steel rails down to Dutch toys and French jewellery, that is not exported from our shops. Fortunes of a million dollars are more numerous now than those of fifty thousand dollars were twenty years ago ; while some of our capitalists have incomes which would bo magnificent for a king. We are acquiring the one thing which England has always had and which wo never have had—capital. When our concerns are as financially solid as those of Great Britain (our artisan skill has already become as great) we likewise will become as enthusiastic advocates of the “Dismal Science” as our English friends. Until that time, however, excuse us from believing Protection an error. Englishmen are naturally aggressive, and protection is our defence against them until we are strong enough to meet them. History repeats itself. It is difficult for our British friends to understand the change that has taken place in our industrial condition. They still regard the United States as a vast cornfield, with the landscape here and there enlivened by a drove of hogs or cattle, with perchance a painted Indian in the background. They smile at the idea of the Yankee nation rivalling them in manufacture. They cannot believe that things are very different from what they were twenty years ago, and cling to the delusion that Protection has given an artificial stimulus to the manufacturing industries of this country. Some day they wake to hear the same mob that cried for Free Trade and inaugurated riots, crying just as loudlv for the protection of English industries. Weknov that prophecy is a risky business, but we will venture this one : that so stable an institution as our contemporary will live to see the day when some of England’s manufacturing industries are protected, and here is where history will repeat itself. To use a little American “ buncombe,” this is “a great and glorious country,” and no one who examines the elements of national greatness contained in it, can believe that an overruling Providence intended us to he “hewers of wood and drawers of water” for other nations. The next decade will vindicate the wisdom of our present policy and demonstrate that our soil has something in it besides food, and our people something besides * brag. ’ ”
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 11, 21 October 1879
THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 11, 21 October 1879
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