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AGRICULTURAL PAPERS. “ THE AGE ;;: f .TURALIST.” , Part i. At a .mee ting of the Kaiapoi Farmers’ Club, .this following paper having the above title, was read by Mr. w. Bateman, of Christchurch,:^-.. 1 propose to give you .in idea of the vast incJieaso in agricultural-wealth,,arising from the demands of a,prosperous people; and iopUftNK.. that, beyond your own ini-, mediatqraarketgj the great outlet for your produce jtill be the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Also, that in your calling as tillejNofthe;Boil, you will have com-, potitofs. whose- resources, are almost. imr measureable, and that, as a matter of sound - public policy, it . would be. utter folly ftjf yoq attempt to. create artificial consumers:/or.the food that you may pro-; duce. 'I shall also endeavor to show—to enalflsyou, to hold your own,- as j>rox ou jtiave in this colony, all that isyjoatprally desired by agriculturalists, and-, i that sucqqss . must attenji. your labors, providing, there mammement, strict;economy,; and an .efficient Government) the. latter being of. paramount importance, and its maintaining in a great measure, heingin your, own hands. One of the most important functions of a good Government, jp t« take care that there shall be no.hindrance, tp;the people supplying themselves with the first necessaries of life, such as food and clothing, and that they have at their disposal all the ordinary requisites necessary to secure the permanence ofthqir various trades and callings. y dftorder that this desideratum may he broqghtaLbout, and tjmttherebeairea exchangeof commodities between you and the countries youdeal,with—(excepting all such articles as you : cannot possibly produce as cheaply as you can import, for on such only should there .be a duty for revenue and Government; purposes)—-there should a strict §nd sound policy adhered to. Great Britain, as you well know, is for its sijta.jtbe .most, prolific country in ; the world*?l»d ~1, therefore, with your permission, propose to place before you in ||his paper, ;a few particulars, which I trust may npt only be interesting to you but aloft iMtpmlgye, : t!WTiat. Imean, to convey by being instructive is, that. the solid matters oLfact which I shall refer to will I trust eet in motion your power of thinking, faa,. from • the flue and calm consideration r of,/the,mind»< good is- generally expected .to flow.


-Tha-.totaii axfent of the United Kingdom . Jt- ?6J|s«ooo.. apres,, of which 26.300.000. are in .fountain pasture and ■wastel and 50,000,000 in crops, meadows, permanent pasture and woods and forests. Of the crops one fourth is in various kinds of corny oue..eighth in green crops, ope eighth?in grass,;,under rotation, and one. half in meadows and permanentpasture. About .a. thirtieth of the whole surface of the United , Kingdom is in woods and forests. These proportions show the prevailing system of,,husbandry, and reveal the cause of ita increasing productiveness. Three;, fourtha:, of the whole are green crops,; whidi. feed and clean ; or grass, whidh, tests and maintains. The remaining ,-fpUrth is corn. This, preponderance of restorative ever exhaustive crops greatly exceed* that of .any other country, and is .verjfjmuch due,to, tike climate. Thai extent, of land .under .various crops in (Kingdom in .1877 was—in : wheat; >3,32l,WO acres '; barley, .2,652,000 acres,i.foate, acres; potatoes, 1.393.000. lucres; other green crops, j3;566yG00; acres; flax, 130,000 acres; hops^7o,ooo acres ; bare fallow, 633,000 acres)> grass,,.under rotation, 6,441,000 Cores-; I permanent pasture, 24,000,000 acres: mountain pastimes and •wastes);, woods and plantations, 2,511,000 idreSiKThattumber of live stock of various kihdsin 1877 was—-of horses, 2,834,000 ; bittlOy 9,093,000; sheep, 32,157,000; piga,3,904,000. : :


Therjwogreasive increase of foreign supplies during the .first twenty years is mar-vellouar->tho value offoreign cereal .and animal food imported' having risen from £35.000,000 in 1857 to £110,000,000, in 1876. ; The greafcestproportional increase has been in-the > importatitm of animal feodj living animals, fresh and aalt meat, fish, poultry, hutter, and cheese, which in that period, has risen from an animal value 'of' seven to thirty-six. millions sterling. More than half, the farb naceous articles imported, other than wheats jure used in: the production of beer and spirits. -, a- <

Thejproportion in which the people of Great Britain aredependant for the principal articles of food on home and foreign supply was; the subject of inquiry in 1868, audiia-papbr was '-read to the Statistical Society matter. At that-time it was 'found that the foreign supply was in the.propoi tion of one fifth of the whole. Ini teiii yeafssince that time, .the importation Pf-. meat has more ; than doubled, butter and Cheese have increased nearly one third; wheat more than a third, and otber graux has doubled. More than one foturth-of the total consumption of agriculis. now obtained from other counmes. > England at present derives from/foreign lands;:not only one half of Mr bread; rtftd one fourth" of her meat and dairy produce; but raust also dependon the foreigner for almost the entire addition thatroay befurtherrequired, by any increase iu her ipojmlation. In the last ten years, there has been no increase in the acreage or-production of corn, and little in that bf-meat.. .The extent of green crops and grass-ihfvsslightly increased, from the dpiible impulse of the rise, in wages and the increasing demand for dairy produce and ;mat. But excluding good lands capable! of being rendered fertile by •drainage, -England appears, from the highest authority upon-British agriculture, to'have approached * point in agricultural production, beyond, which capital can be -otherwise more, profitably expended in thaticounljry,. than in farther attempting ifcdicrfoe poorer class of soils. It is now ascertained beyond; doubt, l&at it is cheapeclfor- her; as a nation, to get the tbe richer lands of America, Sdutherixhßussia,- and the Australasian! cdlofiieß'T M -which, jhappily for us, we fann,.part)-Where- the virgin soil is still -unexhausted; .of,.from the more ancient tigriailtncO Soff.Jtidift, which, with its cheapsadabundafit labor more skilfully ap-plipdi-aoAfits means of transport extended, axulbetldmtilisedaeemsdestmed tobecome one of ’the principal sources of the future

supply of com. And, as the carriage t of the chief supply of wheat is from great distances, —California, the Black Sea, India,' and these colonies—the cost of transporting a quantity equal to tbe produce of an acre in England, is seldom less than 30s. It is, therefore obvious that this natural protection enjoyed by the British farmer in his proximity to the home market, as compared with the foreign farmer who seeks that market for his produce, gives him an advantage equal to about the present average rent of his land, and forma some slight compensation for the higher taxes ami cost of manure which he has to pay, as compared with his competitor in most foreign countries. (To BB CONTINUED )

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THE FARMER Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 31, 6 December 1879

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