. A . AGRICULTURAL PAPERS.
“ THE AGRICULTURALIST.” Part 111.
THEVIELDOF \VHEAT IN GREAT BRITAIN AS COMPARED WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. For the credit of British husbandry, it will be w.ell to compare its standard yields of wjreat, with the yields in foreign countries, the information being supplied in the ; 'Board;of Trade Agricultural Returns for i.'o;, yield per acre of wfieat in ' Imperial bushels per statute acre in the undermentioned countries— Englafid, (29.9. 'bushels.; - Wales, 27.6 ; Scotland' 29.0 ; Great, Britain j 29 9 ; Ireland,‘2s.o ; Islands, 28.0 ; United: Kingdom, 29.5 ; Holland, 28.5; Belgium,i 20.3 ; Wiutomberg, 18-0 ; Bavaria, 10.3 ; Egypt, 15.8 j, France,l3.s ; Greece ; 13.2 ; Austria (proper),' 12.5 ; Portugal, 9.0 ; Hungary, 8.5 ; and Russia, 5.5. In 1851- the “ Mark Lane Express” collected the opinions of five hundred correspondents in. England for teh. years—--1851 $o 1861—in which the yields of the several countries range from 22| up to 34£ bushels rif wheat, making a general average for England of 29 bushels per acrof 'Half the total jwheat produce of the United,, Kingdom is,grown in eleven English, counties, namely, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk,‘.Cambridgeshire, Kent, Hampshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire. Nearly one-fourth of the whole is grown in three counties—namely, -Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Essex.' In fact, Lincolnshire, which heads the litt, with a minimum crop of 1£ million quarters, reaps and threshes ahove a fifth more wheat than all Scotland and Ireland.
It is clearly shown that the method of arriving at results in the mother country ik carried out with the greatest perfection For instance, the general average of the wheat yield per acre is stated at 29 bushels, and this lias been arrived at by two different and distinct functionaries, —i. e., the'Board of Trade, and the “ Mark Lane Express. " I npw propose to touch only one or two matters respecting the British agriculturist and his landlord, with reference to the estimated capital invested, &c.. ■THK TENANTS CAPITA!, AND INCOME.
The capital provided by the tenant for &e ordinary work of his farm bears some Tarieigr of character,, differing greatly in ditffreht districts, on different. soils, and sorts of farms. There does not appear to be much general agreement as to the average value of the farmer’s plant in the stock, implements, and material accessories of his business. When a mean has
t, be struck between the high-farming finds, at the least, profitable employment .for LIS an acre, and the low level of the, scale which a West of Ireland tenant would think ample, it is easy widely to err; hut there is some ground to believe that an average of say, L 8 per acre, , over the cultivated area of 47,000,000 acres throughout the United may fairly enough represent the forking capital of the British tenantry. This-giyes a .sum of • L 376,000,000. For the purposes; of taxation, the .Income-Tax Acts assume the tenant’s earnings to he measured by r one-half his rent in England, and oqQ-third in Scotland and Ireland—assumptions to which |>ractical effect is given in the .reduced poundage-rate, imposed Itjias been argued, on the one hand., tlujt -this is too favorable to theand charges his profits too lightly; tHe other,-authority is not wan>tingyfoj: > ...tibe..''}v«3r “Opposite contention. Since, however, this estimate is, in point of. fact, that acted on the adjustment of taxation, and since; it , coincides very closely with an average return of 9 per cent, oh the forming capital’' employed, it i is considered:thatr-it is not/on the average, at all too low an estimate,. and that no great error- can result from its adoption. Omittingyfor convenience the deferential favor shown to other than English tenants,'one authority takes the aggregate taxable income of all the occupiers of the United. Kingdom at one-half the gross value of the‘land-rental—which it will be remembered includes the tithes, or a total sum of L 33,000,000 a year. landlords’ capital and income. Thejandlords’ sliare of this income, as measured by the gross rental yearily asscased for income-tax ' in the’United. Kingdom, is L 67,000,000. Of this sum, ’ it is to he noted that about. L 5,000,000 represents the fixed and ’ separate, hot equally landed, revenues of the lay and clerical tithe-owners. Sop ie three-fourths of the.rest, or L 46,000,(/ 00, may be most: properly regarded as landlords rent in its. most, primary sense, ax ,d LI 6,000,000 as the, interest of sums laid out in fitting the soil for, profitable cultr vation, by means of enclosure/ building ?, drainage, and so forth./L/.The,, extenl , of these investments goes sQirie way to account for th© receht riso in the nomJ nal’rental of land, and it-’ds too often overlooked, when proposals -Rite inadte/to- subject land, as a source/Vf .wholly liiieaj -ned revenue, to exceptionally heavy ti xea. ! Taking the imtural rent at. 30 yeai ,-s purchase, and the landlords inveatfuiehy 3, • and titheowners propCrty at 25, these: figures would: appear , to indicate the existed me of a titheowners capitalof 1 L125.00C t,OOO, an ordinary landlords Capital of I A ,380,000,000 in the soil itself,/fold’ of U 100,000,000 in its improvements, ' ‘ : or,, in' the aggregate L 1,905,000,000 The total amount of jnci'.rryrng out the results «f agriculture in the United. Kingdom mayf ; j pub down . thus, —-tenants,. L376^>Op,QpO; landlords and '-'titheoWnef aggregate weathi of L 2,281,000,000. THE OBLT BUSINESS IN WHICH SPEfcIAS/ • TRAINING IS . NOT DEEMED iraciSkitjrl'''-.-knowledge of business is a matter of grCat: tnpntierit' td : those who'eraploy so vast n isjjitnl ■ iis the English landowners, a capital -far beydhd 5 .the entire’ value of tlpit eipplpy ed inyailwuyf., mi non, ironworks', canals, pnd gaswovl s put together. Men 'of’ th e.h ig h e St capaci y,with ’special Qualifications, are employed in tlicl 'management of these. 1 Constant- 'vvatchfulileaß . of the progress of invention,’,by which large results may he optolried, r f}n a) given expenditure, is abso--1 ntefyhccessrtrv to procure a profit in the gbn Iral'btempenation. The landowners of the entrii&t' the' management *»;’^gan*B,mere car less very capable,’ but often hajfihrirefL by r noted of their etifplpjte? for ig&ikrg&t return of rental at * the lea at coist.v’jTKe landowner himself, too,’ ‘ k’el'dortT takes .such' an active and ■ in-
tolligent interest-in-thedetails of-manage* moht as would convince him of the need to keep his farms in a similar state of high working order. It is not with him really a question of business. Take for instance, by way of comparison, a manufacturer, merchant, or shipowner, who has a rental of LSOOO a year. What would be thought of the prospects of a woollen manufacturer, who, without the slightest preparation or special knowledge, embarked LIOO.OOO in that business 1 Or of a man who took oyer a mercantile concern of the same extent, without having ever before written, or read a business letter'? Or of a ypung military officer giving up a commission to take the direction and responsibility of a great ship-owning house I And yet this is in effect .what is done every day by the majority of English landowners.
THE ANNUA!. RAINFALL IN THE UNITED
KINGDOM. ' The annual Ainfall in the United Kingdom, the same as .in all other countries, is far from being; every thing like uniformIt varies in the lowest parts of the country from 25 to 35 inches. In the mountainous districts, these figures may be double.. But limiting the consideration to the cultivated lands it must be obvious than an annual rainfall upon an acre of land, in the one,case of 3506 tons, and in the other of 3500 tops, accompained by corresponding humidity of atmosphere, wijl greatly modify the respective systems of husbandry practised. Accordingly, the eastern half of the country may be correctly described as the corn and _ fattening regicn of the kingdom. The winter temperature is more severe in the east that in the west, and that of the summer warmer and more sunny, and better suited to the ripening of wheat; while that of the west being less scorching and more cloudy, is better adapted to pasture and oats. The nature of live _ stock is so much greater than com, it is not found profitable to push the limit of cultivation to a greater height than 800 feet in the east, and 500 in the west ; and these: limits are becoming more circumscribed by the increasing cost of labor, and the continued rise in live stock. I trust ! have clearly proved to you the vast increase in agricultural wealth and production that has taken place within the short, period -of twenty years. A u 4 that it is to the United Kingdom you will have to look; as agriculturalists of New Zealand, for the sale of your surplus of the chief articles you produce. For the present, these may be fairly described as wool, tallow, meat, and wheat. Before proceeding to remark upon the great and important point for your consideration—your competitors—l deem it only fair to state that I am totally indebted for the few particulars I have read to you, to one of the recently-published journals of the lloyal Agricultural Society of England. I have very great pleasure in recommending to you this most valuable journal. Evory farmer would find in it a store of information unparalleled. It is published every six months, and the price is only seven shillings in Christchurch. [to BE CONTINUED.]
EXI’ERIMENTAL FARMING IN VICTORIA. With a view of experimenting on the best system of working the land in Victoria, the Government reserved a block consisting of 4549 acres at Dookie, and Mr. J. C. Thompson, a farmer of great experience, was appointed as manager, having carte blanche to use his own judgment in the working of it, mid at a recent date a. Commission appointed by Government visited the farm to inspect ite progress : and as we think the results of that visit will be interesting to our readers, wie give a condensed report of what took place there. Mr. Thompson was subjected to a rigid cross-esxammation by the members of the Commission, who appeared to be in every way satisfied with the.result. Mr. Thompson said s— . I was appointed manager in October Hast but did not take charge till January Ist. I'was buying stock, no agricultural work was done before I came ; the land was fenced, and about 50 acres grubbed and roughly ploughed. Since then I have grubbed and cleared 347 acres, and ploughed 120 acres of that, and subsoiled 10 acres to a depth of 22 inches, this latter for the cultivation of olives, fruittrees and vines, I have sown wheat, oats, and barley; one thing I ; have experimented on is the difference as to results obtainable from the' use of shrivelled a nd plump grain for seed, and from- all appearance at present they look equally well, but ultimately I don’t think the shrivelled will yield so Veil as the plump seed. I have used; manure, and kept a record of the planting, progressive growth and aspect of each crop. I used bonedust, Lacepcde ; Island, Malden Island, and Peruvian guanoes. I also used sheep manure, and sowed wheat without manure. The result lias been that there has been a ranker growth, and more straw, the Peruvian, giving a more marked effect than any of the others, except the shoep manure, which was equal to it. The wheat sown bn unmanurcd land is equal to that on laud treated with the I.acepede or Malden Island guanoes. I attribute this to the fact that it is virgin soil, and consider the yield will be as good as u n any of the other land experimented on. We have only new land , so that I have not as yet had an opport unity of seeing the effects on exhausted land ; I have sent samples of the soil for anal ysis, but have not yefheard the result. I ha ve tried early and late solving, I cornmen ced on May 9th’for early, June 2nd for mid season, nd July 4th for late. Thei e is a great advantage in early sowing. My i >bject is to show the farmers the folly of pi anting late crops. It has been shown that. sowing is put off to a late period .and that inferior crops are attributed to infern >rity of land when, as a fact, the inform <iity was due to late sowing. There is anot her object in the experiment It is after J tine and July that the rain comes on _th» > winter rains. And in late sowing the groi md puddles pp, and when the sun comes it bakes the land, and the growing (.irons e choked. Before leaving the si ab ject a f wheat I should like to explain as> to the pickHng of the seed. I use three di isoripti-Ti as, bluestone, lime and urine, an d farme «’ friend. I noticed a great difference": in the effect of the pickhngs. Whieat that was pickled with lime came up two day s earlier than the other two kirn Is, and it has been more vigorous, ever sinoi ».’and m me is the best of the three pick l inm», A. '’for as I have seen, there is not t he°siigHte appearance *rf smut, but 1 ca T tii<i* give an absolute opinion until the r esult of Ha is known. Bust was so pr evalent in i *>ia distnct that hundreds
of acres-were-not out at all. -I have seen no indications of rust this year. All the fanners used bluestono, and still the rust came on notwithstanding. I consider that late sowing and clumsy farming together tend to aggravate the ill effects produced by rust ; a late sown crop is weak at the time wheii rust makes its appearance and h»6 not the power to resist the attack : it is more susceptible to rust. My experiments haVealso been inthedirectioii of the proper quantity of seed to sow pel 4 acre. One one plot I have sown half a bushel of Major Plains purple straw to the acre. No. 2, three quarters of a bushel; No. ,3, 1 bushel; No. 4, 1| bushel; aud No. 5,2 bushels —all Major Plains purple straw wheat. I believe the crop from the half bushel sowing has every : appearance of yielding as much as that growing from the land on which two bushels were Sown. I have also tried an experiment of what is known as the LoisWeedon 1 system. The object of that system- is to allow one part of the land to lie fallow while the other part is being worked ; that the wheat-producing part of this year : should lie fallow next year, and that the fallow land of this year should be cropped next year and so on, the notion being that the land tMis half-cropped will yield as much as if it were fully cropped, and that the land will not at the same time become exhausted. I am confident that the ' land so worked this year will not yield bo much as that fully sown. The Lois-Weedon system is more expensive than the ordinary system. The expense n digging the trench lying between the rows of corn. It is worked by hand, but it might be worked on a large scale by a horse hoe. It is this kind of work that makes the system so expensive. 1 have also sown the following descriptions of oats, potato, Norway, white Tartarian and Swiss, English and Cape barley and rye, and I pickled some of the seed with lime and urine and fpund that it came up two days earlier than that otherwise treated. Ido not let the grain remain in the pickle. I get a large tub, and I put the seed in a small basket —one that will not let the grain pass through—close enough to retain the grain—it will hold half a bushel —I then dip it down in the liquid, and all the fine grain floats to the top, and I skim that off. I keep it in the basket two minutes, and then Kt it dram off. It is then spread out on a sheet to dry, and I sprinkle it over with dry wood ashes and lime, and then bag it up for use, and it is sown immediately afterwards. With reference to cattle, my object is to introduce a better class of stock in this district, and to allow the farmers the use ot bulls, well bred, at a nominal figure ; wild also to sell young bulls of the best parentage at reasonable prices. With regard to sheep, the farmers of this district have had raerinoes. They are unsuitable for small holdings, because of their wildness. I propose to introduce Leicesters, Lincolns, and crossbreds. I have 10 head of shorthorns, 10 Herefords, and about 230 ordinary cattle, one Hereford bull, and two shorthorn bulls. I have about 250 sheep of the sorts I have already described. We have nine draught breeding mares, and three horses for saddle and harness work. The draught horsrt' are all of the Clydesdale breed. Ido not think the area of the farm, 4549 acres, excessive. If it was merely for carrying on. experiments, and keeping such stock as would be barely necessary, it would be too much, but I am led to understand that it was the intention to make a farm of such a character that in a year, or two it would be self-supporting, the intention being to make as much out of the farm as a Whole, as would enable them to carry on the experiments. I have no hesitation in saying that in twe. years the farm will not only pay expenses, but will give a good profit from the sale of stock and produce. ■ ...
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THE FARMER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 33, 11 December 1879
THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 33, 11 December 1879
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