NOTES FROM THE FARM. By a Farmer. While one portion of the community is busy holiday making, another portion is, to use an old saying “ making hay while the sun shines.” The fact that so little sunshine was enjoyed during the earlier part of the hay season made it imperative on the part of the farmers not to lose a day when it was suitable for work on the hay field, so that it was not to be wondered at that many who would have wished to join in the usual festivities, found they were wanted for a more important and useful purpose “ Adown in the green fields A-niaking of the hay. ” The greater portion of the hay crop is now cut and partially secured. What was cut down in in the early part of the season has been, owing to the wet weather, more or less damaged. Lately, however, the weather has been more favorable, so that although much of the fodder hay suffered from the wet the seed hay will be gathered in good condition, and the crop of the latter is perhaps the best secured for years. The seed is well filled, and in all probability will turn out well at the thrasher —a thing quite unknown during the last two years at least. There will, however, probably not he the extraordinary quantity of seed that many may think, owing to the fine season fostering the growth of clovers, which in many instances have quite outgrown the rye-grass, making it fit only for fodder purposes. Wherever there are pastures sown down with clovers little seed will be reaped ; and even if it is, it will never pay the expense of thrashing and tying in the face of a low market. At a time when the merits of the several harvesting machines are engaging so much public attention, it is a pity wo do not hear morp from the practical experience of farmers themselves. Last year I used a M'Cormack reaper and binder which gave me every satisfaction. At the end of the season I had a shed built, and had my machine housed—a plan which I think every farmer ought to adopt who has not already shelter for his machine, hut a plan which I am afraid too many, to thencost, overlook. I gave the M'Cormack another trial, and the result far exceeded my expectations. I cut altogether about 40 acres, 20 of which I tied with the selfbinder. Wherever the hay was standing the work was complete, and the cutting could not be excelled. The remaining 20 acres were also intended for seed, hut owing to the great amount of clover, was unfit for that purpose. It was also cut down by the same machine. I have seldom seen such a solid mat of clover as a portion of this field presented. Still the M'Cormack wrought her way through it, as though she had been one of the most approved mowers, and certainly the work would have taxed the powers of the modern to cut. I had the hand fixed in place of the binder, with a man removing the hay on the tilt, so as to have it left in row's over the field. I found, however, that my object jq this was npt altogether gained, the fiay being top much scatterpd in falling from the tilt. I had the tilt rexqoved, allowing the man to sit on the platform, drawing the hay towards his knees until the platform was full, when the whole was lifted over in neatly formed rows, leaving the intervening ground as clear as if the whole had been horse raked. Every farmer knows the great saving in labor in getting hay well together—the quality is preserved as well as much of the seed, which otherwise would be entirely lost. I cannot speak too highly of this method of getting loose hay together by the aid of the platform, and desire to throw out this hint to those farmers who have not yet given it a trial. I leave others to speak of the qualities of different machines they may have used.
My own experience is that for a machine that will work in wind or weather, and that will do her work satisfactorily, the M‘Cormack has no superior in the harvest field. As a hay gatherer and mower the farmer must be hard to please who would wish for a better. SVatevton, January 8,1879.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 46, 10 January 1880
THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 46, 10 January 1880
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