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AMONG THF FARMERS. (By our Travelling Reporter.) With a view,to getting a breath of pure air, and seeing 'how our fanner friends were getting on up towards the hills, I took a journey in that direction the other day. I was delighted to see the flourishing appearance of everything in the shape of a crop. The most noticeable near town are those of Messrs Corbett and Sargent, and the wheat looks on both farms like a fifty bushel crop. On Mr. Sargent’s farm, near the south branch of the river, is the heaviest crop of clover I ever saw. It is so thick and matted the machine can with difficulty cut it at all. The land is a low-lying flat, on which the river silt is deposited in high floods, and the fins mould held in suspension and left by the freshes makes a splendid refreshing manure to the land, something in the same way that the river Nile renewed the corn land on its banks by its annual overflow. Hay making is in full progress on various parts of the road, and at Greenstreet Mr,

William Revell, the Vulcan of the neighborhood, appears to have his hands . full with the manufacture and repairing of a number of carts, fanning ments, &c. He does a lai-ge business a country blacksmith, as he employs three journeymen, and now wants a fourth. A couple of drays of his manufacture took my eye as being quite equal to anything exhibited at the Show, and the price he quoted was less than the usual figure demanded for such articles. Further up, the farms of Messrs Weldon, Church, and Goode, all have heavy crops, the wheat being both thick and well headed. Thence to the Spread Eagle there is not much in, but on the north side of the north branch, the Winchester estate, and Messrs Gould and Cameron have some tremendous crops. The most noticeable growth on this, and in fact on all the roads, is the Scotch thistle ; in fact, some portions of the roads are barely passable, and horses are averse to putting their legs into such ne, ts of needles. Another well known imported pest, which would also have been as well left at home, is the now universally condemned sparrow. This industrious colonist appears to have gone in for some very heavy contracts in the shape of harvesting oats, and the result of his labors, if profitable to himself, cannot be satisfactory to the farmer whose grain ho is taking. Mine host, Phillip Tisch, was at home, and as he guaranteed the beer wo and found it equal to his representations. Thence to Mount Somers, a monotonous ten miles, on which there is a pretty steep incline all the way, making it heavy prilling for the horses on a sweltering hot day. However, we reached there in good time, and found a large crowd assembled for an auction sale, from which crowd Mr. Bullock eloquently drew such bids for horses, &c., as made me think money was plentiful, or horses scarce, in Mount Somers. Mr. Daniel Henderson, late of Mr. D. Williamson's, is erecting a new store here, and has the utmost confidence in making a good thing of it. Mr. W. H. Smith’s commodious stables were put to a severe test that day with the number of visitors who were so journing in the township, while genial John Hood’s stables hadn’t elbow room for the hungry candidates for dinner. As the afternoon got cooler we turned our horses towards Anama station, the residence of the Hon. W. S. Peter, M.L.C., and found the crossing of the South branch a particularly rough one, the boulders in the ford being very well developed indeed. The County Council have, however, let a contract for a bridge 800 feet in length over this branch, and a large quantity of the timber is now “in transitu” per rail for the work. On our arrival at Anama we were delighted at the old country appearance of the homestead, and the luxuriant growth of trees, shrubs, and live fences. Mr.«: Peter selected for the site of his homestead a beautiful terrace bounded on the south by a clear, babbling brook, which looks the very place for a home for trout. Towards the south-west there is an enormous expanse of grain, and at the back are the rolling downs so suitable for sheep farming, with sheltered valleys running like bays into the mountain range. The station has trees on it evidently planted in the very early days, as the —such as two or three kinds of Aimfeican pines, Australian gums and wattles, together with an immense variety of shrubs —are growing in wild profusion in the garden. The fruit trees are of great variety, and pears, apples, plums, nectarines, cherries, gooseberries, &c., are suggestive of the more favored climates of Auckland or .Nelson. As in most gardens in this province, American blight is playing havoc with the apple trees. The height of the cross hedges, which have been planted for divisions and shelter in parallel lines in the garden, is very great and achieve the objects for which they were planted^—one in particular, a privet hedge, being* very thick and high. A plantation of raspberries is 'the thickest and strongest I ever saw, and bears an enormous quantity of the luscious berries. After enjoying the hospitality provided by the ladies of the house, we made a straight cut across the plains towards Yaletta and Westerfield, and found the crops of Mr. C. Reed and Ids tenants all that could be desired—a 200-acre field of grass presenting a busy scene, with its 20 or 30 hay makers busily engaged carting and stacking a very heavy crop. Laghmor station shows some very heavy oat crops, and the numerous cropping tenants on tins estate will he amply recouped for their losses last year. About Tailored and Allen’s old station there is a wonderful growth in the cereals, Mr. B. Ede, Mr. Bullock, and Mr. D. Williamson having some tremendous crops of wheat, and Mr. Digby a field of oats which would be hard to beat anywhere. CANTERBURY CORN EXCHANGE AND FARMERS’ CLUB. The adjourned meeting of subscribers to the Corn Exchange was, pursuant to notice, held at the rooms, Cashel street, Christchurch, on Saturday afternoon. The meeting was well attended. The chair was occupied by Mr. Thomas Bruce, who briefly explained the objects for which the meeting had been convened, viz., the receiving and consideration of the auditor’s report, and the election of a committee of management for the present year. Most of those who were present at the last meeting would no doubt remember that the wish was generally expressed that the new subscribers should have the power of electing the committee. He had much pleasure in stating that since the previous meeting the names of 160 members had been recorded at the Ex- j change alone. [Hear, hear.] The lists from the outlying districts had yet to come/ in. The list of 160 subscribers referred to' included more new names than old ones,' and this, with the additional incoming support from the country districts, was «. most favorable beginning. He was glad to inform the meeting that in reference to the debit balance against the Exchange of Lll 4s. 6d., several subscribers had paid their last year’s subscription, and that the . liability had in consequence been reduced to L 3. [Hear, hear.] He hoped, in order that the Corn Exchange might be a success, the members would act more unitedly than they had hitherto done. The had cropping of last • year had con- ; siderably militated against the Exchange, and generally" speaking, the force of circumstances had been much against the farmers. Before concluding his remarks ho asked those present to remember the " - good old maxim that “Heaven, helped., those who helped themselves,” and that “those who would be free must them- ' selves strike the first blow.” [Applause.] He then called on the secretary the minutes of the previous S The minutes were read and - confirmedJ-‘ after which the secretary" read the following report : The undersigned, who were appointed • by the subscribers to audit the accounts for the past year in connection with the Corn Exchange, hereby certify that they have examined the same and find. them perfectly correct as shown in statement appended to this report. The auditors wish to remark that, considering the past is the first year, your secretary has brought considerable business experience and tact to bear in dealing with the affairs of the C orn Exchange, and has, in our opinion, acted in every way to promote the best interests of both buyers and sellers. ;'-l B. H. Banks, ) , J. W. SAWL E ; | Audltors - To the Chairman and Directors «j of the Cora Exchange. 1-1 ' J

Accounts referred to : LIABILITIES £ s. d. pay ... 50 0 0 ~ Outstanding creditors ... 51 « J £lOl 6 9 ASSETS. £ s. d. By Balance at Bank, £lO9 3s. 9d. less £79 11s. 2d. cheques not presented ... oa t By Outstanding accounts ... 5 18 8 By Balance deficit ° 15 b £lOl 6 9 The Chairman said that the item of L 5 18s. Bd. was for the railway charges paid on consignments of produce to the Corn Exchange for sale, which were still held. Mr. Charles Bourne moved, and Sir Cracroft Wilson seconded—“ That the report be received and adopted. ” Carried nera. con. The next business was the appointment of the directors. Mr. M'Beath expressed himself as being in favor of the re-election of the old committee. The chairman could no doubt testify to their ability, and perhaps better men could not be got. The Chairman, in reply, stated that he would sooner leave that point for the members present to settle. [Laughter.] Mr. Allan said he thought that before the directors were re-elected, the rules had better be framed and adopted. He understood that it had been left an open question at the last meeting. Mr. Bruce thought the matter of the rules had better for the present be left to the directors. After such had been duly considered, they could be submitted to the subscribers for approval. After a little further discussion, Mr. Charles Bourne proposed, and Sir Cracroft Wilson seconded —“ That twenty one members constitute the board of management. ” Mr. Peryman asked the chairman whether the number of the old committee was twenty-one or twenty-four. The Chairman stated that the number was twenty-one, although a larger one would more generally, ho thought, represent the interests of the various districts. After suggestions from several of the members relative to the number of the committee, The Chairman continuing, said that the Corn Exchange would also become better known to the outsiders by having a large and mixed committee, it would he well for each district to he well represented, so that their views might have weight in political circles, and make themselves heard and known as farmers, who were sturdy men and were not to be worked about as the Government of the day might think fit. The motion on being put to the meeting was carried. Mr. M'Beath proposed, and Mr. George King seconded—“ That the old Committee be re-elected, and that the names of Messrs. Hancock and H. Overton take the place of Messrs. E. Amyes and Merton.” Mr. Sawle moved as an amendment, seconded by Mr. Banks—“ That the members be elected seriatim. ” The amendment was carried. Mr. Banks asked the Chairman whether all the R -j&Lci's who had been proposed were sufe^^Bks The Chairman replied in the affirmative. The following gentlemen were then elected a Committee of Management for the current year ;—Messrs. Bruce, John Overton, G. King, E. H. Banks, W. Hy. ’Peryman, W. Henderson, Charles Bourne, J. J. Herrick, Jas. Gammack, Laidley, TT J. Mathias, Toosey, Attwood, Hy. Overton, Alex. Paterson, G. B. Woodman, David Dick, Robert Patton, Rev. O’Callaghan, Samuel Bailey, and H. Allington. Mr. Chari osßourne. stated that although the Committee of Management only consisted of twenty-one members, he felt sure the feeling of those elected was that the views of any of the subscribers would be gladly entertained at any time when the Board was sitting, as the object of all concerned was to pull together. (Hear, hear.) Mr. W. H. Peryman proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman (Mr. Thomas Bruce) for the unremitting attention ho had bestowed on the cause of the Corn Exchange. He (Mr. Peryman) felt sure that the farmers of Canterbury had derived considerable advantages from the establishment of the Corn Exchange. Mr. Sawle stated that if the mover would kindly include the directors as well in the resolution, he would have much pleasure in seconding it. Mr. Peryman thought as he was one of the directors it would scarcely be consistent for him to move a resolution in their favor. Mr. Sawle therefore moved a hearty vote of thanks to the Chairman and retiring directors for the voluntary attention which they had, for the past twelve months, given to the management of the Corn Exchange. To obtain the great advantages derivable from such an institution, it was necessary that the members should do all they could to gain converts to their cause. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Jenkins seconded the vote of thanks, which was carried unanimously. Mr. Bruce, on behalf of his co-directors and himself, returned thanks. He hoped the directors for the present year would be more assiduous than some of their predecessors, as it was very hard for the willing ones to be regular in attendance, and have besides to hunt about for others to form a quorum. (Great cheering.) The meeting then terminated. THE TWINE BINDER. The reaper and binder is one of the greatest achievements of the decade just ■ closed, a decade remarkable as it has been for many great triumphs of engineering skill and mechanical invention. When the Americans first gave us the self-bind-ing reaper a grand feat was accomplished, and the economy of the harvest field ; revolutionised from its primitive arrangements and institutions hy the introduction years before of the simple reapin'* machine that left the sheaves to be hound after it by a gang of laborers—was ■revolutionised to a still greater extent, and many laboring men who built their hopes on the annual receipt of a big cheque for harvest work, found that like Othello s their occupation was gone. But the reaper and binder while it did remarkably well the work it undertook to do with the materials it made use of, had serious drawbacks that prevented it from being so generally popular as the absence of these would undoubtedly have made it. The old harvester of the by-gone days tied his sheaves with bands of twisted corn stalks, and a sheaf so tied found its way to and passedAluwugh the thrasher innocently, leaving aSp*that was all straw, and that carried Ixlcl amongst its stalks no danger to man or beast. But the new harvester of science that supplanted the merry “ bandster ” carried with it a hidden danger. The corn-stalk hand was discarded, and to suit the iron fingers of the machine a band of wire was introduced. With the regularity of a ploughed field, the binder of {science cut its lengths of the wire, as it gathered its sheaf, and dropped it upon the field. But this length of wire was the snake in the grass against which the gorge of the farmer rose. No matter how careful the manipulation, or how keenly the work was watched from thrashing mill to chaff-cutter, it was impossible to get rid of the wire from the feed, and its effect told terribly amongst the horses, R ip just as difficult for a horse to digest iron wire as it is for a man to digest the proverbial “ horse-nail,” and as a consequence many a noble beast suffered for “taking an

enemy into his mouth to steal away ” not his brains but his life. The man who takes the “ enemy ” of Cassio into his month does so with his eyes open to what it is composed of, but poor Dobbin knew nothing of the presence amongst his fodder of the little iron curses that worked his ruin. To obviate this difficulty, and to get rid of the dangerous and costly wire the ingenuity of ’cute Yankee has again been successfully at work, and while we have to thank the iron thread for the aid it lent science by becoming a stepping stone to perfection in harvesting, we have reached the time for bidding it good bye, and welcoming with the New Year the new sheaf binding agent that is to supplant it, as it supplanted the cornstalk band or the band of flax knotted by the labourer. The promised heavy and abundant crop of 1880, must, however, we are afraid, be cut by the old wire machine, seeing that it will all he in the stackyard before importers can sufficiently introduce the new idea. But the difficulty that has so long the way of string bindiii" is undoubtedly overcome, and the deed of°banishment of the wire band is already sealed in popular opinion. Nor has the triumph been achieved by only one maker of harvesters, but nearly every one of the old candidates for favor is in the field with a string binder. Last week two of them had a trial near the City of the Plains, and they worked very satisfactorily, while we glean from the “Melbourne Argus” a description of Walter A. Wood’s machines’ work in a trial that took place on Janefield Farm in Victoria on the 29th of last month. It will doubtless be remembered that last year, though the Marsh harvester did not secure the popularity, nor come into such common use as some of its rivals did, it made no mean appearance in the field amongst them. At the trial on Mr. Carter’s farm at Tinwald it was left out in the cold by an accident, and the farmers in this district were deprived of an opportunity of seeing its paces alongside the M'Cormick, the Wood, and the Osborne. This year, however, it makes amends for the ground it lost, by being first in the field with a Deering string binder attached, and a public exhibition of its work was made on .Jan. 5 on Mr. Overton’s farm, at Prebbleton. We published at the time a telegraphic announcement of its success, and our own correspondent spoke highly of the work it did, but we fancy a more detailed notice of the exhibition will not come amiss to such of our readers as this column of our journal is specially interesting to. The machine set to work in a field well calculated to try its mettle. The crop was of uneven height, in some places reaching barely to one’s knee, in others almost to one’s neck, while here and there the feathered pest had left its irritating marks upon the corn, ns had also the gale. But notwithstanding the sparrow-broken straws (and these wore many) the wind laid patches, and the uneveness of height in the crop, the machine left a stubble clean, even, and uniform, over the five feet wide bites that the machine takes in its journey along the paddock. Uniformity in everything is a characteristic of the Marsh. The sheaves fall from it all of the same bulk, and each has consequently the same amount of strain put upon it when the knot is made that gives tightness to the binding, and no one will accuse the Deering binder of being a sloven. The sheaf is compact, and securely tied. You could lift it and throw it from you in perfect security; the knot would not yield, and the tightness of the binding would not slacken. So securely is the knot tied, that were you to pull until the binding gave way, you would find that it was the string that broke, and not the knot that came adrift. Long ago wo witnessed a competition in a. harvest field in the old country. The reaper had not yet found its now universal favor ; the idea of the self binder had still to be conceived in the womb of necessity, the great mother of invention. The six scythe-men were the cracks of the district, and were working at a fancy figure ; the binders were also men and women, noted for their smartness, and the mixed multitude who built the stocks and drew the rakes were the best of the moving crowd that then floated from one farm to another as the crops were worked off. The scythemen started in the usual “ echelon ” of four or five yards behind each other. When they had all entered the wheat you could see their sharp scythes moving together in measured time. “ Regular as rolling water. Not a step was out of tune As the tides obey the moon. ”

When the last stretch of the field was reached, the last man finished in just the time he had necessarily been behind the others in starting, and not one man was a stroke behind his fellow in time or in quantity cut. But the great test was the height of the stubble. You could distinctly see if you looked for it where each man had been cutting, by his slightly different stubble from the others, but his own was pex-fect in height, and only the critical eye would notice the slight difference of the men’s work. The farmer was delighted, and gave a prize to all six. The same plan had to be followed with the binders. The stubble left by the Marsh recalled this old memory, which was freshened again by the uniform lightness of the sheaf. But the shape of the string-bound sheaf ruthlessly dismissed this picture ofthe past. The hand-bound sheaf was a hearty, jolly-looking affair, round and buxom as some of the lasses who tied it ; the Marsh sheaf was a flatsided looking concern, all head and bottom and no waist, like a scandalously tightlaced girl. But though the flat sides of the sheaf may jar with our old ideas of the harvest field as it lies upon the stubble, it is somewhat of a help to the stooker in building, as the flat sides come together handy, and do not look badly once set up. The machine gives the uniformity of size to the sheaves, rioted above, by a very clever arrangement. A spring, after receiving a certain amount of pressure, yields, stopping the gatherers, and setting the binder to work. It makes but one revolution, and the sheaf is complete. The apparatus that ties the knot is in its action not unlike the motion of a finger and thumb, receiving the two ends of the string immediately the knife has divided it, and holding cn to them till they are drawn through the loop and the knot is made. Wind cannot interfere with the working, as the sheaf is completely sheltered, from its first clutch by the machine till its last gentle fall of a foot from the harvester to the stubble. There is no humbug, no confusion, no bound sheaves here and unbound or half-bound ones there, and no hashing of the corn, but everything is complete and satisfactory—a “ thrifty ” machine, that can do, it is said, fifteen acres a-day. At Prebbleton it worked without a single hitch of any"liind, and for its success it got the following testimonial on the ground, signed by over 50 practical men who saw it at work (out of 200 or more who were there during the day) some of them as good judges of harvest work as are to be found in Canterbury : January, sth, 1880. Tp Messrs. Mason, Struthers, and Co., Christchurch, Dear Sirs, —We, the undersigned farmers in the Province of Canterbury, New Zealand, have this day witnessed a trial of the Marsh Harvester with Deering’s Twine Binder in a heavy crop of oats belonging to Jphn Overton, Esq., Prebbleton, and are desirous of testifying to the excellence of the work done, and have no hesitation in saying that it is a most perfect machine, and does the best work of any we have seen in New Zealand* and

consider it will be a great acquisition to this colony, and elsewhere. We also desire to thank Mr. Ellithorpe, the maker’s representative, for his lucid, explanations of the machine, and attention to all inquiries. The Johnston string binder had a trial the same day at Irwell. Of its success the “Press” said :—“ The paddock chosen for operations was a field of barley, which was very long in the straw, and from its condition, the grain being very much tangled, was considered likely to tax the power of the machine, and give a good idea of its ability to cope with crops under any disadvantage. Mr. Wilson, the manufacturer’s agent, was ir attendance, and explained the working of the machine. Those present expressed themselves well satisfied with the wo iking of the machine, and the way in which it dropped the sheaf, which falls on its butt, also with the closeness of the cut to the ground. ” To show that the farmers are pleased with the string binders both Messrs. Mason, Struthers, and Co., and Messrs. Morrow Bassett, and Co. have already received orders for their respective machines. We take the following'account of a trial of the Wood string hinder from the Melbourne Argus : Though numerous attempts were made to use string in place of wire, none have stood the test of actual work till the Wood’s harvester and self-acting string binder appeared on the scene. This machine is the most perfect piece of agricultural machinery that has yet been constructed even by the skillful inventors of America. In construction it is much more simple than the wire binders we have seen at work, and the draught is much lighter. One of these machines was shown at work on the farm of Mr. Allen Cameron, of Janefield, on Dec. 29, in the presence of a number of farmers residing in the district. It was tried on a small piece of wheat estimated to yield about 35 bushels to the acre. The patch was about threequarters of an acre in extent, and though much time was lost in turning so frequently, the whole was cut down in 25 minutes. The work was done admirably, the sheaves being tied firmly and well, and those present satisfied themselves hy actual experiment that they could bo thrown about without any danger of the string becoming untied. A pair of ordinary farm horses walked along at the rate of about three and a half miles an hour when cutting the crop, and at that rate did not seem to be unduly exerting themselves. The machine used was taken from America to England a few months ago, and exhibited at work at Cheshire, where it cut about GO acres of grain in October last. The work was very difficult owing to the great growth of weeds in the crop occasioned by the extreme wetness of the season. The corn was cut in a highly satisfactory manner, and without the slightest accident happening to the machine. It was then packed up and shipped to Melbourne by the s. s. Orient. The expressions of admiration by those on the ground on the occasion of the present trial were unanimous. It was admitted that at last the problem had been solved, and that a reaper and binder had been produced entirely free from the drawbacks attending those which have preceded it. The mechanism is so arranged that each sheaf is made exactly the same size, no matter how much the crop may vary, and the size of the sheaf may be regulated by a very simple contrivance. In delivery the sheaf is thrown on the butt end, so that in very ripe grain as little shock as possible is given, in order that no loss of grain may occur. The sheaves are all laid the same way, and the land has thus a very neat appearance when the grain is cut. The corn on being cut falls on a revolving apron, which carries it to the elevator, whence it it is conveyed to the binding table. Here it is caught by revolving rake fingers, which bring it down the table against a compressor, which acts as an automatic trip to thixnv the .binder in gear. As soon as a sufficient quantity of grain is thus brought together, the pressure throws the trip forward so as to put the binder in gear. The binding arm then comes forward from beneath the table, carrying the string round the sheaf ; at the same time the automatic trip, which has just acted to put the binding machinery in gear, is now moved hack to act as a compressor, to give the desired compression on the sheaf. After the knot is securely tied, the binding arm recedes under the table, and a forked arm, working on a crank, thrusts the now securelybound sheaf off the table, and recedes till another sheaf has been formed. The machine for tying the sheaf is situated above the grain, and consists of three pieces. It is as simple in construction as that for fastening with wire, and as little likely to get out of order. The string for binding is carried on a small wooden case at the rear of the binding-table, about half a day’s work being put in at a time. The cost of the string is about one-third loss than that of binding-wire. In shape the sheaves are somewhat flatter than it is usual to make them. There is no strain on the string till the sheaf is set free, and thus such a thing as a break in the string never occurs. The new machine has been extensively tried in the United States and Canada, and has always given great satisfaction. The advantages claimed for this machine arc, that no matter in what shape the grain comes up the elevatar, it is straightened out by the rake-fingers so as to make a good-shaped sheave. The grain is protected from high winds_ from the time it enters the elevator till it is bound in a sheaf. The whole of the machine is protected by a strong wooden frame, which projects beyond it, and preserves it from injury. The new reaper and binder is manufactured by Mr. Walter A. Woods, of Hoosick Falls, N.Y.. The cost of the new reaper and binder is said to he about the same as those already in use, in which the sheaves are bound with wire.

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THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 47, 13 January 1880

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