• AMONG THE FARMERS. (By Our Rambling Reporter.) A visit to the Longheach district is one of the pleasantest outings on a fine day to be found in the neighborhood of Ashburton, and it is principally dr.e to Mr. John Grigg’s indomitable pluck and enterprise that this country—a few years ago a few years ago an almost impassable swamp —has been reclaimed and drained until it is unequalled in the colony as an agricultural or grazing estate. The quality of the land is so various, and at the same time of such a suitable character for combining the agricultural, pastoral, and cattle growing pursuits simultaneously, that under the personal supervision of the proprietor the property necessarily is a paying one, and one which employs as much labor as twenty times the acreage in runs ; and everything is managed as by clockwork. The quantity of crop now in process of being harvested, is immense this year, and the returns will be far above the average of last year, as the wheat will give a yield all round of 30 bushels per acre ; oats 45, or perhaps over that ; and the barley, which is a very mixed lot, will thrash out from 20 to 65 bushels The acreage of wheat is 1450 acres ; oats, 716 ; and barley 478 ; and 630 more of the latter cereal at Dromore. There are also l f| so acres in turnips, rape, carrots, &c., for fodder ; and grass hay to the extent 600 tons has been saved and stacked. When we consider that the above figures represent fully 2500 tons of grain alone, from this one estate, our readers will readily understand that the railway authorities will have to keep a few trucks at Winslow for the Longbeach estate. Nor does this represent the only export from this wonderful farm, for a mob of cattle generally numbering 60 to 70 head are driven overland monthly to the West Coast, and about 10 head per week to the Christchurch sale yards, where they always toil the market. We have on previous occasions described the various industries on the estate, and will defer fuller description till the crop is harvested. Another large landed proprietor and farmer in this prosperous district is Mr. Joseph Clark, whose well known energy has been of so much benefit both to the Watorton and Tinwald districts in which he is largely interested. On his Watorton farm he has 350 acres of wheat which will average 35 bushels per acre, 180 of a splendid crop of oats looking fully up to 50 or 55 bushels, and on Winchmore run there some 900 acres of wheat looking wonderfully well for the light nature of the soil in that locality. On the home farm Mr. Clark has been successful in saving a splendid crop of hay ; indeed there is quite a superabundance of this product all over the district. In this neighborhood Mr. Andrew Dawson makes a verygoodshow, his oats being very heavy and well headed, he has 340 acres, they will certainly go 40 bushels throughout, and 135 acres of barley looks rather light and will not probably thrash out more than 20 bushels. Hay has also been saved here to the extent of about 100 tons, and there are about 80 acres in turnips, mangold, carrots, &c. Near Willowby Mr. Stoddart is engaged in ploughing at present, the crop being a late one, and, although not extensive, is very heavy. He has 80 acres of wheat, which will give a yield of 55 bushels to the acre, and a 40 acre paddock of oats, which will go 60, besides 300 in pasture. On the opposite side of the road, Messrs. Chapman Bros’, fine farm is mostly laid down in English grasses, they having about 370 acres of pasture, and in crop 186 of wheat, which is a rather light crop and not likely to return more than 20 bushels per acre ; there is a very good 80 acre paddock of oats which should average 40 bushels and perilaps a little over. Nearer Winslow a field of 80 acres or so of wheat, is very patchy, and belongs to Mr. Wm. Clark of Leeston, and shows evidence of bad work in preparing the land, as for a first crop, it should have had a really good one this season, it will give 25 to 28 bushels. Next comes Mr. Arthur Frisby’s farm, he has a nice even crop of 110 acres wheat and 120 of oats, both of which will give 30 bushels, whilst his brother has 100 wheat and 40 of oats of about the same average, and 150 in permanent grass. BIRDS AND SEED CORN. The following, from a Lincolnshire paper, may not be without value in these days of sparrow pests : Mr. James Howard publishes a receipt for an effective but non-poisonous dressing for seed corn. For eight bushels of wheat or six bushels of barley take half a pint of gas tar, two pounds of blue vitriol, and two gallons of boiling water. The tar should be accm-atolymeasured(not guessed at), and should be of the consistency of treacle. After the tar is put into a pail one gallon of water should be poured upon it, and well stirred ; the black greasy scum which will rise to the surface should be skimmed off with a wisp of straw or piece of sacking, to which it will readily adhere. While this operation is going on, another man should be mixing the vitriol with the other gallon of water. When ready, both lots should be mixed together and poured over the heap of corn previously shot upon the barn floor ; the heap should be well turned over two or
three times quickly so as to saturate the whole. If any far or dregs remain at the bottom of the pail they should not De poured on the grain, or it will stick together in lumps, and bo likely to clog the drill cups. I have used this dressing for several years with complete success ; imt a single boy has been employed to mind the fields, nor has a gun been fired. The, full plant, however, whether wheat or barley, has afforded evidence that no loss had accrued. A new bailiff, who wished to save trouble, planted a large field of barley hast spring without dressing the seed ; but some 200 sable depredators from a rookery hard by gave him a lesson which is not likely to be lost upon him, foi, as he remarked to me, the field was a constant source of vexation to him, while, as to the other fields subsequently drilled with di'essed corn, he “ could not find the mark of a rook-peck upon them.” I may add that other birds appear to have as great an aversion to the taste of tar as rooks. How to Guard a Flock. —Oh imo sheep in every ten of the flock put a bell < f the usual size for sheep. Tiie instinct of the dog prompts him to do all hisac' s in a s!y, stealthy manner ; his attacks upon sheep are most frequently made at night while they are at rest, anc' the simultaneous jingling of all the bods strikes terror to the dogs ; they turn their tails and leave the sheep, fearing the noise of the hells will lead to their exposure. .
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 52, 24 January 1880
THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 52, 24 January 1880
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