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NOTES FROM SEAFIFLD.

(from our own correspondent.) I may as well redeem my promise made some time ago, and say what I have to say regarding the crops. !ho harvest has commenced hex-e this week, but it will not be in full swing till next week. Still thex-e is some extent of oats and barley already cut and carted in this district and about Wakanui, and also Kyle way, and a few stocks have been built, which make things look quite cheery. I shall not name all the pax-ties whose crops I rode through, but shall take a passing notice of some of them. The machines are now in full swing, grass tin-ashing, and I understand the yield is very good. Mx-. Edwin Thomas’ machine was set to a paddock of barley, to thx-ash out of the stook, and a good piece of barley it was, too, like 35 bushels to the acre. The wheat in this district looks very well indeed, but the clover is better, comparatively speaking, for some of the paddocks were sown with only 21bs. of seed to the acre. The barley, also, is a good crop ; there is a lot I know, the fourth crop, going 30 bushels to the acre on this land near the river. But the grass this year is perhaps the best crop of all. In this district the oats bid fair to show a good return of bushels, more especially tartariau, which are looking fine indeed. Near the sea I saw some good crops of wheat, quite 40 bushels to the acre—but lam sorry to say the rust has taken effect on some of the cx-ops, particularly early wheat. Scaffold has some wheat cut and in stook, but the rust has got into some of the crops here too. On the reserve I fancy wheat will go 30 bushels to the acx-e, and 100 acres now in barley will run about 40 bushels. One paddock of wheat that looked very bad in the spring Had both grass and turnips sown down with it. The turnips ami grass look well, and I should say the wheat has 10 bushels of wheat to the acre. It is very well headed indeed. A few paddocks that were ploughed in have done well, but others have done badly, owing to having been ploughed in too deep. The crops in Kyle are looking as if they would all show up well in both straw and corn. In the district ax-ound Charing Cross thex-e are some very fine crops, but the storm which passed over this district some time ago did some damage to the oats by the hail that fell. It beat out a good deal of the corn in some places where the crops were neax’ly ripe. I think I may risk a sort of prophecy as the returns, and say the average yield will be about—wheat, 20 bushels per acre ; barley, 25 to 30 bushels ; oats, 35 to 40, and the stubble land has the best of it this time. The potato cx-op promises to give a good yield of tubex-s this year, and in those cases where the farmex-a have had the time and the foresight to take the tx-ouble to use up their farm yard manure to encourage tlxo “ spuds,” thex-e is a grand appearance in the kitchen gax-dens, although this root is not grown to any great extent by any individual fanxxor. lam glad to obsex-ve that nearly every holding in the district has a patch of potatoes, ranging according to the size of the fax-m, fx-om a quarter of an acre up to in come cases texx acx-es in extent, and I am of opinion the “ spud ” cultivators will find them to turn in mox’C cash than those who have trusted their luck to their oat crops. Moreover, it is necessary for the proper working of land of this nature that a rotation of grain and root crops should be at once initiated, and I know of no better as a speculation thaxx potatoes for the market ox- turnips for sheep feed, the formexbeing perhaps the most immediately profitable as, being easily converted into cash, and tho latter as being the best manuring agent for the ground, the profits coming in a secondary way in the shape of fattening up sheep. Pex-haps, xxow the Bell-Coleman meat export business has proved so great a success, it is probable that the turnips will be a better root crop than the potatoes, since worn out ewes and broken mouthed wethers will make mutton, which, at a cheap price in the old country, will prove vex-y acceptable to those not able to pay the extravagant prices for meat which rules in the home market. Potatoes are a sort of commodity which is limited in its consumption, and if they are grown in excess, the superabundance is simply waste or pig food. All I have said on this matter is, of course, depeixdent on the final news -we receive about the meat exportation experiment, and wo will know all about that before it is time to put in root cx-ops for next year. I should wish to call the attention of the farmers on the plains to the fact that if this Bell-Coleman experiment is going to be a success—which I honestly believe it is a cockatoo will be able to do well and prosper on onethird of the acreage he would had he to trust to cropping axxd a little assistance from wool growing. If sheep can be made to pay both with their wool and their mutton, then I insist Wakanni and Seafield farmers have a grand future before them. But at the same time don’t forget to clean your manure heaps up, and spread it over the fax-m, where it is x-equired, to sweeten it, and not leave it at your kitchen doors to breed fevers in this hot weather. As a rule, stock fed in the Seafield district, although not lax-ge in- number, turn out very well fox- quality, both sheep and cattle giving satisfaction to the butchers to whom they are sold. I fervently hope for a month’s fine weather to enable the fax-xxxeis to get in their cx-op, and I believe they will then be amply repaid for the last two years’ disappointment.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18800131.2.22

Bibliographic details

NOTES FROM SEAFIFLD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 55, 31 January 1880

Word Count
1,055

NOTES FROM SEAFIFLD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 55, 31 January 1880

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