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THE FARMER.

BARLEY CULTURE. BY A PRACTICAL FARMER. A valued contributor —an old farmer with a lifetime’s experineo, divided almost equally between the Old country and Now Zealand —sends the following bints on barley culture. The long experience of the writer on Canterbury land, part of bis time on our own plains, should give much weight to- his words, and doubtless our fanning readers will have as great pleasure in the perusal of the article as we have in giving it publication : Now that barley is getting to be so extensively cultivated, perhaps it may not be amiss to make a few observations on its different stages. First, to secure a good crop of barley, it is very essential that an even and regular kind of soil he selected. It is almost impossible to produce a good sample from a patchy piece of land where the soil varies—some light, some heavy, and some dry, some wet—as the ripening process will vary just in proportion as the soil varies, consequently the sample will be very uneven. The next thing to bo attended to is a thorough pulverising of the soil by giving it two, and perhaps in some cases three ploughings, then, byscarifyingandrolling, get it into a fine mould, and then drill in the seed, care being taken not to work it except it be sufficiently dry to allow the soil to run in after the caultcrs or tines of the drill. Now wo come to the harvesting, which is applicable to the present time, and perhaps of the greatest importance of all the stages. I see a very general and fatal error is committed by cutting too soon. Perhaps some excuse may be made for doing so in this country, where wo are subject to such high wind, and farmers often suffer heavy losses from having their wheat and oats shaken out. But barley will stand much longer without being shaken. I remember hearing the old farmers in England say that barley should be allowed to stand until it could be cut with an ox rib. IE it is cut before the blue stripe is gone it will never be a good color, and will require a much longer time in stook before it will bo fit to thrash or put into the stack ; otherwise it will be heated. It must have its time, and the longer it is loft before it- is cut, the less time it will require in the stook, or being exposed to the weather, which is cf the greatest importance, as it is well known that barley is more liable to be injured by rain than any other grain. For continuation of reading matter see fourth P a S e -

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THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 58, 7 February 1880

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