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The agricultural returns for, this county as well as for some other in Canterbury have been published, and from them we note that a large increase has taken place in the acreage under cultivation as well as in the yield of produce. Most people were aware that the acreage tilled this year had considerably increased over that of last year, but they were only aware of the general fact: the statistics now published give us the figures. But every man, who took any notice of the weather and the fields, was bound to be satisfied that,-as compared with the dry season of 1879 troubled as the farmers were with strong and incessant north-west winds, that parched the land and robbed it of its moisture, checking the growth of the grain, and reducing the yield—the very favorable growing season of 1880 would tell a satisfactory tale upon the harvest. X’he figures relating to this county are as

follow ;—ln 1879 there were 64,880 acres of land under wheat, yielding 1,139,025 bushels ; in 1880 there were- 73,502 acres under wheat, yielding 1,974,401 bushels —an increase of 8622 acres, and 835,376 bushels. In oats there were 23,470 acres tinder crop, yielding 515,204 bushels in 1879; and in 1880,34,911 acres, producing I, bushels—an acreage increase of 11, and an increase of oat yield of 759,360 bushels. Under barley, 1879 had 5980 acres, from which 122,788 bushels were gathered ; and in 1880 the .acreage under barley crop was 15,159. from which 397,668, bushels were reaped—an increase of 9279 hcres and 274,880 bushels. In addition to these the statistics give 261 acres under potatoes in 1879, producing 1244 tons : in 1880, the acreage rose to 370, and the yield to 1961 tons. The yield per acre shows the difference between the harvests of the two years, as far as the unsatisfactory way Government has of taking these returns will allow any accuracy to bo obtained. In 1879, the return of wheat per acre was over 17 k bushels; in 1880, over 25k. In 1879, oats to the average of 21£ bushels per acre were secured ; in 1880, they have yielded nearly 34 bushels to the acre. Barley gave about 21J bushels per acre in 1879 ; and 33f bushels in 1880. The yield of potatoes in 1879 was 4 tons 14 cwts per acre; and in 1880 5 tons 6 c wts. We say Government has a very unsatisfactory mode of collecting this information ; or rather, the mode is right enough, but the time at which the collection is made is wrong. In some parts of this country—not many, to be sure, but still some parts —grain is still standing, while a very large quantity is still unthrashed. Those statistics are compiled while the grain is in many cases still green, and the return of bushels to the acre given by the fanner is a haphazard guess—under or over, according to his judgment, or possibly, according as he desires hii creditors to believe. At best it is difficult to obtain more than a rough approximation to the yield, but there is, a possibility of having that approximation a good deal closer to the truth, and far more reliable than it is now. And that could easily be brought about by waiting until the grain has passed through the thrashing machine, when the actual number of bushels raised on a farm could easily bo given by the farmer, and the figures would then be results, and not simply a guess. In one case we know of Hat year—and we have no doubt that case was only one of many—the farmer gave his farm’s yield at 12 bushels to tire acre, and expressed his sorrow at the miserable disappointment he had sustained, for he had hoped to reap 25 bushels from his land. His disappointment was a good deal intensified when ho brought the machine to his holding, and from that crop ho fancied was going to yield him 12 bushels to the aero he was only able to thrash out an average of five. Similar cases have occurred this year, and not seldom the machines have thrashed out a far heavier yield than that given to the collector of official statistics. Last year was a poor year, and we are afraid that the machines too often disappointed the farmer’s hopes ; and though this harvest has been a very good one, we are inclined to believe there will be a considerable difference in many cases between the estimated yield while the crops were green, and the actual per acreage thrashed out. But though errors may be made regarding the result of the crop when the ear is green, there can bo no mistake about the acreage. He is a very fire-eating farmer indeed who works so fast that be takes no note of the number of new acres he breaks up, so the return of new land is sure to be correct, and over the land in crop last year, 1880 shows an increase of 29,451 acres. An. examination of these figures shows as well as anything does the progress the county is making in agriculture, and gives proof of the firm belief the farmers have in the land they till, and their determination to stick to it. Steadily, year by year, and at no snail’s pace, the tussocks —the distinguishing feature of the virgin soil of the plains—are disappearing, and soon they will be as scarce .as even yet they are plentiful. It is no very great stretch of memory —it seems but-yesterday. —to call to mind the vast sea of tussocks those plains were when the railway first ran through them. But to-day the traveller, as the train rushes over the plains, has his eye caught by innumerable portly stacks of grain that are visible on either side of the line as far as the eye can reach, and the picture covers the ground along many, many miles of country. The smoke wreaths of the thrashing engines are to be seen all the way between the rivers, and homesteads arc steadily increasing. Nor are the fanner’s prospects dull. In all likelihood ha will obtain for his produce this year a satisfactory return, the only disadvantage being that the prudent farmer who this year grew a fair percentage of oats will not do so well as he had hoped ; but take the year all round, it must be a good one, and cannot fail to tell upon the agriculturist’s condition. Regarding oats, it is worthy of remark that by far the largest increase is upon that cereal, the difference between the two years being no less than 769,360 bushels, and this is quite sufficient to account for the low price they are now bringing, and the wise course many farmers are adopting—viz., stacking their oat crops till the market is less burdened, and buyers are more willing to trade at a good figure.

We have had some enquiries regarding the rates of postage by the Suez mail, which some of our readers do not seem fully to understand, and it may be as well to place the rates as fully before the public as possible. All mails by the Suez route will in future be sent via Brindisi alone, the service hitherto made use of via Southampton having been discontinued, and the letter rate will be Bd. for each letter, weighing less than half-an-ounce, and Bd. for each additional half ounce or fraction of half-an-ounce. It must be borne in mind that letters must be specially addressed “ via Brindisi” if they are intended to go by the Brindisi mail, and if they should by any mistake bear only the sixpenny stamp as formerly, they willbe detained till the next outgoing San Fracisco mail and sent by it. But should the letters be over weight, and bear stamps to the amount of Bcl., they will be forwarded by Brindisi, if so addressed, and the rate for the excess weight, with a fine of the same amount, will be charged against the receivers of the letters. Thus, a letter weighing more than half-an-ounce, but bearing Bd. worth of stamps will be forwarded, but the person to whom it is addressed will have to pay on receipt one shilling and fourpence—Bd. to cover the deficient postage, and Bd. of a fine. By the new arrangements newspapers will not be charged for as they used to he —Id. per single newspaper—but the rate will be 2d. for every four ounces. So that in future senders of the nows will study economy by making up in one cover parcels of newspapers to the weight of under half a pound, when 3d. in stamps will cover the postage. The lowest newspaper rate is 2d., and no newspaper, stamped with a penny stamp only, will be forwarded via Brindisi, but will be detained till the next outgoing San Francisco mail. The rate “per book post” &c. via Brindisi is 2d. for every two ounces or fraction of two ounces. Hopes are held out that the rate for letters by this route will be reduced by and by, but meanwhile the rates we have given above are those charged just now. We shall gladly give notice at once of any reduction in the rate as soon as we are apprised of it.

The Brindisi Mails. —Mails for the United Kingdom &c., via Brindisi will close at the Ashburton post office today, at 10.20 a.m., to connect with the s. s. Rotorua, at. Port -Chalmers. Correspondence for this route should be specially addressed. The rates of postage are for letters, Sd. per hoz. ; book packets 2d. per 2ozs. ; newspapers, 2d. per 4ozs. Volunteers. —The total number of volunteers in the colony is 8247, exclusive of cadets, who number 1901. Inspectorship of Hospitals.—Dr. F. W. A. Skae has been gazetted an inspector of Hospitals and Charitable Institutions for the colony. C.Y.O.—Lieutenant Slater’s appointment to the Captaincy of the C.Y. C. is gazetted, as also the resignation of SubLieutenant Brittan. Presbyterian Tea Meeting. —The annual tea meeting of the Presbyterian Chui ch has been fixed for the 20th of April in the Town Hall. Reduction of Wages.— On Tuesday, the Christchurch Board of Conservators reduced their men’s wages from eight to five shillings per day. Indecent Assault. A man named Patrick Martin has been committed by the Christchurph R.M. on a charge of indecently assaulting a child of two years. The Native Commission.— The Royal Native Commission have concluded their sittings at Waitara. They will remain at New Plymouth another week, and then will return to Patea. Registration of Electors. — Mr. C. Percy Cox has been gazetted Registrar for Coleridge district under the Registration of Electors Act, 1879, the appointment dating from the Ist inst. The Cyclone in New Caledonia. — Mr. D. O. Gruickshank, the French Consul at Auckland, is soliciting subscriptions in aid of the sufferers by the recent cyclone in New Caledonia. Unemployed for the Waimate Plains. —The s.s. Hincmoa left Wellington for Opunako on Tuesday evening with the wives and families of the men already sent on to the Plains, and also a further detachment of unemployed. Grain at Raicaia. —The Rakaia railway station is now a busy scene from the advent of daylight till long after dark, long strings of drays all day long coming in loaded, and all the available trucks at the disposal of the station-master are filled with sacks almost as soon as they arrive. The Oarandinis. —From a cominunicawe have received from Mr. Walter Sherwin, wa learn that the Carandini Company of talented instrumentalists and vocalists will appear in Ashburton for two nights, the 22nd and 23d inst., at the Towxi Hall. Particulars will appear shortly. Forcible Entry. — At the Timaru R. M, Court on Monday, W. Quinn, Charles Pontiff, Charles Hawkins, John ' Keen, Michael Lynch, and Joseph Sima, laborers, were committed for trial at the Supreme Court for forcible entry on the land of Mr. James Cowl at Makikihi. Quinn held a mortgage over the land. Alford Forest. —Mr. John Tisch has assumed command of the Alford Forest Hotel, lately occupied by Mr. Morgan. Mr. Tisch’s hostelry is the only establishment in the district wherein the weary traveller may obtain refreshment for self and beast. Mr. Tisch runs a daily mail from Methven, which is a convenience of great value to travellers in search of the Forest. An Opening for Choppers. —Those of our readers -who are on the look out for a block of good land, on easy terms, could not do better than cast their eyes over the advertisements in our columns calling for tenders for leasing a lot of Government reserves on long leases. Some of the land is worth inspection, and the terms arc so exceptionally easy that there is no doubt very good rents will be realised. Narrow Escape.— Just as the express train was leaving the railway platform at Rakaia on Tuesday morning a man, very much the worse for drink, in attempting to walk across the line fell on the rails directly in front of the engine. Fortunately, the engine, although started, had not gathered much way, and the driver was able to pull up though not till about ten yards from where the man was lying. Masonic Ball. —The Masons of Ashburton have decided to give a Masonic ball at the consecration of the new hall now erected in Tancred street. The ball is pui’posed to take place on Friday, :16th April. The following brethren are the committee for carrying out the arrangements :—Bros. P.M. Shearman and Stephenson, Bros. E. Saunders, W. H. Gundry, W. 11. Zoucb, C. Braddell, T. Quill, R. Friedlander, S, B. Nelson, H. C. Jacobson, W. Sparrow, J. Bradley, and H. W. Felton. The new hall will be finished about the beginning of April. The consecration will take place on the afternoon of the 16 th. Advice to Ratepayers. —The attention of the ratepayers is called to section 12 of the Rating Act, 1876, Amendment Act, 1879, which reads as follows : “It shall be sufficient if any demand required to be made under section 48 of the Rating Act, ■ 1876, be made by the same being sent through any post-office addressed to the person liable at his last known place of abode or place of business.” Section 48 above referred to states that a demand for rates must be made in writing under the hand of any collector or other duly appointed person, and “delivered” to the person liable either personally, or by leaving the same at his last known place of abode or place of business, or on the premises in respect of which such rate is due. We would remind the ratepayers that the rate now struck is payable on the 15th inst., and it is necessary that it be collected within the time specified. It will be seen by advertisement that the rates are payable to the Town Clerk; at his office, Burnett street, between the hours of 10 and 12 forenoon and 3 and 5 afternoon. ; : , . • Ashburton School Committee. —This Committee met on Tuesday evening. Present—Dr. Stewart, Messrs. St. Hill, Boyle, Andrew, Bean, and Jacobson. A letter was read from the Board of Education in reply to the Committee’s application for increased salaries to some of the teachers, stating that the staff required Remodelling. The present staff are—a master at L 291 ; mistress, LIOO ; 2nd master, L 13 0; and 7 pupil .teachers. The staff allowed to the school by its average attendance is a master at L 201; a mistress at L 164 ; infant mistress at Lllß ; assistant teacher at L 10 0; and seven pupil teachers. It will thus be seen that the school is entitled to another mistress, and the Secretary was instructed to write to the Board of Education to that effect, and at the same time to recommend Miss Stewart for the post of head mistress at the increased salary of LIG4. The master’s report, which was a rather lengthy one; was read, and some of the suggestions adopted. The Chairman, Messrs. St. Hill, Orr, and Bean were appointed a committee to arrange about supply of drinking water for the children, the present system, being very defective. It was resolved that the school treat should be held on Easter Monday, 29th inst., and it was determined to appeal to the public for funds in aid, a considerable sum being yet required. It was resolved to urge on the Board of Education the necessity for iihmediately providing increased accommodation. The Reason Why. —A lady entered Her kitchen rather suddenly, in Paris, and was surprised to see a fireman quietly seated. The cook at once said : “ As our chimney has not been swept for some time, I thought it would be a good thing to have a fireman in the house in case of fire.”

Insurance. —A conference of the -heads of Insurance Companies is being held in Wellington. The business is of a private nature, but it affects insurance generally.

Another’Large Railway Bridge.— The iron railway bridge which crosses the Volga from Sysran in the direction of Orenburg will soon be completed. It is nearly as long as the Tay Bridge, but it is more strongly constructed and has not the same elevation. It will have occupied about seven years in building. The engineers promise the Russian Government that it shall be ready before the spring, but it may bo doubted if they can fulfil that promise. There is no-question, however, that every effort will be made, because this completion of the Russian railway system to Orenburg has the greatest possible importance in connection with the military operations about to be resumed in Central Asia.

A Police Ball Incident. —A strange incident occurred at the police ball. All the men had to leave their coats and hats in a cloak room, and were expected to give their comrades who looked after them 'id. in coming out. Port wine served ad libitum had the effect of making even some of the “hobbies” a littla troublesome. One of them presently went for his coat, and was asked for 6d. “ What,” said ho, “ d’yer get sixpence for all of them ? (hie). Then I’ll take the money for ycr (hie). ” And he planted himself in front of the plate. His brother constables had —sad to relate—to “ move him on ” by main force to his hearth and home.—“ London Correspondent. ”

A Wealthy Sayings Bank. —The C4th annual report of the Liverpool Savings Bank, just published, shows that the total amount due to the 65,144 depositors at the close of the financial year was L 1,808,903, while the total amount to the credit of the bank was L 1,813,509, showing a surplus of L 4,606, besides the valuable hank premises and a sura of LIO,OOO on a separate surplus account. In the past year 13,309 new accounts were opened, 5843 old accounts were reopened, and 556 dormant accounts were carried to “suspense.” The position of the bank has improved in the year by L 36,276 in the amount due to depositors, and by 1767 in the number of open accounts.

Dried Peaches.—l have just seen some dried peaches (American), which are very good, and suggest how much might be done in this way in countries where there is an over-supply of fruit. The drying process, which is now carried out to such perfection in America, is certainly much better than the “canning.” one as regards wholosomeness of the products, while ft avoids the expense of cans, and the carriage of much liquid matter, which is probably more liable to injury than the dried goods. The practice of drying fruit is carried on to a great extent in many parts of Germany and Switzerland for domestic use throughout the winter, but does not seem to be in use with us. The dried apples now sent from America are excellent. — “The Garden ” The Revolver in English Streets A case investigated before the Liverpool justices recently shows that the reprehensible practice of carrying loaded revolvers continues in that town. A young man named Trainer was seen firing a revolver in Seagrave street, about half-past one o’clock in the morning, and a bullet struck the wall of the neighboring bridewell. Being asked what he was doing, he said he was only using his weapon, which he was always allowed to do in America. The pistol was taken from him, and was found to be still loaded in four chambers. Before the magistrates he pleaded that he was under the influence of drink, and did not know what he was doing. A fine of 405., with costs, was imposed. A Farmer Killed by an Aerolite. In Nemaha County, Kansas, David Miscnthalor, a well known stockman, was struck by a falling meteor, or aerolite. He was driving some cattle from a field, and it appears as if the meteor had come from a direction a little west of south, and fell obliquely at an angle of about sixty degrees, for it first passed through a tall maple, cuttingthe limbs as clean as if it had been a cannon ball, and then struck him apparently on or under the shoulder, passing clear through him obliquely from below the right shoulder to above the left hip, and buried itself about two feet in the •soft black ground. |The poor man’s head and legs are uninjured, but the greater part of his body seems to have been crushed into the earth beneath the terrific aerolite, which is about the size of a common patent bucket, and apparently of a roughly round shape. It appears to be formed of what is called iron pyrites. Ascent of Hecla by a Lady. Miss Th. Petursson, a daughter of the Bishop of Reykjavik, Iceland, made an ascent of the great volcano, Hecla, before the end of the summer, for the purpose of making geological observations. The temperature of the sides of the larger craters she found had recently undergone a considerable increase ; and from a number of very small fissures and holes on those craters there arose heavy white columns of vapour, the sulphurous character of which was much stronge! than for a long time past. From those circumstances it is inferred that a new eruption of the volcano is to be expected. This is considered the more likely as since the last eruption the period of quiescence usually observed between the outbreaks of Hecla has already been long since exceeded. The last eruption took place in the year 1845. At that time, shortly before the outburst of flame, flava, and ashes, there was likewise observed a considerable rise in . the temperature of the orators. An earthquake took place last September in the southern portion of the island, and as the direction of its motion was as though it set out from Hecla, it is not improbable thafi it had some casual connection with the; recent , changes observed on the volcano. In Reykjavik, too, rather smart shocks were felt, but no injury was done. In j;he south-east, however, their violence was less innocent, a number of buildings having been destroyed at Yigdisarvollir, near Krisurvik. Scavenging by Fire. — For som e months an apparatus has been in use at Leeds for burning up the refuse collected by the scavenging department of the Corporation. It is tumbled into the furnaces —pots and pans, crockery, and earthenware, stones and brickbats, all going in—being either burnt up bodily or so purified as to be no longer ' offensive. In the month of December 991 loads of refuse, or 1,090 tons 2 cwts were consumed in 24 working days of 24 working hours each,: or at the rate of 40 loads dailyl The work of destruction begins on Momjtiy morning, and the place is continuously in operation, day and night, till three o’clock on Saturday afternoon, when work ceases for the week. No coal is used. The draught of air is so strong, and the heat so fierce, that the furnaces roar and blaze away, the material poured in at the top being sufficient to keep the “ destructor ” going. There are six furnaces or “cells.” These ai-e regularly raked up by the men in charge, who pull out the masses of the refuse. Amidst the burnt stuff are iron pots and pans, which are picked out, placed in a heap, and sold at 255. a ton. Attached to the works are a couple of mills, driven by a fourteenhorse steam engine, in which capital mortar is made. The slag which collects in the furnaces is ground into. a fine sand and is utilised for the purpose. With the exception of the pots, pans, and tin canisters, everything is. either burned or ground up on the works, and made useful in some. way. Above the furnaces are a c Duple of orifices, covered with iron, into which deceased animals can be put and their bodies be rapidly eonsvpued, ■ .. -

. Hematite Deposits. —A company is being, formed in Auckland to develop the Thames hematite ore deposits, and other pigments in the province. Valuable ore deposits of pigments used in the painters’ art have been discovered in the province, and these, blended with the Thames crude material, will enable the company to manufacture all the most useful paints. The intention of the Auckland company is to bring out their pigments in quite anew form. The Kelson Crown Prosecutor.— At a meeting of the creditors of Henry Adams, solicitor, Nelson, his liabilities were given as L 8,597 and his assets at • L 5,915. The assets are considered overestimated, as the properties are heavily mortgaged. A number of questions ware asked with reference to moneys entrusted to the debtor for investment, and it was resolved not to assent to a deed of assignment, but to throw the estate into the Bankruptcy Court. Devi ii of a Waterloo Veteran.—Sergeant Leonard Simons, a Waterloo veteran, has just died at Corby, Northamptonshire. He was born at Bedford in 1793, enlisted in the 69th Regiment in 1813, and served in • the attack on Bergen-op-Zoom, the siege of Antwerp, and the battle of Waterloo, for which he received a medal. He claimed his discharge in 1833, and received a pension of Is. Gd. per day for life. He has left a widow, to whom ho was married 65 years ago. The Late Dr. Fox.—The late Dr. Fox, who died on board the ship Earl Granville, quarantined at-Auckland, came out last year as doctor of the immigrant ships Maraval and Famenoth. His interment took place on Tuesday. All the passengers per Earl Granville are progressing slowly. Dr. Humphrey Haines has been appointed Surgeon-Superintendent, and he is at present on the island. The ship will ho admitted to pratique about Friday, hut the immigrants will remain on the island for a week. A Legacy to the Freethinkers. — Freethinkers in general, and Mr. Bradlaugh in particular, have to thank a Scotch Radical—the late Mr. Win. Thomsm, of Montrose—for a nice little windfall. Under that gentleman’s will £3,000 was bequeathed to Mr. Bradlaugh, to be applied at his absolute discretion to the propagation of antitheological and advanced political views. The money lias just been paid over, and Mi - . Bradlaugh has exercised his “ discretion.” The National Secular Society, of which Mr. Bradlaugh is president, receives about £ISOO, and amongst the other beneficiaries figures the fund for securing Mi - . Bradlaugh’s election for Northampton, which is awarded £IOO. At the Front. —The Armed Constahn lary Force lately stationed at Stoney river moved to their now camp at Purehu, on Monday. The natives at Purehu made not the slightest opposition to the Armed Constabulary coming, telling them that they could fix their tents where they liked. The chief Te Motu intends making a present to Colonel Roberts as soon as the tents are fixed. The site of the new camp is about 209 yards from the old telegraph office, and is on the stream called Hauminga. There were 260 men belonging to the Force, besides the working party, which consists of 80 men, who will be under the charge of Mr. C. W. Hursthouse. The Unemployed iji Napier. —They must be a queer lot of unemployed in Napier if the following telegram is true : The meeting of unemployed called for Saturday night proved a great fiasco ; about 50 men, two-thirds laborers, rolled up. The convenor of the meeting unexpectedly asserted that there was plenty of work, and then said there was none, rnd concluded by returning to his first statement, and offering to get work for any who said they could not find it. He told an extraordinary tale of how he and Mr. Vincent Pyke lived on snakes for a week in Victoria when on the “ wallaby.” The next speaker strongly denounced the non-employment cry, saying that every man able and willing to work could get constant employment. Bennett, convener of the meeting, said he must dispute this, and mounted the barrel which did duty as a platform, but some one pushed the barrel from under him, and he fell heavily to the ground, where he lay stunned for some time. On recovery, he offered to fight anyone in a 36-foot ring for love or money. This concluded the proceedings. An American Miser. —An American paper announces the death of Hugh M'Glinn, proprietor of the Rhode Island livery stable, at the age of 60 years. The deceased left behind him an estate valued at over 200,000 dels. M'Glinn, it is stated, acquired his large fortune by leading an extremely penurious existence, and denying himself even the common necessaries of life. He occupied himself in the most menial employments about his establishment, and devoted himself to the making and hoarding of money. For years he occupied a loft in his stable, where he died. He was unable to read or write, and was obliged to entrust the management of his business to an agent. In his illness he refused to pay a physician to attend him unless he would guarantee a cure. He left a will bequeathing the whole of his estate to his wife, who, with his daughter, are earning a living in Rhode Island as domestic servants. He separated from his wife a number of years ago because she bought a silk dress.

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The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1880., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 72, 11 March 1880

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The Ashburton Guardian. COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1880. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 72, 11 March 1880

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