HARVESTING. Bv a Plains Fabmee. [We are ever ready to open our columns to contribxitions of the kind below. The writer is a practical farmer, who has several times sent us valualle contributions, tho result of w ell applied experience, and we have no doubt the useful hints he gives below will be as highly appreciated as those he gave on former occasions on other subjects. We would far sooner publish the productions of practical men who know their business, and study it intelligently, than give space to the lucubrations of mere theorists.] In going around the district, I have noticed what a difference there is between some farmers and others as to the time taken in getting their harvest secured. No doubt there are some possessing more tact and energy who will get as much work done with four men as others will with six, in about the same time. But, as a rule, farmers do not fairly calculate on the number of acres in crop, and what number of men, horses, and machines it will take to harvest it in such time as will secure it safely. It always grieves me to see crops lying on the ground for weeks, and never stocked. 1 have seen some lying six weeks, and some crops are standing now that were ripe three weeks since. Yet such men will complain if the. crop gets shaken or sprouted, and think they are unfortunate, whereas more grain is injured through carelessness, and not having sufficient strength to get it seen to in proper time, than is injured by bad weather. I have always found that the sooner it is stacked after it is sufficiently dry, the better the sample will be Wheat left in the stook for a long while although there'may not he much rain it will not come out so bright and fresh as what has been stacked a few daj's after cutting. Then there is the risk of getting ' rain. Now that wc have the reaper and binder, farmers can easily calculate before harvest what men they will require to keep the work on in all,its stages, so as to have but as little crop as possible exposed to the rain, if it should come. Now, as a rule, no farmer having upwards of 300 acres, should trust to one machine. In this respect many are penny wise and pound foolish, and yet 1 know some farmers having this year from 400 to 600 acres, and cutting it all withono machine. They work it with six horses and two men, changing every four hours, and keeping the machine ■going from daylight till dark, and by night in the moonshine. And then it has taken them fire or six weeks to get the crop cut, and now they have just begun to stack. The weather has been exceptionally fine, or they might have had their grain all spoilt, and whose fault would it have been ? If a farmer has three or four hundred acres of crop he should put two machines to work for a week or ten days then, he might stop one and put nien to stack, and all would be secure within a month. But there are some large farmers with their thousands of acres of crop, some of which was ripe a month since, only now cutting. Such men are not worthy of the name of farmers. One machine should bo calculated for every 250 acres, and men should be put on sufficient to stook it close up after the machine every night, and tho stacking keeping on about four days after. If that were attended to strictly, but very little grain would be in-
jurod, even in a wet harvest, comparatively speaking. And now a word- about stacking. Notwithstanding all that has been said about the way to build, so as to keep the wet out, I see some still going on in the old way, making thestack quite flat even in the roof; and then they don’t make any proper finish, but I have seen some with the sheaves lying flat on the top, instead of which tho middle should be well filled all the way up, so as to keep the outside ring the lowest. But when commencing to put the roof on it should be filled much higher, and so kept on, every ring, or round of sheaves until the last, which should bo brought in like a round “ shock,” as we use to call them in England, and then run a band round the top to prevent the wind blowing it off. In Cornwall, we used to put the wheat up in slnall stacks, or Irish mows, as they were called there. In a good crop we should put about four to the acre, two of these would be a waggon load. They would be built without any filling, and we had to make tho size according to the length of straw. It was thought good work to make three of these in one hour, which I have done many a day. In building these you have to keep the sheaf straight up, or nearly so, and bring the top in with small sheaves, which would be kept back for the last, so as to be able to, cover it with one large sheaf, turned head downwards, and tied fast. These would keep out all tho rain that might come, which, in Cornwall, is not a little. Men that have been accustomed to build these small mows, will know how to build a large one so as to keep out the wet, be it little or much. It is a great pity when grain is put into the stack in good condition to have it spoiled with the wet afterward.
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THE FARMER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 73, 13 March 1880
THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 73, 13 March 1880
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