MR. GRIGG IN REPLY.
To the Editor. Sir, —In your issue of July 3, a letter appearssigned “ A Country Subscriber,”in which the paper that I read at the last meeting of the Ashburton Agricultural and Pastoral Association is criticised. Will you allow me to reply briefly to some of “ Subscriber’s ” remarks. The first objection taken is that I had not allowed enough for labor, pointing out that there would be 500 chains of fencing on the farm as fenced and subdivided by me. I make it 423 chains, as the adjoining farmer would have to keep half the boundary fence next his land in order. 423 chains at 6d. per chain would give LlO 11s. fid.', not, I submit, a large proportion of the labor of two men. . I am not supposing that the gorse fences are to be the usual straggling fences, but such as are carefully and regularly out, and not allowed to grow more than two feet above the bank ; in that case 6d. per chain is quite sufficient. The next error “ Subscriber ” has made, is to make the quantity of land under crop 100 acres, instead 'of 75 acres.' As to the question whether the figures showing ordinary interest on capital, value of labor,‘and net profit, should appear as 20 plus 20 plus 40 equal to sixty, or as sixty, representing as 1 have stated, over sixty per cent, on the farmers capital, exclusive oithe labor of himself and wife, is quite immmaterial, and does not affect the conclusion I have draivn. The next mistake is, I think, raising a question of “deterioration of horses, cow r s, etc.” This is an item quite unknown to me as a farmer, for I take care that my young stock shall take the place of the older, selling the older when at full maturity and when at the highest market value. This mode will more than cover any necessary estimate for insurance on death. The next mistake is the greatest in “ Subscriber’s” letter, when he raises the question as to the probable “fair average” price of oats to 2s. 6d. per bushel. “ Subscriber” is clearly not a surveyor, or he wouldknowbetter how to tie his work to his starting point, or trig-pole. My starting point was—Will farming pay at present prices ? not with oats at 2s. 6d. per bushel. The next mistake is, I am made to estimate the value of cattle at two years old at L 8 ; whereas, by my figures, I bring them into stock as two-year-olds at L 5, and sell them a year after at LS each. As to the price of the colt, to be sold at L 25, being high, it is at least L 5 below my own sales this year. As to the question whether it would not be more profitable to use all such farms for horse breeding, I will leave “ Subscriber” to think that matter out at his leisure —viz., if all are breeders and sellers, where would the buyers be found ? I cannot be altogether surprised at “ Subscriber” being puzzled as to where the 50 sheepskinscan come from, as it would not occur to him that the first 25 sheep being eaten and no credit given for them in account, that the money would remain in the rations account for the purchase of a second lot of sheep. I would point out here that this item of L 7 which should have been credited to the returns in capital account, will be quite sufficient to provide for any “incidental expenditure, ” such as is referred to by “ Subscriber. ” The only item that I can admit that I may have under-esti-mated in the annual expenditure is that (inasmuch as the crops are to be admittedly heavy), LlO more might have been allowed for the more expeditious harvesting of the crops. But I am confident that in the prices of produce I have made a lower estimate than may be fairly set down as the prices for this season. I have taken wheat at 3s. per bushel— I sold my wheat at 3s. 7-id. Barley at 2s, fid. —I have sold at 2s. 9d. and at 3s. 7id. per bushel. Cattle at LB—my average for such stock would be L 9. Horses at L 25 —my average has been L3O. The pea crop is taken at 25 bushels per acre—the crop from which I have now got my seed for next year averaged 48 bushels per acre. Barley I took at 40 bushels per acre—-
whereas hll that,l grew this year on land so'managed, as I have proposed, averaged 60 bushels per acre. In fact I did not wish to make out an extreme case, but one that could be'maintained against all oh jectors.—lam, Ac., John Geigg
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