MR. SILCOCK’S PAPER.
To the Editor.
Sir,— l don’t know if it is incumbent oh all who read papers on agricultural matters in connection with the Agricultural and Pastoral Association to defend their state-: ments through the medium of yourcolumns, but by your permission, I would like to say a few words in reply to “ Yorkshirobite.” I take the adverse criticism which your correspondent has been pleased to bestow on my paper, all in .good part ? but think he has made a hiistake in trying to patch! such an unworkable system as he would make out mine to be. I would much rather he gave his own scheme in del ail. And, Sir, if you don’t think it would be presumption on my part, I venture to assert that if “ Yorkshirebite ” works his 1,000-acre farm of plains land on the same liberal scale as indicated by his letter, if he is not already on his “ last legs,” it will not be long before he is.
.1 can scarcely believe he is in earnest, for he commences by saying my system will be found “ somewhat expensive, and at once goes on to add more expense to itj I decidedly object to that— if he can show better returns, according to lua way of
; v-. working, I am sure he will have many willing; and grateful learners. My estimate of rent or Interest was based on Mr. Grigg’s figures, it was about the only point in this paper which was not attacked —and as my paper on the results of farming on. land valued at L 4 per acre was given in comparison with land valued at L2O per acre, it would not have been fair to the plain lands to charge interest at 10 per cent., whilst on better land it was only charged 5 per cent. I admit the rent is low, but more I think than “ Yorkshirebite ’’ will be able to pay, if he does much grain growing, and requires three men (besides himself), and seven horses to crop 250 acres. I cannot agree with him in his estimate of horse power required. I have carefully reckoned' the time it will take four horses to do all the work required in ploughing, sowing, harrowing, rolling, and harvesting, and make it 225 actual working days. Neither can I agree with him in his estimate for horse-feed. 1 admit, being a little under the mark, but I think h.e has ‘ erred much further on’the other side, according to English authorities if we allow feed only for the actual working,days, and allow oats at Is. 6d,. per bushel (miy price was Is.) the cost of corn for four horses would be L 25 125.. . : ' • A: :
I do not say the| quantity of oats per horse allowed by him is too much ; but-, if he reckons his oats and his acres he will' find that it will cost him nearly three shillings per acre for oats, not allowing anything for chaff, &c., which should be fully one-third more. This will make it four shillings per acre. Add to this the wages and keep of two ploughmen, which comes to 3s. 10|d. per acre ;’total, ,;7s. 10|d. per acre for horse feed and wages.. Add to this cost of ploughshares, wear and tear, risk on horses, and depreciation in value, and then ask “ Yorkshirebite” whether ft will not pay him better to let his skim ploughing by contract at :4s. .6d. per acre. • ■ I admit having made a mistake iin reckoning my quantities of grass and: clover seeds required for sowing down 200 acres. ' . 0;' : My reply to “ Yorkshirebite’s” query re gorse fences is, if he can’t trim them him;self, let him pay for them out of .annual returns. j . The error in number of bushels, over 1 which he waxed poetic, was the. printer’s, and not mine. . . . ; In conclusion, ‘ I would like to ask “ Yorkshirebite” a few questions ,®n>the management of his real (not “imaginary”) farm : Where will you get your water from? Won’t you have to sink tha largest part of L2OO ini a well and wind-* mill pump 1 Will it not be cheaper and. better to buy or rent rams than fence a paddock for them, and have the and risk of keeping them 1 Will you need i a paddock for the calf of one cow f Won’t it be more profitable on the plains to keep working horses than breeding mares 1 Are two wires ‘ 1 a good and sufficient fence” enough to keep in crossbred pheep 1 If you break up your 1,000 acres all at onct?,: where will you keep your thousand, aheep. while the grass grows 2 ‘‘ Yorkshirebite,” you have made 1 a mistake. Your scheme, is for an unreclaimed piece of native soil —mine, for a farm in working order.— lam, &0., ’■ '■ 1 W. J. SILCOCK. -
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