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, — T— « | _ Once more the New Tear brings as to the time when farmers begin to weigh the pros* peots of the harvest, and to watoh with anxiety every ohauge of wind and weather that may affect the ripening crops. At this Season the " state of the crops," always the foremost topic of conversation m the Ashburton county, becomes the all-absorbing subjeot, and we follow oar usual custom of giving some general notcH as to the harvest prospects m the various parts of the district, gained so far aa practicable by personal observation, and otherwise by trustworthy information.. It may be stated at the outset that the accounts which reach us are generally satisfactory. •« The season was the most backward ever kcown here. For months the crops were almost at a standstill, their growth being checked by cold gloomy days and fro3ty nights. Of rain there was up to the end of November more than enough, thongh a month earlier there was a deficiency on light soil. A good deal of heavy land was quite water* logged, and springs rose where they had previously been unknown. This was particularly the case on the swamp lands to the south of the Ashburton river, about Tinwald, Willowby and Flemington. The overflowing of the Hinds river, and the floods m the Wakanui, Methven and Rakaia districts were also responsible for great damage to orops, a considerable area of which was destroyed and had to be resown. The rainfall for Deoember was much below the average, bat the temperature remained at an almost wintry level until towards the end of the month, it not being till after quite an Oldcountry Christmas Day had been passed that anything like regular summer weather set m. The crops up to that time were stunted m growth and many of them looked very thin, the general outlook at the best being very doubtful. The genial warmth that has boen experienced sinoe then was happily unattended by nor* westers until substantial growth had been made, and it is to be hoped that the parohing blaet whioh eat m last Saturday will not long continue. A wonderful change had been effected by the previous ten days of fine weather, and farmers were beginning to rejoice m the prospeot of yields m many oases exceeding the averags of previous years, and m very few instances shewing any shortcoming; while prices, though not equal to those at whioh sales were made a month ago, are still much better than those with whioh farmers were so long familiar. We trust that favorable weather will prevail for the ripening and ingathering of the harvest, and that the pros, peots which the New Tear brings of a return of prosperity to the farming population — m whioh the well-doing of the district is bound up— may be amply realised. Our first report deals with probably the worst strip of farming land m the oounty, and m which there is less cropping than m almost any other part. This is the distriol extending from Tinwald to the Rangitata, bj Window, Hinds, and, Ealing, and extending a few miles on eaoh side of the main line of railway. After leaving Tinwald by the south road only a few small patches of good pjomise meet the eye among numerous thin yields, until Windermere is reaohed. Here there is considerable variance m the appearance of the orops, some being of excellent promise, and others appealing short and light. With favqrahle weather, however, the average yield will exceed that of last year. From thence to the Rangitata, where orops are visible from the road, they mostly consist of oats, whioh are very thin, the straw short, and the heads light. West of the roa.d to. a considerable distance similar conditions pra< vail } but towards the aea there ia a bettei state of affairs. On the Lowoliff swamp Mi Thomas Holmes is cutting a orop of oata whioh stand 7 feet high and will give a heavy yield. They were sown along with tares early m the autumn, but not being required for feed were allowed to ripen. X large proportion of the Lowoliff estate is m crop, wheat, barley, and oats, and the position of all is entirely satisfactory, though the wet weather of July and August was, of course, not without it? effects.., At Ooldstream some of the land is light and on these parts the orop, mostly oats, is on the light side, bvjt cm the good farming laryi whioh, forms the major part oi the estate, _ some splendid oropa of wheat, barley, and oata, are to bo seen. On. the Ohatmosß Estate the orops are strong and promise heavy yields. In f»ot, all along the seaboard the prospects are muoh better than, they are a few miles inland, fu^mfis qq the plains have cau^nn' very h.a.djy, iiTf.aoUh.ej only good show {hat was seen on this journey was on the farm of Mr Adam Jaokeon, Ealing. $otne bf>ve already been re-sowo, and this ope/alion will be neoeesary m far more than the usual number of instances. The shortness of feed is leading to a large breach o\ turnips being put m, and \t wi'l be a serious matter for cheep owners it this orop is a failure. . A few warm showers would probably lead to the appearanoe of a good plant, when the seed has. been given up as dead.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2031, 8 January 1889

Word Count

THE CROPS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2031, 8 January 1889