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The authorities of the forthcoming Exhibition at Dunedin are very properly., giving great attention to the represent*tion of the agricultural resources of the oolony. Photographs of cornfields and samples of grain bid fair to form a very considerable part of the exhibition) bll ibe Commissioners might well go farther, ~ and make euch arrangements as will enable visitors to New Zealand to see for themselves what harvest upon some of our high farming estates ia like. A visit just before or during harvest to inch estates . as Five Rivers m Southland, Greenfield, m 01 ago, and Longbeaoh or Springfitld m Canterbury, would do more than acres of photographs to give a true impression of tbt agricultural wealth of the colony. Longbeach is always worthy of a visit, though harvest is the time to see it to greatest advantage, whether it be early m tha season when the ripening com spreads as far aa the eye can reach, with, here and there the reaper and binder busy at work, 1 on some of the earlier crop or later when miles of stooks stand m the bright sunshine, and the landscape begins to be divers fied by fast rising stacks, while two or :hee o'ouds of smoke shew where, 1 the sheaves are being put direct from the stook into the threshing machines, or a traction engine goes puffiog up to therailway with a heavy load of new season's grain for shipment to catch the early - market. Oo the occasion of a visit to Longbeaoh, . this week the latter soene met tha aye. '• From the time of entering tho eitate neat the briok and tlto works, along to the 1 river Hinds, down the side of the river to the beaoh and baok to the homestead, ■> distance of some ten mllee, an almost unbroken aeries of wheat fields Is passed r through. Staoklng is being vigorously prooeeded with, about sixty drays and waggons being busily engaged In this operation. The weight of the heads of

the wheat is most remarkable, the "pltohera" finding that In order to

balance the sheaf the fork must be Inserted within a few inobes of the ears, Tho> straw Is not particularly long, from 30 to 36 Inohes representing the height of most of the wheat. In proportion to this growth cf the straw the heaviness of the yield of grain is wonderful. On the upper part of the farm a paddock of Hunter's white bat been threshed and returned 60 bushels to the acre, and this was by no means an exceptional orop among its neighbours. Perhaps the best average will be reaohed by a beautiful paddook of velvet chaff nssv

the Hindu, which looks good for 60 bushels. Almost everywhere the itooki ' stand m a regular oloie order that eheari the heart of their owner as he drive* - rapidly through the fielda ; and, though In previous yeara some Individual pad~ dooks may have yielded higher averages than any now reaped, the average ' this year for the whole estate will be the highest that has been reaohed since oropping became largely earrled pat. A few paddooks near the home* ste&d do not give so heavy a> yield as the rest of the estate, bat even they should run qalte 25 bushels to the- acre. It Is pleasing to hear that the ; land near the mouth of the Hindi wbloh was so heavily flooded daring last wtbtet was not so seriously damaged as was) feared. Borne of this land from whleh the very seed seemed at the- time to have been washed away, has yielded a good crop, and In very few p!aoes was the crop utterly destroyed. A substantial embankment will prevent future encroachment! of the tlver at this point. The area under orop this season amounted to close upon 7000 acres, of whloh upward! of 4000 aores were wheat, about 1000 barley. and the balanoe oats. The wheat will, to all appearance, average 35 bushels. The barley and oats aro also heavy crops, the oats eipeoblly being more satisfactory than has generally been the case this season . A. large proportion of the oata It already threshed and stored, and aa they are mostly of the Dan variety there is no doubt they will sell well whenever marketed. The threshing machines are at work on some of the wheat, but, aa '"* already stated, the most of this cereal to going into stack. Saoh a harvest aa that at Longbeaoh requires the work of quite an army of men and horios. No leu than 35 reaping machines were employed, and nearly 300 men and as many horse* are now at work. Everybody oonneoted with the estate rejoices m the abundant harvest, and works with a will to secure it as qalokly ac possible from the dangers of our changeable ollmate. This good feeling la not often seen m the oolonies, and ahewa that Mr Urlgg's enterprise io bringing so large an area of land under cultivation, and giving so much employ* ment to labor, is> not unappreciated. Longbeaoh, fortunately, was not reaohed by Wednesday's hailstorm and we true* that the Ingathering of the harvest may be finished without any damage from b»d weather, The only orop now standing In some Oape barley, whloh Is rapidly falling before the machines.

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Bibliographic details

THE CROPS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2070, 22 February 1889

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THE CROPS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2070, 22 February 1889