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Ik the coarse of an article on the above subject the other day we gave certain calculations as to the cost of manufacturing flour, which were made the subject of ridicule by a correspondent interested m that business. We find, however ; that our figures are corroborated by " Agricola " m his " Notes for Fanners " m last week's " Otago Witness " m the following words : —

" One of the speakers at the ' bag ' meeting said that the millers were quite able to take care of their own interests. Now I do not Buppose anybody will be foolhardy enough to question that statement after giving a little consideration to the figures by means of which i Bhall try to show that millers are not m want of any advice to enable them to make a little profit from their operations. In the " Witness " of the 28th ultimo prime milling wheat is quoted at 3s 2d to 3s 6d, and flour at from £10 to £11 per ton. Good thinskinned milling wheat should yield a ton of flour from every 45 bushels, which, at 621 b per bushel, weighs 27901b5. Of this 501 b may be allowed for waste m the grinding and handling. Ihe coßt of 45 bushels of wheat at 3s 4d per bushel amounts to £7 10s, and 10s per ton for grinding makes £8. The 45 bushels, minus waste, gives 27401 b, of which a ton of flour takes 20001 b ; therefore we have 7401 bof bran and sharps, which at the very lowest is worth £1 10s, which, added to the value of a ton of flour (£lO 10s), makes the miller's return from the 45 bushels of wheat exactly £12. Well, the wheat cost him £7 10s, and the expense of grinding a ton of floor ib, I believe, about 10s, so that a simple sum m subtraction, m which £8 is taken from £12, shows the result to be a profit of £4 upon a transaction involving the expenditure of £8. It appears, then, that the millers m looking after their own interest require that interest to represent a profit of 50 per cent, besides the cost of grinding. So long as the grower gets a fair value for his produce it is nothing to him what profit the purchaser makes, but if the above calculation be correct (and if anything m error I think the miller has the advantage), the miller m buying hi* grain need not grudge the grower the market value of the sackß containing hip wheat." In our article on the subject we allowed 46 bushels of wheat to the ton of flour, but we omitted to add to the item of cost (m Canterbury) that of 7d per bag — say 6s per ton, we refer to the grain bags — that is to say sacks. When the miller supplies his flour m sticks he does not get paid for these, but an extra charge is made when bags, that is 1001 b and 501 b are used*. Allowing for the loss on bags, then our calculation is fully borne . put by the figures of Agricola, and if we are wrong we are wrong m good company.

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Bibliographic details

THE PRIC OG WHEAT AND FLOUR., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2093, 20 March 1889

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THE PRIC OG WHEAT AND FLOUR. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2093, 20 March 1889