The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY JUNE 26, 1889. FARMING COMPETITIONS.
In these days when the importance of the agricultural interests is eyery where reoognised various modes of ascertaining | the most profitable methods of farming hare been adopted. Experimental agriculturists, such as Lawes and Button, from time to time published the vegnltg of their experiments^ wMoti wete often of < great value to farmers, and agricultural journals have sprung into existence and give prominence, not only to these scientific operations, but also to the experiences of practical farmers. As farmers began to practice the lessons thus taught a healthy spirit of emulation was awakened whioh soon developed into rivalry, and the condition of live stook, the yield of crops, and even the state of hedges, ditches, yards and buildings became points on which, comparison between neighboring farms was challenged. Friendly wagers as to the reßult of different systems of rearing and feeding cattle were probably the first actual competitions, unless the timehonored award by the lord of the manor of a white hat to the tenant whose farm, or some department of it, was ia the worst state be recognised as a contest. As agricultural societies began to be somethiug more than mediums for holding exhibitions of mouster bullocks, phenomenal turnips, and such like, and extended their attention to the promotion of agricultural knowledge and the encouragement of good farming, one of their most popular and valuable proceedings was to institute competitions m the most profitable methods of dealing with various areas and classes of land. The reports on the prize farms have formed some of the most attractive and instructive reading m the agricultural journals, and farmers have taken more notice of what is actually being done by men of their own class than they have of the more abstruse though no less valuable reports of the scientists, dome such competitions have been advocated for some time m different parts of New Zealand, but it is only during the last lew months that practical shape has been givon to the suggestions. Mr T. Acland has been the prime mover m the matter, and when he and Mr George King pledged themselves to raise the necessary funds to provide substantial prizes and pay the expenses of the competitions the Committee of Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association undertook the carrying out of the project. Ihe Union Insurance Company then came forward with a handsome prize for dairy farms, and it now rests with those farmers who come within the prescribed conditions to enter the lists and see how their farming compares with that of their neighbors or farmers m other districts. We publish the conditions m another column, and trust that this district many parts of which are unsurpassed for fertility, will be well and creditably represented m the competitions,