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Sic, —I see by your issue of the 28th inst. that Mr J. R. Wilkinson, M.A., has commenced a series of articles in your paper on the subject of what he terms "The Laws of Grazing." I wish Mr Wilkinson. every success in. his taking, and if he succeeds in throwing any new light on the laws of grazing, I hope he will next be able to throw an improving gleam on the ■ application of English law to matters affecting the settlers of the colony. The orie law heiwill'fihdisquite as uncertain, variable, and capricious as the other, and costs of Court have often to be parted with when leait expected. There is one. thing certain that if Sir Wilkinson tapers off ; in. his articles to follow, as well-as;he ha&ddrie in the one we are already'favored with, he able to show .that sheep can be profitably fed on oats and chaff at a good deal less than no cost at all. I confess to feeling rather in a fog about parts of^his article. * I attribute this, however,;, fo ihe "fact that the suntiy. skie§;o£ the'sduth may^not yet have dissipated the mists which permeated toy-: brain during the morning, of my life, whilst denizened among the. cloud-capped ' pinnacles of/" Caledonia stern and wild." I cannob see how-Mr! Wilkinson makes out that I said' that 3£ bu&hels. bats arid 1J cwt., chaff/were the' quantities allowed Tby -Rahdatffor three months' winter feeding, 'f I never said soy I made Randall's 31bs of hay .a basis I for my calculations, and Bousingault and his learned friends helped me to. the rest. -1 did say that I believed every pound—net weight—of mutton- produced from oats and chaff alone would cost 4d, and -1 say so still, and shall remain in that .belief until some competent person, by accurate experiments, will prove the contrary. I do not keep sheep suitable for such experiments myself, or I should have it half proved, by this time. However,,l feel quite at rest on the subject since receiving Mr: Herring's letter on feeding, in ', which; he .hints that he is going to set' about proving it himself. When he does; I know that he will <f nothing extenuate nor set down aught in malice,", but give , his fellow colonists the full benefit of his 1 discovery whatever it may be; and should it be proved that a pound of mutton can be made for a single penny, no one in the county will rejoice: more \overi it "than

myself. \~- '; I- ?' . -, 7 £ -■': p . / In estimating the cost of '"feeding sheep onoats and chaff, I adopted the method followed by Mechi, which I am certain is the correct one. He charged his stock with the market value of his grain and roots, either grown by himself or purchased, and 5 the stock could pay him back in meat and leave the manure as profit" he was satisfied.

In 1851 he purchased £1600 worth of food stuffs for his animals,; and <■ after consuming ifc he sold his meat and, live stock for £1000, leaving £600 "to 'be charged to the manure.; he was twitted about this transaction' tjy: his, friends, and the following is his reply :—•' It has been assumed that £600 is too great a loss- on the consumption of £1600 purchased food, and that one-third of the cost is- too great/ a sum for the value of the matiure. Now, as this is the great question of agriculture, with every deference, I beg to state that no animal will pay for feeding on purchased food if you leave out of view the value of the manure. It matters not whether it be hay, turnips, corn, straw, or. oil cake,;. and further, if you deduct attendance, labor, &c, in connection with the extra manure made, also allow for casualties to stock, .one-third loss oiii purchased food will be a fair and safo calculation. . .... You cannot buy turnips or mangold wurzel, for removal, under 12s to 15s per ton, and certainly the -stock will not pay more than 6s for them. . If you pay 30s a ton for straw or £3 for hay, the animals will not return above half the cost." ... . ... , . "Of coUrse'if you used auxiliary purchased food, along with your turnips, the loss on the purchased food would absorb much of the value of, ,the turnips., It is well to : have a proper understanding on these important questions, both as to the loss on the purchased food, and the benefit derived in the manure, which are about equivalent,"

"The principle is the same whether it be £1 or £1000. I therefore insist on this truth, that all purchased food (rape cake perhaps excepted) must leave a loss or charge for the manure resulting from

it , , There is no difficulty in making stook appear to pay if you knock off some 40 per cent of the market price of the food which they consume."

Depend upoh it Mechi is right through^ jout,' and in; dealing; with :the Question of feeding the '■ true test is,; VhetneV Friedlander Bros, or a sheep will pay the farmer most for a bushel of oats.- -

I concede to John Bull the right to do absolutely what lie pleases with,his own>';" he can throw his gold into the ocean, or send it in the shape of oats dowiv the throats of common store sheep, and be content with a few bar^pwToad.s of manure as a return—that is to say, if he be under no pecuniary engagement to another man, but if otherwise, then that other man Has a right to ask the redoubtable John B.ull, what :ttie d——l is he vp 1 to I —l am; etc., D/OijfaßJti/i Chelmsford, May 27th, 1890,

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Bibliographic details

THE LAWS OF GRAZING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2437, 29 May 1890

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THE LAWS OF GRAZING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2437, 29 May 1890

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