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Farmers who have the time are ploughing for Algerian oats for winterfeed. > A lino of 2500 fat wethers railed from Taihape one day last week had an average weight of 661b. Three shearers at Mr W. Doole's Pukeokaha (Taihape) property maintained an average of 694 sheep each day till the shed was cut out., The individual average was 231 1-3. Danish and Black Tartans threshed in some parts of the Rakaia district this year are weighing particularly heavy, making five bushels to the sack. The general average is 4£ bushels. The highest average price at the Hastings ram fair is stated to have been secured by the four Ilomney Marsh rams entered by Mr J. E. Hewitt, of Mangamaire, Pahiatua. Mr Hewitt got 51gns for one ram, 48gns each for two others, 28gns for the fourth, the average price working out at 43igns. ■ | Labour is very scarce, in the Catlins and Balclutha districts at the present time, according to the Otago " Daily Times,'' and the farmers are having great difficulty in getting men to do the necessary work oh the farms. With weed-clearing and general agricultural work in full swing, there is room for a considerable number of ablebodied men. The strawberry crop in Otago this summer has been remarkable in several features. The yield has been /fairly heavy, and maintained over a long period. Indeed, the season has lasted three months, which, according to the " Star," is the longest experienced for many years. Growers have done very well, the best dessert fruits averaging throughout at least 7d per 1b in the wholesale market. The first step has been made towards making North Canterbury a fruit-pro-ducing district. The credit of this attaches to Mr V. Oldman, of Waiau, who, anticipating the approach of the railway, two years ago set to work to establish a good all-round orchard. At the present time he has in splendid growing condition just 1000 trees of apples, peaches, and cherries, and calculates that by the time the railway is I ready for traffic in Waiau his orchard will be in full bearing. Fruit-growing in Otago this season is expected- to reach a record standard as regards quantity and quality and commercial value. The trade has.been.very brisk since the opening of the season, anil as far as stone fruits are concerned representative dealers state that the orchards of Alexandra and Clyde hold the market easily in everything that makes fruit acceptable and profitable. It is thotight that the growers there must be doing remarkably well. >

Fat lambs for export are doing particularly well in ■ihe. Northern and Central Otago districts, where there is an abundance of good graso as opposed to the coastal areas, where it is too rank, and is not fattening the lambs'as it should do. It is also somewhat remarkable that lambs are six weeks later in fattening thiß year than last, and Dunedin buyers are experiencing considerable difficulty in getting ajmoderate percentage of fat sheep on the coast this..year^

• Men who know something of -the actual conditions prevailing fin the dairying industry are of the opinion that many of the dairymen of the Dominion are jeopardising their own prosperity by neglecting to maintain a high standard of cleanliness. It is stated authoritatively (says the Dunedin " Star ") that much improvement is required in the South Island, and the opinion is expressed that more attention should be given by the State to the need of compelling dairymen to avoid even a suspicion of using dirty utensils and plant.

Imperial green globe turnips are being largely sown in the Rakaia district. This turnip yields largely, and it is claimed that the death rate among sheep feeding upon it is not so large as that experienced by feeding sheep upon other varieties. One grower asserts that from his experiments, he finds that they contain. more nourishment than any other variety of turnip. One Rakaia farmer has from 500 to 6UO acres of Imperial Green Globes which he states, should do remarkably well since the recent rain has giyen tin soil a good wetting. The same groAver lias sown in the Methven district an area of Green Top Yellowe, for late feeding, as they keep well.

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ITEMS FOR FARMERS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8786, 5 February 1914

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ITEMS FOR FARMERS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8786, 5 February 1914