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The 1916 cocksfoot harvest on Banks Peninsula will be remembered as tbe poorest for many years. Tbe ohief oause of this has been the pro longed dry weather, which has ex tended over a period of two years without the ground receiving a thorough soaking. In many oases farmers have found upon threshing their orops that the yield was even more disappointing than tbe standing crop indicated Crops that stood as well as last year only produced two thirds of tbe seed, so that where 100 sacks were threshed last year only between 60 and 70 were threshed this year. This was in tbe best ciops. It would be safe to say that the crop will yield under 10,000 sacks, or some where in tbe region of 8000 sacks. Tbe shortage is not entirely dne to tbe bad yield, but to the smaller- area shut - up. ore£iera were so bard pushed for feed in the spring that many old paddocks were fed oat. Mostly all tbe lower paddocks, though in some more favoured localities where the rain has kept the crops going paddocks were kept in seed. In this respeot tbe strip of land from Lands End to tbe Hill Top seems to have faired the best, and some good orops are reported in tbis area. The oause of tbe small yield in apparently good orops was probably tbe lack of moisture failing to mature the seed in its final stages. The beads dried off for want of moisture and yielded nothing practically. The late frost in November might also have bad kko effect of stopping the growth of tbe earlier see.d ; though it would hardly have affected the later orops, as these were not then sufficiently forward to suffer much barm.

The short crop has had the effect of raising the price of this year's harvest even beyond last year's reoord prioes. The price being v offered for this season's seed is practically lOd per lb regardless of weight and colour as compared with 8d of last year. Even with these prises gopksfoot growers and contractors will have a very poor season. If a good season is experienced next year it should mean good prices for seed again, as it will take a large crop io make up the the big shortage of tbe past two years. Most of those who have been holding seed have parted with it this year, so that there is practically no reserve to fall back on next year.

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Bibliographic details

THE COCKSFOOT., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3522, 15 February 1916

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THE COCKSFOOT. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3522, 15 February 1916

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