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THE COUNTRY.

THE WINTER SHOW. '■ There are already many indications. * -.''. \ +■},<. waning -winter show will be a. Edwin Hall, secretary f the Agricultdral and Pastoral Asso-'-WJOT informs us that entries in thhotter and sheep classes are coming in err freely, and there-will be a great deal of competition. Th e usefulness of. a show from the edu■erfjanal pom* of riew is Prominently tome in mind by our Association, and mc classes have been arranged especially to encourage the boys and girls in natural history study and school garden- ..-• „ particulars of these classes will no doobt prove interesting. Prizes are offered as follows? — ■ Q3S3 132. —Collection of dried grasses, crown in the provincial district of Auckland. The method of mounting, labelling 3 and general appearance of the collection '■ £~ taken into consideration in awarding the-prizes. Class 183. —Collection of injurious Kew Zealand weeds, grown in the provincial district of Auckland. The method, of mounting, labelling and general ap- " cearance of the collection to be taken into consideration in awarding the prizes. Class 184- —Collection of insects injuri- ; . ens to agri culture an<i horticulture, the I jnethod of mounting, labelling and general 1 a ppearance of the collection, to be taken ! 'into consideration in awarding th fi prizes. Qasg 185.—Best collection of vegetables , gro-wn in school gardens by scholars,- un- - der the supervision of the schoolmaster. Class 186. —Best collection of pot plants ((foliage or flower), not to exceed six vai rifities, grown in school gardens by scholars, under the supervision of the schooljnaster. ' As in the case of the last show, a prize " is also offered for an essay giving an * original and amusing description of a ! fisit to the show. The committe i -wisely ' advises the boys and girls competing to rive full play, to originality of thought and expression instead of following newsjpaper reports or the catalogue. The object of the competition is to bring out clearly ideas -which have been conveyed to the minds of essayists by -what was actually seen and observed, personally whilst viewing the -winter exhibition of ".. 1909. The'essays will be judged on the following points: —• (1) Evidence of first-hand observation, go- (2) accuracy of statements, 25; (3) power of description, 20; (4) arrangement, 15; (5) neatness, grammar and ppeHing, 15; total points, 100. It will be remembered that the last meeting of the executive committee determined that a class for the natives should be included in the catalogues. Following are the official particulars of the class :— Class 40a. —Best collection of Maori fcnrios, Maori manufactures, and Maoriraised produce, to be arranged on a space '■ not exceeding 10ft. in length by Bft. in depth. First .prize, £3; second, £2; third, ■ tfl. . If the natives will enter into the spirit of this competition, the results should be yery beneficial to native farming. One of the most attractive and instructive exhibits at the great Southern shows is the district exhibit and the farm ex-~-*sa*ij 'showing generally what a district or a. farm can do. Very valuable prizes are offered in connection with such an exhibit at the winter show. The Auckland Farmers' Freezing Co. offer a trophy value 30 guineas, to be competed for annually, and to become the absolute property of the exhibitor « gaining the largest number of awards in .. nine years. The Association will engrave the name of the winner on the trophy each year. The Association also offer a first prize of £ 15; a second prize of £ 10; and a third prize of £5; either in cash or trophy at the option of the winner; for the best and most comprehensive collecItion of agricultural, dairy and pastoral .produce, and also of natural or manufactured articles produced or made on the farms within the districts. Space allotted. 20ft. X Bft. Sta-nd to be erected by the< exhibitor. Position of stand toSbe balloted for. SCALE OF POINTS. t IlTgyiTrmTT> General appearance and. artistic arrangements »-..» 50 .., Dairy produce ~..~ .„......* 40 ■Hams and bacon ._....,.....»-« 10 ? 'Grain, seeds and pulse *~~- »..«* 40 .' Potatoes and roots . « 35 Wool - 25 garden produce and flowers —•• 15 Bread, cakes, biscuits and scones .. 10 iWheat, oats, barley in sheaf, hay, chaff and ensilage - 1° Bfresh meats, potted meats ~ « 10 Poultry, eggs and game ..« « 15 Fresh fruits ~ 20 Jams, pickles, preserves, and preserved fruits „-...« 20 Honey and apiary appliances ,»-.•..« 10 $lax fibre .-«.. < 1° Cured and tanned skins .........*.* 10 Sundries not enumerated nU em« 50 Total «■ 3SO Uo entrance is charged in this class. ia.GSICUXTTTR.AI, ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE. ..The conference of Agricultural Aβ- ! Sociations held biennially during the session of Parliament, will take place this 'year in August, ana already arrangements are being made in connection therewith. In this connection Mr EdWin Hall, secretary to the Auckland A. and P. Association, has sent out a circular letter to the secretaries of country \ associations to the following effect: — f - "As directed by the last conference of /: the Agricultural Associations of New Zealand, held in Wellington, August Ist, 1907, the committee of management are I taking steps to hold another in Wellington this year, about the same date, and w they would be glad if your executive would forward the names of their delegates, and a list of the subjects they to bring forward for discussion, so that an order paper may be published end sent round to the various societies. It was agreed at the preceding confer:ence, "that in future conferences the delegates be required in all cases to submit definite verbatim motions regarding the subjects which their societies trished to be consdered, and that the ..discussion be confined thereto." It was also pointed out, that on the last ocpasion, far too many subjects were sent for discussion, and. it was decided that ' in future, the societies should be requested to submit only matters of colonial importance. If you will kindly Bring this matter under the notice of •; yonr committee and favour us at an ,«arly date with the names of your dele- , gates and the subjects ■ your society '.Wdied lo be considered, ass that sthe •pB «fesm it ft favoui." . i ■ -Jj

SPRAYING I'RUIT TREES. The advantages of systematic spraying of fruit trees is becoming more a.nd more recognised by orchardbts each year. When giving evidence recently, an Auckland , fruitgrower stated that he had 40 acres of orchard, of -which 28 acres were apples. Amongst this area he only found one per cent o{ Codlin moth. A big WarkwoTth fruitgrower gives his percentage, this season at two per cent, and a. Jvorth. Albert orchardist put his as low as one per cent. DEALING WITH BUNNY. While a strong case will be made out against poisoning, that method will not lack strenuous advocates One thing, in our opinion, may be admitted at once, and that is that without poisoning the rabbit pest would never have been kept down as it has been. Whether it can be generally checked or eradicated now by other means is the question that is open for consideration; but at the start, when the rabbit had obtained an enormous hold on the country before the great danger of it was recognised, poisoning was a most valuable means of waging wholesale war. It was effective, and paved the way for later methods, which are now found so serviceable. That they are serviceable, and thoroughly effective is undeniable. Over the whole of New South Wales now may be found properties where the rabbit is almost a bygone feature, and where the poison cart has not been used for years. When paddocks are wire-netted, and a thorough system of digging out and fumigating carried out, the rabbit problem certainty appears solved. In such eases—cases where landholders have found this method satisfactory—it does not appear equitable that they should be compelled to adopt what to them is an objectionable system. Indeed it is quite conceivable that a day is possible when things will be the other way about, and public* interests demand that poisoning be abolished; but that time has certainly not arrived, for on big tracts of country any other method is too costly and slow to be practical. For all considerations of the rabbit problem resolve into the recognition that the most effectual method of dealing with the rabbit is closer settlement. Given that, and it becomes almost a harmless and even useful animal. But we have areas of country that cannot possibly be settled for generations to come, and that necessitates a constant war of extermination. —"Sydney Morning Herald." GRASS G-SOWa ON SOTJR SOILS. It is well known that grass grown on sour soils does not possess such nourishing qualities aa grass from good soils. But this is not the only drawback to the use of such grass. According to the experiments carried out by Professor Holy of the Agricultural Institute at Halle, such sour grass and the hay made from it produces in the animals eating it, and especially cattle, an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the digestiva organs. This effect is caused by the sharp edges of the sour grass, which keep the animals' stomachs in a continual state of irritation. Even vrhen mixed with other rations, the hay 'from sour soil has been found to exercise the same ill effect, and the concentrated food stuffs added to the hay to increase the albuminoids are, in consequence of the disturbed digestion of the animals, passed out to a great extent in an undigested condition. Many of us know from experience how the sharp edge of coarse grass can cut, and it is not surprising tha-t such grase, which is only partly digested, can -wound the delicate internal surface of the stomach. This shows the necessity of taking steps to improve the quality of the hay by putting the soil in a better condition. Drainage is probably the most needful, and applications of phosphate of lime and potash with a dressing of lime.—"Mark Lane Express." A CASEIN TEST. When visiting the Wisconsin Experiment Station the Dairy Commissioner, Mr. D. Ouddie (says the K.Z. "Times") met the two scientists attached to this station, Professor Babcock (the inventor of the great butterfat test which bears his name) and Dr. Hart, and was privileged in being given a demonstration by these investigators of a test designed by the latter for ascertaining the amount of casein in milk. 31r. Cuddie was so struck by the value of the next test — its efficacy and simplicity—that he has secured one for the Department. The tester is constructed very much after the style of Dr. Babcoek's machine, with the essential difference that the test bottles are reversed, the measuring neck being thrown outwards, for the reason that the casein being the heavier material in the milk i 3 driven away from the centre by the centrifugal force. The materials used to separate the casein are acetic acid and chloroform. The test can be made by a boy. The extent of its utility has yet to be demonstrated, but it will probably prove of consider- ; able value in- connection with cheesemaking. Mr. Cuddie proposes to conduct an experiment after the holidays to discover the casein content of milks of varying butter-fat percentages, and thus provide a guide as to their relative value from a cheesemaking point of view. COMBINED GATE HINGE AND BRACE. The combined gate hinge and brace shown in the accompanying dlustration has been used to advantage on our farm, being both simple and durable. The combined -hinge and brace is made from an old wagon tire, the ends being

worked into hinges after the proper bend ' h»s been, given to the tire. Holes are Sored suitable distances. It will be found that the fact that the hinge and connecting ibrace are all one piece of iron will aid materially dn preventing the gate from sagging. Such a combination is, perhaps, a little more expensive tha-n the ordinary hinge, but it will be found that the extra cost -will often be returned in added durability.—N. McLean, in "Prairie Farmer."

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THE COUNTRY. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 73, 26 March 1909

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