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A Successful Farmer., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907
A Successful Farmer.
OUTLINE OF HIS CAREER. STARTING WITHOUT CAPITAL. Some exceedingly instructive particulars are forwarded to ‘‘The Insider” by one of its old friends, Mr W. H. Potts, now principal of the Hawkesbury College, concerning the career of a successful New South Wales farmer, Mr T. C. Worboys. As I have just retired from the occupation of fanning after being engaged in that pursuit for thirty-six years, I thought it might be of some interest and benefit to those who may be about settling upon the land or who have already done so, to give a few practical hints, and the results of the last twenty years’ labours. Before that time I did not take the trouble to keep accurate accounts 1 of receipts and expenditure, but since then I have ; but before giving the figures I will just relate the way I took up the land. In the year 1863 I took up 100 acres of land by selection before survey under the Robertson Land Act. I did not have much capital, only just sufficient to pay the first deposit, 5 per cent., and having to make the improvements necessary to the value of £1 per acre in the first three years. I had neither horses nor implements ; the land was heavily timbered with white and blue gum. such as you could not burn, so I will leave you to judge what an uphill game it was for the first few years. A WORKING MAN’S CAPITAL. But perhaps it would be of interest to explain how it is possible to clear land without either capital or implements. A working man has the capital in himself. He can build a comfortable hut for himself. He can grub and cut up a few acres and get it ready for drawing off. He can then get a man and team to draw it off, and plough it up. He can return the work, giving three days work for one day for the man and team. That is how I got my work done at the start until the land began to produce sufficient, so that I could gradually get my own horses and implements, which took from five to seven years. Of course there were a few months in each year that I used to take contracts to clear land, sink wells, build huts (or mud houses) for those who had a little capital, which used to supply me with sufficient cash while I was working on my own land. By the time I had 15 acres cleared, and got the returns from it, I sould see that it would well repay for all labour expended!. NO LUXURIES ALLOWED. I used to smoke and drink a little in those days, which used to cost me about 5s per week, but 'making a calculation what that 5s per week would 1 do if spent in clearing land, the cost of which was about£4 per acre to get it ready for the plough, that meant the 5s per week would pay for clearing about three acres more than I was already doing. That three acres would bring in on an average of about £2 per acre net ; so I just run that out for twenty years, and the result was marvellous. It quite convinced me that it was a good investment, so I decided to do without the little drink and tobacco, and put every shilling into the land I could afford (which I am truly thankful I did, as it has worked out just in accordance with the calculations I made to allow me to retire when I was 60 years old). By this time I began to see that the 100 acres that I had selected were not sufficient to make a good farm, and all the land near was taken up, so the only chance to enlarge the area was to
buy someone out. In the y 7 ear 1875 one of my neighbours, who had selected alongside of me, and took up 136 acres, found that his area was too small for him, as his family was growing up, so offered to sell his portion to me or to buy mine. I was r not inclined to sell my portion ; but I hadn’t any money even up to this time, as it took all I could get to clear the land and get the necessary tools and machinery and to make the improvements needful, but I knew it would pay well to buy it if the money could only be g'ot. Borrowing money was not a very easy matterin those days, as free-selected property was not considered very good security. However, after laying the matter before the manager of the bank, and showing it wordd pay well to buy it, he advanced me the £4OO for the purchase, and charged 10 percent. interest. In four year's the area paid it all back, and gave me a good return besides. That completed my present 236 acres. PLOUGHING AND FERTILISING. From that I began to keep my accounts more accurately, to see what the land would really produce underfair treatment. I have not used a large quantity of artificial manures, but I have saved and used all the yard manures I could, and I have tried a variety 7 of artificial manures as experiments, and i n sufficient quantities to know it will pay to use them if the proper sorts are applied, and in sufficient quantities. No doubt a great deal of study is requirto get the right kind of manures suitable for the various soils, and the various groups required to be grown. The time has arrived in the history 7 of the colony 7 when a great deal more attention will have to be given to artificial manuring than hitherto has been done, especially in the older settled districts, if farmiim is to be made successful, of course there are many other things which tend to make farming successful—diligence, perseverance, and economy. All must put their hands to, and see that nothing goes to waste. All the manure from the horses and catn atjol, t the place should be collected for the manure heap (or shed), as tins will well repay the trouble taken, and everything must be done in its proper time and season. As soon as the crops ar© off plough up the land at once, or run the cultivator through it, as this will stop all weeds and rubbish from growing and put the larmer in a position to when D otherwiSe , deal with the laud . hen the pi oper time comes for sowing, irrespective of the weather \ gieat many farmers, never plough untu they want to sow, a nd if the wea-o-round t htt!e unfavourable and the gi ound hard, they have to wait for the ram, with the result that often th,-v beS f i° f i the i Season is Sone, and time “n t ’ not ° n] y m the seed ln he retunis as well, because late crops as a rule are never so profitable as the early sown crops. Se ° f April and May are the two best months for sowing wheat, oats, peas, or barley. If fray crops arc wanted, the month of Ap- ; - f grain is want ed the Ss? T May ln general gives the best, both m quantity a nd quality. HAVE A PLAN. A rather important thing in startmg farming ns to make a rough plan oi the place, and lay it out as you want it to be, and then work ac- , cording to the plan. It will save a great deal of time and trouble, as one is most sure to put things in the wrong place, so they have to be removed if you have no plan to work py. A good dry healthy place should be selected for the homestead, and as central as possible, wuth goodsized yard a little distance from the ouse, with stables, cow sheds, and
other buildings needful ; machine shed and granary built separate, and in a clear space a little distance from house and yards, while the stackyards should be arranged as not to have too much stuff in the one place in case of fire. A few ornamental trees about the house and yard will answer for two purposes—shelter in winter and shade in summer, as well as looking nice. A few live hedges about the homestead also add to the appearance. FINANCIAL STATEMENT. Return of produce from the 236 acres, not including eggs or butter or live stock or anything consumed on the placel gut actual produce sold and delivered on trucks and returns received, a s follows 1879, £497 8s Id ; 1880, £415 7s 4d ; 1881, £524 14s Gd ; 1882, £l2lO 13s ; 1883, £905 os Id ; 1884, £438 11s Id ; 1885, £496 19s 9d ; 1886, £549 12s 7d ; 1887 £349 Is 5d ; 1888, £412 5a 8d ; 1889, £738 14s 8d ; 1890, £475 15s lid ; 1891, £7lB 12s 2d ; 1892, £578 11s 2d ; 1893, £460 Is Bdi; 1894, £577 10s ; 1895, £454 7s 6d ; 1896, £623 15s 3d ; 1897, £665 15s ; 1898, £706 4s. Average yearly earnings, 1878 to 1888, £SBO 8s 3d ; average expenditure, 1878 to 1898, £247 10s 3d ; average net earnings, 1878 to 1898, £342 Is.
A Successful Farmer., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907
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