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Agriculture. -ø'J "1. r- ,i" A WELCOME CHANGE. Changeable as the wind' and Changeable as the weather' are sayings known the world over, and the truth of which admits of no question, as those who are called upon to describe from week to week matters agri- cultural often experience to their discomfiture. The reality of this was, perhaps, nevar more fully borne in upon us than in the past week, which the agricultural press is bemoaning as a continued spollaf rainy weather through which we are passing,' when at the same time we had been enjoying one of the most delightful weeks vouchsafed to us during the summer, and which it is to be hoped is but the forerunner of what is known as a fine back end' of a few, if not many, weeks' duration. The welcome change came on Monday week, and since then, with the exception of a slight shower or two, we have had no wet to speak of. As a consequence, a good deal of corn has been ricked in fair condition. Of course, it goes without saying that much corn-particularly barley and oats-bas de- preciated in value through the rainy weather, both in grain and straw but it is to be hoped that when all is gathered in and reckoned up things will not turn out so bad as might have been expected, and the proportion of damaged wheat will be found to be small. We cannot, of course, have it all our own way, and while bright samples and best prices for corn may not gladden the hearts of the majority of growers, they must be thankful that fodder crops and roots are as well as they are. The country is full of grass again, and the outlook for graziers, stock-breeders, and dairymen is good, so far as winter keep is concerned. Fair progress has been made in ploughing the autumn stubbles, the land for the most part being in prime condition for this operation. THE CHEESE MARKET. The cheese markets were reported last week as steady, with no great amount of business doing. A South Cheshire correspondent writing in the Agricultural Gazette says;— It is now a foregone conclusion that the make of cheese this year will be much less than usual. It has long been argued that this would be the case now it is pretty well proved. At the Nantwich cheese fair a smaller quantity was pitched than has been shewn at the September fair for years. Values advanced some 10s. per cwt., and the farmers rejoiced in the better prospect for the autumn prices of 1897. A further evidence of the shortness of the milk yield is the good demand for milch cows. I am told on good authority that at the Crewe New Cattle Market a sum of over 9700 changed hands for dairy cattle alone. Six realised over X20 each, and sixteen over 917 each that must be considered remarkable for a local auction record. These two points, together with the universal complaint of the farmers, may be regarded as convincing evidence that we shall have to chronicle a less quantity of cheese made in Cheshire than pro- bably in any year since 1887." RE-BRANDING OF CHEESE. The Grocers' Journal writes :—" We have often to go from home for home news, and, therefore, it is not surprising that Canada should be the source whence we derive the information that an extensive system of fraud is being per- petrated on wholesale houses and the retail trade here by importers of American cheese, who scrape off the original marks and sub- stitute therefor well-known Canadian brands. There is some reason for the outcry raised on the other side over the matter, as the trade of the Dominion in an article which is bringing in vast revenues would be imperilled, if the practice referred to were a fact to be attested. We are very pleased, however, to be in a position to state that even if isolated instances have occurred where the importer has thought it worth his while to alter the marks for the sake of a few shillings extra profit, the practice is not general, or even frequent, and is con- demned by the responsible representatives of the trade." BOYCOTTS. The butchers' boycott in Scotland has ended on one point. In consequence of the resolute resistance of the farmers to the attempt to coerce them into taking part in the conspiracy against freedom of buying and selling, the butchers have been constrained to 'climb down' by withdrawing the pledge which they presump- tuously attempted to (force the farmers to sign. All that remains is to induce the auctioneers to withdraw from the position which they have occupied at the behest of the butchers, and to accept bids from all solvent buyers without distinction.—A singular dispute is in progress at Preston between cattle dealers and the Corporation owing to the Market Committee's refusal to alter the day of the cattle market from Saturday to Friday. Dealers have boy- cotted the Corporation lairages, and transact business in an adjoining field hired for the pur- pose. Only one cow was sent to a recent municipal market, and on Saturday week not a single beast was entered by the officials, though big business was done on the previous day in the temporary market. THE VALUE OF LUCERNE. Lord Stanley of Alderley has been conducting a series of experiments with lucerne on his estate at Penrhos, Holyhead, in accordance with the suggestions contained in an article by Mr. Walter Crosland, P.A.S.I., in the 1896 Christmas number of the Land Agents' Record. The results of Lord Stanley's experiments with this valuable fodder crop are stated in the following letter received by our contemporary The field is of loamy soil with clay subsoil, and was last year cropped with swedes, it having been previously well manured with farmyard manure. A small plot, 11 acres, was marked out, well cleaned, and sown broadcast, on May 1st, with 51b. of lucerne. The seed germinated quickly, but made slow progress for some time afterwards, and the crop was rather uneven. It was cut on the 3rd inst., and the crop on a portion was weighed green, the result being a weight of 3 tons 4cwt. 3qrs. to the acre. The same was afterwards weighed in a few days; the weight then was 1 ton 5cwt. to the acre, being reduced by more than one-half. The herbage was readily eaten by horses and cattle. One of the tenants on the estate has this year seeded down a 16-acre field, using 101b. of lucerne; and another a field of ten acres, using 81b., with the usual mixture of grasses and clovers, and it remains to be seen whether it will result in an improved pasture." BRITISH DAIRY FARMERS' SHOW. In the prize schedule for the twenty-second annual show of the British Dairy Farmers' Association, to be held at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, on October 19, 20, 21, and 22 next, classes have been set apart for Shorthorns, Jerseys, Guernseys, Red Polls, Ayrshires, Kerrys, and Dexters, and cows of other pure or cross breeds—to be judged both by inspection and by milking trials. Kerry and Dexter cows will compete together in the milking trials, but separately for the inspection prizes. In the heifer section there are classes for Jerseys, Guernseys, and any other British variety. This year there will be two butter tests for Jerseys, for those that have calved 100 days or over on October 19, and for those that have calved under that period. There will also be the usual butter tests for Shorthorns, and for cows of any other breed or cross. Bulls of proved descent from dams that have won prizes in milking trials or butter tests are provided for in four classes —those for Shorthorns, Jerseys, Guernseys, and any other breed. Besides the class awards there are the Barham Challenge Cup, for the cow gaining the greatest number of points in the milking trials, four champion cups offered by the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London in the milking trials, four champion cups offered by the president (Sir James Blyth) to be awarded by inspection, and the 'Blythwood' Challenge Bowl, also offered by Sir James Blyth for the best Jersey cow or heifer, in milk, in any of the classes, bred in Great Britain or Ireland. Entries close on September 20 for cattle, goats, and produce, and on September 29 for poultry, pigeons, and rabbits.

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