AGRICULTURE. IXCREASED AND PROFITABLE PRODUCTION I p THE VALUE OF FERTILISERS. Mr IT Rider Haggard in that very readable piece of light literature "A Farmer's Year" says:— Wheat, our staple product, has again fallen to a figure at which it is not remunerative to grow meat does not, and some think will not, rise, while wool is, I understand, lower in price than it has ever been before. What then is the farmer to do and where is he to turn for aid ? Protection, at niay m, to upon wheat and meat, is at present brt a dream, and he will be wise if he dismisses the hope of it from Hs mind. A bounty on corn might help, but will there ever be a bounty until some great war has taught the people how necessary it is that a certain proportion of our acreage should be kept under corn ?" There is some complexity about this paragraph, but perhaps the greatest charm in the writings of the author of King Solomon's Mines is that so much is left to the imagination. We, however, gather definitely that Mr Haggard considers that the continued maintenance of cereal growing in Britain is a necessity; and with this sentiment I most emphatically agree. But how Mr Haggard proposes to encompass the business is not altogether clear the rent paying farmer cannot for long con- tinue to prodnce at a loss, and it seems scarcely politic to manufacture a "great war" for the simple purpose of demonstrating to the British public the ancient fable that "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." We have indeed a military rehearsal on the stage just now with the world in the audi- torium but sureley, Imperial Britain teaching a few illiterate Dutch farmers the bayonet exercise is not to be classified as a "great war." The educational lesson may possibly prove beneficial, but the attendant expenses of collateral officialdom is likely to be such that the British taxpayer will then be in but a sorry humour to consider the tax- ation of his own daily bread. Then what are we to do ? Is wheat to be allowed to go altogether out of cultivation in Britain, leav- ing us entirely at the mercy of the foreigner ? When Mr Chaplin was at the head of the Agricul- tural Department he told us that wheat must con- tinue to be a standard crop in the home country, but he did not tell us how the bell was to be put on the cat; not even going so far as Mr Ilider Haggard in suggesting a potential solution through the medium of some great war." That shrewd Scotchman, Mr Spier, whose opin- ions we all respect, some time ago assured us that British agriculture was not yet played out, and that the farmer who knew his business would continue to produce wheat remuneratively. Another Scotch- man, that versatile writer, Mr Primrose McConnell, in an article in the R.A.S.E. journal, says:—"If fairly good crops are grown at a minimum cost, making wheat profitable at 30s per quarter is no mystery at all-in fact, it is the most profitable corn crop we have when the strnw can be disposed of at a fair price." Certainly w ..ve hal wheat at even a less price than 30s since Mr McConnell made the above remarks, but the possible cost of production has also decreased. Our Essex colonist directs us pretty conclusively to increased production as the solution of that vexed problem of profitable pro- duction and probably that will prove to be the open sesame. When this question of increased pro- duction is mooted it is not infrequently confronted by the pessimistic cry that it is a present over pro- duction that creates the evil by crushing prices below a normal level. But it is difficult to conceive the consistency of any suggestion of over production so long as the fact remains that there are millions of poor wretches—and in our British dominions too-who day by day,ifrom year end to year end, throughout their weary lives do not get half a sufficiency of "our daily bread" to stay the natural cravings of hunger. Sir William Crookes seems to intimate that the world is incapable of the over-production of wheat; and there would appear to be something in this when we consider that only about 18 or 20 months ago the trade manceuvrings of one obscure individual well nigh succeeded in placing Britain in as imminent danger as any outer war, great or little, could possibly do. If the finding of ourselves midway between har- vests with only a six weeks' supply cf bread stuffs in hand wherewith to feed our congested 40,000,000 and the outer sources of supply being cornered, was not a sufficient object lesson to convince us of the absolute necessity of keeping our own powder dry, it will certainly require a war to awaken us, and should there be any delay in the importation of that foreign breadloaf, accidental or otherways, to cause even a temporary scarcity among that forty millions, the outcome would indeed be a great war," and Britain would be needing con- siderably lers bread for a long time afterwards. It was in 1884 that M Georges Ville, the French Agriculturist and Philosopher, said :—" A nation should so husband her resources as to be self-sup- porting and to remam mistress at home under all contingencies. If England has been able, thanks to the accumulated wealth of centuries, to attain a degree of prosperity unequalled by other nations, the day is perhaps not far off when she will learn to her cost that such a constitution is fragile, and find to what immediate reverses of destiny are ex- posed all nations who do not produce sufficient for their maintenance upon their own soil." Since the o-reafc Frenchman uttered the above truisms we have had a sufficiency of objeect lessons presented before us to satisfy any minds except those of millionaire shopkeepers and amateur statesmen so absorbed in the grinding of their own axes, as to be oblivious to natural progression. Britain cannot control either the production or price of cereals generally, but she has the power to keep her own cupboard furnished, and it is but very slatternly housekeeping to rely on a slice out of the breadloaf in your neighbours' pantry; par- ticularly with a fluctuating waterway between. But, fortunately, Monsieur Ville does not philoso- phise only, he defines the principles by which production may be profitably increased and low prices successfully combated, proving the correct- ness of his deductions by practical demonstration. He basis his lesson somewhat as follows In the production of crops there are certain fixed outlays, which are much the same whether the crop is good, bad, or indifferent. For a graphic example, let us I take wheat; there are rent, taxes, cultivation, seed, harvesting, &c., which are much the same whether the crop is good or bad. Let us suppose these amount to C4 10s per acre. If the yield was bu" 20 bushels, the cost of production, apart from the straw, would be 36s per quarter; with a yield of 24 bushels the cost would be reduced to 30s; with 32 bushels 22s 6d, and with a yield of 40 bushels these fixed expenses would be but 18s per quarter, or one half that of the poor crop of 20 bushels, and there are many 20 bushel crops grown: to which may be attributed much of the outcry of depression." However, let us consider this land would have produced 3qrs per acre without any manurial con- sideration, a reasonable and liberal surmise the cost would be 30s per quarter, with the straw for incidentals. But if the waygoing price was 35 or 4s below this, the wheels would yet clog; now suppose to our fixed cost wo add a variable outlay in fertilisers, say 12s 6d—and increase our yield to 4 quarters—again a reasonable and moderate sur- mise. Our grain now stands to but 25s 7d per 2 quarter. If we double the 12s 6d, and get 5 quarters of wheat, onr acreage cost will be in- creased to S,5 15s, but our productive cost will be reduced to £ 1 3d per quarter, with an extra amount of straw and some residual value besides. Such is about the method in which Ville demon- strated his case, and the soundness of it has been abundantly proved in numerous instances all over Britain, yet, nevertheless, many farmers continue to restrict their use of fertilisers to the root crop. The most frequent remark offered in justification of this short-sighted policy is that the present low prices of corn will not admit of any expenditure in manure, overlooking the fact that fertilisers have also become equally low in price, and that the taking advantage of this latter complimentary reduction is the natural antidote to the former difficulty. Artificial fertilisers are now much lower in price than when Ville so urgently advocated their greater use, and, further, the phosphates have been sup- plemented by basic slag, coataining a useful per- centage of lime in combination with its phosphate, thus serving a dual purpose in one operation. An application of 5 cwt. of this lime phosphate and 2 cwt. of kainit per acre any time during the next two months could scarcely fail to prove remunera- tive on either cereals clovers, or grass. This is sound all round advice, but of course vary- ing circumstances suggest modifications for instance, if the preceding crop clover or roots has been liberally treated with mineral manures, the ensuing cereal crop should do fairly well without a further present application; and yet my experience tells me that such additional dressing would pay. I was talking with a large farmer a day or two ago, and he said that last year he dressed some fields of clover with 6 cwt. of basic slag per acre, and he was so satisfied with the result that he was this year making similar application to the whole of his clovers. He further stated that he was going to dress his wheat with 4 cwt. of phosphate and 2 cwt. of kainit per acre, except those fields where the clover had been slagged last year; he considered the clover had done so well last season that the wheat would there do well enough on the residue. I was asking this gentleman what his experience was as regarded the application of slag in the autumn or in the early months of the new year, as I had heard several differences of opinion on this point. He said he had found no practical difference, provided he got it on before a dry season set in; on the clover and grass he considered it was a question of convenience as to when the land conld be spared, and be clear of stock. For the wheat he preferred top dressing after Christmas and harrowing when dry enough and reminded me of a report of Professor Wright's, of Glasgow, saying that for oats there was no practical difference whether the slag was applied with the seed or earlier; personally he, Professor Wright, preferred it put on with the seed, but such dressing to the oat crop was profitable either way. Another farmer, joining us,was asked the same question, and gave much the same reply if his grass or clover was unoccupied in November or December he should probably put the slag on, but now he had six tons standing in the shed and had been some weeks, as this year, through the dry summer, he was rather short of roots, and as his grass had grown freely he was keeping his stock on it as long as he could, and did not suppose it would make much difference whether the phosphate was applied in November or February as nature to a great extent lay dormant during that time. I have not yet made reference to nitrogen, as it occupies a position distinct from phosphate and potash; but a slight touch up with nitrate of soda in the spring is the saving of many a weakly crop. Of course it increases the expense, but this is re- couped in the extra growth of straw, and general bulk of grass respectively. HESIOD.
THE SCARCITY IN INDIA. The Secretary of State for India has received the following telegram from the Viceroy on the subject of the scarcity in India No rain. Crop prospects becoming worse as the rain holds off, though in North-Western Provinces and Oudh germination is good, and irrigated areas there and in Punjab are safe. Numbers on relief —Bombay, 523,000 5 Punjab, 111,000 Central Provinces, 1,173,000; Berar, 199,000; Ajmere, 111,000; Rajputana, 203,000; Central India, 37,000, Bombay, States, 330,000; Baroda, 61,000. Total, 2,748,000." TOWYN-OR-SEA. Persons requiring House, jL or Apartments in the fashionable and popular seaside resorts of Towyn, Barmouth, and Aber- iovey, should send their advertisements to the Towyn-on-Sea and Merioneth County Times 21 words Is. Offices Towyn-on-Sea and Welshpool. A ^ITUATI0N ~AC ANT Will always bring the Largest Number of Replies by Advertising in the COUNTY TIMES." If there is anything you Want Advertise in the COUNTY TIMES." If you have anything you wish to Sell, Advertise in the COUNTY TIMES." THREE LINES FOR ONE SHILLING. IN ALL E DITIONS OF THE £ JOWNTY TIMES."
Y. 0- -V R. 5TH VOLUNTEER BATTALION THE SOUTH WALES BORDERERS. REGIMENTAL ORDERS By LlEUTENAWT-COLONEL E. PRYCE-JONES, M.P., Commanding. Headquarters, Newtown, 6ch January, 1900. STRUCK OFF.—The undermentioned are struck off the strength of the Battalion A Co, 561 Bugler W Jones. C Co, 90 Pte Adams. D Co, 662 Private Rees, 579 Private Hanson, 624 Private Arnold, 373 Private Lewis, 411 Private Norman, and 366 Private Roberta. "E" Co, 291 Pte Astley (Llanfair), 545 Pte Jones, 556 Pte Evans, 546 L-Cpl Jones, 555 Pte Pryce, 567 Pte Evans, 549 Pte Benbow, and 553 Pte Rogers (Berriew), 507 Pte Owen and 514 Pte Longley (Montgomery). F Co, 433 L-Sergt W Row- lands, 431 Pte Jones, 468 Pte Lewis, 450 Pte Davies, 493 Pte lwilliams, 644 Pte Roberts, and 645 Pte Ellis. ENROLMENTS.—The undermentioned having been enrolled at the stations mentioned are taken on the strength of the Battalion, posted to Companies, and allotted Regimental numbers as stated against their names:—Newtown, "A" Co, 680 Edward Humphreys. B Co, 681 William Evans, 682 William Jones, and 683 Thomas Williams. "C" Co, 684 David E Davies, 635 Thomas L Davies, 686 Frank Gregg, 688 Frederick E Anderson, and 689 Gomer Roberts. E" Co, Montgomery, 687 Charles Lewis. SOUTH AFRICA. The following is the roll of Officers, N.-C. Officers and men of the Battalion who have volunteered for active service in South Africa; also showing the percentage to the total strength of each Company :—Major and Hon Lieut Col G A Hutchins, V.D., Capt and Adjutant C E F Walker, Captains Sir W L Napier, Bart., E W Kirkby, and A W Pryce-Jones, Lieuts C E Elwell and H A Kirkby, Second Lieut G W H Wakefield, and Surgeon-Lieut C E Humphreys. Total, 9; per cent, 55. NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICBIRS AND MEN. "A" CO. Pte 218 James Sergt II E Breese „ 126 Williams 11 C Lock 538 Blair O-R-Sergt E C Jones" 142 Mills L-Sergt Sam Owen 133 Hughes Cpl D Clayton 581 Bluck L-Cpl Rees 473 Davies Perry 232 Gitti n s E Jones 674 Sweeney Cyclist J Gough 129 Baines Pte 41 Barrett 476 Tallis 400 Morris 149 Evans 179 Baxter 130 Davies „ 70 Evans Total, 19 per cent, 27. 630 Arthur D co. 10 Bennett Sergt R T Evans 46 Owen Bugler Williams 638 Morris Pte 367 Roberts 185 Griffiths 527 James 415 Davies 402 Griffiths 599 Woolley 597 Holt 266 Griffiths 528 Graham 461 Keay 578 Harding „ 405 Inglis 524 Roberts 611 Green 582 Elwtrds 460 Davies 664 Fleming 44 Bellis 364 Arthur 478 Jones 526 Parry 671 Griffiths 403 Lewis „ 64 Eagles 236 Harris „ 12 Lhomme „ 237 Hughes 31 Lowe 577 Humphreys 25 Jones Total, 17 per cent, 30. Total, 32; per cent, 45. E co. B co. C-Sergt T J Astley C-Sergt J Af Jones Cpl D Jones Sergt 11 H Evans Pte 125 White L-Cpl Horton „ 508 Banner Roberts 254 Watkins Latham 259 Richards J Y Davies 374 James Pte 276 Davies Total, 7; per cent, 12. „ 575 Roberts F co. „ 310 Roberts C-Sergt J C Edwards 606 Rogers Sergt 0 W Hughes 574 Bennett 11 EL Jones 71 Jones L-Cpl Roberts 339 Rees Pte 466 Davies 605 Edwards 420 Jones 86 Garnett 588 Lewis „ 571 Mumford „ 515 Axe 570 Woolley 482 Evans 569 Sniitli 464 Richards 319 Smot-it 657 Jones Total, 19; per cent, 29. 446 Jones "c" co. 465 J'ones L-Sergt Pryce 596 Clint Cyclist W M Owen „ 521 Morris A W Jones „ 420 Jones T IS P Jones 484 Davies Pte 110 Davies „ 432 Smith 112 Davies 622 Ilughes Total, 18; per cent, 27. Total percentage of the Battalion, 28. Peuarth and Towyn Rifle Ranges will be open this day for any of the above-named men who are not first-class shots but otherwise qualified to fire for marksmen under the new regulations. SECTION FOR SOUTH AFRICA.—Instructions have been received for the Battalion to furnish one section for service with the Line Battalion in South Africa, and also for one section to be held in Reserve. Strength of each section will be one Sergt, one CarpI, and 19 Ptes. The following qualifications are necessary for service:-(a) Every Volunteer must enlist for one year or for the war. In the event of the war being over in less than one year, he will have the option of being discharged at once or of completing his one year's service. (b) Must be not less than 20 and under 35 years of age. (c) Must be a first-class shot under Vol Rules. (d) Must have been efficient during 1898 and 1899. (e) Must be of good character, (f) Must be up to the physical standard of an Infantry recruit. No relaxation of standard will be allowed, (g) Must be medically fit for active service, (h) Preference should be given to unmarried men or widowers without children. Married men should be accepted only in the event of an insufficient number of single men or widowers without children volunteering. After attestation they will join the Regimental Depot until required for embarkation. Volunteers accepted for the Waiting Companies will be attested and passed to the Reserve at once for the unexpired portion of their engagement or until required for permanent service. During the time they are in the Reserve they will receive Reserve pay, and will be liable to carry out the training laid down in the Reserve Forces Act of 1882. Each Volunteer will receive from date of enlistment, pay and allowances of his rank as a Regular Infantry Soldier, rations and clothing. Should a married man be accepted his family will be entitled to separation allowance. On completion of his period of service he will recive a gratuity of.9,5 in addition to any gratuity given to the troops at the end of the war. If discharged in consequence of wounds or disability received or contracted while on service he will be entitled tc pension in accordance with the Royal warrant for pay, &c., of the Regular Army. On the departure of a Company from the United Kingdom the Officers and Volunteers com- posing it will be considered Supernumerary to their Corps. Any men who are desirous of proceeding to South Africa and have not applied are requested to do so to the Adjutant as early as possible. By Order, C WALKER, Captain, Adjutant 5th V.B. South Wales Borderers.
COMPANY ORDERS. "C" Co.—The Company supper and prize dis- tribution will take place on Tuesday, January 9th, at 8 p.m., at the Bull Hotel, and will be followed by a smoking concert. Dress, Tunics. Sergeants will wear cross-belt and pouch.—The Company dance will be held on Thursday, January 11th, at 9 30 p.m., in the Town Hall. Dress, Tunics, no waist belts. Sergeants, cross-belts and white gloves. LENNOX NAPIER, Captain, Commanding C Co, 5th V.B. S.W.B.
♦ EXTRAORDINARY SUICIDE AT NEWTOWN. On Tuesday afternoon Mr R Williams, coroner, held an inquest at the Victoria Hall, Newtown, touching the death of John Oliver Whittaker.- Thomas Whittaker, of Evans's Court, Ladywell street, said the deceased was his son, and was 38 years of age. He lived with witness. About five o'clock that morning deceased went downstairs for a drink and witness heard him go out. He returned in about half-an-hour, and witness heard the rust- ling of a newspaper on the table and thought de- ceased was reading it. Witness went down about 7 30 and found deceased in an armchair. There was a pool of blood at his feet and a razor lay on the ground. Sergt Tanner came in and examined the body, and found a cut in the leg from which the blood had flowed. Deceased had been drinking heavily of late and had been greatly depressed. He complained of giddiness, and a few days ago fell in the yard and cut his head. Witness never knew that he threatened to do anything to himself. A young man brought him in the previous night. He was not under the influence of drink, but could not walk without assistance. William Bevan said he lived next door to the last witness, who called him to see deceased. He found a pool of blood at his feet. He examined his neck, and found a cut under the right ear, but it was not very deep. He had seen deceased frequently of late, and noticed him "falling off. Police-sergeant Morgan said that he went to the deceased's house that morning. He examined the body, and found a slight cut on the right side of the neck, but there had been very little bleeding from that. He also examined his right leg, and just below the caif found two incised wounds about an inch apart. One wound was very deep, and over three inches long; it was a clean cut and right over the posterior tibial artery. A large quantity of blood had flowed from it. Deceased's right hand was hanging over the arm of the chair, and under his hand on the floor witness found the razor produced covered with blood. He had known deceased for many years as a person of intemperate and irregular habits. He bad not seen him lately under the influence of drink, but he seemed to be wasting away.—The jury returned a verdict that deceased committed suicide while temporarily insane,
♦ TOTAL LOSS OF THE OCEAN BELLE OF ABERYSTWYTH. COPENHAGEN, Jan 4th. Off the west coast of Jutland, near Boobjerg, an English brig, the Ocean Belle, of Aberystwyth, has gone down with all hands and all its cargo. Efforts to save it were made from Thorsminde, but without success. The captain is a native of Borth and the greatest sympathy is felt with his family.
TRAGEDY IN WALES. ATTEMPTED MURDER AND SUICIDE. A painful sensation was created througout the Vale of Llangollen yesterday morning by the report that two men bad been shot. It appears that a plasterer, named David Williams, had for many years had a grievance against an old com- rade, Tom Goodwin, who had accused him of causing the death of a youth. This boy had however, fallen from a tree and was killed, but Williams said he "could not live under the taunt of having killed another." On Saturday Williams left Llangollen, but returned by the last train on Thursday night, having, it appears, gone away to -purchas0 a revolver. After breakfast yesterday morning he visited the house of Goodwin, in Queen street, and shot at him three time with the revolver, and then shot himself in the throat, and fell dead by his comrade's side. Goodwin lies in a precarious condition. An inquest was held at Llangollen on Saturday before Dr Davies, on the body of David Williams, who on the previous day attempted to murder a companion named John Goodwin, and afterwards shot himself dead. Evidence was given to show that Williams had been drinking heavily and had got into a depressed condition, and a letter that was produced showed that he had contemplated taking Goodwin's life, although there was appar- ently no cause for bad feeling between the men. The jury returned a verdict of suicide during temporary insanity. Goodwin, although wounded in two places, is not considered to be in danger.