Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



FARMING NOTES. (fWm The Snral World.") SUMMER FALLOWS. June ie the month (advises the able writer on c "Seasc,nht)ye Farmin" in the Rural World) for makmg real progress in summer fallow making. The days are long, nights are short, and the sun has great; power. Thus, if the plough and scuffle are kept dili- gently at. work most cf the weeds ought to be killed before the month expires, so as to admit of teams being spared for haymaking. Then between hay and harvest there is an opportunity to finish off the clean- ing process and open the ground to aerate and freshen for the vilieat crop to be sown at Michaelmas. Where fallowing is completed in good time, as may be the rase this year on the not over clayey soils, mustard might be sown in July, so as to give a substantial green crop for feeding off by sheep or ploughing in for manure. In either case the land would get a useful manorial dressing, and thus save drawing on the dunghill, which seldom holds out for all crops that need fertilising, I am much in favour of fertilising ground with green crops, and consider the practice has been too much overlooked by many farmers of late years. Only by generously manuring can bonntiful crops be produced. Twitch and thistles are the most troublesome weeds to deal with in fallow-making, and in the process of dealing with them other weeds are killed as a matter of common result. Indeed, no fallowing will make clean work of thistles, because they root so deeply in the earth. But the constant working of the soil kills many and weakens others. The great secret in fallow-making is to keep plenty of soil-i,e., to work the land each successional time well from the bottom or hearth. For want of deep working many farmers find they have scarcely any soil left at wheat- sowing time. Then not only are deep- rooting weeds not killed, but there is only an indifferent bed left to receive the wheat grains at planting time. Again, the deeper the ground is worked, the more air is let into it, and the more freely it will be reduced to mould, and the better all crops in the future rotation will flourish. And it goes without saying that if the ploughshare is sent home, and the scuffle made to touch hard upon the hearth, a strong team is needed. Light land farmers laugh at their compeers of the heavier soils nsill( four horses to the plough but it really takes four powerful horses to break up and cross-plough summer fallows on the more adhesive clays, and even if a five-horse team be provided to work the scuffle first time over, all the better. No matter how strong the team, the toil is sure to be greater than in work- ing light land, and this I say after having had to deal extensively with both, and that for many years. SHEEP ON FALLOWS. There was a good old custom common in years gone by of folding sheep at night on summer fallows, and the plan might well be again resorted to. The advantages are four-fold: Firstly, to fertilise the ground secondly, to trample and otherwise destroy creature pests in the soil; thirdly, to consolidate the earth to prevent wheat dying off in the following spring fourthly, good dry lying ground is provided for the flocks at night. About lOOeheep will manure 10 acres of fallow, and that, reckoning the dressing and trampling at £ 2 2s. per acre, comes to 20ga. Thus the sheep pay 20gs. extra over if not. folded, barring the labour on folding and the loss to the grass fields. The labour consists of driving the flocks to folds each night at sundown, releasing them again about five o'clock the following morning and changing the folds. They like the dry lying, and soon begin to draw off themselves to the folds as evening clcses in. As re- gards robbing the grass fields from where the flocks are driven, it should be arranged that the sheep be folded from such grounds as are not materially the losers by the animals being removed at night. Erery shepherd knows that sheep generally lie pretty much in certain parts of the pastures, so that often those parts are overdone with droppings. In such in- stances the folding on arable land rather sweetens and improves the pastures than otherwise. Folding should begin just after shear day, and continue until middle of August. Workings of the fallows can go on just as usual. The folds should be so frequently moved as to go all over the fields during the summer. Bhearhogs and theaves that are being stored along are best suited for folding—better than ewes and lambs or such other sheep as are being fattened off for the butcher. It is essential that the pasture fields adjoin or lie quite near the arable, as it would not answer to drive the flocks far to night quarters, especially in hot weather. Before releasing the sheep from the folds in the morning they should be stirred up and allowed to move about a bit for half an hour, during which time they void their faeces and urine. It is only by looking to such means of enriching land as sheep folding that can lead to profit in farming arable land in these days of free imports of foreigu corn. THE SOWINGS are now reduced to swedes, hybrids, white turnips, and mustard. There are three weeks left to sow swedes, and during that time a good deal of work may be done if the weather is propitious, but not otherwise. After midsummer it is better to plant hybrids or white turnips, as it is too late to hope for the slower growing swede to mature to average weight. The ground that will need most urgent attention is where green forage crops have been grown, such as rye, vetches, and trifolium. The only plan is to break up the fields as soon as the crops are removed and continue to clean and break down the clods until a mouldy bed is provided, and that with- out an hour's delay-at least, when the weather ia favourable. There is no immediate hurry about lowing white turnips and hybrids, but the ground should be got ready with dispatch. Sowings made! about the beginning of July often give bountiful yields. There is no especial call for the team from the root fields until haymaking time. Some farmers hold from diilling when the earth ip, over dry. For my part I care not how dry the ground is if there be a free mould to drill the seed in. As soon as rain falls the young plants spring through the surface freely enough, and often after sown in dry mould show the best plant. Still, the ground is not very j dry yet. By drilling up the ridges in the evening that are prepared during the day there will be suffi- cient moisture in the earth at prenent to germinate the seed. So I say drill without delay as fast as a free mould can be prepared, whether that mould be as dry as March dust or moist and cool. What ought really not to be done is to drill among clods, small I though they may be, neither when the land is sc I damp as to clog to the drill. MANURE CARTING may still be continued on hindering days when the land is too wet to work kindly. Haymaking time is fast approaching, and it is well that yards be cleaned out and made tidy before that busy time. The nearer the dunghill can be made to the fields to be dressed the better, for thus labour is economised, j In some instances the fields may be dressed direct from the fold yard, and that is the best plan of all. PASTURE LAND. Pasture land recently laid down is greatly assisted in forming a sward by liberal applications of farm- yard manure; active nitrogenous manures, such as nitrate of soda and sulphate of ammonia, should be entirely avoided, because of their tendency to encourage rank growth and diminish clovers and finer pasture plants. On the heavier soils, especially if rather damp and rich in organic matter, basic slag, about 5cwt. per acre, is generally a most valuable agent in improving them. On the lighter soils, 3cwt. or 4cwt. of superphosphate may be more useful, but this can easily be decided by experience. On the lighter soils also a dressing of 4cwt. of kainit, or an equivalent amount of other potash manure, is generally useful. The late autumn is probably the best time for the application of all these manures. On poor, thin, or sandy soils the application of lOcwt. of rape meal manure per acre has been found useful in developing a sward, but experience must be a guide as to whether this manure be economical or not. In forming a new pasture it is very important that if a crop of hay is removed in the first instance it should be cut very early, and every precaution (close grazing and otherwise) should be exercised to prevent the pasture becoming rough and coarse at any time; probably a renewal of the phosphatic and potash manures suggested would be advisable about every four years. The feeding of corn and espe- cially of cakes to the grazing stock, under proper conditions, is one of the most valuable methods of improving a pasture. A WARM WEATHER MILK-HOUSB. Milk is a difficult article to keep sweet and good. Next to an ice-house, a cold water shed comes nearest to perfection. It is 6ft. square, and 6ft. high at the eaves, which is large enough for the rnilk of two or three cows. The milk tank, which is 12in. deep and 14n. wide at the top, extends along the north side. It has a screen cover, which may be covered with cloth in very hot or dusty weather. A table with shelf underneath occupies the soivh-east corner. A space just above the level of the tank, 2ft, wide and extending on all sides-of the house, is covered with wire screen. Shelves above the screen and below the tank give sufficient room for milk and butter dishes. The milk is set in pails. A galvan- ised iron pipe leads from a small tank at the side of the pump down 18in. below the surface of the ground, across the 20ft. space, and up again to the levet of the milk tank. An overflow pipe at the other end of the tank carries off the water after it "has reached the proper height in the tank. Another pipe, at the f. bottom of the tank, is used for emptying it when desired. The door in the south-west corner is of I wood, but could be of screen if preferred. Board Abutters cover the screens in rainy weather. The i water in the tank may be changed at any time by pumping water into the small tank at the well.


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