Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

14 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



FIELD AND FARM. 1 (From" The Agi ictdtural Gazette.") HAYMAKING iiu (observe8 Prof. John Wrightson) proceeded fcriskly, and it is seldom that it has been carried on with less interruption. A week has served to cut and secure some fair crops, which would have been havy but for cold nights and drying east winds. Labour "as n economised by the small amount required. the quality of the crop is good, but there will be fewer ricks than there were last year. I see a good many mowers and hoers at work in the fields, showing that the exodus from the country to the town is not quite complete. I also meet a great many carters under 50 yars of age, which shows that the race is not likely to become extinct yet. Anyone who reads the letters on the subject of the scarcity of labour will naturally try the matter from his own stand- point. The Commissioner who writes for the Morning Post has visited Hampshire, and reported a dearth of labour but this is not true of the whole county. I have experienced no difficulty as yet in finding men, and as for boys they are fairly plentiful. Pn my own pay-sheet of 29 people there are only pree over 50 years of age, and fully half are boys If from 16 to 21. Wages have risen slighly, chiefly in prices given for piecework Hoeing mangel three times, 18s. per acre; hoeing turnips and swedes twice, 10s. od.; shearing sheep, 4s. per score. The best rcen are generally found on the best managed farms. If such a good farm is visited it will be found to hold a few good men. There will be a capable fore- man, and capable carters, shepherd, and herdsman. scarcely go on in its present efficient condition if one was absent. One of the most striking facts in connection with good farming is the im- portance of good men. I do not believe any man could farm well without them. It would bo im- possible to manage a flock of sheep successfully without an able shepherd. The same is true of a dairy, of poultry, or pigs. Constant and intelligent interest is absolutely necessary. It i. the same in the stable, for horses cannot be properly turned out, nor can land be properly tilled without able and in- telligent carters. It is to be feared that in many districts there is a dearth of labour; but it would probably be found that wherever there is a good flock or a good herd, Or wherever land is still well cultivated, good men are to be found. Good men have probably always been scarce, for according to the old saying, good folk are scarce in all walks of life. Men must be satisfied with their wages and work, but we are far from the time in which these conditions cannot be satisfied in the country. I should be sorry if these remarks appear to be erroneous to any reader, for I firmly believe in their truth. Having resided on many farms during the past 40 years, I can say that on all of them there were men whom it was a pleasure to talk to, and from whom even the learned might learn something. Neither does experience teach me that the boys who take to work on the land are inferior to others. I have several bright, clever boys, and do not find that I muse But up with boys who are inferior, either mentally or physically. The exodus from country to town has always gone on, and will continue. If a boy can better himself by going into a town no one can complain, but there will always be a certain number who drift, or are attracted, with farming work, and find suitable employment. TURNIP NOTES. Many systems of re sowing turnips may be explained, all of which have advantages, but much, of course (remarks Mr. J. P. F. Bell), depends on the local circumstances of particular places. Gener- ally speaking, drills should be harrowed down as level as possible without, of course, disturbing the farmyard manure where it has been applied. When land is in a foul condition this is positively necessary in order to clean it, because, by the failure of the fifst sowing, the weeds thrive and grow apatne. Pro- bably the best all-round system where land is foul is to harrow the drills down with a drill harrow, then run a chain harrow over them, which enhances the mould, and finally run them up with a double plough. When the land is clean, and the natural sap exists in the drills, however, a better plan is simply to go over them with a drill harrow, then sow, and roll with a light level roller. In this way immediate germination is more certain, as the seed is placed in the fine, moist soil in the centre of the drills instead of amongst the dry, and sometimes rough, earth thrown up to the top by double plough. Thelevel roller is preferable to the drill roller, as the former only compresses the portion of the drills where the seed is placed. Kellers should be constructed so that by shifting the shafts one foot to the near side, three drills can be taken at one turn, which saves labour and time. Land should always be worked in fit condition, and ) turnips will grow better during the attacks of fly. Nitrogenous manure, to the extent of at least lewt. per acre should be applied to hasten the develop- ment of the plants at this critical period. First- sown swedes should be sown pretty thickly, say 61b. per acre, and it is a good plan to mix lib. of white seed along with it. Turnips are preferred to swedes by the fly, and whilst the attack is being waged on the former, the latter grow into the broad leaf, at which stffge they are practically safe. Of course in a favourable season thick sowing is a disadvan- tage; still, all things considered, it is generally worth risking. A good plan is to sow the seed twice, half the quantity each time. In this way the drills are more firmly compressed, and a better mould established for the seed. In Scotland the damage of By are tremendous, and large areas of swedes have been re-sown, so that, considering the lateness of the season, the present prospects of the turnip crop are by no means encouraging. DAIRY CO-OPERATION. I I believe (writes Mr. Primrose McConnell) that eombination among dairy farmers not only will do, but has done, a very great deal in the matter of rais- ing the price of milk. The Eastern Counties Dairy Farmers'Association has been in existence now for some seven or eight years, and the outcome of this organi- sation has been to raise the price of milk to the members at least 10 per cent. if we add the fall which we have prevented to the rise which we have actually obtained; at least it is so in my case. Further, be it noted that this has been obtained in the poorest district of London-the East- end-where milk is retailed at a consider- ably lower rate than in the West end. This Trades Unionism has, indeed, been so successful that some of us are doing our beat to ex- tend it all round, and the Central Association of Dairy Farmers-of which I was recently aecretary pro tern.—has made this its chief object. We begin to see daylight in the matter, but I am net going to give" the show away any further at this stage. The following figures, however, will open the eyfes of some readers, as they opened mine when I first heard of them. The farmers who supply the West-end of London with milk get the smallest price going in the trade. I know of some myself who have had to ac- cept Is. per barn in summer and Is. 5d. in winter, and pay the carriage up to London out of this. This milk is retailed at 4d. per quart in the aristocratic parts of London; in other words, the milk dealer has a margin of 130 per cent. to cover the cost of distribution, plus profit, in the above case. If there is some milk jretailed at 3d. there is also some retailed at 5d. per quart, and anyway there is at least a margin of 100 per cent. between the price to the farmer and the price to the consumer. We dairy farmers are asking for a rise of, say. 10 per cent., and I think the above figures justify onr request, and that, further, there is no need (and this i8 a notable point) te raise theprice to the consumer. Fourpence a quart is a price the public are willing to pay* »n(i '8 amply sufficient to afford a considerable rise to the farmer. If anyone doubts these figures he will find proof ready to hand in any of the morning papers ra the list of milk businesses to sell. In one list before me as I write—issued this week-the prices asked average per barn gallon on the daily sale. This, of course, includes the plant, but the plant of a milk- shop is not very extensive-a counter, a few pans, and, say, a couple of milk prams-so that, probably, at least four-fifths of the money is simply for good- will." Again, the special commissioner of the Morning Post states that he knows of a case where an income of C600 per annb I--a is earned clear by retailing 70 barns dafly. The farmer who kept the 70 cows which pro- duced this milk did not earn £-600, and he had infi-, nitely more worry and trouble and risk than the re- tailer, and a much larger investment of capital. It is a fact, in short, that a milkshop is more pro- fitable than a beershop, and sells at a higher rate tfewj brewers pay for their tied hooaee." Without asking the public to pay any more for their milk, we are justified in asking for a rise in the orice to the farmer; we have obtained it in some cases, and ihe machinery is being hammered into shape to procare it in others, in a wider circle. We need this rise in price, for it is becoming more and more difficult to handle a dairy. Men refuse to do Sunday work at any price; they can get plenty of work in towns or with bu;lders as grand hodmen at a higher wage than farming will bear, while they have the Saturday afternoons and Sundays off. Unfortunately, the cows must be milked all the same, but higher wages will not tempt any young fellow to become a cowman nowadays. I know of one farmer having 200 cows who has had to reduce the number to 40 another with 100 cows who has given them up altogether, and wholly and solely on account of the labour trouble. Things will no doubt right them- selves in time somehow, but the immediate prospect is fewer cows with a scarcity of milk, and a higher price to those who keep on.





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