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are used in your neighborhood ? So far as preference is given to one kind over another, state why.
17. Are corn-planters, grain-drills, broadcast sowing machines (for grain, clover and grass seed, or fertilizers—as ashes, plaster, &c.,) used in your, neighborhood, and with what results ? State what kinds of these machines have been tried, and their relative merits, so far as ascertained.
10. What kinds of horse-rakes are used in your section, and what their respective advantages ?
19. Are " horse-pitchforks” used in unloading hay, and if so, what is thought of them in reference to saving or lightening manual labor?
20. Are “hay-tedders” (machines to aid in drying hay), used in your neighborhood, and if so, what kinds, and with what results ?
Describe any special improvement which has been made in ploughs, harrows, cultivators, or any other implement, and mention any new one that has been introduced.
21. To what extent are the solid and liquid excrements of domestic animals saved, and how saved, and applied to the land ?
22. To what crops is stable or yard manure usually applied, and in what ratio does the application of a given quantity to the acre commonly increase the yield?
24. What has been the advance, if any, in the value of forest or woodland, within the last five years, and also the advance in the value of wood and lumber for the same period ?
25. In clearing land, how are the different kinds of timber disposed of? State the prices received for the timber, or the articles into which it is immediately wrought.
26. What wages are paid to farm laborers by the day and month, at different seasons of the year? State at what rates wages have ranged in
27. Have any experiments been made in under-draining in your neighborhood, either with tiles, stones, or other materials ? If so, state on what kinds of soils, the manner in which the work was done, the cost per rod, and the general results.
28. What agricultural improvements are most needed in your section ? Make suggestions as to what can be done to advance the agricultural interest.
In reply to these interrogatories, the following communications have been received:
FROM BERRIEN COUNTY.
BY MARTIN R. WADE, OF BUCHANAN.
The answers given refer to the eastern part of the township of Warsaw and the western part of Buchanan.. Some parts of this section bave been cultivated more than 20 years, and others have been brought into cultivation from year to year to the present time. The soil is various, ranging from a heavy clay to a light sand, some of it being very fertile, which may be said to be the prevailing characteristic; but parts are not so good, and in some small places it may be said to be poor.
A small part of it was covered with oak, mixed in a degree with other timber. On most, the prevailing timber was beech, with an undergrowth of sugar-maple, of which in many places, there was considerable of a large growth, and also poplar, basswood, white-ash, and some other kinds. The land is mostly dry, though there are some elm and black-ash marshes, and some tamarack swamps.
Corn averages 45 bushels per acre; wheat 12 to 15; potatoes 100. I think there has been no decrease in productiveness. White wheat is taking the place of red generally. A few years ago red was almost entirely raised. I cannot give the relative productiveness.
Apples are raised to some extent, but orchards are generally young, and few bear to any extent. Apples have sold at from 35 to 50 cts. per bushel. Peaches are raised to some extent; prices very fluctuating.
Root crops are not much cultivated.
I think swine the most profitable stock. Darying is not followed. There have been but few cattle of improved breeds brought into this section. There is not that attention paid to getting superior horses that there should be, though some are turning their attention to them.
We have a mixture of most breeds of sheep, and no distinct breed. Raising wool is very profitable, and the first object is to get sheep, even if the wool is not of just the right quality. That all are trying to do.
Breeds of swine are almost as much mixed as sheep, and we do not try to keep their pedigree, though there are some fine hogs in this section. Just have patience with us, and we will try and do better when we get out of the woods, or get the woods away from us.
Half of our section is yet covered with forest. With such facts before you, do you expect that a man can say what is the average weight of hogs? I have seen them at 20 months old that would weigh 400 lbs. net, and others of the same age that were not half as heavy. We have found there is a difference in breeds, and in time will know the best.
Of course, among stumps, roots, etc., labor-saving machines are not very profitable. There are a few places where such machines are used; but do not ask us to describe which is best.
I do not think there is much system in saving manure. It is applied broadcast and ploughed under. Plaster is used to some extent. Wood-land has advanced in price, probably, 50 per cent., lumber 100 and wood 75 and 100 per cent. I am four miles from Dayton station, north by west. South of this, beech and maple is cut into cord-wood, wh le north it is burned. Wood has adyanced from $1.37 to $2.50 per cord, in five years, White-wood or poplar lumber, is from $9 to $18 per thousand. Oak is generally sawed into plough and wagon timber of the shape for using, by saws of different descriptions; but I am unable to state prices. Wages, I am unable to state, most hiring being by the job. Cutting cord-wood was $1 per cord the past winter.
Little underdraining has been done. Much of the land does not need it, as the sub-soil is pervious to water, yet there are many places where it would be profitable. But there is a lack of material, unless tiles are used. Many here think that if a piece of land dries out so that it can be ploughed, there is no use in draining. Until the land is brought into cultivation entirely, but few will attempt other improvements to a great extent.
FROM CALHOUN COUNTY.
BY JEREMIAH BROWN, OF BATTLE CREEK. 1. The soil of this section has been cultivated 28 years. Seven-eighths of it may be called āry, and one-eighth marsh, bottom and prairie. It is nearly all “oak openings.”
2. The principal crops are wheat, corn and hay. Average wheat 15 bush. per acre; corn 35; marsh hay 11 tons; “tame hay,” for the first ten years 1 ton; since then 11. On good land, well cultivated, white wheat is the most productive, and on “fallow” ground the crop is one-third better than our first crops. This doubtless may be attributed to the use of clover.
3. The price of wheat ranged from 35 to 60 cts. per bush. for the first 15 years; since then from 60 cts. to $2. This fall $2.10 has been obtained. Corn has ranged from 25 cts. to $1; is now $1.70 per bushel. Marsh hay, from $2.50 to $10 per ton; tame hay, $5 to $12; it is now $16 to $20. Tame hay costs [per acre] one-third as much as wheat, and about half as much as corn. Of wheat, about seven-eighths is sold; the balance is consumed and used for seed. Of corn, about one-fourth is sold; one half is turned into pork and beef, and one-quarter otherwise congumed. Of hay, one-fourth is sold, and the balance consumed.
4. The fruits cultivated are apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, quinces, currants, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes. Apples and peaches are the -only large fruits raised in considerable quantity for market. Choice varieties of apples, average in price 40 cents per bushel; peaches 40 cents; strawberries about 10 cents per quart. Chicago is our principal market.
5. Root crops have been cultivated to a limited extent. The ruta bagit, or Swedish turnip, constitutes seven-eighths of all root-crops grown here. The purple-top ruta baga is considered the best for stock, and the white French for the table. The ruta baga is usually fed to cattle, sheep and swine. It is very valuable for all these purposes, and it is much to be regretted that is so little grown. Swine will do well on the ruta baga alone. Six hundred bushels to the acre is a fair crop, but I have known 1,200 to be grown.
6. Beyond the different kinds of stock actually required in the management of a farm, sheep are the most profitable.
7. The price of beef during the last ten years, has averaged $3 per hundred, on foot; previous to that time all beef was consumed on the farm. Pork, previous to 1850, $2 per hundred; since then $3. Mutton, dressed, 4 cts. per lb. Butter 121 cts. Cheese 9 cts., for the last 14 years.
8. Mutton can be produced at less cost than pork or beef.
9. I do not know the annual yield of butter and cheese, per COW.
10. No cheese is made on the "factory system.”
11. Durham cattle are most profitable for beef. Devons and “Natives” for the dairy. The introduction of Durhams has been of great advantage to the farmer for the purpose of beef and oxen. They were introduced from the State of New York.
13. Merino sheep and their grades are most common. Average price of wool 42 cts. per lb.; average weight of fleece 41 lbs. washed. Wethers only are fattened for the market. The introduction of the Merino has added 333 per cent. to weight of the wool. They were introduced mainly from Vermont—some from New York. Some flocks average over 6 lbs. to the fleece. This weight may easily be obtained by skill in breeding, and care of the flock.
14. The Chester White Swine are preferred.
15. Our labor-saving implements are the reaper, mower, gang-plow, grain-drill, the Geddes harrow, iron-beam plow, corn-sheller, and the corn and field cultivator. The introduction of the above implements has saved fully a quarter of the labor formerly required to raise the same amount of grain.
16. Manny's, Wood's, Ketchum's, and McCormick’s reapers and mowers are used. Wood's has the preference on account of the self-raker.