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26001. to 30001. a year. Seven or eight wagon loads of farmyard manure are plowed in on land intended for roots, besides above 30s. worth per acre of superphosphate of lime drilled in with the turnip seed; while wheat has a top-dressing of 1 cwt. of guano, o cwt. nitrate of soda, and 2 cwt. of salt, mixed with earth and ashes. No weeds are grown. The turnips are taken up in November, and a troop of boys and girls," under the care of an experienced man, traverse the ground, forking out and burning every particle of twitch or thistle. The same “ troop is called in during the progress of the root crop, whenever occasion requires, and immediately after harvest they go over the stubbles with their little three-pronged forks, exterminating the slightest vestige of a weed. The expenses of cleaning are thus kept down to ls. an acre, a price which excited the admiration and doubts of that admirable agricultural essayist, the late Mr. Thomas Gisborne, and which proves that, by stopping the evil at its source, and never allowing the enemy to get ahead, land may be kept wholly weeded more cheaply than half weeded. Lord Berners mentioned, as recently as 1855, that he found in Leicestershire hundreds of acres netted over with twitch as thick as a Lifeguardsman's cane, and studded with clumps of thistles like bushes. Such neglected land required an expenditure of 51. to 61. an acre to put it in heart. The farmer who saw a thief daily stealing from his dung-heap would soon call in the aid of a policeman. The weeds are an army of scattered thieves, and if the pilferings of each are small in amount, the aggregate is immense. The wise and thrifty farmer, therefore, keeps his constabulary to take up the offender, and consign him as quickly as possible to death. He who allows himself to be daily robbed of his crop, and the community to the same extent of food, and all the while looks helplessly on, is not only a bad farmer, but in effect, though not in design, a bad citizen also.
Mr. J. Thomas, of Lidlington Park, our second example, farms about 800 acres of a mixed character, under the Duke of Bedford, of whom it is the highest praise to say that he is a landlord worthy of such tenants, consisting in part of clay, which has been rendered profitable for arable cultivation by deep drainage, and in part of what is locally called sand, which has been reduced from rabbit-warrens to cornfields by the Norfolk system. This intelligent cultivator read a paper some time since to the Central Farmers' Club, in which he stated, with the assent of his tenant audience, that, under very high farming, it was not only possible, but advisable to reduce the fertility of the soil by the more frequent growth of grain-as, for instance, by taking barley after wheat, and returning to the once fatal system of two white crops in succession. He said that, under the four or five course he began to find his " turnips subject to strange, inexplicable diseases ; his barley (where a large crop of swedes had been fed on the ground by sheep, with the addition of cake and corn.) laid flat on the ground by its own weight, and in a wet harvest sprouted, thus rendering the grain unfit for the maltster, the straw valueless as fodder, while the young clover was stifled and killed by the lodgment of the barley crop." Thus, while Roman agriculturists, with all their garden-like care, were tormented by a decreasing produce on an exhausted soil, we, after ages of cropping, have arrived at the point of an over-abundant fertility-an evil to be cured, not by any fixed rule, but “ by permitting the diligent and intelligent tenant farmer a freer exercise of judgment. In this speaker we have another specimen of the invaluable class of men by whom, during the last ten years, on tens of thousands of acres, the produce of meat and corn has been doubled.
At Lidlington, where there is ng clay to deal with, and more good grass land than exists at Castle Acre, it is not necessary to purchase so much food to keep live stock for manure. But there are about one hundred and fifty beasts and one thousand sheep sold fat, besides a choice breeding flock of four hundred Downs, the result of twenty years' care. By these sheep the light land is consolidated and enriched. If they are store sheep, they are allowed to gnaw the turnips on the ground a part of the year; if they are young and
to be fatted for market, the turnips are drawn, topped, tailed and sliced by a boy with a portable machine. Thus feeding by day, and penned successively over every part of the field at night, they fertilize and compress, as effectually as any roller, the light-blowing sand, and prepare soil which would scarcely feed a fumily of rabbits for luxuriant corn crops. The cattle, consisting of two year old Devons, llerefords, or Short hords, or three year old Scots or Anglesea runts, purchased at fairs according to the supply and market price, in spring or suminer, are run on the inferior pasture until winter, then taken into the yards or stalls, fed with hay, swedes, mangolds, ground cake, linseed or barley meal, and allowed an unlimited supply of clean water. When the spring comes round they are put on the best grass, and sent off to market as fast as they become ripe, having left behind them a store of manure, which is the capital from which everything else must spring.
Ten years ago four miles of rough bark fences were cleared away on the clay half of this farm, and replaced by single rows of blackthorn, dividing the fields into square lots of forty or fifty acres. Under the old system two hundred acres were poor pasture; now under rotation system the strong clay feeds four times as much live stock as before, and bears wheat at least twice in six years. According to the latest experience, the most profitable system in its present light condition would be to devote the farmyard dung to growing clover, to eat down the clover with folded sheep, and then to use the ground fertilized by the roots of the clover, without home-made manure, for cereal crops, assisted by a top-dressing of guapo, to be followed by roots nourished with superphosphate of lime. Good implements come in aid of good methods of cultivation. Mr. Thomas has eight or nine of Howard's iron plows--both light and heavy-iron harrows to match the plows, a cultivator to stir the earth, a grubber to gather weeds, half a dozen drills, manure distributors, and horse-hoes, a clod-crusher, a heavy stone roller, a baymaking machine, and horse-rakes. Reaping machines are to follow. To deal with the crops, a fixed steam-engine, under the care of a plow boy, puts in motion the compendious barn machinery we have already described, which threshes, dresses and divides the corn according to its quality, and raises the straw into the loft, and the grain into the granary, besides working a chaff-cutter, a bean-splitter, a cakecrusher, and stones for grinding corn or linseed. With machinery no large baro is required in the English climate ; the corn can remain in the rick until required for market. About twenty men and thirty trained boys, under an aged chief, are constantly employed.
No land is here lost by unnecessary fences ; no food is wasted on ill-bred live stock; no fertility is consumed by weeds; no time or labor is thrown away; One crop prepares the way for another, and the wheeled plow, under the charge of a man or boy, follows quick upon the footsteps of the reaper. The sheep stock is kept up to perfection of form by retaining only the best shaped ewe lambs, and hiring or buying the best South-down rams. The profit of keeping first class stock was proved at the Christmas market of 1856, when twenty-five pure Down shearlings, of twenty months old, which were sold by auction at Hitchin, made an average of 41. 8s. ench, being nearly double the usual weight. The large produce, whether in corn or meat, is the result of a system the very converse of that practised by the Belgian peasant proprietor, or French metiyer, whose main object is to feed his family, and avoid every possible payment in cash. As for laying out sixpence on mapure, or eattle food for making manure, no such notion ever crosses the minds of those industrious, hard-living peasants, and the diminution in the means of subsistence in consequence, is almost past calculation. He who puts most into the land, and gets most out of it, is the true farmer. The bad cultivator gives little, and receives accordingly.
When the Central Farmers' Club discussed the advantage of returning to the plan of more frequent corn crops, which before the days of artificial manures was found to be utterly ruinous, the then chairman said that he had for
several years taken a crop of wheat every other year; and that on such soil as that of his farm, as long as ho manured accordingly, he considered that he was not using tho land (one-half of wbich is his own freehold) unfairly." This Weald of Sussex farm shall be our third example, and we adduce it to show what may be done with the most intractable class of retentive soils. A few years ago it was divided into enclosures of from four to eight acres each by broad hedge-rows, many of them with ditches on both sides. It was among the evils of these small enclosures that they facilitated the old make shift plan of draining by surface furrows to shallow sub-drains of bushes, because the water had not far to run. A partial cure postpones completer remedies. In the numerous hedges, according to the custom of the county, the landlord grew oak timber and the tenant underwood for fuel and for mending fences. Before railways had made coal cheaper than hedgrow cuttings, the laborers were employed in fine weather during the winter in trimming the hedges, and clearing out furrows and ditches ; in wet weather they retreated to a large barn and threshed out wheat or oats with a flail, in a damp atmosphere, the most unfavorable for the condition of the corn, and a time of the year most convenient for pilfering it. The usual course of cropping was-1, fallow; 2, wheat; 3, oats; 4, seeds. The seed crops were fed until the beginning of June with all the stock of the farm, and then broken up for a bare fallow with a wooden turnwrist plow. The crops were about twenty bushels of wheat per acre once in four years, about forty-eight bushels of oats the year following, aud hay and seeds in the third year. The stock consisted of about twenty-five cows, and ten young beasts, which were sold half fat. The horses plowed four at a time in a line, and were usually the plumpest animals on the farm. Sheep there were none, nor was it believed possible to keep them without Down feed. Lime was the only manure purchased, and hay the only winter food. The present owner and farmer of Ockley Manor, after traveling through England to study the best specimen of modern tenant farming, began by reducing a hundred enclosures to twenty, and by borrowing enough money from the public loan to drain the whole of his clays, the stiffest imaginable, three feet six inches deep. He would have preferred four feet deep, but the expense lopped off six inches. This indispensable preliminary process enables him to grow roots and keep a large stock of Southdown sheep on his clovers and seeds, with plenty of cake, running them on the land almost all the year round. To assist in disintegrating the drained clay he avails himseif of " Warne’s box feeding system, manufacturing a large quantity of long straw dung, which, when plowed in, exercises a mechanical as well as a fertilizing effect.
There are three modes of feeding cattle in use-open yards, stalls, and boxes. Well built yards are surrounded by sheds for shelter, the open space is dish-shaped, thinly sprinkled with earth, and thickly covered with straw, which is renewed from time to time as the cattle trample it into manure. The roofs of all the surrounding buildings are provided with gutters, and the rain is carried into underground drains. The liquid manure is pumped back upon the prepared dung-heaps. These yards are attached to all root feeding farins, and by their appearance and the quality of the cattle fed in them, a fair opinion may be formed of the management of the tenant. In stalls the cattle are tied by the head under cover, with more or less straw under them, according to the proportion of arable land. On the “box system," each beast is penned in a separate compartment under cover, and supplied from day to day with just as much straw as will cover the solids and absorb the liquid dung. By the time the beast is fat his cell is full of solid, well fermented manure, of the most valuable description for clay land. The cattle, whether in yards, stables or boxes, and all are often to be found on the same farm, ought to be bountifully fed with sliced or pulped roots, mixed with chaff, hay, oil-cake, linseed, or corn. The extra buildings make boxes the most expensive plan, but in no way do the animals thrive better, and where there is an ample supply of straw
it is the most advantageous method of manufacturing manure. Box feeding affords one more instance of the antiquity of many modern agricultural practices. In Sir John Sinclair's "6 Statistical Survey of Scotland," published 1795, we read that in the Shetland Island of Unst, “ The method of preserving manure is by leaving it to accumulate in the beast-house under the cattle, mixed with layers of grass and short heather, till the beasts cannot enter. When the house is full, the dung is spread over the fields." Doubtless the islanders of Upst found, in their damp climate, that dung collected out of doors lost all of its fertilizing value. At Ockley farm, with the assistance of the grass land, from one hundred to one hundred and twenty of the best class of Sussex, or Devons, or Scots, are fattened every year in boxes, built cheaply enough of the timber from the condemned hedgegrows, interlaced with furze and plastered with Sussex mud. Though not very sumptuous externally, they are warm and well ventilated. Twenty Alderney cows eat up what the fat cattle leave on the pastures, (each cow being tethered,) and supply first class butter for Brighton-a market which requires the best description of farm produce. In manufacturing districts quantity pays the grazier or dairyman the best ; in fashionable quarters, quality. Eight hundred fat Down sheep and lambs, and about eighty pigs, which are sold off cheaply in the shape of what is popularly called “ dairy-fed pork," complete the animal results on this Weald of Sussex farm.
On four hundred and fifty acres devoted to arable cultivation, wheat is grown every alternate year, at the rate of from forty to forty-eight bushels per acre.
The sheep and lambs, which get fat on the clover or other seeds, assisted by cake, prepare the soil for the alternate corn crops, and have doubled the original produce. The roots fatten the cattle in boxes, and while they are growing ripe for the butcher they manufacture the long straw manure, which both enriches the tenacious soil, and by its fermentation assists to break it up. Space, light and air have been gained by clearing away huge fences, which, besides their other evils, harbored hundreds of corn-consuming vermin. By theso and such like methods, all povelties in Sussex, the produce of the farm has in ten years been trebled, and the condition of the soil incal. culably improved ; and all would have been vain, and much of it impossible, without the adoption of deep, thorough gridiron drainage. This has done in the Weald of Sussex clay what sheep-feeding and drill-husbandry did for the warrens of Norfolk, the sands of Bedford, and the Downs of Wiltshire and Dorsetshire. The result, however, is not so satisfactory in a profitable point of view as in light land counties, because, as Talpa has shown in his “ Chronicles of a Clay Farm,” it is almost impossible on a retentive soil, with any paying number of horses, to get through more than one third of the plowing before winter sets in with its rain and snow. The cultivators of the farms which from their natural fertility in dry seasons were in favor for centuries, while what are now our finest corn growing districts were Moorland deserts, are often beaten by time, prevented as they are by the wet from getting on the land, and obliged to work slowly with three or four horses. Yet on autumnal cultivation depends the security of the root crops—and the root crops are like the agricultural “ Tortoise ” of Indian mythology, the basis on which rests the rent-paying corn crop. Much, therefore, as deep drainage has done for advanced farmers, on retentive clays, it has not done enough, and they look anxiously forward for the time when a perfect steam cultivator will make them independent of animal power, and enable them, if needful, to work night as well as day during every hour of dry weather.
We have not thought it necessary to dwell upon any of those profitless ag. ricultural miracles which are from time to time performed, to the great amaze. ment of the class with whom turnips are only associated with boiled legs of mutton, and mangold-wurzel with salad. As little have we cared to describe liquid manure farms, netted over with iron pipes, irrigated by hose and jet, and a perpetually pumping steam engine, for the simple reason that, while
deep drains, guano, superphosphate of lime, long straw manure, and other aids to agriculture introduced within the last fifteen years, give an early result, liquid manure, under an English sun, has never been proved to be effective, except for grass crops on a dairy farm. We have contented ourselves with selecting illustrations which, though not specimens of perfection in every department, for they all have defects, and in two out of three the buildings and implements might easily be improved, are yet fair types of the system of cultivation which is making rapid progress through every district of England. These are farms which are cultivated on commercial principles, instead of being mainly expensive raree-shows-farms wbich pay fair rents and return fair profits, and yield an amount of meat and corn which is at least double that raised by upintelligent farmers in England, and above four-fold that obtained from a more fertile soil and geniul sun by the peasant proprietors of France and Germany.
In the absence of agricultural statistics, we have no exact data for compar. ing the produce of England before and since the era of “high farming,” but the following figures will convey some idea of the fixed and floating capital invested by landlords and tenants in modern improvements. Since 1839 at least twelve hundred thousand tons of guano have been imported, for which pot less than twelve millions sterling have been paid. In the year 1837 the foreign bones imported were valued by the Custom House authorities at 250,0001. After that date we have no return, but since 1840 one million at least has been paid annually for bones, sulphuric acid and artificial manures, independently of guano. Since 1846 at least sixteen millions have been invested in deep, thorough drainage. Thus we have an expenditure of upards of thirty millions, without counting the value of new implements and machines, purchased every year by thousands, or the large sums laid out in adding to the productive acreage of farms by throwing down useless hedgerows, or rebuilding the rude homesteads that served the preceding agricultural generation, and in replacing the inferior local breeds of stock by better animals suited to the soil and climate.
There are other facts which are full as significant. In 1847 the proprietor of a now prosperous school of agricultural chemistry could not, out of a large number of pupils, find one who was willing to be gratuitously instructed in the science for which farmers willingly pay him at present a heavy fee. Eren Mr. Pusey, who devoted his life to improvements in cultivation, made the mistake, in his last report, of undervaluing the services which chemistry bad rendered to agriculture. Such, however, is found to be its practical value, that the demand of farmers have created a class of chemists who make the relative value of manures, and artificial food, and the constituents of soils their especial study. To such inquiries Mr. Lawes devotes the Rothamsted experimental farm and laboratory, an establishment over which Dr. Gilbert presides, at an expense for the last fitteen years of more than 10001. a year. Professor Way, who has lately been succeeded by Professor Voelcker, was bound by his appointment under the Royal Agricultural Society to supply analyees to the subscribers at certain low fixed rates, and he was amply employed by the tenant farmer community. In the West of England, Professor Voelcker delivered last year at Exeter, Barnstable, and Newton Abbott, at the request of the Bath and West of England Agricultural Society, a series of most admirable lectures, the results of experiments carried on at Cirencester, on such subjects as “ The Value of Artificial Manures," - Farın Yard Mapures,' The Composition of Fertile and Barren Soils, " The Nutritive Value of Different Oilcakes.' In 1810 there was no chemist sufficiently familiar with farming to treat usefully on those topics ; and if he could have talked the very quintessence of practical wisdom, there certainly was no agricultural audience prepared to listen to him. That he spoke the language of science would of itself have been sufficient to convince the tenantry throughout the country that he did uot speak the language of common sense. It is true that Coke of Holk