Page images
PDF

be shielded from the surface droughts, and can reach the uprising subsoil moisture. Drill sowing places the seed about three inches below the surface of the drill furrow. As the roots grow, they pass beneath the drill ridges, thus increasing this depth from the surface. In very dry seasons this is of much advantage, but not material in moist ones. And to this fact, probably, we owe the different results stated by the correspondent from Jersey county, Illinois, from harrowing and rolling after the wheat was drilled in.

Broadcast sowing, especially if harrowed and not ploughed in, but barely covers a large portion of the seed. In this condition it is subjected to the influence of the Indian summer droughts, and forced to seek moisture in the dews and slight showers of this season. To learn what effects on the fall growth of the root these different depths of planting have, we need but examine the state of the roots in the spring. Having done this carefully, after a winter of very injurious freezing out, we can confidenty declare what that state is.

The roots of the drilled wheat as they came from the stool of the plant were double the number of those from that sown broadcast. The latter were only half the length of the former; either without branches, or with very weak ones. But the drilled root branched once, often twice, strongly. Altogether, the mass of roots from the drilled wheat was, in bulk and weight, more than double those from broadcast sowing.

The roots of the drilled wheat also curved downwards, and this clearly showed the source of their sap to be the uprising sub-soil moisture, for the roots of plants always turn in the direction from \which their sap is derived. The roots of the wheat sown broadcast were in an almost horizontal direction, and this direction as clearly indicates their dependence on the surface moisture derived from dews and slight showers. As these in a dry fall are inadequate to the wants of the plant, its growth is checked, and winter finds it unable to endure the cold. The surface roots are soon laid bare, many entirely so, some still have a feeble hold by the ends of one or more of the roots, and there is scarcely a plant but can be raised up from the place of its growth, whilst the drilled in wheat presents a. plant firmly fixed and immovable.

2. To have an equal growth each plant should have an equal space in the soil. Drilling gives this, but in broadcast sowing some places receive too much seed, others too little. It collects in furrows and holes, leaving ridges and all the higher parts nearly naked. Crowded roots, obtaining but a weak growth^ possess so little vitality that an intense cold kills them in the ground, and the first thawing and freezing brings most of them on the surface of the soil to perish.

3. Incidental to drill sowing is the fact that the ridges made by the drill teeth lie considerably above the crown of the plant. These settle down from the winter freezing and rains, around tho plant, covering that part of the roots nearest the surface. This protection is not found in broadcast sowing.

4. Although in the United States spring cultivation of wheat is unpracticed, except when harrowed in a few cases, yet, as in England, so it will be here, when labor is more abundant; it will be found highly advantageous to run a cultivator between the drilled rows, to loosen the soil, that weeds may be destroyed, cracks closed, and such pulverization and depth of soil had as will enable the roots to more rapidly enlarge. Such cultivation could not be given to wheat plants sown broadcast.

Thus we have these four things from which the superiority of the drill may be readily inferred. And it is the first three of these which have led to the general expression in behalf of drill sowing, which we find in the foregoing extracts from the letters of correspondents.

It remains only to add, that in portions of the United States, as in tho eastern States, where the fields of wheat are small, and in consequence, each farmer does not wish to incur the expense of a drill, it would be found advantageous for farmers either to club together in the purchase of one, or else to hire the drilling of their fields, as in many places in the west it is done, in past years at from 40 to 50 cents per acre. The seed saved will almost pay for the drilling.

[merged small][graphic]

In the economical feeding of sheep, much depends on the kind of rack used for the fodder. Many racks are objectionable, from the waste of fodder which they allow, and others from the dust and other matters which fall into the wool about the neck and head of the sheep while they are feeding. The rack above represented is free from these objections and may be converted into a shearing table, or a weather-proof shed for salt, in summer. It will be pretty well understood from the following description;

21

The engraving represents one side (A) of the rack turned in, disclosing the cribs, or feeding troughs (B), and the internal arrangement of the racks, or troughs, more properly speaking. These feeders (A) are swung on pivots in the upright posts (C), and when in the position indicated in the engraving on the side where the sheep are feeding, permit them to have access to the fodder at all times. When roots or fine feed are used in the cribs or troughs, it is necessary to clean them out before distributing the feed; and to do this the feeder-boards (A) are turned up, as shown at (D), and the attendant can go inside and sweep them.out through the door (E), which can as well be hung to the side posts, without being hindered or delayed by thfe crowding or desire of the sheep to get at the feed. The feeding-boards can also be turned up in a horizontal position, so that by merely placing a bar underneath the two leaves when so turned up, a table is made, which may be used for shearing sheep; or by partially inclining the sides in the form of a roof and placing a ridge-piece over them, the salt which it is usual to supply the sheep with can be put in the * trough, instead of scattering it around under foot and on the rocks to be wasted; the inclination of the roof serves to keep off rain and dew, and it is thus turned to good account in this respect. There is a convenient and suitable walk the entire length of the rack, between the inclined feeders, and the attendant can step in from the floor and place the fodder at the further end first, and evenly distribute it throughout;—the sheep feeding from each side. When desired, grain can be fed on one side and vegetables on the other, to different flocks feeding from the opposite sides, none of which can be wasted, or reached by the sheep on the opposite side. The advantages claimed for this rack, which can be made of any desired length, are the following:

1. Great convenience in feeding, with either hay, grain or vegetables.

2. Economy in cost, which is less than that of any other rack,—of course varying somewhat by the cost of lumber. Economy in space, as only two feet and eight inches in width is required for flocks to feed on each side—whether the same or different flocks. Economy in fodder, as none can be wasted or soiled under the feet of the sheep.

8. The preservation of the wool on the necks of the sheep^ and keeping the same perfectly free from seed, chaff, or other impurity,—which amounts to a* large item in the aggregate where large flocks are kept.

4. Greater convenience to sheep in feeding, as the racks are made of the height for sheep to stand and feed in a natural position. They can easily be raised from the floor, to retain the same relative position, when required by the filling of the pens with manure, &e.

Of the numerous testimonials which have been given by persons who have used this rack, the following, from Dr. George B. Loring, a distinguished farmer, of Salem, Masa, is herewith presented:

"I have used Hale's improvement on Eaton's sheep-rack myself, and have also introduced it upon the Experimental Farm of the Essex county (Mass.) Agricultural^Society. One of my friends, a large sheep owner in Vermont, has used it, at my solicitation. In all these instances it has proved to be entirely satisfactory. In feeding hay or straw I cannot find that a particle is wasted, and it is easy of access to the sheep. For feeding grain and roots it cannot be surpassed. Nowhere, in visiting the flocks of New England, have I seen anything equal to it; and I only wonder, when I see the great number of inconvenient and wasteful racks in use, that it is not universally adopted. For myself I would almost as soon abandon my aheep as dispense with the rack."

For further information in regard to the rack, or in reference to rights to use it, address the proprietor of the patent, Robert Hale, Esq., Chicago, HL

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »