THE FARMERS' SCRAP BOOK
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FOOD FOR CATTLE. - The Lords Commissioners of the Treasury have given
permission for upwards of 20 tons of the lotus nut to be admitted, without
payment of any duty, for EARL SPENCER, which he is about to import for the
purpose of the article being tried as an experiment as food for cattle.  It
is expected to arrive in the sloop 'Peace', T. BIDWELL master, and will be
denominated by the Portuguese name, Alfaroba.

GROWTH OF HOPS AND TOBACCO IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
In the growth of hops the settlers in the valley of Miponga and elsewhere
have succeeded admirably.  One fine sample has been shown us grown by MR.
MALPAS, of Miponga, the bines of which attained the height of 16 feet and
some in a neighbouring section were nearly as high.  Nor did they outgrow
their strength, for they have borne plentifully, giving every encouragement
for extensive culture.
Apropos of malt and hops, MR. MALPAS has also brought to town a sample of
tobacco, part of a crop of an acre, which is highly extolled by those who
are judges of the flavour and quality.  The grower is so well pleased with
his first attempt, that he is about to plant five acres this season. -
'Adelaide Observer', April 27.

WAY TO STORE CABBAGES.-Your correspondent "Querist" wants to know the best
way of preserving cabbages in winter.  I have little to communicate on the
subject;  but to what I have, if of any use to him, he is welcome.  I have
been informed that drum-head cabbages are preserved in some parts of
Oxfordshire in a way somewhat similar to that of storing potatoes out of
doors.  The cabbages are taken up on a dry day and the stem and loose leaves
taken off;  they are then put in heaps in a manner like cast-iron bullets in
an arsenal, broad at the bottom and narrow at the top;  afterwards they are
covered with earth.  Some years ago I tried to preserve a few barrowfuls of
early York cabbages in winter;  I stored them in an outhouse in two lots;
one lot was done in October.  I examined them about the beginning of
January, and found that the rats had nearly destroyed them all;  the few
that remained had the outside leaves rotten, but the heart was good 'PETER
MACKENZIE    '.

[To this we add the following from a correspondent].

Dig a pit in a dry place, say ten feet long and five or six deep;  put in a
little dry straw at the bottom;  then place your cabbages (first depriving
them of any decayed leaves) on it;  put a little dry earth over them,
another row of the cabbages, more earth, and so on till the pit is full;
then cover them with dry reeds or ferns, and put the earth that has been dug
out of the pit over them in the shape of a roof, beating it down well, so as
to exclude the air and heat:  in this way I have found cabbages to last me
till new ones come in, and much longer. 'J.B. WARREN'.

CROOKSTON. - In addition to this, R. G. says:  About two years ago I was
staying with a friend, whose gardener was then about storing his cabbages,
of the large drum-head kind.  He cut them off, turned them down, and let
them drain for a day or two;  then marked out a spot, on which he placed a
few pea-sticks.  On these he placed the cabbages, with their heads down;
then a few more sticks, or pea-haulm, for the next tier, and so on, just as
you may have seen cannon-balls piled.  Outside he put a little straw or
slight thatch, just sufficient to throw off the wet, and to allow a good
circulation of air.  In this way, he assured me, he would keep them till
March or April for the family use. - 'Agricultural Gazette'.

HOW TO BUY GUANO. - MR. CUMMINGS, in a pamphlet just published, says, "In
buying guano insist upon an authentic analysis.  You must know what the
parcel you buy is composed of, or hence you cannot tell what quantity to use
per acre.  You may buy very good guano with five, ten, or even fifteen
percent. of sand in it, for it cannot always be gathered pure and free from
sand.  You must know that when you buy it, and pay five, ten, or fifteen per
cent. less for it, , and use five, ten, or fifteen more of it per acre, and
then it amounts to just the same thing as if you bought it perfectly pure at
a full price.  Some guano is damp, but all the moisture is not water, part
of it is the strongest manure;  other parcels of guano is dry;  some have an
excessively strong smell, and yet all are equally good.  You can only judge
of guano by the analysis of a competent chemist.  When you buy a parcel take
a pound weight of the bulk, a fair average sample, cork it up and seal it in
a bottle, label it with a copy of the analysis given with it, and the name
of those from whom you bought it.  Save it till your crop is reaped.  If
your crop is good you will be satisfied;  if it is a partial or total
failure, and you suspect the manure, take down the bottle, send it down to a
chemist of high standing, and see if its quality agrees with the anlysis by
which it was sold.  If every farmer would adopt this plan, unfair dealing in
guano would almost cease.

STIFLE BURNING. - Stifle burning should never, in my opinion, be done but
for the green crop, as I consider it too great a stimulant the first year
for a corn crop, as it forces it too much to straw, and often leaves the
land in a weaker state than before;  but when done for a green crop, turnips
or swedes, it is generally a preparation, for its effects are often truly
astonishing.  It should never be done oftener than once in eight years.  I
would caution those who may be induced to adopt the plan, not to expect
their land will be increased in value in the same ratio as MR. S. MILES's,
though I know of many farms, that were reduced by over-cropping, &c., to the
lowest state of cultivation, brought into good tillage by a 'judicious'
application of this system sooner than any other means, inasmuch as it
destroys not only weeds, but the seeds of the same, and produces an immense
quantity of food at a cheap rate.

I find, on inquiry, the system owes its origin in this part of the country,
to the late MR. SPENCER of Chalfield, near Bradford, nearly forty years ago,
and has been followed on that farm from that time till the present with
great success;  and I have no hesitation in stating, there is not a farm in
North Wilts in a higher state of cultivation than Chalfield.  The soil of
that farm is stone brash, and by no means deep.  I state these particulars
as a proof that the system should not be so hastily condemned as it is by
MR. SHORT in your paper [Mark Lane Express] of the 26th ult., neither should
it be held in too high estimation, as to expect at all times such results as
MR. MILLS has stated.

I quite agree with you, sir, in thinking MR. SHORT wrong in asserting that
none but slovenly farmers resort to the use of fire for consuming the refuse
of the farm, for it has been proved  beyond doubt, that good turnips, &c.
can be grown with ashes as well as by decomposed vegetable matter, and
particularly if carefully collected and well soaked with the contents of the
liquid manure tanks previous to using, as many of the 'slovenly farmers' do
in this part of the country.

I should be happy, if it were possible, to show ten acres of swedes grown
upon ashes prepared as above, against ten acres grown by MR. SHORT, upon his
decomposed couch, &c., for ten pounds.  I cannot help thinking MR. SHORT
should have made himself more acquainted with the system [which has proved
beneficial to the farmers of this, and I make no doubt of other counties]
before he had so highly censured it.

I remain, sir, your obedient servant, A North Wiltshire Farmer
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REARING CATTLE WITH A VIEW TO EARLY MATURITY.
The cows should be good milkers, able to keep at the rate of two and a half
to three calves each.  It is in general highly expedient for the beef grower
to attempt breeding his own bull.  It is evidently much for the advantage of
the breeder to spare no reasonable expense in obtaining a bull of thorough
purity, and then to select his calves with the most scrupulous attention.
It is very desirable to have all the cows to calve betwixt the 1st of
February and the 1st of April. If earlier they will get almost dry before
the grass comes, and calves later than this will scarcely be fit for sale
with the rest of the lot.

When a calf is dropped, it is immediately removed from its dam, rubbed dry
with a coarse cloth or whisp of straw, and then placed in the crib in the
calf-house among dry straw, when it receives a portion of its own mother's
first milk, which being of a purgative quality, is just what is needed by
the young animal.  For a fortnight new milk is the only food suitable for
it, and of this it should receive a liberal allowance thrice a day;  but
means should now be used to train it to eat linseed cake and cut Swedish
turnips;  and the readiest way of doing so is to put a bit of cake into its
mouth immediately after getting its milk, as it will then suck greedily at
anything it can get hold of.

By repeating this a few times, and placing a few pieces in its trough, it
will usually take to this food freely, and, whenever this is the case, it
should have as much as it can eat, that its allowance of milk may be
diminished, to meet the necessities of the younger calves that are coming in
succession.  It is always most advisable to avoid mixing anything with their
milk by way of helping the quantity.  When a substitute must be resorted to,
oatmeal porridge mixed with the new milk is perhaps the best.

An egg stirred into each calf's allowance is a good help, but with this
exception, it is best to give the milk warm and unadulterated, and along
with this, dry farinaceous food, turnips and hay.  If more liquid is needed,
a pail with water may be put within their reach - some breeders are of the
opinion that this should never by omitted, it being a preventive of the
scours.

The diet of the cows at this season is a matter of some consequence.
Swedish turnips yield the richest milk, but it is too scanty, and calves fed
on it are liable to inflammatory attacks.  Globe turnips should, therefore,
form their principal food during the spring months.  Care must also be taken
that they do not get too low in condition in the autumn and winter, and for
this end it is well to put them dry, at least 3 months before calving.

The cows, when dry, are kept at less expense, and, by this period of rest,
their constitution if invigorated, greater justice done to the calf, and so
much more milk obtained after calving, when it is really valuable.

When the calves are from four to six weeks' old, they are removed from their
separate cribs to a house where several can be accommodated together, and
have room to frisk about.  So soon as the feeding yards are cleared of the
fat cattle, the calves are put into the most sheltered one where they have
still more room, and are gradually prepared for being turned to grass, and,
when this is done, they are still brought in at night for some time.

At six weeks old, the mid-day allowance of milk should be discontinued, and
at about fourteen weeks they are weaned altogether.  When this is done their
allowance of linseed cake is increased;  and as they have been trained to
its use, they readily eat enough to improve in condition at this crisis,
instead of having their growth checked, and acquiring the large belly and
unsightly appearance which used to be considered an unavoidable consequence
of weaning.

The cake is continued until they have so evidently taken with the grass as
to be able to dispense with it.  They are not allowed to be out very late in
autumn, but as the nights begin to lengthen and get chilly, are brought in
during the night, and receive a foddering.  When put on turnips, the daily
allowance of cake (say 1 lb. each) is resumed, and continued steadily
through the winter and spring, until they are again turned to grass.

This not only promotes their growth and feeding, but seems a specific
against quarter evil or black leg.  When put to grass as year-olds, they
decidedly thrive better on sown grass of the first year than old pasture,
differing in this respect from cattle whose growth is matured.

They are laid on turnips again as early in the autumn as these are ready;
and it is a good practice to sow a few acres of globes for this purpose.  It
does well to give the turnips upon the grass for ten days before putting
them finally into the feeding yards, and if they can be kept dry and warm,
and receive daily as many good turnips as they can eat (globe till Christmas
and swedish afterwards), they will grow at a rate which will afford their
owner daily pleasure in watching their progress, and reach a weight by the
1st of May, which if markets are favourable will reward him well for all his
trouble and pains.

The contributor of the foregoing extract begs to direct the attention of his
brother farmers to the liberal course of management so satisfactorily
recommended.  There can be no doubt but that ample and good feeding, keeping
"dry and warm", with careful attention to all points of good management,
will repay any "trouble or pains" taken.

The crops grown from the dung of well-fed cattle will reimburse any
additional outlay incurred, to say nothing for the greatly increased value
of the cattle so treated.  Contrast the treatment recommended with the
starving straw-yard system, too often followed under the absurd notion of
rearing cattle at little cost, and turn to your crops and your cattle for an
answer.
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