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CURRENT FACTS IN AGRICULTURE.
FOREIGN PRODUCTION. The Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England contains an exhibit of the product, imports, and consumption of wheat in the United Kingdom of Great Britain during a period of years, in which the following conclusions are reached: There has been a reduction in the area of wheat culture in each of the three main divisions of the king. dom; very large, proportionally, in Scotland and Ireland, comparatively small in England. In yield there has been a small increase per acre in England and Wales, and probably in Scotland, and a marked diminution in Ireland; on the whole, a small increase in yield per acre in the United Kingdom collectively. In the aggregate of home-produced wheat in the United Kingdom there has been a diminution; proportionally small in England and Wales, very considerable in Scotland, and still greater in Ireland. The imports of breadstuffs have increased enormously of late years, and in much greater proportion in Ireland than in Great Britain. The aggregate amount of wheat consumed annually in the United Kingdom has increased very considerably, the ratio of increase being about the same in Great Britain as in Ireland. In the United Kingdom collectively the population has increased considerably notwithstanding a diminution in Ireland; and the actual consumption of wheat per head in Great Britain has increased a little more than five per cent., and in Ireland over twenty per cent. The final deduction made is that, “unless the home product of wheat in the United Kingdom, available as human food, (which has been about 12,250,000 quarters per annum during the last eight years,) should increase, there will be required the next five years an average importation of between 9,000,000 and 10,000,000 quarters annually, or from 72,000,000 to 80,000,000 bushels." Five and a half bushels per head are given as a low estimate of the average annual consumption.
Acreage in Ireland.--The total acreage under crops in Ireland in 1867 was 5,459,702 acres; in 1868, 5,547,335 acres; showing an increase of 87,633 acres. Of the several crops the greatest increase in acreage was in oats; next in meadow and clover, potatoes, and wheat, respectively. During the same period there was a decrease of more than three per cent. in the estimated value of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs.
Increase of acreage.--In Great Britain, in 1868, the increase of acreage in wheat, over that of 1867, was a little more than eight per cent; and over that of 1866, nearly nine per cent. In barley the increase of acreage in 1868, over that of 1867, was nearly five per cent.; over that of 1866, only four per cent. In oats the year 1868 shows an increase of acreage of only one-tenth of one per cent. over 1867, and three-tenths of one per cent. over 1866. In potatoes the year 1868 exhibits an increase of acreage over 1867 of nearly ten per cent., and over 1866 of more than nine per cent. In the number of live stock, per estimate of June 25, 1868, there was an increase in cattle in 1868 over 1867 of eight and a half per cent.; in sheep, a little more than six per cent.; in pigs, about twenty-two and a third per cent.
Yield of wheat.-Reliable English authority places the average yield
of wheat, throughout England and Wales, for a series of years, at twenty-eight bushels per acre. The average for 1868 is larger, this year having been uncommonly productive. By comparison of recent statistics with similar information obtained by Arthur Young, in twenty-six counties of England, in 1769, it appears that the average product of wheat per acre in England has increased five bushels, or nearly twenty-two per cent., during the past century. This increase has resulted froin improved farming.
In tbe estimates presented by James Caird, the well-known English writer on agricultural statistics, the average yield of wheat per acre, in differenti European countries, is given as follows: In England, twentyeight bushels; Ireland, twenty-four; Austria, Spain, and Holland, tirenty-three; Belgium, twenty-one; France, fifteen and a half. With reference to this low acreage of wheat in France, Mr. Caird says that, in discussing this point with the eminent French statist, M. Léonce de Lavergne, the latter agreed with him that, apart from difference in soil and climate, the deficiency was probably to be accounted for by the fact that, while the grass and the green crops, or restorative area, of England are as two to one of grain, in France the case is reversed, the grain or exhaustive crops being there as two to one of the grass and the green crops.
In Australia the wheat crop was twenty per cent. greater in 1867 than in 1866, comprising sixty-eight acres out of every hundred acres under cultivation. The wheat crop of 1867 was, however, reduced, through red rust, to an average of four and three-quarters bushels per acre, nine and three-quarters bushels less than in 1866. All other cereals showed a comparative decline in average product.
Remarkable season.— The Mark Lane Express, reviewing the agricul. tural experience of England, for the year 1868, says: “A long protracted drought, with intense heat, characterized the summer. The hay crop and all esculents were materially reduced. All spring corn suffered, in consequence, as to yield; more especially oats. The light lands, where wheat was grown, gave but a scanty produce, and fears were entertained that all soils would materially suffer. Those fears soon gave way upon examination of the standing crops, and the result has been the largest and best growth of wheat known during the present century."
The report of the American Dairymen's Association, for 1868, gives the following statement of cheese and butter factories in the various States: New York, 639 factories, to 377 of which are attached 169,812 Cows, no returns being given of the number attached to the 262 factories remaining; Ohio, 72 factories, to 20 of which are attached 12,100 cows; Illinois, 26 factories, to 15 of which are attached 5,950 cows; Vermont, 22 factories, to 9 of which are attached 5,380 com; Massachusetts, 15 factories, to 4 of which are attached 1,717 cows; Wisconsin, 8 factories, to 6 of which are attached 2,050 cows; Pennsylvania, 5 factories, 930 cows; Kentucky, 5 factories, to 2 of which are attached 500 cows; Michigan, 4 factories, to 2 of which are attached 850 cows; Iowa, 3 factories; North Carolina, 1 factory, 230 cows; Minnesota, Virginia, and Tennessee, each 1 factory. Total, 803 factories, to 441 of which are attached 199,519 cows. This statement does not exhibit the whole number of cheese and butter factories in the United States. It is known that, in 1866, there were more than 1,000; and the number has been in creasing since that time.
The quality of English cheese has deteriorated during the past seven years. In the Scottish cheese there has been a very great improvement in quality. Five-eighths of the whole production of cheese in Great Britain is made in Cheddar shapes. Prominent English dairy. men frankly acknowledge the merits of the American cheese factory system, and some efforts have been made toward its introduction into the kingdom, Sweden is already introducing this system within her borders.
Cheese production in 1868.-Concerning the production of cheese in this country in 1868, M. G. B. Wecks, secretary of the American Dairy. men's Association, writes: 6. Of cheese, probably not over three-quarters as much has been made as in 1867, while the price has averaged as much as one and a half cent per pound higher-from fifteen to seventeen cents per pound for produce of good to fancy factories. There is no stock in the country. There has been, during the past season, far less complaint, by dealers, respecting bad-flavored cheese. This is, in part, accounted for from the briskness of the demand, most of the time, which leads slight faults to be passed over ; but mainly because there has been more than usual attention paid to style and quality."
Comparative prices.-Corderoy's Cheese Circular for January, 1869, says: “Really fine Cheshire cheese would bring to-day 80s. to 86s.; Cheddar, 84s. to 88s.; Scotch Cheddar, 68s. to 728.; Swedish, 60s. to 668.; American, 70s. to 74s. These quotations have reference only to cheese of the first class; other sorts are nominal in price. Cheese of fine quality and pure flavor is in increasing demand." The following statement is given of the arrivals of American cheese for 1868, as compared with arrivals in 1867:
Choice of breeds. In the annual address before the American Dairymen's Association, January, 1868, Professor Brewer, of Yale College, remarking on failures in profitable use of imported breeds, says: “ Breeds are local in their origin, and almost local in their excellencies. When we transport an improved breed to a region distant from where it originated, it must be to one similar to its home, if it would do equally well-otherwise it deteriorates; and different localities, as well as dit ferent uses, demand different breeds."
Whey." Butter-making from whey, can it be profitably done at cheese factories ?" In the discussion of this question by the association named above, Mr. Kenney, of Cortland County, New York, stated that, in 1867, he made from 900 cows 288,781 pounds of cheese; and from the vhey 9,000 pounds of butter, which sold for twenty to thirty cents per pound, amounting to more than $1,900. The process is very delicate. Mr. Kenney holds that the making of butter from whey, in connection with cheese manufacture, will pay well, if properly managed. His cheese brought the highest market prices, and the average per cow was as large as though no butter had been made from the whey.
Amount of caseine in cheese. --The averages exhibited by twenty-eight cheese factories in New York, in 1867, show that from nine and a half to ten pounds of milk were required to produce one pound of cured cheese.
Scotch axiom,—“A cow that will make less than her dressed weight of cheese per annum should be sent to the butcher.”
London dairies.-In the London cow-houses the animals serve perhaps eight to ten months, yielding at first about sixteen, and at length six quarts, of milk per day. They then go to the butcher. In the better class of these cow-houses are to be seen large-framed, wide and straight-backed, and deep-bodied, short-horn cows, especially notable for size and mass, and adaptability to fattening, as well as to yield milk, and costing, perhaps, £20 to £25 each, on entering. Elsewhere small Irish and also Dutch cows are found which have cost, on entering, £13 to £15 each, and will sell, on leaving, at £10 to £12. The general practice is to buy the cow immediately after her third, fourth, or fifth calf. It may be said that the most important requisite to the sweetness of the milk produced is that the water given to the cows should be clean and good. A stranger, entering a London cow-house, during the winter, is struck with the warmth in which the cows are kept. Experience has shown that this has an important influence on their productiveness. They stand very close-one to every thirty or thirty-six square feet. The windows are closed and matted, and no thorough-draught is allowed. In this manner the shed is warmed. There is generally room enough overhead, and perhaps a tiled roof, which allows ample ventilation; and thus, where the shed is kept tolerably clean, the air is sweet enough, as well as warm. The average yield of the cows is calculated to be about 666 gallons each for the eight months. These cow-houses, however, have proved injurious both to the health of the animals and to that of the public. Many of the cows have died of disease. Some of the cow-keepers have removed their stock to farms, from which they send in their milk by rail. In particular districts of London magistrates refuse to license these sheds, and medical health officers have frequently reported their unfavorable influence on the sanitary condition of the neighborhoods in which they are situated.
London milk-dealers, in purchasing cows, invariably look to the prospect of a good future sale to the butcher, and consider, as essential to profit, a cow which will fatten, as well as give a satisfactory yield of milk.
An expert in the London milk trade says: “Very little pure milk is sold, especially to the poor.” A few months ago the proprietors of the British Medical Journal obtained specimens of milk from ten first-class establishments of London, and submitted them to Dr. Voelcker for analysis. The price of the specimens was four to five pence per quart. In every instance, except one, the milk sold as pure milk was skimmed inilk, diluted with water until its real value was less than one penny per quart.
“ The more wealthy the neighborhood, and the more showy the shop in · which the milk was sold, the poorer was the article supplied."
NORTH MIDDLESEX PREMIUMS ON MILCH COWS. The subjoined exhibit of yield of premium milch cows is condensed from data furnished by the annual reports of the transactions of the Middlesex North Agricultural Society, Massachusetts. The agricultural societies of this county have, for a long course of years, given particular attention to the milk product. The rules of this society, among other specifications, require statements of the quantity of milk given during the second week in June, and during the first week in September, except in case of winter cows, when the requirement is for the first week in March and the first week in June. No animal, on which one premium has been awarded to any owner, is ever permitted to receive the same or a less premium. The amount of premiums given for the best dairy of three cows was, in 1858, $7; and in the other years named in this statement, $10 or their equivalent, nearly. For the
best native or mixed cows, taken singly, in 1858 (No.1,) $7. In the other years named the premium given for cow No.1, of this description, varies from $12 to $10. Prices for animals of less merit ranged from these sums to $3.
The following statements are on premiums given for the best dairy of three cows, raised by the exhibitor,” in 1858, 1864, 1865, and 1867. No premiums of this description were bestowed in 1866 and 1868. The amount of yield is given in quarts and decimals of a quart...
Dairy of 1858, entered by Amos Carlton, Chelmsford. Cow No. 1, eleven years old, one-quarter Durham; calved about the first of November, 1857; during the second week in June, 1858, averaged 15.75 quarts per day, and during the first week in September five quarts per day; time to calve again, October 12, 1858. Cow No. 2, thirteen years old, native; calved April 20; during the second week in June, averaged sixteen quarts daily, and during the first week in September 12.86 quarts. Cow No. 3, eight years old, native; calved July 9; during the first week in September averaged 14.86 quarts per day. Daily feed of No.1 through the winter, one and one-half peck of roots and two quarts of cob-meal or fine feed, with hay. Of No. 2, one peck of roots with hay; since calving two to three quarts fine feed. No. 3, since calving, was fed on hay, corn fodder, and pasturage.
Dairy of 1864 entered by Gilman Roby, of Dunstable. Breed, grade Durham, mixed with Devon; and one with Ayrshire;” kept in the first of the winter on “run” and meadow hay, corn fodder and oat straw; during latter part of the winter on English hay with meadow shorts, one-half peck to one peck daily. Cow No. 1, calved June 13, and gave fourteen quarts daily during the first week in September. No. 2, calved August 31, and in the week commencing September 4 gave fifteen quarts daily. No. 3, calved March 1, and gave fourteen quarts per day during the second week in June, and 10.71 quarts per day during the first week in September.
Dairy of 1865, by Gilman Roby, of Dunstable. Premium $10. Breed of the three cows, grade Durham. Cow No.1, nine years old; time of calving November 22, 1864, and December, 1865; gare, the last week in March, eleven quarts per day, and during the first week in June ten quarts per day. No. 2, five years old; time of calving December 17, 1864, and December, 1865; gave in the first week in March ten quarts. No. 3, four years old; time of calving, December 7, 1864, and December, 1865; gave in the first week of March 10.5 quarts per day; has suckled a calf since the first of May. The keeping of these cows was “not very different from the common lot of cows-poor pastures, poor meadows, hay, and a few shorts or cob-meal."
Dairy of 1867, entered by John C. Corbett, of Lowell. Premium $8 and diploma. Cow No. 1, seven years old in November, 1866; one-half Ayrshire, one-half native; calved April 7; during the second week in June averaged 19.36 quarts daily, and during the first week in September 13.45 quarts daily. No. 2, four years old, one-half Durham, onequarter Ayrshire, and one-quarter native; calved November 20, 1866, and would come in again December, 1867; gave during the first week in March fourteen quarts per day; and during the first week in June sixteen quarts daily. No. 3, which was three years old July 5, 1867, calved April 23; breed one-half Alderney, one-quarter Ayrshire, and one-quarter native; gave during the second week in June 14.14 quarts per day, and during the first week in September 10.93 quarts per day. No. 1 was the mother of Nos. 2 and 3. All were kept on English hay in winter, and on common pasture in summer, with no extra feed.