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were indiscriminately measured out in different parts of the field; and after mowing, the produce of each was accurately weighed: from the gross amount of which an average was taken $ the same method was uniformly pursued in every subsequent trial.
I should be wanting towards those who may be inclined to adopt this mode of feeding, were I to omit noticing in a particular manner, an error which I- conxmitted, and by which my subsequent crops were greatly lessened. Notwithstanding my having accurately ascertained the daily consumption of food, I had not applied the calculation, so as to determine the period, up to which the clover and rye-grass would supply my stock; and it was the middle of June before I was fully apprized, that not above half of the crop could be consumed in soiling, before a, great part of the remainder •'would become seeded and spoiled. To prevent so serious a loss, I directed eight acres of it to be cut and made into hay; but unfortunately some time elapsed, from the bad state of the weather, before this could be done i and consequently this additional delay greatly injured the quantity of the succeeding crops.
Had one half of the eighteen acres been cut for hay, on the first commencement of the soiling, it would have given so much additional time between the first and second cutting of a great part of the crop,. as could nor have failed of adding many tons to the weight of the second crop.
From this oversight the greatest part of the second crop was cut before it was sufficiently grown; and it
also made the last crop so late, on the part which had hay, that the third cutting was not one half the weight of the other parts of the field.
The first crop of clover and rye-grass was finished by the 10th of July ; the second cutting of the lucerne, which succeeded, lasted for about ten days. The average of the whole eighteen acres of clover upon its second cutting, was six tons.
By the 20th of July, all the grass from hedges, head-lands, and plantations was completely exhausted j and not having a sufficient supply of food for soiling the whole of my stock, the calving-cows were turned put to pasture; but they had scarcely been out a month, when I had the mortification to find the greater part of them attacked by the garget, which compelled me to have them brought back again. By this means the daily consumption of green food was so much increased, as to give me reason to be apprehensive (it was then early in September), that I should be driven to the necessity of making use of the third crop of clover, before it could have gained a sufficient growth. With a view of lessening the quantity consumed, I paused forty horses to be turned upon the after-math every evening after their work, by which a saving was made of between seventy and eighty stone per day.
There were four tons per acre on the third crop of lucerne, which lasted till the end of September. The clover, on-the third cutting, had, upon those parts which had been first cut, eight tons and an half per acre; but the average of between eight and nine jicres, was eight tons. On the remainder, the pro
M 3 duce duce was not more than from three tons to three and a half.
I had every reason to be highly satisfied with the condition, both of the horses and of the cattle; and I am sanguine in my opinion, in which I am confirmed by persons of considerable knowledge and experience, not only of the superiority of soiling over grazing, but that the horses could not have performed their work better had they been fed on hard meat.
At all times when the weather was favourable, and the ground dry, the milch-cows were turned out in the evening, and suffered to remain in the pasture during the night, and taken up early in the morning. By pursuing this plan, the garget, or affections of the udder, would be in a great measure, if not entirely, avoided. It is a disorder to which milch-cows in this district are very liable, and from which great losses are sustained, particularly in wet seasons.
The fourth crop of lucerne was cut in November, and afforded nearly two tons per acre. This, together with what remained of the clover, and with the tops of eight acres of carrots (which weighed upwards of three tons and a half per acre) fed my stock till the -middle of the month. They were suffered to pick also what they liked from potatoe tops, which were pulled and taken to their pasture. The cattle appeared very partial to the carrot-tops, which are, as far as I could judge, equal to any other species of green crop.
The experience of another year enables me still further to corroborate the advantages of soiling. During
the the whole of the hut season, my horses and cattle were fed on clover and cut grass, and the result \yas equally favourable.
The clover crops of this year having no mixture of rye-grass, weighed on the three cuttings, twontyfour tons.
The first began the 21st of June - 11 Tons.
Third in October . - si
The spring was highly unfavourable, as was also the long continued drought, in the end of June and July. I had fully expected 30 tons, from the superiority of soil and management over other years. A great deal depends in the latter crop, upon the early cutting of the first. The grass was cut from every hedge, and which answers many good purposes; it effectually destroys all weeds, and puts the clover a great deal further than it would otherwise go. Should gypsum be found to answer as a top-dressing, clover will become a still more valuable crop. A ton of red gypsum, which is equal in strength, though not put for plaster, can be had at 18s. Freight, grinding, &c. suppose 22*. or 40s. per ton, which answers for three acres, ;or 13s. per acre. A top-dressing of ashes costs 3s.
Mr. Wm. Swinburn received the cup given for soiling by the President of the Workington Agricultural Society, in having eat and fed one acre, the produce of which was 27 tons. He began the llth of May. It appears it would have been still more advan
M 4 tageous tageous to him, if he had had double the quantity of clover, and cut a part for hay, to have given a greater length of time between the cuttings; by which he would have gained, not only a great additional weight of crop, but also from its being older, the cattle would have consumed less of it, and required water, which from i^s succulent state was not necessary. The cat-tie were frequently driven to water during the summer, but seldom or never observed to drink.
From the variety of the food and great increase of my stock, I thought it advisable to conclude the experiment with .the month of October. The following estimate of the produce and value of the crops.are as correct as they could be made,, considering the extent and magnitude of the experiment, and the impossibility of any one person's attending to every part of the consumption.
Sixpence per stone being the lowest price at which hay sells, or 4/. per ton—r-l^d. per stone for green food, may be fairly reckoned as rather below the average of a corresponding price. Subjoined is the monthly detail of consumption and cost of feeding, each month being estimated at 30 days:
Monthly Account of Consumption, and Cost of
day, and at 1\d. per stone 9600 60 0 0
Ten milch cows at 4 st. each 1200 7 10 0
Carry forward 10.800 67 10 0