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(BY OUR SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE.)
_i INVERELL, Friday. I
There aro few districts In the State which have such'an aroa of highly fertile soil ns Inverell,, or '. which' are capable of. growing such a wide range of products. It is true that t_« climat« !. at timai somewhat
[ capricious, and lacks the greater uniformity
of the south, but tho preponderance of good seasons, and the rapid response of the pas-
tures to rain after a dry spell does not; conduce to any concerted system of fodder, conservation, , ? -
Unlike most other districts In the central' division, wheat and maize do equally well, and most growers have these two strings to their bows. If the one is not too success- ful the other proves a good standby, and raroly do both fall. But it must be acknow- ledged that the combination does not always make for efficient farming In either crop.
Tbls season the district has been favoured with as high an average yield of maize as has been recorded for many years, and as the, area under this erop Is as large as ever If was, difficulty Is already being experienced in disposing of tho surplus. A maize pool, storage in silos', and other methods of stabi- lising the price and promoting orderly mar- keting b'vvo been suggested, but no solution appears In sight.
A feature of the maize growing Is the largo area planted by individual farmers.
On at least two farms as much as 100 acres' have been grown this season, and in such I circumstances largo scale methods must be adopted, which do not make for high aver- ages. It Is probable that Inverell retains the distinction of having the most extensive area under maize of any district In the
The Interest In the crop was well reflected In the maize competition conducted by the local agricultural association in combination with the Royal Agricultural Society's north- ern championship. No fewer than 23 ontrles were received, and all were Inspected by the local Judge, Mr. L. S. Harrison, the depart- mental maize expert. This is a record Tor the district, and bears favourable compari- son with any part or the State.
To enable a representative number of en- tries to be visited by Mr. G. C. Somerville, the secretary of the R.A.S., Mr, Harrison judged 12 of the crops lnst week, leaving a further 11 to come under notice during the last few days. In practically every Instance they wore much superior in. yield to those seen by the writer two years ago, although there has not been the snme advance in the use of pure seed, true to type, which has char- acterised wheat-growing during the samo
For the varieties of maize suitable for In- verell In a normal year the season suffered from an excess of rain, which promoted a growth of stalk at the expense of the grain. Examination of the crops indicated that yields would pot In most cases bo up to appearances, and thore wero in all entries evldenoos of the presence of disease. On the whole, yields wore scarcely up to those at Tenter-
The soils were mostly of the black, self mulching typo of almost limltleBs fertility, and In no Instance was artificial manuro used. The winning crop was, however, raised on a red basaltic soil. Interspersed with fair-sized stones, and less likely to suffer from the effects of excessive rain than those on the flats.
Much of tho maize here is planted from the Plough, the seed being then ploughed in. This Bystem, while saving time, results in many missed Bpaces and a consequent material reduction In yield. Where a dropper was usod the sowing appeared much more uniform, and where the area justified the use of a double row dropper, as In the case of tho second prize-winner, the results were equally
By the narrow margin of half a point, Mr. Roy Morell, of Tullochard, Inverell, won the £5 prize offeied by the local society with a crop of Wellingrove (or Early Yellow Dent). He Is a new-comer to the district, and has a property of 1400 acres, most of which Is used for sheep. Several patches of fertile flats are, however, Included, and on his hillside patch of red soil, by closely following depart- mental advice, he raised a fairly typical ciop which was estimated at 45 bushels per acre. The seed was sown by means of a dropper -jft apart, which Mr. Harrison considers is rather too close for a normal season. A second entry from Mr, Morell, in conjunction with a shaio-fnrmer, Mr. W. Croft, was of the Large Red Hogan variety or Auburn Vale, and was estimated at 40 bushels per acre. The ger- mination and general stand wero not nearly so good on this plot.
The winner oí the second prize of £3 was Mr. W. Salmon, of Glenleigh, Staggy Creek, about 22 miles from Inverell. Thore the variety Auburn Vale, named after a district In the neighbourhood, was again planted on a dark chocolate self-mulching soil, on land that had been 12 years under cultivation. The yield was estimated at 45 bushels, but the germination and general stand wero not equal to Mr. Morell's winning entry.
Mr- Harrison expressed the opinion that the Large Red Hogan or Auburn Vale could not be regarded as a desirable variety, having been displaced by tho quicker maturers, such as Wellingrove and Early Morn. Its blood red colour also makes it less popular than the yellow types for market purposes.
In view of the ease with which maize cross fertilises and deteriorates, it would Beem that far too many varieties are being grown In the Inverell district to ensure the mest profitable returns. Several growers are using seed of their own selection, but unless ex- treme care Is taken quite a range of typos may result, which will affect the yield. Mr. Walter Gllhome, a well-known fanner, sub- mitted two entries of a Fitzroy typo of his own selection, which suffered somewhat in this respect, while Messrs. Crawford Bro- thers, of Rob Roy, who have 160 acres under maize, pinned their faith to Funk's Yellow Dont. A neighbouring farmer. Mr. A. E. Cosh, of The Wattles, also with 160 acres undor mnlze, preforred Kennedy, a variety which has been known In the Mudgee district for many years, and has stood up to dry con- ditions. One of the best yields was that of l-arly Morn, grown by Messrs. Palmer Bro- thers of Fairy Bank, but this crop was not up to the standard of some of the others in cultivation methods and weed control.
The mnrklng of the leading eight entries was
Maximum Point«. 1. It. Morell .
TV. Salmon . 3, IV. Burrow . 4. Crawford Bros. .. 0. J. O. McGufltok . 0. W. Gilhome, No.
Rudd Bros. IT. W. Pirmpnt-r
Commenting on the results In tho Inverell district, Mr. Harrison said that the most sal- ient point In connection with the competi- tion was the fact that the seed waB not of truo type, and often not of the varietal name under whloh It was entered. The methods of planting wore in some casos very primi- tive, and where planted from tho plough, nnd the seed ploughed In, the plots contained tar too many misses.
The crops, he considered, had not entirely borne out tho promise shown nt the first in- spection. This was largely duo to the fact that too much rain had fallen for the majority
of the soils.
. It was desirable for some of the farmers to adopt quicker maturing varieties than those they were using. Those growing the long season types contended that under very good conditions those would yield very well. This, however, could not bo looked upon as good practice. aB it was necessary to farm for the
average season. '