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6 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

To the EDITOR of the SYDNEY GAZETTE.

.. SIR,

" Having observed the rapid improvements in Agriculture, produced by the introduction of the Horse Husbandry system in England, I have

been led to adopt ihe same system since I engaged in agricultural pursuits in this Colony. It is needless for me to observe, where manual labour is so very expensive, and the expenee of keeping horses comparatively so trifling, the superiority of the power of the horse, one of which being equal to six men. This useful animal can now be purchased by almost every description of settler,

and without which no man can make much pro- gress in farming. To introduce the Horse Hus bandrv System, if is necessary in the first place to clear the ground of all roots and stumps, which will greatly add to Hie beauly of the cultivated

ground, as well as augment the produce, nineacres j clear of stumps being upon a fair calculation ' equal to ten In falling, where the timber is very heavv, I am WPII convinced that the common me Ihod of faillit? with saw«, and a\es is the best and least expensive ; but where the ground is thin of timber, and the trees are not large, I should pre- fer falling by digging and cutting the roots In burning off, in which I make very little use of either saw or axe, cutting the logs into lengths by fire, the first thing to be attended to is, looking out if any of the timber is fit for posts, rails, &c. either for building or fencing After the logs are cross burnt, I lay open the roots of the large stumps, roll the logs against them, and there make the fires. If the first logs are not sufficient, I roll more, till the whole of the stump is destroyed The lateral roots which run too near the surface I grub, and raise, with levers. Where there is not much timber, I find it best to burn from one side, as it requires the greatest quantity of timber, as well as the longest time to burn through the sap.  

It is very essential to spread all the ashes, parti-

ticularly of the red gum and iron bark, as they  

contain the greatest quantity of pot ash. After the stumps are burnt so low as to require no more fire, I burn the remaining timber any where. If I have any she oaks, I take them out by splitting with wedges, and twisting them out with a lever about 14 feet long, shod with iron. Before the ground is broke up I rake it over with a rake drawn by one horse, which will rake five or six acres in a few hours. If in the first breaking up with the plough, the man carries with him an axe and a hoe, he will completely clear the ground of all roots which were missed in the grubbing. One man can, with a good light plough and pair of horses, plough an acre of ground in a day, and it would requite ten men to hoe an acre in the same

time, and as well.

" In drilling Wheat there is a great saving of] seed; and in the light soils in this country the ¡ wlie.it should always be rolled : This closes the ground round the roots of Hie grain, and lays ' those particlesof earth* wnich had beim absorbing

carbonic acid gas, to the roots, and exposes fresh 'putieles lo absorb more of the gas. Turnip

crops, and all vegetables grown in any quanl'ty, j

should be drilled, as it saves seed, and turnips are j 'generally spoiled from being sown too thick. Po-|

tatoes can be cultivated entirely by horses;' ploughed into the ground, hilied up, and ploughed out of the ground. It is in the cultivation of In

' diau corn, the -.tapie grain of this country, where |

the immense saving of manual labour will b<

found. Here one man can willi one pair of horse» j plough, plant, hill, hoc, and cut down 40 acres of I "com in one season. The corn drill is drawn bv

one horse, anel will plant one acre of corn in one hour. I think the best distance between plant and plant in the rows is from li to l8 inches, and "between each row four feet. The shape of the grain makes it very difficult to drill so regularly j .as the other seeds. I found last year that my

'.drilled corn was not bLuvndownby the Ililli winds, "which 1 suspected might have been the case ; and

that it grows much larger and more luxuriantly .by being single than when there are several stalks together:-the ground will produce a much hea "vier crop, as the nourishment is drawn from the "whola of the ground equally, and Hie surrounding v ^mould, far beyond the exteni of the fibre» of the

'roots, has only to nourish one plant. The more ppen ami hollow the ground is, the better Indian com thrives ; and if thu giouud is now and then Joijsene.tl by the improved cultivation called the expanding sculHe, uliichwill equally hoe the corn planted in hills as well as in dnlU, only lequiring ..for the hills to be worked a.ross as weil as up and

"down the cor» land. The expanding scuttle will Nhoe four acres of corn iaiul ni one day with one horse, and can be made wider or narrower at ..pleasure, for pease, beans, &c. I hill ibu cor» ^sometimes.willi the plough, bul 1 prefer the ex« panding double mould horse hoe, a* this can be drawn bv one horse. When tho corn is At to

pul!, I e¡o down the row9 witli the expand...» scuf- fle, and cut the stalks a little below the surfece. The corn may be then raked together with the horse rake, which will expedite the carrying ; and thus you see. by this method I can eubivate corn, and keep the ground as clear as a dead fal- low, with one man and one horse, which by the old method is the most expensive grain to grow, requiring so much manual labour. I am much surprised that where minmai labour is so expen- sive, more means are not devised to decrease it. In America even shovels are worked by bjillorks, which are very steady drawing animals, bur can not be worked in a plough by one man ; nor do they walk so fast ; and where a farmer has not much cultivated ground, I should recommend horses, as being animals of more general utility

" Clearing an acre of ground in ibis country is a very heavy expence ; and whether it produces much or little, the working of it is attended with the same expence : therefore, everyone should be mad . to produce the greatest crop possible.; and what is vero justly observed bv an able writer onagritulture', and should hi- particularly attend- ed to in this country is, " 7/ is not the acres ssivn, but the bushels reaped."

" In South Wales there is the same bad system of farming which is now practised in this country ; but the land there is all cleared and fenced in, and most of ihe farmers have more arable land

than they can keep in cultivation at once: the«, therefore crop on° part until the crop is not worth carrying : then they let that rest, and begin upon another, and proceed in this way all through the fallow. It is very easy by fair cropping to keep ground in heart ; but if worn out, it is very diffi-

cult to recover it.

" I think the loss iu seed in sowing wheat late, a-> ii will then not have time to tiller, is made up bv its coming to perfection in a much shorter time, dud consequently draws the ground less.

" To ihe Grazier I wouid lecommend a very simple and easy method of improving and making good Past- rage and meadows. After the ground

is clear, leave the native sod, and scarify the i ground from an inch and a half two inches de*.*¡» twice a >ear: this will divide the roots of the native grasses, and make incisions for the air lo penetrate into the soil. After scarifying, ii you can procure the seed, thinly sow a little trefoil, white Dutch clover, and meadow fescue ; but if the ground be very poor, sow burner instead of the other grasse.«, and 1 hen roll ir. To destroy the ferns it will require frequent scarifying; bul

wherever the root of a fern is cut so as lo cause

the mucilage it contains to exude, it will immedi alelv die away. [The several lmpkmeuts weces sary for carrying on ibis species of Hu-baodrv are to be obtained by application io Mr. Bostock, of Hunter sireet.]

*' Hoping that these hints may cause some more experienced persons to repeat iho.-e experi- ments with greater accuracy, and upon a larger scale ; and who, if found to answer as well with

them as wito me, would introduce a System of | Agriculture both beautiful and profitable, I rest convinced'h=:t the iuterests of the farmer would be thereby c«Mi«t'derabI> advanced, and the Colo ny much benefit.ed. The labouring part of the community would then be employed in grubbing, fencing, &c. instead of doing iliat which that use ful animal the horse, now su Mcred idly to range the forest, would do more effectually, and with with greater expedition. Whoever h.is seen (he I*le of Thanet, must admit that it is one of the neatest and most beautiful spots in England. Evei v part lepresenls garden beds iñoie than ara ble land for the common purposes of agriculture, and there no woik is performed by a man, which | eau be done by a horse.

" AGRICOLA."

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