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OUR COUNTRY SECTION
IMPROVED PASTURES VALUE DEMONSTRATED Wonderful Possibilities In Hills Districts INSPECTION BY DAIRYMEN By YATTALUNGA MOUNT BARKER, November 21.
A practical demonstration of the value of pasture improvement was provided to a party, representing dairying interests, which inspected
experimental plots in the hills yester '?fiiree years ago the Australian Dairy Council, tnrough a levy of a halfpenny a box on exported butter, taitiateoa fund to assist the dairying industry. The money collected from this levy has been devoted to the investigation ol gliases in cairy cattle, and experi ments in regard to pasture improve ment. The South Australian commit tee of the council has directed its at tention to work in connection wltu pasture improvement, and unaer trie, sucerrision of the Department of Agri culture eettlers in various districts of the State have conducted experiments in this regard. Reprensentatives of the South Aus tralian committee, including Messrs. E. H. Fromen (chairman), B. J. Hnsay ?on (deputy chiinran), A. Snell (Boli var) W P. Ecfcennan (Euducda). and E W Tolmer (Mount Gambler), and Messrs. R. C. Scott (chief experimental officer. Department of Agriculture). H. B. Barlow (Chief Dairy Instructor), and representatives of the Adelaide Chemical Fertiliser Company, Walla roo and Mount Lyall Fertiliser Com oany, and Cresco Fertiliser Company, Iregan yesterday a tour of inspection of the experimental pasture plots. The party first proceeded to the iroperty of Mr. T. W. Roenfeldt, near Greencck, where fields of perennial; rve-gress and subterranean clover; md Phalaris tuberosa and sub-i clover were inspected.! The fact that 31 cows and I beifers had been grazine on the 15] "cres sown with these pastures since February, naturally resulted In little crowth being present at the moment, but the density of the ryefixass and clover plints nrovided an indication of *li? excellent feed that has been avail able The value of this experiment, sad Mr. Scott. wa6 obtained in the evidence that the perennial ryegrass made rapid growth after the first rams 'n February last, proving that with a 20 inch rainfall this class of pasture can be put down with confidence. It wss also noted that the eubterranean c!cvfT had seeded well, indicating that it will ners'st. Mr. RoenfeWt has a fine herd of grad- JeiEeys. and Mr. Eckeraian strongly ad vised him to convert it into a stud herd. Wonderful Pastures After Journeying through that won derful valley that extends from Angas ton to Eden Valley, and inspecting the pasture plots on Mr. W. M. T. Vigor.- property, close to the latter town, many of us were trying to conjecture jusi what the land in that valley would pro duce if pastures were sown or the natural grasses top-dressed. Mr. Scott explained to the party that the four plots at Mr. Vigar's holding comprised about three acres, each one of which was eown oith pure varieties | of various grasses and clovers, anothei with perennial ryegrass and white clo ver, another with Wimmera ryegrasr and subterranean clover, and the las' with phalarts tuberosa sown in the first year, and with subterranean clover ad ded the next year. In the second ploi the white clover failed to pejsiet. -am? the pasture now consists of a wonder ful sward of oerennial ryegrass anc subterranean closer. In the third olot the Wimmera ryegraes had dried out having reached maturity much soonei than the perennial ryegrass, but the Dhalaris plot was most satisfactory, foi in spite of the fact that it had beer fed down bare in October with sheep it now presented an excellent growth ot leafy green pasture in which the clovei j had made sufficient headway to provide a nice, balanced ration. Two years ago when these plots were i inspected very little phalaris was to be i seen, and it was considered that the plants had not persisted, but today £bx crowns of the plants are in cases 1? inches across, and in & year or twe will have extended to a dense mass Both Mr. Scott and Mr. Vigar consi dered that the perennial rye grass anc clover was the best pasture, the latte: stating that if he thought of extend ing his planting it would be with thesr
i varieties. Mr. Vigar had a nerd ol 18 Milkinfi Shorthorn cows running on the 12 acres, and they were quite un able to cope with the feed. What Topdressing Will Do The most interesting demonstration of what land in the Eden Valley dis trict will carry it the natural pastures are topdressed was seen at Mr. Vigax's property. We inspected a field of 14 acres which has received a dressing of 90 lb. to the acre of superphosphate for three years, during which period it has never carried less than 60 sheep and baa averaged six sheep to the acre At the time of our inspection there were 114 sheep in the field, all of which were in good condition, and the feed, which consisted chiefly of subterra nean clover and soft brome, was, if anything, too rank. There are thousands of acres in the valley I previously mentioned, capab! or the same carrying capacity if treated in the same manner as adopted by Mr Vigar. It should be mentioned that in the experimental plots* that we saw, the application of sulphate of ammonia had decreased the subterranean clover pas tures to a minimum, but bad, in the early stages of the experiment, supple mented the growth of the rye-grass. Mr. Viger admitted that the promo tion of excessive growth of the pasture: had Jed to an increase in sheep ail ments, euch as foot-rot and worms. ?I think," he said, "that the develop ment of pastures will show that Merinr rheeo are not suitable for the country
and it may be necessary to stock our country with Corriedales, or some o. the British breeds." Mrs. and Miss Vigar entertained thi party at afternoon tea, and Mr. Pro men, in thanking them for their hos pitality, referred to the enterprise of Mr. Vigar and the valuable work he was carrying out in the interest of the district and State In conducting I the experimental plots in the manner he was doing. Experiments on the property of Mr C. M. Wetson, close to Mount Pleasant, were next inspected. The land is on the bank ol the Torrens. and consists of a light, sandy sot in which it has been proved that for the first year or two, at all e\"ents, subterranean clover is tiie only pasture that will persist. A field ol this clover was looking extremely well, but in an adjoining plot carrying phalaris. the plants, although thick, were very spindly in condition, and it was apparent that there was a lack cf organic matter in the soil. This con dition may be renovated vrith the growth ol subterranean clover. Throughout the journey from Angas ton to Mount Pleasant, the effects ol the frost of a few weeks ato on the vineyards were everywhere apparent. On all ths low-lying areas all the leaves had been burnt off, and although some recovery was noticeable, the hope o' ?iv croii was little.
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