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Current comment on rural matters ßf the moment

The Passing Parade

by Martingale

AT 9 meeting on

May 10, the Nor- tham Agricultural Society's committee consid- ered a resolution submitted by Mr. T. H. Wilding to the effect that the Department of Agriculture take steps to make it compulsory for all heifers south of Geraldton to be vaccinated with Strain 19 as a means of stamping out the serious cattle disease, contagious abortion. Mr. C. R. Toop, Assistant Chief Vet- erinary Officer of the Depart- ment of Agriculture was present at the meeting and addressed members on the disease and the vaccine used to combat it. ¡

]\JR. TOOP said that it came as a

surprise to him to hear that the Northam Agricultural Society was interesting itself in the disease as Northam was neither a cattle raising nor a dairying district. He pointed out that the matter was, however, of great importance to the

State as a whole.

Since the West Australian De- partment of Agriculture had ob- tained suppliés of the vaccine some 12 months ago about 10,000 heifers had been vaccinated in the dairying districts. There are about 50,000 heifers in the dairying areas so a good start had been made. Brucel- losis, or contagious abortion, he said,

was one of the major causes of loss - to the cattle and dairying industries. In this State it was believed that

about 10 per cent of thej whole of

the dairy stock were affected and the disease was responsible for seri- ous losses in milk production.

. The public health aspect had also to be taken into account, said Mr. Toop. The disease could be trans- mitted to man in the form of un* dulant fever, a complaint like * a severe bout of influenza which re- curred over a period of several months. There had been cases in Perth, a few being noted every year.

Experience in the U.S.A., New Zealand and the Eastern States in- dicated that vaccination with Strain 19 provided a worth while method of control. In this State dairy farm- ers paid 1/3 per head for each animal vaccinated and the fee had been made low to encourage breed- ers to adopt the scheme. If the practice of vaccinating each year's crop of heifers was carried out it would not be long before the dis- ease was brought under control and the Department was keen to have every cattle owner brought into the

scheme.

When the question of whether it would be practicable to/ make vac- cination with Strain 19 compulsory was raised by a member, Mr. Toop

mid that he could not express an

opinion that might involve Govern- ment policy, but he could say that it was highly desirable that all heif- ers should be treated. The Depart- ment now faced a big task in tuber- culin testing all the cattle supplying milk to the metropolitan area. This would involve the testing of some 25,000 head after which the cattle supplying country centres such as Northam would have to be tested.

THREE WHEELER: This novel form vehicle has recently been placed on the British market. The drive to the front wheel ' vio o 4-speed and reverse gearbox is from an 8h.p. single cylinder air-cooled petrol engine.

It is stated to corry a 30cwt. load.

The resolution was finally adopted as an expression of the committee's opinion that the* compulsory vac- cination of all heifers south of Ger- aldton was highly desirable.

Another Wool Book

WHEN reviewing J. M.

Fegan's book "Mer- ino Wool" in a re- cent issue I bemoaned the

fact that comparatively little had been written in Australia concerning the sheep and wool industry which plays such an important part in our national economy.

Jj*OW it appears that I may have to

revise my opinions as a recent mail brought me an excellent pocket-sized book of 75 pages en- titled "Wool and the Nation." This little volume which is chockful of interesting information has been prepared, by the staff of Golds brough Mort and Co. Ltd. and copies may be obtained on applica- tion to the Perth office of the com- pany. Farmers, graziers, agricultural students and others interested in the sheep and wool industry would be well advised to order copies early as I anticipate that there will be a large demand for the book.

Commencing with a brief but pithy survey of the historical angle from the first fleet to the present

day, the book deals comprehens- ively with the many processes through which the wool passes in its long journey from the wool shed to the textile mills. Informative chapters on the nature and com- position of wool fibre, definition of wool terms, felmongering, shearing, classing, manufacturing, etc., make this little handbook one that will be widely appreciated.

Farming Film

SINCE the "silver

screen" has come into its own as an instructional medium, the advertising men-whose aim is to instruct the public in the selection of the best goods and gadgets-have not been slow to realise its possibilities.

fHIS was demonstrated at the

Capitol Theatre recently when I attended the preview of "Harvest Gold," a film presented by the Cal- tex Oil (Australia) Pty. Ltd. As I understand that it will be shown throughout the State in the near future I am passing on the tip that it is a particularly slick piece of work that is well worth seeing. "Harvest Gold" is an Australian production with lots of really good entertainment value which has not been blanketed by wearisome "plug- ging" of the firm's products.

" Veteran actor, Joe Valli, does a splendid job of character portrayal as "Old Mac," the farmer who truculently opposes the march of mechanisation on the farms. His

rib-tickling comedy and a mild . romantic interest link up some typi- cal Australian rural scenes and some excellent shots of modern mechan- ised implements in action.

When a cyclone threatens t sick man's wheat crop and the neigh- bours bring their mechanised might along for some high-pressure har- vesting, they do not follow the old fashioned practice of knocking off

at sundown.

Curvacious Land Army girls con- tinue harvesting far into the night using tractor headlamps to find their way round the crop. Does anyone know where I can pick up a nice line of ewes to put into the stubbles, because I feel certain that a lot of wheat must have gone over the tail-

board?

Percheron Importation

AT their annual meet-

ing held recently, the N.S.W. branch of the Clydesdale Horse Society strongly criticised the State Government for importing a Percheron stal- lion and setting up a Percheron stud.

fHE view was expressed that the

time was inopportune for the setting up of such a stud in view of the stagnant condition of the draught horse breeding industry, and that the Government would have better served the interest of the industry hy importing one or more Clydes- dale stallions for use in the Gov- ernment stud, which comprises a large number of mares and is in need of new sire blood.

It seems rather late in the day for any Government to establish a draught-horse stud in view of the degree of "tractor-mindedness" now prevalent, but if the State Govern- ment still considers that there is scope for an extension of the horse breeding industry, the Percheron has always appealed to me as practically

the ideal farm horse.

Compact, weighty, and active, with a most attractive appearance and a docile disposition, the French horse, in my humble opinion, com- pares more than favourably with any of our draught breeds. I have seen thousands of them working in France and they could shift a heavy load without any fuss, or trot along cobbled roads at a good 10 milcs an-hour clip without showing dis-

tress.

A pair of these horses which my regiment picked up to replace casual" ties in 1914, worked magnificently, and were the pride of the transport section. Wonderfully good doers, they held their condition well on short rations and under rough con-

ditions.

Percherons are not common in Britain, although Chivers, the jam people, maintain an excellent stud at Histon, but I often worked a pair of blacks of this breed both .in the plough and in a waggon and found them ideal for both jobs.

^JLARM was expressed by the

committee of the Australian Pig Society (Victorian branch) at the continued decline in pig pro- duction, saying that with wheat at its present price and barley practi- cally unprocurable, it was unprofit- able to produce pigs at present mar- ket prices.

0 MORE from Smith minor:

îtefore a man could become a monk he had to have his tonsils out.

Contralto is a low sort of music that only ladies sing.

An eavesdropper is a kind of bird.

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