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AGRICULTURAL AND PASTORAL.
me wneac Harvest nas now been reaped, even in the latest districts of the colony, and upon the whole we do not doubt the crops have proved heavier than was supposed. There
have, of course, been partial iauures ; and it 1 distressing to know that in many cases whei good average crops had been garnered,' th fires, to. which we have alluded more pai Jicularly elsewhere, have reduced several indue trious farmers to a state of destitution. It i yet too soon to obtain correct statistical infoi motion of the yield of last harvest. Just a present the attention of our farmers is directs to the forthcoming annual meeting of the Soutl Australian Agricultural Society, which is t take place on Thursday next, and is expect© to exceed in varied interest and tokens of sue ceasful and scientific farming any of its prede cesiors.. . We see from the Northampton Herald 0 Oct. 16 that our old fellow-citizen Mr. Paxtoi has offered, through the Central Bucks Agri cultural Society, a prize for the best sack 0 wheat grown from ' Australian seed. We ex tract the paragraph in which it is mentioned ind only regret that the particulars giver ire so bare. We think it .possible that thi prize was limited to ' South' Australian wheat is the words arc 'imported from that colony.'
xt would Da gratirying to nave known irom whom the seed was procured and by whom it was grown. The following is the extract re ferred to:— 'Australian Wheat (24 entries).— A silver cup, value £10 10s., given by William Paxton, Esq., of Linden, House, Cheswick, and late of Adelaide. Australia, for the best sack of Australian wheat, certified to have been grown from seed Imported from that oolony during th« year 1&57.— Mr. Bobert Piiton, Lower Winchendon. Mr. J. P. Fordotn, Kimble, very highly commended, but disqualified, the seed being imported prior to 1857.' It is gratifying to see that so many English farmers are trying Australian seed-wheat. The rapid growth and present state of tho wool trade are topics of never-failing interest to Australian settlers. Little more than half a century has elapsed since the first merinos were imported into New South Wales. At that time tho largest supplies of foreign wool for the English woollen manufactures came from Spain, the native country of tho merino sheep. The progressive increase of that manufacture in Eng land, and in which the interests of all the Australian colonies are now bo intimately bound up, is a subject which will repay close observa tion. Its vast expansion since the commence ment of the present century seemB to have been purely a case of action and reaction, or rather of supply and demand. The greater supply of the raw material having stimulated production and excited improvement both in the machinery and fabrics of which wool is the base,*thore arose ia consequence an increasing demand for the raw material, the supply of which is never likely to move far in advance of tho natural demand for its use. In 1799 the importation of foreign wool into England was only 2,263,000 lbs. ; ia 1857 the amount of foreign and colonial wool reached 127,000,000 lbs., of which 90,000,000 lbs. were retained for home con sumption, the rest having been exported. The gradual prostration of tho noble country of Spain is evidenced by the fact that while in 1800 rnnrs tliqn fi (Wl 000 lhn nr t.wn-third* nf
the whole foreign supply, came from that land, she.only supplied in 1857 383,000 lbs. of th« vast importation. Saxony and Silesian woole have superseded them. In 1800 these coun tries supplied tho English market with only 412,000 lbs.; in 1830 they provided it with 25,000,000 lbs. German wool is still the finest; but so closely have the Australians approached to its merits that the importation has fallen off to less than 6,000,000 lbs. in 1857. These are interesting data, and lead naturally to the enquiry— how far has the pastoral interest of Australia a claim on oat regard ? We. think it undoubtedly has a very powerful one, and we proceed to make the fact prominent by a brief detail of its wonderful progress. In 1810 a single bole of Australian woo), weighing 167 lbs., made its appearance at a London sale ; the first product of the merinos imported by MoArthur. In 1857 the total importation from the Australian colonies was 49,000,000 lbs., nearly two-fifths of the whole foreign and colonial wools brought to market. Now, when we look at tho augmentation and distribution of wealth thus excited, both in the production of the raw material, its transport, and its subse quent manufacture, we are constrained to con fess that we can recall few examples of so rapid and extensive a success.. The production of this staple is even yet only keeping pace with the ingenuity of English manufacturers, whose inventive skill affords yearly new proofs of Jthe elegance, as well as utility, of their fabrics. The South African settlers have also been diligently directing their attention to pastoral pursuits, and the Cape wooli, which afforded a source of supply in 1816 of only 9,623 lbs., yielded in 1857 the large amount of 14,287,000 lbs. It will probably surprise many of our readers to know that this large import into Great Britain is exceeded in quantity by that of home growth, which is estimated at 175,000,000 lbB. per annum ; of this little more than 15,000,000 lbs. were exported, leaving, therefore, the woollen manufacture of the United Kingdom to consumo about 250,000,000 lbs. yearly. Regarded as one of the chief articles of colonial industry, this survey of the wool trade cannot fail to be suggestive. There are doubt less other sources of wealth admitting of the same indefinite increase, for which the climate and soil afford ample facilities. In parti cular we may instance wine. Unfor tunately the forward tendency in this case Ii fettered by fiscal obstructions which we hope may soon be satisfactorily removed, and by the heavy capital required to mature suffi ciently the admitted excellent growths of our rineyards, and render them able to compete with wines of established reputation. The high- rate of labour, in: fact, in new colonies, prevents innumerable experiments being made on articles of produce which there is every reason to believe might be raised successfully. Among these, numerous medicinal plants, of bigh price as drugs, might be grown, and in the more northern portions of the continent sotton could be cultivated successfully.