Page images




The Committee on the Fattening of Cattle and Swine REPORT:

That they have received no claims for premiums on this subject ; but inasmuch as it is one that should command more of the attention of our farmers, they beg leave to make a few suggestions for their consideration. Every well conducted farm will have a surplus of produce for the market in some form or other. If the grain, hay, and vegetables raised, are carried directly to the market, this will necessarily impoverish the farm, and diminish its power of production, unless care shall be taken to return a corresponding proportion of manure. By a judicious consumption of these articles on the farm, there is a certainty that the supply of manure will be well sustained. We believe it to be a very common practice with our best farmers to fat one or two pair of cattle, with several other animals, every season. We have no doubt that they find a good account in so doiny. Since the practice of raising vegetables for fattening of cattle has come into use, those who have raised them have brought them to a good market in this manner. Particularly if their supply of Indian corn is such as to admit of mixing a moderate proportion of meal with such vegetables.

Although the farmer may not at first realize so much cash when he feeds out his crops to his cattle and swine, as when he deals them out by the bushel in the market ;-still when he takes into view the time lost in attending upon the market—the deficiency of nutritive qualities on the farm, in consequence of these articles not having been consumed at home; and the uncertainty at times of finding a ready and advantageous sale ;-he will do well at all times, to make arrangements for using a good proportion of his produce on his own farm. We do not advance these views as mere speculative theories, but as the result of our observation among good farmers; and we challenge the inves


tigation of the fact in any town of the county, and have no doubt that those who are generally reputed to be the best farmers will be found to have practised in this

In relation to swine, there is much room for the exercise of a sound judgment in the selection of the animals to be fed. Far better is it to purchase animals of the best breed, at a high price, than to take those of an inferior class for nothing.

We hope that the liberal premiums offered on these subjects, as well as others, will induce some of our young farmers to make experiments, and let their experience be known, and in so doing they will bring honor upon themselves and a lasting benefit upon the whole community.

For the Committee,

J. W. ALLEN. December, 1841.



The Committee on Sheep respectfully REPORT:

The Society has lately offered no premiums for sheep at their annual exhibition, but a lot having been presented by Mr John Hale, of Boxford, the Committee was directed to notice them in such manner as they might deserve. But few sheep, comparatively with the other agricultural counties, are kept in Essex.* But it is probable that sheep might be made very profitable on many of our farms. The difficulty of restraining them in common enclosures is the great objection, but the South Down variety, it is said, has less propensity to ramble. We were gratified with the appearance of Mr. Hale's sheep, and submit to the Society whether it would not be advisable to offer encouragement for the exhibition sheep at future exhibitions.

[ocr errors]

The wool is of superior quality, and the fleece is heavier by nearly one fourth than the average weight in Massachusetts. The Committee recommend that a gratuity of three dollars be paid to Mr Hale. For the Committee,



To the Committee on Sheep :

GENTLEMEN:—The subscriber presents to you eleven sheep and six lambs, for premium. The whole 3-4 native breed, and 1-4 merino; they give 3 3-4 lbs, wool each per year, and have done so for three years past. I have about 15 lambs by 10 sheep per year. The wool I think is far superior to full blooded merino, for family use, and about double the quantity.

JOHN HALE. Boxford, Sept. 29th, 1841.


The Committee on the Cultivation of Crops REPORT:

That claims have been entered and statements made as follows:

By Francis Dodge, of Danvers, for Corn.
« Enoch Dole, of W. Newbury,
“ John Noyes, of Newbury, Rye.
" William Williams, of Rowley, Oats.
“ John Noyes, of Newbury,

Onions. The Society the present year have offered premiums for the best conducted experiment on crops of wheat, rye, oats, barley and Indian corn, on not less than one acre ; for the next year, in addition to the above, premiums will be offered for the best conducted experiments in raising crops of carrots, onions, sugar beets, ruta baga, and mangel wurtzel, on one half acre, and

it is hoped that there will be many claimants for all these premiums. Farmers are desirous of ascertaining by what process such crops can be most successfully cultivated, and by no other means can this information be so readily and satisfactorily obtained, or so easily disseminated. They want to know what kind of soil, manure and cultivation are best adapted to each of these crops, and their own operations will in some measure be directed by the successful operations of competitors. It is therefore highly desirable that all the statements submitted should be plain and accurate. The soil, manure and variety of seed should be carefully stated, and all such observations and remarks as may tend to enlighten not only old farmers but learners of the art.

It is often interesting to have the means of knowing how large crops have been raised in the county. For the purpose of satisfying in part this curiosity, some extracts from Mr. Colman's first Report of the Agriculture of Massachusetts are here inserted. There have been raised in this county, to the acre,

“ Of Wheat, 24, 25, and 32 bushels.

Of Indian Corn, 84, 901, 90, 105, 110, 113, 115, 117 bushels.

Of Barley, 50, 51, 52, 54 bushels.
Of Rye, 40, 56 bushels.

Of Oats, 1000 bushels on twenty acres, averaging 50 bushels to the acre.

Of Carrots, 849, 864, 878, 900 bushels.
Of Mangel Wurtzel, 924, 1340, at 56 lbs. per

bushel. Of Beets, 783 bushels. Of English Turnips, 636, 687, 672, 751, 814 bushels.

Of Onions, 651." By Mr. Ware, of Salem, 900 bushels.

Some of these quantities appear large, but the amount which may be raised on a well manured and thoroughly cultivated acre would astonish any one who has not witnessed the experiment. A great cause of the want of success of many farmers is their attempt to cultivate too much land. To own or to cultivate an extensive

territory is a poor ambition. Our object should be to show how well and not how much we can till. When stern necessity, or good policy, or the dispensation of Providence has divided farms, we have often noticed that the several parts became more productive, and in such cases it is almost always true, that the half is better than the whole. Whenever a farmer becomes satisfied that he is cultivating too much land, he should sell off or lease his supernumerary acres, or turn them into pasture. The labor and expense of raising thirty bushels of corn is three quarters as much as of raising sixty bushels to the



Many of our farmers have yet to learn the great advantage of cultivating extensively root crops, as a winter feed for stock. A large portion of our time and strength is expended in procuring this feed; it is now principally hay and corn fodder. The average quantity of hay to the acre is less than a ton and a half ; but fifteen or even twenty tons of carrots and mangel wurtzel, are not very extraordinary. The expense of raising these roots is considerable, but commonly it does not exceed six dollars per ton. There cannot be a doubt that as food for cattle, two tons of them are worth at least as much as one ton of hay, and stock kept in part on roots, are in better health and condition, and make more valuable

It is satisfactorily ascertained that two bushels of carrots, and one of oats, are worth more for a horse than two bushels of oats; and next to Indian meal, boiled carrots are admitted to be the best food for swine. But with all these facts before us, but few farmers, comparatively, can be induced to cultivate beets, carrots, or the different varieties of turnips. In agriculture, the progress of improvement has always been less rapid than in any other of the arts of life; may it not always be so. The field is ample, and all that is wanted is active, spirited, and enterprizing laborers.

By the statements which follow this report, it appears that some of our enlightened yeomen are ambitious of leading off in this good undertaking of agricultural improvement, and the Committee tender them their thanks

« PreviousContinue »