Page images
PDF
EPUB

NEW HAMPSHIRE AGRICULTURE.

MEETINGS OF THE BOARD.

During the year there has been but a single meeting of the board for the transaction of business. This was the regular annual session, and was held at Weirs, August the 30th. There were present Chairman Humphrey, Secretary Adams, and Messrs. Mason, Parker, Carr, Whittemore, and Goodell. An hour was spent in listening to reports for the year past, and in discussing plans for the future. It was voted that business matters be referred to the appropriate committees, who were authorized to take final action ; but in cases of disagreement and of great importance, the secretary was instructed to call special meetings of the board.

The board, on invitation, met with the Patrons of Husbandry, and engaged in the exercises of the day, Messrs. Humphrey, Adams, and Mason making brief addresses. At the close of the public session the board adjourned to meet at the call of the secretary

Mr. Joseph B. Walker, of Concord, who has always manifested a lively interest in the board, on invitation met with the members and participated in the exercises.

Formerly it was the practice of nearly all the members of the board to attend the meetings, even though they did not take part in the discussions. But recently the secretary and the member from the county in which a meeting is held are expected to take charge of the discussions in small towns, but are assisted by additional force in large places, and when more than one or two sessions are held. Occasionally gentlemen outside of the board, and sometimes ladies, accompany the members, and read papers and engage in the discussions; and now and then gentlemen from abroad have been invited to address the meeting, the expense being paid by order of the board.

MEETING IN SANDWICH.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The first meeting for the season 1883–'84 was held at Centre Sandwich on Monday evening, October 29, and Tuesday the 30th. Present, Messrs. Humphrey, Adams, and Mason, accompanied by Mr. Joseph B. Walker, of Concord, as a volunteer.

Owing to a heavy rain on Monday, the attendance was limited to a small number residing near the village. Mr. Walker was the principal speaker, and his subject “Grass Growing." He regarded the grass crop of the state worth from six to seven millions of dollars, an amount double in value to the corn, wheat, and oat crop. He spoke from his own standpoint as a grassgrower on an alluvial, river farm near the Concord market, with level fields, free from stones, and with a fair soil. His rotation is corn, oats, and five years in grass ; does not always go through the rotation, but once in five years plows eight and one half inches deep, in August or early September, to keep down the witch-grass for the time; puts on five cords of stable manure per acre, and plows it in three or four inches deep; sows herdsgrass, a peck and a half to the acre, and red-top on moist lands; rolls the seed in, but does not harrow or brush it, and generally gets a good crop, or about two tons per acre, the next year.

On his oat land he plows and seeds as soon after harvesting as he is able.

On corn stubble he plows and sows the last of October, and gets a fair crop the first year.

This is the substance of Mr. Walker's talk for an hour. He laid great stress on the thorough pulverization of the soil and the even distribution of the manure. He was followed by remarks from Messrs. Locke, Moulton, Judge Hill, and others. Mr. Humphrey, of Concord, also made a brief talk on the point that the farmer enjoys more of true life than any other class of

men.

On Tuesday morning Dr. Mason, member for Carroll county, presided, and introduced Mr. Humphrey, whose topic was - Stock Breeding.” He spoke first of the condition of stock a quarter century ago. Then there was no special distinction : a cow was

a cow,

and a horse a horse. But an improvement took place, first by selection of breeding animals possessing the most desirable traits. A point to be regarded in its effect is, that only favorable impressions be made on the breeding female. Diseased animals should not be used for stock purposes, for they will transmit their defects to posterity. The same is true of the disposition of animals.

The speaker condemned the breeding of track horses with a view of making money. It is costly work and very risky business; very fascinating, but uncertain in its results. It is well to raise stout horses, fit for the horse-railroad and similar work. It is said 100,000 horses are used on the cars, and that 25,000 a year are used up. There will be a demand for such animals. The speaker advocated the use of pure-bred animals on one side, that we may be constantly improving the herd.

Mr. Walker stated that in our state we had only one animal to four acres of land. In Italy he found four animals to each

He argued that it is absolutely necessary to keep animals in order to keep up the fertility of our farms. Stock-growing is a complement of grass-growing : they go together. He then showed how to improve our native stock by introducing shorthorn stock to native cows, and continuing the practice for generations, until high grades are obtained, which are equal in profit to full bloods. Early maturity was urged, but close breeding condemned. The speaker thought it beyond our power to control the sex, but he gave authority on this point which tended to show that when the female is the more vigorous, males are the result, and the reverse is true when the male is the more passionate. An experiment proved that of eight cows the owner produced seven heifers and one bull, on this theory.

In the afternoon the subject of corn-growing was presented by Messrs. Humphrey, Walker, and others. The secretary followed with the ensilage question, and occupied the evening in a talk on the elements which constitute good farming.

acre.

MEETING IN TUFTONBOROUGH.

The second meeting of the board in Carroll county was held October 31st at Melvin Village in Tuftonborough. This is a hilly and rocky town, but productive in farm crops, especially corn,

grass, and wheat. The farmers are generally well-to-do, and many of them are free from debt, with a little ready cash.

The meeting was conducted by Dr. Mason, of Moultonborough, and Secretary Adams. The subject of corn-growing was presented, but in a different way from that at Sandwich. The points made were, that the farmer must grow the largest crop at the least cost. To do this he must first use land adapted to corn, leaving the moist lands for grass, and such crops as will thrive on moist soil. In the second place, plow and harrow thoroughly, as deep as circumstances warrant; third, secure the best seed, by selection and cultivation from year to year; fourth, plant with machines, if possible, the manure having been harrowed in, and a little phosphate put in the hill, and instead of using the hoe make use of the harrow and the cultivator, so far as practicable. When the corn is glazed, cut up and shock in the field to save the stalks from frost and storm. The fodder will be much better to feed out-worth half the price of hayand the corn will be equally as good as when ripened on the hill. Corn may be grown at a cost of from thirty-three to fifty cents per bushel, and the soil be the better prepared for a succeeding crop. In feeding, it was urged that it be accompanied by clover bay, shorts, cotton-seed meal, or other substances containing flesh-making material.

In the evening Dr. Mason spoke of the needed care of animals, and gave a detailed account of the treatment of various diseases of animals. He was followed by the secretary, in outlining the methods pursued by the best farmers in the management of their farms and their stock. The attendance.was large, and the meeting very spirited. Melvin Village is one of the localities which always give the board a welcome.

MEETINGS IN coös COUNTY.

People have been accustomed to regard Coös county as of little importance in the industries of the state. It is a far-off, cold, and uncultivated region, in the eyes of central and southern New Hampshire. Woods and water, bigh hills and deep valleys, stones and stumps, have been considered its characteristic elements. Seven score miles from the ocean, with railroads only in its southern and eastern sections, cold winters and short

[ocr errors]

66

summers, it has not long been looked upon as a desirable locality. So thought the Secretary up to a recent date, when he had an opportunity to explore its entire area, from Shelburne to Pittsburg on the lake, a distance of one hundred miles.

Since the year 1850, says a reporter of the Union, who accompanied the board, we have made visits to the county, and have recently completed our sixteenth excursion, an agricultural one, this time in company with members of the agricultural board.

Messrs. Goodell and Adams of the board, from this section of the state, accompanied by Mr. Gerrisb of the People and Patriot and a representative of the Union, left Concord on the 19th of November, by way of the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, for a week's canvass in the southern and eastern sections of the county. Mr. Whittemore, the Coös member, joined the party at Lancaster, and Mr. Carr, of Grafton county, came in on the 6 home stretch” at Whitefield. On Monday evening the board divided. Mr. Goodell held a

a meeting at Northumberland, and was aided by Mr. Gerrish. The meeting was well attended, and manifested much interest. The leading topic was that of " Keeping up with the Times in agriculture, as well as in the mechanic arts, trade, and other interests.

At Groveton, Messrs. Adams and Whittemore presented the subject of “ Stock Improvement” to an interested audience, recommending the crossing of pure bred sires on selected dams from the common herds.

On the next day a live meeting was held at West Milan, and Mr. Adams discussed the methods of feeding most economically, using the right proportions of albuminoids and hydro-carbons. On the evening of the same day a meeting was held at Berlin Falls. This is a lumber town, in which the Berlin Company manufacture 50,000,000 feet yearly, and send to Portland and other cities. The town has a population of 1700, and is rapidly growing. The water-power is constant and abundant. New mills for pulp and paper are in process of construction. Here Mr. Daniel Greene has an artificial cranberry meadow of sixty acres, and reaps a great harvest. In Milan, near by, is a copper mine, which employs a large force of men, and appears to be yielding a good return. A lead mine is operated in Gorham,

« PreviousContinue »