Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

is decidedly the Berkshire. I admit my specimens of the Woburn and Berkshire were not good, and the Northumberland I never got to raise from. They went astray during an absence, whereby twenty was a clear loss. My object is to advise making a good selection; then to be careful and select for breeders the most thrifty pigs from a sow which carries a large udder, and becomes thinner in flesh whilst nursing; to spay off old sows that are the reverse; keep no breeders over three years; keep boar up, if possible; not permitted to serve too many sows; and should ten or twelve be on hand at once, turn one into him at a time; permit once serving and turn her out. I have stood by and proved this by taking notes as a record. Boars may be worn down, so that pigs will be feeble. Procure crosses every two or three years. Provide winter grazing by sowing down oats, rye, or barley. Provide summer pasture by setting out Bermuda, and having a good crab-grass pasture. Have an oats field to turn hogs on in June and July, and as at this date hogs will much need extra keeping, if enough, an oats-field with the crab grass which follows; will take bacon hogs to the pea field, potato, and pindar patches; thence to the fattening pen and pickle tub.

At this time the writer is feeding off 73 hogs as follows: either ten bushels of sweet potatoes are boiled until done, then 1} bushel of meal is well stirred in and boiled; feed when cold; or three bushels of meal made into hasty pudding, with pumpkins, and half bushel of cotton seed, or raw potatoes, or raw corn. These are varied, having the cooked food seasoned with salt. I have different food given each day, but making potatoes my main food. I believe my hog account for the 22 years I have been planting would show that I had sold more meat, by a handsome little amount, than I have had to expend upon fancy stock and fancy prices for meat, viz: 10 cents this year.

2d. The Errors in Cotton Culture.- Why is it that cotton planters, seeing for a whole lifetime that the best crops are always made in a very dry season, and yet they continue to plant on plat beds and plough them down

, before June? Why is it that planters will require clean cotton picked from the field, at 100 pounds per hand, say, when they know that their neighbor's cotton, sold by the same merchant, though picked only ordinary brings as much money? The writer, though an advocate for level culture in corn, yet holds to high ridges for cotton, and the ridges to be kept up all the year. It is very true that the land he cultivates will admit high ridges better than thin land; yet, if my first proposition, contained in first query, is true, it seems reasonable that high ridges are best upon thin land. It is also true that the writer is more particular in breaking up than one in a hundred, making it a point to break up every inch, and to do so 6 inches deep if practicable. I have had 9 furrows run in a 47 feet row, with two good mules to a plough-say a large one-horse plough, or two medium mules to a small one-horse plough. Imay yet believe my per acre yield to quality of land will compare favorably with that of any neighbor. The present year I have gathered an average of 1,850 pounds for 20 acres, together with enough left to claim 2,000 pounds; but this is not my full yield, as the rot was awful. I have made 2,400 measured, a field of 40 acres, which I have been (12 years ago) ridiculed for planting when I owned rich land. My last field has now produced 495 pounds; with 8 acres left as yet not picked over, last time-fully 12 or 14 paid thereon-these two pieces in Banana, and both ridges up high, even such

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

years as this and last year. Last year I gathered an average of 1,000, and only picked over twice-first in August, and last in November. This year picked over five times. These facts warrant me in advocating deep tilth and high ridges. As to the second query, I have been told, in days gone by, how to make a No. 1 sample; and I have tried it, but was never paid. For a few years I have gone in for full weight; exclude as much trash as possible, but care not for a few hulls. This season my head picker averaged 290 pounds every day he picked, up to the first part of November, except one. He was sick nearly all day, and another when it rained at 8 o'clock, and no more picking. His two best days'

, picking were 529 and 609. The first of these days 10 hands, racing, averaged over 460; and the second day 11 averaged 475, 8 of whom were raised by me. This cotton sold in Vicksburg at 9}, and no neigh. bor sold a bale at the same time over 94. In New Orleans I doubt if there would have been any difference at all. Commission merchants make a very needless talk about clean cotton. I have seen cotton on large plantations on the Mississippi, when on the scaffold, which would show the pieces of bolt cover 100 yards, and some say enough to rattle when poured out of the sack into the basket, and yet they sell at about the same price. I dislike too much leaf, but I would never waste time to make it clean. I have fully tested it; besides, a full crop admits no such work. A small crop will not permit, if improvements, manures, &c., are not neglected. I am, sir, yours, &c.,

M. W. PHILIPS.

[ocr errors]

EDWARDS, MISSISSIPI, August 31, 1852. Sir: The increased and increasing interest felt in the cause of agriculture induces me to hope and to ask for a much larger edition of the Agricultural Report from the Patent Office than has yet been issued, and that it may contain articles more valuable to the general interests of these United States and less of some things which are of no sort of consequence to at least the Southern portion, and only advantageous to a small portion elsewhere.

I tender you an article upon the hackneyed subject-corn culture; not that I have arry new ideas to advance, nor that I have the vain hope of turning men from their errors, after reading what others have written; but I offer this from what I believe to be facts, which may induce examination, and a consequent attention. I believe I have adopted the true principle in the culture of corn, which my fellow-citizens—South, at seast-have not. It is true, I might well hide what I believe is the

I cause; but if I can do any service to my race I will be well content. There are many readers who examine what I write to know what new theory or humbug I have taken up, from being curious. Thus may I be of use.

Having recently travelled through ten counties of this State, principally north of this, (Hinds,) and seen much of the growing crop, with more acres per hand in corn generally than since I have known this country-twenty-two years—heard much and saw more of corn culture than usual, I trust I may be permitted to speak of corn culture.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And, first, I would allude to the one hundred acres here, which were in corn last and this year. The seasons were very similar up to June, the advantage being in favor of 1852, because in February and March the land was in much better condition than in 1851, and the ploughing done better; the stand was better than in 1851, and rains set in earlier; yet the present crop was more injured by the drought, and consequently will yield an average of at least five bushels less, I think. The reason, in my humble opinion: last year my driver obeyed instructions; this year my overseer, though a very excellent man otherwise, thinks he is not bound to obey instructions, and that he will lose reputation by fol. lowing a plan which "every body and the rest of mankind” have long known to be wrong. Last year the plough was only used, and very shallow, to cover peas, in May; this year, even two horses were used to the sweep, and the plough used once or twice besides, I think.

I will be concise, and I hope full enough for any planter to fully comprehend. I make it a special matter to personally attend to the breaking up of the land intended for corn, unless I have an overseer. I see that all land is broken out, that there be no “cut and cover," that the gearing and rigging of the plough be not changed after once getting the right depth, endeavoring to run them six inches deep. With this intent I put, if ordinary mules or horses, two to one of your one-horse ploughs, and two best to the smallest two-horse, or a large one-horse plough. I break all land into thirty-two feet beds, so that, by running off four-feet rows, the row will not fall in a water-furrow; beginning to plough late enough in February, so as to finish by or about the 1st of March, desiring to have land as freshly ploughed as possible and as late as can be; so that I plant early in March, thereby avoiding the February rains, as much as can be; I will not plough wet lands. I lay off rows with a shovel-plough, drop or drill corn about one bushel to two or three acres, and cover always with a harrow, and no board before the hinder teeth, as was done this year-putting in corn enough for birds and a crop too.

Sometimes, when up-that is, when land has not been beaten by rains to become impacted and run together— I run an iron tooth over corn, so as to stir the earth and clean the row, when with three or four blades I run around with a bull-tongue, nicely mould the corn, and, when old enough to bear pulling up, the grain being rotted and birds left the field, I thin, if possible, by hand-provided a rain to soften earth, leaving on the land as many stalks, counting one hundred to the bushel, as will make the crop I count for on the land; thus, if I expect forty bushels, I leave four thousand stalks per acre. I do not like to thin with the hoe, and do it not when I can avoid. Soon after this I pass the harrow once on each side of corn, as near as possible, and, if grass be appearing again, in the middle; and thus I continue until the corn begins to "bunch” for the tassel, when I press up all work to sow peas and “lay by” the corn. I use the shovel-plough when the land becomes im. pacted by heavy rain, and strive to brush over it before the earth gets quite dry, starting my ploughs and all I can run so soon after the rain as the corn begins to crack. I use sweeps, too, and even turning. ploughs, but only when stormy or wet weather and the harrow will not pulverize the land in time to prevent grass from taking root. The ob. ject to prevent turning over land is to kill

grass.

[ocr errors]

Very deep tilth, shallow planting, early and shallow and frequent culture, is my idea of corn culture in this county, which I fearlessly recommend to all my brethren. Yours, with respect,

M. W. PHILIPS.

[ocr errors]

TALLADEGA P. O., TALLADEGA County, ALABAMA. Sir: Alabama never was blessed with so abundant a crop as this year. In wheat, much more was made than last year—an increase of a fourth, though the quality is not so good. The variety sown most successfully is Orleans. Another variety has lately been introduced by Colonel George Hill, of this county, which is considered by good farmers to be a more desirable wheat than Orleans in several particulars, viz: a stiffer stemnot subject to fall or lodge; makes equally as fair a flour, yields more per acre, and is some eight or ten days earlier in maturing, and of course, a better wheat. It takes the name of its founder, and is called the Hill wheat. The greatest yields are from twenty to twenty-five bushels per acre this year in this county.

The manner of preparing land for wheat will differ as the soil and climates differ. The skilful farmer will study the nature of his soil, and take into consideration, at the same time, the balminess or rigor of the elimate in which his wheat crop is about to be located.

The best manure applied to wheat, in this county, is cotton-seed, which is applied in different ways. The best manner, however, is, after the wheat has taken good root, and is about to leave the ground, in its upward growth, to haul out your cotton-seed. After having it heated by bulking, so that the principle of vegetation is destroyed, sow it broadcast on the wheat at the rate of thirty or more bushels per acre. Talladega has not heretofore needed much manure; consequently, manure-making has not claimed the attention that it deserves. A few practical farmers are turning their attention that way, and with the aid of the Selma and Tennessee River railroad, great and important changes are destined to take place in our farming operations. At the head of flatboat navigation, on the Tennessee river, are inexhaustible banks of plaster of Paris, which can be boated down to the railroad terminus at Gunters. ville, and then transported down the road to the different depôts throughout the length of the road. The guano can be brought up from the seaports in the same way; the lime we have already; and with plaster, guano, cotton seed, and stable and barn.yard manure, our valley can be made anything conceivable in an agricultural point of view. Our farmers have come to the conclusion thal they can make more corn, cotton, and wheat, than they have been in the habit of making. No railroad in the history of railroads will equal the Selma and Tennessee River railroad, embracing so many diversified points of interest—not excepting the far-famed Liverpool and Manchester railroad, in England; and no railroad has been prosecuted towards completion with greater energy. The crop of Indian corn has increased at least one-third this year; many farmers making enough to last them two years. Several varieties are grown in the couniy—the white gourd-seed, yellow flint, red-blaze, shoe-peg, &c. My preference, for early maturing, standing drought well, yielding most upon thin soil, and least exhausting to land, is obtained by blending the raspberry and yellow Aint, or shoe-peg and yellow flint; a sample of which I will forward to the Office. The Patent Office, in absence of an agricultural bureau, should be the national de posite for all improvements, designs, seeds, &c. The rationale of blend. ing these varieties is simply this : No corn has yet equalled the shoe-peg for shelling more to the measure; no corn can equal the yellow flint for yielding meal to the bushel — both being very nutritive. Now blend their properties and you have a very desirable corn. I never plough corn but twice after planting, believing that I would injure corn and land both; and I make as heavy corn as one ever obtains. I endeavor to prepare the land well before planting, and when planted, I consider the corn crop half done. I will make one or two illustrations: In a corn crop in the hill, for instance, lay off your rows three feet apart, (after having the field well subsoiled each way;) this gives 4,840 hills or stalks to the acre; each stalk is expected to have, at least, one ear; sixty ears will more than fill a bushel." Now divide 4,840 by 60, and you have 80

a or more bushels per acre. Corn drilled will make more than that. I will give another illustration where the yield can be considerably in. creased; but take your soil into consideration: In an acre of ground there are 43,560 square feet; now, lay off the rows, giving four square feet to every stalk in the drill, and one foot by subsoiling, making five feet of soil to every stalk—and we think that five feet of soil ought to produce one ear of corn, at least. 43,560 divided by 4 gives 10,890 stalks to the acre—60 ears to the bushel. Divide 10,890 ears by 60, and you have over 181 bushels per acre. I tried this last plan upon a small scale, and succeeded; each stalk brought an ear-on some were two. Your correspondents, speaking of so much hoeing and ploughing corn, certainly make nothing else. How do they have time?

And certainly they plough badly, for corn does not require so much, if once well done; it costs too much labor. A small fine ought to be laid on the farmer that habitually buys corn pork and bacon. Wats, barley, rye, peas, and beans claim our attention. The first writer on agriculture that came under my observation, was the Poet Virgil, and, when speaking of oats, reported unfavorably as to its being a renovating crop. All observing farmers agree, at this day, that oats are al exhausting crop, and not a fertilizing one. A great many oats, however, are grown in this county. The largest yield that has come under my observation, was made by Colonel George Hill, with black or winter oats, producing over 75 bushels per acre.

Perhaps I ought to say something of root crops before I proceed fur. ther. Sweet potatoes and Irish have increased by one-third, at least.

Beets.- I was shown by Colonel McElderry a beat measuring 27 inches round, and a radish measuring 27} inches round. I considered them by far the largest I had ever seen. The crops of peas and pumpkins have increased in the same ratio. Col. McElderry weighed one pumpkin for the purpose of ascertaining its weight—they appeared so large, and lay so thick on a thirty-acre field of corn—and it weighed 85 pounds. I consider it a mammoth of its species.

Barley draws largely upon the soil, but is a rich and valuable winter pasture. Not cultivated to any extent in Talladega.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »