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Good Farmers And Hard Times

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iUirtjipi! Jrjiiiü. Harria of the Agriculturnl has been having another tussle with the Deacon," and as he hits the old fogy somo good raps that he richly doserves, ín his ■■ Walks and Talks," we oommend what he says to the attention of our readors : " You hare been predicting better times for farmers," snid the Deacon, " but I don't seem to soe thom : Winter whoat looks miserable. Clover has boen winter-killed. Old meadows are far from promising. The weather this spring has been cold and dry, and the crops have been got in late, and the prospecta aro that we shall havo a light yield of oats and barley." " This is a gloomy picture, Deaoon," T replied, " But admitting all that you say, I do not feel discouraged. When you say I have been predicting good times for farmers you do not quote me quite correctly. I have been predicting better timos for good farmers." Tho Deacon thought a moment, and thon asked quietly, " What do you nieiin by a good farmer." This seemed a proper question to ask, but I knew the Deacon too, well to suppose that he asked it with any other object than to get me into a córner. And so I thought I would touch tho Deacon on somo of his tender points. " A good farmer is a man who feels that he was sent into tho the world to work and think. He has more faith in himself than he has in what soine folks cali ' nature.' When tho gooseberry Rawfiy first made its appearance, ho did not fold his hands and let the caterpillars strip every leaf from his bushes. He consulted tho books and found that it was no new thiug. He availed himself of the experience of those who had studied the subject. Ho set out soine good varieties of currants in rows four or flve feet apart, whete he could the land clean and mellow with a horse hoe. He oxaniined the and found hundreds of bead-like eggs glued to the underside ot' the loaves, and these he killed with his thumb and finger. He found, too, that the insect iaid its eggs on the leaves of the young suckers. Hn cut off the suckers, and in this way not ohly killed thousauds of eggs and young caterpilalrs, but also strengthoned the bushes byretnoving a large quantity of useless growth. He found that the lady-bugs catuo to his assistance, and he feit encouraged to persevere, and the result ia that, while your hedge row currants aro used up. he gets a big erop of large ourrants that bring him $5 per bushel. And so this insect, instead of being an injury, is in reality an advantage to him. He gets better prices and far greater profits than when he " let uature take its courso." I use this only as an illustration of a general principie. The codling moth is destroythousunds and tens of thousands of barrels of apples in Western New York every year. A good farmer adopta means to holci thom in check, and gets better prices for his apples than he would if there were no such insect. During the ' hearing yaer ho thins out his fruit, and the next year, when there is a light orop, he gets an average yield of fine fruit and big prioes. It is the extra yield and price that a farmer must look to for bis profits. Take, for instance, an orchard of two hnndred apple trees, that produce 1,500 barrels of apples this year and 200 barrels next year. The erop this year is large and tho fruit small. and it sells say for $1 25 per barrel. Next year the fruit i brings $3 per barrel. It costs say 40 cents i a barrel to piek, head up, and market the i fruit, and 40 cents for the barrel. Tho i returns are : 1S7-1 - 1,500 barrels npples, at f 1 23 - - $1,875 i Harrel. pickiug anrt marketing, at SfV, - 1,200 S075 i I 75-200 barrels, at ?3 $600 ■ Barrels, picking amt marketing, at HOe, 160 ■ L440 " On the other hand, supposo the ori-hard ia in high condition, and instead of letting the trees overbear this year the owner thina out the applea and gets 1,200 barrels of cboice fruit worth $2 50 per barrel, and the next year 1,000 barrels worth $3 25 per barrel. The returns are aa followB : 1i74- 1,200 barrels of apples, at 82 50 - - $3,000 Barrels, picfcing and marketing, at 80c. 800 82,040 KT.1- 1,000 barrels apples, at 83 23 - - Í3.250 Bárrela, pleking and marketing at 80c, 800 S2.450 " In the one caso the returns of the two years from the orchard are $1,115, and in the other $4,480." "But y ou do not know," said the deacon, " that you will got f3 25 per barrel for apples next year." " Of course not, but I got it last year, and what has been will be. I am trying to give you tny idea of a good farmer. AVhat is true of apples and ourrants is equally true of other crops. I sold potatoss this spring at f 1 25 per bushei, hay at $30 per ton, butter at 40c per pound, and good beef and mutton are so scarce that 1 judge, from what he brings uu, our country butcher pan bring ua nothing but oíd Merino ewes and half - starved yearlinfl heifcrs. A piece of sirlom from a well-fcittened three-yearold steer is a rarity." " All this is true enougb," iid the Deacon, " but by the time we have anything to sell pricea will be lower. I teil you farming is a poor budness, and if it was not lor your fancy pis you would not talk so cheerfully. If I could sell pigs at two months old at 40 a pair, I could inake money by farmiug too." " Now, Deacon," I replied, ' that is what I cali mean, fiere you have been neighbor to me ever since I have had these pigs. And it was two or three years before I could persuade you to try the cross on oommon sows. Before this you haü amuBed yourself and others by saying that they were too delicate for ordinary farm treatment, that they were too suiall for profit and too fat too breed, and, above all, that they were black, and that the butchers and packers would not buy black pork."


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Michigan Argus