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Mr. H. Phillips, in the summer of sixty, milked twenty cows; nineteen of them were served by a yearling bull, the other one by a two-year old; sixteen of them were wintered, fifteen of which dropped their calves prematurely; the one served by the two-year bull had a healthy calf.
These cows were all kept the next season, also the bulls, and all did well the following season.
Your committee learned of many severe cases that were not visited. Mr. Hadcock, living west of Middleville, has, the present spring, lost thirtythree, out of a dairy of forty cows. The disease is increasing yearly, and extending over a large territory.
With these observations, the matter is referred to the club, in hopes that, in their wisdom, they may find the cause, and also the remedy.
LESTER GREENE. SOWING GRASS SEED.
By S. S. Whitman. In partially fulfilling the request of the club, on the subject of sowing grass seed, I shall simply speak of the preparation of ground, time and manner of sowing, kind and quantity of seed.
The preparation of the ground is a vital necessity to a successful crop of grass. In newly cleared land there is but little difficulty in having seed take well; but at present, the great call for new seeding is where meadows have run out," and it becomes necessary to break them up, take off two or three
and re-seed. The hay crop fails because the land needs renorating ; and as our dairy farmers are well supplied with manure, let us try this process. In the fall, or if it cannot be done in the fall, in the winter, or early spring, give the land that is designed to be plowed a good surface manuring, and, we might suggest, a sprinkling of plaster, after the manure is spread ; then, at a proper time, turn this over, or rather turn the manure under, by as neat a plowing as the land will admit, and plant the same with such hard crops as may be desired. If the ground is in good heart, by fall plowing it will be in good condition for another hard crop; and by the third year, it will be in good tilth (especially if plowed in the fall) for a sowed crop and seeding.
If a machine is used, then of course, it will be sowed as the machine sows it, and there are those that do the work well, and save a great many steps and a great many motions of the arms; but whether by machine or by hand, it is desirable to sow as early as the ground will admit. I refer to sowing in the spring, because there is so little winter grain sown in this section of the State.
When the grain is sowed and harrowed thoroughly, the ground may be bushed over to advantage, as it gives the seed a light covering and smooths the ground. I find a convenient time to sow is, when the ground is harrowed nearly enough to follow the harrow and sow the seed, and then bush it in. If a top-dressing of well rotted manure can be given, previous to harrowing, a good account will be given in return.
A heavy crop of oats is liable to smother the grass, if it lodges; otherwise, there seems to be but little difficulty in seeding with oats, and they do well to be sowed early. So with barley; but wheat is sowed too late, if sowed as late as many advise, to insure a good catch of grass ; for frequently we have a dry spell, that sorely pinches the young blades. Of all the kinds of grass that are raised in Herkimer county, herds grass is the real "stand by" for upland. The quantity, as usually recommended, is eight or ten quarts to the acre, but my own scanty experience satisfies me that this is not enough—the grass stands too thin, and, of course, too much in clumps. The present year I have seeded six acres, with sixteen quarts to the acre, and had the approbation of one of our best farmers ; the seed took finely, but suffered in consequence of the lodging of the grain.
Red clover is frequently mixed with herds grass, to insure a good crop the first year ; but it can never make a desirable crop of hay till we find some better way of curing it. When hay stools and hay caps come into use, it may do to raise clover. Red-top comes in, naturally, on rich, moist land, as does white clover on our dry land.
The man who wishes to keep his land clear from foul seeding, will be the safest by raising his own seed. For pasture land, a greater variety of grass sced is good economy; and a good share of clover seed would be advisable. When so much land is devoted to the pasture and meadow, success in sceding is an important item in farming. I only regret that one more able and experienced had not written this article.
S. S. WHITMAN.
UNION AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY AT PALMYRA.
PALMYRA, March 7, 1864. To the Secretary of the Agricultural Society of the State of New York :
Sir :-I enclose herewith a report of the affairs of the Union Agricultu. ral Society at Palmyra, which I hope will be satisfactory, and received by you in time for insertion or notice in your volume of Transactions.
The report has been delayed since our annual meeting, to await the action of adjourned meetings.
The annual meeting of this Society was held at Palmyra on the 3 of February, 1864. The Treasurer's report exhibited all the following results for the year ending at this date, viz :
premium of 1862...
printing and advertising....
3 00 68 57 122 50 145 83 15 00 19 75 50 72 38 92
- $719 76
At the annual fair, in October, the extent and variety of the stock and products on exhibition, though quite satisfactory in some departments, was observed to be scarcely commensurate with the attendance of people, which was large. The display of fine horses was successful beyond precedent in this society, proving what has been apparent since the first organization of our institution, that there is a gradual yearly improvement going on among our farmers in this valuable species of animal production. There were also at the fair some highly meritorious specimens of cattle, while the competition was unusually limited as to numbers. In fruits, embracing most varieties of the season, the exhibition sustained the wide spread reputation of Wayne county in that line. The same remark is also applicable to the vegetable department.
A reason, and probably the main reason, for the falling off in competition that has been manifested for a number of years past in this society, is the low standard of premiums offered. These are necessarily graduated in proportion to the revenues, and the latter depend chiefly on the receipts for admission to the grounds. The society has about 260 life members, who paid $10 each for their membership, with the understanding, on the part of most of them, that in return therefor they and their families should enjoy the benefit of free admission and free competition at the fair. In this way it has been ascertained that about 2,000 persons are annually admitted to the fair free, going in and out at their pleasure, thus cutting off an income equal to that of some 4,000 admission fees. A proposition for a satisfactory remedy of this difficulty, and also to pay the indebtedness of the society, has been referred to the privileged members, with a good prospect of successful result.
On the whole, our society may be said to be in a sound condition, and to bid fair for a perpetuity of usefulness. It enjoys the confidence and patronising disposition of the agricultural community and the public to a degree believed to ensure such event. Its grounds embrace 19 acres of land, in Palmyra village, commodiously located, substantially enclosed, and improved with all necessary buildings, and in other respects, for agricultural exhibitions and annual re-unions of the people.
CITARLES D. JOHNSON, Recording Secrelary.
POMFRET FARMERS' AND GARDENERS' CLUB.
Club Room, FREDONIA, N. Y., January 23, 1864. To Hon. B. P. Johnson, Corresponding Secretary:
“The Pomfret Farmers' and Gardeners' Club” to the New York State Agricultural Society respectfully reports:
That the above named club was organised February 6th, 1856, and since that date has had existence, all the while observing stated meetings, and during the winter seasons, nearly weekly.
That during the year 1863, the club held thirty-five meetings for the discussion of various subjects pertaining to farming and gardening, the number of members at the close being forty-eight, composed of farmers and gardeners, mechanics and professional men.
That in March, 1863, the club, through ex-President John Seymour, received a circular soliciting information from Hon. Isaac Newton, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture at Washington, D. C., from which time this club has been in regular monthly correspondence with said Department of Agriculture, making and receiving reports; and from December last we are making a full report of meteorological observations to same.
We have recently received some ten copies of the annual report of that department, for 1862.
Besides file of reports, transactions, &c., we have a circulating miscellaneous library of books on chemistry, the farm, garden, &c., twenty-five volumes.
A. Z. MADISON, Secretary.
RUSHVILLE UNION AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
The report of the "Rushville Union Agricultural Society" for the pre sent year, 1863, is herewith submitted.
The annual fair and exbibition of the society was held on its grounds September 25th and 26th, 1863. Although the first day was very stormy and unpleasant, the second was more favorable, and at the elose of the es. hibition, there was good grounds for satisfaction at the result, as the receipts of the society were more than sufficient to pay all the premiums offered by it. There were many and fine displays in almost every department usually pertaining to such enterprises. The financial condition for the year 1863 shows as follows:
Receipts for year 1863, viz:
Balance in Treasurer's hands, from 1862.
for rent of society's grounds.
$2 51 292 45 12 00
Disbursements for the year 1863:
Paid for printing premium lists, posters, cards, &c......
Balance in treasurer's hands at date
The annual winter meeting of the society was held January 14, 1864.
The society is out of debt, with grounds and buildings fully paid for, a small balance in the treasury, and the consciousness that every promise to pay either premium or other obligation, has been fully and promptly fulfilled, and that much good and great improvement is resulting annually from the efforts and exertions of our society. January, 1864.
JOHN SAYRE, Recording Secretary.
SKANEATELES FARMERS' CLUB.
January 30th, 1864. B. P. JOHNSON, Secretary State Agricultural Society:
In proceeding to collect the appropriate facts for the required annual report of the transactions of the Skaneateles Farmers' Club, one is led to reflect upon the uses of the labor about to be performed. The fact that the law demands this report might pass for a sufficient reason for preparing it, and we might be satisfied with a mere conformity with the law, but if the utility can be seen beyond the requirement, it will prove a more agreeable stimulus, and may lead to a more satisfactory discharge of the duty. It appears natural for societies, as it is for individuals, to speak as well as they can of their own conduct, and to dwell much less upon their shortcomings than upon their successes, and this may be in some degree very proper; but these tendencies, in connection with the somewhat monotonous round of operations carried on by well established agricultural societies, favor a succession of annual reports which might be very well represented by a stereotyped blank which would require little more than the filling in of dates, etc. But as such reports cannot be of much utility, and as we can secure a larger field of ideas, by considering what we ought to do in connection with what we have accomplished, onght not this report to consist not only of the transactions of our society, but to refer somcwhat to its shortcomings—its failures to transact fully or in part, or to accomplish much that comes within the scope of its intended labors ?
We cannot claim complete success in all our undertakings, nor should we expect ultimate satisfaction with our accomplishments. The work of our organization is to hasten progress in the science and art of agriculture with its attendant blessings, and which, as mind acts before muscle, must always leave us something more fully conceived of than accomplished-alwats proceeding from bad to good, or good to better, though often so slowly as to lead the weak in faith or the careless in observation to doubt the universal law of progress.
Youthful societies, like youthful minds, are too ardent, looking forward with great expectations. They enter upon their labors with promptness and enthusiasm, and the first successes are scarcely less than magnificent; , bat repetitions of similar successes are attended with less interest and satisfaction, and with less profit; and the weaknesses which experience discovers, and greater difficulties which progress unveils, cools the ardor of the youth, and only men in diminished numbers, and with less show of enthusiasm are left to proceed with the work, which, beyond the novelty of a beginning, proved too irksome for children. These facts need to be considered in order to understand the present position of many agricultural societies. From the vacillations of the children referred to, has the idea been started and gained some notoriety, that agricultural societies and fairs have about had their day. As though there were no need of further improvements in agriculture, or of associated efforts for such improvement, or for a public comparison of the results of individual efforts. Unless first principles are kept clearly in view, our labors. may, and sometimes do, run into monotony, and fail to satisfy and interest in proportion as they