Additional Info

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Share

Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
The Agriculture of Wigtownshire


By William H. Ralston, Culmore, Stoneykirk.
[Premium— Twenty-five Sovereigns.]

Wigtown or West Galloway forms the south-west corner of Scotland, and is bounded on the west by the Irish Channel, on the north by Ayrshire, on the east by Kirkcudbrightshire and the Solway Firth, and on the south by the Irish Sea. Its breadth from east to west is about 32 to 34 miles, and its length from north to south 24 to 28 miles. It is between 54 38' and 55 4' N lat.; and 4 16' and 5 6' W. long. Its area is 327,906 statute acres, or 512 square miles, and it is divided into sixteen parishes. The population was, in 1867, 41,548; and, in 1881, 39,448. The valuation was, in 1881-82, 223,438, 10s. 1d.; while in 1872-73 it was 206,338; and forty years ago 131,277.

There are sixty-nine landed proprietors, four of whom have incomes exceeding 10,000, seventeen from 1000 to 9000, the rest being smaller. The average size of farms, as given by the Board of Trade in 1867, was 104 acres.

The county is deeply indented by two arms of the sea,—Loch Ryan varying in width from 3 to 6 miles, stretching from the northwest corner southward for about 9 miles, and Luce Bay, stretching from the south northwards for 18 miles, with a width of about 12 miles, the two inlets at their heads being only about 6 miles apart.

The peninsula thus formed on the western side is known as the Rhins of Galloway, extending from the Mull of Galloway on the south to Corsewall Point on the north, a length of about 28 miles, and varying in width from 1 to 6 miles; the southeast portion is known as the Machars, extending from Burrow Head northwards. The general appearance of Wigtownshire is not very striking from a distance, being rather flat, none of its heights exceeding 800 to 1000 feet. A great portion of it is irreclaimable moor, this being mostly in the northern and higher part, stretching towards the boundaries of Ayrshire. The southern and lower district is now mostly arable; it has few characteristic features; the chief being three rivers or waters, viz., the Cree, which forms its eastern boundary, the Bladnoch, both falling into Wigtown Bay, and the Luce falling into Luce Bay, besides a few inland lochs. Moss enters largely into the composition of the soil of the county, and has been found a very useful and economical firing; though now in a great many cases it has been drained and improved, and coals have to be alone depended on for fuel.

Soil and Climate.

The soil now arable may be divided into gravel, rock soil, sand and loam, clay, moss, and what is popularly known as black-top.

The first of these is found near the sea shore; and has at one time been covered by the sea—the gravel in some instances being quite fine, in others like paving stones; in fact thousands of carts of such stones have been lifted from the farm held by the writer, and used for the floors of byres, stables, &c. These soils are of a very, porous nature, and require some bulky manure, such as farm yard dung or seaweed, to keep them in condition. The rock soils are seen in the parish of Kirkcolm, where not-only the rocks interfere with the working, and make it more expensive, but large boulders just underneath the surface impede the progress of the ploughs, grubbers, &c.; indeed, it is only very lately on some farms that the latter implement could be used, that is since the greater number of these boulders have been dug out, and either utilised for dykes or otherwise disposed of. This soil is not nearly so productive as the rock soils of the Machars; whether from the climate, being more exposed to the north-west gales, or the nature of the soil, which has not so much clay mixed with it as the same desciption of soil in the parishes of Whithorn, Glasserton, and Sorbie, these latter being much more fertile. They are naturally moderately dry; but where draining is required it is both laborious and expensive, as, if rock is not found, though it very generally is, stones or boulders are sure to be met with.

The greater part of the flat country between the Bay of Luce and Loch Ryan is composed of sand, varying in colour from black through gray to red. Whatever colour may appear above, it has very often a red sandy or gravelly subsoil; a hard "moor-band," impervious to water, sometimes intervening. It is this band which causes so much draining to be required in these soils. It contains a reddish substance which gets into the draining tiles along with the water, which in a very few years completely fills them up.

The loam occurs in spots throughout the whole county, and next to the rock soils of the eastern division is perhaps the most useful.

The clay is mostly in the eastern side, in the neighbourhood of the Cree and Wigtown Bay, though small portions are to be found throughout the whole county. This is now looked on as being the very worst soil an arable farm can consist of, as there is scarcely a possibility of growing green crop on it, which is now so indispensable.

Improved moss now covers a good portion; and though expensive to break up at first, in most instances is now a very useful soil. The black-top is mostly reclaimed from moor, and in many instances, where it has a clay subsoil, has proved very productive, more especially for oats and turnips. Grasses and clovers are apt, in a hard frosty winter, to be cut out of root.

Owing to the position of the county the climate is very mild and moist. This mildness is accounted for by it having so much sea-board, and the sea surrounding it being in direct connection with the Gulf Stream; indeed such an effect has this on the western side, that when snow-storms and frost prevail throughout the rest of the country, little is known of them save what may be seen in the daily papers. So much has this been the case that turnips are, or till within these few years were, scarcely ever stored to any extent, but the winters of 1878-79 and 1880-81 being so severe, that necessary work has been much more attended to. The rainfall is also much greater than on the east side of Scotland, as the subjoined will show, being the rainfall for twelve months at each place,—East Linton 24.76, Dundee 31.90, Ardwell 39.40. The rainfall at Ardwell has been kindly supplied by M. J. Stewart, Esq.

Owing to this moisture at all times of the year, but more particularly in autumn, great difficulty is often experienced in getting grain harvested in good condition, especially in the later districts of the county. Heavy dews also often prevent a beginning of operations for two or three hours in the morning.

The frequent great rainfall in summer is against the proper filling and ripening of wheat and barley, the latter being often of a very high colour; so much is this the case that latterly both these cereals have in a great many cases given way to oats, which suit better the moist climate. The prevailing winds are from the south, south-west, west, and north-west; the trees on the west coast, where they do grow, showing this very forcibly, being sloped up from the west side as if annually dressed by a pruning knife, this being the effect of the spray carried by the wind from the sea.

Retrospective State of Agriculture.

Wigtownshire being so far from the great centres of industry, was for long more backward in its agriculture than the counties more favourably situated in regard to markets. From the middle to the end of last century prices were very low for agricultural produce. Very low rents were paid in kind, wages also were very low; but low as both these were, the farmers had great difficulty in meeting their engagements.

About the beginning of this century an impetus was given to agriculture owing to the French war, prices of produce being very much enhanced. Money became more plentiful, and payments were now made in money instead of in kind, as formerly.

But again, on the peace in 1815, a period of great depression followed, and improvements which had been begun were not carried out, and no new ones begun. But coming to the period with which we have more immediately to deal, within the last twenty or thirty years, very great improvements have been made.

Land which was thought to be irreclaimable bog or moss is now bearing crops of all descriptions; and hillsides which were covered with whins, rushes, or heather, are now covered with flocks and herds. Dairy farming, which was introduced to the Rhins about the beginning of the present century, has done much to cause an influx of money, as the climate seems specially adapted for the manufacture of cheese; and lands which, even though improved, might not be capable of making any quantity of beef or mutton, carry a great number of cows, which produce almost as much and as good cheese as they will do on the better class of soils. Were it not for this fact, a great proportion of the Rhins would still be as nature left it.

The eastern division of the county, being much more fertile, was improved before the Rhins. It had been in a great measure drained, fenced, and housed previous to much being done in this way in the Rhins, though a great deal has been improved within the last twenty-five years, as may be known by the large amount of money which has been expended on the following estates.

On the Galloway estates under the management of Mr James Drew, there has been spent by the landlord from 1st November 1867 to 31st December 1882, the large sum of 70,719, 4s. 6d.

The late Sir John M'Taggart, who had got Ardwell estates in a bad plight, stone-drained, fenced, and housed them more than thirty years ago; so that within the scope of this report less has been required to be spent than on some of the others, on which less had been done, up to this time.

On the Earl of Stair's estates, managed by Mr T. C. Greig, perhaps as much has been spent within the last twenty-five years as on almost any estate in Scotland. Thousands of acres have been drained, fences put up, with stones where available, and in others sunk fences with hedges, or hedges on the flat,— these hedges being kept in order by the proprietor—roads made, and farm buildings erected, to the amount of 260,000. These improvements have not been carried out in any special part of the estate, but over the whole generally. On one farm alone on this estate, within the last fourteen years, the landlord has spent between 5000 and 6000. The steading has been mostly rebuilt, the whole drained, and stone fences put up; besides this, the tenant has spent a very large sum himself.

The late Colonel M'Douall of Logan did a great many improvements in Kirkmaiden. He kept his home farm of Logan mains in his own hand, which was ably superintended by Mr Jamieson, now tenant of High Curghie; and on it, under his management, a great quantity of moss was reclaimed. But not content with this, he also took up the farms of Inshanks and Garrochtrie, which were both drained, fenced, and housed, and made ready for tenants to step into. Both were let to tenants after being thoroughly improved; and each kept about one hundred cows. Besides these, almost every farm on Logan estate has been more or less improved. One thing the late colonel wished to see was all his tenants having good dairy accommodation, he being a great enthusiast in cheese making. He no doubt saw clearly that this was to be the sheet anchor of arable farming in the Rhins.

Mr David Frederick, tenant of two or three large farms on Ardwell estate, purchased, some eighteen years ago, the farm of Gass in the parish of Newluce, containing about 1000 acres, the greater portion of which was moorland; of this he has reclaimed about 300 acres at a cost of about 10,000. He first drained, then ploughed and sowed with oats, then green cropped, manuring and liming very heavily, eating the green crop on the ground, with large supplies of cake, then sowed down without a crop.

He has during this last year sowed between 60 and 70 acres with Timothy, from which he expects to cut annually 4 to 5 tons of hay per acre. Though only sown in spring, he has this year cut from it 1 ton per acre. He has a steading almost finished which will hold over one hundred head of cattle. It is used at present as a feeder to his dairy farms; the necessary queys for keeping up the stock being grazed on it, and cross bred lambs reared on it which are fed off on his dairy farms.

About 60 acres Scots of moss on the farms held by the writer and his father have been reclaimed within the last thirty years. The moss is very little above sea level, consequently a natural waterway or burn which runs through part of this moss, and enters the sea about 2 miles from it, had to be deepened; and has now to be kept regularly scoured in order to give an outlet for the drains. An open cut has been made about 10 to 12 feet deep, at an acute angle to the burn, in order to run as nearly through the centre of the moss as possible; and parallel to this main drains have been cut at 18 feet distance, with openings at intervals into the main cut, into which the furrow drains are run. The main drains are laid with 4 to 6 inch horse-shoe tiles on slate or tile soles; the furrow drains with 3 inch horseshoe tiles with similar soles. Part of this improvement was done by the proprietor, Mr Maitland of Balgreggan, the tenants paying interest. The other part, the tenant did the workmanship and the landlord supplied the tiles. The cost per Scotch acre of this operation was about 6.

Where the fall of the moss allowed, these drains were cut 4 feet deep; but in some cases the moss had been cut too deep to allow of this, the drains thus requiring to be cut at less depth in those places. The moss gradually subsided after the first draining, so that the first made drains had got to within less than 2 feet of the surface; but, by deepening the burn and main cut, almost the whole has been redrained to its original depth. The method pursued after draining was to plough as lightly as possible and get harrowed, plough again and harrow; and, if there was time to spare, to give a heavy top dressing of gravel or till, a good dose, about four to five tons of lime per acre, then plant potatoes on dung for two or three years in succession, after which oats and potatoes were taken alternately. This moss is now wrought under the regular six course rotation. It grows oats, potatoes, yellow turnips, cabbage, and mangold, and lies the usual three years in pasture grass. About 100 acres in the parish of Inch, known as Auchrochar moss, was reclaimed some years ago by the Earl of Stair; in this case a drain had to be built a good part of the way from the sea, as it ran through running sand, and could not have been otherwise kept open. This moss was wrought similarly to the one above mentioned, and is now also growing the above mentioned crops.

A moss at Galdenoch, Leswalt, of about 100 acres, owned by Sir Andrew Agnew, has also been improved; but it is worse to keep dry than the others, a hard band intervening between the moss and a sandy subsoil. This moss is now all laid down in pasture, after undergoing somewhat similar treatment to the others. Owing to the great difficulty experienced in keeping it dry crops are not easily raised, nor when raised can they be easily taken off; as, when that times arrives, the wet season has set in. About 20 acres of this moss have been sown out, within the last two years, with grass and clovers after potatoes heavily manured and limed without a white crop, which has enabled it to keep more than double quantity of stock as yet. These are only a few examples of what has been done in Moss-land ; there being hundreds of acres throughout the district on different estates which have undergone similar improvement.

The rotations now practised are the five, six, and seven course system, viz., (1) oats, (2) green crop, (3) wheat, barley, or oats, and then two, three, or four years grass; in some cases the first year mown, but not in dairy districts. The most general course is the six; as it is found by so dividing the farm that the same quantity of stock can be supported during winter as is kept in summer. This is a great consideration, as Wigtownshire is essentially a stock county; besides it was found when the five course was pursued that turnips could not be successfully cultivated, the frequent cropping causing a great amount of finger and toe. It is only on a few farms of larger size that the seven course is followed; but where it can be done, the turnips and white crops both succeed better.

Board of Trade Returns for Wigtownshire.


Oats are sown on the lea break, which has been ploughed during winter and after green crop. They are begun to be sown about the 1st of March, and from that time all through that month and the month of April, some being sown as late as the 1st of May where sheep have been feeding on turnips. In a great many cases now where there is moss or very heavy loam, it is the practice to get the turnips lifted or eaten off before the 1st of February, in order to get the oats ploughed in at that time. Where this is done it is found that the crop is not so liable to lodge.

If the fodder could be dispensed with, sowing out without a crop in such soils would be much more generally resorted to.

It is found that better quality of grain can be grown from early sowing, though a greater bulk of straw and more grain can often be got by sowing later. The first week of April is the time, if the weather be suitable, when most oats are sown. Sowing by hand used to be the only method; but within the last twelve or fourteen years drilling machines have come very much into use. Where a proper tilth can be got the drill makes a good job, but a great many are again sowing the lea land broadcast, as it is found very difficult to procure a sufficient tilth for the drill; but after green crop, where this can be easily got, the machine is very widely used. The quantity of seed sown broadcast is generally about 6 bushels per Scotch acre, and when the drill is used from 3 to 4 bushels, according to the quality of the soil.

A great many different varieties are sown, each farmer having his favourite. Potato oats deservedly stand high in the estimation of many. Where the soil is fair and in good condition no oat that has been tried can equal it for yield of grain. A great many dairy farmers do not sow it on account of the smaller quantity of the straw, this being a great consideration where a large dairy stock is kept. Potato has also been found to yield better from bogs that are apt to lodge than most other varieties, one cause of this is that it can be cut greener, and while there is more sap in the straw; consequently it is not so apt to be flatly laid, and is easier lifted, and the grain better preserved; of course a great assistance to this is the early sowing spoken of. The weight per bushel of this variety is from 40 to 45 lbs.

Sandy is a favourite in the more exposed and poorer soils, and also for growing after green crop. It grows more straw, and is not so liable to shake as potato; but the yield of grain is much less. So much is this the case that we have heard a farmer,, who has kept a very accurate account state, that had he grown Sandy oats, he could not have held his farm. It is a greater favourite with millers than potato, as it is very thin in the hull; it weighs from 39 to 43 lbs. per bushel. Another oat that has been widely sown lately and is highly spoken of is Hamilton. It is more like potato than Sandy, has a stiff short straw, and grows a white plump sample; it is said to be good for heavy land, not being apt to lodge.

Early Angus, Longfellow, Birley, Canadian, and black oats used to be pretty much sown; but now not to any extent.

The seed requires frequent changes, as if grown too long on one class of soil it deteriorates in both quantity and quality. The writer has found seed from Forfarshire to make a good change. A good deal of seed is brought in annually from the Lothians, which succeeds admirably.

The average yield is rather difficult to get at, in some districts it will be as high as 66 bushels per Scotch acre, and on some farms even higher, while in others from 30 to 42 bushels is the average; but we should say, take the county as a whole, from 42 to 46 bushels will be pretty near the average. We append the average of one farm of 350 acres for the last twenty-five years.

Wheat—The acreage of this cereal is now very much reduced In the county. It is grown on the strong soils in the eastern division after a fallow, and on some of the earlier and lighter soils after turnips; the reason of it being grown on these latter is in a great measure owing to the greater quantity of fodder which it produces, oats or barley on these soils growing very short straw, and quantity rather than quality of this is sought. On the heavier soils fair crops are grown, averaging in good years 40 to 45 bushels per acre, but on the lighter soils from 22 to 33 bushels per Scotch acre may be taken as a fair average, this with wheat at from 4s. 6d. to 5s. per bushel and the risk of even less produce and a smaller price in a moist season is not very encouraging for the growth of this cereal. The usual times of sowing are, after fallow, on the heavier soils, in September or October, and on the lighter soils after green crop during the whole winter, when the weather is suitable as late as the middle of March, the quantities sown varying from 3 bushels to 4 bushels per Scotch acre. The varieties are red square head which is perhaps the heaviest cropper, but is not considered so good for a wet season, Archer's prolific, Hunter's white, and Uxbridge white, a little awny. Wheat is also sown later in spring on some farms; this on the heavier class of black-topped soil often yields a good crop of from 40 to 50 bushels per Scotch acre.

Barley.—This cereal is now more sown within the last ten years; it is occasionally taken after lea, but principally after green crop on the more friable class of soils. As previously mentioned, owing to the moistness of the climate, barley cannot be grown the bright clear colour so greatly prized. It is now grown by a great many for feeding purposes. Most farmers who have their threshing mills driven by steam or water-power having a grist mill attached; so that if grain is cheap, or damaged in any way, they can break it and use it for feeding stock; a great quantity of the barley grown in the district being utilized in this way. It will yield from 32 to 52 bushels per Scotch acre; the quantity sown varies from 3 to 4 bushels per Scotch acre. The varieties sown are Chevalier and common Scotch barley. It is generally sown on a newly ploughed or moist furrow, as it requires a good deal of moisture to cause it to germinate properly.

Beans are not much grown except on the clay lands along the Cree.

Reaping Machines.

Reaping machines are now almost universally used for cutting down the grain. A great many varieties of these useful implements are in use, each farmer having his favourite maker. Some prefer a side delivery, some a back delivery, but the great majority work still with the manual delivery; the reason for this being that there is less machinery; consequently the draught is lighter and there is less chance of breakage, and a boy extra drives the horses. Each machine will take, when cutting one way in an ordinary crop, from seven to nine people to attend it according as they happen to be men or women. In this way from 5 to 6 Scotch acres can be cut each day. In some cases the machine is sent round the field, or a cut made through the standing grain, the machine cutting up one side and down another. From 8 to 10 acres may be cut, but this can only be managed in a standing crop and in moderate weather; the usual practice on large farms being for two machines to cut one way, the one following the other. This suits best on most farms, as there is very often some part of the field laid, and care is taken to cut as fair against the lay of the grain as possible.

The self-binder has not yet found its way into Wigtownshire; but we know of one farmer (Mr Chalmers, Freugh) who had one ordered for this season, but owing to press of work the maker could not supply him in time; we believe that he will have it ready for work before next harvest. The grain is all bound up after the machines and set up in stooks from six to ten sheaves. It is then allowed to sit till ready for stacking, which in some harvests, such as the late one has been, is rather' a precarious operation. If the weather be suitable eight to twelve days may be sufficient; but, sometimes three to five weeks may elapse before anything can be done. Some prefer stacking in the field, either in round or oblong stacks, and carting home for threshing during winter. This has one or two points to recommend it. The grain is not all at one place, and in case of fire less damage is likely to be done; it also can be more quickly stacked in unsettled weather. On the other hand, it is not generally so neatly put up and therefore not as safe, besides being often to cart long distances during bad weather in winter time to the steading. The greater part is, however, carted to the stackyard, where a seat has generally been specially prepared for each stack, the prevailing shape of which is round; round stacks are much easier finished, and present a neater appearance when finished.

During the damp weather in harvest thatch is made, and when time allows straw ropes are also made; but should the harvest prove dry, time is not taken for the latter process, " coir yarn" being almost universally used for roping.

Horse threshing mills used to be very common; but they are gradually being displaced by steam where water power is not available. In some cases no mill is put up at all, and, instead of a barn and straw house being built, merely a large straw house is put up, and the whole threshing done by the travelling steam threshing machines. These machines either belong to a joint stock company or private individuals, and are drawn and driven by a traction engine; they have also straw elevators attached, which greatly reduce the labour of stacking the straw and where the large straw houses are, there is a hole in the roof through which the elevators drop the straw into the centre of the house. The charge for threshing with these mills is 4s. per hour with 15s. for each shift, or 4s. 6d. per hour and no charge for shifting. This latter is very suitable for smaller farms where there are only a few hours' threshing at one time. The dividend paid by these mills when in the hands of companies varies from 7 to 15 per cent.

As previously mentioned, a good deal of the inferior grain is now used for stock feeding, being first passed through the grist mill. The better class of grain goes to Glasgow, Carlisle, and Liverpool, chiefly passing through the hands of local dealers.

Green Crops.

We now come to the principal crop of the rotation, viz., the green crop, the preparation for which is begun immediately after harvest. In the lighter soils in the Rhins, scarifying is at once proceeded with. This is done either with the double furrow plough as lightly as possible, drawn by two or three horses (we saw a three-furrow scarifier for two horses, but have not yet seen it work), or the ordinary four horse grubber, with specially prepared tines. Where the grubber is used, the ground is usually gone over twice, the second grubbing being at right angles to the first. This operation has to be performed as lightly as possible, not more than two or three inches in depth, as if done deeper it cannot be got so well harrowed, and in this lies the whole success of the operation. As soon as the grubber or plough has finished and the soil is thoroughly dry, the heavy iron harrows, usually drawn by three horses, are passed over the ground two or three times, a lighter set of harrows following, and passing twice over it, often finished by one or two strokes of the chain harrow. The ground is then drawn off into 15 or 18 feet ridges, and dung carted out and spread; when the whole is ploughed down with a good deep furrow. In other cases the dung is carted on to the stubble and ploughed down; and in others the stubble is ploughed and the dung applied in the drill, or on the removal of the green crop, and preceding the following white crop. The application of dung in the drill is being more resorted to, as it is found, though there is a good saving of labour in spring by applying it in autumn, that there is less loss of the soluble constituents in our porous subsoil by applying it nearer the time of sowing the seed. Where dung is applied in drills it is the usual practice to cart it into the field during frosty weather and put it up in square heaps, drawing the horse and cart over it, thus preventing fermentation and consequent waste. The land, after being ploughed deeply in autumn, is allowed to lie in the furrow till dry weather suitable for harrowing in the spring ; when two or three strokes of the heavy iron harrow makes it ready for the grubber, which is generally passed through at right angles to the autumn furrow ; and where scarifying has been done this is generally sufficient to prepare the land for turnips or potatoes. Where carrots are grown a cross ploughing generally precedes the spring grubbing. Less couch is now gathered from the surface; as, where any growth of such or other grasses natural to the soil takes place, it is generally pretty well deadened by the autumn work; and if any should turn up in spring, it is put into the drills and covered with the manure, though in some cases gathering is still resorted to.

Potatoes.—Potatoes for the early market are the first green crop which needs to be planted; a good many acres are now planted on the lighter lands in the Rhins for the early Glasgow market. Planting begins as early in February as the weather will allow. The drills are drawn about 24 inches apart, a good dressing of dung applied with 8 to 12 cwts. of the best Peruvian guano, or some specially prepared potato manures, the potatoes being planted at intervals of about 8 inches; the whole is then covered by the drill plough. The drills are afterwards harrowed down with bow-shaped harrows which fit on to the drills, and the drill plough is again put through them—this operation being performed twice before the potatoes make their appearance above ground—to keep down weeds and freshen the surface of the soil. After they are fairly up, drill harrows and grubbers are kept going to keep down the weeds between the drills, and hand-weeding is done between the sets ; when ready for earthing up, this is not done so deeply as with the later varieties, it being the great object during the dry months to catch as much moisture as possible by having the drill rather broad than sharp on the top. The mode of sale is usually by the acre, from 17 to 30 per imperial acre being got for them according to the earliness and kind of potato used. The buyer usually lifts the crop—an operation which is generally begun about the beginning of July, and is done by hand-digging. The favourite for the last two years has been the Climax. It is said to come from ten days to a fortnight earlier than most other varieties, and has a nice white dry flesh. Another which treads closely on the Climax is Goodrich's, which is only a very little later, and of equal quality. There are also Snowflakes, Redbog, Regent, Pink Eye, and endless other varieties, each variety having some special recommendation.

Rape is taken after the removal of this early crop, and makes capital autumn food for sheep, besides keeping the land in better condition, as it is no time without a crop; thus taking up the nitrates which are continually forming in the soil, and which in our porous subsoil would be otherwise likely washed away.

For later planting, the Champion and Magnum Bonum have now all but displaced all other varieties, and deservedly so; as they are both heavier croppers and much less liable to disease.

These later varieties are not planted to any great extent, save in mosses or other softish land, where turnips do not bulb so well. They are planted about the middle of April, and are ready for lifting about the middle of October; which operation is done in many cases by the potato digger.

Cabbages.—Cabbages are now grown to some extent on the heavier class of loams and mosses, and are found very useful for autumn food for lambs and shearlings, besides being the best autumn food for milk cows. They will, where a good crop, feed twice as much as a fair crop of turnips. The land is either dunged in autumn or the dung applied in the drills in spring; being a gross feeder, they cannot be overdone with manure. Being naturally a sea side plant, seaweed is very beneficial, but where this cannot be got common salt should be applied at the rate of about 3 to 4 cwts. per acre. The drills should not be less than 30 inches apart, and the cabbages also 30 inches apart in the drills, to ensure a good crop of the Drumhead variety, with which we are most accustomed. After the manure has been applied in the drill-about 40 carts of dung and 8 to 12 cwts. of other manures per Scotch acre—the drills are covered up, and the chain or bow harrow run over the drills, which makes the process of dibbling •easier, two or three boys or girls being employed to lay the plants at the requisite distances on the top of the drill. Those who are entrusted with the dibbling follow, taking care not to double the root of the plant when placing it in the hole, and pressing the point of the dibble down beside the root of the plant on the outside of the hole, in order to give it a firm hold. After this process all that is done is to run the drill grubbers and harrows through, with hand-hoeing, to keep the weeds down, finally running the soil up to near the necks of the cabbages. These, when planted early in April (a damp time being always chosen for the operation), are ready for use in the middle of September. The seed from which the plants are grown is sown in August, and the plants allowed to grow through the winter, being taken up in spring as required.

Carrots.—Carrots are now pretty extensively grown on the sandy soils, and, where not destroyed by wire-worm, have proved a very remunerative crop. The land intended for carrots is generally cross ploughed from the autumn furrow, grabbed till it is very fine and thoroughly cleaned, great care being taken not to have any of those operations done while the soil is the least damp; because, should there be the slightest tendency to clogginess, the carrots are almost certain to worm. The drills are drawn about 28 inches apart, and about 30 to 40 carts of well rotted dung applied with 12 to 16 cwts. of guano and bone meal, or other manures. The drills are then well and deeply covered, sowing being done by a machine which deposits two rows of seed about 6 inches apart on the one drill. They are generally sown as early in April as the weather will permit. Great care requires to be taken about the seed; as seed from two or three different firms at the same price on the same farm have been known to give a difference of 10 per imperial acre in the crop. With the two rows on the drill great care requires to be taken in the working, the drill grubbers and harrows requiring to be set very close. Hand weeding and thinning are necessarily very slow; but when the crop turns out well, it repays any extra outlay for working. The total work by hand will cost about 30s. per imperial acre. The crop is sometimes sold per ton, and sometimes per acre; when the latter is done, from 24 to 34 per imperial acre is got, the average being about 28. These carrots go chiefly to Glasgow, the finer to the bazaar for culinary purposes, and the rougher for horse feeding. The usual time for lifting is the end of October and beginning of November.

Mangolds.—Mangolds are also grown to some extent; the soil is prepared similar to that for carrots. It is also manured similarly, and the seed sown about the end of April at the rate of about 8 to 12 lbs. per Scotch acre. They have been very successfully cultivated on light gravelly and sandy land on the sea shore by a very liberal application of seaweed, and, sown on the same land year after year, are still producing big crops of over 30 tons per Scotch acre. They are taken up about the end of October or beginning of November, and stored in pits with no other covering than a good spadeful of earth, unless during frost, when some roughness is thrown over the pits to prevent it penetrating. They are very useful for spring food, when the season of turnips is past, but are more used for feeding cattle than dairy cows, as it has been found difficult to make a fine quality of cheese when mangolds are used.

Turnips and Swedes.—We now come to turnips and swedes, which occupy the great proportion of the green crop break. The soil is prepared as previously mentioned; and if no dung is to be applied, a liberal supply of about 10 cwts. of bone meal, with 2 cwts. Peruvian guano, and perhaps 3 or 4 cwts. of superphosphates, are applied per acre in drills, which are drawn from 26 inches to 28 inches apart; these manures, having been previously mixed on the floor of some house, are applied by hand. Machines were used some time ago in a few cases, but they have been almost wholly thrown aside and the hand again resorted to. The drills having been covered, the turnip sowing machine, sowing two drills each time, then passes over them, depositing the seed with a very light covering at the rate of from 2 lbs. to 4 lbs. per Scotch acre. The sowing begins with May and is continued on till the middle of June.

When the turnips are well brairded, a drill grubber drawn by one or two horses is used; after which Dickson's patent double drill harrow passes twice through them, immediately before thinning. This operation is done by women and boys at 1s. per day, who when superintended can do them at from 3s. 6d. to 5s. 6d. per Scotch acre, according to the freeness of the soil. Others again give from d. to 1d. per 100 yards. As soon as the singling is done the whole are again gone over, all weeds are taken out, and any double plants singled.

Drill harrows and grubbers are kept going the whole summer, as long as horses can go amongst them without breaking the shaws. Yellow turnips begin to be used about the end of September; some give them to the cows with the tops, but it is considered by many to be a great cause of abortion, and has therefore fallen greatly out of use, turnips of all kinds being generally topped and tailed before being used. Feeding cattle also get this variety at this time. Sheep are also folded on them early in October. The average cannot very easily be got at; but possibly from 18 to 28 tons per acre will cover the majority of 'crops. Swedes are ready for use by the middle of November; they are then lifted as good weather will allow, and carted home or stored in some convenient spot to be easily got at when wanted. Until within these few years storing was not very generally adopted, but a few hard winters have made farmers think it rather risky to be without at least a part stored. Some put them up in pits about 3 yards wide on the ground, tapering to a point at the top, then cover with straw or other dry material. Where seaweed of a grassy nature can be got it suits admirably; as, with the salt it contains, it keeps the outside turnips as fresh and sappy as those in the centre of the pit. Others again put them up in squares about 2 feet deep, and occupying as much ground as may be suitable for the spot selected; this, when the sides are protected by a good spadeful of earth, and the top covered well with straw, we think a very safe plan, as then the frosty winds cannot get blowing through the pits—and it is generally those which do the greatest damage—while, the top being open, any fermentation that might take place is likely to be prevented. A very favourite plan in Dumfriesshire, which is now being practised in this county, is running the single furrow plough deeply between every alternate drill, pulling the drill on each side of the furrow, dropping them neatly into it tail downwards ; when the plough comes up on the opposite side throwing the furrow well over the bulbs, which are thus protected from anything save a very severe frost, while the growth is stopped for a time. Turnips so stored are turned out very fresh in spring ; and if taken up during dry weather, very little mould sticks to the bulbs unless the ground be of a clayey nature. The plough requires to be used for turning them out of the furrow again; but otherwise, they just require "snedding" like turnips in the ordinary way. Another and simpler method is to run the turnips up in the drills where they grow, with the ordinary drill plough. By this method the bulbs are not so well protected; and should the season turn out mild, the tops grow on the whole winter, which reduces much the feeding qualities of the bulbs. An extensive cattle and sheep feeder informed us that by this method any turnips slightly diseased keep better than by any of the others; though of all these plans tried by the writer, the Dumfriesshire method gave the freshest bulbs in spring, the cows doing better and relishing them more than those saved by the other means. We have also the testimony of a large sheep feeder that hoggs eat more and thrive better on turnips saved in this way. The cost may be a little more, this operation costing about 5s. per acre; but when this small charge is set against the saving of food, the wonder is that it is not practised to a greater extent. The average yield of this, as of other crops, cannot easily be got at, as we hear of over 50 tons per imperial acre; whilst we have seen them as low as 6 tons. The average in an ordinary season may be from 16 to 24 tons.

As we noticed at the beginning, green crops are really the principal crop of the rotation; as it is often remarked if they fail the succeeding white crop is not so good, and the grass following is also inferior. This, in some districts where sheep feeding is followed, can be accounted for by fewer turnips being there to be eaten on the ground; but it also occurs in dairy districts, where no sheep-feeding takes place; and this in our opinion can only arise from the land, having little cover of crop, allowing couch and other weeds to take the place of what ought to be profitable crops.

Grass under Rotation.

This crop occupies nearly one half of the arable land of this county. The other crops are in a measure preparatory for this; the land being cleaned and manured thoroughly, the grasses are sown out with the white crop succeeding the green crop. The usual grasses sown are perennial rye grass, from 1 to 2 bushels, Italian rye grass from 1/8| to of a bushel, a mixture of 6 to 10 lbs. alsyke, cow-grass, white, red, and yellow clovers, and in some cases Timothy and cocksfoot with fescues are added, per Scotch acre. The operation is performed either by hand or by a machine 15 to 18 feet in width, which distributes the seed by means of brushes. "Where wheat has been sown, the seeds are not sown till the wheat plant is strong enough to bear the heavy iron harrow, which is passed over the young wheat as soon as the grasses are sown, being succeeded in a few days by the land roller. Where barley or oats have been sown, the grasses are generally sown immediately afterwards, some rolling the surface before sowing then brushing the seed in with a brush prepared for the purpose, others sowing on the newly harrowed ground, and passing a lighter iron or wooden harrow over it, then rolling all down together. Some again merely roll the grasses in on the newly harrowed ground; but to this we object very strongly, after testing it, as at least one third of the grasses never appeared. Even the lighter soils are very much improved for grazing purposes by a judicious application of lime, especially where a dairy stock is kept. The cow carrying a calf for nine months in the year, besides giving milk for ten months or so, reduces the phosphates so very much that unless the ground is enriched by frequent applications of phosphatic manures, together with lime, the pastures very soon deteriorate. We have also heard a practical cheese maker remark, that while the farm he was making cheese on was undergoing a course of liming, he made better cheese than after liming was stopped.

Grass in the dairy districts is universally pastured during the whole time it may lie ; while, where cattle and sheep feeding is pursued, at least a part of the first year's grass is made into hay, in order to have hay in spring for the feeding cattle, and the aftermath of clover for harvesting lambs.

In the Rhins district there is not a great extent of permanent pasture, the great bulk of it being in the lower district, where there are some very fine parks on which many fine cattle are grazed.

A great deal of what used to be meadow land is now broken up and wrought as arable, but there are still a great many acres devoted to this purpose. Where these are, haymaking generally begins from the middle to the end of July. It used always to be mown by the scythes, but the mowing machine has in most instances supplanted this method, and we think deservedly so, as it comes at a time of year when the horses are not very busy; and a mowing machine, when properly driven, will cut down as much as six or seven ordinary men. When cut, the hay is tedded, either by machine or hand, as soon as possible, drawn into rows by the hay rake and lapcoled, and again as soon as possible drawn together by a large rake or drag of American invention, and put into ricks, in which it is allowed to sit till considered ready for stacking, when it is generally put into stacks of an oblong shape. This hay makes fine wintering for young cattle with a pound or two of cake daily, and a plentiful supply of water. It is also very valuable for dairy cows in spring, as a good portion of the cake or meal usually given at this season can be dispensed with without loss of produce. In some instances, where meadows have been broken up, they have been found not to suit working in a rotation, owing to the quality of soil—grain lodging and green crop going too much to shaw—and are again laid down to meadow. We know of a farmer who has about 15 acres of this quality, which has been wrought in rotation for over twenty years, which he is now in the process of laying down. In the first place an oat crop was taken, then a cabbage crop, half of which has just been eaten by sheep getting lb. of a mixture of linseed cake and Indian corn per day. It is now proposed to plough, harrow, and roll the land previous to sowing it out with Timothy, cocksfoot, and Italian rye grass, without a white crop. Some similar quality of land in this district, sown with Timothy, yields large crops of hay annually.

Galloway Cattle.

We take these first, they being the native cattle of the district. Though the breeding of them is now almost confined to the eastern division of the county, only a very few being now bred in the western division, from fifteen to twenty years ago three or four herds were kept in Kirkcolm; but they then gave place to the Ayrshire. The Earl of Stair and one or two others have still a few select animals, but in the eastern division great numbers are kept; among the principal breeders being the Earl of Galloway, Mr Routledge, Elrig, and Mr MWhinnie, Airyolland. These cattle have been long a favourite with English graziers and Smithfield butchers. Great numbers used to be bought up by graziers from Norfolk and Suffolk, where they were finished for the Smithfield market. They are black in colour and hornless, and are very hardy; having a great quantity of long silky hair, they are able to lie outside and thrive during the winter, when less hardy cattle could scarcely subsist. This latter quality, together with being hornless, have made them great favourites with American cattle breeders. In the matter of colour and want of horns they are more prepotent than any breed we have seen; as, no matter what breed or colour of animal may be crossed by a Galloway bull, the progeny is almost certain to have these characteristics of the breed.

Bulls of this breed are highly prized for crossing with Ayrshire dairy cows; as for some years back animals of this cross have been in great demand. Where pure bred animals are kept for feeding purposes they make fine cattle. We saw some bullock stirks this year bred and shown by Mr M'Whinnie, Airyolland which were sold at 25 each. They were the finest cattle of this age we ever remember seeing. The demand from America has enhanced the price of breeding animals as much as 100 to 150 per cent.

Great numbers of these pure and cross-bred cattle are sold annually at Newton-Stewart by the Messrs Welsh, through whose hands the majority of commercial cattle of the breed pass.

Ayrshires.

The Ayrshire cow has now in the western division of the county almost wholly displaced the original Galloway, this being owing to the suitableness of the climate and soil for dairy farming, and the Ayrshire cow having been found much more suitable for this purpose. These cattle were introduced into the county about the beginning of the present century, and have gradually increased till they may now be considered the breed of the district. Though, in the eastern division, it was long before they found their way, they are now yearly becoming-more numerous, as a change of tenant often brings this change of stock; besides the older class of farmers are gradually working into the dairying system. A good many of these cows are bred in the district, chiefly on farms which have some portion of rough pasture which is used for grazing for the young stock. But even on entirely arable farms some very successful breeding stocks are kept, such as at Auchtralure, a herd which is known all the world over where Ayrshires are kept. The great proportion, however, of these cows are bred in Ayrshire, where they are bought up till between two or three years of age; when the heifers, which are then in calf, are bought by the dairy farmers either direct from the breeders or through dealers. A great many are also annually sold by auction at Stranraer, the price at this time being from 11 to 15, these transactions being begun about the end of September and carried on through the winter and spring months. The autumn months are preferred for buying; as then the dairy farmer can winter the heifer as he thinks will best suit his purpose. But there are always mishaps occurring either through slipping calf, death, or other unforeseen occurrences, which necessitate buying in the spring months, the price then varying from 13 to 19. The usual practice with the calves of these cows is to sell them all for slaughter as soon as dropped, except the few which may be kept as above mentioned, or in cases where Galloway, shorthorn, or polled Angus bulls are kept. The calves of these, when not kept by the breeder, going to stock-raising farmers, some of whom keep a few cows in order to rear calves. These cross-bred calves within the last few years have been in great demand, as, owing to the prevalence of disease, and the restrictions which are necessarily imposed during its existence, Irish cattle, which were very much depended on as a supply, have not been easily got.

When young Ayrshires are reared for dairy purposes, the bull is put to the queys in the second summer, so that they come to milk when three years old; though a good few have been feeding their calves with cake and corn in order to get them strong enough to take the bull as stirks; in this case they come to milk a year earlier.

Crosses and Cattle Feeding.

The cattle used for feeding purposes are mostly crosses, which are bred chiefly in Ireland, and are brought across by dealers, when they are bought by feeders at the usual monthly markets at Stranraer, Newton-Stewart, and Wigtown. These cattle are mostly bred from cross or native bred cows and shorthorn bulls:. and when well bred are good quick feeders. They are generally bought in as stirks; are then grazed, wintered on turnips and straw, with an outrun each day, and shedded at night, grazed again, and finished for the fat market the next winter; some feeders having them prepared for this purpose by giving them 3 to 5 lbs. of cake on the grass previous to tying up. When tied in they get about 1 cwt. of sliced turnips each day, these being divided into 3 feeds with 4 to 5 lbs. of cake, which is gradually increased as they approach maturity till 8 to 10 lbs. are given. Pulping the turnips has been tried by a good many of the best feeders; but we do not know of a case where it has been continued.

In many instances, through more liberal treatment (when young), they are finished at, or before, two years old; but in this case they require to get cake from the time they are taken from the milk till they are finished. We know a farm where for two or three years twenty to thirty calves have been kept, part being after a shorthorn and part after a polled Angus bull, and from Ayrshire cows, which are fed off when fifteen to sixteen months old. The calves get new milk for a week or two at first, then skimmed milk and a mixture of linseed and oat meal boiled together till they are able to eat cake, when they get a daily

supply of whey, with 2 lbs. of linseed cake, with mangold cut by a sheep-cutter and hay or straw, till grass comes, when they get as much cut grass as they can consume. This treatment is continued during summer, more cake being given as the calves get older, and vetches or cabbages taking the place of part of the grass as the season advances. By the middle of October turnips and straw are substituted for the grass; during winter they get about cwt. of turnips to each beast, with cut oats or barley, besides the cake, as spring advances. In the end of April mangolds and hay take the place of turnips and straw, and these again are replaced by grass as soon in May as it can be ready for cutting; they are usually sold about the end of May or beginning of June at from 14 to 16 each. They are fed in outside courts (twelve in each court), with sheds to lie in. The chief end in view is to make as much clung as possible, to make up for the great annual waste which takes place through the keeping of dairy cows. A few are fed in boxes; and last year, the lot being sold by auction, one of those so fed brought about 8 more than the average price; this showing what an advantage there would be if the courts were all covered in; besides the manure is very much superior when made under cover.

Where pure or cross bred Galloways are fed, they are not usually tied up, being either fattened in boxes or wintered in sheds, and fed off the grass with cake.

Sheep.

On the pastoral and moorland farms blackfaced ewes are mostly kept, which are partly used for rearing pure bred blackfaced lambs, and partly crosses from Leicester or other long-woolled rams. Where pure blackfaces are kept, rams are procured at the annual sales at Ayr or Edinburgh, besides those which are annually bred in the district; the rams being put to the ewes from the 1st to the 20th November. The wether and second ewe lambs, when ready for weaning, have either been sold previously by character, or are taken to the annual lamb market at Lanark, the top ewe lambs being kept in the stock for breeding purposes. The cast ewes go chiefly for rearing crosses, generally to some of the arable farms. They are put to ram early and rear lambs fit for the fat market, which being sold early in summer, allow the ewes themselves to get fit for the butcher before the season is past. On most farms where such stocks are kept, wintering out has to be resorted to for the stock ewe lambs. This is not so easily got now as formerly, arable farmers being very unwilling to have these running over their grass, when spring sets in, as they are not removed home till about 1st April.

In some cases these lambs get a few turnips in spring; but when good grass wintering is procurable, it is preferred. The cost for such wintering will be from 7s. to 9s. each.

Few of what are known as national prize taking stocks are in the district, though the sheep are generally of a high class. The Earl of Stair has within the last few years taken a great many prizes at both local and national shows, and we believe his stock is now as good as can be found anywhere.

Crossing was carried too far during the inflated times, unsuitable land being put to this use, and the stock of ewes so much increased in some cases that nothing but failure could result. This brought its own cure when the bad times set in, and many have now returned to the blackfaces, with we believe greater profit to themselves, and the result that better cross lambs are now to be had for feeding purposes. Where ewes for crossing purposes are kept, the stock requires to be kept up either by buying in second ewe lambs from blackfaced breeders or in some cases the younger ewes are put to blackfaced rams for this purpose. Generally Leicester or long-woolled rams of some kind are used; but in some cases Shropshires are also used, these last being now favourites with many.

These rams are procured at annual sales at Castle Douglas and Newton-Stewart, where large consignments are sent by breeders from Yorkshire, Dumfriesshire, and the Stewartry; these rams being often highly fed before being bought, require extra food when taken home; and even then the death rate amongst them is often pretty heavy. They are put to the ewes early in November, a ram being considered enough for from forty to fifty ewes. The lambs are weaned from the 12th to the end of August, and have generally been sold either to dealers or direct to farmers, by character, before this time; the cast ewes are now either sold for feeding or go direct to the fat market. The diseases most prevalent among these stocks are braxy and trembling, which need not here be further alluded to, seeing that the Highland Society has made them the subject of a very exhaustive inquiry and report. On these farms surface draining has been done to a great extent, with the result that the grasses are improved and the death rate reduced.

Clipping generally begins about the middle of June, and is continued on till the first week in July, neighbouring herds helping each other.

Dipping with prepared dips has now taken the place of smearing and pouring. This operation takes place about the beginning of October, when the cast ewes are being drawn off.

The herding on these farms is usually done by married shepherds, who in some cases are allowed to keep cows, in others they have entirely a money wage. On many of the arable farms breeding stocks of Cheviot and half-bred ewes are kept; where this is done a few Cheviot gimmers are generally bought every year to keep up the stocks, besides some of the half-bred ewe lambs bred on the farm being also kept for this purpose. The rams which have been procured in the same way as those used for crossing with blackfaced ewes are put to the ewes from the middle of October to the 1st of November. Ewes of this class are generally wintered on the oldest and roughest pasture, with the addition of turnips carted out and scattered on the pasture, either whole, or, in some cases, a cart which has a turnip-cutter driven by gearing from the wheels is driven through the field, thus dropping the cut turnips along its route. In other cases the ewes are netted on the turnip break, and allowed to eat what they require from the ground until the lambs begin to arrive, which is generally about the middle of March, when, if there is any spring, they are put on the young grass; but if this should not be forward, they are put to the best old grass with a supply of turnips added. The lambs of this class are generally weaned about the 1st of August, and are kept going on the best grass or clover stubble during the autumn months preparatory to being folded on the turnips.

The method of feeding sheep on turnips has undergone a great change for the better within the last twenty years. The practice used to be to net sheep of all classes on the growing turnips, and allow them to eat what they could from the ground ; but now, this is never done with lambs, and in very few cases with older sheep. The turnips are carefully "sned " and carted into small heaps of from two to five carts at regular intervals, cut by a sheep cutter and given in troughs. By this means the droppings of the sheep are spread almost as regularly over the field as if the growing turnips had been eaten on the ground, and a great saving of turnips effected; as, in wet or frosty weather, great proportion of the crop was wasted. A good many different classes of sheep are annually fed on turnips; on dairy farms three-years-old wethers are preferred, as they do not require to be bought in. till the turnips are ready for them. This suits very well, as there is generally no grass to spare for autumn feeding of lambs, which require to be brought home in August; but on farms where a feeding stock or breeding ewes are kept, the clover stubble after removal of the crop of hay is generally kept for autumn feeding for lambs. The classes usually fed are Cheviot or blackfaced three-years-old wethers, which are bought by character at Inverness, privately, at the annual sales at Perth, or at the Falkirk tryst in October, where great numbers are shown; shearling cross, and half-bred hoggs, blackfaced and Cheviot ewes, and half-bred and cross lambs. When brought to the feeding ground, these sheep are always dipped, as driving and trucking are very apt to produce heat. Some feeders have a great many more than are required to consume their own surplus turnips, and thus require to take feeding for part of their flock from such as have turnips to spare, and have no sheep to consume them. When this is done, the party supplying the food requires to do all the work connected with "snedding" and pitting turnips, and also keep the shepherd, unless a special agreement to the contrary is made; the owner of the sheep paying a stated rate per week for such keep. This varies owing to the turnip crop and the kind of sheep which may be fed, Cheviot wethers being charged highest and cross lambs least. More grain and cake are now used in feeding than formerly, especially when the sheep are fed at home, as, besides putting on more mutton, the consumption of feeding stuffs goes to enrich the soil for future crops. Old sheep begin by getting a daily supply of about lb. of oats, or oats and linseed cake mixed, this being gradually increased until in some cases one pound is reached. Younger sheep do not, unless intended for fat in January and February, get grain , until the spring months, as they have been found, if kept on in dry weather in spring, after being fed with grain during the winter, to go off considerably. The quantity given to hoggets does not generally exceed lb. each daily. Ryegrass hay is also very much used for lambs, as they have been found to live better by having always a supply of it (the death rate in hoggets on some farms being very heavy). This is mostly given in racks which are filled daily, or as often as required. A system of cutting the hay and mixing the grain given amongst the hay chaff, the whole being sprinkled with water, sweetened with molasses, and given after being slightly fermented, was tried some years ago, but the majority of feeders have given this up, and are again giving these foods separately. The older sheep begin to be sent to the fat market about the beginning of December, the younger following in the spring months. They are either bought up by local dealers or sent direct to salesmen in Glasgow, Liverpool, London, &c. The Messrs Welsh annually kill a great many hoggets, the carcases being sent to London in vans fitted for the purpose. During the restrictions this year live sheep could not be got into Ireland, where a great many of the fat sheep annually go. Mr M'Geoch, an enterprising local dealer, killed at home and got the carcases taken by the Stranraer and Larne steamer, thus supplying the majority of Belfast butchers during the spring months.

Horses.

The Clydesdale horse, [We are indebted to the Clydesdale stud book for most of the particulars as to the introduction of this breed into Wigtownshire.] introduced about the beginning of the century, is almost looked upon as a native of the district, the Wigtownshire-bred Clydesdales having a world - wide fame. About fifty years ago the late Sir James Hay of Dunragit had a breed of grey mares; Mr Whyte, then in Balyett, had also some of this strain. Mr Agnew, Balscallock, had also a good stock, in particular a horse owned by him named "Farmer" (292), of a very high class himself, having good feet, nice oblique pasterns, clean thin bone with fine quality of hair, a good broad head well set on a fine neck, broad chested, and well backed and quartered, with perhaps a slight shortness of rib. He left a good class of mares, which, when mated with Drumore stock, produced some well-known horses; but the late Mr Anderson of Drumore did more perhaps than any other man to forward the breeding of this class of horses. Not content with what could be got at home, he went to Mr Fulton of Sproulston, who was then a noted breeder, made a tour through the principal breeders, buying from Mr Somerville of Lampits a daughter of what is known as the "Lampits Mare." He also bought a mare from Mr Young, Brownmuir, Lochwinnoch, which won the first prize at the Highland Society's Show at Ayr in 1835.

Mr Anderson also bought at this time "Old Farmer" (576), a horse which, before this, had made his mark. Some years later he bought "Farmer" (284) from Mr M'Kean, which when mated with "Tibbie," daughter of "Robert Burns" (701) by "Old Farmer" (576) out of "Susie," resulted in the production of "Salmond's Champion" (737) and "Victor" (892); the former of the two last mentioned being the sire of "Lochfergus Champion" (449), from whom a great many prize-taking animals of the present day have sprung. The produce of " Victor" (892) have proved even more successful than those of his elder brother, from him being descended such horses as "Macgregor," "Young Lord Lyon" (994), "Prince Charlie" (629), "Boydston Boy" (111), "Cadder Chief" (1601), "Malcolm of Glamis" (1757), "Victor Chief" (1855), "Victor Chief (1856)," Master Lyon" (2282), and such mares as "Dora" (115), "Jess" (355), "Dun-more Maggie" (87), "Garscadden Lovely" (40), "Maggie" (41), "Flora" (59), &c, and through these of the most fashionable blood of the day. Then we have "Rob Roy" (714), from whom came "Hercules" (378), out of a mare by "Biggar" (45), a horse which left a very good stamp of short-legged mares. "Hercules," whose blood will be found in several of the best sires of the present day, is the sire of "Lord Lyon" (589). This horse was out of "Puppet," an English bred mare which had bred many winners of prizes in her native country before being brought to Wigtownshire, she being also descended from a prize-winning strain. "Lord Lyon," though not what is known as a pure bred Clydesdale, when mated with "Victor" (892), "Glenlee" (363), "General Williams" (326), and other such well-bred mares, has produced more prize winners than any horse of modern times; such mares as "Young Darling" (632), "Effie Deans," "Pollock's Darling," "Queen of Quality," "Alice Lee," "Mayflower," "Dolly Dutton," "Dandelion," "Eugenie," "Dido,"-—the champion yearling filly of this year (1883), out of "Mary of Drumflower" (519), —and very many others being got by him. He also sires a strong array of stallions; amongst others being "Young Lord Lyon" (994), "Cetewayo" (1409), "Lord Colin Campbell" (1475), "Fitzlyon" (1656), "Apollo" (1386), "Lucky Getter" (1483), "British Lyon," "Victor Chief" (1856), "Master Lyon" (2282), these being only a few out of great numbers got by him.

Another noted horse which treads closely on "Lord Lyon" for fame is "Farmer" (286), bred by Mr P.Anderson Gillespie, being got by "Merry Tom" (836), out of "Mary" by "Loch-fergus Champion " (449). He has a double strain of Drumore blood. He has sired many prize-winning stallions, amongst others "Disraeli" (234), "Dreadnought" (241), "Druid" (1120), "Sir Colin" (777); the names of those horses being familiar as household words to all Clydesdale breeders. The mares after "Farmer" are now very much run after for breeding purposes ; any one lucky enough to have them can scarcely be induced to part with them except at a very high figure; amongst others he is the sire of the dam of "Belted Knight" (1395), which, got by "Glenlee" (363), is considered one of the best stamps of a Clydesdale stallion to be found.

"Clansman" (150) also did good service, before being sent to Forfarshire, many good breeding mares being got by him as well as the noted stallion "Thane of Glamis."

"Warrior" (902), was bought by Mr Thomas Kerr, Barr, at Glasgow in 1875, where he had won the first prize in the three-year-old colt class at the Highland Society's Show; and although a good profit was offered the new owner, he very pluckily refused to part with his purchase. This horse has done much to improve the breed of mares in the Machars district, where he has been in use mostly since that time.

Some years ago two horse breeding associations were formed in the Machars for the purpose of bringing in stallions to improve the breed of horses; these societies have done much towards this end. Any one attending the annual show at Wigtown ten years ago, and seeing the same show now, could not help being surprised at the advance which has been made. The following horses have travelled the two districts embraced by those societies:—


In the Rhins there is no such society as exists in the Machars, but it has been the practice annually for a number of farmers to band themselves together and elect two or three of their number to select a horse, or sometimes two, to travel in the district; the horses so selected have been as follows:—

Besides these the horses before mentioned, viz., "Lord Lyon," "Farmer," "Glenlee," "General Williams," "Prince Charlie" (629), "Old Times" (579), "Belted Knight," and many others have done good service. Enough has been said to show that Wigtownshire stands in the very first rank as a Clydesdale horse-breeding county.

Amongst the present successful breeders of Clydesdales in the county, are Messrs Milroy, Galdenoch; M'Dowall, Auchtralure; M'Camon, Kirranrae; Cochran, North Cairn; M'William, Craichmore; M'Kissock, Glaick; M'Master, Culhorn Mains; Rankin, Aird; Dorman, Deerpark; Cowan, Aird; Frederick, Drum-flower; Ralston, Milmain; Matthews, Carsegowan; M'Connel, Glasnick; M'Dowall, Auchengaillie; M'Whinnie, Airyolland; Drew, Nether Barr; Picken, Barsalloch; Lord Galloway, and many others.

Horse fairs are held annually at Stranraer in January, June, and October, and in Newton-Stewart in February, June, and November, at which the ordinary commercial class of horses change hands, the south country dealers attending and buying them up. Good geldings are now very scarce in the county, the great demand for breeding stock for America causing few colts of good appearance to be castrated, the price of a good five-year-old gelding being got for a yearling colt.

The mares usually foal from the 1st of April to the middle of June, the foals being allowed to follow the mother until the beginning of harvest, when they are weaned and put on good grass with the addition of a little oats; after harvest some are put on to the seeds and allowed to lie out all winter, getting a daily allowance of oats, or other nutritious food; some put them into a cool box at night and allow them to go out on old pasture during the day; they are then allowed to pasture amongst the cattle during the next summer, and are again treated in a similar manner during the next year, until the month of October, when they are rising three years old. They are then brought into the stable and wrought easily for a month or two before being put to regular work.

Dairy Farming.

This, as previously mentioned, is a branch of: farming for which Wigtownshire seems especially adapted, the rotation which suits the soil allowing about the same quantity of stock to be kept summer and winter. The Ayrshire cow is exclusively used as the milk producer, the method of procuring which has been before specially referred to. The number of cows kept in each dairy varies from 20 to 140, the most common size being from 60 to 80. These are managed in three different ways, either being let to a bower; the management let to a man with a family, who does the whole work connected with the cows and dairy; or a man is kept to look after the cows and pigs, and a dairymaid kept to do the work connected with the dairy alone. Where a bower is kept, the farmer supplies food for the cows, the usual quantities being one acre of yellow turnips for ten cows for autumn food, or an equivalent in cabbage or cotton cake, 5 tons of swedes for each cow during winter and spring, or if only three or four tons be given, bean meal or cotton cake is given in lieu with the run of the straw for fodder, and the addition of 140 lbs. of bean meal for each cow during the spring months; in summer from 1 to 1 acres grass is allowed for pasture for each cow, with, in some cases, an acre or two of young grass or vetches which are given out during July and August. The bower gives 20 stones, of 24 lbs. to each stone, of cheese for each cow, and 16 to 17 stones for each quey or picked calf cow; the cheese is generally to be made of a quality equal to some other two dairies in the immediate neighbourhood; sometimes a money rent is paid, but this being only in isolated cases, we could not say what is the general rent in such instances, as if near a town or railway station, they may be worth from 2 to 3 each more than if in some remote district. The location of the farm seldom makes much difference to the number of stones expected, as on poorer farms a greater extent of grass is given, which is expected to make up for any deficiency that may arise from the quality of the soil. As to the quality of cheese, Mr Harding is credited with having said :—" Cheese is made in the dairy; yonder, where A is feeding his kine on broad clover, tares, or rye grass; or where B on the very edge of the moor is making what was almost desert to blossom as the rose, with the varied arable forage crops of a first year's cultivation; or yonder again, where C and D are managing old land carse farms in the grooves first made generations ago,—I will take the same milk from any of them, and make the same cheese anywhere. Cheese is not made in the field, or in the byre, or even in the cow, "it is made in the dairy."

The bower has the whole of the calves, which are worth from 7s. to 9s. each, and the whole of the whey for pigs, which may be worth from 25s. to 30s. for each cow; he has all materials, such as cheese salt, rennet, colouring, cloths, &c., to supply, and pay for milking, a number of women being generally kept on the farm for milking and weeding; these milkers usually get 2s. per week each, the time occupied in milking being from one to one and a half hours each time, morning and evening, each milker having ten cows.

In the second instance where a man with his family is employed to look after cows, pigs, &c, he is generally paid at the rate of from 20s. to 25s. for each cow, with an allowance of one pennyworth of milk daily, 2 to 3 lbs. butter per week, and 4 to 6 bushels potatoes set; in some cases where a good cheesemaker has been for some time on a farm he may get an allowance of flour or oatmeal extra with liberty to keep a pig. In a few instances 1s. per stone for every stone of cheese made is paid; in such a case it is for the interest of the maker to have as many stones as possible, and the quantity may thus be increased. When cows are managed in this way the farmer is at greater liberty in regard to the food supplied, and more dairies are now managed in this way than was the case some years ago; one reason for this being that a trade in milk to the large towns during the winter and spring months has been started. Where the third method is followed, a man with ordinary ploughman's wages looks after the cows, &c., the dairymaid who makes the cheese living in the farm house, and getting from 18 to 25 annually with rations.

In almost all dairies within 4 or 5 miles, some even 8 miles, from a railway station, the milk is sold during five or six months, beginning about 1st November and selling on to 1st April or 1st May. Prices vary very much, so that an average is not easily arrived at; the writer has sold at, for November and December, 8d.; January and February, 9d.; March, 7d.; and April, 6d. per imperial gallon, at the nearest railway station, the buyer supplying the necessary vats for its conveyance by rail—a little more could have been got had we supplied the vats ; this may perhaps be taken as being as near an average as possible. The usual charge for conveying milk by rail to Glasgow and northwards is 1d. per imperial gallon ; to Liverpool and southwards ld. per gallon. Owing to this demand for milk in winter, the cows, which did not usually begin to calve before 1st February, are now calving during the winter months, most calving in January and February, as these are the months in which the largest price is got for milk. These cows also give up milking sooner in the autumn, and consequently take less autumn food. The feeding during winter and spring requires to be very much increased where this is done; some give a good quantity of the food boiled, others prefer to have everything uncooked, thinking the cows keep more healthy and milk better during summer. The writer used decorticated cotton cake and cut barley and oats ; having a grist mill, this cutting was easily done at home, the total used for ninety-four cows being:—

Mr Frederick, Drumflower, a very successful dairy farmer, also uses cotton cake and cut oats ; but many prefer bean meal alone, others again giving bean meal with oats or barley, or bean meal and bran. This trade in milk has been of considerable advantage to those who are suitably situated for it, as the milk is sold at the time when the worst cheese is made (during the autumn and spring months), and cheesemaking goes on during the summer months, when the best can be made.

A great loss annually occurs by abortion in many stocks; cows casting their calf from the fourth to the seventh month give a very small quantity of milk, and have often to be parted with at a loss; a calving cow costing in spring from 4 to 5 more than can be got for the cow so casting her calf. The usual draft to be made annually from a dairy stock is from 12 to 20 per cent., or in some cases even more.

Cheddar cheese has now almost entirely taken the place of Dunlop, which was the first class of cheese made when this industry was introduced into the county.

Among the first to introduce Ayrshire cows and cheesemaking was Mr James Ralston, in Fineview, Kirkcolm, at the beginning of the present century, the farm being where Corswall House and plantations now are. He kept sixty cows, and we find that he fed and managed them about as well as they are done at present. He provided winter food by growing a few turnips, (the cultivation of these at that time having just been introduced) and potatoes, keeping the cows in during the whole winter; previous to and at this time it was the custom to allow the cattle to roam over the fields in winter as well as summer, this in wet weather in undrained land tramping the grasses out of root. During the hot weather in summer a supply of grass was cut and given to the cows in the byres, in order to protect them from the heat and flies. He expected each cow to make her own weight in the best cheese, which was thought at that time enormous. He went very shrewdly about making up this quantity; he kept two dairy maids, dividing the cows equally, one dairy maid milking, and making the cheese of one lot one day, and doing the same with the other the next; and at the end of the year a handsome present was given to her who had the most and best cheese.

Cheddar cheese making began to take the place of Dunlop about thirty years ago, the Messrs M'Adam at this time taking the lead; the making gradually improved and developed under the teaching of Mr Harding from Somersetshire, who visited the county about twenty years ago. To Mr M'Master, of Culhorn Mains, also, a great deal is due for what he did in the way of developing and furthering many of the principles now in force in dairy management.

The success of cheese making depends in the first place on cleanliness; milk pails, cans, dishes, coolers, tubs, &c., requiring to be thoroughly scoured and scalded immediately after being used, the dairy itself also being kept as sweet as possible; this has been made much easier within the last few years in many dairies by the substitution of concrete for brick and tile floors. In this floor there is no crevice for anything to lodge to cause a bad odour, besides, the floor is stronger and will last longer than any of the others.

The evening's milk is put in fire-clay coolers or tin milk plates in order to keep it sweet, the dairy being kept as cool as possible. In the morning it is drawn off' and put into the steeping tub, a large circular shaped vat, with the bottom raised in the centre to admit of steam being applied between it and the wood to which it is screwed down ; the morning's milk being added, the heat of the two milkings is brought up to about 80 to 82. The colouring and steep are now added; this steep used to be made almost entirely from calves' stomachs, but now there are a great many artificially manufactured steeps, which are becoming very popular, and are very much used. When the milk has attained to the proper consistency, through the application of the steep, it is begun to be broken up, very cautiously at first, by a shovel-shaped breaker specially made of wire crossing at right angles ; as the breaking proceeds, the breaker is wrought more rapidly, until the curd is broken into small particles. When this stage is reached, the heat having been reduced, it is again raised to about 86 by heated whey, which has previously been drawn off, and raised to about 130 in a square made " jacketed " tin vat, set above the level of the tub, with a perforated tube attached, which allows the warm whey to fall equally over the tub. The curd is now allowed to settle for 10 minutes or so while another quantity of whey is drawn off and put into the warmer to be heated to 150, as much whey being drawn at this time as allows the curd to be seen. The heated whey is then applied while stirring is going on. In a short time the heat of the mass will have reached about 100. This heat requires to be kept up, and the stirring is continued until the curd comes to the proper state, having then a springy feeling when pressed. The curd is now allowed to settle till it has attained the proper acidity, when the remainder of the whey is drawn off. The curd is now cut up into squares, which are piled on each other and covered with a cloth; in half an hour the position is reversed, being allowed to lie for another half hour, or till the proper acidity is attained, before being laid out on the cooler, where it is allowed to come to 70; when this has been done the curds are weighed before being put through the curd mill. This breaks them down into pieces small enough to receive the salt, which is now applied at the fate of 1 lb. to 56 lbs. of curd, and thoroughly mixed. The curds are now put into the cheese vats, these varying in capacity from 12 to 120 lbs. The vats are then put into the presses, a light pressure being applied at first, new cloths being applied in the evening, and the cheese returned to the press. The cloths are again changed in the morning, the cheese being put into hot water for three or four minutes, this going to improve its appearance. The pressure is now increased, and after another change at night is allowed to stay in the press till the morning, when it is bandaged and taken to the cheese room. When there the temperature is kept as steady as possible at about 65, and the cheese turned daily, this being carried on till it is ripe, which it will likely be in about four months.

The whey is used for pig feeding along with Indian or other meal. Pigs are either reared or bought in as shotts as required, a great many of these shotts coming from Ireland. By judicious management in a good year as much as 2 per cow, or even more, can be made, but from 20s. to 28s. will be nearer an average. The pigs are kept either in covered pens, or an outside "ree" with a house to lie in, both methods having admirers.

Dunragit Creamery.

It was often proposed to have cheese factories started throughout the county similar to those in Derbyshire, but as most farmers had good dairy accommodation at home the project was never carried out. But within the last two years "The Dunragit Creamery Company " has been established with two managing partners, Mr Andrew Clement, Cheese Factor, Glasgow, and Mr Robert M'Cracken, son of Mr A. E. M'Cracken, Gillespie. If success be possible, this company must command it, Mr M'Cracken taking the management of the establishment at home, and Mr Clement selling the manufactured article outside, thus saving commission on sales, which in itself would form a good profit. The creamery is located in the centre of a district where a great number of cows are kept, within a few hundred yards of Dunragit station, on the Portpatrick Railway. The premises occupied were built for a farina mill, but have lain unoccupied for more than twenty years, and were consequently useless. We believe the property has been bought from Mr Cunningham of Dunragit, on whose estate the houses are built. The construction of the buildings has been found very suitable for the purpose to which they have now been put, there being four or five different levels ; these allow the milk to pass from one process to another without being once lifted, thus reducing the labour very much.

The upper flat is used as a receiving room for the milk; at the outside of the door of this room a porch has been erected, supported on wooden pillars, underneath which the carts which bring the milk stand while being unloaded. In this porch above the cart, on rails, is a patent hoist for lifting the cans, which, when drawn up, are run along and emptied into one of two cans, which sit on a weighing machine at the door of the room, the milk being taken by weight of 10 lbs. to each gallon. One of those cans is used for new or warm milk, and the other for cold; a pipe runs from each of the cans into large square vats on a lower level. The cans used for conveying the milk to the creamery are capable of containing from 30 to 40 gallons each; they are made of block tin, of the same width from top to bottom, the lids being made to fit inside and press down close to the milk, so that the solidity of the milk is thus ensured. The lids are ventilated so that any gaseous matter may escape.

The vats used for containing the milk are made of tinplate and "jacketed," steam or cold water being available for turning on to raise or reduce the temperature as required; the four vats in this department are capable of containing 2560 gallons. The milk, though bound to be searched before reaching the creamery, all passes through a searcher attached to each vat, so that all solid particles may be thoroughly removed. Before reaching the separators the cold milk is raised to 70, the new or warm milk being about 80. The milk is run by means of tin pipes from those vats to the separators, of which there are three at work, each being capable of separating 80 gallons per hour. The separators in use are by Burmeister and Wain, and are driven at 1800 revolutions per minute; the Du Laval separator we believe will only separate 50 gallons per hour, and requires to be driven at 6000 revolutions per minute, besides taking less butter, at least a greater percentage of butter is made here than by Mr Carrick at Low Row, Carlisle, and he says that Wigtownshire milk is poor. These separators are of a circular shape, about 18 inches high, and about 2 feet in diameter, with a second side within the outside, and a centre piece, of a cone shape, base downwards within it; the rapid centrifugal motion imparted to the machine causes the milk, which enters at the bottom, to separate at once, the skim milk flying to the outer side the cream coming up the inner side, owing to their different specific gravities. When so separated, the skim milk and cream are caught in two separate tubas, and conducted on to two refrigerators, these reducing the temperature to about 50.

The refrigerator is a combination of galvanised pipes connected together and running horizontally, so that when at work the surface has a fluted appearance. Through those pipes a supply of cold spring water is continually flowing, entering at the lower corner, and carried by gravitation backwards and forwards through them, finding its way out at the upper corner. In this way the hot milk, which is flowing on at the top, spreads over the cooled surface, meeting the colder water in its progress downwards, and is collected in a trough at the bottom, connected by a pipe to some of the numerous vats. Two of the separators are set on a raised platform, so that the milk when issuing from them is deposited on the top of the refrigerators; the other is on the floor of the room, the cream and skim milk requiring to be raised in a tube to the requisite level. Mr M'Cracken informed us that he did not consider this such a good plan as the others, as the cream had to be made poorer, in order to be forced up the tube; it is intended to raise it to the height of the others.

After passing over the refrigerators, the skim milk is run by a pipe to the steeping room, on the lower flat, into one or other of three large vats. The cream is collected in one or other of four vats of 300 gallons capacity each ; these vats are on wheels, and when filled are drawn into the cream room, where it is allowed to sit for twenty-four hours, until it attains the required acidity before being churned. The churns being on a lower level, the cream is run by a "shoot" or pipe from the vats into them. Two churns are in daily use, a "Blanchard" and an "Ayrshire churn." The former is in the form of a circle, twelve feet long, three feet in diameter, and capable of churning 300 gallons; it is fitted with a horizontal shaft, on which are two " dashers," driven at sixty-five revolutions per minute, and butter is got in the short space of thirty minutes, about fifteen minutes longer being required to give it the proper finish. The Ayrshire churn" works about the same quantity in the same time. The butter, when taken from the churn, presents a beautiful rich appearance, being in small round particles, reminding us very much of salmon roe. This is the only time that the butter is touched by the hand. The head of this department, a thoroughly trained Dane, now works it by hand in a semicircular trough, making it up into rolls of 7 or 8 lbs. before being put through the butter worker. This is a circular revolving table about 3 feet in diameter, made of Danish marble, driven by steam, over which is a fluted roller of the same material, revolving in an opposite direction from the table. The butter passes between this roller and the table, when it is lifted and turned by wooden "brods," thus presenting a fresh surface to be acted on. This is repeated until the butter is made ready for market; and when any powdered butter is made the salt is applied during this operation, but the greater part is sent out fresh, a great deal of which is put up in prints.

The buttermilk, or what of it is not required for cheese making, or sold (quantities being sold for calf-feeding at 2d. per gallon), is taken by pipes to the piggeries, which are situated at at a considerable distance to the south of the railway.

Most of the skim milk is made into cheese, though part is sold sweet in the winter and spring months; as mentioned, the portion that is made into cheese is brought by a pipe from the separator to the steeping room on the ground floor. The steeping tubs consist of three large tinplate vats, with a capacity of 600 gallons each; about one-sixth of buttermilk is added to the skim milk to impart acidity, the cheese thus made being of a better quality than if made of skim milk alone. For a time during spring about 50 per cent. of cream was added, and later about 30 per cent.; during a scarcity of cheese in the spring months, a good price was obtained for some of the cheese so made, but later on, when Americans began to come in more plentifully, the price was so much lowered that a loss is likely to accrue. The skim milk cheese proper has also had to contend with a larger influx of Americans than has taken place for some years, this going a great way to reduce the profits of the undertaking. The vats used for making the cheese are of American construction, and fit into each other, the press used being of a horizontal shape, and capable of containing fifteen of those vats. Four of such presses are in use.

The whey, with the buttermilk that has been left, is run in underground pipes to the piggeries, of which there are a great number. Three large wooden houses, the sides being of disused railway sleepers, and the roofs wood covered with felt, have been erected on the south side of the railway away from the creamery, thus keeping all bad odours which might be likely to arise away from the milk. Those houses have a walk up the centre, and each side of this walk is divided into pens, some large, and holding as many as fifteen pigs, others smaller, and holding only four or five. One of the houses is being specially prepared as a breeding place, it being intended to rear as many as possible. The houses can hold about five hundred pigs. We saw at one time this year, before the houses were finished, as many as five hundred at one time, and we were greatly pleased with their appearance ; and concluded that if good management be of any use, those pigs must pay. A large waggon which runs on rails is used for feeding ; the meal having been mixed with the whey, before being put into this, a flexible pipe is attached to a tap on the bottom of the waggon, the end of the pipe is inserted into the trough, and the tap turned on, thus reducing the labour in this department to a minimum. The manure from the pigs is sold to Mr Broadfoot, Drochduil, on whose farm the piggeries are built.

The company during the spring months were using the milk from 2500 cows, and were making during the time 10 tons of cheese per week, besides a correspondingly large quantity of butter. During summer the milk of about 1500 cows was used, about 7 tons of cheese besides butter being then made per week. From 1st April to 1st October 576,000 gallons of milk were manufactured. During the twelve months the large sum of 25,000 has been paid for milk; the average price paid per gallon would be about 6d.

Labour.

The expense of labour is now very much increased to what it was from twenty to twenty-five years ago; what are known as benefit men getting at that time 10 in money, 6 bolls oatmeal (280 lbs. per boll), 4 to 5 tons coal, or equivalent in peats, a house and garden, and 4 bushels potatoes planted; they are now getting 18 to 21 in money with the same benefit, besides being allowed to keep a pig and poultry in many places.

Young ploughmen staying in the farmhouse (the bothy system is unknown in Wigtownshire) who at that time got 10 to 12, now get from 20 to 25. Women and boys then 8d. per day, with 1s. to 1s. 6d, in harvest, now get 1s. to 1s. 6d. per day with 2s. 6d. to 3s. in harvest; milkers then 1s. per week, now 2s.

The hours of labour now are rather diminished than increased it being the practice formerly to thresh in the winter mornings before daylight; this is not done now, except in some cases where water mills are in use. The hours of work are now in summer from 7 in the morning till 6.30 in the evening, with 1 hours at dinner time; and in winter from daylight till dark, with 1 hour at dinner time. Men, as a rule, do not stay in one place long, though there are exceptions to this. We know of a case where one man has been for forty-five years, another twenty-seven, and another twenty-one years on the farm ; and many cases of this kind occur. The great cause of removing in a dairy district is the milkers, every cotman being bound to supply a milker; this in many cases necessitates a second class man to be taken, on account of his supplying one or two good milkers, when it is found he is unfit for the work required of him, and has to be parted with. The milkers themselves too are often the cause of removal, as when so many women meet twice a day in a byre very often they quarrel amongst themselves, and some of them have to remove in order to have quiet restored.

Labourers, owing to the application of machinery to agriculture, have not so much heavy work to do as formerly, but now require more education in order to be able to manage the different machines. Many of them show a great aptitude for this management; and not only can they work them, but in many cases where slight breakages occur, they can repair them; and we have no doubt, as their education improves, that this mechanical turn of mind which so many possess will be developed as the machinery increases.

The cottage accommodation has undergone a great change for the better within the last twenty-five years. The late Earl of Galloway was the first who turned his attention seriously to this platter, and on that estate the cottages are now about equal to the requirements; those cottages have mostly three apartments, being as many as most working men care for. On the Earl of Stair's estate an immense number of cottages have been built. At Castle Kennedy alone a small village has been erected for his own workmen; but indeed throughout the whole county an immense improvement has taken place in this way. This improved accommodation is now the means of inducing many good men to continue as agricultural labourers who would have otherwise gone to some of the manufacturing centres.

Prizes for the best kept cottages are given by many of the proprietors; these have been the means of improving the keeping of the houses greatly, a healthy rivalry existing amongst the cottagers. We have beard some of those who have assisted at the annual inspection of those cottages express their surprise at the comfort and neatness which most of them presented.

Ploughmen are engaged for a year from Whitsunday to Whitsunday; young unmarried ploughmen for the half year only. Many are engaged privately, but great numbers attend the feeing fairs, which are of recent institution.

A great many Irishmen are engaged for harvest work, at from 3 to 4, 10s. with rations, or 7s. to 9s. per week allowed for board instead.

General Remarks.

The depression which has been passing over all agricultural districts has been severely felt in Wigtownshire, though, owing we believe to the extensive system of dairying, it has not been so acute as in grain growing districts. The culminating point was reached in 1879, that being a very wet year; and cheese coming down from 64s. to 68s. to as low as 36s. to 40s. per cwt. A cheese market was tried to be established in Stranraer in this year, but failed entirely. Meetings were held, which were very largely attended, and vent was given to the grievances of which the farmers complained. Deputations were appointed to draw up representations, to be laid before the landlords, suggesting that at least a temporary abatement of rents ought to be given, and in many cases this was done. We know of cases where individual farmers lost for two or three years 1000 annually,, and many who were losing from 700 downwards. Losses such as these cripple farmers very much by reducing the available capital, and advantage cannot be taken of buying feeding stuffs and manures to the extent necessary for keeping the land in condition, thus reducing its producing power when times may be better, so that full advantage of good times cannot be got.

We give Mr Hope's, one of the Royal Commissioners, Report on the causes of depression.

"This is one of the dairy counties of Scotland. The farming is excellent. All the agricultural crops of the country are grown. The depression has been felt in it, but not to the same extent as in some other counties. The failure in root crops is most marked, but the depreciation in prices of produce has also had its own depressing influence. There are no balance sheets returned by tenants for this county; but one farmer of 533 acres paying 270 of rent supplying 16 tons of artificial manures and 10 to 12 tons feeding stuffs annually, attributes the depression to ' foreign produce.' Another, 350 acres, rent 465, applies 25 tons artificial manures, 30 tons feeding stuffs, and consumes 800 bushels of oats, attributes the depression to bad seasons and destruction by game, to foreign competition, to high rents, and want of manure. Another rents 500 acres, supplies 20 to 25 tons artificial manures, and about 300 feeding stuffs; attributes depression to bad seasons, hares and rabbits, foreign supplies, and want of demand.

"The landlords' returns account for the depression, so far as decreased produce is concerned. Their returns will now be given, with a note of the remissions made to the tenants in cash or other benefits.

"1. A landlord of 1 farm of 1000 acres; do. 6 farms of 500 to 1000 acres; do. 23 farms of 200 to 300 acres; do. 29 farms of 100 to 200 acres; do. 4 farms of 50 to 100 acres; do. 5 farms of 20 to 50 acres; do. 18 farms under 20 acres. 2. Another of 400-500 acres. 3. Another of 1000 acres. 4, Another of 1400 acres, twenty-eight of which under 20 acre farms. 5. Another of 3000 of rent; give the following averages:—

"No. 1 has in some cases given free drainage.

"No. 2 has remitted 10 to 15 per cent. to certain tenants whose farms were thought to be dear for times and prices.

"No. 3 has remitted 20 per cent. on half year's rent due Martinmas 1879.

"No. 4 has remitted 10 to 20 per cent. according to dearness or cheapness of the farm; when land thought cheap enough, no remissions made.

"No. 5. No percentage reduction given. Each case dealt with on its merits."

Wigtownshire has almost no other industries, its fishing being the only one worth mentioning. Its salmon fishings on the coast, and in the rivers, are let at 974; a good many of those fish are annually caught and sent direct to the central fish market. The oyster fishings are valued at 200, those got in Lochryan being considered of fine quality. A great many herrings are got in Lochryan and the Bay of Luce. For two or three years now fishing boats from all parts of Scotland come to Stranraer at the time the herrings are in Lochryan, when immense numbers are caught, requiring special trains to be run daily to convey them to the different large towns. This causes a great influx of money into Stranraer at that time; but the Stranraer fishermen not being so well equipped with boats and nets as those who come from a distance, cannot reap the full benefit of this fishing while it lasts.

There are now three railways through the county, viz., the Portpatrick, running eastward from Portpatrick on the west, with stations at Colfin, Stranraer, Castle Kennedy, Dunragit, Glenluce, Kirkcowan, and Newton-Stewart, and joining the Glasgow and South-Western at Castle Douglas. This railway was formed over twenty years ago, and has been the means of many improvements being executed which would otherwise never have been thought of. The Girvan and Portpatrick Junction, leaving the Portpatrick between Dunragit and Glenluce, runs northwards to Girvan, where it joins the Glasgow and South-Western; this very necessary line has been rather unfortunate, as, after being open for some years, owing to some hitch with the Portpatrick, the traffic was stopped for more than a year, but is now again in full swing, and we hope will continue so, as Glasgow, which is the natural outlet for most of the produce of the Rhins, is by it brought very much nearer. The Wigtownshire, opened some years ago, has proved very beneficial to the Machars district; it leaves the Portpatrick at Newton-Stewart, and runs south by Wigtown, Kirkinner, Whauphill, and Sorbie, to Whithorn, with a branch to Garliestown.

There are also steamers running weekly from Stranraer to Glasgow and Liverpool, as well as from Garliestown and Isle of Whithorn to Liverpool; so that now, though apparently distant from the great centres, we have many means of getting our produce taken speedily to them.


Return to our Agriculture Index Page