MINUTES OF EVIDENCE.
193 like the Department subsidiary grants were made available for the special requirements of the poor areas and administered by the county committee through perhaps a local committee knowing exactly the local wants ?â€”That
would be admirable.
The DeÂ¬ partment have made special payments for subsidiary schemes, but there is not anything approaching the amount that would be needed for these schemes.
I may here read a letter from the largest manufacturers 0f artificial manures in the United Kingdom:â€”"In answer to yours of yesterday there has been a steady increase in the consumption of manufactured fertiÂ¬ lisers since 1902, last year, 1906, being the largest on record.
The past season now closing shows a slight decrease compared with 1906.
This decrease is prinÂ¬ cipally in the topdressing of grass owing to the unÂ¬ favourable weather at the beginning of the season.
There has been a marked increase in the demand for the better qualities of superphosphate and complete manures during the last three years, which we attriÂ¬ bute very largely to the information and advice which the farmers are now receiving from the County CounÂ¬ cil lectures."
is a great dairy Julyl6,l90T.
Are there many creameries ?â€”There
is a conÂ¬ siderable number in some places, and none in others.
Cork is practically several counties.
There are so many different classes of land that it is equivalent to several counties.
the creameries chiefly co-operative or private 1â€”'Chiefly co-operative.
Do you find that tillage decreases wherever a creamery is?â€”I
don't think so.
In my own immeÂ¬ diate neighbourhood there are several creameries.
I know if I was not Secretary to the County Committee I could be in for this scheme which his lordship sugÂ¬ gested as well Â»as my neighbours.
I till considerably more -than one-fifth of my place.
The opinion was expressed that the price of the milk was so much better that it was cheaper to have all dairy cows?â€”It
does not necessarily follow that you would not have tillage and dairying going on, too.
In fact, without tillage you cannot have winter dairying, which must he developed if we wish to hold on to the British markets.
Precentor Townsund examined.
have been nominated by the Bishop of 'Cork?â€”Yes.
I have been several years farming land in this district, so that I am acÂ¬ customed to the way of farming.
I have tried to promote farming and tillage by trying to give land to schools for school farms, but I found that the parent's would not avail themselves of it.
They said their boys would be only working for the beneÂ¬ fit of the schoolmaster, and I did not succeed.
But as a general rule, I want to say I am very grateful to the Board for a great deal of work done as reÂ¬ gards tracts and papers.
It is very hard for the public to get at them.
They should have some depot m a country town, especially like Skibbereen, where the people would know they would get these tracts for a penny or so.
The land in this part of Cork is generally a light anoory soil on ia clay slate foundaÂ¬ tion.
There are patches where the red sandstone comes in.
The union of the two makes a 'better soil, and butter from such soil gets a halfpenny more in the market than it does on the clay slate farms.
Generally the land is divided into small fields with rocky uneven surface.
Under these circumstances every farmer will tell you that tillage does not pay.
I may say that tillage does not pay, because they don't know how to make it pay.
I worked a great deal of tillage farming.
In all this district around here you cannot use advanced machinery to any large extent.
You cannot bring in double-furrowed, ploughs.
You cannot bring in reaping iand binding machines.
A graat deal must be done by manual labour.
That class of tillage must die out.
My opinion of the work of the people, especially around to the West, is that the land must lapse into grazing more or less.
To illustrate what I mean about the difficulty of such tillage as they practise, I may menÂ¬ tion that it takes a man, say, two days to plough and manure an .acre
of land for a potato crop ; three days to " hack" it hy hand to make a smooth, level surÂ¬ face ; it takes two days at least setfting the potatoes; at least two days more earthing the potatoes after they have been planted; 'from four to six days for second earthing.
So that a very hard-working indusÂ¬ trious farmer doing his own work does not on an average plant an acre of potatoes without giving at least ten to fifteen days' manual labour, in addition to the horse labour.
If -those people would only work with a chill plough and turn up the soil and make the drills they would do it in less than quarter the time.
Do they all make lazy beds ?â€”Almost
I hardly see dn any place drills except in a few places near Clonakilty, where there is a large area near the sea on which they have them.
Is it for drainage purposes that they have the lazy beds ?â€”In
very rough, rocky little spots, but on the average land it is not for drainage purposes.
That is the way they have been accustomed to.
There must be some reason for it?â€”It
is only tradition, but I have practised tillage with the plough in my district for forty years, and I have found no difficulty in it.
I got better crops than my
neighbours, and got prizes at a good many shows; "Rev.
Precentor but that, I think, is for ithe better class of lands Townsend.
great deal of this rough ground from here to the west you cannot improve by high class tillage.
You want a better system of irrigation; you want to teach them the way to improve grass lands.
You want to feed with cake by giving cattle cake on the ground, and making fattening land of perhaps only very poor pasture land.
That is a class of instruction that I don't think is jgiven in the agiriculturial schools.
It is not given, as a mile.
'They all go in for high-class tillage suited to fine large fields and large areas of deep soil.
"That does not suit this country.
It is the same way with cattle.
Forty years ago you never saw lambs in the early market here before June or July.
About that time my father brought a good many Leicester sheep into the country.
They were too delicate.
Then I took the common sheep of the country, a kind of cheviot, bought ewes in October, tand I gave them the South Down ram, and I could make 300 per cent, profit on the sheep -that way, hy rearing the lambs to April> and selling them at from thirty to "thirty-five shilÂ¬ lings apiece.
Soon after the balance were sold for twenty-five shillings in June, and the ewes in August for fifty shillings.
In consequence of that the local fair of July died out, and many lambs are sold in Clonakilty fair in May.
That little bit of farming sucÂ¬ ceeded very well, and as a practical way of improving that country was a great success.
You could see thousands of such lambs in the country now.
Thirty years ago you would seldom see one sooner than July.
my experience leads me to believe that for this particular class of country you want a particular class of agricultureâ€”not the agriculture of the great deep lands.
It is the same way with cattle.
ShortÂ¬ horn cattle are rather delicate for this country.
They are very bad milkers, the pure shorthorn cows as a rule cannot rear their own calves.
They have to get a second cow to 'be a nurse to the calf.
I think atÂ¬ tention should be paid to the milking qualities of the cows.
A tenant farmer wants bullocks that will sell in the English market, big steers that will sell well, and he also wants cows for his own dairy.
If you have got shorthorn bulls you will get very fine prices in the English market, hut for milkers you must get some of the old Irish cows.
It is the same with the Aberdeen-Angus.
They are very hardy cattle, and very well suited to this country; but most) unfortuÂ¬ nately around here the Aberdeen-Angus they have got are the worst milkers in the country.
They have a very bad name, and farmers are prejudiced against them.
Forty or fifty years ago the late Mr.
William Owens, of Blessington, introduced the Aberdeen-Angus.
They got prizes at the Dublin Show.
They were .the
best milkers I ever saw.
He had them publicly tested against tlie best Ayrshires, the best Kerries, and the best milkers from anywhere, but, like the shorthorns, some are and some are not of a milking strain.
I respectfully submit that the Congested Districts