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Although not coming strictly within the financial year, the summer course for 1906, together with the students attending it, is now included, as belonging more fitly to the session under review than that which was held in 1905.
Students attending one or other of the above courses were drawn mostly
from Yorkshire, but some came from Cumberland, the Kesteven Division of Lincolnshire and from London, Cardiff, Essex, Surrey, Sussex and one from South America.
Scholarship holders numbered 19 from the West Riding, three from the East, and 7 from the North Riding, together with one each from the Kesteven Division of Lincolnshire, and from Essex.
It may be noted that the Diploma course is intended for those who are studying for the National Diploma in Agriculture, but the general course at the University does not carry with it any Diploma or Certificate for those who have successfully passed through it. This seems a drawback, and it would be well if the University were to consider the point.
During the session, the usual Saturday courses for elementary school teachers were held at the farm at Garforth, and consisted of two hours work in experimental plant physiology, and two hours in horticulture. The course extended over 32 weeks and was attended by 27 teachers from the West Riding. The value of these very thorough courses of training in plant life and horticulture is becoming quite evident. in making inspections of the School or other gardens conducted by the East or West Riding Education Authorities, it is no uncommon occurrence to meet a teacher who is making an excellent instructor in practical horticulture, and whose whole initial training took place at Garforth.
Investigations into questions affecting milk and butter have been continued in the chemical laboratory ; those on the water content and Reichert-Wollny value of butter made from milk produced at Garforth having een conducted once a week since April 1904. Investigations are also in progress as regards the composition of the soils at Garforth with special reference to the
Courses of five lectures in poultry keeping were given at four
In the subject of horticulture, courses of ten lectures were given at five centres, and of five lectures at 13 other centres. Out-door demonstrationå were given at eight of the above places. The average attendance at the lectures was 35.
In the East Riding, courses of five lectures on agricultural subjects were given at five centres, while single lectures were given at six other centres; the audience averaged 27 at each centre.
Poultry lectures were given at five centres, courses of five lectures being given at four of them, while a single lecture was given at the remaining one. The average attendance was 58.
A course of ten lectures in horticulture was given at one centre, and courses of five lectures at four other centres ; the audience averaged 45.
In the West Riding, courses of five lectures in agricultural subjects were given at seven centres ; of two lectures at one other centre, while single lectures were given at eight other centres. The average attendance was 31. A course of five lectures was also given within the administrative area of the Borough of Bradford, and was attended by an average of 25 persons.
A single lecture on veterinary science was given at one centre in the Riding, the attendance being 89.
In poultry-keeping, courses of six lectures were given at one centre and of fire lectures at 13 centres. A single lecture was given at one centre. The average attendance was 63. In the area of the Borough of Bradford a course of five lectures was given, the audience here averaging 167.
In the subject of horticulture, a course of nine lectures was given at one centre, while courses of five lectures were given at no less than 29 other centres. A single lecture was also given at one centre. The average attendance at all of these was 44. Outdoor demonstrations were given at seven of the above centres.
As regards the result of the work mentioned above it may be noted that, with respect to poultry-keeping, the number of poultry keepers in the county now shows a marked increase, while improvements are noted in the way the fowls are kept.
The keeping of poultry in the West Riding is often carried out under
great difficulties, yet those are successfully surmounted. It is stated that one man near Halifax, who has to pay a very high rent for the bit of land he occupies, and who can only attend to his poultry in his spare time, yet has six incubators at work and does quite a large trade in newly hatched chickens, besides rearing a certain number of hens. Another man, near Castleford, working on the same lines but on a more extensive scale, is making a living out of this entirely.
In the more rural parts evidence is forthcoming as to the increase in the egg production of the county. The system of keeping the fowls in different lots on pasture land is becoming very general, and an improvement in the pasture is becoming manifest where this practice is pursued.
As regards horticulture, the work done, not only by means of the lectures, but also through School and other gardens in the East and West Ridings, which are entirely under the supervision of the horticultural staff at the University, is having a most encouraging effect. It is stated that gooseberry growing had almost been given up in the East Riding owing partly to foreign competition and partly to the attacks of the gooseberry caterpillar. Now the former is neutralised by the growing of only the very best varieties of fruit, and the latter is entirely checked by the use of white helebore powder.
There are in the two Ridings, two or three centres where fruit is grown, but there is nothing in Yorkshire of the nature of a regular fruit station, such as is found now in several counties. If one or more were started, it is certain that very great advantage would accrue to those in the county who are engaged in the fruit industry.
Field demonstrations. These, as has been mentioned in previous reports, are always carried out on definite plans, most of which have their counterpart at the Garforth farm. There are now between 20 and 30 of these separate schemes under operation at the farm or in the county.
In the North Riding there are not yet any field demonstrations provided, but in the East and West Ridings there were experiments conducted at 24 centres ; at one of these there were three sets in operation and at six other centres there were two sets. The experiments comprised manurial trials on meadow land, pasture, the swede and potato crops ; the comparison of different nationalities of red and white clovers; the prevention of “scab” in potatoes, &c.
Dairying.-At the Dairy School at the Garforth farm courses of instruction were held in butter making, and in the manufacture of soft cheese. They were attended by 18 pupils, of whom 14 remained for six weeks, one for seven weeks, and three for 12 weeks.
Demonstrations in the same subjects were held at 14 different centres in the West Riding. They were attended by an average of 54 persons.
A great variety of experiments continue to be carried out here with crops, both manurial and with a view of testing different varieties of cereals and roots. Experiments are also continued on stock, such as the crossing of sheep for the production of early lambs ; the rearing of calves, and the fattening of bullocks. The farm becomes increasingly popular with the larmers of Yorkshire, and large parties visit it every season.
Experiments with poultry on the farm are conducted with a view of ascertaining the breeds most useful for laying, and also for general utility purposes.
In the horticultural section, experiments are conducted with the different garden crops, including strawberries, to test the best varieties to grow, and also potatoes, sorts being made use of which do not come under experiment on the farm.
The total expenses during the financial year, including the cost of maintenance of the county scholars, amounted to £6,299. The receipts included the amounts contributed by the various county councils in respect of scholarships £837; fees from other than county scholars £321 ; subscriptions and miscellaneous receipts £153 ; and contributions from certain local authorities other than the Joint Agricultural Council £69. The Board of Agriculture made a grant as before of £1,000, while the balance was borne by the above-mentioned Council for Yorkshire.