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During the past year a Syndicate was appointed to consider the desirability of establishing in the University a Diploma in Forestry. A favourable report was made, and, in accordance with one of its suggestions, a Committee was constituted and has drawn up a general scheme of study and examinations, which has been submitted to the Senate.
Recommendations have also been made by a Council of the Senate as to the regulations for the scholarships offered by the Council of the Surveyors' Institution.
Some changes have taken place in the staff of the agricultural department-Mr. Berry, who for four years held the position of Assistant Chemist, having been appointed Professor of Chemistry at the West of Scotland Agricultural College, Glasgow, and Mr. R. Wood, Assistant to the Professor of Agriculture, having received an appointment under the Agricultural Department of the Government of India.
The number of those who attended courses of study in the agricultural department of the University last year was as follows:
Special Examination in Agricultural Science for the B.A. Degree, or for the Cambridge Diploma in Agriculture, Part I.
With only two exceptions, all the above were members of the University-one or two were county scholars, while three were natives of India, and graduates of Bombay University. Two of these were sent to Cambridge by the India Office as Government of India scholars, the third holding a post-graduate scholarship from Bombay University.
It is satisfactory to note that the number of those entering for examinations shows further increase. During the year 25 candidates entered for the Diploma Part I., and the special examination for the Degree, and 13 satisfied the examiners. Nine candidates sat for the Diploma Part II., and six were successful.
A summer vacation course for elementary school teachers was again held, and 35 teachers, coming from the counties of Norfolk, Herts, and Warwick, received instruction for three weeks in elementary chemistry, physics, and botany.
Field Demonstrations.-In Cambridgeshire, in addition to the "manure and mutton " experiment still being continued, manurial experiments on mangolds, swedes, and potatoes, for the Cambridge Chamber of Agriculture, were conducted at various centres. A
manurial experiment on sugar beet was conducted at one centre, while an experiment on the red currant crop was carried out at another centre.
In Norfolk, a rotation experiment was in progress at two centres; at one of these, six other experiments were conducted on mangolds, swedes, and meadow hay, on the improvement of poor pastures, and on the feeding of cattle with different varieties of mangolds.
In East Suffolk, the experiments are carried out by the County Council, but the University acts in a general advisory capacity as regards them. Numerous experiments were in progress at the two permanent stations at Bramford and Saxmundham, while experiments on mangolds and on pasture were conducted at another centre.
In West Suffolk, experiments on meadow hay, mangolds, swedes, and potatoes were conducted at three centres, two sets of experiments being carried out at one of these centres, and three at another.
In Bedfordshire, a variety test on mangolds was carried out for the department by the management of the Agricultural Institute at Ridgmont; the roots grown being subjected to the scheme of analysis already referred to.
In Hertfordshire, experiments on meadow hay, mangolds, and potatoes were carried out at three centres, a second set being carried out at one of them. A cattle feeding experiment on mangolds was also conducted at one of the above centres.
In Huntingdonshire, experiments on grass land and also on the growth of sugar beet were carried out at three centres.
In Northamptonshire, the "manure and mutton" experiment conducted for the Board of Agriculture was continued.
Training of Elementary School Teachers.-A course of twelve object lessons in chemistry and physics as referring to rural life was again held in Norfolk during the past year. Each lesson consisted of one hour's lecture and two hours' laboratory work, and the course was attended by 50 schoolmasters.
It will be recollected that this farm is used for both experimental and teaching purposes. During term time students visit it regularly, and during vacation a certain number are received there as resident pupils.
So far as experiments are concerned, the farm is now practically entirely given up to them. They have comprised investigations into the different root crops (mangolds, swedes, turnips, &c.) both as to yield and also as to ultimate quality, whether natural, or as affected by manuring. As regards potatoes, an exhaustive series of experiments, involving the use of over 100 plots, was conducted with a view of testing new varieties, the effect of change of
"seed," and other points. The rotation experiment on 12 halfacre plots to ascertain at what time it is best to apply phosphates and potash to the different crops involved was also continued.
Other experiments were in progress with varieties of oats, and also with pasture. The mangold feeding experiment previously referred to was also carried out here, as at the two other centres in Norfolk and Hertfordshire.
The plant breeding experiments, however, continue, it may be said without exaggeration, to be of absorbing interest. The inheritance of all the important morphological characters in wheat and barley has been traced in detail, and investigations are in progress on the inheritance of those characters which determine the market value of these crops. In the case of wheat, the object is to produce varieties suitable for our English conditions which shall possess the strength of the best of the imported types. The experiments made, so far, all point to the fact that this can be done with no great difficulty, and some forty new varieties have been built up which appear to answer this requirement. These are now being tested in the field, and the best of them will be grown on as rapidly as possible.
A large number of the various kinds of barley have been tested for quality and the most promising of these are now being crossed with high-yielding varieties in order to build up more profitable sorts than are in existence at present.
Experiments on similar lines are also in progress with other farm crops, and the necessary data for improving them are being accumulated.
The expenditure during the year, including grants to the general farm fund but not the expenditure there, amounted to £3,180. The income included receipts from the Drapers' Company, £800, and the Gilbey Fund, £200; receipts from county councils, £835; fees, £51, and miscellaneous receipts, £63; and the grant of £1,000 from the Board of Agriculture.
The Diploma, with distinction in special subjects, is awarded to students, who, having gained the Diploma, spend a third year at the College pursuing special studies in agriculture and pass the examination prescribed. The course is adapted to the requirements of those who may become teachers of agriculture, specialist farmers, or estate agents.
The Certificate in Agriculture, awarded at the end of a six months' course (October to March) in strictly agricultural study. and designed for candidates already familiar with the general routine of farm work, who aim at becoming practical farmers.
Diploma in Dairying, awarded at the end of a two years' course in scientific and practical dairying, and designed for candidates who hereafter may be dairy teachers or managers of dairies.
Certificate in Dairying, awarded after one year's study at the College, and the passing of prescribed examinations, including one in practical dairy work.
Certificate in Aviculture, awarded after one year's study at the College, three months' practical training in poultry-keeping, and the passing of prescribed examinations.
Short courses of instruction in Dairying, each lasting five weeks, are given in the College and the British Dairy Institute. These courses are intended to supplement the work of travelling dairy schools. Students attend lectures and laboratory demonstrations at the College, and take practical dairy-work at the British Dairy Institute.
Short courses of instruction in Poultry-keeping, each lasting five weeks, are given twice a year in the College, and at the College Poultry Farm.
Terminal courses in Dairying and in Poultry-keeping, each of ten weeks' duration, are given annually in the spring term.
Diploma in Horticulture, awarded at the end of a two years' course in the science and practice of horticulture. course is designed for students who intend to take up horticulture as a career. It provides training in the sciences on which the practice of horticulture is based, and in market and florist work, and in fruit-growing.
Each session of the course lasts 40 weeks, viz., the 30 weeks of the ordinary college session, together with 10 weeks assigned by the Director in consultation with the students. By this arrangement it is possidle to carry on practical work in the garden without serious interruption throughout the year. The examination on which the Diploma is awarded is that prescribed by the Oxford and Reading Joint Committee, but students may also be required to take the examination of the Royal Horticultural Society.
The Diploma, with distinction in special subjects, is awarded to students, who, having gained the Diploma, spend a third year at