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Corn is cultivated here mostly with the two-horse walking caltivator, of which there are more different patents manufactured here than any town in the United States. The best time to cut up corn is just after the first light frost, though if the corn is thoroughly ripe it may be cat before frost; but if cut green, while the weather is warm, it will invariably heat and spoil the fodder. The common straight knife is used for cutting; your hills are tied together at the top, the corn is then set up all around and tied near the top. The time for cutting small grain varies according to the kind of grain. All kinds of reapers are used; can't say which is the best. Those with droppers attached are preferred.
Shock and set up ten or twelve sheaves firmly, according to the size, cap them with two sheaves, well broken and spread over the whole.
G. W. Minier.-Yellow corn is usually preferred for feeding, and white for culiDary purposes. Italian Spring wheat is about all we need here. Winter wheat will do in our woodlands, but is a failure on the prairie soil latterly. We have a large white or light yellow oats, much admired; rye, barley, and buckwheat are little raised, and less cared for. Prepare all lands in the Fall for Spring grain, except corn, and even for that, it often does well. Sow wheat and oats early as possible. Drills for wheat are out of use in our neighborhood, but it is thought they would do better than the ordinary broadcast method We have corn planters, of course, but I must be excused from advertising any one's unless I'm paid for it; if some one will make me a present of a planter, why, I'll give him my best wind. Diamond shaped hartoys and log rollers; I know some one will call me “fogy;" no matter, Small rollcrs, witn equal weight, for crushing clods Never saw any wheat hoed in any way. Cutting up corn belongs to by-gone days and dark corners of the earth. Cut small grains as soon as the kernels are plump; don't wait for them to grow hard and shrivel. Cut with a reaper, shock and stack out-doors; putting in barns invites all the rats and mice in the whole land. Yield—wheat, about twelve bushels to the acre; oats, forty. Not much troubled with insects in our small grains; army Form sometimes takes off blades, but his visits are at long intervals.
J. Robinson.–Our corn is of the common western varieties, the Dent corn chiefly, white and yellow. I think the large yellow, with deep grains, that fit completely together nearly the whole length of the grains, will usually average the most bushels per acre on our soil. To prepare the ground for corn, I would recommend 12 inches deep, if the teams are strong enough, from the 1st to the 15th of May usual. ly, sometimes earlier or later, according to the dryness of the ground; it is useless to put corn into cold, wet soil. After plowing, I cross mark with a cheap and effective marker, constructed as follows: Pin three or more pieces of joist, 2 by 8 inches, two feet long, shaped like a sleigh runner, to a strong plank, the pieces being as far apart as you design the rows of corn to be; then pin or bolt on a piece of scantling or pole on top for a tongue; when ready for use, the cost will not exceed two dollars. A man and team can cross-mark from twenty to forty acres per day, better than he can mark eight or ten with a horse and plow; the furrows it makes are narrow and shallow, but distinct, the planter crossing them with much Dore ease than the furrows made with a plow. On ground free from weeds, I prefer 10 plant in drills four feet apart, and have the stalks stand one foot apart in the
Corn planted in this manner, on good clean land, will produce more corn per acre, with less labor, than in check-rows; but if the weeds get a start, it takes a great amount of labor to clean it. I have used the planters manufactured by G. W. Brown, of Galesburg, and another by Smith, of Peoria, and find both to do good
work. Care is required not to plant too deep, from two to three inches being sufficient depth. To till the crop, I first use a harrow, made in the shape of the letter A, with the foremost teeth twelve or sixteen inches apart, and six or eight teeth in each side; it can be used before the corn is large enough to use the cultivator ; it serves to pulverize the lumps, and kill many young weeds, leaving the ground in good condition to follow with the cultivator. I use the cultivator manufactured by T. &. H. Smith, Pekin, Ill.' The operator walks. This implement can be used either with shovels or mould-boards, adjustable to throw the earth either to or from the 'corn ; I find it to do good work, and costs about $20 each.
H. Sodowsky.-The best variety of winter wheat tried in this country is the Genesee; it ripens early and is not so apt to rust as varieties that ripen later. The Mediterranean succeeds well here; so does the Blue Stem, when the season is favorable. The best mode of sowing wheat is with the drill, when the ground will admit of it. Wheat is injured most by the winter freezing and thawing which spreads the surface, drawing the wheat out of the ground, and leaving the roots bare, which are killed by the dry weather and winds which blow the dirt from about the roots. Wheat that is sowed with a drill is in the bottom of the furrow; as it thaws and freezes, the loose soil rolls into the furrow, covering and protecting the roots from the wind. The best time to cut wheat is when the grain is in the dough; the grain is then plumper, fuller and yields more flour, whiter and better than at any other time.
W. M. Allen.-Best varieties of spring wheat, Club and Italian. Plow in the fall, and plow deep ; sow as early as the ground permits. If the ground is clear of trash, the best method of sowing is by drill; if not, by hand. Brown's is the best planter. Use all kinds of implements for corn; all are imperfect. Cut corn as soon as there is no danger of its moulding, which depends, great measure, on the weather, Cut wheat with reaper as soon as the younger heads are in the dough. Largest yield of wheat, 40 bushels; smallest, 6 bushels,
Geo. Harding.–Best varieties of corn are the clear white, and yellow; of wheat, Mediterranean and white winter wheat; white rye best; oats, English or black. Break your ground and harrow it well the first of September, for wheat and rye ; first of April, for oats ; for corn, plow deep and pulverize finely, as circumstances will permit. Plant from the 10th to 25th of May, with Dickey's drill or Brown's planter, and tend with some good two-horse cultivator, followed by a V, as long as possible, and lay by with a mould-board plow. One of the most valuable implements is the roller, which should be used whenever the condition of the ground will permit.
G. W. Vaughan.—The kinds of corn generally preferred here, are the large white and large yellow, for early planting; and the little yellow, for late.
The large white was brought from Indiana, some years ago, by a man named Titus, and is called by that name. For fall wheat, the Genesee or West, and Mediterranean are preferred. The Genesee is between a white and red quality, and is better than the Mediterranean for flour. The large white is preferable to any other for flour, but is 80 uncertain that farmers sow but little of it. For spring wheat, the Mediterranean is preferred, though many like the Canada Club very well. In oats, the common white is preferred to other kinds, as they are not so apt to blow down, and are much better to handle and feed. Rye, the large white, or blue stem. Spring barley preferred. For oats, the ground should be broken up as soon as possible in the
spring, and the oats sown and barrowed in; the same preparation of the ground is requisite for barley; rye the same as fall wheat, of which I have before spoken; both should be sown early in September, by harrowing in or drilling. The ground for fall wheat should be prepared as soon as the oats are taken off, if sown on stubble. If on new or meadow lands, should be broken in the month of June, and the wheat harrowed in. I like the drill, if the land is rolling, but if flat, I do not, as the Fater stands in the drill furrows. I have never tried the broadcast drill. For planting corn, the ground should be broken up as soon as dry enough; it should never be broken up wet, as it becomes hard and seems to lose its vitality for the season. If the ground becomes very dry before getting it all broken up for corn, I roll it before planting; if not, I plant and roll it after the corn comes up. Brown's Illinois corn planter is preferred. I use my own make of rollers and harrows. I do not know of any patent rollers in the county. I think rolling is one of the most essential modes of cultivating corn that we can adopt; it is also splendid for wheat. I use the double shovel for plowing corn. I generally harrow my corn, or plow once and then harrow ; I first use the roller, which pulverizes clods and makes ready for the plow. I have never used any of the riding plows; the Sucker State and Stafford bave been used, and are very well liked—the Sucker State preferred. I have Dever cultivated wheat by the horse-hoe, or any mode but rolling. Corn should be cut when ripe, unless the frost comes before that time in that case, it should be cut as soon as possible. We use only the hand knife for cutting corn. Wheat, rye and barley should be cut while in the dough. Oats, for feeding, should be cut in the dough; for threshing, when ripe. The Ruggs, Kirby and McCormick reapers are all used-the Buckeye and Excelsior are preferred by me.
Wheat I shock after the machine, and if the weather is dry, stand a week or two. Oats I let cure after they are cut, then bind and shock, and let them remain in that condition for some time, as they cure slowly, and are apt to heat in the stack if not very dry. I never put wheat in my barn, and but a small portion of oats at a time, as they draw rats and mice, who destroy a large portion of each, if put in for all winter. The largest Field of wheat on my farm was 28 or 29 bushels; average yield, not over 15 bushels. The largest of oats that I have thrashed, was 55 bushels; the average, about 40 bushels. The only insects injuring our wheat are the grasshopper and the fly. I know no mode of subduing either. The grasshopper injures the wheat in the early part of the season, and many farmers sow late on that account. I would always risk the grasshopper or fly to the winter freezing. The fly gets in the root in the fall, I think, and lays the eggs and they hatch in the spring, the young sucking the sap from the stalk,
S. Butler.—The speckled corn yields best; and fall wheat. Manny's machine has proved best here.
W. F. Bliss. For oats, I prefer to plow in the fall, and drill in the oats as soon as possible in the spring, at the rate of about 2 bushels to the acre. For fall wheat, I would, if the ground were new, turn it over in May and June as shallow as possible, let it lie until September, then harrow, say four times, and sow with a drill, from three-fourths to one bushel per acre. I sow the May wheats, which are small grained, as near between the 20th and 25th of September as possible. I use the Hoosier drill, and find it good-perhaps it is the best; but I know the Sherwood, Buckeye, Belleville, President, and some other drills to be good. All drills with the so-called "slide" feed, I think, are to be avoided. If the ground were not new,
I would either “summer fallow” it or break it up as soon after harvest as possible ; let it be until as near the 20th of September as you may, harrow twice, roll, harron again once, roll again, and then drill from three-fourths to one and one-fourth bush. els per acre, between the 20th and 25th of September. The more thoroughly the ground is prepared, the less seed is required. I begin cutting wheat as soon as it has gone into the dough. I use the Marsh harvester, which, with a driver and two binders standing on the machine, will cut from 6 to 12 acres per day, averaging, perhaps, 7 or 8 with moderate work. It will require, say, a man and a boy to shock it up. I put about 15 sheaves in a shock, including two cap sheaves, which are prepared by breaking down and spreading heads and butts, and laying on the shock. If winter wheat is well shocked it will go through a long rain without damage, provided the caps whicb blow off are occasionally replaced. I have usually stacked my wheat after it had stood in shock a couple of weeks, but the last two years have threshed directly from the shock with very favorable results—one year, one hundred acres, the next year, seventy-five.
D. Gove. Grains—the best varieties of corn that I have tried are known among farmers as large white, with a small seed cob, kernel very broad and deep, ripens well of a good season; I also grow a medium-sized yellow variety, which I like for feeding cattle better, as it is very productive and is not so hard for stock to masticate as the white. Of wheat, I like the white May best; it stands up well, ripens from the 15th to the 20th of June, and yields well and brings the best price in market. The black oats seem to do best with us, in as much as they do not grow so tall, and are less liable to fall. Our experience has taught us that the all-important thing about raising a wheat crop with us, is the preparation of the ground. I do not deem it essentially necessary to plow quite so deep as for corn, but it should be done thoroughly, and in August, if possible; then harrow and roll until we have all the soil thoroughly pulverized and packed, so that the roots of the young plant has a good chance to throw out its roots in all directions, and obtain a good hold on mother earth, so that the cold of winter can not kill it, nor the freezing and thawing of March can not release its hold upon the soil. I have no experience with spring varieties of wheat.
I like the Brown corn planter best of any that I have tried, and the McSherry wheat drill suits me best for putting in wheat; drilling wheat is much the best, and our best time for seeding is generally from the 15th to the 25th of September, and our best time for planting corn is about the first of May. I like what is known as the Scotch harrow best, and the best roller that I have used is one of my own con., structing, the heads or ends are of cast iron, with wrought iron spindles, the drum is framed of 8x4-inch plank, mitred together and bolted to the ends, and dressed round and smooth; the frame is made strong, aud is so constructed that it can be loaded to any desired weight; it also has a seat for the driver; the drum is 21 inches in diameter, a small roller of the same draft does much better work than a large one, in consequence of less surface on the ground at the same time. I have tried the different kinds of riding and other corn cultivators, but the cheapest and best are the double plows and double shovel. Our time for harvesting small grain is, for wheat, the last half of June, and for oats and hay, the first half of July. For harvesting, I have used both header and reaper; the header is the more speedy of the two, and the cheapest per acre; but when we consider the loss in weight and quality in the berry when it gets dead ripe, as it must do to be safe to head, it is a question, and a question of great importance, too, whether it is really cheaper in the end to head or
reap; my own opinion is, that, when labor'can be had at reasonable rates, it is the soundest policy to reap, and to do it when it will yield the greatest amount of No. 1 flour. My average yield of wheat for 20 years, has been about 20 bushels per acre, and the largest yield, about 30 bushels.
J. G. Svann.—Large, yellow and fint white corn; red and white early May wheat; beardless. For fall wheat, double breaking fallow ground; harrowing, rolling and drilled. McSherry's drill; A harrow; wooden rollers. Corn planted four feet square and cultivated with double shovel plows five times; three stalks in a hill; cutting corn, 20 hills with sword knife. September. Wheat and oats stacked. Yield of wheat, 20 bushels ; of oats, 40 bushels.
J. Balsiger.—I plant the common white and yellow Dept corn; have tried other kinds but found these best and most productive. No spring wheat is sowed here, as it is too uncertain. The kind of winter wheat we mostly sow up to this time, is what is called the “Vay wheat,” a red, early kind, with a small kernel; but new kinds are introduced now, which are growing much in favor. The Tappabannock white is an excellent kind, doing well and selling better than May wheat because of its color, its greater weight and larger grain. Another kind, the Walker or Zimmer. mann Fheat, amber color, presents about the same advantages, except that it is later. The oats we raise are the common white oats. Rye, barley and buckwheat are hardly erer sown in this neighborhood, wheat and oats bringing surer crops and greater profits. For corn and oats (except if corn stubble) the ground is plowed, if possible, once late in fall or through winter and then again in spring for oats as early as possible. The seed is then sowed broadcast at the rate of about 14 bushels per acre, and then well harrowed in. Corn land when plowed is harrowed also, then laid off both ways at four feet distance, with a corn-marker-a kind of sled with 2, 3 or 4 runners, drawn by a pair of horses—then the corn is planted where the lines made by the marker cross each other, 4 to 5 grains to the hill. Some plant it by hand in the old way, and some with hand corn planters. Brown's two-horse corn planter is much used also, particularly by large farmers. For this the land is laid off but one way. There is much time and work saved by these corn planters, but if the seed is Carefully dropped by hand, the number of kernels in each hill can be more exactly regulated, and it will often, in wet springs, especially, come up better. This is the cause why small farmers, and some large ones, have not yet abandoned hand-planting. Some use an implement for covering the corn planted by hand, with a horse, which does the work of 2 or 3 hoes,
It resembles, somewhat, a small harrow, and runs astride on the row. On the forward part are two harrow teeth for pushing aside cornstalks and other trash that might be in the way, behind these are two cultivator teeth, somewhat turned toward the row, and running close to it, covering it up, and at the hind part is adapted a sthall wooden roller, which crushes the clods that might have rolled on the corn. This corn coverer works very well with a steady horse and on clean land. When the cmn is up it is cultivated commonly with a one-horse corn plow, or the single or double shovel plow. The two-horse cultivators are not much used yet. The corn is commonly cultivated four times, crossing each time the furrows previously made. The first two times the soil is turned from the rows, and the two last times they are billed. Corn is cut up for fodder when the ears are ripe, but the stalks and leaves yet green, or if an early frost kills it too soon, then without delay after the frost, before the leaves have had time to dry and be blown off by the wind. Some think