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is loose, and therefore must be packed together, to hold the roots of the wheat plants; and for the same reason it would not be a good practice to give the land more than one good plougbing. As confirmatory of this, at least as far as the packing of the soil is concerned, the same farmer adds, that every farmer must notice places about his fields, where there is a road, or the land has been tramped bard from some cause, where there is no killing of his wheat, even though all the rest of the field may be killed. He happened to put in part of a crop on some summer-fallowed land, without the usual ploughing before sowing, and his surprise was great, when barvest came, to find that here was a splendid crop, while all the rest of his wheat had either failed, or turned out badly.
It is supposed, that the common fault must be to put in the wheat too deep, and as usually cultivated, it is very likely the fact, that the depth is too great if the ground can be made to stay where it is put. A half inch, if the kernel is made to stay, and also the ground above it, is about the right depth.
In the north of the State wheat should be sown broad-cast, and harrowed both ways, or drilled in by a proper machine about the begin. ning of September. Wheat sown upon such land, in this manner, rarely fails to produce an excellent crop. The best way I think, to raise Winter Wheat on new prairie, is to break it in June very
shal. low, and cross-plough it a little deeper than it was broken, about the end of August, then sow and harrow it well, and leave it as rough as you can.
If among corn, sow about the last of August, or first of September, and put in with a double shovel-plough, by going twice in
Cattle must not be allowed to run on it and tramp it, unless the ground is covered with snow. The stalks must be broken down or cut, in spring. To break them, one takes a pole, ten or twelve feet in length, and bitches a team to it, so as to draw it sideways, when the snow is off, and the ground and stalks frozen, and break three rows at once. One man with a team will break thirty acres in a day. I roll all my small grain in spring, thinking that it grows more evenly, and knowing that it is better harvesting.
A surprising fact, which deserves to be mentioned is, that many good farmers in the State of Illinois have often looked upon growing Winter Wheat as an enterprise which is not always attended with
the best success, or wbich comparatively affords but little profits ; while it may be derived from very reliable sources, that at the time when the country was first settled, some farmers in the neighborhood of Rock River did not seldom produce over forty bushels of wheat to the acre.
For fear of ill success in growing Winter Wheat, they mostly depend upon Spring Wheat, and there can certainly no failures of the crops occur, if the soil is but properly tilled, that is to say, if you plough deep enough, not only three, inches, but from three to six inches deep, which practice, though requiring more labor and expense, will amply recompense, and be of incalculable advantage to those who do not object to it. The result of the first crop is of greater importance to the new settler or beginner, than any of the subsequent ones, because at the beginning such heavy expenses will arise, that no one should neglect the somewhat exhausting labor of tearing open the sod turned round. Winter Wheat will then yield a splendid crop. On older land the culture of Winter Wheat deserves a particular attention, where the seed cast between the corn rows still on the field, is ploughed in with a three-shovel cultivator. Seldom as this last method is adopted, several years' practice have showo, that such winter seed is least exposed to freezing, because the dropping corn-leaves screen it exceedingly well, and the wheat soon overtops the stubble, so that at barvest-time, it forms no obstruction. One could certaiuly put in a great deal more wheat in this manner, if there would not usually be too much weed amongst the corn-rows, or if as it frequently happens, the wind had not broken or bent so many corn-stalks. Adother fact which should not be left unobserved, is, that seed wheat should never be threshed with a machine, but should be carefully shelled to prevent its cracking; from a continued use of threshed wheat for seed, it becomes more and more degenerated every year, and the blasting or sickening in general, of the wheat designated for seed, may really be derived from the wrong method of threshing the same, it becoming spoiled by the thresher. Many kernels are broken or partially mashed, and can never produce a perfect crop, but on the contrary, render poorer and poorer every succeeding harvest.
OATS. Oats are extensively grown in almost every part of the State, and never fail to produce a remunerating crop. In order to prevent their lodging or falling out, which they are apt to do soon after heading out, the farmer sows on corn land, and harrows in the crop, without using the plough, putting from two to three bushels on the acre. Mr. Jas. N. Brown, former Secretary of the State Agricultural Society, in a letter to the above damed institution, says, that in his judgment, farmers are in the habit of putting too little seed of oats or other grain upon the acre; he thinks that if the land is too thinly sown, the deficiency resulting will be supplied by noxious weeds. The accounts of persons for many years engaged in farming, show that in some locations, only from 40 to 50 bushels of oats per acre have been obtained, while in other parts of the State, for example, in the vicinity of Springfield, from 60 to 80 bushels per acre, are obtained. not be a wrong suggestion that much depends on the quantity of seed oats planted in an acre; three bushels of seed will undoubtedly yield a more plentiful crop, than one and a half or two bushels, provided that the soil is well lilled.
BARLEY. Barley is commonly sown after Indian Corn. It seldom thrives on newly-broken soil. A gravelly soil, which is light, warm, and sandy, is best fitted for it. It should be prepared as early as possible in the season.
The ground for barley, more than for any other grain, must be deeply ploughed and finely pulverized. Twice ploughing is necessary, and unless the soil is very light, it would be an advantage to bave one ploughing done in the fall. Barley may be sown after corn, potatoes, or beans; it is sometimes sown after wheat or oats, but though the grain in this case is always finely colored, it is bad farming, and, except under peculiar circumstances, should never be done. The earlier it is done the better, but it is sometimes sown as late as the last of May.
No crop, perhaps, is benefitted so much by rolling as barley. Wood ashes are an excellent manure for barley. Fresh barn-yard manure should not be used. Well rotted manure from the yard, thoroughly mixed with the soil, will give the tender grain a quick and vigorous start, and add greatly to the yield. Dry weather, after sowing, is highly favorable to this crop, but wet weather is injurious.
On new prairie-land barley is not a profitable crop, unless the soil be deeply broken up in the fall, and then thoroughly worked in the spring, with a cultivator, or by light ploughing, so as not to disturb the sod. Barley is one of the best crops to sow grass-seeds with, and ranks among those species of grain which are much cultivated, and very successfully, in a portion of the State.
Although rye is not extensively raised in Illinois, it cannot be denied that if the culture of it is properly managed, pretty good crops may bere and there be obtained. Some farmers in St. Clair County and neighborhood, have, for some years past, been pretty successful with it. The farmers who live in the neighborhood of towns in this State, generally devote part of their land to the cultivation of it, in order to meet the demands of bakers.
Is an excellent crop, as far as it goes, and for the uses required. It is easily raised, requiring neither an over rich soil, nor a culture more particular than good management would demand for any crop. The best time for sowing it is the advanced part of the summer, when it will also work the destruction of the weeds ; so that the culture of this crop is favorable for cleaning the fields.
It may be sown in the course of the month of June, and it has even been put in as late as the 4th of July, and good crops have been obtained. It is usual to sow about oue busbel per acre, or a little less, broadcast, and cover with the harrow. It is better to roll the ground after sowing. By so doing the crop grows slow; but without careful management, will be liable to become foul with sand or earth, and thus injure the flour made from the grain. The ground should well tilled; there is no other difficulty in the culture. The crop is cut with the cradle before frost, and should be raked very carefully on a dry day, to avoid dirt. It is advisable to set up the gavels on the beds for drying, and to carry them to the floor and thresh immediately. The crop is liable to heat if staked or packed closely in a mow, and
the grain must be thoroughly cleaned, if it is desired to serve as food for human beings.
A correspondent of the Ohio Cultivator says, that he has made experiments to render land designed for wheat-culture more fertile, breaking up and ploughing under buckwheat plantations." This seems to be a method which meets the general approbation of those who have ever made the same experiment, with care and attention.
This branch of agriculture comes more and more into use, and is very lucrative to the farmer, if he understands the proper and judicious management. Considering the great increase of the production of beer, it is not to be expected that the prices will ever be lower than twenty cents. The middle and southern parts of Illinois seem to be particularly favorable for the growing of hops. In the neighborhood of Belleville, and in Missouri, the most promising beginnings have been made in the culture of hops.
Deep, loamy soil, is best for hops, and good corn land is good hop land also. To prepare land for hops, plough nine or ten inches deep, the land to be furrowed the same as for corn. Hops have running roots, from one foot to three feet long, with joints or eyes to them. These roots are cut from the old hill, every spring, after they have been planted two years. The joints or eyes are two or three inches apart. These are the roots to be planted; they must be cut so as to have three joints to a piece, and put three pieces to a bill. They are covered three inches deep. The second year, the quantity and quality are likely to be as good as ever from the field. Hops are generally planted at a distance which gives eight hundred bills to the acre They twine around poles from thirteen to twenty feet long.
In order to obtain good potatoes for seed, make choice of a small spot of arable, well-drained land—an eastern slope, and new land, are the best-ploughed early in the spring, and furrowed four or five inches deep, 24 feet apart. Select middling-sized potatoes, which have touched the ground during the winter previous; but do not cut them. Drop one every eight inches along the furrows, and cover them