« PreviousContinue »
All those attending the two last mentioned courses came, with two exceptions, with scholarships from the counties of Brecon, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Merioneth, Montgomery, Pembroke, and Radnor.
The dairy school in the College premises was again open in the summer for two courses each of eight weeks duration, in butter and in cheese making. The courses were attended by 29 pupils altogether, including those already mentioned as having attended the course for the National Diploma in Dairying, who all, with one exception, came with county scholarships.
A three weeks course in horticulture was also held at the
Lectures.-In Cardiganshire, a course of six lectures on agricultural subjects was given at one centre, while courses of four lectures each were given at two other centres. The average attendance was 87.
Horticultural instruction was given at four centres, each being visited for a fortnight, and lectures and demonstrations held. The attendance at the lectures averaged 60.
In Carmarthenshire, courses of four lectures each, in agricultural subjects, were given at four centres. The average attendance was 71.
Horticultural instruction took place at eight centres, for a fortnight at each centre. The average attendance at the lectures was 77.
In Montgomeryshire, courses of four lectures each, in agricultural subjects, were held at three centres with an average attendance of 34. Lectures and demonstrations in horticulture were held at four centres for a fortnight, the attendance at the former averaging 167.
A course of six lectures and four demonstrations was also given in poultry keeping at one centre in this county, the attendance averaging 50.
In Radnorshire, lectures in agricultural subjects were taken up for the first time. A course of four lectures was given at one centre to an average audience of 30.
Field Demonstrations.-In Cardiganshire, experiments were conducted at three centres, the crops being mangolds and meadow hay and the object being to test the manurial requirements of the soil; at two other centres experiments were conducted to test the value of different varieties of oats and potatoes.
In Carmarthenshire, experiments to test the manurial requirements of the soil were conducted at two centres, the crops at each being mangolds; while in Montgomeryshire, similar experiments
were conducted at two centres, the crop being meadow hay, and at another, on the same crop, to test the residual value of manures. At three other centres, experiments were conducted with different varieties of potatoes.
Dairying. Instruction in butter-making by means of a travelling school was given in Cardiganshire at three centres; at two of these the course lasted for a fortnight and at the third for three weeks. An average of 12 pupils attended the courses.
In Carmarthenshire, the school visited four centres, at each of which a fortnight's course of instruction was held, with an average attendance of 11 pupils.
In Breconshire, one centre was visited and a three weeks' course held there, which was attended by 18 pupils.
The total attendance at all these courses was 100, of whom all but three took the full course of instruction provided.
A variety of useful experiments are now in progress at the farm on different crops. Some are manurial, others to test the comparative value of different varieties of cereals and roots.
A bullock-feeding experiment, to compare the value of different foods, was also conducted. The dairy cattle kept are partly Welsh and partly shorthorn. The sheep are Welsh, Shropshire, Kerry Hill, and Radnor, and it is desired to build up pedigree flocks of the three first breeds. Apart from this, a number of different crosses are being tried with a view of ascertaining the best for the production of fat lambs.
The expenditure during the financial year has amounted to £2,313, including an amount of £435 disbursed on account of the maintenance expenses of county scholars, but not including expenses in connection with the joint College and Counties farm. The receipts have included county council grants, £1,169; fees and miscellaneous receipts, £101; and the Board's grant of £1,000, which included the sum of £200 paid to the farm
The fund which, under the auspices of the Chancellor of the University, and with the invaluable advantage of his direct and personal assistance, has been started to provide means for the erection of proper buildings for the agricultural department at the University, is gradually growing. It will be recollected that the Drapers' Company were generous enough to offer £5,000 if at least a similar amount were raised from elsewhere. This has been secured, as various large landowners have contributed sums of £1,000 each, while lesser sums have also been promised, till the total now stands at about £12,000, of which one sum of £1,000 is conditional on £20,000 being raised altogether. This last sum is certainly the minimum which will be required for the erection of adequate and fitting buildings. Although in previous reports the necessity for such buildings has been shown, it may yet be desirable to again point out that not only are these buildings
needed for teaching purposes (the department having at present no buildings whatever of its own) but also for research. In this last respect the University occupies a position for benefiting agriculture at home and in the Colonies quite unique in character. There are always at Cambridge a number of young men who have taken their degrees, but who stay on at the University for purposes both of further study and of research. Such men have graduated, some after studying one branch of science and some after studying another, and, under the skilled advice of the Professor of Agriculture, can have their energies directed into channels of research which will be useful to agriculture while still working under the general supervision of those Professors by whom they were originally trained.
It is impossible at any one place to carry on research which will satisfy the needs of so varied and all embracing a subject as agriculture. The problems which confront that industry in all parts of the Empire, in the solution of which science may be of immense help, must be approached by many minds, trained in many different schools of thought, but there is no place in this country where keener and fresher intellects can be brought to bear on the subject than at Cambridge, or where, given adequate buildings, the work can be conducted with greater efficiency and economy.
Even at the present time, and under the existing most adverse conditions, a work much larger than is generally realised is already being carried on. Reference has been made in previous reports to the work which the staff in the chemical laboratory have done in respect of the composition of mangolds. A few points still remaining have engaged further attention, and now mangolds are being put to feeding tests after analyses have been made showing, amongst other points, the high or low sugar content of the roots employed. An exhaustive examination of different flours is now being made both from the physical and chemical points of view, and a comparison made of their baking qualities; in fact, all that it is possible to bring out by chemical analysis is being done in order to give the utmost auxiliary aid to the great biological work of creating new varieties which is being carried out, and the prospects of which are so encouraging.
In addition to the foregoing, which represents as it were normal work, one research student (a county scholar) has been investigating the causes of blackening in potatoes, and is now engaged on the composition of soil waters and their relation to fertility. Another has made some hundreds of analyses of barleys with the object of investigating the inheritance, in those selected, of a high or low nitrogenous content. Another has carried on similar investigations as regards wheat, samples being taken of all the generations of wheat bred at the farm, and referred to later. In the early summer of this year he also conducted an investigation on special lines into the botanical composition of pastures in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. The investigations of the Blyth" scholar, referred to in last year's report, into the chemical composition of soils in the Eastern counties, were continued, and have now been completed,