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Ranche and Range.
VOI,. I, NO. 2.
VALUE OF HARROWING.
BY ED. WKU.KW.
In riding over our county a few days ago the
writer noticed many fields being plowed for grain,
potatoes, hops, etc. More than one-half of the
plowed fields were just as the plow left them,
some very poorly plowed, some rough and un
even, while in a few cases the harrow or "drag"
had followed the plow.
We certainly have one of the best farming
countries in the world, but even here such begin
nings will not result in successful farming. Here,
where we have warm, sunny days and occasional
dry winds, the harrow should follow the plow if
good results are to be obtained. Never allow
plowed fields to remain exposed to the sun and
dry air, but pulverize the surface as quickly as
possible. In this way the moisture is retained,
germination hastened, irrigation delayed, better
crops assured, and much time and labor saved. •
It is surely a serious mistake to expose a
rough surface of the soil and let the moisture
evaporate simply because we have an abundance
of water to irrigate with.
Last year on a piece of grain land forty-eight
bushels per acre of barley were raised where the
ground was well plowed and the harrow followed.
On the same kind of soil, near by, a little less
than thirty bushels per acre of barley were raised
where the plowed field was exposed from two to
three days before harrowing. This last field re
quired more irrigating than the first, had the
same kind of seed put in just as well, equally as
good soil, was planted nearly at the same time,
and yielded more than eighteen bushels less per
acre. There may not always be so great a differ
ence, but there will be a difference. The success
ful farmer in any country will agree with us, we
believe; at any rate, experiment will prove bene
ficial to the doubtful.
North Yakima, Wash.
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BY WILLIAM LEE, JR.
In this irrigated country I prefer to have the
manure under the ground; therefore I make a
pit about six inches larger around than the frame
used, and eighteen inches deep, fill this with
heated manure, and put on between four and five
inches of soil, letting it remain a few days before
planting for the earth to get warm. The seed is
planted in rows four inches wide, to allow space
to cultivate between. Draw the rake lengthwise
NORTH VAKIMA, WASH., APRIL 15, l'S<;7-
of the lows and press the dirt firmly with a board.
Much of the failure in plants not coining up is
that the soil is not in close contact with the seed.
Place covers over the sash and in four or five days
see if the plants are coming up. If they are,
then we let in the light and air. This is a very
Important time in the plant life, for if we do not
give sufficient air the plants will grow too spind
ling. vSix or seven weeks from planting the seed
the plants will be large enough to set out in the
open air. A few days before doing sc remove the
sash entirely from the frames to harden the plants.
The world 1 s wheat crop for 1896 was 2,428,
--393,000 bushels. This fact will be officially an
nounced by the secretary of rgricultttre in a report
to be issued soon. Although the total wheat crop
is 18,000,000 bushels less than in 1895, it is larger
than earlier estimates indicated. This is largely
due to an increase of 5,000,000 bushels in Euro
pean Russia, as shown in the final estimate of the
minister of agriculture of that country. The
crop for 1896 is the smallest for six years. Re
garding the distribution of the wheat crop of the
United States for 1896, the report will state:
All sections report an exceptionally small per
centage on hand, the general average being 20.6
against 26.3 last year, and showing but 88,000,
--000 bushels in farmers' hands March 1. Unusu
ally little of the crop of 1895 remains —but 3 per
cent against 4.7 per cent of the 1894 crop so held
h year ago. A larger proportion than usual must
be retained for home consumption.
It is claimed that there has been discovered a
good substitute for the finest brands of Japan tea
in alfalfa leaves, properly picked and cured. The
advocates of alfalfa tea claim that its continuous
use proves a great benefit to the human system,
as it serves as a sort of tonic and corrective, and
will keep one in a state of splendid health with
out the aid of doctors or drugs. It is estimated
that the people of our country demand from the
Oriental tea trade about 78,750,000 pounds of tea
per year. The immense expenditure of millions
of dollars annually for this one article of diet,
when supplanted by the alfalfa leaf, which is pro
duced so luxuriantly all over the arid and semi
arid districts of the west, means a big bonanza
for somebody, and a good thing for American in
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WORLD'S WHEAT CROP FOR 1896.
« « *
ALFALFA LEAVES FOR TEA.
$] PBR YEAR.