Arthur Young.

The farmer's tour through the east of England : being the register of a journey through various counties of this kingdom, to enquire into the state of agriculture, &c. ... (Volume 1) online

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comparifon with the burnet : It was mown
twice for hay, yielded 3 4- tons ; value 4 h
7 J-. and then wheat was fown, the produce
30 bufliels, at 5 X. '

As both parts of the field were the fam6
to the end of the turnip year, we may froni
that time draw a comparifon : ■*

2 Actes Burnet;

Rent, - - - ^,116

Seed, - - - - 286

Sowing, - - - Old

Ploughing, - - - o 10 6

Harrowing, - -• - 066

Weeding, - - * 20 o o


Pirft year, -* »- ^ -5 7 <^



Rent, - - - >r. 2 2 o
Mowing, drying, thrafhing, &;c.

fuppofe, - - - i 10 o

Second year,

, &c.


25 7
3 12

her 2 Acres,



' Rent,
Mowing, making.



Third year, -



• Seed,

1 5 Loads of ftraw,

• 4 Loads of hay.







15 '=>


! Theot



Barley feed.
Ploughing and ha


7 ^



Carry over,


10 G


Brought over^

£.3 100

Mowing and harvefting.

I 00

Thrafhing, - -




Rent, - - -

Clover feed, &c.

Mowing, making, &c. twice,


14 Quarters barley, - 140 a

Straw, fuppofe - - i 10 o

Clover hay, - - - 470

5 18 o

2 2 Q



Expences, - 5 18 o
- 390

19 17 Qt


Profit in 2 years, - 10 10

Lofs by the burnet in 3 years, 15 70.

Superiority of the common huf-

bandry, - - - 25 17 <|
Add to this, the difference of

6 bufliels of wheat, at 5/. i 10 o

27 7 o

Through England. 273

And as only 2 years of one is taken
againft 3 of the other, this circumftance
would add confiderably in favour of the
common hufbandry ; but the comparifon is
decifive enough without it. Nor fhould it
be forgotten that the produce of burnet feed
'of 10/. was abfolutely accidental; and be-
longing only to this crop : extend the cul-
ture, and that would at once difappear.


Experiment^ No. 5.

This plant, which I never heard of bcin^
cultivated in common, would, beyond a,
doubt, be a very great acquifition in huf-
bandry : on good land it grows 2 feet high,
very thick and luxuriant. It is a perennial ;
in each of the three leaves is a fmall black
fpot : the blofibm is yellow : It branches
greatly, and roots ftrongly. A fmall piece
Df land fown with it, yielded at the rate of
.two loads and an half of excellent hay:
Colonel St. Lcge?^ apprehends that it will
bear a dry fummer better than any other
fpecies of the frefoile.


^'-'I. T COCK'S


This gentleman finds from fome expe-
riments on this grafs, that it is one of the
earlieft we have> and one of the firft that
Iheep eat ; it yields a vaft burthen of hay,
but coarfe : Upon all lime-ftone foils large

quantities grow fpontaneoufly when

grown to any height, cattle will not eat it
readily, for the leaves then are aimoft as
rough as a file. It yields a large quantity
of feed ; but is chiefly to be recommended
as an early food for fheep. *


Experiment, No. 6. -^

Six acres of this grafs were fown in 1766,
with corn, on a clean fallow; the foil a ftrong",
deep, lime-ftor^e clay ; 10 lb, of white clover
mixed with it. It came up well, and wa»'
mowed the firft year, produce 2 ton of haf
per acre : the mixture of the white clover-
made the hay good ; but the broom graft
bad ; it makes coarfe, foft hay ; but cattle
will eat it very well : It was mown early
the fecond year, and the land manured;
but little of it arofe afterwards ; the land
being left aimoft under white clover alpnCr






Experiment^ No. 7.

^Colonel *S/. Leger having obferved tKat
this clover is perennial, and well afFeded by
cattle, fowed 5 acres this year, with corn,
mixed with tv70 bufhels of ray-grafs.

It bears a fpiral leaf; and a bloflbm like
the common red clover. It yields a great
,burthen of hay, and alio of after-gi*afs ; it
(fprings earlier than red clover ; and moft
forts of cattle are very fond of it.

It appears to be better adapted to feed-
ing than for mowing; particularly as it
lafts longer in vigour eaten than mown.


This plant is a perennial, the yellow blof-

Jom diftinguifhing it from the annual fort,

iP^rhich yields a blue flower ; cultivated on

ftrong land, it yields a large produce of

;bay, remarkably fine for all forts of horned

:attle or fatting beafts ; and is excellent

for hard worked horfes. It is likewife an

idmirable good grafs (if we may fo call it)

n paftures fed. Two pecks of feed is the

^toper quantity for an acre. Mr. St. Leger

IT % pi'ocures


procures as much of the feed as pofTible j f.

but not under half a guinea a pint.


This plant is found on trial to p'ofleft
the fame virtues as the yellow bloflbmed^
but is only annual.


Experimefify No. 8. >

Ploughed up four acres of lime-floiitf
land in September y 1764; gave it a cohi-
plete fummer fallow. In November ^ ^l^^t
ridged it up by trench ploughing it. li
fpring 1766, harrowed it down; ploughed
it twice more, and the beginning of Odio^
her fowed winter vetches, one bufhel of j
feed per acre. The crop proved extremely
great ; they were fo thick on the ground, {
that they rotted at bottom ; which was per-ij 1^0
nicious to the quantity of corn ; had they
been mown for hay, the produce would
have been at leaft three tons per acre. Th6
land was then ploughed once, and wheat
fown ; n«ver any foil turned up In a finer
—more mellow— or complete order— it was





quite in a putrid fermcntaticn from the
thick fhade of the vetches ; the crop 28
bufhels per acre ; which is very extraordi-.
nary on this land ; It is from this account
very evident, that winter vetches are one of
the moft profitable crops that can be culti-
vated : but I ihouid remark, that fallowing
the preceding year is not neceflary. They
may very welj be made the fallow crop,
like turnips.


Experiment^ No. 9.

From feveral years experience, Colonel
*S/. Leger finds the following to be the moft
profitable method of laying land to grafs
on his foils.

Firft, pare and burn the old turf; take
two crops of turnips ; hand-hoe them both
well, and feed them both on the land. Let
the fecond crop of turnips be eaten by the
beginning of February: then plough it;
jmd let it lye till the end of March ; after
that, harrow it once or twice as necefTary,
and on this tillage plough again, and har-?
row in barley, and feeds ; 8 lb, of white
clover, ^lb» of trefoile, and 2 quarters of
T 3 hay-


hay-feeds per acre. The firft year let it be
fed : It will be a very fine pafture the begin-
ning of ^/>r// ; and yield a large quantity
of food throughout the year. A large field
laid in this manner is now feeding for the
fecond year, and the quantity of cattle
maintained, has been extraordinarily great.

Experiment^ No. lo.

Another method tried is, to fow 14/^,
pf meadow fefcue with i o lb. of white clo-
ver on the above-mentioned preparation.
It was mown for hay the firft year ; yielded
^wo loads an acre ; and a very fine aftcr-
grafs. This year (the fecond) it is paftured,
and is exceedingly good.

Upon the whole, Colonel St, Leger pre-
fers the method of No. 9. ; but it is at the
fame time more expenfive. f


Experiment i No. 11.

In 1766, five acres of a deep loamy foil,
fallowed through the year 1765, and ridged
up in the winter, were harrowed down
in the fpring, and dibbled with beans in
double rows, 8 inches afunder, with 18



inch intervals. They were hand-hoed
twice, and earthed up once. The year
was very bad and unfavourable, but the
produce, large : vaftly fuperior to what is
ever gained in this country by the common
culture. They were fucceeded by wheat
on two ploughings ; the product 27 bufhels
per acre, which is much more than was
ever known on that land.

It is from this trial extremely evident,
that the drill culture of beans would be
highly advantageous on the better fort of
land in this country : not that a previous
fallow is neceffary ; it would anfwer ex-
tremely well oa all their ftiff lands, to
make drilled beans the fallow crop ; to
keep them perfed;ly clean, and follow them
by wheat.


Experiment^ No. 12.

In 1769, one acre was finely prepared;
drilled on thin lime-ftone land, the rent i s,
4^. an acre, with a barrel drill plough
with Dr. Calebs manure hopper. The rows
equally diftant, 1 8 inches afunder ; and a
manure fhed on the feed from the hopper— ••
T 4 a com-



a comport of lime, earth — charcoal afhes — •
and rotten dung — mixed together, and
turned over feveral times during two years :
none of the plants mifled, tho- in an adja-;
cent piece broad-caft many places were
without turnips for half a rood together.
The crops were equal ; excepting the de-
duction from the broad-caft of the fpots that,
failed, ^'^


Experiment, No. 13.

Three acres of a thin lime-ftone Iand|
quite worn out, and not worth more than
zs. 6 d. an acre, were planted with the great
Scotch cabbage on a fummer fallow, irr
1767. The land was ploughed fix times,
and manured with ten loads an acre of rotten
dung. The rows 4 feet afunder, and the
plants 20 inches from plant to plant. Part
of the feed was fown in Sept ember ^ and part
the end of February. Thofe fown in Sep'
tember were pricked out of the feed bed the
-end of 05iober — once more in April — and
the beginning of May in the fields. The
February fown ones were fet diredtly from
the feed bed into the field, at the fame time




as the other. They were handrhoed once,
ind then horfe-hoed; ^md afterwards earthed
up by the plough. They were begun to be
2ilt in November^ and were finifhcd by the
niddle oi February : they were wanted, or

aid have lafted longer.
;, The^/- were given to dry cows, calves,
and fheep; who all did exceedingly well
in them ; and the crop anfwered perfedly
ivell, for one acre was more than as good
a$ three of turnips : In one refpedt they are
particularly fuperior on this foil : It is very
jpt to bake when made fine, with a hot
sun after rain, infomuch that the young
furnips can fcarcely get through ; and when
ifcey do, are of fo flow a growth, that the
fly have time to make many attacks on them.
(Cabbages are free from this great evil ;
•rhich is a circumftance extremely favour-
fkbie to them. Barley was fown after this
llfop, and it yielded a finer produce than evei*
k'@olonel St, hcger knew on this land, viz^
! 3 -^ quarters /frr acre. With it grafs {tzzdiZ,
kvere fown ; and it has i]nce continued
^better pailiire than common or^ this foil.




This hufbandry on thin foils has been by
fo many perfons thought injurious, that I
was defirous of knowing the opinion of fo
attentive a cultivator on this difputed point.
Colonel St. Leger has pradifed it for feveral
years : he always breaks up old turf in that
manner, however thin the foil may be.*
He pares it as thin as poflible, becaufe i^
is the roots that make the good afhes, not'
the earth. He is extremely clear that it
does not at all diminifh the foil ; for on va-»
rious lime-flones in this neighbourhood,'
where the foil is not four inches thick, it
has been regularly pra<ftifed for many ages ;'
infomuch that had it been attended by fuch
an effect, the whole ftaple of the foil would
long ago have totally difappcared. And he'
hasconflantly found that with good manage
ment it enfures very great crops. The rea-
fon of its being difliked by fome perfons in
this country, he attributes to the fucceeding
bad management of the farmers. They
generally take four or five crops after itj
all of corn ; and with the laft fow any vile
rubbifh called hay-feeds ; many of them do
not fow any thing, but leave the foil to turf



tfelf.' — Thus it lies for a fheep-walk 20 or
, I years ; and then they pare and burn
gain with the .fame blefled fyflem following.
It is certainly requifite to diftinguifh be-
tween the effects of general bad hufbandry,
nd thofe of a particular pradtice that hap-
;iens to be mixed in it. Paring and burning
5 by no means the neceffary cauie of thofe
II efFedls fo often feen to follow it : Were
he tenants allowed to do as they pleafe,
i)recifely the fame effects would follow, a
)refent of 40 loads an acre of rich dung :
hey would, in confequence of fuch an
cquifition, crop the land until it became
learly a caput mortuum, through eagernefs
,0 get all the advantage of it as foon as pof-
ible : the land would probably be reduced-
a much worfe ftate than before the ma-
luring : Now ought we from thence to con-
:lude, that a rich dunging was pernicious ?
[Granting the poffibility of paring and burning
)einghurtful to tl>e foil- — ^yet I reply, that the
,;vils attributed to it from the management
of common farmers are by no means to be
received as proofs of fuch fuppofed preju-
dice ; they are ej'eds of bad hufbandry in
^ exhaufting


exhaufting the land by fucceffive crops of
corn ; not of paring and burning.

Colonel Stf Leger^ from experience, re-
commends the pared and burnt land always
to be fown with turnips ; to be kept in tiU
lage 7 years, in a good courfe of crops ;
and then to be laid down again to grafsj
with great plenty of good feeds j and foon
after to be well manured. If a farm con-
fifts of twenty fields, it is an excellent fyf
tcm to pare and burn one every year — ac)f
filfo to lay one down : by that time the tuij
will be formed thick enough of reafon
;idmit the paring j the foil will never bfi
diminiilied, always kept in good hearts — ai
the crops continually great. Nor will ai^]|
reafonable objed:ions be made to the pradtic^
while it is conducted on fuch principles,


Colonel St. TjCgeVy on beginning his huf
bandry, found his farm * ftrangely over^
run w^ith what, in this country, ?ire calli(
'Reins ; that is wide hedge-rrows ; which ir
a long procefs of time had gained fo mud

* Above 300 acres.

3 <»



■'jil the cultivated land, as to ufurp more
than half of it : He fhowed me many of his
tenants fields (and it is much the fame
throughout the country) that were adually
:three parts in four thus over-run : the grafs
or arable in narrow flips between wide
(paces of ftinted fhrubby wood, bufhes,
and briars : a more flovenly wretched fight
can hardly be imagined. He determined
to extirpate all this rubbiih as foon as pof-
fible from his farm, and has accordingly
made great progrefs in it : he grubs up all
the bufhes, &c. and removing the beggarly
ill-fhaped trees, levels the whole furface
with the reft of the fields ; then ploughs
the whole, and as foon as in order, lays
them down either to natural grafs or to
fainfolne. One circumftance has made
this improvement very tough work : The
fields being ftony, the farmers have for
fomie ages picked them off; and to fave
I trouble, threw them in heaps about the
• hedge-rows and there left them : fo that
both the grubbing and le\'€lling have been
performed in a quarry above ground ; aijd
vaft quantities of the ftones carried away
for various purpofes : But dim cult as the



work has often been, yet he finds it to
anfwer greatly. He calculates that he
gains the new land at the expence of only
eight years purchafe. Before the improve-
ment the foil is ablblutely wafte : Coals are
fo cheap, that faggots will fcarcely pay for
tying ; and none of the wood would ever
rife to any other ufe. The quantity of
land thus loft, would furprife a ftranger ;
In many fields i6 or i8 acres out of 30;
in fome 8 out of 1 2 : fo that the farmers
abfolutely paid double the nominal rent for
the land. Suppofe 20 acres let at 5/. ; ten
of them being wafte, the rent of the other
ten is doubled, that is, from 5/. to ioj-. an
acre ; which is therefore the old rent of the
cultivated land : Now, after the landlord
has improved the wafte, he may certainly
let the whole at ioj-. without raifing the
rental one penny. The tenant will pay in
the exad: proportion of his old rent — — So
amazingly improveable are eftates thus
over-r^n !


The method of draining, to which this
gentleman has principally confined himfeif*



is, that of covered drains. He cuts them
18 inches deep; 16 wide at top, and 3
wide at bottom. Thefe he fills with ftones
too large to fmk to the bottom ; and then
lays on fome of the earth. The expence :
Digging, per acre of 28 yards, ^.o i 3
Carrying the ftones, - - o i o
Fining, - - - - o o 2

£0 2 s

* The ftones near the fpot.

Others he cuts in the form repre{ented
in Plate IV. Fig. i.

a. to b. — 9 inches.
' b. toe. — 14 ditto.

c. to d. /i — 4 ditto.
'' d. to e. — 10 ditto.

The drain below the fhoulders, 6 inches
I wide at top, and 2 at bottom.

Thefe are only for foils that have a ftra-
\ turn of clay under them ; the firft cut, that
18, a. to b. to be through the loam, or the
furface earth whatever it is — fo that the
fhoulders may be clay ; this is neceflary,
for if tkey are not of very ftifF adhefive
earth, they will not bare the covering. This
he always make* of flate, fuch pieces being


c88 THE farmer's tOUIt

phofeii as will aboirt fit the top part of th'
drain (o as to reft on the fl^oulders :, on thi<j
flate it is filled up;

The Colonel very juftly obferves, tha*|
loofe foils oil clay admit the water as de
Its the cky«— rbiit there it fi:Ops, and beih
retained, occafion-s the wetnefs of the lani
the bufinefs is ther-efore -to make -a cut*
will take it clear away from the bottom o:
the furface foil. It is not neceffary to ma
the upper part of the drain deeper than th
loam ; and care fhculd be taken not
cover the flatd with clay, becaufe the wa
then will not gain admiffion into the drai
while the flate only refts on the clay fhou
ders, the water runs freely under it, an
through the numerous crevices. The
drains receive no damage from the tread
the heavieft cattle. If no flate can be ha
they ihould then be filled with thorn
This method of draining is done in -
cheaper manner than thofe firfl defcribed.

Eighteen acres were drained in tliis man-' '
ner; the value of the land 6j-.*an acre 5
but has ever fmce been well worth 20 s,



111 other fields, good crops of corn have
been reaped after draining, in which a
plough before could hardly have ftirred.


Mr. Sf, Leger carries earth into his farm-
yard in Ocfober\ that which arifes from
draining, and alfo other forts : he fpreads
t over the yard and fodders his cattle all
winter on it. He alfo litters it with ftubble;
yhen the froft has rendered it brittle, he
larrows it up, and carts it to the yard.
This is much better than leaving it on the
and, but much inferior to the regular
nowing it after harveft and before bad
veather deftroys it. As foon as fpring corn
owing is over, he carts it all on to a heap,
vhich is turned over once ; and is then in
)roper order for w^heat land.


"Experiment^ No. 15.

This gentleman, -in order to be fatlsfied
jf the virtue of lime, as a manure for grafs
and, formed a very judicious experiment ;
le fpread it at the fame time in various
[uantlties on plots of grafs In a mowing

Vol. L U field;

290 THE FARiMEiV's TOUtt

field; the refult was, that 'the lime did n6
manner of fervice ; none of the quantities
were the leaft beneficial.

Experimenf^ No. 16.,
But having in Derbyjhire feen the great
life of this manure, in laying it in heaps
on the field in September to flack, he fent
into that county 35 miles at a large expencc
for two waggon loads, to try it at Park-
Hill, One part of the field he manured a:
the rate of 180 bulhels /^^r acre in heaps
left in the Derbyfiire manner- Anothei
piece adjoining he manured in the fam(
proportion, but fpread diredly out of th
carts. On another part it was fpread o
of the carts;, 32 bufliels per acre. T
refl of the field was flightly drefTed wit
rotten farm-yard manure. The refult
(I viewed the crop of hay) the dunged pai
of the field yields half as much again
any of the refl ; and trie parts fpread o^
of the carts, iJetter than that on which t
heaps were laid : this is diredly contr
- to the -effed in DcrbyJlArc,





Experiment^ No. 17.
Colonel St. Leger bought this manure at
Sheffield at \\d. 2l bufhel ; fpread 35 bufhels
an acre on a grafs field : the foil a lime-
ilone clay. It turned out much inferior to
common yard dung laid on at the fame


Experiment^ No. 18.
This manure, at 1 1 ^. a bufliel from Shef-
ucld, was fpread on the fame field, and the
cffedt was exacftly the fame as .of the bone
dufl; inferior to an equal expenditure in


Experiment^ No. 19.


This manure from the fame place, was
ipread on the fame field, at the fame ex-
.Ipence, 35 bufhels an acre, rolled in; the
effect quite imperceptible — -no more benefit
than if nothing had been fpread.
Experiment i No. 20.
In an arable field one divifion was ma-
nured with compoft of bone duft and horn
U 2 ihavings,


ihavings, 40 bulhels per acre, and the ref!
of it with farm-yard dung, 12 load an acre.
The firft crop was much the better after the
dung, but the fecond was fuperior after the


Experi/nenty No. 21.

Four acres of grafs on a limc-ftone cfay
were manured in Odiober with foap-alhes,
40 bufhels per acre, at the cxpence of
i/. I J. 6</. all charges included. The refultj^
in one word was — no kind of improvemenJ
— not perceptible where laid.

'Experiment i N^o. 22-
Harrowed in foap-afhes with barley feed]
the benefit was vifible — though not verj

'Experiment^ No. 1%,

Harrowed in foap-aflies, 60 bufhels pet
acre, wFth turnip feed, on part of a field ;j
the ufe of them extremely apparent — the
turnips much better than where no manure
was laid.



Experiment, No. 24.

A compoft was formed of the following
i materials.

8 Loads of lime
40 Ditto yard dung
42 Ditto pond mud
^' 10 Ditto charcoal aihes


They were mixed well together, and

Vften turned over during 2 years. It was

tried both on grafs land and alfo for barley,

being harrowed in with the feed — the efFedl

excellent ; anfwered much better than any

(Common manuring.


The lime-ftone clays bake fo hard w^ith
the fun, that they cannot be ploughed at
pleafure, without this machine ; but with
the ufe of it, the tillage of them never is at
a ftand. Colonel St. Lcger has experienced
feme dry fprings in which he could not
Jjave got in his barley without it.

U 3



Experiments No. 25,

This fhrub is fo bad a weed on many of
the lands in this country, that the Colonel
was felicitous to difcover the beft methods
of deftroying it ; he tried feveral ways ;
particularly cutting it clofe to the ground at
various feafons. In the winter the opera-
tion had no efFed:, but little in autumn or
early in the fpring, but he found that all
cut while the broorn was in full luxuriance
of growth, was quite deftroyed : and fmce
he found this method of deftroying it, he
has had little difficulty in keeping his land^J
plear of it. But he has obferved, that the^
land laid to grafs after killing the broom
though it keeps free of it, yet produces a
full crop when converted again to tillage,


Kxperhnenty No. 26.
A grafs field of deep foil was broken with
the paring fpade and ploughing united j
firft, the turf was cut thin, and turned over,
then the '^otheram plough followed in the
fame trad:, and buried it under new molds.
Peafe were harrowed in ; the crop uncom-



moixly great. Next, it was ploughed up for

barley, and the old fwarth came up quite

black and rotten, and fell into powder ;

2 pecks of barley per acre were fown, on

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryArthur YoungThe farmer's tour through the east of England : being the register of a journey through various counties of this kingdom, to enquire into the state of agriculture, &c. ... (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 23)