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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fome time, does not fo much as let in any
air through the holes in the doors : the
breath of fo many, with the natural heat of
their bodies, bring them foon to fweating
prodigioufly, and, when that is in its height,
they fatten the beft and quickeft. After
fweating a fortnight, the hair ail peels ofr
them, and a frefh coat comes, like that in
April or May^ and, after that, they fweat no
more. Mr. Moody has obferved, that thofe
beafls, which do not fweat at all, fcarcely
ever fatten well.

He gives a beaft, of 100 ftone, two cakes
a day, at firft, for about two months, and
then three a day till fat : the cakes weigh
about 6/^. each, they have alfo lolb, of
hay ejich fer day ; but they eat only tlic
D d 4 prime


prime of it ; a large ftock of lean beafts be-
ing kept on their ofFal hay.

Suppofc a beaft put up the ift of Novem~
her : the two firll months he eats 120 cakes; I
from "January to the end of March^ he eat^
270 more, 390 cakes in all ; and, reckoning
lolb. of hay a day, during the whole time,
it is I ton 6 cwt,
390 cakes, (dlb. each, 21 cwt. at

4/. 10 J", a ton, are, - £.4 14 6

I ton, 6 cwt. hay, at 40 j. - 2120

Total, -» - m 766

So that an ox of 1 00 ftone, in his winter
fatting, eats above 7 /. but he improves in
value more than to that amount. If they
only cleared it, there would remain great
profit ; for Mr. Moody raifed 200 very large
loads of rotten dung from the winter fat-
ting of 45 beafts, by means of 20 waggon
loads of wheat ftubble, ufed for littering ;
and, as long experience has proved the dung
of beafts fattened on oil cakes, much to ex-
ceed any other, he values it at 7/. 6^. a load,
as much as can be carried away by four
horfes, on a very large cart.



The weight about 3 tons, this

is, - - - JC-7S "^ ^

Declu6l for 20 load of ftubble,

at 5 J". - - - 500

Profit on the dung of 45 beafts, 70 o o

Or, per beaft, - - i 1 3 o

But Mr. Moody has often taken lean oxen
of a fmaller fize from ftraw, put them to oil
cake and hay, and fold them fat in eight
weeks, with a confiderable profit on them.

He bought two oxen for 1 7 /. i o s. out of a
team, in Jiify^ quite lean : he kept them at
grafs till the end of O^ober^ then put them
to cakes, and fold them the ^/>r// following
for 50 guineas, which is very confiderable.
Nor does he ever fatten any, that yield him
ho other profit than the dung : he gene-
rally makes from 40J. to 6/. a head, clear
profit on the cake-fatting alone.

The attendance on them is not expen-
five, from the very great convenience of the
houfe. He has never more than a man and
boy to the whole 26 : they heat and break
the cakes, give them to the beafts, fupply
them with hay, pump their water, litter and



clean them, without any affiftance, and
have a good deal of time to fpare.

In the above calculation, the oil-cake is
reckoned at its prefent high price ; but the
average rate is not above 4/. a ton.

The fyftem, upon the whole, is excellent:
a profit is made upon the fattening, in the
mere difference of the price lean and fat ;
but the grand objed: is the railing large quan-
tities of the beft dung in the world. I may
remark, that Mr. Moody^ quantity is much
under what ought to be raifed, as may be
eafily imagined, from his not having land
enough of his own to ufe it. It is not,
therefore, an object with him ; but twenty
waggon loads are nothing to 45 beafts : they
would convert a load a head into dung,
without in the leaft diminiihing the virtue
of it ; but this would depend on the ma-
nagement : the urine alone of thefe beafts
would make a vaft quantity of ftraw into as
rich a heap of black manure as can be con-
ceived. If they were thoroughly well littered,
and their dung kept before the houfe, in a
clamp made in a cubical form, and all the urine
regularly pumped on to it^ the heap would
contain abundantly more than2oo loads, and



be to the full as valuable as the prefent
quantity, without Inch attention ; and, up-
on this fyftem, oil-cake fattening would be
one of the readieft methods of improving a

That the value of the dung Is greater than
common, cannot be doubted. In fome
parts of Torkfiire^ I think about Broad/-
worthy I have been told of 9 j. a load of only
32 bulliels being given for it.

It is fomething curious to calculate the
quantity of manure arifing from a given
quantity of litter. The preceding account
will furnifh data for that purpofe.

Twenty loads of ftubble the litter.

Twenty-fix beafts, if all of 100 ftone,
would eat 27 tons of cake; but, as 12 of
them are of a much fmaller fize, we muft
call it 20 tons : the number of 45 beafts
makes no change, as there were never more
than 26 at a time, only the houfe kept full.
The fatting was performed in the fame time ;
The hay would, if all were large beaftsi
amount to 33 tons : call it therefore 30.

? Thq


The quantity of dung in loads of

3 tons each, is - - 200

Dedud: 7 loads for 20 toa cake, - j

Remains on the account of hay and
ftubblc, 33 loads of hay, and 20 of
Hubble, in all 53 loads, - 193

Or, per load, - - 3 t

But, as thefe loads of dung are quite un-
common, we muft calculate on fuch as are
better known. A ton and half are a very
good large cart-load : let us therefore dou-
ble the 193, it is 386.

This is to I load of hay and ftubble 7 of

From whence it appears, that a waggon
load of litter makes 7 good loads of dung.
The notion, common in fome places, of a
load of ftraw making only a load of dung,
is a mere vulgar error. I fhould value fuch
dung on a farm at 5 j. a load, in any part of
Ejig/dfid : according to which price every
load of litter pays i/. 15/. Does not this ac-
count tend ftrongly to prove, that litter may,
in general, be profitably bought at much
higher prices than common ?



Mr. Moudy tried an experiment to decide
the comparative value of the oil-cake dung
with common farm-yard manure. He di-
vided a clofe of 16 acres of grafs in halves:
8 acres he manured from the ox dunghill,
1 2 loads an acre ; and 8 from a common
hill, 24 loads an acre. The half manured
with the oil-cake dung much exceeded the
other : the fuperiority was indifputable.

He has cultivated carrots with very great
fuccefs. In 1766, he had an acre and half:
the foil, a good deep fand, unmanured; but
ploughed twelve inches deep. They were
hand-hoed, 9 inches afunder, and kept quite
clean. Ufed them for fatting oxen, and
with the utmoft fuccefs : the crop weighed
20 tons per acre.

In 1767, he fowed the land with barley,
and got feven quarters and an half per acre.

In 1767, he had another crop of carrots,
half an acre and half a rood of the fame foil.
It was freih land, and he pared it, and car-
ried the turf all off to a compoft heap : this
piece was alfo ploughed 1 2 inches deep, and
the carrots fet out, at the diftance of nine
inches : they were dug up for oxen, as
wanted. No beafts in the world could fat-


ten quicker : they liked them better than
oil cake, and throve as well on them.

The half acre and half rood produced at
the rate of 20 tons per acre, and fattened
three oxen of 80, 100, and 1 10 ftone, dur- ^
ing three months : each beaft had half a
ftone of hay a day : they throve as well as ^
if on oil cake. ^|'

Suppofe the land but half an acre, and ^
the beaft s but two, it is four to an acre, three '
months : they would in that time have eat
of oil cake,

Two tons, i8f'Z£;f. or, £,'^Z ^ ^

There is alfo a faving of 1 3 IL of

hay each beaft per day ; it is

two ton, - - -400

Total, - - 17 I I

The difference of the half rood, and the
other beaft, would more than make this fum
20/. the produce of one acre of carrots.

Thefe beafts fattened fo well on the car-
rots, that Mr. Moody much regretted the not
having more land that would do for them,
which had he poffeffed, he would never have
bought any more oil cake. The above va-



luation of the faving in cake, does not give
the real value of the carrots, as the profit on
the beads fhould come into the account, and
alfo that of the dung : the crop paid i /.
per ton.

In 1768, the piece was planted with po-
ratoes, and he fold the half acre and half
food for 13/. the purchafer to be at the ex-
pence of the iaft cleaning and the taking
up : this is juft 20 /. an acre.

In 1769, it was fown with carrots again,
on one ploughing : the management as be-
fore : the crop came to 25 ton. Many of
them were 18 inches in circumference:
they were given to oxen, who fattened on
them as well as before: no beaAs could
thrive quicker.
In 1767, this piece of land paid

^f/* acre, in carrots, - ^. 20 o o
In 1768, in potatoes, - 20 o o

In 1769, in carrots, - 25 o o

It is now under potatoes, and promifes
for a vaft crop. This experiment fuffici-
ently proves the profit of the carrot huf-

Another piece of three acres was fown
with carrots, in 1768, and managed in the



fame manner. The only particular minute
Mr. Moody kept of them was, that they
faved him, in fatting oxen, juft 70/. in

In 1769, it was fown with oats, and
yielded 35 quarters, on the three acres.

Grafs feeds were fown with the oats, viz,
two quarters per acre of hay feeds, 6/^
white Dutch clover, and 6 lb, trefoile. It
was mown for hay this year, and produced
7 tons. The amazing profit of thefe rich
fands, when cultivated with the vegetables
that fuit them, may from hence be eafily

The expences of an

acre of carrots, Mr,

Moody calculates as follow.



Town charges,




Seed, 6 lb.








Weeding and hoeing.



Taking up.



Carry over, - - 643


Brought over, ^.6 4 3
Carting home, - - 0100

Topping, wafhing, and cutting, 015 o

1_ 9__3

Average product, - 22 10 o
Total expenceS) - 7 9 3

Clear profit, - - 15

An acre fats 4 oxen during 1 4 weeks ; the
lowefl: calculation we can make of the dung
arifmg, is 7 loads per head, or 2 S in all ;
which at 5J-. is 7/. from which is to be
deducted the price of 4 loads of litter : fup-
pofe at I o J. or 40 s, in ail, there remains
profit on the dung 5 /.
By carrots, - - Z'^^ ^ ^

Dung, - - - -500

Total profit /if r acre, - 20 o 9

And if the above data are taken as a guide,
I do not fee how the profit by an acre of
fuch carrots can be laid at a lefs fiim. But
fuppofe objections are ftarted by thofe who
do not underftand the culture ; let them
form their dedudions, ftrike off half the
Vol. I, E e amount;


amount ; where will they find a fallow crop
that cleans the land of weeds in fo effectual
a manner, that will pay fuch a profit ?
Turnips will never do it.

Carrots at 20 s. a ton, come to about 5^.
■^ a bufhel, reckoned at 48 /L But let me
obferve, that the common price to fell them
in the fouthern part of Nottinghamjhire^ is
6^. to thofe who buy them, and make a
profit themfelves ; from whence it is fuffici-
ently plain that the above valuation is under
the truth.

The carrots which I have cultivated my-
felf at different times, have paid from 9^.
to IJ-. id.m. a general way. The above
crops reckoned at fuch a price, would rife
from 30/. to 40/. an acre profit.

Twelve acres and an half of hazel loam,
a very rich foil, was ploughed from the old
turf; and cropped with woad for two
years. It was then fown with barley, 7
pecks of feed an acre, and produced 7 quar-
ters. Next it was fown with oats, 2
bufhels per acre ; the crop 1 1 quarters per
acre : with thefe oats were fown 2 quarters
of hay feeds, ttlb. of white clover, and 6 lb.
of trefoile. This year (which is the firft)




40 tons of hay are mown, and the after-
grafs will now fell for 10 s. aii acre.

The woad-men gave 6/. los. per acre
for the two years, and paid all rates.

About Retford^ in the clays, Wheat pro-
duces 30 bufhels an acre; Barley 4 quar-
ters ; Clover 2 loads of hay, and a feed-
ing ; and of Beans 3 quarters.

Upon fandy lands of ^s. an acre, they
have, I. Turnips of 2/. 2s. value; 2. Bar-
ley, 5 quarters ; 3 Clover, 2 loads an acre
at one mowing ; and 4. Wheat, 24 bufhels.

In the good fands of 20J. an acre, they
have I. Turnips, worth on an average 50 j.;
2. Barley, 6 quarters; 3. Clover, 2 loads
of hay, and an after-grafs worth ioj". an
acre ; 4. Wheat, 30 bufhels an acre.

Farms around Retford rife from 20/. to
1 20/. a year : in general from 50 /. to 60/.
The average rent of fiiff lands 15J. an acre,
and of fands ioj*.

The befl farmers in this neighbourhood
reckon that 2000 /. is necefTary to ftock a
fand farm of 200/. a year. They divide
that fum in the following manner.

Rent, _ - - £'^00

Town charges, - - 15

Carry over - £-^^5



Brought over.

- .C.215

Tythe, - - -


12 Horfes,




3 Waggons,


2 Broad wheeled carts,


Two narrow ditto.




6 Ploughs,


1 Large ditto,

. - 5

4 Pair of fmall harrows.

and 2

large ditto,


2 Rollers,


6 Cows,


2 Sows,


300 Sheep,


24 Young cattle.


Seed, 40 acres wheat.


40 Turnips,


40 Clover,


40 Barley,


2 Men, - _ -


2 Boys, - - -


2 Maids,

- 6

2 Labourers,


Extra labour.


Carryover, - 1078


Brought over, - jT. 1078
Labour in improvements, - 100
Houfekecping, - - - 100
Furniture, - - - 150

Cafh in hand for the fecond year,
which will fall fhort in produce, 600


Mr. Moody tried a compoft confifting of
the turf pared off three roods of land,
mixed in a heap with 14 loads of oil-cak6
dung, in February 1767. It was turned
over the November following; again in
Mayy and laid on 5 and ' acres of grafs
land, the foil a cold clay, the Michaelmas
following: the quantity 125 loads; and
no improvement could be greater. One
acre after this manuring Was worth thred
of the fame land before.

There has been lately pracStifed, near
"Retford^ feme very uncommon improve-
ments by means of hops, particularly by

George Broivn^ Efq; of Ordfal, and

Mafon^ Efq; of the fame neighbourhood. I
was fo unfortunate as not to find Mr. Brown
at home, but on an accidental meeting he had
before given me the following flight account.
E e 3 He


He tried them on a black bog, 3 feet deep ;
the fpontaneous growth nothing but rufhes,
and let for but 3 s. an acre. It was drained
at a fmall expence by open cuts, and
planted with hops in fquares of 6 feet.
They have fucceeded to admiration. 1 he
produd on an average has been 8 cwf. per
acre ; and fold at 9/. on a medium, which
is 72 /. per acre ; and the expence of culture
has been 10/. per acre per annum ; therefore
the clear profit is 62 /. per acre.— -Not one
garden in ten in the richeft hop countries
comes near this profit, which is gained
from a wafle bog let at only 3J". an acre.
I Ihould obferve, that it is fheltered by
higher grounds from the eafl and wefl
winds. This great fuccefs fhould animate
the pofTefTors of low, fwampy, boggy
places, and moory bottoms, to try hops in
iher^ : No one can doubt but many fuch
trads of land remain unoccupied by any
ufeful plants, which, with a little attention,
would do admirably well for hops.

At Clumber^ a few miles from Retford,
the duke of Newcajik is making very great
improvements : his park is a large extent
of wild unimproved foreft land j but his



Grace is planting on fo Jarge a fcale, and
reducing fuch a great quantity of the ling
land to profitable grafs, that the place in a
few years will not be known. The extent
of the new plantations is very great, fo that
they will prove not only an ornament to
all the country, but a fource of immenfe
profit to the family *.

Befides the plantations, fome hundred
acres of grafs have been gained from the
ling, and rendered profitable ground. I
made particular enquiries into thefe im-
provements, and the method in which they
were performed. The foil is in general a
black moor — with the general diftin6tion of
good and bad, in proportion to the quan-
tity of channelly gravel in it ; which
abounds fo m.uch in fome fpots, as to ren-
der them quite barren. The culture pur-


* The houfe is nlmoft new built, of a ftone
from the duke of Norfolk's quarry, the whitenefs
of which is uncommonly beautiful. The build-
ing has three handlome fronts, one of them to
the river. The Icmc colonnade againit the cen-
tre is pleafing •, the pillars remarkably light. A
winding vale is marked out to be floated witk
water, which when executed will be fine.

E e 4


fued, has been to pare and burn the foil
firft, with all the trumpery on it, and to
fow turnips ; which are hand-hoed. The
crop generally but a poor one. A fecond
is then taken, which rifes in value from
40 J", to 3/. an acre. After them barley or
oats are fown, and then turnips again ;
after this crop of turnips another of fpring
corn, and then laid down with that by fow-
ing ray-grafs and clover. This courfe of
hufbandry is found to kill all the ling, fern,
&c. Some pieces have been laid to grafs
much earlier in the courfe, and the ling
has come again.

The reader will doubtlefs obferve, that this
is partly the moor hufbandry of the north
and weft of TorkJJoire, &c. but it may not
be improper to add, that keeping the land
fo long in tillage is quite unnecefTary, and
even hurtful to the future grafs : the ling
coming again is totally for want of lime.
Paring and burning give it a great check,
but lime quite deftroys every root. Through-
out the improved moors in the north, they
throw in, with the afhes of the paring,
from 2 to 5 chaldrons an acre of lime,
fpread the whole together and fow turnips,



feed thofe turnips on the land, and with
the oats that follow, fow the grafs feeds,
(not ray-grafs and clover) plenty of hay
feeds, and 10 or \zlb. of white clover, with
6 or 8 of rib grafs. And no ling wiM
again appear ; if it (hould accidentally corae
in patches, a frefli dreifing of lime is infal-
lible death to it. The farmers, it is true,
will take leveral crops of oats running ; but
that is not by way of deftroying the ling,
but for the largenefs of the product. That
lime in tliis fyftem is neceifary, is bell feen
in the improvements of the Peak, where;
they totally, and at once delfroy the thickeft
crops of ling, by one liming ; and without
any paring, burning, or ploughing. Had
I any moors to improve like Clumber Parky
I would go twenty miles for lime rather
than attempt fo complex a method as many
fucceflive tillage crops.

The Duke has the largeft farm-yard
in the county ; the hog-houfes are very
convenient, in emptying the wa(h, grains,
&c. directly out of the cifterns thr-:jugh the
wall into the troughs. — The plenty c^ dung'
in the yard, was alfo on indication of good
management — it would be more fo, if the



wheat ftubbles were all cut and carried Into
it — and I fhould apprehend the park would
afford plenty of fern for the fame purpofe.
The cow-houfe contains 3 1 ftalls in a line,
and if the cart-lodge behind was ufed for a
food fhed, with holes through the wall to
the head of each beaft, it would be an ad-
mirable fatting houfe. One circumftance I
fhall beg leave to recommend, which is to
flop the urine from all the houfes and yard,
and the flaughter-houfe blood, from run-
ning into the river. Confidering the great
quantity of cattle kept here, it is a mode-
rate computation to fuppofe it fufEcient,
with a little management of throwing it on
to an earth compoft, to manure 50 acres
of land every year. *

* * ^

' The

* Thoresby, the duke of King/ion's^ joins to
Clumber. The water, which is defigned to re-
prefent a large river, is very fine ; the length
and breadth great. And the lawns, which hang
to the houfe in varied flopes, and crowned with
thick woods, are very beautiful. His grace is

building a new houfe a large handfome



The county of Nott'mgham confifts prin-
cipally of light fandy land, called here,
forejl land, from the great extent of the old
foreft of Shirewood. There are fome trails
of heavier foils, which are in an improved
culture, but the quantity is fmall in com-
parifon of the fands, which are almofl un-

The management of the common farm-
ers is very incomplete. Moil of them have
large trad:s of foreft land at command, of
which none make any other ufe than to
keep a few fhcep. If they plough up any
of it, they take as many fucceffive crops of
corn as the land will bear, till at laft they
fcarcely get their feed again ; of which I
have feen more inftances than one, then
they leave it either to turf itfelf — or perhaps
the beft of them throw in a little clover
and ray-grafs ; with what fuccefs may be
eafily imagined.

Many farms have large trads of low
lands along the brooks, which are intended
by nature for rich meadows, but they are
kept in fo flovenly a manner, that they
hardly deferve the name of grafs fields : all
Qver-run with ruihes, flags, ant-hills, and
poifoned with water.

2 I fhall

428 THE farmer's TOUR

I fhall venture to recommend to both
landlords and tenants to be ftrenuous in in-
troducing a better fyftem : it depends much
on the hrfl ; for the old farmers, that have
been long iifed to crops of ling in their fo-
reft, and rulhes in their meadows, will take
at leaft half a century to be convinced,
that corn fliould occupy the place of one,
and that grafs fhouM fuperfede the other.
The proper method would therefore be to
fix fome fenfible farmers, from more en-
lightened countries, on thefe ill-managed
tarms ; men that would fhew what could be
done with the land.

The fandy fields, however wild and de-

Iblate they may appear at prefent, are all

capable of being conduded on the Norfolk

plan of common hufbandry : that is, they

ihoidd be manured with good marie, if it

can be found ; and, if not, then with clay.

Marie may perhaps not be found, though

no farmer in the county has tried for it ;

clay can undoubtedly be had. After the

manuring, a good farmer would follow this

courfe :

I. Turnips. 2. Barley. 3. Clover, and

clover and ray-grafs for 2, 3, 4, or 5 years.

4. Wheat, or oats.



There are fome fands that will not lie to
clover above two years, without filling the
land w'ith weeds ; but this is oftener the
efFed: of bad hufbandry, than any quality of
the foil. In very light lands, 1 am pcr-
fuaded, it is good management to leave the
grafs on the land, as long as it will remain
a crop ; for the greateft fault of fuch land h
its loofenefs, and the roots of the grafs mat -
ting, during feveral years, gives it an ad-
helion, which it would otherwife never have.

The grafs fhould be fed with flock Ihcep,
and thofe folded the year through, winter
as well as fummer, which is one of the
greateft improvements to land in the world^^
and of which the farmers of this country arq
totally ignorant.

The turnips fhould all be fed on the land;
a part proportioned to the flock of flieep
ihould be aflTigned for their winter food,
and the reft ufed in fatting little Scotch cattle
on the land. In many inftances^ it is better
to draw turnips for this ufe ; but fuch
light fands are greatly improved by treading
alone. In fome parts of Norfolk, they get
ratner better barley after black cattle, than
aft-er fl:ieep : but let it always be remem-
bered, that turnips, if fed on the land, muft

4 be


be eaten by different forts of cattle, unlefs
the flock is lean fheep : the flock muft al-
ways follow fatting bullocks, or fatting
Iheep, to eat up their leavings.

Upon this fyftem, the land would always
be fure of yielding a good crop of barley ;
but a fecond upon it, or one of oats or peafe,
fhould never be taken. Such ftolen crops
are always pernicious to weak lands : to
fay that the turnips fhould be hoed, is furely
needlefs. The above fketch is fuch as a
good common farmer would of himfelf ex-
ecute ; but a gentleman, with more in-

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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 20 of 23)