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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Latino Down Pasture Lands

Latino Down Pasture Lands.

It is therefore obvious that the laying down of our pastures is a matter of considerable importance. The practice of cropping the land till it becomes too foul with weeds, and too poor to produce remunerative crops of cereals, is more prevalent in the Colony than it should be. Hence it is that there are so many pastures of inferior quality.

If we are to have luxuriant pastures, we must see that the soil is in a fertile condition before sowing the seeds. It is an established fact, that the best system of farming, is that which maintains the soil in a continuous state of fertility. It is good farming to have the land in good heart for a corn or root crop, and so it is equally good practice to have it in equally good heart for laying down to seeds. The proper management of grass lands affords a fertile subject for discussion, and one requiring much ventilation. Judging from what may be seen in many districts, one of the greatest evils is that of page 10 overstocking, whereby the best grasses get speedily exterminated, leaving the inferior ones and weeds, the result being inferior pastures. As I have just said, this is a large and important subject, which should not be lost sight of, if we are to make the maximum from our pastures, in the shape of dairy produce and mutton.

By the last mail I received from Dr. Fream, Professor of Natural History at Cirencester, an account of a set of experiments conducted by Mr. M. J. Sutton, associated with Dr. Voelcker, tried on grass lands by various kinds of manures. The subject is one of interest to New Zealand farmers, it is just a question on some classes of soils, whether the same money's worth of crushed bones or superphosphate, &c., spread on the surface, would not pay better than breaking up the land for cropping. In the majority of cases I suppose the latter is preferable, but there are cases when the advantage is doubtful. I throw out the suggestion for what it is worth.