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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

How Experimental Work is Profitable

page 12

How Experimental Work is Profitable.

One of the most valuable educational features of an experimental farm is in what it finds out about farming matters, and makes common knowledge for the benefit of farmers, working under similar, or approximately similar, conditions of soil and climate. In this work of investigation it is just as useful to ascertain by actual trial what course of action should be avoided, or what particular forage crop is unsuitable, or what variety of the cereal plants is interior, or unprofitable, as to demonstrate the best cultural methods to be followed, and the most profitable Crops to be grown. But from the methods and crops which, by experiment, have been proved unprofitable, one cannot expect to show a commercial profit in the farm ledger. The commercial value of such experiments is secured by the farmer who takes note of their results at the State farms, and thus avoids the loss that would be entailed if he had to buy his own experience on these points. At Ruakura work is being carried on which furnishes many valuable lessons to workers on the land on questions connected with farm crops, fruit growing, dairy-farming, sheep-farming, poultry-keeping, and the breeding and care of stock. Not only this, but the whole of the work that has been done, especially in drainage, to bring the Ruakura property into its present high-class condition is, and will be, a valuable guide to those who will avail themselves of the information, having similar swampy, hungry land to deal with and bring into profit.