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proved machinery in this country. Perhaps a machine may be secured through these parties for trial during the ensning season, and if successful, our prairies will soon be turned up with the iron horse, and America will ere long be the granary of the world. All these facte indicate that real progress is making, and we owe it to ourselves and to our country, to see to it that every effort in our power be put forth, to give to agriculture a position equal to that of any other country. We have the benefit of the experience of all others, and we have the talent and ingenuity, as we have shown in the great exhibitions in London, to avail ourselves of all that was exbibited that was adapted to our country and useful to others.
The expenses of the steam plowing apparatus may be an objection, but when it is satisfactorily shown that the work can be done cheaper than by horse-power, there can be little difficulty in securing capitalists to furnish the necessary funds to prepare the machinery in Great Britain or in this country, and the owners of the machinery do the work for the farmers, and make it profitable. The union of farmers might be bad and a machine ased for a number, and as the work is so rapidly performed, all could have their crops put in in season. An association has been formed in England which proposes to furnish steam machinery for farmers.
At the Smithfield farmers' club, it was resolved, “ that the cultivation of the land by steam is now proved to be an advantageous and highly ecoDomical process, and the machinery used for this purpose is of a character auficiently perfect to be recommended for the use of practical farmers."
We present this subject, in connection with the trial of implements, as the steam plow may be on hand, should a trial be had by the Society the ensning season.
SORGHUM AND SUGAR BEET. The Executive Committee deeming it important to do all in their powor to develope the resources of our State in every direction practicable, felt it desirable to ascertain all the facts relating to the culture of sorghum and sugar beet in the western states, and whether either or both of these could be introduced as profitable crops in this State. As the various accounts in public papers and from interested parties were so irreconcilable, and in many instances so entirely extravagant, they deemed it best to send a competent person to those sections of the country where the crops were grown and make a thorough examination of the whole matter as far as practicable, and report to the Executive Committee in time for the annual meeting. The committee were peculiarly fortunate in securing the services of the Hon. John Stanton Gould, of Hudson, than whom no man in the State was better fitted for this service.
Although Mr. Gould was unfortunately delayed by previous engagements from entering upon his work as early as he desired, his report will be found one of great interest, and will enable our farmers, on its perusal, to de cide wbether they are located in a region where they can profitably and successfully cultivate either or both of these for the purposes of syrup or sugar.
The destruction of the sorghum crops in Illinois and other States the past season by the early frosts, induced a more special examination in relation to that crop so as to ascertain the probability of its being a crop that would pay in this State. Mr. Gould's report is full on that subject, and will enable our farmers to decide as to the probable result of the crops in this State.
As to the sugar beet, we have the evidence of its successful culture and manufacture into syrup and sugar in Europe, to guide us. It is now entirely successful there; and since the refuse has been found of very great nutritive power for feeding purposes of stock, in addition to its other qualities, it is probable that this may be introduced into our State with profit as a regular crop. A German gentleman in Illinois, has procured the most perfect machinery from Germany, has erected a large manufac turing establishment, and has, during the past season, cultivated the impe rial sugar beet, yielding him about 15 tons per acre—and his machinery, it is hoped, will soon be in operation. The details will be found in the report of Mr. Gould.
Should this prove successful, as we anticipate, then we shall have added a crop which can be grown in all the States of our Union, and ensure to us a sufficiency of sugar and syrup for our own consumption not only, but eventually for the supply of other markets.
Its additional value for fattening purposes, will induce its culture, which can be carried on with but comparatively little expense.
AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATIONS. The importance of Agricultural associations was never more manifest than at present the whole country is interested in their success. Who that remembers the first Fair by this Society in 1841, and can call to mind the articles there which were absolutely necessary to the farmer, and compare them with the display at Utica in 1863, but what feels convinced that had not these improvements been made, where would have been the agriculture of our State. And if that failed, where wculd the other classes of our citizens have been found, and how could they have withstood such a failure? What a fund of information in the last twenty years has been secured-in our Transactions annually published—in our discussions at State, county, and town associations—in our invaluable agricultural journals, weekly and monthly, scattering knowledge in every hamlet in our State. The re ports that have appeared in our Transactions; the addresses from intelligent practical men, furnish a fund of information which we may say, can no where else be found; and the demand that is made for these works, shows that they have reached many a farmer's fireside, have been read, and improvement has followed. A gentleman desirous of preparing an address upon a particular subject before one of our associations, before looking at some of the standard works on the subject, turned his attention to the Transactions of our Society. He found every question he desired explained in our records, and he hesitated not to say that more valuable, practical directions on agricultural subjects, were to be found in the 21 volumes published by this Society, than could. be found in any work published on agriculture, and of more value to the farmers of our State and country than could be found elsewhere. And now valuable works of a like character are to be found in several States of our Union.
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Farmers clubs are now springing up in our State where valuable libraries are being gathered; agricultural discussions during the winter months, where the most important truths are elicited, and kuowledge of the farmer grea:ly extended. An effort to increase all these means of information shoud be extended until every school district in the rural districts of our country should be furnished with like associations. Through these associations information is given of new improvements, and the farmer has increased in knowledge and power.
An effort is now making in Great Britain to double the grain crops of the country so as to be independent of our country and other foreign countries. Their papers are arguing the importance of doing this—and if important there, is it not equally so here—and can it not be done?
Notwithstanding the great number of our workingmen who are engaged in the defence of our country, the reports from many of our agricultural associations show a decided increase of interest in their annual exhibitions manifested by the increased attendance of the people and the number of entries made in the several classes; and yet in some sections of the country we hear it suggested that our agricultural societies must be given up because their usefulness is at an end. Should we be successful, as it is hoped we may, in having full statistics for 1863, we shall expect returns which will be a sufficient answer to these suggestions. American agriculture, we believe, was never in a more encouraging position than at present; and when our varied improvements connected with the farm are completed, we shall expect our country equal, in all that relates to the true development of agriculture, to any country in the world. Such evidently is the opinion of the laboring population of Great Britain and Europe generally, who are seeking a home with us in such numbers as has never before been known. Let us then redouble our efforts for the advancement of this great interest of our country, instead of relaxing; so as to add to all that has heretofore been accomplished, by improving every opportunity to increase our products and add to the resources of our country.
In the way of crops and of markets, our farmers have every encourage ment for increased effort in their department of labor. While full crops and high prices prevail, let him who is in debt cancel his liabilities and prepare for the change which will come. Let him who is in debt cancel it at the earliest moment practicable, and lay up his surplus funds safely invested until the storm blows over and clear skies are seen ahead. They who remember the scenes of 1814 to 1820 need no caution. The recollection will keep them from expanded sails and incautious adventures in times and circumstances like the present.
The application of machines in aid of the farmer has been more effective than at any former period. The reapers and mowers, thrashing and winnowing machines, plows, subsoil, draining, etc., all unite in giving the farm a deeper tillage, and adding another farm to the one tilled in the old way. Our implements for practical purposes, for cheapness and stability, are not exceeded by any, and are finding a market everywhere. Foreigners are giving up their objections to our implements and machinery; the results are so manifest that none can doubt who will but make the trial. The estimate of crops for the coming year shows a most encouraging prospect. Our crops are a full average notwithstanding the drain of the war, and we shall probably have as prosperous a return of the grain crop in 1864 as for many years.
THE DAIRY. The dairy interest of this State is one of very great importance, and its progress during the past year has been most satisfactory. The demand which has existed abroad has increased the prices so as to be in the highest degree remunerative. This has become one of the leading agricultural departments, and as much improvement especially in the manufacture of cheese has been made perhaps as in any other department. The establishment of cheese factories has been largely increased, and the great improve ment in the manufacture of cheese has added much to the productive value of dairies in our State.
A meeting of the proprietors and representatives of cheese manufactories was held in January at Rome, where the first cheese manufacturing dairy was established by Jesse Williams. Sixty-nine cheese factories were represented. The cheese from this country now finds a ready market in England, and our choicest cheese is equal to the best dairy cheese there made. The number of cows given in the dairies represented at Rome was about 36,752. The convention organized an association called the New York State Cheese Manufacturers' Association—the object of the association being for mutual advantage and to advance the science of cheese-making.
In our last volume of Transactions a very valuable essay was given on the associated dairies and cheese manufactories of New York by X. A. Willard, of Little Falls, which comprises the manner in which the manufacturing system is carried on, and a comparison with that and the common system. This article gives all necessary information as to the erections, the manner of making the cheese, and the cost of manufacture.
This great interest will advance under the directions of the association formed, and the butter dairies, sustaining as they do their well-earned reputation, will add to our dairy interest in that direction. The subject of butter manufactories has been agitated to some extent; but so far as we are advised from the butter dairymen, finds little response. There are difficulties which it does not appear can readily be overcome.
AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS. The returns of the statistics for 1862, which are given in the report for that year, shows that in but few counties were the returns complete-owing mainly to the late period at which the blanks were distributed. There were other causes which embarrassed the officers of the county societies. The persons employed in school districts were entitled to the Transactions of the Society and American Institute of the year 1862, and in many sections of the State persons could not be obtained; but in those counties where the officers of the agricultural societies were prompt and efficient, the returns were from a much larger number of districts than in the others. The blanks for the current year were distributed as required by the law, and bad the Transactions been distributed as provided by the Legislature, all our correspondence, which is very extensive, shows that the work would generally have been done in season. The Transactions are not yet delivered, and when they will be is a matter of great uncertainty; some modi. fication of the law is required, and some person should have authority to carry out the directions of the Legislature. The officers of county agricultaral societies are required to carry out the taking of the statistics, and forward the same to the Secretary of the State Agricultural Society on or before the 1st of February, and the societies which comply are relieved from raising money equivalent to the annual allotment from the State. No provision is made for arranging the returns which are sent to the State Agricultural Society, nor for the labor of distributing the blanks, and the extra work which has been done has added very largely to the labors at the Agricultural Rooms.
From what has been done, the importance of securing full and correct agricultural statistics annually, is most apparent, and when thoroughly done, will show the great advantages resulting from it. Returns are being received from several counties, which are very encouraging. Steuben county, with 347 school districts, was the first received last year, and probably will be the first this year. If each county agricultural society was equally engaged in prosecuting the work, it is believed that nearly all the counties would be thoroughly canvassed, and we should then be able to determine the importance and value of the work. Until the returns of this Fear are sent in, it is not practicable to say what will be the operation of the law; and we are not prepared to suggest alterations necessary to be made in the existing law. One thing is apparent, that provision must be made to compensate for the work that is required.
The great advance which is making in the culture of fruit in this State is most encouraging No State in the Union, it is believed, produces fruit superior to that of New York; and the prices the present year have been such as to add very largely to the income of our fruit growers. The grape crop is becoming very important; and the Fruit Grower's Society of West ern New York are entitled to great credit for their labors; and from the report of this society, at its January meeting, it is evident that a great advance in the culture of the grape has taken place, and those engaged in its culture, will find it to their interest to make themselves familiar with the manner of culture and preparation for market, recommended by the Society.
New YORK AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE. The Board renew the recommendations of their predecessors as to this institution. They regret that the Legislature did not appropriate a portion of the government funds designed for institutions of its character, and trust the Legislature will remedy this, by appropriating a portion of this fund to the uses of this college.
HAMBURG EXHIBITION. An invitation having been extended to this country to attend the Exhibition at Hamburg in June, 1863, the Executive Committee appointed Hon. E. Cornell delegate, to attend the exhibition, and the Legislature appropriated $1000 towards the expenses of the exhibitors from this State. This