Winter feed shortage possible

The town of Apia, Samoa and the waterfront. - Otago Witness, 14.5.1919
The town of Apia, Samoa and the waterfront. - Otago Witness, 14.5.1919
During the war period the man on the land has been envied. Prices for everything produced on the farm have risen, in some cases 100 per cent compared with pre-war figures, and although the cost of production has gone up enormously, the profit reaped by the farmer has been substantial.

It was felt, however, that the time would come when prices would show a decline. It is true that prices may fluctuate slightly, but such a thing as a slump in fat stock values is impossible until the expiration of the Imperial Government purchase period in 1920.

A serious position, however, confronts the farmer and grazier to-day, as far as the South Island is concerned, and that is the possibility of being faced with a shortage of winter feed for stock.

As a matter of fact, there is a shortage, but it naturally depends upon the climate conditions which will prevail between now and the end of September as to how acute the position will be.

Turnip crops are poor throughout the South Island as the result of the late season, and the disclosation of farm work, which was partly due to unfavourable climatic conditions, and to the influenza epidemic.

Strictly speaking, a poor crop of turnips means a reduction in the carrying capacity of the farm by probably 75 per cent, and in such a winter as was experienced in 1918 it would be almost impossible to winter stock at all.

Telephone installation delays

Mr H. H. Tremlow, of High street, has communicated with the Acting Prime Minister, complaining of the delays in the establishment of telephonic communications in the city, stating that he understands that some 200 intending subscribers are waiting for connections.

He asks: (1) whether these intending subscribers will have to wait till the new Post Office is built, say, in four years' time?; (2) why the department cannot put in a temporary auxiliary switchboard to meet the requirements of those urgently wanting communication?; (3) whether it is fair that as much as 50 has to be paid to private owners (who are giving up their machines) for the goodwill of their telephone numbers; and (4) whether it is fair that those not able to get a telephone number should have to stand from 30 to 60 minutes in front of the telegraph counter waiting to get a chance of ringing up, say, Mosgiel or Milton?

New Zealand's first plough

Ninety-nine years ago last Saturday a plough was put to New Zealand soil for the first time. An account of the event was written by the Rev. J. Butler, father of the late Judge Butler, of the Native Land Court, in the Church Missionary Society's report for 1820.

''I put the agricultural plough into New Zealand soil for the first time and felt much pleasure in holding it after the bullocks. This day, I trust, will be remembered and the anniversary kept by ages yet unborn.''

It is stated (says the New Zealand Herald) that the bullocks were brought to New Zealand on board H.M.S. Dromedary, on the Rev. S. Marsden's third visit to New Zealand.

Diphtheria at Otekaieke

It is reported (according to the Oamaru Mail) that about a week ago diphtheria broke out in the Special School at Otekaike, about 15 cases being treated by the officers of the Health Department, who were summoned to the school.

About 20 carriers of the disease were discovered, and all are being treated in isolation.

- ODT, 8.5.1919


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