27 AUGUST 1927, Page 13

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It is not well to exaggerate the gloom of farming prospects. The advertisement of persistent gloom has done much harm ; has driven money out of the business and depressed the price of land. It has helped to accelerate the ruin of its own prophecy. The area under wheat within Britain has risen since last year and the head of stock is much multiplied. Heavy grain crops and potato crops stand to-day in the fields. All this is to the good ; but the most invincible optimist must confess that if the corn crops go the way of the hay crops, bankruptcy will hardly be avoided by a very large number of farmers, big and small, but especially farmers neither big nor small. What can a man do who has no reserve of capital, no winter feed, and little current money coming in or likely to come from his chief harvest ? All that is wanted is sun. It would see good crops cut and housed. It would rout the mildew now appearing among the hops. It would harden the potatoes. It would be conserved in the leaves of mangold and sugar-beet. It would revive hope. And it is August sun, not September sun, that has become a necessity of life for the farmer throughout the southern half of Britain. In the North the season is so late that September sun might

serve. * *