21 MARCH 1931, Page 15

Arable farmers rejoiced even in districts where the zero mark

was reached or passed. In the same vein as the village gardener one of them said to me : " It is just what we wanted." The early lambs, he explained, were strong enough to stand it, and the ewes, which always endure cold gladly, flourished ; and the later lambs would avoid it. Whether all owners of Southdowns agree I much doubt. Ile added that he could cart manure on to his fields, and expected that frost and • snow together would make the " condition precedent " to an ideal seed bed. It cannot be said that the grass farmers—now becoming more numerous, more important economically, than the arable—were equally pleased. The newest art is to fertilize the fields into early maturity : the earlier the grass can be persuaded to shoot, the greater the flow of milk and the smaller the bill for hay or roots or cake. A really well-treated meadow in a favourable spring may show young blades of grass even in February. This year the cows must wait till April. at earliest before their owners can quote their redeunt jam gramina campis.

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