__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

Current Until July 31, 2020

Your Buying Guide

Cruisin’ for Deals






Cruisin’ for Deals

Your Buying Guide

Current Until July 31, 2020

Among the Farmers The Binscarth Herd Part One

The Manitoba Agricultural Museum has obtained digital copies of the Nor-West Farmer and Miller for the year 1886. The Nor-West Farmer in the mid 1880s ran a monthly series called “Among the Farmers” in which a reporter simply named as R.W.M. visited various agricultural ventures and communities in Manitoba and reported on their progress. The Museum will be using individual reports as a basis for interpretative press releases. “Among the Farmers - The Binscarth Herd” was run in the March 1886 NorWest Farmer. The Binscarth Herd was owned by the Ontario, Scottish and Manitoba Land Company, a land company that owned three townships in the Binscarth area. The Order in Council which authorized sale of land owned by the Dominion Government to land companies allowed for the sale of even numbered sections to land companies or the sale of both even numbered and odd numbered sections. Generally even numbered sections were held for homestead lands and odd numbered sections were held for railway land grants. There were almost 30 land companies active on the Prairies in the 1880s, but it appears only several land company had tracts in Manitoba, the Scottish, Ontario and Manitoba Land Company (SO&M) being one. By R.W.M. The Nor-West Farmer has had a long standing invitation to visit Binscarth, which but for the distance might have been earlier responded to, but having taken up the topic of beef cattle raising, as practiced in Manitoba, we felt bound to enquire whether Binscarth with its fine lot of high grade Shorthorns had anything noteworthy to add to the experience of the less pretentious cattle ranches we have already visited. The fifty mile drive from Moosomin, very pleasant perhaps in July or October, but not so attractive in January, was made even less pleasant and much more tedious, owing to the trail being blown over by recent snowdrifts and we spent thirteen hours doing in what in fine weather might have been done in 8 or 9 hours. We found the nose in particular a troublesome and too prominent feature, and, philosophically speaking, very much out of harmony with its environment. But we got there all the same, and after an hour’s general thawing at the stove and a substantial supper, we went out with a lantern to the cattle barn, where we saw a good sight for sore eyes, and one not likely to be soon paralleled in the Northwest. Of course, even at Binscarth everything is not superlative. There was

in one corner of that big barn a batch of young steers, whose history is an exceptional one and which our friend Mr. Adamson would at once dismiss from notice as, “verra or’nar brutes.” Binscarth itself is very unlike an ordinary Manitoba farm, and before we speak of its buildings and cattle we must shortly explain why the whole came to be there. The Scottish, Ontario and Manitoba Land Company with its head office in Glasgow and Mr. W.B. Scarth, then of Toronto, as its commissioner in Canada, had, by his advice in 1881, after a pretty long journey throughout the province, elected as most suitable for agricultural immigrants, three townships in all, two at Binscarth in 19 and 20 of range 28 and one near Shoal Lake in range 25, and with the object of turning this to account, Mr. Smellie, the present manager at Binscarth, was sent up in June 1882 and took up with him several Ontario settlers, who still remain there on their homesteads. He built a small barn and broke a few acres on some likely sections near it, as an inducement to probable purchasers of these lands in the following spring. On going east to Toronto for the winter, he asked to take the management of the land business of these two townships, and


Current Until July 31, 2020

Your Buying Guide

as an advertisement and attraction to further settlement, to find a local centre and go into the cultivation of wheat. For it had already been clearly demonstrated, as far as figures could do so, that a man could buy virgin soil at $10 per acre and pay for it out of the profits of the first year’s crop. Mr. Smellie could not see his way to the attainment of such prodigiously satisfactory profits from raising wheat, but suggested that the money might be better employed in raising a good class of stock from which to supply settlers, whose limited means would prevent them from importing good breeding cattle on their own resources. This prudent suggestion found favour with the directors of the company, and Mr. Smellie was set to work collecting good grade heifers and one or two pedigree Shorthorn bulls to start the future herd. He came up in the middle of May, 1883, with 100 head of high grade caste, including ten head of pure bred Shorthorns and a few horses. The grade heifers cost, delivered, $75 a head, and considering their quality, were not too dear. A few of the thoroughbreds were already in calf, and one of these calves was the bull, Binscarth Chief, which captured the first prize for his age at St. Boniface, and may be heard from again, as soon as possible. Lumber was procured from Minneapolis and a large and substantial barn was built, compactly and conveniently fitted up for cattle below, and for grain and hay above. This barn, for which the site was excavated on the bank of Silver Creek, measures, with a recent addition, 50 ft by 250 ft, and accommodates 200 head of cattle and 20 horses. There are several other buildings, such as store, post office and blacksmith shop, a small church, hotel and an implement shed. Altogether $22,000 was spent on buildings at Binscarth, making a very complete business centre for the Scottish Ontario Co.’s colony, through not perhaps an immediately lucrative investment. There is really no nonsense about these buildings, they are well planned, substantially put together, their only fault is that they have cost a deal of money, owing to have been built when both labour and lumber were high priced. It is rather difficult to boom a colony and secure at the same time a big return for its investments, and we return to our cattle, with the comfort so far that more real good has been done, and less loss incurred through their means, than in growing a great breadth of wheat and oats fifty miles from market. The cattle breeding may very soon be able to pay its own way, besides conferring a substantial and permanent benefit on the Province, grain growing, in the season just past, would have done a great deal worse. Cattle breeding here has not been a showy and expensive experiment, and being well out of the way of the Pulman car tourist, has not been made ridiculous by exaggerated and premature estimates of its pecuniary and practical results. A summary of these results, as concise as possible, we now offer to our readers. As already intimated, the thirty or forty steers of the first year’s crop did not amount to much. Some hay had been stored on the outlaying townships forty miles southeast, and these calves were driven over in the winter of ’84 to utilize it. There was no water except from melted snow, and the calves came out badly from such treatment, (in Mr. Smellie’s absence, down in Ontario). They have never got well over it and show very conclusively that good animals once spoiled by improper treatment can never be effectually restored. The heifers of the same year are in good shape and some of them are in calf. Also year’s calves are good, and a few very high grade calves six months old have been sold at $40 each and gave great satisfaction to the purchasers. The herd as a whole is of a high standard not yet reached elsewhere, and the long list of their well deserved victories at the late St. Boniface show, proves that they were wonderfully well bought and have been handled well since. The cows have a special merit not always found in well-blooded Shorthorns. Many of them are very good milkers, having been selected with an eye to milk as well as butcher’s meat. After they have suckled their calves, they are dried up in batches of half a dozen at once, but not till they have been milked some time for the sake of keeping them accustomed to milking as well as suckling, and thus be sold at any time as good dairy cows. Such a cow bought young and in calf to a Binscarth bull might prove worth as a milker all the money she cost, whole her calf if a male would prove a great acquisition to a farmer who could never afford to buy a pedigreed bull. Another thing to be specially noted is that on the ranches out west high grade bulls of this strain may be worth buying at a fair price to improve the half wild stock there, and this is a matter that western ranchmen will not be slow to lay a hold of, once they are made aware that there is within convenient distance a herd which can be raised by wholesale, young bulls better worth paying for than many of their own would be worth taking as a gift. For breeding purposes within the Province, thoroughbred bulls ought always to have the preference, and there are here both variety and number enough of such animals to satisfy the local demand. The fine young bull from this stock now at Glendurham, will probably prove a better investment to his owners than a coarse brute at half the cost, and if fortunate will prove the very best advertisement of the herd from which he sprung. The premiums offered at the Provincial show are not such as to induce the owners to travel so far to exhibit, but a few good young animals of either sex scattered over the Province will induce intelligent farmers to enquire more particularly after the stock from which they are raised. Mr. Smellie has just secured one of the very finest bull calves of his year in Ontario, and the quality of the herd is not likely to go down in his hands. We therefore submit that it is fairly proved that as breeding stock, the Binscarth herd is a great benefit to the country, for the raising of superior dairy and beef stock, and likely in its present hands to become still more so. On the day we left we brought to mail replies to several letters from farmers both east and west enquiring for both young heifers and bulls, and these enquiries confirm our estimate of the importance to the best interests of Manitoba of this and similar herds of less size, to be afterwards noted. The present strength of the herd is 185, and with the older steers cleared off and a round of 200 breeders only, may be as many as the immediate wants of the country will bear. Binscarth is not so suitable as other places east for the profitable raising of pure bred cattle. There are too few swamps and hay costs to get $2.50 per ton, which would become still dearer if this kind of work were extensively gone into. The advantage to its owners of this whole undertaking must be looked for more in the enhanced value of the very fine townships of which it is the centre, than in

Cruisin’ for Deals



the profits from farming, but on this cattle department Mr. Smellie hopes to be very soon in a position that will show a very fair balance sheet, which is seldom the case in similar undertakings either at home or in Canada. The situation of this place is very fine, the surrounding country much more picturesque than the average of Manitoba, and the soil very good, and well adapted for mixed farming whenever more favourable harvests warrant freer ventures in that way. Next year will see the railway alongside and full access to the markets. The first survey of the main line of the C.P.R. ran through this very district and its subsequent removal forty miles further to the south has been much against the full development of these choice lands and we hope that their new railway facilities will be the means of giving them the publicity, which they so well deserve. The Manitoba Northwestern will in a few months be opened through this township and bring it properly into connection with the outside world.

An image of the Binscarth Stock Farm in 1889 taken from a Manitoba and North-Western Railway promotional book. The Scottish, Ontario and Manitoba Land Company (SO&M) built an impressive operation complete with a large cattle barn on the left and another barn, likely for horses, on the right. The Nor-West Farmer article mentions that $22,000 was used to erect all of the buildings including a store, post office and blacksmith shop, a small church, hotel and an implement shed constructed by the SO&M on the stock farm. There are two houses to the left of the horse barn. One of these buildings may be the hotel with the other being a combined store and post office with living quarters above for the SO&M employees. One would think that in 1886 there would not have been enough mail in the area that a separate post office would have been justified. SO&M probably built a hotel on the stock farm to host prospective land purchasers when they were in the area. Without such a facility, prospective purchasers would have had to secure lodgings and meals with local homesteaders which may have meant just a handy corner of the homesteaders shack for a bed with Hobson’s choice for meals. The construction of these buildings indicates that the SO&M had faith in their ability to sell for a profit the land in the three townships they owned.




Cruisin’ for Deals

Your Buying Guide

Current Until July 31, 2020


Current Until July 31, 2020

Your Buying Guide

Cruisin’ for Deals






Cruisin’ for Deals

Your Buying Guide

Among the Farmers -

Current Until July 31, 2020

The Binscarth Herd Part Two

Colonization companies such as the SO&M were somewhat common in western Canada in the 1880s with almost 30 colonization companies on the Prairies at the time. However, there were only two in Manitoba, the SO&M and the Shell River Colonization Company which owned a tract of land north of Russell. Colonization companies such as the SO&M came into being as a result of the pressures the Government of Canada was facing in 1881. The agreement between the CPR and the Government for the building of a railway to BC resulted in the Government agreeing to pay the CPR a subsidy of $25 Million plus granting the CPR 25,000,000 acres of land in addition to the land needed for the railway’s right of way and the sites for railway stations. The CPR was also to receive, free of charge, segments of the railway to the Pacific already built by the Government such as the line from Emerson to Winnipeg. In addition to this expense, the Government also had to bear the expense of surveying the Prairies which was necessary to prepare the Prairies for settlement and to set aside the CPR land grant. Furthermore, the Government had to bear the expense of promoting immigration to western Canada which required an extensive effort to find and recruit settlers in Eastern Canada, the USA and in Europe. Both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party had promised the taxpayers of Canada that the railway to connect British Columbia with Eastern Canada would not cost the taxpayer a single penny in taxes. How the Government of Canada was to meet its obligations to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR), pay for the surveying of western Canada and pay for an immigration promotion program was then the issue. The Government was hoping that the sale of Dominion lands in western Canada would provide the necessary funds to pay for the above outlays. However, it was apparent in 1881 that the immigrants, particularly those with money to buy land, were not flocking in large numbers to western Canada. So where was the Government to find the money needed to meet its Western Canadian commitments? At the time, it was unthinkable that the Government borrow money to meet its commitments. The only saleable asset the Government of Canada had were the Dominion lands in the west and this was not selling all that well. The result was that the Government came up with a complicated plan to make land some distance from the CPR mainline attractive to colonization companies willing to purchase it and bring in settlers. The attraction was the price was to be discounted. In a December, 1881 Order in Council the Government placed land in the West into one of four classes: Class A - Land within 24 miles, either side, of the CPR mainline and CPR branch lines. This land was to be held for the CPR. Class B - Land within 12 miles, either side, of projected rail lines to be built by other railways. Class C - Land south of the CPR mainline. Class D - Lands other than those in Classes A, B and C. The Order in Council set out that even numbered sections in Classes A, B and C were to be held exclusively for homesteads and pre-emptions. Pre-emption referred to the practise of allowing settlers who had gained title to their homestead quarter section, then being allowed to purchase a vacant homestead quarter that adjoined their homestead for $2.50 an acre, if a quarter was available. In the Class D lands, the even numbered sections would not be available for homesteading and pre-emptions, if these sections were affected by a colonization agreement. This colonization agreement was an agreement between the Government and a colonization company concerning a tract of Class D land defined with specific terms. The odd numbered sections within the tract were to be sold to the company at $2 per acre, payable, 20% in cash at time the agreement was signed with the balance being paid in four equal annual installments dating from the date the agreement was signed. As well the company was to pay the Government five cents per acre for the survey of the land within the tract. In return, the company was to colonize the tract within five years of signing the contract. This colonization was to consist of placing two settlers on homesteads on each even numbered section and two settlers on each odd numbered section. In the event that the company had advanced money to a homesteader in the company’s or individual’s tract, the company or individual was allowed to take security on the homestead, a significant concession as generally the homesteader until the title was gained to the homestead was not able to use the homestead to secure a loan. Furthermore, if the company brought in sufficient settlers to fill the above conditions, the Government would pay a rebate to the company which would bring the purchase price of the odd numbered sections down to $1 per acre. The intention behind this scheme appears to have been that the colonization company would sell the odd numbered sections in the tract to the settlers at $2 an acre and as the tract filled up, the Government rebate would bring the price The eastern half of a map showing land reserved for colonization companies and lands reserved the company paid for for various ethnic groups. The tracts of land delineated by dotted lines are colonization company this land down to $1 per tracts. The tracts of land delineated by solid lines and slash marks are tracts reserved for various acre yielding a profit to ethnic groups. Number key: 1 -Icelandic, 2- Icelandic, 3-Scandinavian, 4- Hungarian, 5- Icelandic, the company of $1 per 6- Shell River Colonization Company, 7 & 8- Scottish, Ontario and Manitoba Land Company, 9- acre. Almost 30 agreements Icelandic, 10- German, 11- Finnish, 12-Lady Cathcart’s Crofters, 13-East London Artisan Colony.

were signed under this scheme however many companies signing these agreements either brought in very few settlers or none at all. Some settlers were brought onto homesteads a significant distance from an existing railway such as the 101 homesteaders enticed by the Temperance Colonization Company to take up homesteads around what became Saskatoon. This area at the time was 150 miles away from the CPR mainline. Many of these settlers turned to ranching as a result. The problem with this scheme appeared to be that most homesteaders realized that they needed to be close to a railway which could provide economical transport to market for most of the products they would be producing. Cattle were the exception as they could be driven some distance to a railway point, grazing along the way. Freighting grain by wagon was only economical over shorter distances. As well, one has to remember that in the pioneer era, grain prices were generally the best in the fall before the Great Lakes froze over for the winter, bringing transport of grain by water to the east to a halt. Between the pressure of harvesting, fall plowing and getting ready for winter, taking more than a day to take a load of grain to a grain buyer was just not possible for most settlers. So most land owned by colonization companies was not particularly attractive to settlers. While a settler could perhaps obtain a homestead quarter within a colonization company’s tract on the regular homestead terms, the settler in the 1880s could obtain a homestead in Class A, B or C under the homestead terms and this land would be much closer to a railway than land owned by a colonization company. A settler could obtain more land from the colonization company for $2 per acre while in Class A, B or C a pre-emption quarter if available would cost $2.50 an acre. Generally, in the 1880s pre-emptions were available for most settlers as settlement was so sparse. Many settlers then would think that the potential savings of 50 cents an acre for a further quarter section was a poor bargain considering the remote location of colonization company land. From the settler’s point of view, the only benefit of working with a colonization company was the possibility of securing an advance from the colonization company. Colonization companies were not a success and reference is made in one book on Prairie settlement to the companies being rescued from the brink of disaster in 1886 by generous terms offered by the Government of Canada. However, no elaboration is made as to what these terms were. The SO&M was no exception. The SO&M had acquired two townships between Binscarth and Russell and a third township east of Birtle under the terms of the 1881 Order in Council. However the company by 1885 was in negotiations with the Dominion Government over the three townships as the SO&M had, by then, realized that the flow of immigrants into Manitoba had declined to such an extent that the company was unlikely to meet the conditions of the agreement with the government and so earn the rebate on the land price paid to the Dominion Government. The negotiations were successful from the SO&M’s point of view as the negotiations resulted in the SO&M getting out of the 1881 agreement with the Government and acquiring title to 23,746 acres in the three townships for the price of $3.27 per acre with the right to acquire another 1,920 acres at $1 per acre plus SO&M retained the Binscarth Stock farm and facilities. The SO&M was interested in selling the Binscarth Stock Farm as a going concern. There is an exchange in the letters to the Editor in the 1889 Nor-West Farmer over the merits of Shorthorn cattle between Mr. Smellie of the Binscarth Stock Farm and a cattleman in the Shell River country north of Russell. So the Binscarth Stock Farm appears to have remained active as late as 1889. Mr. Smellie left Binscarth in the mid 1890s to retire in Vancouver so perhaps the stock farm had been sold at that time by the SO&M. SO&M was formed in 1879 to speculate in land and develop properties in Ontario and Manitoba. By 1886 SO&M owned various properties and farm lands in addition to the land at Binscarth that consisted of a commercial building in Ottawa, building lots in Toronto, land west of Morris, land in the Manitou area, land near Rock Lake, land northwest of Morden near Tobacco Creek and building lots in Brandon. There is an SO&M ad in an 1886 Nor-West Farmer which lists the company as having 100,000 acres available for sale. Just what happened to the SO&M after 1886 is unknown but probably the company faced difficult circumstances until 1895 when farming in western Canada encountered better times and immigration to western Canada began to increase, all leading to the greatest boom Western Canada has ever experienced. Some of the principals in the SO&M were also involved in the Canada Northwest Land Company (CNWLC) which was active in Manitoba in the 1883 however this company had purchased 2,000,000 acres from the Canadian Pacific Railway and is not considered to be a colonization company. Ultimately the CNWLC was no more successful than the colonization companies and wound up back in the hands of the CPR in 1893, just in time for the boom of 1895. It is interesting to note that the SO&M rather than promote grain farming chose to promote cattle with its herd of Shorthorn cattle making available to settlers good quality livestock. Mr. Smellie, in talking the SO&M into this course of action, had accurately gauged the issues of grain farming on the Prairies at the time; the risk of frost due to the grain varieties in use at the time being long to maturity, drought, variable grain prices and so on. The Shorthorns in the Binscarth herd were selected for their ability to produce milk as well as meat, an important consideration for a settler. With a good milk cows, the settler and their family could produce butter for sale or trade at the general store they frequented and have milk for the table as well. The bull calves could be raised up and sold as butcher steers in several years time. It is difficult at this time to gauge the impact the Binscarth Stock Farm had on the development of the Manitoba cattle industry. Probably it had some positive impact as it was bringing in good quality animals into Western Manitoba for breeding in 1885 and making available the offspring for sale to settlers and others in Manitoba and likely Saskatchewan. Without access to these animals, settlers may have had to settle for animals of lesser quality.


Your Buying Guide

Current Until July 31, 2020

In Southwest Manitoba

The Manitoba Agricultural Museum has obtained digital copies of the Nor-West Farmer and Miller for the year 1886. The Nor-West Farmer in the mid 1880s ran a monthly series called “Among the Farmers” in which Nor-West Farmer reporters visited various agricultural ventures and communities in Manitoba and reported on their progress. In one of these stories a reporter for the Nor-West Farmer named J.A.C. took a trip though the districts of St. Leon, Beaconsfield, Norquay and Holland. Since this report was quite lengthy due to the number of farmers J.A.C. visited, this release only presents one half of the April, 1886 article. However the reports on the progress of individual farmers provide interesting insights into the development of agriculture in Manitoba. It is also interesting to note that one farmer visited made the statement that strawberries and raspberries were so abundant that the cows’ milk was flavoured with them at times and that the pigs fattened on strawberries during their season.

By J.A.C. Perhaps no other country contains farmers so contented with their soil as does Manitoba. The writer remembers hearing at the farmers’ convention of 1884, the delegates one after the other open his remarks by saying he, “believed that he lived in the finest portion of the country.” The speakers came from all parts of the Province, and it was remarkable how well they agreed, and yet even in such a universally rich country, certain districts are notedly so. If you ask a Manitoba farmer if he has a good farm the answer will be, “Oh! Yes, I come from southern Manitoba,” or “I am down in the Souris Country,” or “I’ve a half section on the Big Plain,” or “Yes, I’m on the Pembina Mountains.” These mountains are an elevated tract of land, the ascent of which is so gradual that it is not noticeable, and every acre of them is cultivatable. The soil is very rich loam from light to heavy, and with more or less timber, or brush of scrub oak, popular, etc., good water being had at a varying depth of about ten feet. This region is intersected by the southwestern branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway from Winnipeg, the former terminus of which was at Manitou, but the road has been extended the past fall by about eighty miles. Having had a standing invitation from the Pioneer Farmers’ Club of Beaconsfield to visit the district, we did so in December, and were met at Manitou by the Secretary, Charles Wright, who drove us out the same night thirteen miles north-west to the farm of R.G. O’Malley who has been here sixteen years, and in his present locality thirteen years. He has 125 acres of half section broken, one hundred being the past year in wheat, oats, and barley. Mr. O’Mally and one man do all the work, with some more help at harvest time. In first breaking the sod he prefers to go four inches deep, and not backset it as giving a cleaner land the second year of cropping by simply backsetting the first year’s breaking, and reducing the chance of smut. The dwelling house is roomy and light, with a sheltering grove of trees beside it, and the farm boasts about the finest frame barn in the district visited. It is 20 by 86 feet, with a lean-to 18x20 feet, well built and warm, costing about one thousand dollars, not including the owner’s labour. The building is well ventilated and lighted, well arranged, and covers all his stock and implements. His stock consist of two heavy work horses, a fine team valued at $400 - a nice set native mare, which has given a capital colt by a Clyde stallion; one other colt, four milch cows, nine calves, all well graded up, some of them and two of the cows being markedly so;

An image of Berkshire hogs which appeared in an 1886 edition of the Nor-West Farmer. Several of the farmers listed in the course of preparing the article “In Southwest Manitoba” had herds of Berkshire hogs. Berkshire hogs originated in the English county of Berkshire. In the 1700s, hogs originating from China and Siam arrived in Britain with some of these hogs being crossed with Berkshire hogs. The result was a Berkshire hog that was black in coloration and more importantly a hog with good meat characteristics. The meat was heavily marbled which made it suitable for long cooking at high temperatures with the result being a juicy, favourable, tender cut of meat on the plate.

also a lot of live poultry, including some pure Buff Cochins, which he intends shall be the only breed of poultry kept in future. It is remarked in driving about that all the poultry houses were warm, lighted and ventilated. The poultry seemed to be fed and attended as part of the regular farm stock and work, and all who were asked said that poultry paid, and some said they paid better in proportion than any other thing on the farm, and there is no doubt of this fact with above treatment. In the outside were some well bred Berk pigs, and an excellent Suffolk boar, a superior animal whose power for good was seen many miles away in other pig pens. The writer cannot understand why the pigs of the district should be treated any different from the other farm stock and not given as warm or comfortable quarters and regular care, but all seemed in good condition and well fed. Pigs are more cleanly when properly handled, than any other animal, not excepting the horse; are more sensitive to and suffer more from the cold, and do not put on flesh or fat in cold weather unless warmly housed, and in keeping high bred pigs it ought to be kept in mind that some of the means of making a bed and keeping it up are good care, and kind handling, and that the absence of any of these or treatment of an opposite kind has its effect on its first litter. Mr. O’Mally is a municipal councillor, a progressive and intelligent man, whose opinion is valued in the district; he has been very successful, is very happy and contented, and says he could not go anywhere else and better himself. He is a great worker, and looks ahead in planning. He gave some figures that others in the country and those coming might perhaps study with interest. Starting with $500 he has since expended $2,000, which was realized from crops and stock on his farm. His living expenses are from $800 to $1,000, all made on the farm, and he could not sell out

now for less than seven thousand dollars. Mr. O’Mally raised a nice crop of Hungarian grass last year, which yielded three tons to the acres and seems a successful crop thereabout. He thinks a certain number of pigs will pay in winter to use up spare feed. Having enjoyed Mr. O’Mally’s kind hospitality until the next day, he just put his team in a cutter and spent the entire day driving the writer about the country to the farms below spoken of, talking as we went upon such questions as came up, giving much useful information of the district. Mr. Lachance is a Frenchman from Quebec, speaking little English, and seems to be doing well. He lives on the products of the farm, and says if he had to start again would do it right in this country. He started with $500 five years ago, has 320 acres, 25 broken, of which ten were in crop. He has a snug log dwelling, and warm log stables. The latter, so warm that though a window was open, he was advised to put a roof ventilator in also. His stock consists of several horses raised almost outside, forty head of horned cattle; among them a good, even, pure Shorthorn bull from Ariel, of Guelph, Ontario, and a pure Shorthorn cow; fifteen milch cows, from five of which he made a total five hundred pounds of butter from March to November, and sold the same at an average of eighteen cents a pound. The calved showed a marked improvement upon their dams, and this important and hopeful fact was noticed at the other farms visited, as shewing the use and value of good males, and good feed and treatment of dams and calves. Wherever a meal was had it was almost certain that delicious preserved fruits would be on the table - either cranberries, raspberries, currants or strawberries, all of which grow wild in great plenty in Manitoba. At many places hanging outside or inside were to be seen rabbits (hares), or partridge (ruffled

Cruisin’ for Deals

grouse), or prairie chicken (pintailed grouse), which are to be had all over Manitoba for the trouble or pleasure of shooting. One person had shot eight rabbits back of his barn one day. On the way a covey of over fifty prairie chickens was passed on an open piece of prairie feeding, and on driving up to one house some twenty more were seen a few yards away feeding about a straw stack. Mr. O’Mally shot one day eight partridges without moving from his position, and having to bare his hand he became so interested that when done he found his thumb slightly frost-bitten. He offered to find for the writer jumping deer and elk two miles from his house, and said that they come into his fields. George Burns was next called upon, and his folk were found busy preparing a lot of nice poultry for market. He says it pays better than any other farm stock, and is fed good grain, the breed being chiefly Game. Mr. Burns has been here four years, is from Ontario, has a half section, forty-five acres being in crop, has twelve head of cattle of a good type, has three horses and three colts, two of them choice. He fed barley to the horses last year, and found it good, and this year is feeding some wheat with good effect. He has some good Berk pigs, and says they pay to sell at from four to six cents a pound. Spring litters he kills in the fall as they do not pay to winter over and this seemed to be the general opinion of those asked. Mr. Burns said he found farming paid here; he started with over $1,000, had lived off the proceeds of the farm, and it would take about four thousand dollars to buy him out now. He stated that he had picked forty dollars worth of currants on the farm last year. Dr. Wright; the line of our travel having been arranged beforehand, the dinner hour of this day fell on this well known home. The Doctor is from Oxford Co., Ont., and still practices his profession, besides owning a farm of 160 acres, twenty-two acres being in crop, chiefly wheat. Only a small amount of stock is carried as yet, some oxen and milch cows, some pigs, a lot of poultry, and some grade Merino sheep. Their rarity is the more remarkable as the country is in every way most suitable for sheep, and they are certainly the best paying stock on the farm. The talk about spear grass, wolves, etc., in Manitoba is an exploded theory, and though there may be some trouble in fencing, yet there is no stock that will pay by simply placing it on the farm, taking no further care of it. Spear grass (Stipa Spartea) is rendered harmless by sheep grazing on it early in the season, and it is a very rich and favourite grass. It can, by mowing it when ripening, be rendered harmless, or by keeping in while the seed is dropping two to four weeks. D. Corbett formerly lived at Headingly but now lives near Norquay, and has a half section of which forty-five acres were under crop. He finds mixed farming pays, but thinks grain growing alone will not be so



profitable, and in this view he is amply borne out by facts and experience. He disposes of his fat steers at four years old, finding them pay better at that age than under. This is contrary to the opinion of many good breeders and feeders. He has twenty-four head of horned cattle, a lot of capital pigs, including a good young Berk boar, and a lot of promising young grade Suffolks, and also two mares., one of them a splendid brood mare of great power and substance that has dropped him a beautiful filly, now rising two years old. Thos. Lytle has been here eight years, and goes in chiefly for cattle. He says there is no money in grain alone, and finds stocks pays well. He markets the steers alive at two and a half years old, believing it the most profitable and usually receiving five cents a pound, the steers weighting on average eight hundred pounds. He sells in the fall usually about seventeen head, which have been pastured well all summer, and fed hay only all winter. The buyer takes them off the grass in the fall. His plan is to have cows calve from the first of March to middle of May; the calves suck the cow about two months, and afterward are fed on skim-milk, butter milk and hay as soon as they eat it. In eight years only two calves have been lost, which shows that good care and good feeding is the secret, and the stock shows both care and feed, being the best all round herd of grade cattle the writer has yet seen in the Northwest. There are fifty head of cattle, chiefly Shorthorn, a good Shorthorn bull, though falling off at the tail and not good enough for the cows he is the lord of. There are some Devon cattle also, a bull of which breed being the first used in the stock. There are also some pigs and poultry and a pair of driving Montana ponies. Seventeen hundred pounds of butter are made yearly. Grain enough is grown to make two days threshing, say fifteen hundred bushels. Hay is put up at a cost of one dollar and a half per ton. The young stock is very good indeed, some very promising heifers being amongst them. The stables are made of logs with straw covering, being cheap and easily built but warm, and answering the purpose; though the owner intends on building a side hill barn. Mr. Lytle said each cow has a calf every spring, and stockmen will fully realize from this fact that he must be a good manager. He also said that steers at thirty months old have cost by his system about fifteen dollars, allowing three tons to feed a beast each winter, and will return a good profit if sold at twenty-five dollars, whereas he gets forty dollars for them. He says the sheep would pay well there, and that it is a good cattle raising country, a man with $3,000 could make a good start, himself and one man doing the work and starting with about twenty-five cows. The cattle get out on the grass about the first of May and go into winter quarters about the middle of November. While at tea,, noticing the size and delicious flavour of the preserved strawberries, Mr. Lytle said that they were so abundant, and the raspberries also, that the cows’ milk was flavoured by them at times, and Mr. Lytle said the pigs fattened on the strawberries during their season.




Cruisin’ for Deals

Your Buying Guide

Current Until July 31, 2020

Profile for AgriPost

Cruisin' for Deals June 26 2020  

Manitoba auto sales and features.

Cruisin' for Deals June 26 2020  

Manitoba auto sales and features.

Advertisement