Chain Lagoons and Camel Back
Around the District
Two properties which we were able to inspect recently, were those of Messrs A. E. Hawke and J. Bennett.
Mr Hawke started clearing land at Chain Lagoons about seven years ago. At first he worked with light ploughs and burned off the shoots each year, but afterwards went in for deeper ploughing, bringing the roots out as the new ground was broken up. Mr Hawke has over 700 acres under pasture and has some land under fallow. He has established good pastures and is carrying two sheep to the acre. The property is well fenced and it is subdivided into handy sized paddocks. His sheep yards and dip attracted our attention, being planned to expedite the dipping of sheep. The homestead is sheltered from the southerly winds by a patch of big timber, which will be preserved while Mr and Mrs Hawke occupy the farm. Mrs Hawke had a beautiful display of flowers when we visited the farm, water being pumped up into tank, for watering the plants, shrubs and trees. As it was several years since we had a look round this farm we saw much to interest us, and we must congratulate Mr Hawke on the progress he has made. Shortage of super and the claiming of his tractor for national purposes, has stopped Mr Hawke from farther expansion until after the war.
About seven years ago Mr Jack Bennett started clearing land at 'Camel Back,' He has opened up about 1000 acres of scrub land and is carrying on an average about two sheep to the acre, besides about twenty head of big stock. Mr Bennett believes in the land being top-dressed evenly, and did nearly the whole of the cleared land with a horse drawn super spreader, which did a good job. The first year there was a good covering over most of his land, but in some of the paddocks the second year the pasture was disappointing. However, the land is now well grassed. Here again shortage of super is holding up the productive ness of the land. He was only able to put 50 lbs of super to the acre this year. Never-the-less, he has mowed a quantity of grass hay, which will be need to feed the sheep daring the coming autumn and winter. Most of the land which Mr Bennett has cleared, is high lands, except on the creek which passes below the home-stead. When the opportunity arises Mr Bennett, intends to clear out several flats, which will be, when sown down, good spots for cutting clover hay. The handling of grass hay seems to be a big job, but if it were baled, it could be easily handled and carted out to the sheep in the different paddocks. Although when touring the district we noticed that grass hay was being cut on several properties, there will be a lot of grass go to waste this year. Shortage of labor can be blamed for this, but after the war is over and super becomes plentiful, farmers will no doubt conserve more grass for winter feed. Baling of the grass hay will do away with a lot of handling and it will be stowed in smaller sheds, until the time for carting it out in to the paddocks again. Then per-haps we will have contractors with a bailing plant from farm to farm like they have in different parts of the mainland. Mr and Mrs Bennett have a nice vegetable garden and at the C.W.A. Show, Mrs Bennett exhibited a large cauliflower, which won the special prize ticket for vegetables. There are still several fruit trees growing in the fruit garden, which Mr H. Geisler planted over thirty years ago, and Mr Bennett has several more trees coming into bearing. In going through the District we noticed there were few crops of barley, and hay crops appeared to be on the light side.