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such as are sown by drilling or dibbling, are the most likely to escape.
Corn Mildew-Uredo frumenti-greatly wagnified, It has been often asserted, and was for a long time believed, that the neighbourhood of barberry bushes was hurtful by attracting the noxious fungus, but this idea is now classed among unfounded prejudices.
The grain of mildewed plants is found to be perfectly good for seed, and being smaller than sound grain, a less measure is required for the purpose.
Another formidable disease to which corn is liable is known under the characteristic name of smut. This injury consists in the conversion of the farina of the grain into a sooty powder, which is more or
less black and offensive to the smell. Some authors have divided this evil under two different names, retaining that of smut for one of its modifications, while that of burnt-grain has been given to the other. Mills, in his System of Practical Husbandry,' has drawn the line of distinction between the two in the following terms. “ Smut, properly so called, occasions a total loss of the infected ears, but as the black powder which it produces is very fine, and the grains of that powder do not adhere together, wind and rain carry them away, so that the husbandman houses little more than the straw, which does not infect the sound grains and scarcely damages their flour. The burnt or carious grains are, on the contrary, often housed with the sound grain, which they infect with a contagious distemper, at the same time that they render its flour brown, and give it a bad smell *." The name under which this disease was known by the Romans was ustilago: by the French farmers it is called charbon.
If a portion of the black powder be first wetted with water, and then put under the microscope, it will be found to consist of myriads of minute globules, transparent, and apparently encompassed by a thin membrane. The cause of this disease has been held by some investigators to originate in the soil wherein the grain is sown; others have attributed it to the growth of a fungus within the ear; while others again have affirmed that is owing to a diseased state of the seed whence the plant is produced. The result of various experiments conducted with different seeds sown in the same spot, and subjected to the same culture, appear to confirm the correctness of the last hypothesis.
The average weight of a bushel of wheat is about sixty pounds. Inferior samples seldom weigh less
* Vol. ii. p. 392.
than fifty-six pounds, and the best as seldom exceed sixty-two pounds.
A bushel of wheat of the average weight will yield, on being ground,
Of bread four.. 47 pounds.
fine pollard.... 41
11 Loss of weight in the processes
2 of grinding and dressing...
Rye-Secale cereale. In former times this grain was much more extensively cultivated among us, than it has been of late years. Not two centuries have passed since rye flour, either by itself, or mixed with wheat, furnished nearly all the bread consumed by the labouring classes in England.
At present rye is cultivated by our farmers principally that they may draw from it a supply of green food for their flocks. For this purpose the plants, which are sown in November, are eaten early in the spring, before they begin to spindle, which they will do towards the end of March. After this stage of the growth has taken place, the succulent quality of the blade is impaired; it becomes coarse and harsh; and is no longer agreeable to animals. When rye is left to ripen its seeds, these are, for the most part, applied in this country to purposes distinct from human food; the principal use to which the grain is put being the preparation of a vegetable acid, to be employed by tanners in an operation which they call raising, and whereby the pores of the hides are distended, so as to dispose them the more readily to imbibe the tanning principle of the oak-bark, which is afterwards applied. Rye, when parched and ground, has been recently used as a substitute for coffee. It would be difficult, however, to convince any one accustomed to the use of this grateful beverage, that the grain of home production is ever likely to take place, at least to any extent, of the fragrant Mocha bean.
Rye straw is useless as fodder, but forms an excellent material for thatching, and is so suitable for stuffing horse-collars, that saddlers will usually pay for it a very good price.
Botanists distinguish four species of this plant:
the last only of which is cultivated in Britain. This, which is said to be a native of Candia, was intro