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State Library of NSW
Volume 46 pages 259-264: Letter from James Atkinson to Alexander Berry, 4 June 18294 June 1829
be very profitable. If you fallowed 50 acres every year, you might feed at least 5 or 6 hundred sheep for the Winter and Spring in this manner. At present as you have no sheep I should recommend you to feed off your growing wheat with store swine, and calves, and I have no doubt you would find your produce from the joint effects of feeding and treading much augmented in quantity, and the grain far heavier and yielding more flour. You could have yards built near the fields to shut them in at night, and a person to watch them during the day, and I am convinced it would pay you amply. The manner you harness and work your oxen is very simple and excellent. The carts you use are of good construction but should be made to shoot, which would much expedite many of the operations. They were employed when I was there in clearing the rubbish from some Corn Land, and had they been made to [shoot] would have cleared at least one third more land in the same time; by the way your Corn Land (I mean Maize) is very imperfectly cleared, this I think very dangerous, as it must be the means of harboring vast quantities of the eggs and larvae of insects and may be the means of producing the caterpillar someday upon your wheat.
As manure is not an object with you I should prefer to burn the corn stalks upon the land in small lumps, by which means every particle might be destroyed. I entirely agree with you that your stacks are far too large; I should certainly build them of such a size, as should a little exceed the quantity the thrashing machine could