Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio
Black Creek Farm, December 26, 1850
Sir:--I will undertake to reply to a few of the questions contained in your Agricultural Circular, which I received some time since.
Wheat:--The most approved varieties of wheat are the Etrurian, reed-straw, and Kentucky smooth wheat, and Mediterranean and old red chaff, both bearded. There are also various other varieties grown. The average product of last harvest, I think is, about 20 bushels per acre. We prefer to plough but once for wheat, and then from 7 to 9 inches deep. We sow about the middle of September. I think the yield per acre is increasing. The last years crop, I suppose, will average about 65 cents per bushel.
Corn.The kind most extensively grown in this county is a large, yellow corn. The average product upon good land, well cultivated, I think, is about 50 bushels per acre.
Good meadows will yield about 2 tons of hay per acre. Timothy is the kind preferred.
Neat Cattle.The cost of rearing till 3 years old, I think, is not less than $20 per head, and they are worth, at that age, about $25 each, if they are of good quality. The Durham cattle are preferred in this section of the country.
Hogs.The best breeds with which I am acquainted are the Byfield, Berkshire, Irish grazier, and the Calcutta; and I have learned, from actual experiment, that either of these breeds may be improved by crossing with another. I believe the cheapest method of raising pork is upon clover and corn; and I think that 100 lbs. of corn, fed to a thrifty hog, will make 25 lbs. of pork.
Among all the recent improvements in farming implements, I believe that, the reaping and mowing machines will save the most labor. I have used, for the last two years, a mowing machine of Huzzys patent, with some improvements by the manufacturers, (Messrs. Mintburn and Allen,) with success and entire satisfaction.
Very respectfully yours,