War-time farming diary

Hugh and family left Brandsby after the sale of Mill Hill in around 1913 and lived in Brighton with their family for a few years. In 1917 they returned to Brandsby and settled in the Spella Park farm house and Hugh recommenced farming on his own account. For a period he kept a diary

A Wartime Farming diary: weekly reports on business of the Brandsby Estate and farms in hand from October 1st 1917 to March 29th 1918.

October 1st 1917, Report.

During the past week masons worked at Warren House putting up new concrete divisions to replace old wooden ones in the cattle boxes. The work should be finished this week. The masons will also in their spare time repair the wall at the entrance to land at North End of Peacock Wood. The tenant (Strickland) agrees to stub the roots where timber was recently felled and sold for war purposes and will take the land into cultivation. No rent to be charged during present tenancy in return for his doing the stubbing. The wood will not be replanted as it interfered with the drying of corn on the East side. A shelter belt is growing up across the road on the Black Moor side. The North Riding Executive Committee have accepted this addition to the arable land of the holding in lieu of ploughing out 3½ acres of grass on the farm.

From two to three estate men have been employed laying the new water main, in repairing threshing tackle and assisting in threshing on two days at Low Farm.

An order has been received for five tons of holly. Holly is in demand during the war to take the place of imported box wood. We hope to deliver this consignment at the end of the week.

The timber haulers consisting of 3 men and 6 horses have been assisting with harvest and ploughing for wheat, but resumed [hauling] larch from Spella to Easingwold on last Saturday.

Low Farm

Harvest concluded on Tuesday when we finished [reaping] a heavy crop of Victory oats in Anasykes. This field had been laid to grass for the past 6 years, but was now ploughed up to meet national requirements for homegrown corn during the War. One third of the field was sown with grass seed mixture containing wild white clover. The influence of this plant was shown to an extraordinary degree in the oat crop which must have been 75% heavier at least than the rest of the field. The texture of the soil has also been improved to a quite extraordinary degree.

The Government motor plough has been working in Anasykes since last Thursday at 15/- per acre. This price does not represent the actual cost to Government, but it appears to be the public policy to plough land at a similar price to what it would cost to plough by horses. This year we hope to sow not less than 50 acres with wheat. This land is now all ploughed, but owing to most of it having been under a white crop this past season and the season being fine and dry, we are in the process of either ploughing a second time or “cultivating” with the Government motors in order to check the growth of weeds. Cleaning the land is one of the greatest problems which the farmer has to face during the present period when one corn crop has to be sown after another.

We threshed wheat for 2 days and the yield is most satisfactory considering the amount of waste due to the corn getting too ripe in consequence of the bad weather before reaping. In field no ? which contains 8 acres ? roods, the yield of saleable wheat was just over 4 quarters per acre. On the 10 acres of Hessey field which was sown after oats, the yield falls below the 4 quarter mark. Probably it is the use of Basic Slag and Sulphate of Ammonia that have largely contributed to this gratifying result. Though 4 quarters is not a high yield for this country, it is considerably above the average on Low Farm.

Seventy lambs have been sold to G. Knowles of Crayke at 42/- each. A month ago 60 “tops” (lambs) had been sold at 48/-. During the past month we have taken into stock five tons of Sulphate of Ammonia at a cost of £76.17.6. Owing to the fine weather the milk yield has slightly increased.

Valley Farm

At Valley Farm potatoes are being taken up. The foreman, Parker, reports a good crop. The farm was taken in hand last April 6th in a bad state, due to the last two tenants who were only moderate farmers. The potatoes are bing lifted by the schoolchildren at 2/- per day – hours 7.30 to 4.30.

The rate of wages paid on the farm is:
Foreman 25/-, Head horseman 23/-, Second horseman 22/-, Shepherd 24/-, Cowman 23/-.
These all have a free house, potatoes and two pints of milk. Overtime is at the rate of 6d per hour and instead of beer at haytime, harvest and threshing, we allow 1/6 per day extra.

Estate decisions as follows:

Notice to be served on J. Skilbeck at Coulton for the purpose of taking back the 2 Swathgill fields laid on to his holding some years back. He is now too old to manage so much land.
Metcalfe’s farm, given Gill Plantation and one small field adjacent to the plantation – in all about 35 acres.
Mr. Clayton to be asked to come to view Cop Howe. He will be put up at York Hotel and taxi engaged to bring him out here.
Notification to be made to tenants that after April 6th, they must pay their own rates. This to be done either at rent audit or earlier as Mr. Wood thinks best. If done after October 13th, any tenant who would have given up his farm on this account can be allowed to do so.

Hugh C. Fairfax-Cholmeley.

October 10th 1917, Report and decisions.

Masons were engaged all the week on concrete stalls at Warren House (Strickland’s) and still have one division to complete. It is proposed to wall up the entrance to the top of Peacock Wood which should not occupy more than the remainder of the week, and this should conclude masons work on the estate until next Spring, except for a small job on the kitchen roof at Mill Hill where there is a leak near the flashing, and where a hole in the ceiling below is to be repaired.

Three men have been engaged on the new water main and have almost reached the Hewthit field. Two at least of these will be left to proceed with the work during the present week. It will be necessary to take Ashby to finish thatching the stacks at Low Farm. This is important to prevent waste.

Hammond, Cooper and Tom Hammond have been threshing all the week. They will be engaged 2 days during this week in hauling 20 tons of slag for Major Pearson’s land and threshing for the remainder of week. Six horses and 3 men have been engaged hauling timber all week, so with the exception of drainers, the whole of the staff have been employed in work for hire.

There is a great demand on the haulage and threshing outfit and in order to avoid neglecting this it was decided to sacrifice the work on the new water main next week, so as to enable the saw mill to go into the High Wood to cut firewood for Mill Hill.

Mr. Bakes will be occupied during the next 10 days preparing for quarterly audit by Mr. Guy.

Farms

At Valley Farm the King Edward potatoes were all taken up and Mr. Wood estimates the crop at about 6 tons per acre. (This at £6.10.0 per ton = £39 per acre gross).

At Low Farm 50 acres have been got ready for wheat with the use of 2 Government motors and 5 horses. Mr. Wood proposes to begin sowing at once. The milk yield has declined slightly owing to the cold nights.

Sales for the week consist of an unbroken 4 year old blood colt to Mr. Rowntree @ £35, a cow sold as fat – live weight – 65 stone – price £28 (Government price rate), 52 ½ quarters wheat @ 73/3d (Government price). The cow was a Dimsdale cow (Dainty): she had gone wrong in her udder and it is a serious loss as she was a fine looking cow, but there is no actual loss on costs.

Part of the older ewes have been put to the ram. The ewe stock is particularly good and Mr. Wood reports it the best flock that has been on the farm during the past 20 years. The pastures were very bare for the time of year and great care and economy will have to be exercised in every department during the coming winter to keep up the health of the stock and avoid expense. Feeding stuffs are almost prohibitive in price and Mr. Wood reports that he is mapping out rations with Mr. Crawhall for the coming winter.

Hugh C. Fairfax-Cholmeley

October 17th 1917, Report.

Sales on Farms during the past week have been:
2 pigs to T. Day £1.15.0
6 pigs to Major Pearson £6.6.0
Total £8.1.0

Low Farm

Weather has been unsettled but we have got 35 acres of wheat sown in good condition. The milk yield is declining owing to cold wet nights. Six horses have been working on timber haulage all the week. Their earnings have been quite £25. All the ewes were put to the rams last Thursday. A new Oxford ram has been purchased from W. Heslop of Standrop, but price not yet notified.

One calving heifer has been bought from Fletcher at £39 and eatage of his Wheathill Close for 30/-. It should be possible during the week to sow Anasykes: this will make 50 to 60 acres on Low Farm. Taking up mangels begins today.

Valley Farm

Potatoes have been taken up, a good crop. One more day should finish the Arran chiefs. Parker reports a small amount of “disease” but nothing serious. The potatoes were sprayed only once. Pulling mangels has begun. They are a good crop here as well as on Low Farm.

Estate

The masons have finished at Strickland’s, but owing to stormy weather little has been done to the wall at Peacock Wood. This should be done this week as well as the roof at Mill Hill. Clark and Moon will be on the water main except on Monday when Mr. Wood has “lent” them to Mr. Cattley at Stearsby for threshing.

Ashby is helping to sow wheat and thatching on the farm. Hammond, T. Hammond and Cooper will be felling timber for Major Pearson on Monday and if the weather becomes settled and the land dries up it is proposed to take the engine to the High Wood to cut firewood. If, however, the weather remains bad some other plan will have to be adopted for the stock of firewood at Mill Hill. If sowing is impossible, Hammond, T. Hammond and Cooper should devote their time to slashing hedges round the village.

Mr. Guy is due at the office on Wednesday for the audit.

The breaking of a doorway into the back of the old cart shed now used for calves at Low Farm, is sanctioned. This is needed to give easy access to the adjoining cowshed for the calves.

Hugh C. Fairfax-Cholmeley

October 22nd 1917, Report.

There were no sales on the farm during the week. Milk yield shows no further decline: the weather is milder.

Purchases consist of 2 cattle from Mr. Murray of Pezpy, Northumberland. 1) a “Charlotte” descended from heavy milking shorthorns owned by the late Chas. Marshall of Broomhaugh, Riding Mill, Northumberland. 2) a heifer “Allerton Fragrance” bred by Mr. Pumphrey of Hindley, Stocksfield-on-Tyne. She is a very good heifer and the strain has a great reputation for milk. Had she been offered by auction it is unlikely she should have been bought for £150 at the present time. For the two heifers together we paid £25 plus the exchange of a two year old heifer “Lady Derwent” of our own breeding. Probable market value of Lady Derwent was £35. She was for beef rather than dairy.

The work on the farms is ordinary routine for the time of year, viz. Mangel storing, hedge slashing, ploughing etc. Mr Wood hopes to sow 6 or 7 acres of rye at Valley Farm, weather permitting. The thatching is all finished.

Estate

There is nothing of great interest to note. A quantity of firewood had been carted into the yard and some is to be sawn on Monday. Hammond and his son have been working on their own holdings most of the week. The other men have been on the water main and repairing the mill race.

Next week threshing, sawing and water main will occupy the men. Clark has been off work 2 days, ill. Moon will be at the Farm assisting with the mangels.

General remarks.

In accordance with a suggestion of the Board of Agriculture, Mr. Wood proposes, if possible, to try the experiment of growing our own Mangel seed. Such seed will not be available till 1919.

According to present arrangements Mr. Clayton (Lord Yarborough’s forester) is due on Wednesday morning to value and inspect timber for felling. Mr. Oates (timber merchant) is also due that morning so the usual business conference cannot take place. Monday and Tuesday will be occupied by consideration of timber to be offered for sale.

Mr. Wood presented two statements of accounts for the period ending Michaelmas, verified by Mr. Guy.

Hugh C. Fairfax-Cholmeley

October 29th 1917, Report.
Farms

No sales this week. Weather very stormy but we stored 100 loads of mangels at Low Farm and 30 loads at Valley Farm. This week will be devoted to finishing the mangels (estimated at about 120 loads) and finishing cleaning the yards of manure to get the cattle in. The cows are already sleeping in, but it will be necessary to arrange a day’s threshing as early as possible to get out the straw and tail corn for feeding purposes.

Estate

Clark has been on the new water main all the week. Hammond and his gang have been threshing. They will be sawing firewood and other material that is required for the remainder of the week. Mr. Bakes and Mr. Wood will be engaged marking timber for sale by tender or private treaty and have to attend a sale at Marton Abbey Farm on Wednesday. The haulers will be loading long timber from Crayke for the rest of the week.

Hugh C. Fairfax-Cholmeley

November 4th 1917, Report.
Farms

Mangel storing is finished: Low Farm 300 loads, Valley Farm 57 loads. This provides a good stock of this class of food for winter. The work on the farms is the usual work for the time of year, viz. manure carting, threshing, ploughing etc.

One cow “N93” has been sold for £46; not being a heavy milker it was advisable to draft her.

Mr Wood reports that the heifer recently bought from Fletcher, which gave promise of being a valuable dairy cow has gone wrong in her bag and is to be sent to Leeds for slaughter. The amount of loss not yet known, but she has left us a heifer calf.

“Star Ruby”, a pedigree dairy shorthorn heifer purchased recently from Dr. A. Payne Gallway of Brandsby Lodge, calved on Sunday night, a bull calf which we unfortunately lost. However, she gives promises of being a good milker.

The hauling gang have been on timber work all the week.

Estate

Hammond and his gang have been sawing timber for Major Pearson and for estate purposes: they will be similarly employed this week. The plumber is coming to the water main on Thursday, as there is sufficient trench cut for 3 days pipe laying which should bring the pipes nearly up to the Reservoir in Hewthit Moor.

Mr Clayton, Lord Yarborough’s forester on the Danby Estate, Lincolnshire, was here and reported on the proposed timber felling at the Dale Pond and Cop Howe and also on a few hedgerow trees (Ash) in Town Street Wood, the Dutchin Pasture and near the Home Farm. In Cop Howe special attention was paid to leaving a screen at the west end of the wood and also a fringe of oak between this and the young plantation that is growing up. It was necessary for the sake of the future of the young plantation to clear off trees near it that would not outlast the new rotation, owing to the young plants having reached a stage when it would be dangerous to expose them to wind later on. The oak clump left on the south fringe will outlast the young plantation and will be very valuable to the appearance of the hillside. The clump at the west end will stand for many years and will act as a useful screen to the new plantation to be planted after this fall, as well as helping to clothe the hillside till the present plantations have gown taller and the new ones between them and the west clump have gained ten years growth. The trees have all been marked and Messrs. Oates have submitted a tender, which had been forwarded by Mr. Wood to Mr. Clayton for criticism. Mr. Clayton has been valuing a large amount of timber for private owners and also for the Government recently, so he is conversant with present market prices. The rapid rise and sudden changes in values that are now taking place make this step very advisable. There are about 21,000 feet of timber in the proposed fall.

There are several matters connected with the re-letting of certain holdings that are now under consideration. S Frank has given in his Foulrice Farm: W. Harrison of Swathgill (Coulton) is under notice: J. Metcalfe of Grimstone Grange is leaving for a better farm near Sessay on Lord Down’s estate: T. Skilbeck of Coulton is to give up the land added to his holding some years ago. S. Frank gave in his Foulrice Farm at the very last moment on October 10th. He appears to have made up his mind to do this a few weeks before and told me he had done so because he wanted to have less land to look after in his old age.

The whole of the wages have been revised as set forth in the schedule on the opposite page [the schedule is missing].

Mr. Wood reports that it is unadvisable to proceed with the mangel seed experiment, as Bland who was formerly at the Stearsby Hag Farm, found there was not enough sun here to ripen it out of doors and we have no accommodations for cutting and hanging it.

Hugh C. Fairfax-Cholmeley

November 12th 1917, Report.
Estate

Hammond will be threshing 3 days, 1 at Low Farm and 2 at High Farm. After that general estate work will occupy the men. Possibly Hammond may get together a felling gang. If so we shall be able to do most of the marked timber with our own men.

Whitaker has promised to come and lay pipes on Tuesday, the trench being quite ready from Water House to Reservoir. The timber loaders will be occupied with Crayke timber.

Farms

Unsettled weather has hindered our getting on with wheat sowing and rye at Valley Farm. Weather permitting we shall go on with ploughing for spring corn and roots. One horse has been purchased, 3 ½ years old from W. Rickaby for £82 for Swathgill Farm. Horses are very dear and scarce: they should be bought whenever possible now, to avoid buying dearer in the Spring. For this reason we must arrange with Barclay’s for extra overdraft for the capital account.

Fletcher’s heifer sold at Leeds for £27.10.0., calf valued at £3. This shows a loss of £9 on the transaction.

Hugh C. Fairfax Cholmeley

November 19th 1917, Report.

*Hammond threshed everyday during the past week. Clark and Moon have been on the watercourse which is nearing finish. Mr. Oates is coming tonight for business concerned with the timber sale.

Farms

Past week’s weather much better and help has been sent to Valley Farm to get in the rest of the wheat and rye. This should be finished by Wednesday.

Major Pearson is putting 20 tons of slag on the Park Land we rent from him. The cows were sent over to Valley Farm to eat turnips during the winter. It will be a great relief to Low Farm to get them on light land for the winter. We also sent over to Valley Farm 2 heifers and the sows. We are carting some food to supplement what is on the farm, our object being to make manure there to improve the land which is deficient in “humus” and therefore very susceptible to drought.

Five horses have been purchased, 3 from Barker of Wigganthorpe at £80 and 2 at £72. Also one 2 ½ year old from Lockwood of Sheriff Hutton for £60 and one 10year old from Northumberland for £55.

Sales during the week have been 6 bullocks at £25 (£150) and one at £18, total £168. It was intended to feed these cattle during the winter, but owing to the high cost of feeding stuffs and prices fixed by the food controller for beef, a dead loss would have resulted by keeping them. The man who bought them will winter them and feed them on next summer’s grass.

Hugh C. Fairfax Cholmeley

November 26th 1917, Report.
Farms

The ewes were sent to Valley Farm to eat turnips at beginning of the week, a great relief to Low Farm to have this light land for sheep in winter. We cannot feed the stock on this farm from its produce, but shall cart some food from Low Farm.

Usual work for the time of year. No sales or purchases reported.

Estate

Six horses have been timber hauling and one snigging pit props. Hammond and his gang have been felling spruce in Spella and we should finish sawing up pit props there this week. After that we start felling timber in Cop Howe and Dale Pond.

Have made an arrangement with Stephen Frank and his son Sam to saw up all the cord-wood laid in Whinnies below High Wood – we to pay all expenses and take everything except such fencing as he needs for fencing in a portion of Snargate which is to be ploughed out for corn growing in accordance with the demand of the North Riding War Committee.

Mr. H. Cattley has agreed to let us get water for domestic purposes from a spring in his field next to Foulrice at 1/- per annum. (N.B. This was afterwards repudiated by Cattley who said he had changed his mind and would let it to me for £2 per annum.) Mr. Wood is instructed to negotiate with Mr. Payne Gallway to let Foulrice to him at £170 per annum. I agree to add two rooms to the house and improve the buildings, the latter improvements not to exceed £150. Mr Wood will try to get it done for £100.

Hugh C. Fairfax Cholmeley

December 26th 1917, Report.

Absence from home and a rush of business have prevented further reports since the 26th ultimate. Four men are now felling in Cop Howe and Oates has paid £500 on account for the timber being felled. The new water main was completed on the 20th with the exception of some filling in and a finish to the tanks which have been delayed by the frost.

The representatives of the War Committee came over to arrange about further ploughing out and agreed with us for 36 acres of permanent pasture on Low Farm to be ploughed. These fields are Lockwod Close, about 5 acres, the field in front of the farmhouse and south of the orchard, about 11 acres, and a field north of the house and adjoining the Park, about 5 acres and a field next to the Stearsby road and the Elm Walk gate at the hall, about 14 acres.

Sales were 12 cast ewes at 92/- making a total of £56.4.0.: no purchases. Two pigs have been killed for the house.

Hugh C. Fairfax Cholmeley

March 28th 1918, Report.

No reports have been made since Dec. 26th partly on account of pressure of business and partly because Mr. Bakes had got behind with the accounts and there was a difficulty in getting certain data needed.

The County War Executive Committee sent a representative to select fields of permanent grass for ploughing on Low Farm, as mentioned in the last report and we received notice to plough another 36 acres. This was inconvenient as late in the year, but we undertook to do it.

On Seaves Farm, Strickland was required to plough the Brandsby Oak field and the Bumper field. As landlord I did not see any serious objection to either of these. The Bumper field of 10 acres was laid by Strickland (the landlord found the seeds), no serious damage to the estate would be done by ploughing. The Brandsby Oak field has shown signs of being in a bad state. It has not responded to treatment and is full of Yellow Rattle. If any grass is to be ploughed, this field is probably the best from my point of view, because it might be made into a good pasture by relaying and treating with wild white etc. It is preferable to Strickland’s being compelled to plough a very good rotation grass beyond the Aumitt field.

I objected to an order to Eales of Thornhill to plough out his best permanent old grass east of Farlington Road and also pointed out that he is not capable of farming this farm if compelled to plough more grass. If an order were made I should be obliged to take the farm out of his hands and put it into the hands of someone more competent to employ sufficient labour.

S. Frank of Snargate signified that he would plough the top of Snargate and asked for fencing. I told him, on Mr. Wood’s advice, that he must fence himself, but I would give him posts out of material lying close at hand and pay for the cost of conversion of material, if he would get the work done. His son Sam undertook the work of management of a sawmill hired from Mathison of Marton Abbey. The material was converted into firewood and fencing and the sales just about covered the cost, which was exceedingly heavy owing to current prices of labour etc.

About the end of February another inspector, apparently under instructions from the Board of Agriculture, came to view the grassland in Easingwold District, and marked another 50 acres on Low Farm for ploughing. He also made orders on Stephen Frank’s farm at Snargate, Eales at Thornhill and every farm on the Brandsby portion of the estate except Strickland’s farm and the High Farm. I had made out schedules showing the amount of land in arable in the years 1876 and 1914, and pointed out that on Low Farm we had now 29 acres more arable than in 1876, while on the whole estate we had only 50 acres more grass than 1876 and that there would be no difficulty in putting the estate in the same condition as in 1876. The inspector, a Mr. Dunhill, from a district north of Yorkshire paid no attention to this and marked Brandsby for 100 acres.

For my part that would not have troubled me greatly, if it had not been for the restrictions on cropping imposed by the North Riding Executive, who had notified that 75% of the land which was arable previous to the orders for ploughing must be cropped with corn, potatoes, peas or beans. This absurdity was adopted by them in order to try to evade the ploughing of as much permanent pasture as the Board of Agriculture required; but it made farming of our land an impossibility and necessitated the reduction of our dairy herd.

Consequently I determined to appeal privately to the Food Production Committee to ascertain what was really their policy with regard to farming and i took Mr. Wood to London with me on March 12th to see Professor Middleton on the 13th. I pointed out to Middleton that our War Committee seemed to be going in an opposite direction to all the advice given by the President of the Board of Agriculture and all the proclamations he made. I then asked what they really wanted farmers to do. He said the first thing required was milk and especially winter milk and next corn and potatoes.

I pointed out that, though I thought the amount of permanent grass we were asked to plough was excessive, I was not so much troubled by that as by the County Committee’s restrictions, which prevented us from following a rotation with seeds and grasses for the purpose of maintaining our herd of milch cows and also getting the land fit for corn crops. Middleton explained that the Board of Agriculture wanted a certain amount of permanent grass ploughed in order to make up each year for the absence of arable treated by concentrated artificial manures. He also pointed out that the Board could not entertain appeals from Local Committees whose decision must be upheld. I derived comfort from his exposition of the Board’s policy, which I realized must ultimately make its influence felt in the Counties and I was pleased to note that the rotation we desired to follow during the war, namely, 1 year of seeds, 2 corn crops, roots or other to follow the corn – corn was favoured by the Food Production Committee.

I pointed out that 60% of arable in cereals instead of 75% was what was proposed by the East Riding Committee for 1919 and that this would enable us to get nearer a practicable rotation for war purposes on the strong land. On light land the rotation we desire is 1 year seeds, 1 year corn, then roots or potatoes, then corn, then roots or potatoes, then corn. Middleton favours this. Mr. Wood and I determined to sow 20 acres with seeds this summer for 1919 and to await results.

Middleton told me they had a scheme under consideration for the erection of concrete silos which might work out at pre-war prices and he would let me know of it later if I like. I jumped at this immediately.

it was only two days ago that I returned to Brandsby and today I received a letter from the War Executive Committee saying that Major Land Fox had informed them of my appeal to the Board of Agriculture and that in consequence of Mr. C. Middleton’s representations through him, they were willing to agree to my sowing a moderate amount of arable with seeds for 1919. They thought the amount I had in seeds in 1918, viz. 20 acres, would be a reasonable amount.

This letter I have acknowledged with thanks. Mr. Wood thinks out is a first step towards an acknowledgement in their own minds of the mistakes they have made, and that the Committee will be obliged to adopt the 60% basis in lieu of 75% for 1919, if only to allow for farmers leaving their farms securing their thirds for away going crop. I am willing to “wait and see”. Tomorrow I hope to receive a report from Mr. Wood on the farm and on other estate work.

I am pleased to say Miss Nicholson tells me that she and Mr. Bakes have got the accounts posted to date at last.

Hugh C. Fairfax-Cholmeley.

March 29th 1918, Report.

Today I have been into the question with Mr. Wood of the method of taking valuation of Low Farm for the Balance Sheet. We discussed the difficulty of arriving at a true statement of the profit and loss on a farm as a going concern. Owing to the fact that the major operations on a farm are for protracted periods and the turnover in these more or less only once a year, there is no opportunity for the law of averages to assert itself. Great fluctuations in prices and chance profits on single transactions are therefore liable to upset the calculation of profit or loss based upon annual returns to a greater extent than in ordinary trading concerns. We decided that there should be an annual valuation on the same lines more or less as has been customary when Mr. Wood was tenant of the farm, namely as a going concern, for which Mr. Harrison should be paid a small fee as hitherto – say £5 or more according to the size of the farm etc. That every five years – in normal times at all events – there should be a complete and exhaustive valuation similar to the one on which I entered the farm, as though for actual and immediate winding up.

Mr. Wood suggests that the interest on capital at 5% be paid annually as an expense, the remaining profit or loss being allowed to accumulate for the period of five years when it will be dealt with after the quinquennial balance sheet. To this I agree, but Mr. Wood’s proposal to reckon the capital as being what it stood at in the books at the commencement of the five years, will need some modification, because fresh capital will probably be introduced from time to time. I understood his proposal to be aimed at the avoidance of treating accumulated profits as capital liable to interest and I am prepared to consider this.

The general scheme agreed to for annual valuations was as follows:-

Pedigree stock to be taken at cost price as in the books, unless some special reason for knowing an animal to have lost value. Mr. Wood and I consult before valuation and decide on any instructions to be given to the valuer as to these.
Tenant Right to be valued and the away going crops estimated at an average according to acreage and probable prices.
Implements costing more than £1 to be entered in Implements account as capital: under £1 to be charged as an annual expense. Repairs to be charged to expenses account. Depreciation on machinery and implements to be on values standing in the books, not on original cost. 12 ½ % to be allowed for depreciation.
Non-pedigree stock to be valued in usual manner for a going concern and not as though for winding up. During times like the present when values are abnormal, the basis of value will be the actual prices at which purchased plus or minus according to the valuer’s own judgement.

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The first annual valuation will take place on Monday next, April 1st.

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