In the best cultivated parts of the county about one-third of the ground is under tillage, but in the hilly parts the proportion is much less. The use of green food for any species of stock is almost unknown to common farmers: many of the cattle graze abroad the whole winter, but some are housed from Christmas to April. In the Walsh mountains grass is kept for the cattle, into which they are turned in the winter without hay, straw, or shelter. The only green food used in winter is furze tops pounded, which are commonly given to horses, and sometimes to black cattle: the former become fat, sleek, and fine-skinned on this food: the sort preferred is the large French furze, but the small Irish furze will serve. The stalks of potatoes, dug when green, are given to cattle: sheep are remarkably fond of them, and particularly of the apples, which fatten greatly. The Jerusalem artichoke has also been used successfully as food for sheep. Less attention seems to be paid to pasture than to other agricultural objects, being, in the tillage districts, such fields as will no longer bear corn, let out without any seeds. The mountain pastures are left in a state of nature, unenclosed and unimproved. Sheep are banished from many places for want of fences, and the land seems to be applied to no purpose, being left to the spontaneous growth of heath. These heaths are very liable to take fire in dry summers by accidental circumstances, and cause some damage: the fire, however, eventually improves the surface, when not too intense, and sometimes is kindled for that purpose. That the hilly tracts are capable of being improved by culture is testified by the aspect of the small enclosures near mountain villages, where the natural grass by a little shelter and manure becomes surprisingly green. Improvement is not much impeded by rights of common, as there are few persons to assert such rights, if they exist, and landlords seem to have an undisputed authority in partitioning lands, which, though grazed in common, confer no legal claim on the occupier. Irrigation is but little attended to, although, where it has been practised judiciously, it has been found very advantageous.

There is a considerable portion of land, bordering both on the Suir and the Nore, which is embanked and chiefly used for meadows: the most remarkable is in the parish of Roer, where the embankment is about two miles long; some of it is pastured, and was formerly tilled, but the greater part is constantly kept in meadow: it is intersected by open drains communicating with a main drain connected with the river by sluices. Besides this district, the most extensive dairies are in the barony of Iverk and principally around the Walsh mountains: this tract has a good depth of soil, much inclined to grass. So late as the close of the last century, the principal family residing in it consisted of five branches, holding among them more than 2000 acres; they retained a remarkable degree of clanship, by constantly intermarrying, and were very comfortable and hospitable. But from the practice of subdividing the land amongst their descendants, the farms have become very small and the occupiers poorer. The land, however, is much improved: the chief crops are oats and potatoes, and great numbers of cattle and pigs are bred here. The milk cows are principally fed on potatoes during the summer, and the butter is of a superior quality, and brings a good price both at Waterford and Kilkenny, whence it is exported to England. The pigs are mostly fed with buttermilk and potatoes and grow to a large size: vast numbers are annually shipped for England, and during the season the provision merchants of Kilkenny and Waterford obtain a large supply from the barony of Iverk.

Throughout the whole of that part of the barony which is not immediately adjacent to the city of Waterford, the population is more or less connected by ties of consanguinity, rarely marrying out of their own district. Limestone to a great extent is burned for manure; and limestone sand and gravel, raised from the numerous escars and screened, were formerly esteemed nearly as efficacious as lime, and are still frequently employed when found at a distance from limestone rocks. Before the practice of burning lime became general, they formed the principal manures, for which reason large excavations are to be found whence these substances were raised: the most remarkable is in the barony of Iverk, where, from the magnitude of the old excavations, they have been in use probably for a thousand years. A manure somewhat similar is used, under the name of Kilmacow sand, for hilly ground: it is carried up the Nore to Innistiogue, and thence drawn for some miles up the hills. Marl is found in great quantities in different parts, generally mixed with fragments of limestone; but, in consequence of the higher estimation in which lime is held, it is not in general use. River sand, raised below Ross, is more extensively used than marl. At the edge of the river, near Ringville, black mud, containing the decayed remains of vegetables, is raised, and proves an excellent manure for light ground; some sand is also taken up, containing thin broken shells of a species of tellina; the earth of old ditches and from boggy ground is often mixed with it. A compost of lime and earth is common as a top dressing; and the scrapings of roads, and furze, fern and straw, spread on lanes and other thoroughfares, are also used. Burning was the usual way of bringing land into tillage, and was encouraged by many landlords under particular restrictions, but is now generally discountenanced, as the carbon and all volatile particles are dissipated by the fire.

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