Although tillage has in later years been greatly extended, yet the general system of agriculture, except on the lands held by wealthy individuals, is still in a very backward state. The course consists of an introductory crop of potatoes, followed by wheat, barley, bere, and oats, or by such of these corn crops as the fertility of the soil is calculated to produce with the greatest advantage, until the ground is exhausted, when it is "let out," that is, the land is allowed to remain in its natural state after the last crop has been drawn off, and continues thus until a new herbage is produced, in which thistles, docks, and ragweed usually predominate.

Agriculture has made rapid advances among the gentry and wealthier farmers; the most approved implements and modes of culture have been introduced, but, probably in consequence of the system of shallow ploughing still generally adhered to, turnips and mangel wurzel, whose roots strike deep into the ground, do not succeed so well as in some other counties. The English spade is unknown, its place being supplied by the loy, so common throughout Connaught. The steeveen, used in setting potatoes, is merely a pointed stake, with a cross piece near the lower end to receive the foot, and which likewise determines the depth of the holes.

In certain districts of Roscommon, as in other places where spade husbandry prevails, it is usual for the people to exchange labour reciprocally, and to unite in considerable numbers in the fields of individuals in rotation, more especially for the purpose of planting or digging potatoes. The extensive grazing farms present a remarkable contrast to the fallow tillage land: the pastures are unrivalled in beauty and fertility. The highest quality of pasture land, consisting of native grasses, is reckoned to feed a bullock and a sheep per acre; on other lands an acre and a half is required, and on some grazing farms forty bullocks are allotted to a hundred acres.

County Roscommon | Roscommon Towns | Roscommon Topography | Roscommon Lakes | Roscommon Agriculture | Roscommon Livestock | Roscommon Geology | Roscommon Mining | Roscommon Manufacturing | Roscommon Rivers | Roscommon Antiquities | Roscommon Town

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