In describing the husbandry of the county it may be classed into five districts, three agricultural, occupying the plains, and two of pasturage, comprising the mountain tracts. The principal of the former is the plain from Carrick to Tipperary, the superior quality of the soil of which, and its contiguity to Clonmel, the great mart for export, have caused it to be occupied by the more wealthy class of landholders, in farms averaging about 50 or 60 acres, though sometimes considerably more: here the lands under tillage exceed the quantity of pasture in the proportion of five to three. Of the other two agricultural districts, one occupies the upper part of the same plain, extending to Roscrea, Burris-o'-leagh, Dundrum and Cappaghwhite, while the third forms the plain country extending from the northwestern mountains to the Shannon and Lough Derg.

The mountain districts are the coal tract of Slievardagh and Killenaule, and the mountains of Upper Ormond and Kilnemanagh. By much the greater part of the hills of Slievardagh are under tillage; the farms, which were of considerable size, averaging from 80 to 100 acres, have been in many instances so subdivided among the descendants of the original lessees, that they do not now average more than 10. The mountain district of Upper Ormond, including the Keeper and Kilnamanagh mountains, though elevated, affords good pasturage to the summit; the bases of these mountains, particularly on the north, are fertile and under excellent cultivation, which is extending a considerable way up their sides. In the low lands the general course of crops is potatoes, wheat, and oats, sometimes for two years, after which the same course is resumed, after liming or manuring. On light and shallow soils barley sometimes succeeds the potatoes. Bere is usually taken off rich deep soils that have remained long under pasturage.

In the mountain districts, wheat is cultivated only in a few peculiarly favourable valleys, except where the increased use of lime has extended its growth on the Slievardagh hills. Sometimes the corn crops are repeated until the soil is entirely exhausted, and then it is left to regain its natural sward, and remains untilled for a few years. The common mode of planting the potatoes is in lazy beds, but in many parts they are now drilled. The artificial grasses are red and white clover, rye-grass, and hay-seeds, which last are now almost invariably sown whenever land is laid down for grass. The grass lands are good and sound, and though not in general clothed with the luxuriant herbage that adorns the county of Limerick, the butter is of superior quality. The most productive lands are the abundant tracts of low meadow along the banks of the larger rivers descending from the mountains, and constantly enriched by their alluvial deposits. These lands are here designated Inches, signifying "islands." A considerable portion of fertile land is devoted to the purposes of the dairy; and there are some extensive grazing farms, on which large herds of cattle are fattened. The butter, which is made in large quantities in the dairies, is mostly packed in firkins and sent to Clonmel, Waterford, or Limerick, for the English market, or by the canal to Dublin: the demand for it is annually increasing.

The principal manure is lime, which is extensively used on the rich lands of the vale, and in reclaiming and improving the colder soils of the high lands. A compost of turf mould mixed with the refuse of the farm-yard is also used, particularly for top-dressing. Limestone gravel is likewise in demand: that taken from the escars in the coal district between Killenaule and New Park, which form fertile and picturesque hills chiefly composed of this material, was formerly in great repute as manure, and was always spread on the ground without being calcined.

Agricultural implements and carriages of improved construction are every year coming more into use; a light car with a wicker body is common. The fences are generally large mounds of earth from six to eight feet at the base, thrown up from the trench, frequently topped with white thorn or furze. In some districts stone walls are the general fence: a few resident gentlemen have set the example of an improved English system of fencing.

Notwithstanding the undulatory character of the plain country, which renders the land less retentive of moisture than the contiguous county of Kilkenny, large tracts of the tillage land require draining. In many parts, a mode of drawing the water off pasture lands, called pipe-draining, has been introduced from Limerick: it consists of a narrow drain, covered with a thick surface sod, resting on an offset on each side. In some parts of the Ormonds, and on the lands of the principal gentry, the most approved systems of green-cropping are practised: the raising of clover has become general among the farmers, by whom rape, flax, vetches, and hemp are occasionally sown, though not to any great extent. Flax is cultivated in small plots, on the headlands or in a corner of the field, for domestic use only.

The fields are generally very small, even in the dairy districts seldom exceeding five or six acres, and in tillage land being from two to four. The number and width of the ditches in such a mode of arrangement must throw much land out of cultivation.

Great improvements have taken place latterly in the breeds of every kind of cattle: the breed most esteemed for the dairy is the Irish cow crossed by the Holderness or Durham, the latter of which seems to thrive best on every soil but the limestone, where the cross between the Devon and Limerick answers better: the Kerry cow crossed by the Old Leicester is small, but fattens rapidly in the lowland pastures. Sheep are seldom seen except with the gentry and large farmers: the defective system of fencing, the small holdings and subsequent minute subdivisions of the fields tend to exclude them from the management of the small farmer: in the mountain districts the small old hairy country breed is still to be found. Pigs are very numerous, forming part of the stock from the highest to the lowest landholder: they grow rapidly, are easily fattened, and much care is bestowed on them: great numbers are shipped for England both alive and dead. The breeding and improvement of horses is also much attended to, although the number is now less than what it formerly was, the farmers having brought into use a greater number of asses and mules to perform the drudgery. Some of the asses are of a large Spanish breed; they are almost everywhere used by the poorer classes.

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