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Farm of Aaron Noble Phelps

From the Transactions of the Illinois State Agricultural Society

I bought one hundred and sixty acres of my farm, unimproved, in the spring of 1854, for sixteen hundred dollars; also forty acres in the spring of 1868, improved and raised by first crop on this piece in 1869 for twenty-six hundred dollars. The farm is fenced with three hundred and sixty rods of Osage hedge, three hundred and ninety-two rods of fence six boards high, three hundred and twenty-seven rods five boards high, and twenty-eight rods of picket fence. These fence are so constructed, thot each field and yard are made pig tight, so that my pigs can follow my cattle into every field. from actual tests, having scales handily situated in my yards, that I gain largely by advantage of my stock hogg having the range of my fields with my stock cattle.

As a sample of such tests, I put nineteen shotes, weighing one hundred and fifty-two pounds average, after my cattle, December 5th, 1870, and weighed again in twenty days, and fed, in the same time, nineteen bushels of corn from my cattle. The pigs weighed one hundred and ninety-three pounds average, a gain of forty-one pounds per head. I find I gained enough from these nineteen shotes to put the extra bottom board on about four hundred and fifty rods of fence. My fatting hogs I Feed in A house and yards; never suffered to run at large. 

I find that in feeding hogs, I make thirteen pounds of pork per bushel with new corn, but with old corn sixteen to seventeen pounds, and in feeding cattle I gain about four pounds. 

My hogs are a spotted breed, making my selections from stock pigs from the best stock I can find, without regard to name. I keep from ten to twelve breeding sows, and raise from fifty to sixty pigs. 

My stock of cattle are grade Durham; stock on hand, thirty head: seven cows and balance stears; usually keep four or five cows, raising the calves—buying calves and other cattle to keep up my stock to the requirements of my farm. I fed twenty-five head of cattle the winter of 1869-70; they will not appear m the estimates; they realized me sixty cents per bushel tor my corn. I keep no brood mares, as such —keeping only good strong work horses. 

Implements used are Parlin and Orendorf's Plows, Buckeye Reaper and Mower, Buckeye Grain Drill with grass-seed sower attached, Princeton Corn Stalk Cutter, riding and walking two-horse Cultivators. The work during the year was done by myself and sons.

In rotation of my crops, I break up pasture and plant to corn four or five years; then sow to small grain and seed down to timothy and clover, mowing it four or five years; then use it for pasture until needed for corn again. By this rotation I find no reason to complain of worn-out land, or short crops.