This method of reaping has hitherto been practised chiefly on oats, clover, and the grasses ; but there is no doubt that it may, with advantage, be extended to wheat, and every- other kind of grain ; for the following obvious reasons: l; Mowing is much easier, and less fatiguing to labourers, than reaping. 2. It is more expeditiously performed. 3. It requires. smaller number of hands. 4. It affords employment for children, aged men and women, who are almost past, labour, in gathering the corn, and other lighter branches of the work.
5.The grass being mown together with the straw, the; quantity of the latter is increased, while it becomes of greater value as fodder. Lastly, the grass produced on fields which have been mown, vegetates with increased luxuriance, and furnishes excellent pasture for cattle, and particularly, for cows, when the harvest is closed. Hence Du Hamel infers, that a farmer may, by this practice, not only keep a larger number of cattle, but at the same time save his hay, and obtain a greater quantity of dung.
.It may probably be objected, that, if a wet harvest should occur, mown wheat will sprout more speedily than that which is reaped.. This injury, however, may be effectually prevented, by disposing the sheaves triangularly, so that the head of one may rest upon another. The only requisite to effect this, is a little dexterity in closing the triangle, so that the basis of the third sheaf may serve to support the heads of the first and second.
We cannot conclude this article, without noticing an easy method, by which the operation of mowing may be greatly facilitated. According to the present mode of cutting grass, the workmen trace two parallel lines with their feet, which they move forward alternately, after every stroke of the scythe instead of which, Du Ham el recommends the mower's path to be traced only in a single line; because he ought to advance with one toot before the other, in such a manner that the left (which is behind), should always forward the right foot. This simple practice deserves commendation , for the labour will not only be performed with more speed, but likewise with greater ease to the mowers, who will thus be secured from those , sudden cramps in their left sides, with which they are frequently seized, in the prevailing system of using the Scythe.