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4-074 (Raw)

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author,male,Maxwell, John,23 addressee,family
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
O'Farrell, 1984
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4-074-raw.txt — 2 KB

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The land about Yack more of a red colour and better adapted for vine growing. I think Mr. Reid's people should go into vine growing as they have some land admirably suited for it. Wine being a smaller commodity in proportion to the bulk of land planted, could be raised at a greater distance from a market or railway which would convey it to the market than grain or any other root crop whose cost of carriage would be great. Indeed it seems to me that vine culture will be the prevailing industry in the drier parts of Victoria as the dryness of the climate is greatly against all other agricultural industries. 
Meat has risen to a very high price this winter mutton being as high as 5 l / 2d. and beef as high as 7 1/2d. for steak. 
I observed in the paper a few days ago where some bullocks were sold at £21 each. [135] I believe the rise in meat is owing to the very dry season which has been in a great portion of New South Wales. Sheep and cattle have died in thousands from want of feed and water. I knew of a man who started from New South Wales with 22,000 (thousands not hundreds - he was a drover and of course had a lot of men) to travel through Queensland for grass. He passed Talavera when I was there with about 400 the rest having died from hunger. When a squatter chances to have no feed for his sheep he often employs a drover to drive his sheep to another part of the country still keeping driving on from place to place till he hears from home the station to which they belong that feed is beginning to rise and that by the time the sheep gets back the grass will be good enough to sustain them. Thus they keep travelling at the rate of 5 miles a day which is the rate that law will compel sheep to travel but it often happens that sheep like these I have been speaking about do not travel so fast and only do so when urged by the squatters and selecters whose runs they pass through (a day) during the time they are absent from their own station. Sheep when travelling are allowed half a mile on each side of the road.