February 6, 1847
A monthly agricultural report published in the Derry Journal thus refers to the culture ofthe potato in the province of Ulster:
"In consequence of the failure of the potato crop, for the last two seasons, farmers appear inclined to plant earlier; and we have already observed what may be considered, for this season, extensive preparations for proceeding with that operation. In some localities, such as Inch, and the parish of Ardstraw, a sufficiency of seed may be calculated on; but in most districts the want of the requisite amount of seed, and also the deficiency of manure, on the part of the cottiers, who to help themselves through the present distress, have disposed of their manure heaps, and who have hitherto been the greatest producers of this crop, induce us to believe that not more than half of the crop planted last year will be put down this season. . . .
"The wheat crop at one time showed signs of recovering that unhealthfulness which we noticed in our last report; but we regret to say that latterly it has retrograded in most fields, which the excessive rains only can account for. The plants are generally thin on the ground, and their appearance anything but vigorous; but a good spring may yet bring this crop into a promising condition. Owing to the favourable weather at the commencement of the month, a considerable breadth of ground was put down with springsown wheat; and we should think that by this time there is a full average of that grain committed to the soil."