The large estates inherited by General Ludwik Michał Pac were mostly in a state of neglect and required rearrangement. To remedy the situation, Count introduced new methods of cultivation. A great role in the modernization of the estates was played by the brought by him Scottish and English settlers (ca. 50 families). Scottish settlement in Poland had quite a rich tradition – first arrivals are dated already for the 16th century, the first settlers in Dowspuda came in 1817. Their arrival was a result of a number of Pac’s visits to Great Britain where he could witness the innovative methods of farming. Based on favourable notarial deeds (modifiable in case of decrease of prices or natural disasters), the Scottish settlers popularized sequential cropping, cultivation of potatoes (people learnt how to store potatoes in a storage clamp), mangold-wurzel (Scottish turnip), clover and many species of vegetables. Particularly developed were sheep, cattle and horse breeding. The British settlers conducted also numerous agrotechnical works: drying, deacidifying, fertilizing and composting the soils which significantly improved their output. The settlers quite quickly assimilated with the local people. For his involvement in the November Uprising, Pac’s estates were confiscated and plundered. A certain surviving legacy of the presence of the Scottish settlers are some names of places and a few, now polonized, names of local people. Ludwik Michał Count Pac was a vice-president of the Agricultural Society in Warsaw.
Sequential cropping: a type of a fallowless crop rotation with a sequence of alternating crops (known as crop rotation). The aim of crop rotation is to increase the fertility of the soil (protecting it against insect pest, spread of diseases, and increase of the amount of substances harmful to plants). It requires decreasing the percentage of different grains in the cultivation structure and using appropriate farming methods and fertilization. The introduction of sequential cropping contributed to liquidation of fallow land and popularization of new species of plants (with different periods of vegetation). Sequential cropping was an improved, fallowless, version of the three-field rotation. It was first applied in the 17c Netherlands and was quickly popularized in the 18th century English county of Norfolk (therefore it is also called the Norfolk system). In Poland, it appeared in the second half of the 18th century, although it was used very rarely throughout the whole 19th century (only in manors). The Scottish settlers popularized it in the Dowspuda estates. Used here was, depending on the quality of the soil, either a four -, five- or six-course (full) rotation system.
Sheep breeding: In early 19th, with a slump in the corn market and increase of demand for wool (development of textile industry), the Polish Kingdom experienced a boom in sheep breeding (particularly in 1815-1840). This type of farming constituted an important part of the Dowspuda economy. The breeders were mostly the Scottish settlers. Bred here was mostly the Spanish breed (merino) whose wool was exceptionally thin and fine. The Spanish merino was also successfully cross-bred with the local breeds. Sheep breeding in Pac’s estates was quite sizeable and it counted over a few thousand sheep. Initially, for lack of fodder, most of the flocks were located in Różanka, in the Lithuanian part of his estates. The wool obtained in the farms, Pac meant to use for production in the manufactories of Raczki.
An extract from the contract signed between Gen. L.M. Count Pac and a Scottish farmer, James Broomfield on 25 July 1817 (State Archive in Suwałki)
by Marek Sidor