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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Fortieth annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Beloit, Wis., November, 1911. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests
(1912)

Glover, A. J.
Silage and alfalfa for dairy cows and their values as compared to other crops,   pp. 91-96 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 93


Wisconsin Dairymen's Association.                  93
with a few others. It requires pretty good land to produce 1% tons
of timothy hay per acre. In 1% tons of timothy hay there are 1443
lbs. nutrients, and 84 lbs. digestible protein. It is not unreasonable
to expect that an acre of alfalfa will produce 10 times more protein
than an acre of timothy.
Perhaps it will be interesting to learn the kind of a ration that
may be made of silage and alfalfa. It has been found that an animal
fed nothing but these feeds will consume about 40 lbs. of silage daily
and 16 lbs. of alfalfa hay. In the following, I tabulate the pounds of
feed used, dry matter and digestible nutrients in them.
Nameof Feed.      Lbs.  Dry Matter.   Lbs.    Carhohs    Fat Lbs.
Silage................... 40   10.6       .56        5.6       .28
Alfalfa .................  16  14.8       1._7       6.3       .10
Total nutrients.... .......... I..............  2.33  11.9   .38
According to Professor Haecker's feeding tables, a cow producing
25 lbs. of 4 per cent milk requires 1.9 lbs. digestible protein, 12.82
lbs. digestible carbohydrates and .5 lb. digestible fat.
It will be noted that a ration of silage and alfalfa supplies more
protein than necessary for 25 lbs. of 4 per cent milk and not quite as
much carbohydrates or fat as the animal needs, but since protein will
take the place of carbohydrates, the ration contains enough nutrients
to produce 25 lbs. of 4 per cent milk.
There is no question when there is an abundance of grain at reason-
able prices, that it pays to feed some when cows are producing 20
lbs. or more of milk per day, but when less than this is produced, it
is very doubtful whether it pays to feed any concentrates when there
Is plenty of good silage and alfalfa at the farmer's command.
There is another point which we might consider. One acre of
ground yielding four tons of alfalfa will support an animal with
16 lbs. a day for 500 days. In other words 1.37 acres of land on which
is grown corn and alfalfa will produce enough feed to keep a cow
365 days; 1.37 acres of blue grass pasture supports an animal on the
average but 78 days.
The severe drought of the past summer Is not so long ago but that
most of us remember the difficulty of supplying cows with succulent
feed during that period, but farmers who had grown alfalfa and pro-
vided themselves with silage, did not notice the effects of the drought
like those who were depending entirely upon pasture to feed their
animals.


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