Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin
Stone, A. L.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin 46: kill the weeds PDF (1.0 MB)
: 7 Weeds Cut Down Yields In these days when the world faces a serious food shortage, it is neces- sary for each one of us to raise just as much human and animal food as is possible. This year above jll years weeds should not be allowed to take plant food and moisture from a crop or compete with it for air and sunshine. Every weed kept from going to seed makes room for the growth of a crop plant. Keep the weeds from seeding. "Kill the weeds" is a slogan which is being adopted on more and more Wisconsin farms. Of course, on some of our farms weeds have taken posses. sion of the fields; on others they fight with the crops for existence; and on others the crops have things much to themselves. Weeds have fought for existence for centuries and are more hardy than crops. Left to themselves the weeds win and the crops are either killed or suffer heavy loss. We cannot do our best in answering the loud caR for food if the weeds become so thick they crowd out, smother, or even compete with our crops. There are some weeds, of course, which spread by their under- ground parts, but if no weeds were ever allowed to seed, the spread would be much slower and the injury to crops much less. WEEDS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SEED. 1. Because they reduce crop yields, by using moisture and plant food which crops should have. Most weeds use more moisture than do crops because they grow larger and have greater leaf surface. They stand draught better and in dry seasons may entirely kill the crop. 2. Because they shade, crowd, and dwarf grain crops. They help to keep alive many plant diseases and ailments. In a weedy field, the plants stay wet longer in the morning and rusts and smuts have a better chance to grow. They also suck life from crop plants, as in the case of dodder on clover, and broom rape on hemp. 3. Because they increase the cost of harvesting, by causing extra wear and tear on teams and machinery. By twining about the corn and grain, choking the binder, causing bundles to stick together, and making shocking difficult, weeds make themselves very troublesome and costly. 4. Because they lower the selling prices of farm products. Weeds cause dockage on the grain market, injure hay, give offensive flavors to dairy pro- ducts where cattle are pastured in fields infested with weeds with strong odors, and injure wool and furs. 5. Because they reduce the net profit on the farm by poisoning live stock (poisonous weeds are numerous), by requiring payment of taxes for weed control, and by requiring an immense amount of labor to help in their control. 6. Because they lower the selling price of farms. No farmer will pay the best price for weed-infested land. KEEP WEEDS FROM SEEDING. Annuals-plants which live but one year. Weeds of this class reproduce themselves by seeds only and it is important to keep them from going to seed. Any method which will accomplish this will eventually eradicate them. Ragweed, foxtails or pigeon grasses, wild mustard, Russian thistle, red root, and corn cQckle are examples. They are found in cultivated fields, in yards, along fences, and in grain fields after harvest.
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