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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Thirty-second annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Platteville, Wis., February 10, 11 and 12, 1904. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests
(1904)

Henry, W. A.
A lesson in fertility: the importance of feeding milling by-products in Wisconsin,   pp. 31-41 PDF (2.3 MB)


Page 36

 
Thirty-second Anwual Report of the 
plants, which are hungry, heavy feeders, seized on the avail- 
able fertility and placed it in straw and grain, which the farmer 
harvested and took them from the field. He generally burnt 
the straw and sold the grain. We know that wheat farming 
depleted the fertility of our state. The same process is now 
going on in the Red Rtiver country of Minnesota and Dakota 
and other wheat districts to the northwest of us. Farmers in 
the Red River country at first could get a large crop of &rai 
every year if crop conditions were favorable. After a time 
they found the yield running down and have now reached the 
stage of summer-fallowing part of their lands. They say they 
are again getting just as good crops as ever but after a time 
even summer-fauowing wil fail them. they have been draw- 
ing heavily on the available fertility of their sails. The quick 
assets in this are steadily running down. No man can draw 
money out of a bank indefinitely without putting some beck. 
let us now turn to the second part of my subject. When we 
feed straw, clover hay, corn, or bran to our live stock, these 
animals take out much of the starchy material, some of the 
nitrogen and some of the other fertilizing elemen% namely, 
phosphoric acid and potash. These materials are kept in the 
body as fat, muscle or bone or utilized for heat and energy pro- 
duction. When a bushel of corn is fed to' a pig, for example, 
the starchy matter may go to make fat in the body or to keep it 
warm and to furnish energy. The nitrogen in the corn may 
go to furnish fat, heat and energy, or it may be built up into 
muscle or lean meat. The bones of the pig are built up of the 
nitrogen, the phosphoric acid and a little potash. There is 
lime, too, in the bones, but most feeds supply this abundantly 
and most soils have an abundance of lime, so we need not con- 
sider that constituent. Most evidently these materials all come 
from the feed which is given the animal, and the feed repre- 
sents the crops from the field. The soil, therefore, is the pri- 
mary source of all our farm animals and animal products. To 
build up our animals we deplete the fields of fertility. 
But the animals do not take out all the fertility in a given 
feeding stuff. They utilize the starch which is not fertility, 
and the oil and woody materials of the feed which likewise are 
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