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
Everett, C. H.
What forage shall the dairy farmer raise?, pp. 63-71 PDF (1.8 MB)
'Thirty-second Anewal Report of the and preserve good forage for dairy cows is one of the biggest food supply problems confronting milk producers today. Protein is the most expensive element of the caw's ration. She must have about 2V pounds of it daily. Half of this amount may be provided in the forage. Hence the importance of producing forage leguminous in character, capable of sup- plying part of this expensive protein. The dairyman must take into consideration several factors in providing forage for his cows. He should consider the adapt- ability of the various crops to the soil and climate and to the use of cows. He must of necessity grow a good deal of corn and clover and should so manage by rotation and otherwise that maximum yields will be the rule rather than the exception. Forage plants consist of two families: the grasses and -the legumes. June grass, red top timothy, corn and the cereal grains, are types of the former; and the clover, alfalfa, vetches, peas, etc., of the latter. Few plants outside of the ones men- tioned contribute to the supply of good forage, and of these, corn and the clovers, singly and in combination, are best adapted to Wisconsin conditions. The legumes are most valuable of the two families, not only because their proportion of protein is high as compared with any other forage crop, but because they materially increase the nitrogen supply of the farm from sources outside the soil. Al- falfa and the clovers are most highly prized for these reasons. Good forage must be easily digested and in a palatable form. It is that portion of food capable of being digested that gives value to forage. The age or period of growth at which a for- age crop is harvested is an important factor in this relation and may affect the quantity harvested, the composition of the crop and the palatableness of the fodder. The quality of any feed influences its value for any purpose. lIhis is none the less true of roughage than of grain or concen- trated feeds. If the bran and oat and pea meal is good it should be fed in connection with roughage of good quality, otherwise the value of the grain will be lessened. It is folly to endeavor to enhance the value of the coarse feed through the 64
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