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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

Everett, C. H.
What forage shall the dairy farmer raise?,   pp. 63-71 PDF (1.8 MB)

Page 67

Wi8conasin Dairymeti's Associctionm 
I have grown alfalfa underlaid with blue clay with water table 
twenty feet below. 
Dr. Peters: Is your soil acid here? 
A Member: No. 
Dr. Peters: Then you can grow alfalfa. 
Mr. Goodrich: A man told me of a place where they were 
tunneling under a mountain and the roots of the alfalfa came 
4 lear down into the tunnel. 
Ex-Gov. Hoard: I struck an old fellow once at Brecken- 
ridge, Colorado, and I -aid, "I should think you would have 
tremendous floods when the snows go off in the spring of the 
vear." The old feliow said, "Yes, yes, we have them, I have 
known it here when you had to cross every damned stream 
lengthwise." That, is where Goodrich's alfalfa story comes in. 
But the power of plenetration in that alfalfa root fills me 
with amazement. 1 have dug down nyself and found an al- 
ialfa root three years old and have not got to the end of it 
after sixteen feet. 
My first attempt in studying alfalfa was on rather a low 
piece of ground, a village lot, owned by my son, underlaid with 
heavy blue clay, black soil. During these long years of drought 
the water table receded and receded until it was about twenty 
feet before you would strike water if you dug a well. There 
were three lots in one piece, and digging the foundation for the 
cellar, plowing and scraping it out down into the very stiff clay, 
I was greatly instructed in studying those alfalfa roots. They 
have gone down there with great persistence and vigor, and 
there seems to be no limnit to the deep rooting power of alfalfa 
after the first season. Up to about six or seven years ago, it 
was the received opinion in Wisconsin that we could not grow 
alfalfa; even Prof. Henry advised me very strongly to be very 
careful about niv ideas and how I expressed them on the mat- 
ter. So I concluded I would study this thing from a Wiscon- 
sin standpoint, because I made up my mind that the difficulty 
was that people were accepting the judgment born of other 
states and not of this state, andm we had no experience here; we 

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