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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

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 91

Wisconsin Dairymen's Association.
Alfalfa was grown in Rome more than 2,000 years ago and valued very
highly then as a forage crop. It has been grown in all parts of Europe
for hundreds of years, but it is only .recently that the American farmer
began to value it as our greatest forage crop. Probably the slowness
with which this product has come to the front is due to the lack of
understanding its value, the difficulty under which a stand is ob-
tained,-unless proper methods are used in preparing the soil,-and
{he diseases which prevent its development.
More than fifty years ago some of the German settlers in Carver
county, Minn., began growing alfalfa from seed brought with them from
Germany, and it has been grown ever since in that county. It has
became locally known as "Everlasting" Clover. The name indicates
its persistence when once established. Seed has been saved in that
county and has been quite well distributed throughout the United
States but the general value of alfalfa is not generally known even
at the present time.
For seven years it has been my good opportunity to note the suc-
cess Hoard's Dairyman farm has had in growing alfalfa. About fifteen
years ago, former Governor Hoard began to experiment with the
growing of alfalfa. W. A. Henry, then Dean and Director of the
Wisconsin Experiment Station, also made some atttempts to grow
this plant. The results were discouraging, and the conclusions were
that it was almost useless to attempt to grow this plant under Wis-
consin conditions. But Ex-Governor Hoard did not dispair and as
he had a number of vacant lots in Fort Atkinson, he began a detailed
study of the plant. Finally, after mastering a few of the fundamental
principles, he was successful in growing it on his farm. It is now
grown with as much assurance, if not more, than red clover. At the
present time the farm is growing 60 acres. For a while wood ashes,
as well as manure, were used freely upon land on which alfalfa was
to be sown, but after we learned what Dr. Hopkins of the Illinois
Experiment Station had to say of the value of ground limestone and
phosphorus for alfalfa, these materials have been used according to
his directions. It is the practice now on Hoard's Dairyman farm to
apply eight or ten loads of manure to an acre, using 40 to 50 pounds
of raw rock phosphate to each load. Where it is possible, the land
ti plowed in the fall, turning the manure under. In the spring

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