Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture
Bulletin No. 11 (1897)
Scott, L. E.
Saving fertility, pp. 28-36 PDF (2.3 MB)
SI SSION. 36 A taied in barnyard manure, -which is very valuable Mr. Scott-The friends of commer- cial fertilizers make this point In favor of their wares, that "they are more quickly available than barnyard or stable manures." That may be true, but there Is an advantage with stable manutes; they supply the land with the mixed vegetable matter which is needed in most of our soils, and which Is especially beneficial to our heavy clay soils, keeping them light and porous, giving them a greater storage capacity for moisture. And then In rotting and fermenting in the soil, they break down the ele- ments of fertility that are already there, but in a form which is not available for plant growth, putting these elements Into a form that will enable them to be taken up by the crop and give us the benefit Of an in- creased yield. Upon sandy land this humus, we are told, i also beneficial. It prevents washing, for one thing. Mr. Briggs-I dont like the way that Supt. McKerrow handles this coarse manure, It makes too much work, and I am always willing to get rid of work. Supt. McKerrow-I understand Mr. Everett's practice is like mine, to get the coarse manure out onto the Pas- are land. We have some permanent pasture lands, but I always avoid put- ting this fresh manure out on sheep pasture because in wet seasons I am convinced it has a great deal to do with the development of Intestinal parsites-the lung and liver worms. Mr. Robinson-Isn t It sometimes advisable to plow .in our horse manure In the soil? I know for a time on my farm In Manitowoc counts there was, aknoll on which, I had hardly grown anything, and I plowet in on that land all the straw I Could turn under; the result was that the best part of the winter wheat grown on that ground, about forty-fly bushels to the acre, was on that cea] bil Mr. Scott-I have found It VeCY beneficial to our soils to plow in as much of that litter as we have, but I am told by those who have had ex- perience upon sandy soils that it to objectionable upon that sort of soil, because It checks the capillary ac- tion, preventing the moisture from coming up from below and as a cons- quence the crop suffers In time of drought- Mr. Coe-In all this discussion we have not heard a word about rye. I believe that Wisconsin farmers can make a good deal more use of rye than they do. I have very serious objections to leaving any soil bare In the summer or winter; as soon as one crop is taken off another is put on, and I find that the rye crop corme in very handy. It is a crop upon which we can apply manure, which will take the fertility up and hold it near the surface where we want it, and when we come to plow that crop under, which we do early in the spring, we find everything in much better condition for use. We do not add any particular amount of fertil- ity by the use of the rye crop, but we hold what we have, and it also holds the soil from blowing away by the winds of the summer and fall, and it holds the fertility from going down through Into the sub-soil, and of course this fertility being stored in the rye crop, when It comes to de- cay early in the spring when it be- comea full of water, it gives Its fer- tility back to the crops. Supt. McKerrow-You would not suggest replacing clover with rye? Mr. Coe-Oh, no; but you know we have always some crops taken off our lands In the fall, corn, or straw- berries, or something. Of course the clover is preferable to the rye, but we always keep the land covered with some crop. Mr. Scott-I have sown a good deal of rye and turned It under, and had good results. We get the benefit of the mehanical action. but I am fully DISCU r, r,-777 , , P, , :: '2 , , e- , i , I V - - _.
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