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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)

Page 35

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]
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
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
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