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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin
(1913-1919)

Graber, L. F.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin no. 22: how to grow alfalfa PDF (1.1 MB)



               How To Grow Alfalfa4
    Are you an alfalfa grower? Most every farmer is interested in growing
alfalfa. Some have tried ii and failed. Many have succeeded and are reaping
the benefits of this wonderful crop for live stock farms. As a hay crop it
excels
all others in yields, feeding value, drought resistance and soil enrichment.
Yet
it is not advisable to attempt to grow alfalfa under all circumstances. It
is a
rather particular crop, requiring certain soil conditions and proper treatment.
The beginner in alfalfa growing must first of all be a student of alfalfa.
He
must study the crop and learn its requirements. If he is not willing to pay
attention to such important details as inoculation, liming, proper seeding
methods, cutting at the proper stage and others to be mentioned he had better
not try to grow alfalfa.
    Where to plant alfalfa. Choose a well drained field having preferably
a
gentle slope so as to prevent an accumulation of water from melting snow
or
heavy spring rains. Avoid fields having numerous pockets or depressions as
the alfalfa will either be drowned out or smothered by covering ice sheets
and
blue grass will take its place. Alfalfa will do well on level fields but
in the
spring there is always the danger of formation of smothering ice sheets which
kill out alfalfa in large areas.
     Alfalfa requires a fertile soil. Poor land should always be well manured.
A medium clay loam is best. On heavy clays winter-killing is more apt to
occur.
Light sandy soils generally require lime and manure. Alfalfa does well on
river bottom lands but peat soils are too sour or acid.
     It is best to have alfalfa follow some well cultivated crop like corn,
pota-
 toes, tobacco or sugar beets where the soil is freed of weed growth. Never
put
 alfalfa on sod land for the blue grass will cause difficulty. A virgin soil
should
 always be first subdued by growing several cultivated crops to get the soil
in
 good physical condition.
                    INOCULATE THE SOIL FOR ALFALFA
In most sections of Wisconsin farmers will find It will pay them to inoculate
their soil
                when endeavoring to get an alfalfa field established.


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