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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin

Harris, Roy T.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin 37: when pastures are short PDF (887.5 KB)

    However, after all has been said and done, pastures will
sometimes be short. There may not be enough land which can
be given over to this purpose for the number of animals which
must be carried on the place. There are also limitations as to
soil and climate and, especially, long and severe drought may get
the better of even the best pasture land. Preventive measures
are helpful and may answer in most years, though in states like
Wisconsin, August is a month which tries pastures to the limit.
    If we knew that at certain times our property would be
especially liable to damage by fire or tornado, we would think it
only the part of wisdom to carry insurance against such loss.
This would not prevent the damage, mind you, but would only
distribute the loss so it would not bear so heavily on one in-
dividual. Against pasture troubles we have a better form of
insurance for by its use we both escape loss at the time and if it
is not needed can use it profitably later on, or even another season.
     A silo is a good insurance policy for any time of the year
 but its value for summer feeding has not been fully appreciated.
 Silage is better than soiling crops (erops like corn cut green and
 fed to stock) for several reasons: (1) It provides cheaper suc-
 culent feed. Comparisons show that soiling is more costly in
 labor even when fairly satisfactory in other respects. (2) It is
 more convenient to use. Bad weather does not interfere with
 feeding of silage as is the case with soilage. (3) If the anti-
 cipated emerg ncy does not come to pass, the silage will not be
 wasted, as it is ready for use later, while soilage cannot always
 be preserved for future use without considerable loss and extra
     Summer silos should be well-made of good material. Some
 thought may well be given to the location as regards convenience
 in feeding and protection from extreme heat of summer. The
 diameter should be less than that of a winter silo of similar
 capacity as the exposed surface will deteriorate more rapidly in
 warm weather and to a greater depth. Particular care should
 be taken in filling and the litter, straw or other material used for
 covering left undisturbed until silage is needed.
      If plenty of good silage is available with hay, and grain fed
  according to production, we can be quite independent of pasture.

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