Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin
Harris, Roy T.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin 37: when pastures are short PDF (887.5 KB)
MONTH OF AUGUST IS TRYING FOR PASTURES. 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. SILAGE BEST INSURAJCE AGAINST SHORT PASTURES. 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 labor. 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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