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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin

Graber, L. F.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin 43: getting started with alfalfa PDF (1.0 MB)

     Getting Started With Alfalfa
  "Good morning,&am. How are you? Just the man I wanted
to see. How's your alfalfa doing out there?"
   It was the local cashier of a bank in one of southern Wiscon-
sin's prosperous country towns who spoke. Sam was a farmer.
Not a big farmer but a good "awake-to-new-ideas" farmer. He
owned 160 acres-most of it paid for.
   "Oh, my alfalfa is doing fine," replied Sam.. "'I've got
acres now and it keeps me humping to keep up with it. It does
beat all how that stuff grows when it gets plenty of rain. If we
have a good summer I'll get four or five tons to the acre. I can't
see why more of our farmers don't get into the alfalfa business."
   "I have often thought about that myself," continued the
banker. "You are the largest grower in tYhis section and -the
most successful. Many others have tried it and most of them
failed-costly failures too. When I tell those fellows about your
success they say it's all luck. How about it? Whydoyou have
such good alfalfa luck?"        _- .
    Sam had a broad smile on his face.
    "I tried that luck way of growing alfalfa and it's the moit
 expensive thing I ever did. Five years ago I seeded my first
 alfalfa. Wanted to grow a crop that would produce more feed
 and better feed than timothy. Well, like-a fool-i-piint i4i ten
 acres right at the start. I seeded it with oats-just the way I did
 timothy. Didn't inoculate. Didn't lime. That was all humbug
 to me then. The next year I had the poorest ten acres of alfalfa
 you ever saw. It was patchy-Yellow and sickly. It looked just
 the .way I felt and I was plumb disgusted. I plowed it up in
 Mayaii&- plahted to corn. That failure cost me one hundred
 dollars and everybody knew about it. I agreed witi- my. neigh-
 bors that alfalfa wasn't any crop for Wisconsin and I was through
 with it for good.
     "But the next winter your bank put on that Pure Bred Seed
  Show. R. A. Moore came down from the College and did the
  judging and in the afternoon he talked on alfalfa. He talks
  right from the shoulder. He told us that if we didn't believe in
  putting lime on sour soils and if we didn't believe in inoculation
  we had better not try to grow alfalfa at all. He said we would
  have better luck with timothy.
                 if SWEETENS SOUR SOIL.
     "He showed us how easy it was to test the soil with litmus
  paper to see if it needed lime or he suggested we send an average

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