Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Thirty-second annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Platteville, Wis., February 10, 11 and 12, 1904. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests
Henry, W. A.
A lesson in fertility: the importance of feeding milling by-products in Wisconsin, pp. 31-41 PDF (2.3 MB)
Thirty-second Anwual Report of the plants, which are hungry, heavy feeders, seized on the avail- able fertility and placed it in straw and grain, which the farmer harvested and took them from the field. He generally burnt the straw and sold the grain. We know that wheat farming depleted the fertility of our state. The same process is now going on in the Red Rtiver country of Minnesota and Dakota and other wheat districts to the northwest of us. Farmers in the Red River country at first could get a large crop of &rai every year if crop conditions were favorable. After a time they found the yield running down and have now reached the stage of summer-fallowing part of their lands. They say they are again getting just as good crops as ever but after a time even summer-fauowing wil fail them. they have been draw- ing heavily on the available fertility of their sails. The quick assets in this are steadily running down. No man can draw money out of a bank indefinitely without putting some beck. let us now turn to the second part of my subject. When we feed straw, clover hay, corn, or bran to our live stock, these animals take out much of the starchy material, some of the nitrogen and some of the other fertilizing elemen% namely, phosphoric acid and potash. These materials are kept in the body as fat, muscle or bone or utilized for heat and energy pro- duction. When a bushel of corn is fed to' a pig, for example, the starchy matter may go to make fat in the body or to keep it warm and to furnish energy. The nitrogen in the corn may go to furnish fat, heat and energy, or it may be built up into muscle or lean meat. The bones of the pig are built up of the nitrogen, the phosphoric acid and a little potash. There is lime, too, in the bones, but most feeds supply this abundantly and most soils have an abundance of lime, so we need not con- sider that constituent. Most evidently these materials all come from the feed which is given the animal, and the feed repre- sents the crops from the field. The soil, therefore, is the pri- mary source of all our farm animals and animal products. To build up our animals we deplete the fields of fertility. But the animals do not take out all the fertility in a given feeding stuff. They utilize the starch which is not fertility, and the oil and woody materials of the feed which likewise are 36
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