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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
(1904)

Henry, W. A.
A lesson in fertility: the importance of feeding milling by-products in Wisconsin,   pp. 31-41 PDF (2.3 MB)


Page 38

 
Thirty-second Annual Report of the 
Next let us notice where the fertilizing constituents of the ni- 
trogen pass off. With the steer over 22 per cent passes away 
in the solid excrement or dung, while 73.5 per cent passes away 
as liquid. The liquid part of the manure has been in the ani- 
mal's body proper. It is all soluble and so represents the best 
form of plant food. It is practically immediately available for 
the plant roots. Think then of the farmer who will bore auger 
holes in the bottom of the manure drop in his stable so as to 
get rid of the annoying urine Qf the cows. What extravagance 
and wastefulness! 
The ash shown in the table contains the phosphoric acid and 
potash constituents. We learn that when a fattening ox is fed 
100 pounds of ash material, all but 2.3 pounds in each 100 
goes off in the excrement, The ox, as we see, keeps only a 
small part in his body. The milch cow keeps in her own body 
or gives off in her milk, mainly the latter, 10 per cent of the 
ash materials fed her. This ash material goes to form an im- 
portant constituent of the milk. Every hundred pounds of milk 
contain about three-quarters of a pound of ash. That is, if we 
should dry a hundred pounds of milk until it became solid and 
then burnt up this solid material, there would remain about 
three-quarters of a pound of ashes. In these ashes are the 
phosphoric acid and potash of the feeds. But the cow only 
keeps out about 10 pounds of ash material for every hundred 
pounds given her in her food supply, and about 90 pounds pass 
off in solid and liquid excrement. The phosphoric acid nearly 
all appears in the solid excrement or dung, while the potash 
nearly all escapes through the urine. 
We next come to the third part of our subject-the impor- 
tance of using feeding stuffs to keep up the fertility of the farm. 
The farmer who raises grain, hay, etc., and feeds these to his 
animals and sells only the carcasses of his animals or milk, and 
puts the manure back on the land, keeps a large proportion of 
all the fertility he has taken out of his soil on his farm and 
returns it to his fields. By stock farming then we reduce the 
fertility of our fields very slowly,-so slowly, indeed, that we 
do not notice that they are growing poorer. The importance 
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