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
Everett, C. H.
What forage shall the dairy farmer raise?, pp. 63-71 PDF (1.8 MB)
65 Wisconsin Dairymenfs Association. grain allowance. This, however, is the result when poor for- age is given and it, of course, means expensive feeding. Pasture grass, silage, soiling crops, roots, etc., may properly be considered as forage and are preferable for part-of the ra- tion to all dry matter. Clover hay, oat and pea hay, corn fod- der, sorghum, straw, millet, timothy, etc., are the nonsucculent coarse foods and used chiefly for winter feeding. Timothy is not good forage for dairy cows and not a profit- able crop for the Wisconsin farmer to grow. Early cut, nicely cured corn fodder is valuable as affording variety and is rel- ished by the cows. Millet and sorghum add variety and are good for soiling purposes. For winter feeding there is nothing that will equal corn silage and clover-hay. Good silage and clover hay make a combination that is succulent, palatable and fairly well balanced, and for cheapness it can not be excelled. A good silo and plenty of clover solves the problem of winter forage for Wisconsin dairymen. Of the clovers, alfalfa, where it can be grown (and that is probably anywhere in this state), is undoubtedly the most val- uable as a source of protein. It is the greatest yielder of all legumes, and has a higher protein content. It is also the best soiling crop known. It should not be grown, however, to the exclusion of the medium red clover, as it is not nearly so well adapted to rotation. The clovers should be cut for hay early. The dairyman must provide suitable forage in abundance if he expects to succeed in the profitable production of milk. He must give as much attention, yes more, to this phase of the food supply question than to the grain or concentrates that enter into the ration. It should be remembered that the cow is a ruminant and that her digestion will suffer and assimilation will be imperfect if there is failure to maintain some just proportion between the concentrated or grain feeds and the roughage which she con- sumes. Without doubt much better results will be obtained from the concentrates, which is the expensive portion of the ration, by a judicious mixing with suitable roughage.
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