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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)

Everett, C. H.
What forage shall the dairy farmer raise?,   pp. 63-71 PDF (1.8 MB)


Page 65

 
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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