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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

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

Page 68

Thiry-second Annual Report of the 
needed experience, for that is the final test, so I went to work 
experimenting with it and I studied it four or five years on a 
piece of land on a farm that -was occupied by a man by the 
name of Levi Gilbert. About thirty years ago he sowed 
alfalfa, a string of it, along a fence, and what held me fast was 
the facts that those roots of alfalfa were living there yet, and I 
said to myself, it can't be true that alfalfa won't live here when 
these roots have survived. Something needs to be known. 
What is it? So I weet to work and finally I did evolve a line 
of doctrine that is adapted, I think, to Wisconsin conditions, in 
the main, and when we know how to handle it in Wisconsin, 
that is pretty rnuch the whole question. You must remember 
ve have very heavy freezes here, and you imust remember that 
it is a delicate plant the first year of its growth; it is a tree 
mendously strong plant the second year, it changes right over. 
It is tougher, hardier than red clover by a long sight after the 
first year. 
Now, you can seed red clover in the spring of the year by 
going out in March and sowing red clover upon wheat or rye 
when the ground cracks open, you know, with the frost in the 
spring, and closes up again between the freezing nights and 
thawing days, you can sow red clover on that ground and have 
a catch. You can no Liore do that. with alfalfa than if you 
sow it in the ocean. Alfalfa demands a seed bed, just as good, 
if not better, than any grain you sow, and that is one point. 
Now, keep that in your mind. I wasted eight bushels of al- 
falfa seed. I took a field of rye, about sixteen aeres, in the 
spring of the year, pmt on a heavy harrow, and harrowed it 
Three times till I tore the rye all to pieces, sowed on alfalfa and 
saw never fifty stalks, but I got the bircst crop of rye I ever 
did see-I learned something about rye, anyway, but I didn't 
gett any alfalfa, and I wasted about fifty or sixty dollars worth 
of seed. You can get ray experience a good deal cheaper. 
The first step in growing alfalfa is to select the right kind 
Of a field for it; if possible, select a field that has a good slope 
so that the water runs off it in the spring of the -ear. Don't 

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