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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Fortieth annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Beloit, Wis., November, 1911. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests

Glover, A. J.
Silage and alfalfa for dairy cows and their values as compared to other crops,   pp. 91-96 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 94

94              Fortieth Annual Report of the
The question may be asked: Will cows do well if fed the entire
year upon silage and alfalfa? To this it may be said that in ex-
periments carried on by the Illinois Experiment Station cows fed en-
tirely upon silage and alfalfa for a year were at the end of that itme
in good physical condition and produced creditable yields of mila
Cow No. 1 produced 8,735 lbs. of milk containing 351 lbs. of fat;
she consumed 14,880 lbs. of silage and 1,672 lbs. of green crops and
6,396 lbs. of alfalfa. In other words for each 100 lbs. of milk produced,
she consumed 170 lbs. corn silage, 19 lbs. of green crops and 73 lbs.
alfalfa hay. Cow No. 2 produced in one year 7,434 lbs. of milk con-
taining 259 lbs. of fat. She ate 14,862 lbs. of silage, 1,612 lbs. green
crops and 5,588 lbs. of alfalfa hay.
In comparing the relative value of timothy hay and alfalfa it was
found that when milk was worth $1.30 per hundred and timothy hay
valued at $10.00 per ton, that alfalfa was worth $20.86 per ton and
gave a return per acre of $68.44 more than an acre of timothy.
In briefly summing up this subject, I can say:
First: There are no crops grown upon the farm more important to
the dairy farmer than alfalfa and corn.
Second: Alfalfa will produce more digestible nutrients per acre
than any other agricultural crop. A yield of 4 tons of alfalfa hay per
acre produces 4,000 lbs. of digestible nutrients, 880 lbs. of which are
digestible protein.
Third: Corn comes next to alfalfa in the production of nutrients
for the cow. An acre yielding ten tons of green corn will produce
3,440 lbs. of digestible nutrients, 280 lbs. of which are digestible pro-
Fourth: No crops .compliment each other better for feeding the
dairy cow than silage and alfalfa. The silage furnishes succulence
for the cow and a large amount of heat producing elements. Alfalfa
provides the dry roughage; is rich in the element protein and mineral,
matter which are so important to the growing of animals and to cows
producing milk.
In short: Alfalfa and silage have a productive feeding value that
cannot be excelled by any other combination of roughage grown on
the farm.
Fifth: When alfalfa is used properly in a rotation, it is beneficial
to the soil but it is a mistaken idea to think that the alfalfa plant
enriches the soil.  It must be fed to live stock on the farm if the
greatest value is to be obtained as a soil improver.

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