Page 1 of 27 Dec 1917 Issue of Des Moines Iowa Homestead in Des-Moines, Iowa

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Des Moines Iowa Homestead (Newspaper) - December 27, 1917, Des Moines, IowaThan 150, vol. Lxi no. 52. Des Moines Iowa december 27, 1917. Whole no. 3142 p Hissel important lessons frequently be Learned from the experience of crop producers of an adjoining state and this applies particularly when one considers the experience that Wisconsin Farmers have passed through in growing Alfalfa. Eight years ago that state produced acres of Alfalfa and at the present time there is an area of More than acres. The Experiment station of that state has championed the cause of Alfalfa with great Zeal because it is the belief of the station officials that Alfalfa is one of the great est wealth producers of the entire list. The work of the Secretary of the Wisconsin Alfalfa order or. L. P. Graber has been an important Factor in contributing to the popularity of this crop and he says that a beginner should Bear in mind a few fundamental principles including among other things a plentiful Supply of Lime in the soil proper inoculation Good drainage reasonably Fertile land and a firm seed bed. To illustrate the need for an abundant sup ply of Lime or. Graber Calls attention to the Case of a ten acre Field that had been seeded on a sloping Well drained Field. The soil was of Limestone origin and Well inoculated As indicated by the presence of nodules on the Alfalfa roots. This Field Lay adjacent to a macadamia de Road and along the Roadside Sweet Clover grew abundantly yet the Field itself was As he says a sorry it started out thick enough but stopped growing in May turned yellow and would yield less than a ton of cured Hay per acre. On a strip near the Road the Alfalfa grew thick and was of a Rich Green color. It seems that the Road which was surfaced with Lime a Small Cost. This introduces the right Organ isms into the soil so that if other conditions Are favourable the crop will from the beginning store up nitrogen in its roots and therefore enrich the soil on which it grows. In the matter of seeding splendid Success has attended the plan of sowing the crop in the Spring at the rate of from fifteen to Twenty pounds per acre along with one Bushel of Barley As a nurse crop pats Are sometimes used but it is generally advisable to Cut Oats for Hay be cause if they Are allowed to mature the soil dries out badly and there is a probability that the tender Alfalfa plants will be injured by the drying out process. Generally the seeding is done on ground that has been slowed in the fall but special pains should be taken to make the soil firm and to this end the free use of a har Row and roller will accomplish much. Those who have corrugated rollers will find themselves especially Well equipped for making an Alfalfa seed bed because this not Only smashes the clods but it leaves a surface mulch which is Al a together to be desired. Generally Alfalfa should follow some annual crop like Corn Oats or potatoes and it is a mistake to seed it on ground that has recently been in Blue grass As the lat Ter is bound to come Back and gradually crowd out the Alfalfa. Beginning in june Alfalfa May be seeded without a nurse crop. By this Means a Good Opportunity is Given for stirring the soil frequently in the Spring so that several crops of weeds Are destroyed. After a stand is once obtained or. Graber re Gards it As of great importance not to Cut the inoculation doubled the plot ibs. Of Hay per acre Lime and inoculation ibs. Per acre. Stone had become fairly Well worn off with travel and the Rains and wind had carried some of the Limestone to the adjoining Alfalfa Field resulting in bringing a strip near the Road into an Ideal condition for the growth of Alfalfa. Al though As said before the soil was of Limestone origin it nevertheless had been so robbed of Lime by the cropping system that a sour Condi Tion existed and the crop could not thrive in the presence of the Large amount of acidity that existed. The recital of this particular instance should result in stamping into the mind of the would be Alfalfa grower that he cannot succeed with this crop on a sour soil. He should Send a Sample of his soil to his Experiment station if he is in doubt. In Many cases the soil is tested out by sowing a Little Sweet Clover along with red Clover. If it thrives Well and produces nodules on its roots this in itself will indicate sturdy Alfalfa Plant the result of favourable soil conditions. That the soil will be adapted to Alfalfa because it is the same form of life that exists on the roots of both crops. In some instances it would take As much As three tons of ground Limestone per acre but at present prices of Alfalfa half a ton would pay the total Cost of Liming the soil. When Lime is applied it should be put on the land according to or. Graber after it is slowed and risked or harrowed in this plan being preferable to the one of putting it on the surface and then plow ing the ground. It May be spread on with a shovel by Means of a manure spreader or with a regular Lime distributor. The More finely ground the Limestone the less will be the amount required to produce the desired effect. Where Sweet Clover has not been previously grown and there is no inoculation in the soil the seed May be treated with an Alfalfa culture at Alfalfa for Hay and Corn for the combination for t Ved production that is i lard to i eat. Crop or pasture it late in the fall. Those who have made the most pronounced Success of growing Alfalfa Endeavor to have a growth of anywhere from eight to fourteen inches in the fall. One Case is cited where at least 100 tons of Good Alfalfa could have been harvested this fall and this product would be Worth Over but the owner preferred the Protection that this would afford the crop during the Winter and Spring. The individual who refused to Harvest his 100-ton crop had passed through a bitter experience by cutting too closely a sixty acre Field a few years ago. The third crop was Cut too late and the entire area was Winter killed. A useful hint is thrown out by or. Graber to those who Are not yet ready to go into the Al Falfa growing business but who Are favourably concluded on Page 7.

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