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labor and expense of raising, cutting, and bringing in the feed, feeding, currying, and other care of the cattle."

Disadvantages.-Against these advantages, there are the following disadvantages of the system: The increase in labor required to prepare the soil; to plant, harvest, and haul the various green crops, and to feed the herd. The last point is of the greatest importance, as the feed must be cut regularly once or twice every day, rain or shine, no matter how pressing other farm work may be. The system also calls for much skill and care in planning for and planting the succession of green crops for the season, and can be successfully adopted only under an intensive system of farming, on land that is kept in a high state of fertility and suited to the growing of large crops of green forage.

Soiling Crops.—Among crops that have proved satisfactory soiling crops may be mentioned : Indian corn, alfalfa, clover, vetch, sorghum, peas, oats, winter grains (cut before blooming), soybeans, cowpeas, rape, millet, etc. In the eastern and central States Indian corn is probably the most valuable soiling crop, and alfalfa, wherever it grows well. The latter crop is all-important for soiling dairy cows in the irrigated regions in the West, where it is often the only forage crop grown and fed. Peas, peas and oats, and rape also rank high as soiling crops, the last crop especially for sheep and hogs.

The chemical composition of the more important soiling crops will be seen from the following table :

Composition of Important Soiling Crops, in Per Cent

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Succession of Soiling Crops.—The plan of succession of soiling crops must be carefully determined before spring work commences. A field convenient to the barn is generally set apart for this purpose, Indian corn with sorghum, peas and oats, kafir or milo, etc., being planted in portions of the field at such intervals as will insure green forage for the entire season. Each crop may be depended upon to furnish green feed for ten to twenty successive days; it is cut when in the best condition for soiling, when still green and palatable, but at a sufficiently late stage of growth to contain at least a medium content of dry matter. A large amount of forage may be secured from a relatively small piece of land by this system, viz., three to five times as much dry matter as when the land is pastured. The area required for supplying dairy cows with a succession of green feed for the season, will vary from one-third to one-half acre per cow, according to the crops grown, the soil, the character of the season, etc.

The succession of soiling crops to be grown, and the details in carrying out either full or partial soiling, will vary greatly according to climatic conditions and the crops adapted to each locality. Sa


Fig. 13.—The relative expense of producing and feeding soiling crops is considerably greater

than in the case of silage. (Wisconsin Station.)

Partial Soiling. This is a modified soiling system in which green forage crops are fed supplementary to pasturage at the time when the pastures cannot be depended upon to furnish sufficient feed for the stock, viz., during late spring and, especially, during the late summer and fall months. This system is of the highest value to dairy farmers without silos, and will likely be more generally adopted in the future with the development of our dairying industry.

Summer Silage. It has been shown that the soiling system

ba An extensive literature has been published relating to this system. The following references include the more important experiment station publications bearing on soiling conditions in the various States:

Conn. (Storrs) Bul. 9; R. 1891, 1895; I. Bul. 15, 19, 23, 27; Cir. 12, 34; Kan. Bul. 125; Md. Bul. 98; Mass. R. 1887–1891, 1893; Bul. 72 and 133; Mich. Bul. 223; Miss Bul. 95; N. J. Bul. 158; R. 1902; Penn. R. 1889, 1904–1905; Bul. 65, 75, 109; S. D. Bul. 81; Utah R. 1892; Bul. 15; Vt. Bul. 158; Wis. R. 1885; Bul. 103, 235; Ont. (Guelph) R. 1890.

calls for considerable extra labor and is attended with special difficulties during rainy and stormy weather; it may, moreover, break down more or less in seasons of extreme drought. For these and other reasons, it has largely been superseded during late years among dairy farmers in eastern and central United States by feeding summer silage. We shall see that the silage can be preserved perfectly for feeding during the summer months, and it has the advantage over soiling crops in at least three days: Convenience of feeding, uniformity and palatability (p. 153). The practice of feeding summer silage, either of Indian corn, clover, or alfalfa, is, therefore, being adopted by more and more stockmen, and the soiling system is becoming less important with every year. By either system a maximum and uniform production may be secured during the trying weather conditions of late summer early fall, and either system is a great step in advance of the practice still followed by many farmers of leaving stock to subsist on largely burnt-up pastures (Fig. 13).

QUESTIONS 1. What is the soiling system? Give its main advantages and its disad

vantages. 2. What is (a) partial soiling? (b) summer silage? 3. Name some of the more important soiling crops and their characteristics.


Hay Crops.-In northern countries, where snow covers the ground during a part of the year, it is necessary to provide winter feed for the stock from forage crops harvested during the summer and fall. The main hay crops are grasses and clover, which are cut at the appropriate time (p. 58) and air-dried (cured), after which they are stored in hay barns or sheds, to be fed as required during the winter and spring, until next year's forage crop became available.

Hay raising forms an important agricultural industry in our country, the hay crop ranking next to Indian corn in value. Over 72,000,000 acres were sown to hay and forage crops in 1909, the most important kinds being timothy and clover mixed, “wild, salt, and prairie hay," and timothy alone. Each of these makes up about 25 per cent of the total acreage of hay and forage crops. Hay crops of relatively minor importance, when the whole country is considered, but important in their respective regions, are alfalfa (7 per cent of the total acreage), grains cut green, coarse forage, clover alone, millet, and Hungarian grasses, “other tame or cultivated grasses," and root forage making up the balance of the acreage.

• Wisconsin Bulletin 235.

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More than one-half of the entire acreage in hay and forage crops is grown west of the Mississippi, but the individual crops are quite differently distributed. The timothy and clover mixed, or clover and timothy alone, are grown largely east of the Mississippi and in the North, while prairie hay, grain hay, and root forage are grown more extensively in the West than elsewhere. 6a

Yields of Hay.—The average yield of hay per acre in 1909 for the entire country was 1.35 tons, the maximum average yields being credited to the Pacific and mountainous divisions, with 1.73 tons, ard the lowest average yield to the South Atlantic division, with 1.20 tons per acre. These are average figures only and do not show the yields secured by good methods of farming or on irrigated land. The yield of hay obtained is dependent on various factors, as the character and condition of the soil, the method of management as to fertilization, seeding, time of cutting, etc. A good hay field will yield from two to three tons of timothy and clover hay to the acre. There are, however, authenticated reports of yields of over i tons of well-dried timothy and red top hay, obtained in two cuttings on a Connecticut farm, and an alfalfa field yielded at the rate of 6 tons to the acre.These yields were obtained by intensive culture and heavy fertilization and seeding; they show what can be done under optimum conditions in humid regions. In the semiarid regions under irrigation still heavier yields are secured regularly year after year, e.g., in central and southern California, on irrigated land, alfalfa will yield 7 or 8 cuttings, averaging a ton of hay, or more, to the acre per cutting.

Chemical Composition. The chemical composition and contents of digestible components of hay crops will be seen from the table :

Composition and Digestibility of Hay Crops, in Per Cent

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N. R.,


Carbohydrates and fat


Mixed grasses.
Orchard grass.
Red top
Kentucky blue grass.
Bermuda grass.
Johnson grass.
Marsh grass..








9.3 10.2 9.5 7.6 16.3 13.5

8a Farmers' Bul. 943; Mass. Bul. 134; Vt. Bul. 171; Cornell (N. Y.) Reading Courses iii, 65.

'Cyclopedia American Agriculture, vol. ii, p. 436.

Timothy.—(Phleum pratense) is the common hay crop of northeastern United States, being grown either mixed with red clover or in pure seeding. The mixed timothy and clover makes the more valuable hay of the two, because of the larger protein content and the lower fiber content of this hay. Timothy is a favorite hay with farmers and, especially, horse owners; the main reasons for this preference are: Clean, good timothy seed is generally available at a low price; timothy is quickly established, and usually holds well; it may be readily cured into clean, bright hay, which is rather free from dust, may be handled without much waste, and is readily marketed.

Timothy is especially adapted for feeding horses, while it has a relatively low value for growing animals or dairy cattle. For these animals it is greatly improved by a liberal admixture of clover, The yields of timothy hay obtained depend on the character of the soil, the climatic conditions, thickness of planting, and also, to a large extent, on the time of cutting. The following table prepared by Hunts shows the yield per acre of the dry matter of timothy cut at different stages as indicated, according to trials at three experiment stations :

Influence of Maturity of Timothy on Yield of Dry Matter,

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The largest yield of dry matter was obtained in all three cases when the timothy was cut at a late period of growth, when the seed was nearly ripe. The quality of the late-cut hay is poorer than that cut earlier, as we have seen, both as regards chemical composition and digestibility. Hence it is generally recommended to cut timothy when in full bloom or just out of bloom. Late cutting does not greatly decrease the palatability of the hay to horses, but renders it practically worthless when used as sole roughage for young stock, dairy cows, and sheep.

Red or alsike clover, according to Henry, should always be sown with timothy, for the combination furnishes more and a superior

8" Forage and Fiber Crops of America,” p. 59; Farmers' Bul. 502 and 990; Mo. Res. Buls. 19 and 20; Proc. Soc. Prom. Agr. Science, 31, p. 71.

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