The soybean makes a rich hay, surpassing clover, but it
is coarse, and its unattractive appearance has caused many farmers to
condemn it without trial. Livestock eat it greedily, and it is one of
our richest coarse feeds. The curing is more difficult than in the case
of the cowpea because the leaves drop early, and the plants must be
harvested before they approach maturity.
Probably the large yield of rich seed is the most important feature of
the soybean crop. A ton of the seed contains as much protein as a ton
of old-process oil meal, and three fourths as much as a ton of
cottonseed meal. A good crop of the soybean will yield 18 to 20 bushels
of seed, and as the nitrogen may be obtained chiefly from the air, the
protein from this crop will come to be a leading substitute for
purchased protein feeds.
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