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ALFALFA

A Clean Seed-bed
Adaptation To Eastern Needs
Clean Seed
Climate And Soil
Crimson Clover
Fertility And Feeding Value
Fertilization
Free Use Of Lime
Inoculation
Seeding In August
The Seeding
Varieties

More from ALFALFA

Crops And Methods For Soil Improvement


A Bit Of Arithmetic
A Few Combinations Are Safest
A Practical Test
A Southern Legume
A Three Years' Rotation
Acid Phosphate
Acquaintance With Terms
Affecting Physical Condition
All The Nitrogen From Clover
Alsike Clover
Amount Of Application
Amount Of Manure
Amount Per Acre
An Excess Of Nitrogen



Fertility And Feeding Value








Vivian says that "the problem of the
profitable maintenance of fertility is largely a question of an
economic method of supplying plants with nitrogen." The greatest value
of alfalfa to eastern farming lies in its ability to convert
atmospheric nitrogen into organic nitrogen. It has no equal in this
respect for relatively long crop-rotations, storing in its roots and
successive growths of top far more nitrogen within three or four years
than is possible to any other of our legumes. A good stand of alfalfa,
producing nine crops of hay in the three years following the season of
seeding, will produce from nine to twelve tons of hay. Good fields,
under the best conditions, have produced far more, but the amounts
named are within reach of most growers on land adapted to the plant. A
ton of hay, on the average, contains as much nitrogen as five or six
tons of fresh stable manure. Thus there comes to the farm a great
amount of plant-food, to be given the land in the manure, and in
addition the roots and stubble have stored in the ground enough
nitrogen to feed a successive corn crop, and a small grain crop which
may follow the corn. Moreover, the roots have filled the soil with
organic matter, improving the physical condition of the soil and
subsoil.



Another gain is found in the content of phosphoric acid and potash in
the manure, much of which was drawn from soil supplies out of reach of
the other farm crops. The profit from introduction of alfalfa into a
region's agriculture is very great.

Alfalfa makes a nutritious and palatable feed for livestock. A ton
contains as much digestible protein as 1600 pounds of wheat bran.





Next: Climate And Soil

Previous: Adaptation To Eastern Needs



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