Pigs In The Orchard
I have an orchard of Bartlett pears about fifteen years old, located on
sediment land. I desire to set this to alfalfa, and to feed the alfalfa
by letting hogs eat it off, thereby leaving the droppings on the land.
What I wish to know is this: Will this crop be beneficial or injurious
to the trees?
Alfalfa can be successfully grown in an orchard, providing you have
irrigation water so that the alfalfa shall not rob the trees of
moisture; otherwise it is a very dangerous practice. The practice of
running animals of any kind in an orchard is to be condemned. Pigs are
particularly liable to injure trees by gnawing the bark, and we have
seen fig trees barked clean as high as a pig could reach by standing on
his hind legs. Of course, if you try an experiment for your own
satisfaction, you will have to watch the pigs very carefully. It is true
that growing pasture crops in an orchard and grazing, it off is
injurious to trees, because the land lacks proper aeration, and good
orchard cultivation is even more necessary in this State than in humid
climates. Therefore, unless you are sure of a good water supply for
irrigation, it would be altogether safer to give the whole land to the
trees and keep them cultivated well, or else dig out the trees and use
the land for other purposes.
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