Two Legumes In The Rotation
If all the crops of this five years'
rotation, excepting wheat, were fed on the farm, and if all the manure
were saved and rightly applied, there would be little or no difficulty
in maintaining fertility, provided the soil were friendly to clover.
The fact is that much such land has grown poorer, and it is known that
another legume is needed in the rotation. The substitution of the
soybean or cowpea for the oat crop gives excellent results. It makes a
large supply of rich hay, and it fits the soil nicely for winter grain.
The use of the breaking-plow is escaped. The surface of the land is in
good tilth, especially if the legume was planted in rows so that
cultivation could be given. A cutaway harrow, run shallow, and a roller
make the seed-bed. Near the southern edge of the oat belt this
substitution gives more value in the crop following corn, and at the
same time conserves soil fertility.
Where land is thin, a four years' rotation of corn, soybeans or
cowpeas, wheat, and clover is one of the best, because it contains two
leguminous crops, and because one of them favors the wheat which
follows and the clover seeded in the wheat.
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