Growing Vetch For Hay

How many pounds of vetch seed should be sown to the acre? How many tons

per acre in the crop? As I desire to change my crop, having to some

extent exhausted the soil with oats, how advisable will it be to sow

wheat with the vetch to give it something to climb on? If so, and wheat

is not desirable under the circumstances, what? In using vetch for horse

fodder, how much barley should be fed with it per day for a driving

horse? For a draught horse? Is vetch sown and harvested at about the

same time as other crops?

Except in very frosty places, vetch can be sown after the rain begins at

about 40 to 60 pounds of seed to the acre. The yield will depend upon

the land and on the moisture supply, and cannot be prophesied. One

grower reports three tons of hay per acre near Napa. If the land usually

yields a good hay crop, it should yield a greater weight of vetch. In

mowing for hay purposes it is desirable to raise the vetch off the

ground to facilitate the action of the mower. Oats would be better than

wheat, because rather quicker in winter growth. If the vetch is to be

fed green, rye is a good grain, but not good for hay purposes because of

the hardness of the stem. There is no particular difference in the

plant-food requirements of the different grains, so that there is

nothing gained in that way in the choice of wheat. In feeding a combined

vetch and barley hay, the ration is balanced; the feeding of grain would

not be necessary, except in case of hard work under the same conditions

grain is usually fed to horses and in about the same amounts. Vetch

requires a longer season than ordinary oat or barley hay crop to make a

larger growth, consequently an early sowing is desirable.

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