Taking The Crops Off The Land





The feeding value of clover hay is so

great that the livestock farmer cannot afford to leave a crop of clover

on the ground as a fertilizer. The second crop of red clover produces

the seed, and, if the yield is good, is very profitable at the prices

for seed prevailing within recent years. The amount of plant-food taken

off in the hay and seed crops would have relatively small importance if

manure and haulm were returned without unnecessary waste. Van Slyke

states that about one third of the entire plant-food value is contained

in the roots, while 35 to 40 per cent of the nitrogen is found in the

roots and stubble. Hall instances one experiment at Rothamstead in

which the removal of 151 pounds of nitrogen in the clover hay in one

year left the soil enough richer than land by its side to produce 50

per cent more grain the next year. He cites another experiment in which

the removal of three tons of clover hay left the soil so well supplied

with nitrogen that its crop of Swede turnips two years later was over

one third better than that of land which had not grown clover, the

application of phosphoric acid and potash being the same. When two tons

of well-cured clover hay are harvested in June, removing about 80

pounds of nitrogen, 45 to 50 pounds are left for the soil. The amounts

of potash are about the same, while phosphoric acid is much less in

amount.





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