Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 67
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FORAGE CROPS, PASTURES, AND RANGES 67
At the Puerto Rico University station forage plants give very high
yields and it has been found that grass-legume mixtures are superior
to pure stands. Guinea grass and tropical kudzu made the best combination.
Total production per acre and nutritive value were higher
when the forage was cut at 40-day intervals. Protein content at 40
days was almost double that at 90 and 120 days, but lignin was much
The New Hampshire station states that the time of harvest and
method of storage of forage are important factors in determining the
need for supplemental vitamin D for the dairy cow. Early-cut
forage harvested in June was much lower in vitamin D or provitamin
D than forage of similar maturity harvested later in the season.
Winter pastures have been found to be economical for carrying beef
cattle through the winter in the South. At the Georgia station temporary
pasture, composed of rye, ryegrass, and crimson clover, was
superior to tall fescue for this purpose. Fescue, although giving a
long grazing season, was only slightly better than a low-quality, drylot
ration. Average daily gain for the cows ranged from -0.38
pound in dry lot to 1.27 pounds on temporary pasture.
The Indiana station compared second-cutting chopped alfalfa hay,
which was artificially dried, with first-cutting alfalfa silage and corn
silage as a winter roughage for dairy cattle. Alfalfa hay and silage
were more effective in maintaining milk production than second-cutting
chopped hay except when the corn silage was supplemented with
soybean oil meal. Furthermore, more corn silage was consumed.
Pasture and forage crops research by the Maryland station has
resulted in an estimated 500-percent increase in ladino clover pasture
during the past 5 years. Beef gains of 420 pounds per acre were obtained
on orchardgrass-ladino clover pasture.
Over a 2-year period, milk production and income above feed cost
per cow were highest for animals grazed continuously and lowest for
those that were barn fed, according to the Mississippi station. It was
concluded that winter pasture is not only an economical source of feed
for the dairy cow but that it also has a milk-stimulating effect over
and above its feeding values.
The Mississippi station also reports that crimson clover-ryegrass
pasture is one of the better combinations for finishing weanling beef
calves. Such a pasture produced 301 pounds of beef per acre and provided
a return above all cost of $26.41 per steer. Fescue-red clover
pasture returned only $9.16 per steer.
Experimental pastures at the Missouri station (coop. USDA) have
produced from 250 to 350 pounds of beef per acre per year and such
pastures were profitable even with cattle selling at 20 cents per pound.
Tall fescue and ladino clover was found to be one of the most profitable
combinations. This station also learned that ewes on good bluegrass
pasture with concentrate supplements received adequate nutrition
during the pregnancy period. The lambs from such ewes were slightly
smaller at birth and their dams produced less milk, but by market time
they were almost equal in weight and finish to the lambs from ewes
which received supplemental feed.
The high carrying capacity of irrigated pasture for sheep has been
shown in a grazing test at the Montana station (coop. USDA). Mixtures
seeded in 1949 and grazed for 3 years have carried from 12 to
16 yearling ewes per acre. Empire birdsfoot trefoil with Troy blue
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/69/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.