Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 69
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FORAGE CROPS, PASTURES, AND RANGES 69
increasing. At the Maryland station chemical control of chickweed
resulted in an average increase of 1 ton of alfalfa per acre. This
increase represents a farm value of $15 per ton after all costs are
The Massachusetts station reports that, by applying adequate potash,
increases of 30 to 80 percent in hay production were obtained for
the first 3 harvest years. Although liberal amounts of potash fertilizer
were applied three times each year, the grasses studied removed
79 to 94 percent of the application during the 3 years. This emphasizes
the fact that it is not possible to increase the soil potassium
reserves when producing large yields of forage grasses on many of
the Northeastern soils.
Dallis grass is one of the most important perennial pasture grasses
in the South but its usefulness is limited by its total susceptibility to
the ergot fungus. Because of this susceptibility, seed supplies of
Dallis grass are limited and there is danger of ergot poisoning of
livestock. The Mississippi station is making good progress in the
development of seed-producing and ergot-resistant strains. Seven
progeny from a Dallis grass X Paspalum malachophyllum hybrid
have proven to be highly resistant and immune to ergot.
Some years ago the New Hampshire station found that the cobalt
content of forage tended to decrease as the yield per acre increased.
This station has now determined that ladino clover, bromegrass, and
timothy, grown on highly fertilized soil, is deficient in the amount
of cobalt, copper, and iron needed by cattle. Dairy heifers fed these
forages developed cobalt deficiency symptoms in about 6 months,
and after this condition was corrected by cobalt supplementation
other deficiency symptoms developed. Calves showed poor growth,
poor body condition, and anemia; and fresh heifers lost flesh, declined
rapidly in milk production, and developed anemia. The
studies will be continued to determine the effect of these deficiencies
Experimental work at the Oregon station during the past year has
demonstrated the value of improved pastures in producing dependable
early feed. The unfavorable growing conditions during the fall
of 1952 emphasized the importance of perennials as compared with
annuals for fall and early spring grazing. Heavy early use of both
native and improved pastures has resulted in improvement of range
when the grazing pressure is removed in late spring to allow the
perennials to make ample growth after the annuals die.
The Texas station reports that relatively high rates of nitrogen
fertilizer in combination with phosphorus and potassium may be used
economically in the production of bluestem hay in east Texas.
Dryland seeded pastures decrease in productivity even though
maintaining stands as they become older. The Wyoming station
(coop. USDA) learned that crested wheatgrass, Russian wildrye, and
western wheatgrass respond to severe renovation as well as to applications
of nitrogen. The degree of response, however, is directly
related to the amount of spring moisture. The combination of renovation
and fertilization gives higher production than either fertilization
or renovation alone. In years of low amounts of spring moisture
the increased production does not pay for the cost of applying
fertilizer, but with ample rainfall a net gain of more than $15 per
acre above the cost of the fertilizer and its application is obtained.
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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/m1/71/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.