Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 28
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28 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
has developed seeding and management practices that have aided in
better and more efficient production, not only of new species and
varieties, but of many older and better-known hay and pasture plants.
In a comparison of native and seeded rangeland the Colorado station
found that beef production can be at least doubled by the use of
seeded pastures. Pastures seeded to tall wheatgrass, Russian wild-rye,
intermediate wheatgrass, and crested wheatgrass produced from 2
to 5 times as much beef per acre as native range and had a grazing
capacity of from 2 to 6 times that of native range.
A study of pasture mixtures by the New York (Cornell) station
revealed that the addition of a third species to a pasture or meadow
seed mixture increased the forage yield only when the third species
(1) provided quick, early growth, (2) increased the yield the first
crop year, and (3) persisted, and increased the yield in later years.
Lack of moisture and fertility were found to be the major causes of
seedling failure. Two considerations should be kept in mind in determining
the most advantageous time of seeding: (1) Whether there
is sufficient moisture to insure the germination and establishment of
the pasture; and (2) the degree of establishment that is likely to be
obtained prior to periods of hazard such as drought or heaving frost.
The ability of a tall fescue-Ladino clover mixture to afford yearround
grazing was demonstrated at the Georgia station (coop. USDA).
Rotational grazing made it possible to harvest a seed crop, produce
quality hay, and accumulate a winter reserve equivalent to an amount
of feed sufficient to carry one producing cow per acre every day of the
year. Cows not given supplemental feeds produced 6,000 pounds of
milk in a year even though the winter included a period of 90 days
with an hourly mean temperature of 35 F.
Studies on seed production of native range grasses at the New
Mexico station (coop. USDA) indicate that harvest of black grama
grass seed should be delayed until the end of the growing season in
order to take advantage of the higher set of seed then obtained. This
study also showed that grama grass plants grown under lattice gave
42 percent greater seed set than open-grown plants. This indicates
that large-scale seed production might be increased by planting black
grama in altenate rows with taller plants which afford partial protection
from drying sun and wind.
Band seeding of forage crops, a method developed by the Ohio
station, has shown great promise. Good stands of ordinarily weak
seedling legumes, such as birdsfoot trefoil, can be obtained by drilling
the seed at 7-inch intervals with small spring grains spaced 14
inches apart in the rows. When this practice is followed the quantity
of legume seed needed is reduced by one-third and weed competition
is practically eliminated.
In a 10-year grazing study at the South Dakota station it was found
that beef cows on a heavily grazed pasture lost weight and went into
the winter in thin condition, whereas cows on lightly grazed pasture
gained weight. Under heavy grazing the higher-yielding, more palatable
taller grasses were replaced by short grasses, which resulted in
a decline in range condition, forage production, and carrying capacity.
The Vermont station has found that birdsfoot trefoil is an excellent
legume on heavy clay soils where alfalfa and Ladino clover make poor
growth. Excellent stands are obtained with as little as 2 pounds of
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/30/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.