Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 29
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FORAGE CROPS, PASTURES, AND RANGES 29
seed per acre when it is drilled in alternate rows with various grasses.
The acreage of birdsfoot trefoil in Vermont has increased from 0 to
3,000 acres in the past few years.
Tests at the Virginia station showed that rotating pastures and
grazing them for periods of 4 to 6 days at a time resulted in a greater
persistency of milk production by animals thus pastured. Based on
a standard of $5 per hundredweight, milk produced by cows on Ladino
clover-orchard grass pasture produced milk valued at $163.75 per
The Wyoming station found that the grazing capacity of pastures
seeded to crested wheatgrass, either alone or with alfalfa, was 72
sheep days per acre. Good native range had a grazing capacity of only
36 sheep days but when the native range was pitted with an eccentric
disk the carrying capacity was 40 sheep days. Crested wheatgrass
produced 45 pounds of lamb per acre, pitted native range 22
pounds, and nontreated native range 15 pounds.
Forage Crop Fertilization
Adequate fertilization is as necessary for efficient and economical
production of forage crops and pastures as it is for row crops and
cereals. The use of fertilizer on pastures and hay crops has increased
markedly during the past few years and the putting into practice of
results obtained in research on forage crop fertilization has greatly
increased the value of these crops.
The Alaska station has found that the major nutrient deficiencies
limiting yields of most crops are nitrogen and phosphorus. Fertilizer
applications of 100 to 150 pounds of available nitrogen and 60 to 80
pounds of phosphorus can be expected to produce 21/2 to 3 tons of
20-percent protein bromegrass hay in a favorable season. It has been
demonstrated that Alaskan farmers get greater returns on their fertilizer
investments when heavy applications are made. Small applications
(20 to 40 pounds of nitrogen per acre) are practically
Although more attention is being given to the effect of nitrogen
applied to forage crops than to the other required elements, information
is needed on the response of various species to potash and phosphorus
fertilizers. The Massachusetts station has found that timothy
requires higher levels of phosphorus than orchard grass or smooth
bromegrass but that its requirements for potassium are lower. It was
also found that Ladino clover yields were increased by the use of
potash, and that plots that were low in potassium killed out completely
within 2 years.
The Mississippi station found that annual applications of phosphorus
and potassium to a Dallis grass-white clover-lespedeza pasture
maintained a more balanced relationship between the major species
than biennial or triennial applications. In the same study it was
learned that nitrogen applications on grass-legume combinations resulted
in a better proportion of grass to legumes and thereby reduced
A striking example of the economic value of applying fertilizers on
dairy farms is shown by a study made at the Vermont station. Farmers
who used no commercial fertilizer obtained hay yields of 1 ton per
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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/m1/31/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.