Page images

E. A. Riehl.—Some in cultivation perhaps 20 or more years, some more recently. Crops, corn and wheat. The old land seemed to be exhausted when I came in possession, 4 years ago, but deep plowing and turning under a crop of clover has made it as good as any new on the place ; have used all the manure made on the premises with the usual satisfactory results. Deep plowing insures good crops. There are many good plows, and can not designate all; the Mellen plow, made at Alton, is as good as any and made of good material, the Peoria and Moline are also good, the Mapes is the best subsoil I have tried. Prefer a double triangular harrow with 48 teeth, and, better than all harrows and rollers, the Cumberland clod crusher, cut and description in No. 7, Vol. 2, Farmers' Advertiser.

J. Balsiger.—Part of my farm has been put in cultivation, I believe, about 40 years ago, long before I came in this country ; the rest I cleared myself or had it cleared, and broken from 7 to 10 years since. Before the land was mine, it was nearly all and every year planted in corn, no meadow; in consequence of this, in some rather steep places the good soil has been washed off by the rains, and these places need manure to produce crops. Where this was not the case the soil has not considerably lost of its former richness, especially the land which has been put in cultivation more recently. Deep plowing has a very good effect on the crops where the subsoil is not too near the surface or not of poor quality.

J. Y. Bothwell.—Kind of crops raised, wheat, corn, oats and grass. Improvements made from 1851 to 1856. The soil seems but slightly exhausted, producing almost as much as at first. Have used manures with the best results. I use a double sod plow for breaking up, made by John Gill, of Columbus, Ohio; work three large mules; plow ten inches deep, follow it with subsoil plow, the Rooster, made by G. C. Miller, Cincinnati, Ohio; use two mules to run it from 5 to 6 inches deep in the same furrow, with the best result to land and crops. In 1866 my wbeat averaged 27 bushels to the acre, and sold for $2 per bushel; I could have had $3 by waiting till spring. This township did not average 5 bushels per acre that year. Last year. the result was nearly as good, and my growing crop looks fine, notwithstanding last fall was so very dry. 1866 was when I commenced deep ploughing. The longer land has been in cultivation the deeper it should be plowed,

T. Engelmann.—The first ground on my farm was broken in 1850, and the work o breaking up continued in the next following years; the land on the slopes of the elevation, being rich and dry, has since that time been in wheat from year to year; and the land in the flat prairie, being low and wet, has as regularly been in corn every year; manure has never been used, the soil showing no signs of exhaustion. Deep plowing has not been tried; the plows used for breaking ground are made by the blacksmiths of the neighborhood; plows manufactured at other places and brought here for sale are generally discarded, not because they are considered inferior, but because our blacksmiths can not or do not like to do the necessary sharpening and repairing properly.

G. C. Eisenmeyer.—Deep tillage is always beneficial, hence the old adage, “ Plow deep while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep." However, ground prepared for wheat should not be plowed deeper than the previous year. Wheat is of so fine a nature that when the unairyfied soil, in other words, soil that has never been exposed to the beneficial effects of air, rain, sun and dew, proves very injurious to the kernel or grain of the wheat, you will obtain plenty of straw but poor wheat. The common steel mould board plow, and the so-called gang plows,

made by Jacob Hage, of Shiloh, Ill., and another by parties in Monroe and Washington counties, are in general use here.

J. Barber.--I have 100 acres, 60 of which are in fruit, the remainder in pasture, meadow, etc. A small part of the farm has been in cultivation since 1850, mostly corn and oats for the first few years, and subsequently put in orchards. Has been exhausted but little. Have used all the manures made on the farm, with a considerable increase in the amount of products.

Find deep plowing not only beneficial to crops in seasonable years, but a great preventive of the evil effects of drouth ; also find fall plowing better than spring. The best plows are made of steel. I use those made by John Deere, of Moline, Illinois.

8. GRASSES, CLOVERS, ETC.-What do you find most suitable varieties for pastures and mea. dows: mode of seeding and quantity sown per

acre: largest and average yields of meadow lands: average number of live stock of different sorts pastured per acre: experience in top-dressing meadows, and its effects: stage of growth at which grasses, etc., are best cut for hay: implements preferred for hay-making ?

E. Moss.—Clover and timothy; sow principally with wheat or rye, and in spring about 12 quarts of mixture per acre. Yield 11 to 21 tons. Top-dressing meadows is good.

G. Chaffee.-Clover and timothy. In seeding to grass have no established rule, but usy not less than eight quarts of clover and four to eight of timothy per acre. In a few cases, have sown timothy in September upon oat stubble and harrowed it, then sowed the clover early in spring, and with success. More frequently I sow graes seed after oats, and give it a light harrowing and roll. Clover is a great renovater of the soil. Would mow one to three seasons, then plow, Cultivate not to exceed three crops without seeding, unless manured.

M. A. McConnell.—Clover, timothy and red top are the best varieties for pasture. My pasture, that has been used for 30 years, is the best I have, and affords the richest feed. Cattle want large range and plenty of water and shade trees. The under-brush is all taken out of my pasture.

Top-dressing is very fine for meadows but not for pasture. We always prefer to mow our grass just after the bloom falls. We use Manny and Kirby combined machines, and McCormick's mower. We have three maehines, and they all work well. For getting up the hay we have Hollowworth's sulky horse rake-the best in all the land.

A. Baley. --Sow two parts timothy to one part clover, one peck to the acre.

H. Pierce.-- Timothy for meadows; for pasture have plenty of prairie as yet. Three tons is the largest yield per acre-usually from 2 to 14 and 1. Timothy is best when the bloom is just about to fall off. Manny's reaper and mower is the principal cutting machine, although all have their representatives in the hands of different farmers. Revolving wooden horse rake is the leading article, yet others are used.

J. Tefft.-Clover, timothy and red-top. Not much experience in feeding, as farm is rented on shares.

S. Reynolds.—I like timothy and red-top best for pasture, and also for hay; but usually sow clover and timothy together. The more clover the better for the land, and the less the better hay and pasture, except for hoge, and they do best on clover, I like my hay cut with a Buckeye; rake with the Ohio revolver. Have used the horse fork some, but prefer the Batchelder pitchfork.

J. Schoenleber. – Timothy and red clover for pasture; for seed I prefer either alone ; prefer seeding wheat or oats on wet ground. Have the ground plowed in the fall, and sow as early in the spring as the ground will admit. Sow the seed after the wheat is harrowed, then roll; or if a heavy rain falls it will answer the purpose of rolling.

Have raised timothy mostly for seed-half peck of seed to the acre ; for pasture or hay I would prefer one peck of timothy and two quarts red clover. Largest yield six bushels of timothy seed to the acre; lowest yield three bushels. By topdressing one can always calculate on six buehels. At $3 per bushel this pays better than wheat, as the straw and pasture will pay for harvesting and threshing. One seeding will do for 20 years or more.

C. E. Barney. -For pasture, as many kinds of grass as will grow on one piece of land at once.

For hay, red-top cut early. Timothy, cut just after the blossoms fall. For mowing, a compact machine without a reel; should not cut more than 8 or 44 feet, and have two driving wheels

A steel wire adjustable tooth sulky rake I find very convenient, and a horse fork with short handle.

V. Aldrich.-For early pasture, blue grass or June grass is best, as it starts much earlier and will bear trampiog early, when the ground is soft, with less injury than other kind. Clover and timothy, with a mixture of red-top, is preferable after it gets a good start-say six to eight inches high. It never should be fed off close, but given rest and a chance to keep in good bite for the stock. Timothy mixed with one-eighth clover I prefer to anything else for meadow.

The best success I ever had resulted from sowing my grass seed right on the stubble ground from which had been taken crops of oats or wheat. I sow the grass seed the last of August or first of September. The first rains will bring it right up, and if the fall is wet and warm it will get a good start. The stubble keeps the cold winds from it and holds the snow, which protects it through the winter. The next summer we may expect a good crop of hay. I sow one-half bushel timothy seed with two to four quarts of clover, well mixed before sowing, so that one scattering completes the work.

Average yield of hay per acre, 2 to 3 tons; two tons without manure would be full average. I have a five acre meadow that has had nine crops of hay taken from it in nine consecutive years, and never yielded less than two tons, and several years three, when it was.wet and favorable to the growth of hay. This meadow has been manured twice in the time, completely covering it. Each time the manure was applied in the fall–October or November. I prefer to cut my hay when it is in full blossom, or just as the blossom is ready to fall from the timothy. At this stage the stalk contains all the sap and the blades are all green, If not cut now the sap goes into the seed, the stalk becomes hard and woody at the bottom, and the leaves begin to turn yellow and die. The longer it remains the more worthless it becomes as fodder.

I have used a two-horse mower-Ball's patent. It cuts close and easy. The Buckeye is about as good. No combined mower and reaper will cut anything but timothy, when standing well, close enough. A single mower will cut lodged grass as well as it can be done by hand with a scythe. A one-horse revolving rake does the work well and expeditiously.

Foever practioe mowing more in the forenoon than we can rake and put into the cocks the same evening. The next day the cocks are opened and the hay cured suffi

ciently and carted into the barn, without being wet or bleached by the dew. When my barn is full I stack hay under a shed roof. This is nearly equal to a barn. Make a double roof-span twenty-four feet-and as long as needed; cover with sixteen feet boards, and batten with fence board. If the boards are sound this will make a tight roof.

Timothy and clover are the only grasses sowed here for pasture ; but the natural pastures, after blue grass and white clover get in, are much the best.

Sow eight quarts of timothy and four of clover, per acre, in the spring, either with wheat or oats, or in the fall by itself, minus the clover, which is sowed the next spring. Average yield, two tons per acre ; greatest yield, three tons per acre. I pasture one horse or cow per acre, and from five to ten hogs per acre. I think we can double the yield of our meadows for hay and pastures by manure. The best time to cut hay is just after the blossom drops. The Buckeye mower and the sulky rake are considered best here.

G. W. Minier. For meadows, timothy, or clover mixed with it; and same for hay. Sow moist ground, red-top is preferable. Generally seed with wheat, oats or barley; have seeded after burning off stubble in the fall. I wish to speak this in an undertune, for whoever burns his stubble is, in so far, a spendthrift. We usually get about two tons of hay to the acre. We can keep one ox or cow to the acre, or about five sheep. The best top-dressing for meadows is the folding of sheep, the penning of swine, or herding and feeding cattle. Stable manure should not pass through fermentation before being spread on meadow, or elsewhere. But this contradicts custom, and therefore will provoke controversy, and most men will still carry a stone in one end of the bag, and a peck of corn in the other.

The time to cut grass for hay is after the bloom has fallen, or rather as it falls, Mower-Buckeye, or any other as good; horse-rake ; good hand pitch-forks. A large amount of hay will warrant other implements.

J. Robinson.-For summer pasture I prefer timothy and clover; for early spring, fall and winter, Kentucky blue grass. I have made very good pastures by sowing one and a quarter bushels of rye per acre, early in September, among the standing corn, covering with a one-borse double shovel plow, by passing on each side of the rows as near the standing corn as possible; then before a rain falls on the ground thus passed over, sow timothy seed at the rate of one bushel to six acres; the seed will be covered by the first rain; the rye and corn stalks afford good protection to the young grass during the fall and winter. On the ground thus treated I sow clover late in the winter, being governed as to the amount of clover seed to be sown by the condition and stand of timothy and the amount of clover I want on such pasture—one bushel on twelve or fifteen acres being a very good mixture. Land thus sown is sure to catch well the first year, and produce as much feed the first summer as a good, well set clover and timothy pasture. It is best not to pasture when very wet. Land seeded in this manner is too uneven and the stalks interfere too much for mowing.

For meadows I succeed best seeding a mixture of one-fourth clover and threefourths timothy; sow early in the spring on land well plowed, and with wheat or barley, well harrowed; and if the ground is rough, roll before sowing the grass seed, cover the seed with a light harrow brush ; one bushel on six acres being fair quantity. It is very desirable to set a meadow with the ground as loose as possible, as a hard bottom never yields a heavy crop of hay. My average crop is generally about two tons per acre.

Two acres is usually required to pasture a grown borse or cow the entire summer; a less area will do until the dry and warm weather after harvest, when I add meadows to my pasture when very close, lest iny succeeding crop of hay be diminished, and my land fails to be renovated as it should be. The grass should be cut for hay as soon as the timothy seed is in the dough, and cured as well as the weather will admit.

If my hay is well cured when I put it in mow or stack, I sprinkle ten pounds of salt to the ton; if a little green, fifteen ; and if very green, twenty pounds. A good mowing machine, hay rake, and stacking machine, or, if in a barn, a horse fork and some light steel spring, but strong, pitchforks, are all the machinery required for hay harvest.

J. R. Tull.--- Red clover is best for improving the land, and is valuable as hog pasture, as well as food for cattle. It is the best crop known in this country when used as a fertilizer; which is done by plowing the seed crop under when the seed is sufficiently ripe to seed the ground. Land that is very much exhausted may in a few years be restored to its original fertility without any other fertilizer.

I consider timothy our main grass for the hay crop. Our yield is from one to one and a half tons per acre; very rarely we get two tons. I find a top-dressing of good stable manure greatly increases the yield per acre.

My experience in cutting timothy for hay has taguht me not to cut it until the Beed is ripe enough to grow. Some say, cut it when in blossom; but if cut at that time there is a heavy loss in weight and substance.

For cutting timothy, I find Ball's large combined reaper and mower to do excellent work.

7. Gregg.–In meadow I have no experience; but can report that timothy, and clover and timothy mixed, are mostly grown for meadows on the prairie farm-hereabouts. In mode of culture and amount of production I am not well enough posted to report .

A. C. Hammond.—Timothy produces the best results as a forage grass In seed. ing I use from one fourth to one-fifth of a bushel per acre. Usually sow on wheat in the fall or winter. I find that top-dressing with stable manure will increase the yield from twenty-five to fifty per cent.

H. Sodowsky.—For meadow grasses I prefer red clover and timothy-one-eighth of clover and seven-eighths timothy. For pasture I would add a portion of blue grass. My mode of seeding varies; I have sowed timothy the last of August and it did well, and I have sowed it in March and April and it did well also. Clover seed should be sown about the last snow in March. I usually sow broad-cast, and about one bushel of timothy and one-eighth of clover to 6 or 7 acres. Meadows differ so much in wet and dry seasons that it is difficult to estimate the average yield, but I would place it at 14 tons per acre, in a favorable season, and one ton per acre in a dry season. In this section of the country we calculate 27 acres to the head for grown cattle. We think that a three-year old steer requires the same amount of grass that it takes to pasture six sheep.

My experience in top-dressing is limited. I find it advantageous to roll meadows in the spring, when the land is thawed about two inches deep. This process levels the land, and presses back the grass roots that have been drawn out of the ground by freezing. The time of cutting hay varies with the amount to be cut. If I have a a long harvest, I commence as soon as the seed is in the dough. I find that hay

« PreviousContinue »