Page images


cured at this stage is better for stock than at any other, being small, soft and full of nourishment. When riper it is hard and stiff, with more wood in the stalk. Stock cannot cut so much of it, and it does not do them the same amount of good.

W. M. Allen.— Timothy and clover. Have tried all modes of seeding ; each some time fails Quantity, 8 quarts timothy, 4 quarts clover; yield, 2 tons to the

The best time to cut timothy is when the bloom is off. S. P. Boardman.-Either for meadow or pasture, I find it best to sow quite a variety of grasses. Our prairie soil is so light, loamy and grainy, that it beares grass roots out of the ground terribly in the spring of the year. To obviate this heaving process there is nothing like having the ground well covered and the soil well tied together with grass roots. Any one who has ever had any experience in sowing grass knows that timothy can be made to cover the ground only about so close, no matter how much seed may have been sowed to the acre. Another fact with regard to sowing timothy is, that, no matter what the “stand” which may have been obtained from an original sowing, no subsequent suwing seems to help the matter a bit. Timothy will “take the ground" to a certain extent—no more, no less—leaving space which can be occupied by other grasses. In a less degree the rule holds good with all other of the most common grasses sown, except blue grass and red top, which spread from the root.

I have been sowing grass for the last sixteen years in Illinois, and I am satisfied that the worst mistake men make in general, is in not putting on seed enough. I am now sowing about 160 acres to grass, and I am putting on 11 quarts to the acrebeing a mixture of timothy, clover, orchard grass, and red-top-a peck of the first, a quart of the second, and the two last by the “grab.”

My largest yield of hay (season makes everything with the hay crop) has been two tons to the acre. In a general way we get a little over a ton, perhaps, as an average crop.

My farm is stocked almost wholly with sheep, and I am trying to stock light; fire sheep to the acre is as many as I wish on my pastures. “Big grass under stock makes a profit; short grass, short everything."

The best time to top-dress meadows is immediately after the hay crop is taken off, and will make a difference of an increase in the hay crop of from one-fourth to onehalf. No way so good, that ever I have found, to apply manure in Illinois.

G. Harding.–For pasturing I sow a mixture of grass seeds—timothy, red clover, English blue grass, native blue grass ; white clover comes up itself. This mixture makes the best pasturing that can be made in any soil; the native or Kentucky blue grass, with some timothy, being the best for fall and winter pasture. Sow a peck of the blue grass seed, with a little timothy mixed with it, to the acre.

For summer pasture the English blue grass will yield twice the amount of any other. Sow one-half bushel seed, with a little timothy to the acre,

This mixture of seeds does well on most all kinds of land, sown in January or February, and should not be pastured the first season. Timothy, with some red clover mixed, is best for meadows that you intend mowing for hay, sowing about one-sixth of a bushel per acre. Sow from the first to the tenth of September. Average yield per acre is two tons.

Two acres of mixed pasture will take a three-year old steer through the grazing season, and make him gain 300 to 400 pounds in an ordinary season,

Timothy makes the best hay when cut just after the bloom drops.

The Excelsior or Buckeye mower, common revolving horse rake, and Fowler's hay derrick, are among the best hay-making implements.

G. W, Vaughan.-For meadows I prefer timothy and clover mixed. For pastures, I want different kinds. Blue grass is the best for early; then red-top, timothy and clover. Blue grass is hardly fit for summer pasture, as it dries up and has but little substance, while red-top, timothy and clover keep greener and have more substance. Timothy and clover meadows make splendid fall pasture, and blue grass early winter, and if not pastured too much in the spring will keep green nearly all winter, and sheep will need little if any other feed except while snow is on the ground. Timothy and clover pastures do not last like blue grass and red top; the timothy is easier killed by close pasturing, and the clover, if not allowed to seed, will die in two years, as the plant lives but that length of time from the seed. Clover is splendid for pasturing hogs during the spring and summer. I think red-top fully equal to any kind of grass for pastures. English blue grass not so good as the common kind.

My plan for sowing grass seed is, to put the ground in wheat in the fall, and then sow the seed in February or March, on snow if possible. Clover seed, however, should be sown later, as the young plant is more easily killed by freezing than that of other kinds. I usually sow one peck of timothy and one-half gallon clover seed, per acre. If sown together, less of either is required. When wanting a red-top or blue grass pasture, I mix the seed with timothy and sow together. The timothy makes a good pasture until the other gets sufficient hold, and is then rooted out by either blue grass or red-top. Red-top yields less per acre than any kind we have, as it is very light. Timothy alone seldom yields more than two tons per acre, while timothy and clover often yields from three to four tons. The average yield is about two tons per acre. Clover is very essential to meadows for producing a good yield of hay.

I have tried top-dressing meadows enough to satisfy myself that nothing pays the farmer so well as that mode of recuperating meadows. Manure for that purpose should be well rotted, if possible, but if not, will answer well if put on in the fall, 80 that the freezing, thawing, and rains of winter and spring will dissolve it, thereby washing the strength into and around the roots of the grass. Manure should in all cases be put on the meadows in the fall or early winter, if one expects to secure the benefit of its full strength. I hauled out a lot of manure last winter and put on my meadow. I did the same in the spring, and the difference in result was very perceptible. The winter dressed meadow was a great deal better than the spring dressed, and that better than the meadow where no manure was applied. One load of manure, put on the meadow in the fall, will pay a large percentage to the farmer.

I prefer cutting grass when the seed is just ripe or in the dough. I never want it cut too green or too ripe, as it moulds when too green, and the seed falls off when over ripe, making it disagreeable to handle. Stock will eat hay cut when the seed is nearly all off better than when cut green. I have seen this tried.

My father cut a piece of meadow just after the bloom fell off, and then cut some after the seeds were nearly all fallen, this last being left to seed the ground; both were put up without any rain ; the former was as nice bright hay as I ever saw, while the latter was brittle and seemed of litt acco We stacked them and fed them together, and the stock would hardly touch the bright hay when they could get the other. I have since repeated the experiment several times and with the same result. Clover should be cut when the bloom begins to change color or begins to die.

The machines preferred here for cutting grass are the Excelsior and Buckeye, There is little difference between them. They do splendid work and are easy on the team. We generally use rakes made by a man in our own neighborhood, named Hampton. They are not patented and are, consequently, not known in agricultural works. They do splendid work; they have but one handle and are much more easily used than the patent revolving rakes formerly in use here. These revolve like the others, but there is a different mode of stopping the revolution. So little hay has been made in this part of the county, that the derrick has not been used. Our hay is stacked with "Armstrong's Machines.” I prefer the derrick to stacking by hand, and think it will be used here next summer, as meadows are more extensive now than formerly.

8. Buller.—Timothy is used mostly for hay and pasture. From thirty to forty head of stock may be pastured on 40 acres.

D. Gove. For pasturage, I think a mixture of timothy, red clover and blue grass the best ; for hay alone, timothy and red clover are the best. I have had good luck in sowing grass seed on fall wheat about the first of March, in the proportion of about one-eighth clover mixed well together, and sow about one bushel of the mixed seed on five or six acres of ground. An average yield of hay per acre is about three thousand pounds, in an average season. I think three acres of our grass will keep a horse or cow in good condition, and an acre of good red clover with twenty ears of corn per day, will keep ten head of ordinary sized hogs through the pasturing season. My experience is that top-dressing of meadows with barn yard manure in the fall or winter is the best disposition we can make of the manure. I think the best time to cut hay is when, if it be timothy and clover mixed, about half the clover heads are ripe; and for the good of the meadows afterwards, I do not cut so near the ground as some, in as much as I think that portion of the growth near the ground worth more to the meadow as a mulching than it would be in the mow for feed. As regards implements for making hay, I am a little partial to the Buckeye mower the revolving rake for gathering and the horse fork for elevating into the mow.

J. G. Swann.-Clover. McSherry's drill. One gallon per acre. Two tons. When blossom is fading. McCormick's mower.

J. Balsiger.-Clover does very well with me, particularly on upland. I can cut mine three times in one season, For pasture, blue grass is to be preferred as more lasting and hardy; it grows here spontaneously. For meadow, I prefer timothy and red-top; the latter brings very rich crops on bottom land which is sometimes overflowed. Red top hay is, as far as I can judge, of very good quality; cattle and horses like it, but it is lighter than timothy. I sow one gallon clover, and about three gallons timothy seed, per acre. I never sow any red-top; it comes up by itself on meadows or bottom land, and crowds out the timothy growth. Top-dressing meadows has a very good effect and stimulates the growth of the grass ; out I prefer plowing in the manure before seeding with grass. I believe its effect is more lasting. I feed my hay out mostly on the farm, and therefore do not weigh it, so that I cannot tell how large the yield is per acre. I I think two tons are a good average crop. For cutting the hay I use a Manny's mower, and rake it up the same day with a common revolving horse rake, if the weather be fine so that it dries quick; afterwards it is put in shocks or cocks and stacked as soon as possible. The best

time for cutting clover is when it is well in blossom; for timothy and red-top, soon after blossoming is over, when the seed commences forming.

J. Y. Bothwell.-Grasses : I prefer timothy and red-top mixed. Sow in February or March on growing wheat; one bushel on five acres ; about two tons per acre is an average crop. Top-dressing will pay well. Cut grags when the earliest heads are brown. I use the Buckeye mower, and a wooden horse rake; this rake gathers no dirt with the hay as a steel-toothed rake does.

7. Engelmann.—Grasses and clover are not much grown, although they succeed Fell in our soil; and live stock is raised and kept only for family use, and not for market.

G. C. Eisenmeyer.—Blue grass for pastures, and timothy for hay. The time of seeding is about the first of September, on ground well pulverized. Summer fallow on wet ground is always preferable. I will now on no other ground. The ground cannot be too well prepared. If the season proves unfavorable—if too dry after sowing and you do not obtain a good stand, sow again on or about the first of March following. The yield of timothy is from one to three and a half tons; one and one half tons is about the average crop. I always sow five acres of timothy with one bushel of seed; of clover, from 8 to 10 acres with one bushel. I sow with the thumb and next two fingers; always let the middle finger scatter the seed.

No kind of stock should be allowed to run on your meadow land after the frost is out of the ground in the spring ; while in the fall, pasturing is of three-fold advantage : 1st, to your stock; 2d, to your meadow, by eating out the weeds and rank grass; and, 3d, the enriching of your meadow by the droppings of your stock. Top-dressing with barnyard manure should never be neglected; not an ounce of manure should be wasted, but all that can be obtained be put on your meadow,

Grass should be cut as soon as the seed is perfected and before fully ripe. Use any of the many valuable two-horse mowers. I always cut in the forenoon, and rake and cock up in 100 lb. cocks in the afternoon. Grass should never be exposed to the very injurious nightly dews, or too long a time to the hot and scorching rays of a July and August sun. Much hay is made burning it up by too long an exposure to the sun's rays, and the balance of the saccharine matter (the only nutrition in hay) is extracted by heavy injuries which make it more worthless than good oat straw.

Making of clover hay is of a more particular nature still than timothy, yet my experience is such that good clover hay can he made almost any season. erally have rainy days about the time that clover ripens and is ready for the sickle, which is about the first of June.

I always cut clover when I am ready, regardless of the weather. I leave it on the ground without turning it till full three-fourths cured; rain won't hurt it much if it remains on its first swath. I always aim to house it up when I turn it; it had better rain on it a week on its first side than once after it is turned over. Clover is one of the great essentials in good farming; it makes the finest pasture ; it drives worms from horses as well as hogs ; fattens everything that will eat it; it will increase as well as improve the milk of cows; is more nutritious for farm horses than timothy; Foung stock will fatten on it, and work horses will need but little grain if they get plenty of good clover hay; last and not least of all it improves your land. I always sow about the first to the fifteenth of March, on wheat land. It hardly ever does well when sowed with Oats. I always judge of a farmer's common, practical sense by the size of his clover fields, and find it a good criterion.

We gen

J. Barber. -For pastures, I use red-top, timothy and clover. Red-top is sown on the low ground. Sow timothy and clover together; about one-eighth as much clover as timothy. Close pasturing soon kills out the clover. If not pastured in the fall it will remain for many years,

J. Warder. We use clover, timothy and red-top successfully.

6. GRAINA.-Best varieties of corn, wheat (fall or spring), oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, etc., that have be-n tried in your neighborhood: the best time and method of preparing ground for each of the small grains: time and method of planting or sowing: drills, sowing machines or planters that you have tried and found best; best harrows and rollers: cultivation of corn, y th the kiud of implements used: experience, if any, in cultivating wheat by horse-boe or otherwire: time of cutting ap corn: method and implements: time of cutting small grains: reaper or header employed: practice in shocking, stacking, or putting emall grains in barn: largest and average yield: insects and diseases and methods of subduing them?

E. Moss.-Corn, Yellow Dent; spring wheat. Fall plowing is considered almost a necessity. Stack grain; put hay in barns.

Geo. Chaffee.-As we almost invariably husk the corn on the hill, and allow the stock to feed upon the stalks during the winter, we have the land to plow in the spring, if plowed at all. When the land is dry and light in the spring, as it usually is after a dry fall, I put on the cultivator, use it thoroughly, then sow the seed, harrow and roll, and in some experiments, side by side with that which was plowed; that sowed without plowing took the preference. When the land is clammy I would by all means plow, then harrow lightly, before seeding, and thoroughly after, and roll. Sow not less than five bushels per acre, and for the last eight years have, on the average, harvested 60 bushels per acre.

In a few cases I have planted corn after corn for 4 years in succession, and a few acres highly inanured, but usually plant after oats and clover and timothy sod, applying manure as much as possible to corn land, and, if sufficiently fine to mix with the soil, apply it upon the surface of fall plowed land; if coarse, turn it under with the oat stubble. I choose to have all my corn land plowed in the fall so as not to be obliged to meddle with it in the spring until it is dry. Then put on the cultiva. tor and harrow, roll as necessity requires. Plant from the 25th of April to the 15th of May in rows 31 feet apart. Formerly planted in check rows, but for the last s seasons bave planted in drills. When the corn is about making its appearance above the surface of the ground, harrow it by driving the team astride each row and use the hinge harrow with teeth of cast steel 1 inch square (48 teeth). When planted in check rows, thin to three spears in a hill; when drilled allow a spear to every 10 or 12 inches.

1862.-Corn, fair growth; fall favorable; yield 40 bushels per acre. 1863: good growth of stalks, but hard frost August 30th; yield, 20 bushels per acre. 1864 : good growth; chinch bugs attacked it in July, and white grubs in August; yield, 35 bushels per acre. 1865: heavy growth, and fine fall; yield, 75 bushels per acre. 1866: heavy growth; August and September very wet with frost about the 20th of September; yield, 25 bushels per acre. 1867: average growth ; but that planted on tame grass sod injured by the white grub; yield, 40 bushels per acre.

M. A. McConnell.—The best variety of corn for this laticude is Yellow Dent. Spring wheat is the only crop, and the best kinds are Club and Scotch Fife. Fall plowing is best for all kinds of grains and best for the ground. The spring grains want to be put into the ground as soon as possible after the frost comes out and the ground settles. We use the broadcast sower and have a cultivator that follows

« PreviousContinue »