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Newspaper Page Text
VOL. XXXII. No. 7.
My Experience and Observations
With Growing Alfalfa Hay
A few years ago I came to the
Yakima Valley and took up the life of
a farmer. That meant the raising of
fruit, potatoes and hay.
As a dairyman on the Coast I had
used some alfalfa as feed. Most of
the hay we bought had coarse stems
and in order to get the benefit of the
greater part of it, it was neessarcy to
give the cows a liberal feed, let them
eat what they would, then gather up
the remainder and run it through a
hay cutter, put it in a tight tank
with bran or middlings and cook it
FINISH OF THE 2:08 PACE.
One of the finest races ever run in the state. Winner made the mile in 2:04% at the King County Fair.
with live steam. By so doing we
conld use most of it as feed. How
- ver, it made a good deal of extra
work, besides it was very easy to put
a cow off her feed with it, owing to
its soggy nature. Once and a while
we got hold of some hay that was
tender and well cured; this the cows
would oat clean and the results were
always most gratifying.
When I came here I knew nothing
PRIZE WINNING POLAND CHINA SOW AND PIGS.
Owned by John Gonnason, Kent, and shown at the King County Fair.
KENT and SEATTLE WASH., OCTOBER x, 1912.
of alfalfa farming, so naturally turn
ed to my neighbors, that I might pro
fit by their experience. I also read
the government bulletins. The in
formation which I obtained would
apply all right to some sections but
not to this valley, with its hot sum
mer sun and rich soil. The custom
was to let the alfalfa bloom out quite
freely, then mow it down, rake and
shock it, often getting it in the stack
the third or fourth day. Naturally I
followed the same lines. But I found
out in feeding that my horses would
scour quite badly and run down in
flesh during the hard work of the
summer, even though I grained them
well. When fed to the cow she did
not respond as she ought to and the
milk generalljr had a strong taste.
This put me to studying and observ
ing to find out where the trouble was.
I knew that horses never scoured on
the green pasture and that the trouble
lay in the time of cutting, and the
CHARLEY MANNING'S TANDEM SHETLANDS.
One of the attractions at the King County Fair.
LASCY, PERCHBRON STALLION AND FOUR OF HIS GBST.
Owned by the Falls City Percheron Horse Association and shown at the
King County Fair.
proper curing of the hay after cut
ting. 1 b6gBQ to study on the pro
position; I talked with every one I
met that -I thought might throw a
little light on the subject. I learned
that there was a man at Touchrt
who had the reputation of putting
out a superior grade of alfalfa hay,
also that^Califoruia and Nevada hay
had v far higher rating on the market
soc Per Year; 5c the Copy
then the hay from this valley. In fact
the hay from this valley was in bad.
I went to Seattle and had a long talk
with Ben Shields, the president of the
Spokane grain company, who had
made yearly excursions to the hay
fields of California, wiseing up on
hay making. I talked with Mr. Cot
ter of Puyallup, who buys two thou
sand tons or more of hay yearly for
the famous fruit growers' association
of that section. I also traveled among
the farmers of a part of the dairying
section of the state, getting their ex
perience and observation as feeders.
My conclusion of the whole matter
was this: The alfalfa in this country
was being cut too mature, cured too
rapidly and often baled too green.
As 1 am making hay on nearly two
hundred acres of land, if these things
were so, it was high time I was find
ing it out. I took the bull by the
horns and made an entire change in
the fanning of our hay. Cutting it
in the bud just as it is ready to
bloom, raking it as soon as possible,
letting it stand in the windrow for
a day and then shocking it and let
ting it stand in the shock for from
several days to a week, before stack
ing. The results are this: If 7 horeea
for the first time are going through
Continued on page 12.