The Bend bulletin. (Bend, Or.) 1903-1931, May 08, 1903, Image 7

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    The Western Mortgage
IPV dlCl.lf rwHTHAM.
"Next in ItniMirtnitce tu the divine
profusion of water, light and nir, tlircc great physical facts
which render existence xHhiblc,
may be reckoned. t lie universal ben
eficence of gniM," Haid .Senator
Jolui J. IngnllH. 'Alfalfa, which
ciiine an an antidote for booum and
drought in the Middle Wct, must
be reckoned equally tut lavish in
beneficence an grass. H in the cor
tier ntouc upon which is being built
the unfailing proHpcrity of the Wes
tern fanner. With On, licver-fnil-ing
four or five crops a year; I(h
tonnage greater than that of any
other forage plant; its wonderful
fattening qualities for cattle and
swine; its value an a feed for bees
and )oultry; its pereuuity, covering
n quarter of a century; it ability to
withstand drought and hot winds
because of its roots, which lore
down until they And water, it is
the wonder of Western agriculture.
In the less productive regions of
Western Kansas and Nebraska,
Kastcru Colorado, Wyoming and
Arizona, ltuid formerly thought to
le suitable only for grazing has
been given an agricultural value by
reason of the large alfalfa yields.
Already in many of the "short
grass" counties of Western Kansas
and Nebraska thousands of acres
arc being raised and fed to guttle,
sheep and hogs with large profit.
Many who have looked ujxm irri
gation as the only means of putting
such lauds on a paying ltasis now
say "alfalfa is the way out."
The rapid increase of alfalfa cul
tivation is probably unequaled by
any other product of the soil. In
less than half a century, and for the
most part in the last decade, it has
become a factor in agriculture and
has been largely responsible for the
upbuilding of the extensive dairy
industry in the Middle West. In
many localities the profits realized
by turning alfalfa into beef and jxrk
would read almost like the startling
stories that came out of the Klon
dike a few years ago. Alfalfa but
ter is sliipjxxl to New York by the
trninload; alfalfu-fetl chickens and
turkeys fill cars that go to Hostou;
the bast chops on the breakfast
table of the Philadelphia!! are alfalfa-fed.
At first farmers were di.spo.scd to
look ujxiu alfalfa as they had learned
to look ujxmi new-fangled "patent"
windmills and lightning rods a
thing to be avoided. The general
belief was that it was a new and un
tried product, but in reality it . is
older than the Christian era. It
was grown in (i recce as early us 450
U. C. Ciiiciuuatus, the patrician
farmer, may have beau plowing fur
alfalfa in his fields across the Tiber
when he was allied upon to don his
togu and Ixjcoine dictator. The
horses of the Roman army were fed
ujxhi it, and it is still cultivated in
Italy. The Latin races at first had
u monopoly on the cultivation of it.
Hroin Italy it was introduced into
Spain, then Southern l'rance. The
Spaniards carried it to South Amer
ica and to Mexico. It was grown
in many of the 'northern countries
of Kuroe and was known in New
York in 1830, but it did not gain a
foothold in the United States until
1854, when it was introduced from
Chili to California, Since then its
march eastward across the country
has been steady, until it is now
grown, more or less extensively, in
every state and territory in the
Alfalfa has been the text of agri
cultural revivals, It has been
preached and taught at the fartners'
Grange meetings and at the agri
cultural colleges. Captain J. II.
Churchill, of Dodge City, Kansas,
was given the title of "The Alfalfa
Kliig"'because of his untiring ef
forts In spreading the gospel of the
new forage plant. He had been a
sailor oil the Atlantic Kcalward, and
his cx)criciicc as a farmer had been
of a few years, yet he was one of
the first to discover the adaptability
of alfalfa to Kansas soil and to
champion its chime among farmers
with years of experience. He owns
a ranch of 2000 acres and an exten
sive dairy, and his alfalfa-fed milch
cows furnish the milk and cream
used 011 a large part of the Santa
I'c dining-car and eating-house sys
tem. When he was icceiitly elect
ed president of the Kansas State
Hoard of Agriculture, in recogni
tion of his services to, the farming
interests of his state, Kansas had
nearly 400,000 acres of alfalfa, an
increase of 350,000 acrca in a dozen
It was not until the taking of the
census in 1900 that the statisticians
recognized alfalfa. This census
gives the total acreage as 2,094,01!
and the tonnage of the product as
5,532,671. The tonnage ier acre
for all the states ranged from 1.0 to
3. 4, the lowest being in Rhode Is
land, where but two acres were
raised, and the greatest being in
Washington, where 35,166 acres
were grown. The general average
was 2.5 per acre.
The census gave Colorado first
place with 455.337 acres, California
second with 598,898 acres, Utah
third with 368,339 acres, Kansas
fourth with 367,378 acres, Idaho
fifth with 160,029 acres, Nebraska
sixth with 115,141 acrcti, Nevada
seventh with 96,725 acres, Wyo
ming eight with 74,688 acres, Mon
tana ninth with 68,959 acres, and
Arizona tenth with 62,585 acres.
Since the compiling of the census
the acreage has Ikcij greatly in
creased, and in 1903 it is safe to
say that Kansas will have 400,000
acres. In Nebraska the acreage
has been increased annually by
10,000 to 12,000 acres, and in Colo
rado the demand for hay as a win
ter feed for cattle and sheep has
been an incentive for the sowing of
thousands of acres each year.
As a feed for the dairy cow it has
no Mijwrior. Dairymen in the West
say that in the future the alfalfa-
fed cow will set the price for butter
for the entire country. 'The qual
ity of butter produced from it is su
perior. Herds of cattle cannot be
turned into the fields to graze, as
there is danger of what the farmers
call "bloat," and cattle, after eat
ing the green, rank growth too
freely, have died in a few hours.
It can be safely fed from the stack.
"11 A aftnf n aa jl ilnivn aa da 1 m m &
1 lie nwvN mm uuiiy iiiuii imvi.
talked foryearsofthe much-sought-after
"balanced ration." Alfalfa
solves the problem, for stock will
cat just enough of it along with
grain. Analyses of bran and alfal
fa have shown that they have a
composition nearly the Mime.
Horses pastured on the fields in the
spring and summer and fed the liny
in the winter keep in the best of
condition. Hogs thrive in the
fields, and experiments have shown
a ton of the huy to make 868
pounds of pork. I.ambs can be
fattened for the market in less time
and with greater profit on alfalfa
than on any other feed. It is an
excellent feed for beef cattle and
adds weight quickly and cheaply,
At Kearney, the center of thu in
dustry in Nebraska, Mr, II. D.
Watson, one of the recognized au
thorities on thu subject owns an
alfalfa farm of 2500 acre where the
plant grows as rank as weeds, The
roadsides are lined with it. Mr.
Watson took ground which had
been planted to corn for years and
years until it was "worn out." IIe
sowed it to alfalfa. J Ho provexl to
the farmers that the value of "the
rotation of crops was not a thedry
but a fact, I'rom land that had be
come worthless forcorn he harvest
ed three tons of alfalfa the second
year. He had faith in alfalfa, and
he saved the farmers in the vicin
ity of Kearney, who had lost heart
because their wornout land would
not yield corn. A Western boom
hod brokcit and left its effect. A
half-dozen years ago a farmer who
was ready to give up took Mr. Wat
son's advice. He sowed twenty
two and one-half acres to alfalfa.
In 1902 he sold 1000 bushels of
seed for $1000 and the hay for $350.
At Kearney the people cull alfalfa
"the greatest income-producer,
mortgngc-lifter and debt-paying
crop grown."
William Scully, of Washington,
D. C, who owns 200,000 acres of
farm land in Missouri, Kansas, Ne
braska and Illinois, requires in his
leases that the tenants on his farms
raise a fair acreage of alfalfa. He
believes in the crop and feels cer
tain that by raising it his tenants
will not only improve his lauds but
that his rents-will be forthcoming.
Frank Rockefeller, the Cleveland
millionaire, has 500 a'cres of alfalfa
on his ranch in Kiowa county, Kan
sas. Alfalfa, or luccru, is oqc of the
plants belonging to the order of I,c'. liotauically it is known
as Medicago saliva. The same or
der includes peas, pcans, clover and
vetch. It has been demonstrated
that in association with bacterial
organisms, alfalfa has the power of
utilizing the nitrogen of the air, a
most important element in plant
food, easily exhausted from the soil
and difficult to replace. Itrequfrcs
three years for the plant to reach its
prime, and twenty-five years, with
three to five cuttings annually, have
left the fields in excellent condition,
although the decline may be ex
isted in ten years.
Alfalfa sends its' roots to where
there is no drought. An. eight-year-old
plant, in a stiff "hard-pan"
subsoil, has been followed for a
depth of ten feet without the end of
the tap root being found. Many
instances have been recorded of the
roots penetrating thirty-eight feet
and sixty-six feet. A mining tun
nel was excavated in Nevada one
hundred and twenty-nine feet be
low an alfalfa field, and the roots of
the plants were found in the roof of
the opening. The searching roots
not only obtain food far below the
shallow feeding plants, but when
the large boring roots decay they
leave their own fertilizing ingred
ients and openings for nir and wa
ter to penetrate. Alfalfa thrives
best in the sandy loams'of the creek
and river valleys iri a warm climate
with only a moderate rainfall, but
it is grown successfully on the up
lands and prairies. It grows in al
titudes from 8000 feet down to sen
level, but is affected by cold, wet
winters. A plant eighteen years
old, with three hundred and thirty
four stems growing from one root,
with a height of fifty-two inclicr.
above the ground, is the product of
a Kansas field. During 1901, an
ail. extremely dry year, five cuttings
were made on an eleven-acre field
in Montgomery county, of the same
state. The five cuttings aggregat
ed fourteen feet two inches in height
and the average yield- was .seven
and three-fourths tons per acre.
The cuttings yielded as follows:
First, May 11, two and one-half
tons; second, June 34, two tons;
third, July 21, one ton; fourth,
August 27, one and one-half tons;
fifth, October 19, three-fourths of a
toil. Cutting helps alfalfa'thesamu
as plucking the blossoms increases
the flowering of sweet pea vines,
An experiment made by the Ne
braska experimental station at Lin
coln, to show the comparative yields
oT-fbrftge plants and taute grasses,
proved that the yield of one cutting
of alfalfa was from four to six times
greater than the others. The ex
jicriincnt gave the yields per acre as
follows: June clover, 2365 pounds;
Mammoth clover, 2375 pounds; Al
sikc clover, 2065 pounds; ulfalfa
(first cutting), 4080 pounds; blue
grass, 2875 pounds; orchard grass,
2390 pounds; timothy grass, 2800
pounds; fed top grass, 3350 pounds;
meadow fescue, 1875 pounds; tall
meadow oat grass, 3000 pounds;
timothy, orchard grass and blue
grass together, 1015 pounds. This
gave alfalfa first place by 1080
pounds over its nearest competitor,
the oat grass, but this was only the
first cutting for the alfalfa field, and
two more cuttings followed, while
the other fields were not cut the
second time. With the three cut
tings, and a fourth crop estimated
al 1806 ound.s, the alfalfa field
yielded 12,720 pounds, or six and
one-half tons per acre. The next
best record was a ton and a half.
liccs make the best of honey from
the nectar of the purple alfalfa bios'
soms. With the cultivation of the
crop on the prairie farms came the
apiaries. Mcc hives arc now to be
found where a few years ago bees
were unthought of. Some place
the qualities of the blossoms as a
feed for bees above the buckwheat,
and red and white clover blossoms.
In a country where the crop is ex
Shaniko Warehouse Company
Fireproof building, 90x600 feet,
fully equipped for forwarding
Wool, Pelfs,
Lumber, Wood, Coal, Flour;. Hay
and Grain.
Special attention given to "wool; first-class baling and grading 'facilities.
All Modern Improvements for Handling Stofck
Furniture and Undertaking
Stoves, Wall Paper. Building Materials, Etc.
tensively grown bees have, been
known to have a continual feed
from May 10 to' October 16. The
flow is normally from June to Oc
tolwr. Alfalfa is also considered an
excellent feed for poultry. The
leaves arc valuable to color the yolk
of eggs in winter.
In California alfalfa has been cul
tivated extensively for many more
years than in the Middle States,
Many wonderful storiea are told of
profits made in that state from the
fields under irrigation. One is of a
fieJd of twenty-five acres which
yielded over $2000 worth of hay in
one year. On the Pacific coast the
first crop is often harvested in April
and the last in November. In the
San Joaquin valley the feeding' of
350 cows on 500 acres has been
claimed. California, Utah and Col
orado are the only states where the
crops are grown extensively under
irrigation. In Colorado the winter
feeding of sheep on alfalfa hay has
become a gigantic industry. Sat
urday Evening Post.
Desert Land. Hlnl proof.
V H. Land Off, The Dalit. Oregon.
April rj, 1901.
Notice U hereby clren that William N. Cobti.
of HUterf, Oreeoa, ha filed notice of Intention
to make prooioii hl desert-land claim No to, fur
theNKWaecji.tpu.r n e, W M, betore J J
H mlth, County Clerk, at ITlnerllle, Oregon, on
Friday, the nth day of June, loaj.
He n itnea the following witnesses to prove the
eouipi ete Irrtratlon and reclamation of aaid land
Henry Cartln, K II Sparka, John Taylor and t
M Thomaa, all of Hlslers, Oregon.
mJl MICKAKI, T. NOLAN, Register
i'HKS'CH ft CO.. IlANKims, The Dalits
W. LORD, The Dalles.
11. K. LAUOUMN, The Dalles,
t ;