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Bulletin P

Abstract

Alfalfa has been called the queen of all forage crops“. In Iowa, this recognition is well deserved, for no other forage legume or grass produces such an abundance of highly nutritious roughage for feeding livestock. Compared with red clover, alfalfa has produced 25 percent greater yields of forage over a 20-year period in experiments on Webster and Clarion soils in central Iowa. Under acid soil conditions in eastern and southern Iowa, red clover may outyield alfalfa, but on most Iowa soils it would appear economically sound to apply the lime, phosphate and other soil treatments necessary for successful alfalfa production.

In 1950, more than a million acres of alfalfa were harvested in Iowa, while the acreage in the five states including Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, totaled more than 6 million. The alfalfa acreage in Iowa has doubled during the past 20 years, and it is believed that even a much greater acreage devoted to this crop would be highly desirable.

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