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Bulletin

Abstract

In this state where corn is king other productions are apt to be neglected, or looked upon as of minor importance when compared with the great staple. Twenty years ago wheat was Iowa’s most paying product. In course of time it has given way to corn. Will the soil continue to produce corn indefinitely? Taking this question into consideration every thoughtful farmer will realize the important position which the grasses hold in agriculture, and the importance of selecting the best varieties for green manuring pasturage, and hay. On turning to our present list of grasses we find it very limited in variety. Again all the best ones are of eastern or European origin, introduced from different places and called tame grasses as soon as put under cultivation, though they were once wild grasses and are still such in their native homes. It might be said that the general list of grasses is not a limited one; but the question of local adaptation coming in sifts out so many that it makes the list comparatively limited for particular localities; even our standards clover and timothy do not show perfect adaptation, fall pasturing injuring the former, while the latter is often unprofitable when sown alone and is frequently affected with fungus diseases. The question then arises can we not select from the native grasses of this state, or from the states and territories west and north of our boundaries, the richest pasture lauds of America, varieties which will increase the number of our hay and pasture plants.

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