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The Prairie Grasses

The Prairie Grasses image
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Close grrv.;in.'j, heavy tamping and late mowing aro rapidly causin;; the valuable wild prr.irie grasses of the west to run out. Many of the wild prairie grasses possess v;.Ttvuj.s which should Tecomrueud them to cütivation and iniprovernent. The way that some of these prairie grasses respond to cultivatiou is astonishing. The bino joint grass, which at one time coverod raillious of acres of western land with luxuriant growth, under favorable conditions produces enor'uions crops. Froru the lst of May to tho end of June this grass is superior for futtcning stock aud for prodooing milk. If allowed to stand much after this time, it loses som'e of its mitritiousqualities, but if turned into hay by proper ruethorls it makes excellpiit winter feeding. This grass )n;s its peculiarities. It will not thrive, or even grow, on soil thoronghly irrigatcd. If the soil is rich, theu it will thrive. With caro it will lloorish tor years, yielding anucal crops of pastnrage or hay. It is hardier thau most of our cultivated grasses and will grow where they will uot and will even succeed the buü'alo grass, where the latter has been crowded out. The buffalo is rapidly being crowded ontof the soil, like the animáis after which it was named, and in the course of another half oentury it wil! nearly have disappeared, unless sonaethiug is done to check its destructiou. It will thrive on soils that aro too dry for blue stem. This grass is too "Short for hay and will only be useful for green manuring and for pasturing. The mesquite grass is a great winter feeding prairie grass that bas kept millions of attle from starving in tho past when ae winters were severe. Nature cures ais grass. Frost cures it on the ground, o that it retains itsnutritious qualities 11 -winter. The grass produces round pikelets one foot high, with tops -well oaded with oily seeds. These eeeds are very futtening and nutritious. At the )ase of each tuft is a niass of fine fla eaves. These three grasses have in the past upported the immense hercis of wild and tame cattle in the west, and even today millions of acres of rich land are covered with one or the other. But in many places they have totally disappeared, and coarse, worthless weeds have taken their places. From experimente made in the past it bas been demonstrated that with a little proper attention wonderful resulta can be obtained from these grasses in any part of the country. Their rank, luxuriant and y et nutritious growths must in the future be better appreciated. In some respects they are greatly superior to many of the cultivated grasses. In parts of the east they have been introduced with good results, and with a little study as to their needs and requirements they can be made more generaily valuable than they aro today, writes a correspondent of American Cultivator.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News