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Why Grow Alfalfa?

( Originally Published 1915 )


1. Alfalfa hay is, pound for pound, equal to thrashed oats.
2. It pays better to grow alfalfa than to buy wheat bran.
3. It requires less work to grow alfalfa than to grow other field crops.
4. Growing animals and dairy cows need lime and alfalfa furnishes most lime.
5. Alfalfa is the most drought-resistant farm crop.
6. Alfalfa does the most to improve the soil:
(a) It roots deepest.
(b) It gathers most nitrogen.

Five alfalfa secrets:

1. Good, well-drained soil.
2. Good, hard seed bed
3. Good liming.
4. Good northern grown seed.
5. Good inoculation.


1. Don't sow on weedy soil.
2. Don't sow on poorly drained soil.
3. Don't seed a large acreage to begin with.
4. Don't say alfalfa can't be grown.
5. Don't sow on any but sweet, well-drained soil. Alfalfa is a desert plant.
6. Don't sow on any but a well-prepared, well-settled seed-bed.
7. Don't fail to give ample inoculation; both seed and soil inoculations are best.
8. Don't pasture the first year, and don't pasture when wet.
9. Don't feed alfalfa as you do hay; feed it as you do grain.
10.Don't spend your hard-earned money for protein feeds; grow alfalfa, clovers, Canada peas, cowpeas, and soybeans.
11.Don't lose the leaves; they are the best part of the plant. Use hay caps.
12.Don't give up. Many prominent alfalfa growers succeeded after some failures.

" What makes the landscape look so fair,
What blossoms bright perfume the air,
What plants repay the farmer's toil
And will enrich the worn-out soil?—Alfalfa.

What grows in loam and clay and sand,
What lifts the mortgage off the land,
What crop is cut four times a year,
And no foul weeds in it appear?—Alfalfa.

What makes all the stock look nice,
And brings the highest market price,
What fills the milk pail, feeds the calf,
And makes the old cow almost laugh ?—Alfalfa.

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