We’re into Page 9 and it’s titled Alfalfa and Dairying. That might seem like an weird combination but…
Alfalfa and dairying are connected in the sense that alfalfa is often used as a feed for dairy cows. Dairy cows are a type of cattle that are bred and raised specifically for the production of milk, and they require a balanced diet to maintain their health and milk production. Alfalfa is a type of forage crop that is high in protein and other nutrients, making it a valuable feed for dairy cows.
As you may (or may not) know alfalfa is used to feed primarily dairy cows but it’s also used to feed horses, pigs, and a wide variety of farm animals.
Did you know? Alfalfa is a perennial plant that belongs to the legume family?
Neither did we!
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They discuss how the crop can yield from a ton an acre to ton and a half per acre. While the quantity by acre might be impressive, they state that you might get as many as 5 crops per year!
For the city slickers: Unlike other crops that grow just once a year, alfalfa is harvested several times per season. Think of it like mowing your lawn. In Fresno, being an ideal place with a long growing season, the alfalfa grown here can be harvested every 30 to 60 days. Compare that to alfalfa grown in the northern states where it might be ready just once or twice a year!
Remember, this is 1900 and they had to be really concerned about growing their own food. Self reliance was the key. What the rest of the page is suggesting is that with the abundance and ease of alfalfa production, you would have plenty to feed your dairy cows. They suggest that one dairy cow could produce $50 to $60 in butter fat, and around $75 in milk annually.
To put it all together…
One acre can support 1 to 1.5 cows. That acre could be bought (with water rights) at $25 to $50 per acre. So plant the alfalfa, feed your cows and reap the $50 in Butter and $75 in milk. Basic math says that’s $125 annual income from your $50 investment (and hard work).
Once again, this is a sales oriented brochure and this page is arguably pointing towards the newcomer with little cash in his pocket. Why is that? We’re guessing, just by that last line…
“A careful investigation of this industry should be made by the man of small means.“