FEEDING VALUE. Alfalfa is used as a soiling crop, as pasturage, and in the form of silage and hay. Green or cured as hay, it is relished by all farm animals. It may be used either for fattening stock or for milk production. The green product has the following percentage com position: water, 71.8; protein, 4.8; ether ex tract, I; nitrogen free extraet, 12.3: crude fibre, 7.4; and ash. 2.7. When cured as hay, alfalfa has the following percentage composition: water, 8.4: protein, 14.3: fat, 2.2 ; nitrogen free extract, 42.7; crude fibre, 25. and ash, 7.4. Like other leguminous crops, alfalfa is compar atively rich in nitrogen. The different crops and cuttings do not vary greatly in composition. When alfalfa flowers begin to appear. the stalk' constitutes about 50 or 60 per cent., and the leaves 40 or 50 per cent. of the whole plant. At the usual time of cutting, alfalfa leaves con tain one-third more of the total dry matter of the crop. The leaves contain one-quarter to one-third as much crude fibre as the stalks, and two or three times as much albuminoids. As shown by experiments with cattle, the following percentage amounts of the ingredients are usual ly digested: 60.7 per cent. of the total organic matter, 72 per cent. of the protein, and 69.2 per cent of the nitrogen free extract. Of the crude fibre of alfalfa hay, about 46 per cent. is on an
average digestible. Chemical analysis and diges tion experiments show that alfalfa compares very favorably with red clover, both as green fodder and as hay. When fed as a soiling crop, it should be partially wilted or mixed with hay or straw. In dry regions of the West it is much used for pasturage. especially in the fall. But there is always more or less danger of its causing the cattle to bloat or of the plants being killed by too close pasturage. Alfalfa has proved a sat isfactory green crop for pigs. It is as hay that alfalfa finds perhaps its most extended use. Cattle, sheep, and horses seem to thrive on it. To secure a well-balanced and economical ration, alfalfa hay, which contains a fairly large pro portion of protein, should be fed with corn, wheat, oat straw, root crops, etc., which contain comparatively large amounts of carbohydrates and fat. In many instances farmers might profitably raise alfalfa as a substitute for the wheat-bran, cottonseed meal, and other materials containing large amounts of protein, which they now buy in order to utilize by combination, in the form of well-balanced rations, the excess of carbohydrates produced in corn and other crops.