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send it to the seed laboratory at Ottawa for purity test. You will be sent a report giving the grade of the seed and the nature and quantity of the impurities. Then if it is not up to the standard, you can return it and demand something that will meet your requirements. The seed laboratory is always open to do work of this nature for farmers, but as yet the great bulk of the samples received come from seedsmen.

At present there are not many wholesalers who put out seeds marked No. 1. It is mostly sent out under brands, which mean nothing so far as the law is concerned. Seedsmen hesitate to mark their goods No. 1 so long as they can sell them without; as there is much less danger of violating the Act when only the "Government standard," as the prohibitive line has been named by the trade, has to be

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conformed to. In fact, seedsmen often find it more profitable to export the No. 1 seed so long as Canadian farmers will buy what they call Government standard, which, if sown at the rate of ten pounds per acre of red clover, may give you weeds to the extent of 15,000 per acre. However, some seedsmen are now sending out seeds marked No. 1 and otheres will do so as soon as there is a sufficient demand from retail dealers, and that demand can only be created when farmers refuse to be satisfied with anything else.

If the method of purchasing and testing seeds just outlined were followed by the individual farmers, it would create a great improvement in the trade and would be an almost perfect safeguard against the danger of weed contamination. In

addition to this, a systematic study of noxious weeds and weed seeds should be made by farmers, so that they may recognize them when seen in the field or in clover or grass seed. The revised edition of "Farm Weeds," which can now be purchased for one dollar by any farmer, will be found of great assistance in this work. Everything possible is being done by the Department to check the sale of low grade seeds, but the most that we can hope to do is to look after the trade in a general way and put the means of protection in the hands of the farmers themselves.


We have noted some of the dangers in purchasing seeds of the various sorts, and I would like to again emphasize the following points to be observed in guarding against them:

1. If you have to purchase seed grain, see that what you buy is sold as seed and not as feed, and look for a label that will tell you if there are any weed seeds present.

2. When purchasing timothy, alsike and red clover seeds, insist on your dealer supplying you with No. 1 seed and beware of "Government standard."

3. Place your orders early and have your dealer's guarantee verified by having a sample of the seed tested, so that you may know exactly the nature and quantity of the impurities.

4. With root and vegetable seeds, purchase from the most reliable dealers and insist on securing the best quality of seed obtainable.

5. Secure the seed early and have it tested for vitality before seeding.



On the whole, the quality in the very large class of oats which won prizes was very high. It was the largest I ever judged in which no wild oats were found. Very few noxious weeds of any kind were found, although some samples had considerable wild buckwheat or seeds of less serious weeds. Most of the samples were also quite free from mixtures of different varieties, as nearly as could be seen from the threshed samples. This freedom from weed seeds and other varieties of grain is no doubt due to the fact that the crops have been judged in the fields, where these points can be scored accurately, which leaves only the cleanest fields open for competition in this class. The Department is certainly to be congratulated upon the large showing of high class grain as well as the very attractive manner in which the exhibit was put up.


This year a number of Agricultural Societies in the Province are selecting alfalfa for the Standing Field Crop Competitions. Farmers in various parts of Ontario who have gone into alfalfa experimentally have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that this is the best paying fodder crop that an agriculturist can grow. Alfalfa has been known since 490 B.C., and was successfully grown in Greece and Rome nearly 2,500 years ago. In the State of Kansas there were, a few years

ago, 30,000 acres grown, while last year nearly a million acres of alfalfa were under crop; resulting in untold financial benefit to the farmers of this State.

There are five different varieties, viz., American, Turkestan, Arabian, Peruvian and German, but for Ontario the American variety is best suited.

Alfalfa, unlike many other crops, enriches the soil rather than impoverishes it. The roots extend into the earth from five to twelve feet, reaching down and bringing to the surface nitrogen and other valuable mineral plant food. It has been grown continuously on a farm in one of the counties of this Province for nearly thirty years, and still produces good crops. It can be grown successfully on sandy, heavy clay, clay loam, and on nearly any variety of soil properly drained. Successful experiments with it have been conducted on a limited scale with success in nearly every part of Ontario, both with and without a nursing crop. Spring sowing has given best results. If sown with a nursing crop, barley, at the rate of one bushel per acre, is an excellent one for this purpose. Eighteen or twenty

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pounds per acre of alfalfa is the proper quantity of seed. From three to four crops can be harvested in one season, and the average height of a plant runs from fourteen to twenty inches. When about one-third of the crop is in bloom is an excellent time to start cutting, as it then possesses its greatest food value. The cutting should be done in the forenoon, when the dew is on the grass, and the tedder should follow immediately and be kept at work until late in the afternoon, and the crop left in windrows. This process should be repeated the following day, and the hay put in coils and left for several days. It should not be cut too close to the ground, as the plant may be injured thereby.

The yield per acre of green crop is about twenty tons, and of dry hay five. It should not be allowed to dry too long in the hot sun, as the leaves are liable to become dry and break off, and they contain most valuable nutrients. Seed is produced best from either first or second cutting, and averages five bushels per acre, although it sometimes runs as high as ten.

Alfalfa hay contains about fifty per cent. more digestible protein than hay made from red clover. It makes a splendid pasture for horses and hogs, but care is required when sheep and cattle are turned in, as there is a tendency to bloat if allowed to eat too much, especially when the grass is wet.

An application of about twelve loads of barnyard manure per acre every four years has proved very satisfactory. Fertilizers containing phosphates have given the best results. When a field of alfalfa is plowed down, the surface soil is completely filled with roots, rich in fertile elements.

It is to be hoped that every farmer in Ontario who has suitable, well-drained soil will put in a field of this most desirable crop.


Every Farmer Should Try to Grow Some.


Within the memory of man now living, wheat bran was dumped into rivers to get rid of it. My grandfather hauled loads of it away to feed, paying a nominal price of $3.00 or $4.00 per ton, with the miller glad to get that for it. To-day wheat bran seldom sells lower than $20.00 a ton, and feeders lament that not enough of it is to be had at that price. We have learned that wheat bran is rich in protein and mineral matter, containing about a third more protein per cwt. than oats, hence its great value for balancing up the ordinary farm-grown roughage of corn, straw and timothy hay. Especially for young and growing animals is bran valuable, by reason largely of its protein contents and mineral material, going to produce muscle, blood and bone. With more bran fed to colts and calves we would have much better-grown and stronger-boned stock.


But valuable as bran is, its price has almost reached-and for some purposes has surpassed the limit of profitable use, except it be in very small quantities. Farming is not a business of large margins. We must widen them when possible by cutting down cost of production. Is it possible to get as good results as formerly with cheaper feed bills? Here is where alfalfa comes in. Well-cured alfalfa hay is about the nearest approach to bran in point of composition of any feed we have. This is how they compare:

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According to these data from Henry (quite a reliable source) alfalfa hay contains nine-tenths as much digestible protein as bran, and practically as much carbohydrates and vegetable fats, the substances that especially go to produce heat and


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