green food the whole season. On the other hand, they are not good for hay, as most of the leaves are rather close to the ground. Timothy and similar grasses are less adapted for pasturing, as their bunchy growth and shallow root system make them liable to be uprooted or at least injured by tramping. But this type of grass furnishes excellent hay.
The development and duration of a grass are also factors to be considered. Some start growth very early in spring, and are valuable when early hay or pasture is required. Others, starting late, are rather slow and are desirable for late hay or pasture. Some grasses. are short-lived and die after the first or second year; Italian Rye, for instance, may be used in a short rotation, but is of no use for permanent pasture. Most of the perennial grasses reach full development the second or third year after sowing, and are valuable when permanent pasture or hay is desired.
One variety is rarely grown alone, except when intended for seed, as mixtures of grasses or grasses and clovers generally give a higher yield of better quality. Orchard Grass, for instance, is generally grown with other varieties. If grown alone, it would be coarser, less digestible and less palatable. The farmer's demand for the maximum yield of the best obtainable quality has led to the use of mixtures which give the heaviest possible returns in hay or pasture of the highest feeding value.
To obtain a heavy yield it is not sufficient to choose grasses which are heavy producers when grown alone. They must be adapted to the soil and climate and be able to thrive together and make the best possible use of every inch of ground. When hay is desired, the worth of the mixture depends not only on the value of the individual grasses, but also on their ripening together. An ideal mixture is composed of species which reach the flowering stage at the same time. The proper time to cut for hay is generally during early flowering. If very early and very late grasses are grown together, the return will be comparatively small and the quality of the hay inferior. Which species should be used depends upon the soil, rainfall, and other factors.
Clovers are often grown with grasses because such a mixture gives a better balanced feed and does not rob the soil of as much fertility as would grasses alone, which are heavy feeders. A ton of Timothy hay contains about eighteen pounds of nitrogen, six and one-half pounds of phosphoric acid and from twenty-eight to thirty pounds of potash. This is rather more than would be returned to the land by a ton of ordinary green farmyard manure. If no fertilizers are applied, it is evident that continuous crops of Timothy would rapidly