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66   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

Pasture: As a pasture grass it is highly esteemed. It start. early in spring, provides superior feed, is eagerly grazed by all kinds of stock and is of high fattening value. If sown alone for hay or pasture, twenty to thirty pounds of seed should be applied per acre.

 

Seed: Commercial seed of Kentucky Blue Grass nearly all comes from a few counties of Kentucky, in the heart of the Blue Grass region. It is harvested by hand or by machine strippers which rake off the seed and at the same time collect it. The crop is ready for stripping when the panicles are yellow. The seed is then fairly ripe and when stripped will reach full maturity during the curing process. To cure it, the seed must be stirred frequently, during the first days at least three times a day, to give the air admission to every part and thus prevent heating. If not cured carefully, the seed will take on a grey, dusty appearance and a musty smell and its vitality will be considerably lessened or even completely destroyed.

 

Quality of seed: Good commercial seed is yellowish-brown. When taken from the spikelets the seeds have a bunch of long, cobweb-like hairs attached to their base. Such hairs are wanting in Canadian Blue Grass seed, and it is therefore easy to separate it from the Kentucky seed when fresh from the spikelets. During curing and cleaning, however, these hairs are generally rubbed off and commercial seed of Kentucky and Canadian Blue Grass are very much alike. As a rule, the seed of the former is sharp-pointed and the nerves of the enclosing glumes distinct, while the seed of the latter is blunt and the nerves of the glumes inconspicuous.

The legal weight per bushel of seed is fourteen pounds.

ROUGH-STALKED MEADOW GRASS (Poa trivialis L.)

Botanical description: Rough-stalked Meadow Grass is very like the Kentucky Blue. It is perennial with a short rootstock from which stems and leafy shoots develop. The latter are either upright or creeping. The upright shoots appear in great number at the base of the stems, making the plant more conspicuously tufted than is Kentucky Blue Grass. The creeping shoots arise in the same way but take a horizontal direction. They thus correspond in a way to the runners of Kentucky Blue Grass. The differences, how-ever, are quite material. The Kentucky Blue Grass shoots are underground and scaly while the Rough-stalked Meadow Grass shoots always creep on the surface and carry normally developed


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