Cattle Ranges of the Southwest Page: 18 of 32
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are so well known that they need not be enumerated in this connection.
Australian saltbush has been sown, but so far without satisfactory
results. Stockmen and others in and about Abilene, Tex., have
experimented with the clovers, using seed obtained out of the State and
even Kentucky blue grass has been tried, but without satisfaction.
Various forage plants, such as milo maize and the sorghums, have been
and are still being grown to good advantage, but lands must be seeded
down to them annually, and this involves no little labor and expense.
What stockmenl need are hay meadows of natire grasses that have
shown in past years all the best qualities of the best hay grasses elsewhere,
and that do not require any experimental work to determine
their adaptability and general value. Such an investment would be a
The Agrostologist of the United States Department of Agriculture
reports that there are from 800 to 900 distinct varieties of grasses
native in the United States. More than 25 per cent of these are
natives of and are now growing in the State of Texas. There are
many native varieties of the clovers also that doubtless will prove
valuable for hay purposes. With such natural resources at their very
doors, why should stockmen look to foreign countries or even to other
sections of Texas for grass seeds and hay? In many countries of
Europe, where every foot of land must be utilized in order to feed the
people and their live stock, every sprig of grass that appears to be
new is experimented with in the constant effort to find something of
special value. Here, with so many varieties needing nio experimental
work to determine their value, we seem bent on destroying them as
speedily as possible. lWhile others in less-favored sections are developing
one new variety we are systematically destroying a dozen quite
as good. Let us take care of what we have and develop them. They
are here now. They are here because the soil and climatic conditions
are favorable. About the only question we have to determine is, Which
of these are best for hay and which for grazing purposes? Then prepare
and seed down lands with the best hay grasses and save the hay
every year for winter use. This will add largely to the capacity of
pastures for supporting stock, since stock fed on hay a part of every
year will need less pasture grass, to say nothing of the advantage to
the pastures of being allowed to rest periodically. The man who grows
on his own place the feed for his own stock is the man who comes
nearest to getting full value for his labor and investment. It is cheaper
to send hay, milo maize, sorghum, and other forage to market in the
shape of fat cattle, hogs, and sheep than in any other way. Moreover
there are direct compensating advantages to the farm and ranch from
returning to the soil the manurial qualities of the forage fed on them.
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Bentley, Henry Lewis. Cattle Ranges of the Southwest, book, 1898; Washington. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2412/m1/18/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .