By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Fuquay Springs Independent, June 5, 1947
More than a hundred Wake County farmers, FFA youth, and persons interested in their progress with pastures, alfalfa, and forage crops joined a tour of ten farms recently at the invitation of county Extension Service personnel.
A caravan of more than 30 cars and trucks met at the Municipal Auditorium parking area in Raleigh when the tour began at 8:30 a.m. Led by County Agent John Reitzel and escorted by Bruce Butler and Carl Tower, assistant agents, the group pulled out for the first stop at the H.P. Green farm, Raleigh, Route 4.
Some fifteen years ago, Green quit growing cotton extensively and turned to dairying. With a couple of head, he began building a dairy herd. His visitors observed that he now has 30 excellent milkers.
One- and two-year stands of a mixture of ladino clover, orchard grass, and alsike were examined by the group, and Dr. Roy L. Lovvorn, forage crop specialist for the State College Extension Service, took part in an on-the-spot discussion.
Rolling along, the motorcade moved to the Blaney Franks Farm, near Green’s place. Here the visitors found a stand of alfalfa going into its fourth year and apparently improving all the time. The high point of interest here was Frank’s praise of crimson clover, a supplemental pasture crop that he said was responsible for increasing his milk flow last winter by 40 gallons a day. The increase netted him $2,000 in six months, over the total cost of preparing and building the extra grazing.
The eye-opener at the farm of Johnnie Murray, Apex, Route 1, was the acre of fall-seeded ladino clover that he has penned off for his pigs and hogs. The pep and vigor of his six-week-old pigs that weighed close to 40 pounds, was a good recommendation for the use of a grazing crop.
The last stop before lunch was at Wallace Adcocok’s farm on Varina, Route 1, where his two-year-old alfalfa and fall-seeded ladino clover pasture was a point of interest. He also has a waist-high stand of a cereal mixture that includes oats, wheat, and barley, which he will feed to his small beef herd and work stock. Mr. Adcock’s main crop is tobacco, but the neighbors who visited his farm found out that he is paying a lot of attention to providing his dairy cows with home-grown hay.
Following a Dutch lunch at a roadside barbecue, the tour wheeled away again, bound for the farm of O.A. Adams, Raleigh, Route 3. Adams seeded a mixture of orchard grass, red top, and ladino in September, and he told the crowd that he had received results better than he had even hoped for.
Some of the farmers on the tour who are emphasizing increased milk production on their own farms got a look at some high producing cows when the string of cars pulled up to the Julian Nipper farm on Raleigh, Route 1. Nipper pointed out some Holsteins that were giving 10 gallons of milk a day, and said that a big factor in his high production was his recent work on supplementary and permanent pastures.
John Rich’s use of recommended pasture practices on the W.W. Holding farm, at Wake Forest, bears witness to his management of this large enterprise. Alfalfa and acres of grazing crops were observed here by the visitors, who also got a look at the dairy plant and a new cinderblock calf barn.
Successful chicken raising these days calls for a grazing crop that will get those eggs on the market during late summer and winter when prices are up. That’s what young T.K. Seawell, a returned serviceman, is aiming at on his Oak Forest farm near Wake Forest, where the group saw his work with oats,lespedeza and red clover. Three range houses were provided for Seawell’s 253 pullets.
At the farm tour drew to a near close, the cars stopped off at the L.N. Rogers farm near Rolesville at 4 p.m. to see his success with alfalfa in sandy soil.
A good story on the proper use of land was unfolded at the last stop of the day, Green Brothers’ farm on Raleigh, Route 1. A four-acre plot of bottom land could not be used until dynamite ditching reclaimed it for pasture. It was seeded the first week in September, and now the land that was formerly too wet even for kudzu, is covered with a heavy growth of ladino and orchard grass.
With such progress on the part of Wake County farmers, the goal of 10 months grazing may become commonplace.