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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Breeding New Varieties of Grass and Cereals

Breeding New Varieties of Grass and Cereals.

In the breeding and observation of the comparative merits of varieties and sub-varieties of grasses very interesting and useful work is being carried on. As one example I may instance prairie grass. This grass has long been favourably known for its great feeding value, both as regards quantity of yield and nutritious qualities. The trouble is that, as a pasture grass for ordinary grazing purposes, it has hitherto proved almost useless, from the fact that its habit of growth—well out of the ground, and with a weak connection with the roots and the soil—makes it easily killed out by the close grazing of stock. More-over, so fond are stock of prairie grass that they eat it out to the very heart, and as the crown is well out of the ground it gives the animals an opportunity to eat it so closely as to destroy the plants.