• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Introduction
 Literature
 Feeding value
 Fertilizer value
 Inoculation
 Amount of seed to sow
 Beggarweed seed as a cash crop
 Beggarweed and Spanish peanuts
 Winter pastures
 Planting directions
 Conclusion
 Key to beggarweed varieties






Group Title: Florida quarterly bulletin of the Department of Agriculture.
Title: Florida quarterly bulletin of the Department of Agriculture. Vol. 34. No. 3.
ALL VOLUMES CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077080/00031
 Material Information
Title: Florida quarterly bulletin of the Department of Agriculture. Vol. 34. No. 3.
Series Title: Florida quarterly bulletin of the Department of Agriculture.
Uniform Title: Report of the Chemical Division
Physical Description: 9 v. : ill. (some folded) ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Manufacturer: T. J. Appleyard, printer
Publication Date: April 1924
 Subjects
Subject: Agriculture -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agricultural industries -- Statistics -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Statistics   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 31, no. 4 (Oct., 1921)-v. 39, no. 3 (July 1929).
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Each no. has also a distinctive title.
General Note: Many issue number 1's are the Report of the Chemical Division
General Note: Issues occasional supplements.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077080
Volume ID: VID00031
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 28473180

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Literature
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Feeding value
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Fertilizer value
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Inoculation
        Page 16
    Amount of seed to sow
        Page 17
    Beggarweed seed as a cash crop
        Page 17
    Beggarweed and Spanish peanuts
        Page 18
    Winter pastures
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Planting directions
        Page 21
    Conclusion
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Key to beggarweed varieties
        Page 23
        Page 24
Full Text
3
4YJ^1


VYOLI MiE 34 NUMBER 3


BEGGARWEED


(Cherokee Clover)


SUPPLEMENT TO
FLORIDA QUARTERLY BULLETIN
OF THE DEPARTMENT
OF AGRICULTURE
APRIL, 1924


NATHAN MAYO
Commissioner of Agriculture
Tallahassee, Florida


Entered January 31, 1003, at Tallahassee, Florida, as second-class matter
under Act of Congress of June, 1900. "Acceptance for mailing at special
rate of postage provided for in Section 1103, Act of October 3, 1017,
authorized September 11, 1018."


4 0 T. J* AP.PLEARD PRINTER. TALAHASSEE. FLORIDA















il
-./


t


F*1'


..,










BEGGARWEED
(Desmodium)


By C. F. LEACH


There are many varieties of Beggarweed. All beggar-
weeds are known to botanists as desmodium and the sev-
eral varieties have various names attached to them by the
botanists. Farmers, however, call them all either beggar-
weed, beggarlice or beggarticks.
I only know the last names of two of the many varie-
ties. Desmodium tortuosum is the name of our common
Florida beggarweed, and as far as I know that name may
include three or four seasonal varieties that differ but
slightly from the type except in the seasons when the seeds
germinate and the plants blossom and mature.
These several varieties are strongly affected by the
length of day as was shown in the celebrated experiments
made by Professors Garner and Allard of the Bureau of
Plant Industry of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
In these experiments it was shown conclusively that the
flowering and fruiting of most plants is not controlled by
temperature, as commonly believed, but by the length of
the daylight periods where grown and accounts for the
well known fact that our common Florida beggarweed
does not reseed much further north than Southern South
Carolina, and seldom thrives north of middle Georgia;
although many thousands of farmers have tried to raise
this variety further north.
Prof. W. W. Garner says: "One of the characteristic
features of plant growth is the marked tendency shown
by various species to flower and fruit only at certain
periods of the year. This behavior is so constant that
certain plants come to be closely identified with each of the
seasons. * The thought at once suggests itself that the
underlying cause or causes of flowering or fruiting occur-
ing at a particular season must be purely internal, else











the vagaries of the weather and other variable external
conditions would seriously upset the regular cycle. * *
Thus, plant development may be retarded in the spring
by cool weather, and at times drought or excessive rain-
fall may interfere, but in general flower and fruit are
produced regularly in their season."
Most of our garden vegetables, and practically all of
our fruits, have their seasonal varieties so that we have
for example, early, late and midseason varieties of beans,
corn, cabbage and potatoes; and oranges, apples, peaches
and berries. Practically all of the seasonal varieties of
fruits, vegetables and field crops have been developed by
observant men who have found certain plants or trees
that flower and fruit at different seasons and by isolating
them and by seed" selection and budding and grafting
them have produced and named many valuable varieties.
Without doubt nature is continually doing this work of
producing plants that vary from the original type in
order to spread plants through as many degrees of lati-
tude as possible; where the periods of daylight are longer
or shorter than where the plants originated.
Until four years ago practically no work of selection,
isolation and development of any of the many varieties
of beggarweed had been attempted, yet the writer has
seen beggarweed plants in blossom at all seasons-on the
longest day in the year and on the shortest day in the
year-but as is well known the common Florida Beggar-
weed where it grows wild and unhampered commonly
germinates in June, blossoms in September and matures
seed early in October.
The smallest variety of beggarweed I have ever see is
a little vineing perennial with almost perfectly round
leaves that is native in Cuba where it is used in their
permanent pastures and is considered very valuable for
grazing. It is shown as No. 3 in plate I. It is so radically
different in every way from our Florida beggarweed that
it seems almost impossible it can be of the same family of












plants. We are growing it on Cherokee Farms, but it
gives evidence of being affected by our varying daylight
periods. This is but natural as it comes from Cuba
where day and night are more nearly equal throughout
the year. It is said that this variety does fairly well in
South Florida, but here its season is short as it only thrives
during the period when the days and nights are nearly
equal in length.
On Cherokee Farms I have found a vining perenniel
variety (Fig. 12, Plate III.) almost exactly like this
Cuban specimen, but it grows much larger and has larger
leaves of about the same shape. This is probably a sea-
sonal variety of the one from Cuba that has accommodated
itself to the greater variation of our daylight periods.
In figure 7, plate II, will be found a similar variety that
grows in Kentucky, but while it has single leaves growing
alternately on opposite sides of the stems, it is of a sturdy
upright growth and is said to be an annual. This Ken-
tucky beggarweed also differs widely in many respects
from any other member of the family I have ever seen.
The underside of the leaves is a very pale blue, or aqua-
marine, and is covered thickly with short, white, velvety
hairs. It is said to be greatly relished by livestock, and
very nutritious and fattening, and it has the same sweet
taste as our Florida beggarweed.
No. 20, on plate IV, shows another extreme variety that
also grows on Cherokee Farms. It grows four to five feet
high and has very slender, stiff stems not larger than a
rye straw. It is trifurcate as to leaves; that is to say, it
bears its leaves in groups of three on a short leaf stalk
(petiole) that springs directly from the main stems; there
being no branches. The leaves are very small and narrow,
being six and a half times as long as they are wide. This
variety is an open field bienniel; throwing up several stems
from a small crown the second year. The stems, as has
been said, are stiff but very slender, and a light pea green.
The leaves are a very much darker green than the stems.
2-Bul.











The seeds are born sparingly on numerous short stalks at
the top of the stems and every other seed stalk carries a
pair of seeds and the alternate seed stalk has but one seed,
as is shown in the cut.
As this paper is written primarily for the information
of farmers I will not give the details of the many other
varieties, but will say that there are annual, biennial and
perenniel varieties of beggarweed. There are varieties
that grow only in the open field and varieties that only
thrive in woodlands and some that prefer the partial
shade of the edges of woodlands or cut over lands. There
are varieties that blossom and mature in Florida at all
times of the year and make seed on the shortest day in
February, and the longest day in June. Within the past
year I have collected specimens of 20 varieties and I know
of one other that grows on Cherokee Farms, and also all
over the United States and parts of Canada, but I have not
been able to get a specimen this year as it makes its seed
here in December and I only began collecting specimens
last February. The seed pods are equilateral triangles
and the largest of any variety I have ever seen. They are
a vivid green and equipped with many stiff, hooked or
barbed hairs and are very difficult to remove from the
clothing. Where sheep are raised they get in the wool
and somewhat depreciate the value of the fleece. Another
variety has these same hooked or barbed hairs covering its
leaves and smaller branches.
In every beggarweed field in North Florida that is not
cultivated, one may find half a dozen distinct varieties
of beggarweed. Of all the varieties of beggarweed I have
only found six of value for forage. One of these grows in
the Red River Valley of Arkansas. It grows about five
feet tall. One grows in Kentucky and one in Tennessee.
One is a perenniel pasture plant from Cuba and one very
similar that grows in Florida as a woodland variety. But
beyond a doubt the common Florida beggarweed with its
sport or early maturing variety, that thrives as far north












as Michigan and Wisconsin, are the most valuable of all
the beggarweeds for forage. However, :there are other
seasonal varieties, especially the midwinter variety, that
if isolated and developed might be of the greatest value
for winter and early spring pastures or even for hay in the
Gulf Region.
LITERATURE

Very little has ever been written about beggarweed.
Although its great value for forage and as a soil im-
provement crop has been recognized in the Gulf Region
for a hundred years or more, no bulletin has ever been
published on the subject either by the United States De-
partment of Agriculture or any of our Agricultural Ex-
periment Stations and no successful effort has been made
to extend its culture northward until 1921. Jn that year
the seed of the early maturing variety was also sent to
South Africa and New Zealand and at once became very
popular in those far away countries. In the spring of
1922 seed of this early variety was sent to Connecticut,
Ohio, Michigan and Iowa, where it grew five to seven feet
high and matured seed while the common Florida beggar-
weed either failed or grew less than 18 inches high. Dur-
ing the winter of 1922-23 twenty-one pounds of this early
seed was distributed by the originator and it was planted
in every state in the union and in nearly every civilized
country in the world. It was planted on every continent
and every large island and so far as heard from it has
made good every where.
The late Professor S. M. Tracy in 1912 gave a short,
but not entirely accurate description of Florida beggar-
weed in Farmers Bulletin No. 509, and this description
was repeated in Farmers Bulletin 1125 as printed April,
1922. This description by Professor Tracy is as follows:
FLORIDA BEGGARWEED
"This is an important forage plant from central Flor-
ida northward to southern Georgia and Alabama, andc





*1


PLATE I


2.


.jl


"3


2












occasionally farther north, being most common as a volun-
teer growth in old fields having a light sandy soil. It is
an annual which makes its growth late in the season at
the same time that crab-grass is growing most rapidly,
the two usually being found together. It is erect in
growth, reaching a height of 5 to 7 feet on good soils and
is used for hay, silage, and grazing. When cut at the
right time and properly cured it makes superior hay, but
it must be handled carefully. If allowed to become too old
before it is cut many of the lower leaves are lost and the
stems become woody. After cutting it should be wind-
rowed as soon as wilted to prevent the leaves from drop-
ping. If run through a shredder the stems are eaten
readily, even when quite mature. To make good hay it
should be cut when not more than 3 or 4 feet high, usually
in July, and a second cutting can then be made a few
weeks later. Although not sufficiently bulky for use in
filling a silo, a little of it mixed with other material adds
greatly to the value of the silage, as it gives a marked
"June" flavor to butter even when used in midwinter.
Its greatest value, however, is as a grazing plant in late
summer and early winter, as it is even more fattening
than alfalfa or cowpeas.
It usually makes a scattering and uneven volunteer
growth on land which has not been plowed during the
year, though when occasional strips are left standing at
the second cutting and the field is then harrowed cross-
wise to scatter the seeds a good crop is secured the second
season after plowing. The better practice is to receed the
ground after oats, melons, or some other early crop has
been removed, using 20 to 30 pounds of the rough seed per
acre. The seed are usually saved by stripping them from
the plants by hand. Clean hulled seed are now handled
by seedmen.
In the region where it is grown most commonly it is
seldom seen as a volunteer crop on newly cleared lands,
but is more or less abundant growing with crab-grass and












Mexican clover in nearly all old fields, especially in corn
and cotton, where it springs up after the crops are laid
by and furnishes a large amount of good grazing after
the crops have been gathered. Some cotton growers object
to it in their fields as the immature seeds are somewhat
rough and the stalks when switched about by the wind
often pull seed cotton from the bolls.
It is easily killed by a single cultivation in late summer
and soon disappears from fields which are not plowed.
While it is a crop of secondary importance and seldom
used alone, it is a welcome addition to any hay crop, and
when so abundant as to afford good grazing it will fatten
horses, mules, and cattle more rapidly than most other
plants."
Professor Tracy was a good observer with a long expe-
rience in the South. He was in charge of the United
States Department of Agriculture Experiment Farm at
Biloxi, Miss., for many years, but there are many things
about beggarweed he did not notice as he was not a
farmer.
In the summer of 1922 the College of Agriculture at
Athens, Georgia, issued a leaflet or press bulletin on Beg-
garweed, giving about the same information as contained
in Professor Tracy's description, but adding that beggar-
weed can not be grown north of middle Georgia. This is
of course true in the main of the common Florida beggar-
weed and neither Professor Tracy or the author of the
Georgia bulletin had any knowledge apparently of the
many varieties of this wonderfully valuable legume or
that some of these varieties have long been used for forage
in Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and the Red
River Valley of Arkansas.

FEEDING VALUE
Professor R. E. Rose, State Chemist of Florida, states
in his annual report for 1922 that beggarweed contains
21 per cent protein and 35 per cent carbohydrates. This













is fifty per cent more protein than alfalfa contains and
only 4 per cent less carbohydrates.
Henry and Morrisons Feeds and Feeding states that
beggarweed contains 49.4 pounds of digestible nutriments
to every 100 pounds of hay. As Professor Fraser of the
Illinois College of Agriculture has found, by long feeding
tests, that dairy cows in milk need no high protein con-
centrates when fed on alfalfa hay with silage and corn
it will be seen that there is no reason why any dairyman,
even where alfalfa cannot be grown, need buy any cow
feed for the early varieties of beggarweed can now be
grown wherever corn can be grown and it will require
less beggarweed than alfalfa hay to keep up the milk
flow. As a good crop of beggarweed will easily yield two
and a half tons of hay in one cutting, an acre of beggar-
weed will produce a ton and a quarter of digestible nutri-
ments. State Chemist Rose also says that all feeding
stuffs are worth $1.00 per unit for the protein and fat
they contain and 40c per unit for the carbohydrates;
therefore a ton of beggarweed hay is worth $35.70; which
means that whenever you pay more than $35.70 a ton,
including freight and cartage to the farm, for cotton seed
meal, oil meal or any other concentrates you are losing
money by not feeding beggarweed hay which you can
raise yourself. You are also losing the profit on raising
the hay. As it will not cost over $15.00 an acre, including
cost of the best seed, to produce 21/2 tons of beggarweed
hay per acre you loose at least $74.25 per acre by buying
your cottonseed meal or other high protein feeds instead
of raising beggarweed; and this is so even if you can buy
cotton seed meal for $35.70 a ton, including freight and
cartage, which is seldom possible.
Until dairy farmers can reduce the cost of production
by raising their own feed they will have no right to com-
plain that there is little or no profit in the dairy busi-
ness. In my opinion the cost of feed is of far more conse-
quence to the dairy farmer than the breed of cows he












keeps or even the amount of milk they produce. I would
rather have a scrub cow on a pure bred pasture than a
pure bred cow on a scrub pasture.

FERTILIZER VALUE

Valuable as it is for forage, beggarweed is even more
valuable for land improvement. We have been much
astonished on Cherokee Farms at the remarkable results
attained in building up the productive capacity of the
poorest land by using beggarweed as a green manure crop
or even when it is cut for hay or pastured. Be-
fore turning the beggarwed under we gathered a large
crop of seed which of itself was profitable; for beggarweed
seed is a fine cash crop and the demand for it greatly
exceeds the supply.
This poor white sand had never produced any other
crop, not even weeds or poor-mans grass. We tried cow-
peas and peanuts, but both of them just withered away
and died. Any farmer in Florida or indeed any where
between Norfolk, Virginia, and Galveston, Texas, will
know the kind of land I mean. That field is permanently
cured of its barrenness by beggarweed and no fertilizer
was used. What I mean to say is that by turning under
a crop of beggarweed every few years or growing it every
year as a volunteer crop after the corn, melons, peanut or
sweet potatoes are laid by this barren field will produce.
One of the reasons for non-productive land is the accumu-
lation of poisonous combinations of organic matter and beg-
garweed is one of the plants that is immune to these soil
poisons and has the power to dissolve them. But aside from
its immunity to organic poisons in the soil and its power to
cleanse the soil of such poisons an analysis of beggarweed
shows that it contains a very large amount of plant food
which its deep tap root finds in the subsoil or it takes
from the air and when turned under this plat food is made
available and is used by shallow rooted- non-leguminous
plants, like corn and potatoes, that can neither take nitro-












gen from the air or minerals from the subsoil. No other
known plant has such wonderful feeding powers as beg-
garweed or is so valuable on barren unproductive soils
except serradella and kudzu, and kudzu is too valuable,
for permanent meadows and pastures, to turn under for
soil improvement. No farmer in the south will ever turn
under a crop like kudzu that yields five or more tons of
hay every year and it is expensive to reset.
Henry and Morrison's Feeds and Feeding states that a
ton of beggarweed hay contains 42.9 pounds of nitrogen,
18.8 pounds of phosphoric acid and 55.8 pounds of potash
so that a 21/2 ton yield would mean that beggarweed takes
from the air or the subsoil and makes it available to suc-
ceeding crops of corn, oats, peas, peanuts and etc., 83
pounds of nitrogen, 37 pounds of phosphoric acid and
1381/ pounds of potash. This means that one god crop of
beggarweed is equal to-
500 pounds of nitrate of soda, worth..............$20.00
250 pounds of 16% acid phosphate, worth 2.00
276 pounds of muriate of potash, worth...... 6.90

$28.90
Add to this the value of the vegetable matter supplied to
the soil and you have at least $40.00 per acre added to
the value of your land from one good crop of beggarweed;
besides a good profit from the sale of the seed. When we
know that beggarweed has the power to gather this great
store of plant food on the poorest soils we no longer won-
der how or why it transforms poor, unproductive land.
The only wonder is that it is not more widely and more
intelligently used. If you spend $40.00 for fertilizer on an
acre of poor land that you could not sell for five dollars
your neighbors would think you were crezy, but when you
can get better results for nothing, than $40.00 worth of
fertilizer would produce and make a profit besides, you
are foolish not to do so and your neighbors would be crazy
not to follow your example. But profit was invented by













awn


i.4


I





PLATEi II













a very smart man and profit or prosperity was never in-
tended for the unwise, shortsighted or foolish.
All the above figures are mere lead pencil farming, and
the lead pencil is the poorest farm tool ever invented.
However, too often it is the only tool with which most
writers and farmer's advisers have any first hand knowl-
edge. It is very easy to sit at a desk and produce won-
derful profits in farming with a set of figures and a lead
pencil, but to actually secure results a farmer must get
out and hustle. 'You won't get two tons of beggarweed
hay from a field of white sand, where nothing grows or
ever was grown-not the first time you plant it on that
sort of land; nor any other land in the cotton belt either.
But you will get surprising results-at least I was sur-
prised-and as you will see, in the picture of the cows
on vetch and crimson clover, I did get a splendid winter
crop of forage on pure white sand as a result of one crop
of beggarweed turned under.
It is not lead pencil farming for me to say that a sum-
mer crop of beggarweed on the poorest soil in Florida
followed by a winter crop of hairy vetch will make such
land worth to you at least $100.00 an acre for it will then
produce as valuable crops as any land in the corn belt;
where land, even now, is cheap at $200.00 per acre. There
is a universal desire among our large landowners to sell
part of their land and every one is trying to think up
some plan to induce northern farmers to come here and
buy and use millions of acres of vacant land, that if prop-
erly handled, is the most productive soil in the United
States. But no northern farmer, nor any other kind of
real farmer, will buy land where the average corn crop
is eight bushels, and twelve bushels is a brag crop. A good
farmer would not take such land as a gift. If you want
real farmers to settle in this country you must show them
how they can make a living here. Telling them we have
green pastures all the year around when they can plainly
see we have no real pastures at any time of the year just











makes them laugh. When you show them a field of corn
planted four feet apart in the row and the rows six or
seven feet apart and call it rich land they think you are
joking. Yet in one or two years just that kind of land can
be so transformed by beggarweed and vetch, that it will
raise as big a crop as land that sells for $200 an acre in
Illinois and Iowa.
But you cannot improve land by planting these legumes
and taking all the crop off or letting your stock eat it
up. You cannot eat your cake and have it too. You can't
improve your land sitting on the front porch or leaving
it for the tenants to do. Making good productive land
out of poor waste land is a man's job. The road to
poverty is all down hill. We are near the bottom in the
cotton belt.
It is a very easy matter to raise beggarweed if good
seed is used and it is well inoculated, but no one should
ever buy any recleaned beggarweed seed unless it is guar-
anteed to germinate at least ninety per cent by a respon-
sible grower or dealer. Any dealer that will not guarantee
ninety per cent germination is selling poor, damaged seed;
yet it is very easy to produce pure seed that will germ-
inate over ninety per cent.

INOCULATION
Like every other legume beggarweed seed must be in-
oculated with bacteria if planted on land where it has
never been grown. Even on land where it formerly grew
but has not grown for four or five years it will need inoc-
ulation. But this is an easy matter for the seed can be
inoculated by the grower or dealer and no beggarweed
seed should be purchased that has not been inoculated just
before shipment. The inoculation will be perfectly good
for at least six months, if well done. It should also be
remembered that cheap seed is always poor seed. The
demand for beggarweed seed is always greater than the
supply and when 'it is offered cheap it is because it has


/












been damaged in curing. A beginner or anyone wanting
a good crop the first year should always buy the re-
cleaned seed. Anyone wanting to seed a large acreage,
to just start it on the land, can use the rough or unhulled
seed, but it also should be inoculated by the grower and
there are some irresponsible and unscrupulous growers
and dealers who will guarantee anything to sell their
damaged seed. Without a doubt the poor quality of the
seed that has been sold has been the cause of the limited
use of this exceedingly valuable legume. Anywhere south
of a line drawn from Savannah, Georgia, to Austin, Texas,
it is safe to plant the common Florida beggarweed; but
north of that the early variety should be planted. This
variety is still controlled by the originator and is scarce
.and at present, high priced, but as many have planted it
in the north it will soon be plentiful and cheap. Some
unscrupulous dealers will offer it for sale, but they can
only furnish the common seed.
AMOUNT OF SEED TO SOW
Ten pounds per acre of the recleaned and scarified seed,
well inoculated, will make a good hay crop, but it will take
at least 30 pounds of the rough or unhulled seed to make
as good a crop. This is because beggarweed, like other
legumes, contains a large amount of hard seeds and at
least sixty per cent of the unhulled seed will not germ-
inate the first year and much of it may lie in the ground
for many years before it will come up. Five pounds or
-even three pounds of good recleaned, scarified and inocu-
lated seed if carefully sowed will produce a good seed
crop. The seed should be sowed broadcast, being care-
ful to get an even stand.
BEGGARWEED SEED AS A CASH CROP
Thousands of farmers in Florida should raise beggar-
weed seed as a cash crop; turning under the rest of the
plant for soil improvement. If one-fourth of the im-
proved land in Florida were planted to beggarweed it












been damaged in curing. A beginner or anyone wanting
a good crop the first year should always buy the re-
cleaned seed. Anyone wanting to seed a large acreage,
to just start it on the land, can use the rough or unhulled
seed, but it also should be inoculated by the grower and
there are some irresponsible and unscrupulous growers
and dealers who will guarantee anything to sell their
damaged seed. Without a doubt the poor quality of the
seed that has been sold has been the cause of the limited
use of this exceedingly valuable legume. Anywhere south
of a line drawn from Savannah, Georgia, to Austin, Texas,
it is safe to plant the common Florida beggarweed; but
north of that the early variety should be planted. This
variety is still controlled by the originator and is scarce
.and at present, high priced, but as many have planted it
in the north it will soon be plentiful and cheap. Some
unscrupulous dealers will offer it for sale, but they can
only furnish the common seed.
AMOUNT OF SEED TO SOW
Ten pounds per acre of the recleaned and scarified seed,
well inoculated, will make a good hay crop, but it will take
at least 30 pounds of the rough or unhulled seed to make
as good a crop. This is because beggarweed, like other
legumes, contains a large amount of hard seeds and at
least sixty per cent of the unhulled seed will not germ-
inate the first year and much of it may lie in the ground
for many years before it will come up. Five pounds or
-even three pounds of good recleaned, scarified and inocu-
lated seed if carefully sowed will produce a good seed
crop. The seed should be sowed broadcast, being care-
ful to get an even stand.
BEGGARWEED SEED AS A CASH CROP
Thousands of farmers in Florida should raise beggar-
weed seed as a cash crop; turning under the rest of the
plant for soil improvement. If one-fourth of the im-
proved land in Florida were planted to beggarweed it











would take five million pounds of seed to supply the Flor-
ida market alone and every acre of plow land in the State
should raise one legume crop every year. Last year not
over 75,000 pounds of seed was produced and there was a
demand for double that amount. Nothing will prove the
great value of beggarweed or increase its use for hay,
pasture and soil improvement as will a lot of intelligent
farmers raising and properly curing the seed for sale. At
present over ninety per cent of the small supply of seed
is gathered by negroes from fields where it is growing
wild. They keep it in bags or piles where it soon heats
and spoils instead of spreading it out in the sun to dry.
It is a very simple thing to cure beggarweed properly so
that it will germinate over ninety per cent.
Sweet clover has almost the same value for hay, pasture
and soil improvement as beggarweed, but sweet clover
grows only on comparatively rich soil. A few years ago
sweet clover was regarded as a weed; now it is grown on
millions of acres and farmers have found the seed a valu-
able cash crop and grow it extensively on the naturally
calcarious soils in the Northwest. North Dakota alone re-
ports a crop of twelve million pounds this year. Think
what such a cash crop of beggarweed would mean to the
farmers' of Florida besides turning hundreds of thousands
of unused acres into first-class corn land.
The common Florida beggarweed will grow on over
10,000,000 acres in the Gulf Region which is about the
same acreage as red clover is grown on in the North. The
farmers in the North sold eighteen million dollars worth
of red clover seed last year and the hay was worth more-
than the seed. That is more than all the cotton was worth
raised south of a line from Savannah, Georgia, to Austin,
Texas.
BEGGARWEED AND SPANISH PEANUTS
Beggarweed makes the most valuable hay crop when
grown in combination with Spanish peanuts. The peanuts,
should be sowed early in drills two feet apart and eight:











inches apart in the drill, using the unshelled nuts. They
should be given two cultivations and one hoeing and laid
by about June first. If Beggarweed is then sowed thickly
in the middles it will be ready to cut for hay by the time
the first leaves begin to turn brown on the peanuts. The
beggarweed and peanut vines should be cut together and
they will make over two tons of splendid hay per acre.
After the hay is harvested the beggarweed will make a
second growth and a crop of seed, but the most profitable
way to use this second growth and the peanuts is to turn
in the hogs to harvest them. We have made over three
tons of splendid hay and 700 pounds of pork per acre on
Cherokee Farms from this combination of beggarweed and
Spanish peanuts. The hay alone was worth as much as
half a bale of cotton per acre and at 6c a pound the pork
produced was worth $42.00. Neither beggarweed nor
Spanish peanuts require any fertilizer and both of these
legumes are injured and the yield reduced by using lime.
They are acid soil, poor land legumes. This combination
of beggarweed and Spanish peanuts when hogged down
and the hay removed is not only very profitable, but very
cheap and easy to plant and grow and also a great soil
improver. However, peanuts will not grow on poor white
sand, as will beggarweed, and this combination is not
recommended for such land until after one summer crop
of beggarweed and one winter crop of cerradella or vetch
is grown and partly pastured and partly plowed under.
When cutting this combination crop of peanuts and beg-
garweed for hay, narrow strips a road apart, should be
left to reseed the land and it will then volunteer in corn,
peanuts, melons or potatoes the next year and so can be
maintained indefinitely from one seeding.
WINTER PASTURES
After the hogs have harvested the peanuts, and the
melons or potatoes are gathered, all that is necessary to
prepare the land for a winter crop is to run a disc over
it, cutting in what remains of the beggarweed and vines










0 . ..











12,












PL,


ct. \j-1- .

h A^ :











and then smooth it down with a harrow and it is ready
for serradella, or vetch and rye, or vetch and oats, or crim-
son, alsike and white clovers, or even for Hubam bur
clover or black medick. Oats or rye alone should never be
planted for winter pastures, if a farmer wants to build up
his land, for the oats or rye will take out of the land in
the winter about as much fertility as is added by summer
crop of peanuts and beggarweed, if the hay is removed. it
no hay is cut the hogs will leave enough beggarweed and
peanut vines to increase the fertility even if the land is
used for oats or rye alone in the winter. But I believe it
will be found far more profitable to save the beggarweed
hay and buy oats if they are needed.

PLANTING DIRECTIONS
Light sandy soils that have been in cultivation can ie
prepared by harrowing thoroughly. Heavy soils should be
disked and well harrowed. Sod lands should be plowed
3 or 4 inches deep and well harrowed.
Sow evenly broadcast immediately after harrowing. No
covering is needed but if the land is rolled after seeding
germination will be quicker and probably a better stand.
If drilled it must be shallow and avoid covering the seed
as much as possible. For small plantings a garden drill is
best.
If the hay is cut before it blossoms it will make a fine
seed crop if you leave a 4-inch stubble. In the north plant
two weeks after corn is planted and not later tban June 1.
In the south it can be planted from May first to June 15.
('ONCLUSIONS
The greatest value of beggarweed is for the improve-
ment of very poor or worn out soils. It makes a fine hay
or pasture crop, especially if planted with Spanish pea-
nuts. It reseeds abundantly and if care is used one seed-
ing is all that is necessary and it will volunteer in every
cultivated crop after it is, laid by. It often volunteers
after oats and makes a fair crop of hay or good fall











and then smooth it down with a harrow and it is ready
for serradella, or vetch and rye, or vetch and oats, or crim-
son, alsike and white clovers, or even for Hubam bur
clover or black medick. Oats or rye alone should never be
planted for winter pastures, if a farmer wants to build up
his land, for the oats or rye will take out of the land in
the winter about as much fertility as is added by summer
crop of peanuts and beggarweed, if the hay is removed. it
no hay is cut the hogs will leave enough beggarweed and
peanut vines to increase the fertility even if the land is
used for oats or rye alone in the winter. But I believe it
will be found far more profitable to save the beggarweed
hay and buy oats if they are needed.

PLANTING DIRECTIONS
Light sandy soils that have been in cultivation can ie
prepared by harrowing thoroughly. Heavy soils should be
disked and well harrowed. Sod lands should be plowed
3 or 4 inches deep and well harrowed.
Sow evenly broadcast immediately after harrowing. No
covering is needed but if the land is rolled after seeding
germination will be quicker and probably a better stand.
If drilled it must be shallow and avoid covering the seed
as much as possible. For small plantings a garden drill is
best.
If the hay is cut before it blossoms it will make a fine
seed crop if you leave a 4-inch stubble. In the north plant
two weeks after corn is planted and not later tban June 1.
In the south it can be planted from May first to June 15.
('ONCLUSIONS
The greatest value of beggarweed is for the improve-
ment of very poor or worn out soils. It makes a fine hay
or pasture crop, especially if planted with Spanish pea-
nuts. It reseeds abundantly and if care is used one seed-
ing is all that is necessary and it will volunteer in every
cultivated crop after it is, laid by. It often volunteers
after oats and makes a fair crop of hay or good fall








1/.


1a.


1 .


20.


PLATE IV


I ~ -LF CI~











pasture. Beginers should plant only the best recleaned
seed, well scarified and inoculated by the grower or dealer
before seed is shipped. Ten pounds of seed per acre will
make a hay crop and five pounds of seed a good seed crop.
It takes thirty pounds of unhulled seed per acre for a
hay crop. Sow broadcast on top of freshly harrowed or
cultivated ground. On sandy soil no covering is needed.

KEY TO BEGGARWEED VARIETIES
PLATE I
No. 1-Large early variety; matures seed as far north
as Michigan. Blossoms in July, seeds in August.
No. 2-Small single leaf variety. Blossoms in Feb-
ruary, 12 to 18 inches high.
No. 3-Small perenniel vining variety from Cuba. Used
in permanent pastures. Now growing on Cherokee Farms.
Foliage, dark apple green.
PLATE II
No. 4-Kentucky annual, 2 to 3 feet high. Foliage,
dark olive green, covered with short barbed or hooked
hairs.
No. 5-Florida annual. Seeds in December. Foliage,
light grass green.
No. 6-Florida annual. Seeds in June. Foliage, very
dark green, mottled chocolate brown.
No. 7-Tennessee annual. Underside of leaf very light
blue, thickly set with short, white, velvety hairs. Seeds
in October. 3 ot 4 feet high. Leaves alternate on oppo-
site sides of stems.
No. 8-Common Florida beggarweed. Vivid light green
foliage. Blossoms very small, inside of petals rose pink,
outside pale cream.
PLATE III
No. 9-Small Florida field perenniel. Foliage, light
olive green. Seeds in November.
No. 10-Small woodland perenniel. Light bluish green
foliage, white hairs on under side of leaf. Very small












light pink blossom. Small oblong seed pods. Seeds in
August.
No. 11-Woodland annual. Very thick, dark apple
green foliage. Small deep purple blossom. 2 to 3 feet
high. Seeds in September.
No. 12-Florida woodland vining perenniel. Light
green foliage. Resembles Cuban field perennial No. 3.
No. 13-Large woodland perennial; 4 to 5 feet high.
Largest blossom of any beggarweed. Petals pure cobalt
blue. Dark olive green foliage.
PLATE IV
No. 14-Florida field perenniel. Very thick fleshy
leaves, dark olive green; under side covered with yellow
hairs. 2 to 4 feet high. Seeds in September. Small round
seed pods.
No. 15-Perennial from West Tennessee. Light brown
leaves speckled dark brown. 3 feet high.
No. 16-Trailing perennial from Tennessee. Olive
green foliage dark brown stems, leaf stalks and midribs.
No. 17-Florida woodland trailing perenniel. Very
thick, leathery leaves; dark pompeian green. Seeds
sparingly. Seed pods triangular.
No. 18-Kentucky perenniel. Makes eight to twelve
dark brown woody stems from crown. Hard glazed bark
on stems. Three feet high. Upright.
No. 19-Florida field perenniel. Two leaf variety.
Foliage, very dark green and thick.
No. 20-Florida field bienniel, 4 to 5 stems second year.
Stems very slender and light grass green. Grows 4 feet
high. Foliage, vivid green, darker than stems. Leaves
over six times as long as wide. Seeds borne alternately
on opposite sides of stems. No branches on stems. Seed
stems bear one and two seed pods alternately. Seed pods
semi-circular.
PLATE V
No. 21-Common Florida beggarweed (annual).
No. 22-Early maturing variety (bienniel in Florida).




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs