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PRESS BULLETIN 159
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
VELVET BEANS FOR MILK PRODUCTION
By John M. Scott
Florida farmers and dairymen have in the velvet bean one of the cheapest
and best dairy feeds. Experiments which have been carried out at this
Station indicate that velvet beans are nearly equal pound for pound to cotton-
seed meal, for milk production.
Experiments With Velvet Beans
The first test was conducted during the winter of 1908-9. The results
showed that 267.75 pounds of velvet beans in the pod produce as much milk
as 94.5 pounds of cottonseed meal (7.5 per cent. ammonia). When 267.75
pounds of velvet beans in the pod were fed with wheat bran and sorghum
silage, the cows gave 108.6 gallons of milk. When 94.5 pounds of cottonseed
meal were fed with wheat bran and sorghum silage, 108.9 gallons of milk
were produced. The cost per gallon of milk, not including labor, was: velvet
bean ration, 13.3 cents; cottonseed meal ration, 13.7 cents. This shows a
slight difference in favor of the velvet bean ration.
The same experiment was repeated during the winter of 1909-10. In
this test, 816 pounds of velvet beans in the pod, when fed with wheat bran
and silage, produced 325.5 gallons of milk; while 576 pounds of cottonseed
meal produced 328 gallons of milk, when fed with wheat bran and silage.
The cost per gallon of the milk was, with the velvet bean ration, 13.4 cents
(including labor, 17 cents); and with the cottonseed meal ration, 16.7 cents
(including labor, 20.5 cents). This shows that velvet beans, as a feed for
milk production, will produce as much milk as will cottonseed meal, and
at 20 per cent. less cost.
Prices of Feeds
The values used for the feeds in the calculation of the results, were the
market prices of cottonseed mezl, $1.75, and of wheat bran, $1.65; the silage
and velvet beans were valued at the;r cost of production on the farm, $.20,
and $.30 per hundred respectively.
December 10, 1910
Daily nations per Mead
Velvet beans in pod .......... 4.25 Cottonseed meal ........... 3.0
Wheat bran ............... 10.00 Wheat bran .............. 10.0
Sorghum silage ............. 24.50 Sorghum silage ............ 34.0
The above rations appear to have been about right, as all the cows
maintained their initial weight, or gained only a little. The rations as fed
were sufficient to supply the nutrients required to produce a good flow of
milk, and at the same time maintain the body weight.
Dairy Conditions In Florida
Its climatic and soil conditions are so favorable that Florida will doubtless
be a great dairy State in the future. The demand for dairy products is
growing more rapidly than the supply. On January 1, 1910, Florida was
credited with 95,000 head of milk cows. This is about one cow for every
six people. If we had four times this number of cows, the supply of dairy
products would not exceed the demand. Florida farmers can readily supply
enough feed for all the cows needed to supply the entire demand of the
State for dairy products. The only drawback seems to be the lack of a
sufficient number of good dairy animals. Florida is not the only State that
is lacking in a sufficient number of good dairy cows, and nearly every State
In the dairy sections is looking for more good cows. The only solution of
our problem is for the farmers and dairymen of Florida to produce their
own good cows. This will not be a difficult task. It will take some time to
accomplish the desired result, but it will be worth while.
State papers please copy.