I. Studies with red clover seed as related to color. II. Studies with the impurities found in red clover and alfalfa seed
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Part I: The question of color in red clover seed is a matter to which practical farmers have come to attach some importance as an indication of the relative value of different samples. However, all do not hold the same opinion in regard to this. Many farmers believe that a sample of clover seed which has a great deal of purple color is better than a sample which contains more yellow. On the other hand, there are men equally observing and thoughtful, who maintain that the sample with the highest percent of yellow seed is the most viable and valuable. So far as we are aware, no accurate and conclusive work has ever been carried out in an attempt to determine the comparative value of clover seed of different colors. Believing that some definite knowledge on this subject might be of value this work is undertaken in an attempt to determine if possible whether there is any real basis for one or the other of these varying opinions, and if so, what some of the causes for these differences may be. Part II: Altogether too little attention is paid by the majority of farmers to the purity of the seed which they sow on their lands. This is particularly true, no doubt, with clover, alfalfa and grass seeds, as they carry on average a greater number of particularly obnoxious weed seeds than most of our other crops. New and troublesome weeds are often first observed in clover meadows, and it has often been noted that clover fields contain a great number of different weedy plants. It is a well-known fact that a very large number of our most obnoxious and troublesome weeds are those which have been introduced into this country through the agency of economic farm seeds purchased from European and other foreign markets. In order to secure some data in regard to the number and character of the weeds disbursed in this way in Missouri, samples of clover seed were secured from farmers throughout the State and from retail and wholesale seed merchants who supply more or less foreign seed to Missouri farmers.
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