This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The way in which sparks of wisdom fly from the columns of some shining lights in the agricultural press is almost blinding. One gravely tells us that the " period at which clover is cut for hay materially influences its quality; thus, according to Wolff, the amount of nutritive substances in red clover at beginning of flower is 11.26 per cent.; red clover in full flower, 13.04 per cent. Red clover * hay, cut at beginning of flower, contained 55.43 per cent. of nutritive matter, while the same cut in full flower contained 46.07 per cent".
It may perhaps be a great consideration with the poor farmer whether in a hundred parts he will get twelve and a quarter, or thirteen parts of "nutritive substances;" but the condition of the weather, the drive of his work, or the weight per acre of the produce will be more likely to decide "the period at which clover should be cut" than the gain of three-quarters of one per cent, in the "nutritious substance" of the hay. There is no harm in knowing the fact that there is a difference in quality, but we fear it will have little influence in deciding the " period".