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vent sagging, the studding of one side is braced to that on the other side by 78 x 18-inch iron strips, which are placed three feet apart each way, and nailed to the studding on each side. These are left in the wall, and the ends cut off when the boards are taken down. Apertures through which to shoot the potatoes should be left at intervals. One satisfactory cellar of which I know has a driveway through the center and bins on each side. The bins are about 10 feet wide and are filled 4 to 6 feet deep. Divisions are put in as desired.
Ventilation and Temperature are most important. The potatoes must be kept cool, about 33° F. being a favorable temperature. If possible, lead air through a deep underground drain-tile into the cellar; the length of the tile should be sufficient to warm the air a little in winter, and the outside end of it should be covered to prevent the entrance of vermin. A ventilator on the roof will remove warm air. Have a raised board floor in each bin and a ventilator running from it up through the tubers at intervals. Have double doors at the entrance and the shoots, and keep the place dark. Darken the windows if there are any. A small cellar can be made if desired, but make the roof high enough to work in—say, 8 feet. Purchase a reliable thermometer and hang it in the cellar, an oilstove and radiator, and, if the temperature is going down too low, warm the place. It is folly to have potatoes freeze to save ten cents worth of kerosene.
The advantages of a cellar are:
Losses in Storage.-Potatoes suffer loss in weight in keeping in addition to any loss due to disease or insect attacks. At Cornell University, during the past winter, the variety Sir Walter Raleigh, stored in crates in a cool cellar, lost 12 per cent. in weight between the date November 6, 1903, and April 27, 1904, a period of 173 days, while the variety Carman No. 3 lost nearly 10 per cent. Neither variety had sprouted at all. This seems to show that in this district the latter is better for storage, and growers have noted this. Sir Walter Raleigh seems better adapted for selling from the field than for storage. No doubt other varieties vary in the same way, and the same variety will vary under differing conditions. At the Michigan Experiment Station a barrel of potatoes stored September, 1893, had lost 5 per cent. in weight by March 28, and 11.5 per cent. by May 1, 1894. Research shows that these losses are influenced by temperature and the state of moisture of the air. The higher temperature increases the loss, while the higher moisture content diminishes it. Light seems to have little influence upon the loss of weight, but is injurious because it diminishes the selling value of the potato. The average percentage losses of twelve varieties of potatoes carefully stored in a cool cellar at a temperature of 42° to 51° F. during seven months, as recorded by E. Wollny,' are: October, 2.02 per cent.; November, 1.18; December, .50; January, .50; February, .81; March, .41; April, -50; the total loss aggregated, on an average, 6.17 per cent. In every case the losses were greatest directly after digging, and in February the losses were higher than the month before or after. The size of the tuber, or whether the variety was early or late, had no perceptible influence. The three early varieties lost from 4.87 to 8.48 per cent., the five medium-early varieties from 4.55 to 6.78 per cent., and the four late varieties 5.71 to 7.28 per cent. These losses are believed to be lower than those usually assumed and observed. The loss of weight of these tubers from May to October was 21.57 per cent., considerably more than their loss from October to May 1. As soon as the sprouts begin to grow the loss is rapid.
1 E. S. R., III., p.493.
Nobbe found that about 75 per cent. of the loss of potatoes in storage is due to loss of water and 25 per cent. to respiration. As the potato is alive and breathes, its existence depends upon its using some of its stored-up energy. A ferment changes some of its starch into sugar, and this sugar is used to furnish energy. At low temperatures sugar formation continues, but respiration and the use of the sugar diminishes, and at 30° F. to 28° F. (2° to 4° below freezing-point) respiration almost ceases; hence, frozen potatoes taste sweet because of the accumulation of sugar.
E. Wollny believes that between 32° and 50° F. is the best range of temperature for holding potatoes.
The actual losses which may occur in storage as the result of disease cannot be definitely stated.
PRODUCTION, TRANSPORTATION, AND
In the North the potato is a quasi-staple product. It can be kept a number of months in storage. In the South, except in cold storage, it cannot be kept long and is purely a garden-truck crop, but its culture is extending.
2,836,196 farmers grew potatoes in 1899. The area was 2,938,952 acres, and the yield 273,328,207 bushels, valued at $98,387,614. The average value of the product per acre was $33.48, that of all crops was $10.04, while that of all vegetables was $42.09 per acre. The price per bushel varied between 22 cents in Iowa and Nebraska to $1.10 in Arizona, the average price being 36 cents. The average yield per acre in the year 1879 was 96.7 bushels; in 1889, 83.6 bushels, and in 1899, 93 bushels per acre, although yields of 300 and 400 bushels are common, and over 800 bushels have been obtained.
In 1900 six States grew 51 per cent. of the potatoes (Figs. 47, 48)—viz., New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Minnesota—while Ohio, Illinois, Maine, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, and California grew 25 per cent. more. The sandy pine belt region, skirting the lakes, has shown a phenomenal increase in potato production. In Maine,
i Consult Twelfth Census Report 1902,