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thickest seeding gave the best results when the general average of all plats was highest . The greatest average yield of grain for five years was when i i,88o grains were planted. The total average yield of grain for five years was not greatly affected by rates of seeding varying from 9,504 to 23,760 grains per acre; but the size of the ears was markedly different, the average weight of ears being from one-third to one-half greater in the thinner planting. The following table of results obtained at the Illinois Station for three years (1888-1890) illustrates relationships which have been more or less completely verified by other stations which have investigated this subject.1
The more favorable the soil and climatic conditions are for large yields of maize, the thicker the planting should be. At the Illinois Station a seeding which produced from nine thousand to twelve thousand ears per acre brought the largest yield of grain when the conditions favored a general yield of seventy-five bushels or more; and a seeding which produced from eight thousand to nine thousand ears per acre gave the largest yield of grain when the conditions favored a general yield of forty to sixty bushels. Although varying somewhat with the rate of planting, within ordinary limits about three grains were planted for each two ears harvested. At the Missouri Station,s on good land, the largest j\eld, seventy bushels, was
1 III. Bui. 13, p. 410. 1 Mo. Bid. 32.
obtained by leaving four stalks in hills three feet nine inches apart each way, or 12,960 stalks per acre, while on poor land the largest yield, thirty-six bushels, was from two stalks per hill, or 6,480 stalks per acre.
For the principal maize belt, planting at the rate of one grain every twelve inches, or approximately four grains per hill in rows three feet eight inches apart, has given the best results where only grain is desired; at the rate of one grain every nine inches where both grain and stover are desired, the grain being considered the principal product, and at the rate of one grain every six inches where it is planted for silage or where maize fodder is to be fed without husking. Where maize is intended for soiling to be fed early in the season before ears have been formed, the planting should be at the rate of one grain every three inches, as the development of the individual plant is not seriously retarded by this thicker planting up to this period of growth. These general relationships will probably hold for regions further north or south, but the absolute rate will vary.
304. Influence of Rate of Seeding Upon Composition.—Analyses show that when there is no greater variation in rate of planting than that of one grain every six to twelve inches that there is no material difference in the composition of the fodder, but where excessive amounts of seed are planted the protein is materially decreased, and the percentage of crude fiber considerably increased.
At the Connecticut Station,! with flint and dent maize planted at six rates of seeding varying from 2,720 to 87,040 plants per acre, the per cent of ash and protein (NX6.25) was greatest when the stand of maize was thinnest, and decreased regularly up to the thickest planting. This difference was small in the ash bu! large in the protein. The per cent of fiber was greatest in the thickest planting but the relation between the per cent of fiber and the rate of seeding was not entirely uniform. In both varieties the percentage of nitrogen-free extract was greatest when there were 21,760 plants per acre. In both varieties, that thickness which gave the largest yield of dry matter also gave the greatest yield of nutrients,
I Conn. Rpt. 1899, p. 9.
except in dent maize, where the fiber was the greatest at the thickest planting; while the total yield of dry matter was greatest where 21,760 plants were harvested per acre.
At the Maine Station • seeding at rates varying from 12,446 to 24,891 grains per acre was found to produce no marked difference either in yield of total dry matter or in composition.
The New Hampshire Station2 found no marked difference in composition with a flint variety between planting at ten quarts and one bushel of seed per acre, but with a dent variety found a much larger percentage of protein and a considerably smaller percentage of crude fiber when one-half bushel of seed was used than when two bushels were used.
The Pennsylvania Station 8 found no marked difference in composition between seeding a dent variety at eighteen and forty-two pounds of seed per acre, or a flint variety at twenty-one and fifty-five pounds per acre.
1 Me. Rpt. 1896, p. 31.
* N. H. Bui. 92.
* Fenn. Rpt. 1891, p. 30.
CULTURAL METHODS (CONCLUDED).
305. Planting in Hills or Drills.—The Indian method of planting maize was to plant four grains in a hill four feet each way. This method they taught to the colonists. The usual method in the North Atlantic States is to plant in drills; in the North Central States the practice is divided, but the larger part is planted in hills; in the Southern States it is usually planted in hills on the low level lands, while on hill lands the maize is drilled, in order that all cultivation may be at right angles to the slope of the hill, and thus prevent washing. The chief reason why maize is planted in drills in the North Atlantic States is that on account of the unevenness of the surface the check rowing planters do not readily check straight
Two-row maize planter; seed can be planted either In hills or drills. Below on the left is shown a disk in place of shoe as a furrow opener. On the right are two forms of rotary plates for dropping the seed. In the form on the right the number of grains dropped at one time depends upon the size of the holes in the plate; in the form shown in the center, the fact that grains of maize are all practically the same thickness, no matter how much they vary in length and width, Is taken advantage of to select the grains singly, the number per hill depending upon the rate at which the plate revolves.
cross rows, and that on account of the comparative smallness of the fields a one-horse machine will drill maize rapidly enough, and can be bought for from ten to twelve dollars; while a two-horse maize planter, such as is found economical in the larger and more level fields in the North Central States, will cost from thirty to forty dollars. The wheat drill is also frequently used in the North Atlantic States for planting maize. If the third hoe from each end of a wheat drill having eleven hoes, each seven inches apart, is used, maize will be drilled in one-row maize drill with fertilizer rows three feet six inches apart, and attachment. the wheels will be twenty-one inches
from the drill row, thus serving to mark the land. The differences in method relate to economical farm management, rather than to any material difference in the growth of maize. It is only a question by which method maize may be raised at the least cost, and at the same time given the most effective cultivation.
306. Method of Distribution.—Fifteen stations have experimented on the influence of the method of distribution of seed, the amount of seed per acre remaining the same, and all have found either no difference or comparatively small differences due to methods of distribution. Experiments have been conducted at the Illinois Station1 for five years. Plats were planted at five rates of seeding, ranging from 9,504 to 47,520 grains; and at each of these rates of seeding at four methods of distribution: namely, one, two, three and four grains in a place. For three years five grains to a hill were planted. For example, one grain every twelve inches, two grains every twenty-four inches, three grains every thirty-six inches and four grains every forty-eight inches. While the rate of thickness (303) modified the yield of grain and stover, as well as the develop
1 111. Bui. 31, p. 354.