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one season, found that the Welcome or short, plump grain group (385) contained a higher percentage of kernel than the Seizure group, which has longer and more slender grains. While in the Welcome group the varieties with the highest weight per bushel contained the highest per cent of kernel, the reverse was the case with the Seizure group.1 Saunders believes that the results at Ottawa prove that with a given variety the actual weight of hull per grain is the same without reference to the weight per bushel.8
Since the hull (flowering glume and palea) develops long before the kernel, it would seem that with a given variety any unfavorable environment which prevents the grain from filling fully would both decrease the per cent of kernel and the weight per bushel. If, however, a large number of varieties are grown under the same conditions, it is probable that those varieties best suited to the environment would develop their kernels most completely and thus have the highest per cent of kernel. Thus the per cent of kernel might in some instances be the highest in varieties with short, plump grains, and in other instances in those with long, slender ones, depending upon their adaptability to the given region or season.
382. Weight per Bushel.—The legal weight per bushel in all States of the United States is thirty-two pounds, except in Idaho (thirty-six), Maine, New Jersey, Virginia (each thirty) and Maryland (twenty-six). In Canada it is thirty-four pounds. Oats may vary in weight from twenty-five to fifty pounds per bushel, the lighter weight being found in the more southern climates. Richardson found the average weight per bushel of 166 varieties gathered from various sections of the United States to be thirtyseven pounds. In order to increase the weight per bushel and consequently the commercial quality, elevators frequently resort to a process known as clipping.
1 Ohio Bui. 57, p. 108.
* Can. Farms Rpt. 1903, p. 8.
383. Composition.—The average of American analyses is as follows:
Rather wide variations are found in the composition of the oat grain, due doubtless to the variation in percentage of hull, since the composition of the oat kernel shows only moderate variations. Taking the grain as a whole, oats differ from maize principally in having a larger per cent of crude fiber at the expense of starch. The kernel is richer in protein and fat than the corresponding part of any of our other cereals. Oat straw has a higher percentage of protein and a lower percentage of crude fiber than wheat or rye straw. The composition of oat hay cut when the grain was in the milk is very similar to that of timothy hay.
No coherent substance similar to gluten in wheat is to be obtained from the oat kernel; hence light bread cannot be made from it. Osborne has found that the proteids of the oat kernel undergo great changes when brought in contact with water or sodium chloride solution. It is necessary, therefore, to distinguish between the primary and secondary proteids of the oat kernel. Of primary proteids, the oat kernel contains about one and one-fourth per cent of an alcohol-soluble proteid; about one and one-half per cent of salt-soluble proteid or globulin, while the rest of the proteids contained in the oat kernel is an alkali-soluble body. This substance which forms the larger portion of the proteids has been given the name avenine. 1
1 Memoirs National Academy of Sciences, Vol. VI, p. 51; also Conn. Rpt. 1891, p. 134.
384. Germination.—Saunders has reported the average germination of four samples of oats during six years as follows: 90, 93, 78, 67, 54 and 30 per cent. The viability was greater than with wheat, barley, peas or flax.1 Kinzel found that the percentage of germinable seed steadily increased for eight to ten months, after which there was a decrease.1 The Ohio Station found an average yield during five years of forty-eight bushels per acre where seed of the previous year's growth was used, and forty-five bushels per acre where seed was one year older.8
The Wisconsin Station reports that soaking oats in a solution of two and one-half parts of formaldehyde to 1,000 parts of water decreased germination from six to seventeen per cent.4 An increased yield has been observed in some instances from hot water and potassium sulphide treatment beyond that resulting from replacing smutted panicles with sound ones. This may be explained by supposing that many plants are attacked with smut without developing spores when seed is not treated, and by its possible higher germinative energy. Kellerman found that treatment with hot water and potassium sulphide generally caused better and greater germinationwhile the Wyoming Station found copper sulphate, hot water and potassium sulphide generally injurious.
385. Classification.—There are spring and winter (fall) varieties of oats. The winter varieties are principally grown south of the southern boundary of Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas, or about 370 N. Lat., where they are the chief
1 Can. Expt. Farms Rpt. 1903, p. 44.
2 Landw. Vers. Stat. 54 (1900), No. 1-2, p. 123. s Ohio Bui. 138 (1903), p. 48.
1 Wis. Rpt. 1902, p. 268.
S Ohio Bui. 3 Tech. ser. (1893), P- 201
varieties grown. The area of cultivation of winter oats is gradually extending northward. Where successfully grown they are to be preferred to spring varieties, because of their more vigorous early growth in the spring and their earlier ripening. At the Alabama Station fall sowing gave about twice the yield of grain and straw as spring sowing.1 There is, however, greater danger of absolute failure of fall seeding on account of winter killing.
Oats may be further classified according to their date of
ripening, according to color and shape of grain and according to the shape of the panicle. The panicle may be spreading or open, or the branches may hang mostly upon one side of the rachis and be more upright, which gives the panicle a closed appearance. Such varieties are known as side oats. There are all degrees of variation between the varieties with open and closed panicles. 'There are varieties
Variety with open or spreading pamcle. rf ^ knQwn ^ hu„_
less oats, in which the flowering glume and palea are removed upon threshing. These varieties may have either open or closed panicles. On account of the smaller yield, due in part, at least, to the removal of the hull, they are not generally raised.
1 Ala. Bui. 95, p. 165.
The Ohio Station, which has tested seventy-one varieties for ten years, has divided these varieties into four groups: (1) Welcome group, with open panicle, coarse straw and short, plump grain, includes twenty-one varieties; (2) Wide Awake group, grain longer and more pointed, requiring slightly longer season, includes twenty-three varieties; (3) Seizure group, panicle one-sided, stiff straw, still longer season, includes thirteen varieties; (4) Mixed group, in which varieties are placed not clearly belonging in any of the above groups.
386. Value of Different Types and Varieties.— Carleton states that side oats are usually white or black; that white and black varieties of any type are usually found in northern regions; that red varieties usually, and gray varieties almost entirely, are grown as winter oats.1 Experiments seem to indicate that there is no material difference in yield between varieties with open and closed panicles, between varieties of different colored grains, or between varieties having short,
. . 111-1 11 Variety with clotted
plump grains, and those having long, slender or one.sided pangrains, and consequently between varieties of indifferent weight per bushel. In America there are more early maturing varieties with short, plump, white grains and open panicles than any other kind; and at the Ohio Station and at the Ontario Agricultural College ranked rather better than other types.2
While it cannot, perhaps, be demonstrated that early maturing varieties are more prolific than late maturing varieties, they have the advantage in that their growth and maturity are during the
1 Rpt. Kan. St. Bd. Agr., Quar. ending March 1,1904, p. 19. 2 Ohio Bui. 138 (1903), p. 45, and Ont. Agr. Col. and Expt. Farms Rpt. 1897, p. 154.