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slightly decreased. On clay soils heavy rains are more likely to pack the soil unfavorably on rolled than upon unrolled land. On such soil a light harrowing after rolling may prove beneficial. Harrowing after oats are up has increased the yield of grain in Nebraska,2 but decreased it in Kansas. Oats may be cultivated by sowing two drill rows and missing two, but using the same amount of seed per acre. Sometimes increased yields have been obtained, but usually a decreased yield results from more or less accidental injury to plants. It appears that on gravelly soil especially liable to suffer from drouth, cultivation may increase the yield, but ordinarily it cannot be considered good practice. The Iowa Station found that cutting back oats when showing five leaves decreased the amount of lodging, increased the yield twelve per cent and somewhat delayed ripening *
400. Influence of Size of Seed.—The Ohio Station obtained heavy and light seed by use of a fanning mill and during seven years averaged forty-six bushels with heavy seed, forty-five bushels with common seed and forty-three bushels per acre with light seed. No difference was found in weight per bushel.5 By the same method Kansas Station during eight years obtained thirty-one, thirty and twenty-eight bushels respectively.6 Minnesota Station sowed two bushels of oats weighing thirty-seven pounds per bushel and two bushels weighing twenty-one pounds per bushel, and obtained sixty-four and fifty-five bushels of grain per acre respectively."
401. Influence of Seed Selection. — In the above tests the selection was by specific gravity and not by weight of individual
I Wis. Rpt. 1891, p. 91.
seeds, and in each case equal quantity but not equal number of seeds per acre was used. By means of hand selected seeds, and using the same number of seeds per acre, the Ontario Agricultural College obtained during seven years sixty-two bushels with large seeds, fifty-four bushels with medium sized seeds, and forty-seven bushels of grain with small seeds. In the Northwest Territories selected, well cleaned, and small oats for seed yielded 131, 122, and 121 bushels respectively.”
402. Seed Selection. In the above experiments the influence of weight or specific gravity of seed upon yield rather than the hereditary influence of continuous selection of seed was determined, a fresh source of seed in most instances being used for each year's work. It should be remembered that every spikelet of oats contains two seeds, one very much larger than the other. In the following experiment by Zavitz the influence of continuous selection of large, plump, well-developed seeds was compared with the like selection of light-weighing and light-colored seeds. At the end of eleven years, the former produced seventyseven bushels per acre and the latter fifty-eight bushels per acre. An ounce of the former contained 1,208 grains, while an ounce of the latter contained 1,586 grains. The selection of hulled seed continuously showed a tendency to produce oats which were easily hulled during threshing.'
403. Mixing Varieties.—It has been held that since varieties have different habits of growth, the mixing of two or more varieties might enable them more fully to occupy the soil and thus produce higher yields. During seven years the Ohio Station tested a mixture of four distinct varieties but found no influence upon yield as compared with the varieties not mixed.*
1 Ont. Agr. Col. and Expt. Farms Rpt. 1903, p. 118
404. Sowing with Other Cereals.—The Ontario Agricultural College grew oats, spring wheat, barley and peas separately and in eleven combinations for grain and straw during six years. In about ninety per cent of the experiments, the mixtures produced the larger yields of grain, a combination of oats and barley being best. The Ottawa Station found oats alone produced a better yield than a mixture in one location and that the mixture did best in another location and season. The best mixtures were one bushel each of barley, oats and peas, and one-half bushel of spring wheat, one of oats, three-fourths of pcas and three-fourths of barley per acre.?
405. Sowing with Field Peas.-Oats are sometimes mixed with field peas for the production of green or dry fodder for grain. They may be mixed and sown in an ordinary wheat drill, or peas may be sown and the land plowed, covering the peas about four inches deep. Land may then be fitted and the oats sown broadcast or with drill. Sowing the oats may be delayed for about a week to give the peas a start of the oats. This mixture is frequently sown for soiling milch cows where pasture is restricted or not available. By sowing at different dates a succession of green fodder may be had as follows in the North Atlantic and North Central States, allowance being made for soil and season: Time of seeding
Time of cutting
June 15-July 5
July 1-July 25 The Vermont Station secured 10,917 pounds of water-free substance containing 12.6 per cent of protein by growing peas and oats for fodder, and found this mixture superior to oats and spring vetch (Vicia sativa L.). Zavitz found in Ontario,
1 Ont. Agr. Col. and Expt. Farms Rpt, 1898, p. 144.
Canada, as a result of five years' tests, that Daubeney oats and Chancellor peas yielded 5.9 tons of green fodder in seventy days; Siberian oats and Prussian Blue peas 6.9 tons in seventyseven days; and Mammoth Cluster oats and Prince Albert peas 6.1 tons in eighty-four days from time of seeding. Two bushels of Siberian oats and one bushel of Prussian Blue peas are recommended for the production of either green fodder or dry fodder.? Hays found both in North Dakota and Minnesota that oats and field peas sown separately produced a better yield of grain than a mixture.?
406. Oats and Rape.—By sowing one pound of rape seed with six pecks of oats the Iowa Station produced sixty bushels of oats, while in October the rape produced eighteen tons of green substance per acre. In order to avoid interference with harvesting oats, rape should be sown two to three weeks later than the oats. The rape may be pastured or plowed under as green manure.
“There is no doubt but that the first step in the economical use of phosphates is to imitate nature and endeavor to keep the soil well supplied with organic matter; for it is only by such means that the phosphates contained in the soil naturally and those applied artificially can be fully utilized by the cultivated crops.
"It is very evident from all the tests cited that some crops, particularly the turnip family, have a greater ability than others to use crude or insoluble phosphates, and these experiments would certainly teach that the aim should be to employ such crops for rendering insoluble phosphates available, and by such a practice save much that is now being spent for sulphuric acid and the cost of manufacturing the soluble phosphates.” 4
407 Treatment of Seed. --All seed oats should be treated for loose smut. (415) The same methods may be employed that are recommended for stinking smut on wheat, the formalin treatment being the most commonly used. (149) The solution
i Ont. Agr. Col. and Expt. Farms Rpt. 1901, p. 99. 2 No. Dak. Bul. 10 (1893), p. 44, and Minn. Bul. 20 (1892), p. 35. 8 Iowa Bul. 45 (1900), p. 216. 4 H. J. Patterson, in article on Phosphates, Penn. State Dept. of Agr. Bul. 94.
may be sprinkled over the oats, the grain being stirred mean. while, when one gallon of the solution will be sufficient for four bushels of oats; or the oats may be placed in gunny sacks and submerged in the liquid for ten minutes. The sacks are then allowed to drain for several minutes, when the oats are spread out to dry. In this case more liquid will be required.
408. Rate of Seeding.–The rate is not materially modified by the thickness of seeding within certain limits. The oat plant, like the wheat plant, has the ability to adapt itself to its surroundings, so that where it is thinly planted it stools more than where thickly planted. On some soils, at least, the thinly sown oats are later in maturing, and the proportion of straw is greater. No definite rule can be laid down, but sowing from two to three bushels, according to fertility of soil, preparation of seed bed, manner of seeding and size of seed may be taken as a safe guide for spring sowing in Northern States. The number of seeds in a pound of oats has been found to vary with different varieties from about 11,000 to about 30,000. The following table shows the rate of seeding per acre which gave the most satisfactory results at the several stations indicated :