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409. Time of Sowing in Southern States.—In sowing winter varieties in the Southern States the best results are usually obtained by sowing between October 1st and November 15th. Not infrequently, however, the seeding is delayed until December. In the South the so-called spring seeding may take place in January, February and March, according to location, February being generally best.
"The rule of sowing in the 'twelve' days following Christmas day never had any basis in sound reason, and it is believed to be about the most inauspicious time that could be hit upon, it being generally the very coldest period of winter." 1
It is believed to be good practice to reserve a few acres for spring seeding in case the fall sown oats are winter killed. If not winter killed this smaller area is sown to a spring variety; if winter killed the larger area is sown to a spring variety and the smaller area to a winter variety in order to secure seed again.
410. Time of Sowing in Northern States.—Since oats require a moist, cool climate for their best development, they should be sown as early in the spring as possible. Experiments indicate that there is a marked decrease both in yield and the weight per bushel when the seeding is delayed With maize the time
of planting, within four or five weeks during any season, is not especially important. Such a difference in time of sowing oats may make the difference between success and failure. The table on page 303 shows the best dates as determined at the stations indicated, as well as indicating the period of the tests.
411. Depth of Sowing.—The depth of sowing between one to four inches does not materially influence the yield, although tha best results have been obtained with sowing from one to two inches, as shown in the following table:
The same principles apply here as with maize and wheat. (130, 300)
412. Methods of Sowing.—
Unless the land is plowed, oats must, of course, be sown broadcast. On plowed land the practice is divided, but broadcasting is probably the most general, the controlling reason being that they can be somewhat more cheaply sown in this way than if the drill is used. The experimental evidence does not clearly
Wheat roots, showing that the depth of the .... . . . .
permanent roots is not influenced by the indicate any increase in yield depth of seeding, in the plants on the left from either method, much ap
the permanent roots will arise at the point .i T I
where the culm enlarges. (About one- Parently depending Upon SOll,
fourth natural size.) season, preparation of seed bed,
depth of seeding, and quantity of seed used. If drouth prevails at or just after seeding, or soil is of a character to suffer from dry weather, drilling would be preferred. If drilling is accompanied by better preparation of seed bed, it is to be preferred. Broadcasting requires more seed, perhaps a half bushel to the acre more, much depending upon the preparation of the seed bed. The same seeding machinery described for sowing wheat may be used for oats. (135) The broadcast seeder attached to the end gate of a wagon is widely used
Where OatS follow maize Without Broadcast seeder attached to the end gate
of farm wagon and driven by rear wheel.
plowing. Kansas Station found during seven years an average of twenty-six bushels by broadcasting and thirty bushels by drilling. Slightly better results have been obtained by using the shoe drill with press wheels than by the shoe drill without press wheel or by hoe drill.1
413. Method of Fall Sowing.—The Georgia Station recommends the following method to prevent winter killing:
"On the station farm we have found, even when the drills were laid two feet or one and a half feet apart, using a common scooter plow, or, better, a single-row fertilizer and seed distributer—that oats so sown always produce a larger yield than when sown broadcast and harrowed in. But a more important discovery is the fact that when the seed are sown in open furrows and barely covered, leaving the furrows open or unfilled, the oat plants are very much less liable to be killed by a severe freeze. The idea was conceived several years ago, and annually since we have sown the larger portion of the fall-sown area in drills eighteen to twenty-four inches apart, latterly using a Gantt fertilizer distributer. This sows but one row at a
1 Kan. Bui. 74, p. 200.
time, has no covering attachment, but simply opens a small furrow and sows the seed. The result is the plants come up one and a half to two inches below the general surface, and the 'crown' of each plant is formed and established say two to two and a half inches below the general surface. The winter rains, light freezes and thaws gradually but only partly fill in the open furrow, and the more vital and sensitive parts of the plants are left at the original depth, below the reach of even very severe freezes." 1
IV. WEEDS, FUNGOUS DISEASES AND INSECT ENEMIES.
Homemade spraying apparatus for killing wild mustard; also used for spraying potatoes.
414. Weeds.—The oat, like all other spring sown cereals, is apt to be infested with any weeds whose seeds happen to be present in the soil. Weeds are frequently a hindrance to the proper curing of the crop. In the Northern States the most conspicuous weed in the oat crop is the wild mustard, which may be eradicated by spraying the oats with a three per cent solution of copper sulphate at the rate of fifty gallons of the solution per acre. (144)
415. Fungous Diseases.—The oat plant is generally exceptionally free from insect enemies and fungous diseases. Besides the two species of rust occurring upon wheat (146) there occurs also on oats crown rust (Puccinia coronata Cda.), so called from the horn-like projections on the teleutospores. No remedy is known. There are two forms of smut, namely, loose smut (Usiilago avenae (Pers.) Jens.) and covered smut (Ustilago avenae laevis (Jens.) Kell. and Swing.). The first form, which is most common, converts the entire spikelet into smut spores, while in the second only the kernel is so affected. Both are successfully prevented by treating with hot water or formalin. (149) A bac
Loose smut on oats. Glumes more fully destroyed in specimen on the right.
terial disease sometimes causes the death of the lower leaves and more or less yellowing of the young plants.1 No remedy has been discovered.
416. Insect Enemies.—There is no insect which confines its attacks to the oat plant, and aside from the chinch bug (151), grasshoppers and fall army worm, there is none that causes extensive and serious damage to the growing plant. (153) The stored grain is less seriously attacked, doubtless on account of its huli .
1 Journal of Mycology, Vol. VI, p 72.