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an acre. The principal acreage is in the Southern States. None of the North Atlantic or Western States produces any considerable quantity. Kansas and Missouri are the principal producers among the North Central States. The yield per acre of cane was 6.5 tons and of sirup fifty-eight gallons. The total acreage of Kafir varieties in Kansas in 1899 was reported at 619,000 acres, of which 155,000 acres were raised for seed.
565. Yield per Acre.—As a grain crop, sorghum is more productive than maize in the semiarid districts. The Kansas Station reports an average yield for eleven years ending 1899 of forty-six bushels per acre of Kafir corn and thirty-five bushels per acre of maize. Their highest yield in any one year was Kafir corn ninety-eight bushels and maize seventy-eight bushels. In the semiarid districts west of the Kansas Station it is believed that the relative difference in yield is still greater. The average yield of broom corn in 1889 was 509 pounds of brush per acre, averaging four cents per pound, which has been the average price of broom corn brush in Illinois for the twenty-five years ending 1901. One-third of a ton of standard brush or one-fifth of a ton of dwarf brush per acre is considered a satisfactory crop.
566. History.—Sorghum is probably indigenous to tropical Africa, whence it was introduced into Egypt in prehistoric times and from there into India and finally into China.1 Sweet sorghum was introduced into the United States in 1845 and widely disseminated through the influence of Orange Judd. The Kafir varieties now generally grown for seed were introduced about 1885 by the United States Department of Agriculture. Their cultivation has been rapidly extended in the regions to which they are especially adapted. Broom corn has been cultivated in this country for more than 100 years. Brewer believes the use of sorghum for the production of broom origi
1 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 382.
nated in the North Atlantic States, it having been formerly extensively raised in New York State, particularly in the Mohawk Valley.1
567. Collateral Reading. Kafir Corn. By C. C. Georgeson. U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bui. 37. Sorghum as a Forage Crop. By Thomas A. Williams. U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bui. 50.
Broom Corn. By Charles P. Hartley. U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bui. 174. Pedigreed Sorghum as a Source of Cane Sugar. By A. T. Neale. Del. Col.
Agr. Expt. Sta. Bui. 51, pp. 3-11. Sorghum Sirup Manufacture. By A. A. Denton. U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers'
Bui . 135.
1 Tenth Census of the U. S., Vol. Agr., p. 510.
568. Name.—Buckwheat obtains its name from its resemblance to the beechnut; the German for buckwheat (buchweizeri), meaning beechwheat, having been corrupted in English into buckwheat. Fagopyrum, the name of the genus to which this plant belongs, means beechwheat. Buckwheat is not a cereal from a botanical point of view, but because its seed serves the purpose of cereals and enters into commerce as such it is customary to class it with the cereal crops.
569. Relationships.—This plant belongs to the buckwheat
family (Polygonaceae), which includes the various species of sorrel and dock (Rutnex), and of smartweed, knotweed, bindweed (Polygonum), all more or less troublesome weeds.
570. The Plant.—The roots of buckwheat are entirely different from those of the true cereals, consisting of one primary root and several branches. While the primary root extends directly downward and thus reaches into moist soil, its roots do not extend over large areas either laterally or vertically. The plant grows from two to four, under ordinary cultivation about three feet in height. It has a watery stem varying at the base from three-eighths to five-eighths inch in diameter. While green the color of the stem varies from green to red, which upon ripening becomes brown. The plant does not tiller or sucker, only one stem being produced from each seed. The stem is more or less branched, however, depending upon the thickness of seeding; the plant by this means adapting itself to its environment. The normal amount of branching under ordinary field culture may be seen in (581). The leaves are alternate, triangular, about as long as broad, varying in both dimensions from two to four inches, borne upon a pedicel varying from nearly sessile to nearly four inches in length. At the point where the branches or leaves arise upon the stem the stipule is developed into a legging known as an ochrea. The growth of the stem is from the tip instead of from the base, as is the case in the grass family.
571. The Flowers.—The pinkish white flowers are borne in a flat-topped cluster in the axils of the leaves and at the end of the stem or branch. There are no petals, but the sepals of the calyx have the appearance of petals. The calyx remains attached upon threshing at the base of the ripened grain. There are eight stamens and one three-parted pistil. There are two form of flowers, one with long stamens and short styles and the other with short stamens and long styles. Each plant bears but one form and the plants bearing the two forms are about equally divided. The New Jersey Station has shown that the fertility of the soil does not influence the ratio of the two forms and that seed from
either form produce plants With both Buckwheat flowers: variety, . . - - , 11. silver huil, one-haif natural
forms m about equal numbers; although a slight tendency to follow the parent form was thought to be observed.1 The crossing between the two unlike forms by insect visitation is believed to be secured by this arrangement.
572. The Grain.—The grain of buckwheat is called an achene, and consists of a single seed enclosed in the pericarp. The pericarp in a mature grain is a thick, hard hull with a
smooth, somewhat shining surface. This hull is slightly inflated, easily removed, its triangular edges often splitting apart in stored grain. The testa is membraneous, light yellowish green in color; the embryo is curved and extends through the center, dividing the endosperm into two parts. The endosperm is comparatively soft and pure white in color. The embryo is relatively larger than in wheat.
573. Physical Properties.—The grain of buckwheat may be described as a triangular pyramid with a rounded or bluntly rounded base. The base of the kernel after the hull has been removed is more nearly flat. While a cross section of the grain is usually three-angled, it is occasionally four-angled and more rarely two-angled. The grains vary in length from three-sixteenths to three-eighths inch. The width of the three sides is about equal, usually one-eighth to three-sixteenths inch at its widest part. The hull, and hence the grain, varies in color from silver gray to reddish brown and black. The legal weight per bushel of buckwheat varies in different States from forty to fifty-six pounds. In New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Canada, where it is chiefly raised, the weight per bushel is forty-eight pounds.
574. Composition.—The following is the composition of buckwheat, buckwheat straw, buckwheat flour and its by-products:
As compared with the grain of wheat, buckwheat contains a somewhat lower percentage of protein and a much higher