The Economic Importance of Good Planting Seed
No careful observer of plants needs to be told that even in the purest varieties there is considerable variation of type and character as well as fruitage of different plants, and it does not require argument to convince anyone that they will get better results by selecting the seed of plants with ideal qualities than by taking the general unselected seed from any field. The agriculturalist has only to select the seed of a number of individuals, plant each in a separate numbered row the following year and observe the great variation in yield and character of the different rows to immediately convince himself of the tremendous value of plant-to-row breeding.
Farming Along the Lower Mississippi
At first glance many of my fellow seedsmen, especially those in the North, will think that this is a subject in which they have no interest. True, a few years ago this subject would have been but little interest to seedsmen in any section. But times have changed and much credit for this change must be given to the “pesky” little boll-weevil.
The large plantations about which so much has been said and written are fast being divided up and sold off to thrifty farmers who are tilling the soil themselves. Before the advent of the boll-weevil some six or seven years ago, one might ride for miles and miles along the lower Mississippi with a continuous field of cotton on either side, save for a break now and then where a few acres of corn or perhaps where a patch of sweet potatoes and peanuts might be planted.
For one who had been through this section before the boll-weevil to go through it now would hardly realize they were in the same country. Instead of continuous cotton fields he would find large acreage of corn, wheat and oat stubble planted in cowpeas, large meadows of alfalfa, red, crimson and alsike clover.
More Than Half Middle West Corn Acreage Planted to Hybrids
Corn Belt farmers are growing 25,000,000 acres of hybrid corn this year, the Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, reported on September 9. With total corn plantings in the 12 North Central states estimated at 49,544,000 acres, more than half is planted to hybrids.
The spectacular increase in the acreage of hybrids throughout the Corn Belt has been one of the most significant agricultural developments of recent years, the report emphasizes. From a mere beginning in 1936, hybrid corn acreage had expanded by 1938 to 12,000,000 acres, and by 1939 to 21,000,000 acres. The 25,000,000 acres under cultivation in the Corn Belt this year reflects the continued shift to hybrid varieties that has been limited only by the supply of adapted seed.
One of the Most Interesting Meetings in History Staged by the Iowa Seed Dealers Association
While the attendance at the meeting of the Iowa Seed Dealers Association held at the Savery Hotel, in Des Moines, on September 10, was not as great as expected, it was generally conceded that this was the most interesting gathering staged by the organization in years. Many of the important problems with which seed dealers are confronted at this time were discussed in a most thorough manner, and especially the Wage and Hour Law.
The meeting was interrupted for luncheon, and at this time George Froelich, of Agricultural Laboratories Inc., Columbus, Ohio, distributed cigars, much to the enjoyment of all.
In the greenhouse-like chamber (center) called the plant growth room, in the laboratory (top), and in-the-field trials (bottom) a continuous progression of research, test and re-test in orderly fashion is carried on to determine nitrogen fixing abilities of the rhizobia strains.
Getting the Most Out of Legume Inoculation
Just a few years back legume inoculation was a very simple operation done by the farmer in a tub or wagon body just before planting his seed. The role of the seedsman was merely to supply the inoculant along with the seed. But the past 10 years have brought about revolutionary changes in methods of inoculating and in forms of inoculant. For the most part, these changes have been brought about by the desire of the farmer to buy his legume seed already inoculated. The seedsman is no longer simply a supplier of inoculant; he is either the inoculator or the custodian of inoculated seed.
Inoculated legume plants are vigorous, have a deep green color, and are rich in protein. All of this is brought about by the bacteria which produce the nodules or nitrogen factories on the roots.
Farm Seed Conference Will Center on Future of Forages
This year the Farm Seed Division of the American Seed Trade Association will hold the “lucky eleventh” in its series of Farm Seed Conferences. The theme of the “lucky eleventh” Farm Seed Conference is “Vision.” And while the dictionary gives a wide scope to the definition of “vision” from “the sense of sight” to the “mental image of our dreams” such as “a vision in red” or whatever our favorite color may be, we rather imagine that the vision which will be presented by the speakers at the Farm Seed Conference as to the future trends in forage seeds and agriculture will be of the earthy rather than the romantic kind and will be based upon trends which may or may not be apparent without considerable study but which, if ferreted out, can offer a valuable guideline as to what lies ahead.