Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 76
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76 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
and killing weeds. Depth of early plowing had little effect on wheat
yields over 32 years of experiments. Land plowed 3 inches deep
in July averaged 23.7 bushels per acre, 7 inches deep 25 bushels, and
12 inches deep 24 bushels. There were wide differences in yield
under different time-of-plowing practices over the 32-year period.
July-plowed land produced 25.1 bushels an acre, August 20.5 bushels,
and September-plowed land 15 bushels.
Time of tillage affects wheat yields
That moisture conservation is the major consideration for southern
plains farmers who grow winter wheat, and that time of tillage has
more effect on moisture conservation (and yield) than any other
controllable factor, were determined by the Oklahoma station (coop.
USDA). Neither the type of tillage implement used nor the depth
to which it is operated has had much effect on yield, as long as the
practice followed controls weeds. Implements leaving straw or other
residues on the surface have helped to control erosion. Tillage must
be frequent enough to prevent weeds from wasting moisture. Although
summer fallowing has not been profitable as a regular practice,
its use has been justified under special conditions. Yields of wheat
after sorghums have been much lower than of wheat after wheat.
Rotations designed to build up the soil have not greatly increased crop
yields or reduced losses of soil organic matter and nitrogen. Fertilizers
have produced yield increases that are profitable on the
average, but not in most years. Wheat has responded to both nitrogen
Wheat responds to small nitrogen applications
Application of commercial nitrogen to dry-land winter wheat by the
Utah station resulted in increases in yield or protein content or both,
decrease in yellow berry content with increase in protein content, but
seldom increases in weight per bushel. Although 40 pounds of nitrogen
per acre appeared to be the most profitable rate, less or even none
is advised where soil moisture is too low. The nitrate form was more
effective than the ammonium when applied in spring, yet both forms
were about equally good when applied in fall. Early spring applications
were more effective in northern Utah, whereas spring and fall
treatments were equally effective at Nephi.
Grain sorghum thrives in narrow rows
Growing grain sorghums in 21-inch rows compared to the generally
used 42-inch spacing, the Kansas station reports, has provided as large
or larger yields, even in years with dry midsummers. The 9-yearaverage
yields have been 25 percent greater from the narrower rows.
Plants in the 21-inch rows also shade soil between rows, retard weed
growth, and slow evaporation.
Fiber and Oil Seeds
Producing cotton for mechanized handling
Experiments on production methods adapted to' mechanized handling
of cotton by the California station (coop. USDA) have shown
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/78/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.