Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 79
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FIELD CROPS 79
The development of hybrid varieties of castorbeans is another long
step toward increased profitable production of this crop for industrial
uses over wide areas in the Southwest. Hybrid castorbeans, produced
by crossing N145-4 (a female line developed by the Nebraska
station) with selected inbred lines and commercial varieties, have
yielded from 15 to 20 percent more beans per acre than any commercial
variety now grown. In Oklahoma station tests (coop.
USDA) the hybrids of N145-4 with USDA74 and with Cimarron
(locally adapted varieties) yielded 1,030 and 1,009 pounds of beans
per acre, respectively, compared with 875 pounds for USDA74 and
838 for Cimarron. In cooperative tests under irrigation with the
California station the hybrid of N145-4 with USDA250 yielded 3,936
pounds per acre compared with 3,308 pounds for USDA250. The
hybrid of N145-4 with Baker 195 (a leading semidwarf variety) made
3,497 pounds compared with 3,010 pounds for Baker 195.
Potatoes and Sweetpotatoes
Control of size of tubers for seed
Potato tubers below 27/8 inches in length are the most desirable
in size for seed. The Maine station finds that the practice of close
seedpiece spacing (in rows not closer than 30 to 32 inches or 30 to 36
for Katahdin and Kennebec), together with moderate application of
fertilizer (2,000 pounds 6-9-9 or 1,500 pounds 8-12-12 per acre),
proper storing, and killing the vines when tubers reach the desired size,
are important factors in controlling tuber size. This also applies to
Kennebec and similar varieties for table stock. Thiourea treatment
has aided in reducing tuber size but usually at expense of total yields.
Skin color and other characters affected by 2,4-D
The Colorado station (coop. USDA) has found it possible to increase
the vitamin C content and in harmony with Minnesota station
studies, to intensify the red skin color of Red McClure potatoes, without
a depression in yield, by treating plants prior to harvest with
small amounts of the sodium salt of 2,4-D. When treated tubers were
desprouted and planted, no significant differences in stems, number
of stems per plant, or yield were noted. Treatment resulted in an
increase of free glutamic acid and a decrease of 11 other amino acids,
but in no change in the nitrate content (i. e., not enough to be toxic).
Such treatment with 2,4-D also produced tubers with significantly
higher protein content and higher specific gravity.
Phosphorus for Maine potatoes
Field experiments on rate of application, placement, and sources
of phosphorus, aimed at increased efficiency in the use of phosphorus
fertilizers for potatoes, conducted by the Main station during 25 years,
indicate that the currently recommended application of 160 to 200
pounds of P205 per acre from superphosphate in row side bands is
still satisfactory in obtaining high yields of Maine potatoes,
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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/m1/81/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.