Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 88
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88 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1953
At the Michigan station a breeding program with snapdragons has
been under way since 1949. From this have come two new varieties
of snapdragons. Spartan Rose is an extremely vigorous and productive
variety with a noteworthy tolerance to warm weather. It has
bright attractive rose colored flowers. Spartan White approaches
perfection in the desirable shape of its flower spikes. Clubbiness of
spikes is not a problem even in the darker days of midwinter. It
bears pure white flowers that exhibit a remarkable resistance to shattering.
Both varieties should be generally available by the spring
FRUIT PRODUCTION RESEARCH
Fruit production research represents one of the oldest phases of
agricultural research. Because of the relatively slow growth of plant
materials with which horticulturists work, research often takes years
before it is completed. Each year brings outstanding advances, however.
A station may announce the development and breeding of a
new fruit variety to meet special requirements or it may introduce
improved practices that will result in a net gain to American fruit
growers through more efficient production.
Chemical Thinning of Fruits
Chemical thinning is of considerable advantage to fruitgrowers
faced with high production costs and a shortage of competent laborers.
Research at the Missouri station indicated that the use of a fruitthinning
substance such as NAA (naphthaleneacetic acid), produces
two significant and opposing physiological effects. These are (1) a
temporary retardation in the separation of cells along the abscission
zone of the pedicel, and (2) a strong and prolonged inhibition of
embryo development. The station suggests that the relationship
between these two influences has a direct bearing on the extent to which
induced fruit thinning should be carried out, and that the inhibition
of embryo function and development is by far the more important
and deciding factor. The temperatures prevailing during the fruitsetting
period influence the duration of the effect of the fruit-thinning
chemicals. In cool weather, the effective period may be 3 weeks as
compared with the usual 10 days to 2 weeks in warmer weather.
According to the Pennsylvania station, one of the important advantages
from chemical thinning of apples is the increased percentage
of the crop that will grade out into the larger and more profitable
sizes. Generally an increase in the concentration of a thinning chemical
such as NAA resulted in greater thinning of the fruit. Yields
were more satisfactory when the NAA sprays was applied 22 days
after calyx time than at 13 or 18 days.
From tests of the effects of several chemicals in the thinning of
fruit, the Massachusetts station concluded that the nitrogen status of
an apple tree may be an important factor in certain varieties in determining
the degree of thinning obtained with thinning chemicals.
The station observed that the use of chemical thinning agents is valuable
in inducing annual fruiting and a biennial fruiting tendency
in apple varities.
As reported by the Ohio station, weather conditions prevailing at
the time of fruit setting have a considerable influence on the effective
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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/m1/90/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.