Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 14
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14 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
Screening chicory seed from birdsfoot trefoil
Competition from chicory or "blue wood," a weed that ripens seed at
the same time as birdsfoot trefoil, is a serious obstacle to greater use of
birdsfoot trefoil as a hay and forage crop in the Northeastern States.
Chicory cannot be separated satisfactorily from trefoil seeds by the
customary screening and air-cleaning methods because the seeds of
both plants are of approximately the same size and weight. The
Vermont station studied the characteristics of each kind of seed and
found that trefoil seed is much rounder than chicory seed. The station
then developed a simple machine that separates the "rollers"
or round trefoil seeds from the "riders" or flatter chicory seeds. An
inclined revolving belt or platform allows the round seed to roll off,
whereas the flatter seed rides to one side. With this new machine at
their disposal, farmers may now plant birdsfoot trefoil seed that is
free from this weed seed.
Automatic removal of strawberry caps
The Tennessee station has perfected a machine that automatically
removes the stems and caps from freshly picked strawberries. In tests
6,625 pounds of strawberries of five different varieties this machine
removed more than 96 percent of the caps with less injury to the fruit
than when hand capping was used. Farmers selling strawberries to
commercial canneries previously were responsible for capping as well
as picking the berries. A picker can gather about half again as much
fruit when not required to pick and cap the crop.
The new machine can do the work of approximately 130 hand
cappers. It consists essentially of a rotating vertical drum or barrel
and a series of pairs of rubber-covered and fluted metal rolls. Uncapped
berries are fed into runways and are directed inwardly and
against the rotating rolls and drum. The brushing action of the drum
on the berries propels them along the length of each runway and the
stems and caps are grasped and pulled free by cooperating pairs of
rolls. Capped berries are discharged at one common point at the
end of each runway onto inspection conveyors. Suitable water sprays
placed about the machine serve to wash away loose caps and other
In the past, capping has been one of the most expensive operations
in preparing strawberries for commercial canning and strawberry
preserve making. The new machine is expected to lower processing
costs in an industry that packed 193 million pounds of strawberries
Temperature and humidity control for tobacco curing
Agricultural engineers of the North Carolina station have developed
a new thermostat that controls the temperature of oil-burning heaters
used in flue-curing tobacco barns within a range of 1 to 2 F. In
addition the thermostat automatically allows the temperature to rise
at any desired rate as curing progresses. Incorporated in the instrument
is a device for regulating the humidity in the barn by increasing
or decreasing the amount of ventilation. Accurate regulation of the
temperature and humidity should result in a saving of fuel in curing
and in a much higher quality of cured tobacco.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952, book, January 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5990/m1/16/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.