Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 18
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18 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
Growing hybrid corn without detasseling
Research at this Connecticut station and at Illinois and other stations
has resulted in the development of a promising method for growing
hybrid seed corn without the tedious and costly hand removal of
tassels. The method is based on using in crossing fields, corn plants
that produce no pollen on their tassels (male-sterile) but that have
normal seed-making parts as the female parents. Almost any standard
hybrid or inbred corn can be made pollen-sterile by an ingenious
method of crossing and backcrossing. The process is now being
adopted in commercial hybrid seed production. The Illinois station
estimates that complete elimination of detasseling in commercial hybrids
seed production will effect an annual reduction of about $10,000,000
in cost of production.
Varietal influence on oil and protein content
The possibility of developing high-yielding corn which is also high
in oil and protein for feed and industrial use has been considered by
the Illinois station (coop. USDA). Analyses by the station of about
300 varieties submitted by private producers during a period of 3 years
and also of some of its own hybrids, revealed that actual contents of
oil and protein in the corn vary markedly with season and soil fertility.
However, varieties that are high in protein or oil for any one year
are also high in other years. High yields do not affect the contents
of protein or oil. The protein content of the varieties ranged from
8.6 to 11.7 percent (3-year average) and dil content from 4.3 to 4.8
Response of corn to measured fertilizer rates
The advantage of growing adapted corn hybrids in suitable stands
and with proper fertilizer rates was shown by the Mississippi station
(coop. USDA). Corn to which no nitrogen was applied and which
was thinned to the former rate of 4,000 plants averaged 22 bushels per
acre yield compared with 72 bushels when 120 pounds of nitrogen per
acre was applied and the stand was increased to 12,000 plants per
acre. The fertilized plants also produced grain with 1.74 percent more
protein. Weeds were better controlled, crop residues were increased,
and a greater amount of soil organic matter was built up in the fertilized
crops than in the unfertilized crops.
Weed control in corn fields
A program for controlling weeds in corn, reported by the Iowa station
(coop. USDA), calls for a combination of tillage practices, herbicides,
clean seed, and crop rotations. No single method has sufficed.
Among primary tillage methods, plowing was placed first, with
listing a close second; these methods have consistently given higher
yields and usually have resulted in better initial weed control than
disking or subsurface tillage. Between primary tillage and planting,
once-over with a tandem disk harrow, followed by a spike-tooth
harrow just before planting, gives best weed control under ordinary
conditions. With adverse conditions, additional tillage with the diskharrow
or duckfoot cultivator may be advisable. Early cultivations
with a weeder, rotary hoes, or spike-tooth harrow usually control small
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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/m1/20/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.