Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 24
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24 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
Idaho station experiments show that light and frequent irrigations
give best yields of good quality Russet Burbank potatoes. The sprinkler
system used about half as much water as the furrow system to
maintain equal soil moisture contents. Time of irrigation evidently
should be determined by soil moisture content (there should not be
more than TO-percent depletion in the top 10 inches) rather than by
calendar. The first irrigation should come before plants are 30 days
old. A little overirrigation at this time has shown no harmful effects,
whereas insufficient irrigation early in the season has resulted in lower
yields and quality. Frequent light irrigations in the hottest part of
the season (as in July) have kept the soil cooler and have reduced the
amount of pointed-end, bottleneck, and undersized tubers, and other
Killing potato vines prior to harvest facilitates digging and picking
operations. The Colorado station has found that the practice of
beating off the vines is superior to the other mechanical vine-killing
methods-burning and undercutting. Sodium arsenite is preferred
to other chemical sprays. Vine killing generally reduces the yield
and specific gravity of the tubers. Tuber color is a more intense red
on early-harvested than on late-harvested potatoes. Skinning is reduced
by vine killing and is reduced further by allowing the tubers to
remain in the soil for a week after the vines are killed. Irrigating 4
days before vine killing increased the yield, decreased the amount of
stem-end discoloration, and lowered the specific gravity of tubers.
Less discoloration after vine killing occurred with high soil moisture
than under drought conditions. This is also supported by North
Dakota station findings in the Red River Valley.
Chemical control of weeds in potatoes is one of the major laborsaving
procedures employed since the adoption of mechanized potato
growing. New York (Cornell) station experiments show that weeds
in potatoes can be controlled with one preemergence application of
chemicals. About 2 weeks after planting and before the potatoes
emerge the chemical, as a dinitro compound, in recommended dilution,
is sprayed uniformly on the potato acreage. A later cultivation at
hilling to prevent greening of any of the exposed tubers may be
desirable. With less labor, these procedures have resulted in clean
fields of potatoes and yields equal to those under normal cultivation.
Onolena, a new sweetpotato developed by the Hawaii station, supplies
the market demand for high-dextrin sweetpotatoes not grown
previously in the Territory. It has equaled or outyielded the best
standard varieties and has kept in best condition for the longest storage
period. It has graded better than Porto Rico in baking tests. The
tolerant Allgold developed by the Oklahoma station and the resistant
Goldrush from the Louisiana station were the only new varieties
studied in Mississippi station experiments that were appreciably resistant
to wilt and deemed worthy as new table-type market varieties.
Yellow- or orange-fleshed varieties of sweetpotatoes, which are excellent
sources of carotene, provide animals and man with an easily
available source of essential vitamin A. The Puerto Rico (University)
station found that sweetpotatoes (TT. P. R. No. 3-Porto Rico)
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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/m1/26/: accessed March 1, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.