Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 36
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36 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
that water-soluble preservatives were less harmful to the plants and
less costly than the organic solvent materials. Treated wooden receptacles
were less toxic to plants, if thoroughly dried before being
put into service.
The possibility of more profitable maple susar production was suggested
as a result of studies conducted by the Vermont station. Trees
were shown to differ in the percentage of sugar in their sap and although
there was some annual change in the trees studied, high-sugar
trees maintained their relative position year after year. Furthermore,
maple trees were found to vary in amount of sap excreted and in
rate of flow of the sap. This information should aid in the isolation
of potentially valuable trees and should lead ultimately to the establishment
of maple groves of superior type.
VEGETABLE CROP RESEARCH
Vegetable crop research in many different forms has been carried
on at the State experiment stations. Studies in mechanization of
vegetable growing operations have developed information that has
helped to take a part of the "stoop" and hand labor out of gardening.
This is of special economic significance to commercial growers, and
has also added materially to the satisfactions and returns of home
gardeners. Small motor-driven garden equipment has become extremely
popular; new methods of fertilizer and spray application are
under study; and better harvesting and storage methods are evolving.
The breeding of new vegetable varieties to meet modern requirements
continues. Leaders in vegetable crop research are cooperating closely
with entomologists and plant pathologists in developing new scientific
methods for the control of insects and vegetable diseases, and with the
agricultural engineers and economists in developing improved spraying
and harvesting equipment and storage facilities. Selected examples
of the results of research in the fields mentioned follow.
Foliar fertilizer applications
The effect of spraying greenhouse tomatoes with nutrient solutions
has been reported previously. The Michigan station now reports the
results of spraying the leaves of certain vegetables with fertilizers.
Tomato, bean, and corn plants grown at low phosphorus levels gave
definite growth responses to foliar-applied phosphorus, as indicated
by height and fresh weight measurements. Early yields, but not total
yields of field tomatoes were increased significantly by four weekly
sprays of a 25-millemolar solution of o-phosphoric acid. Considering
the quantities applied, foliar-applied phosphorus was utilized much
more efficiently than phosphorus applied broadcast to the soil; but the
latter treatment gave the highest total yields.
Tracer studies with radioactive o-phosphoric acid have demonstrated
that foliar-applied phosphorus is rapidly absorbed by
the leaves of the tomato, corn, bean, and squash plants and is translocated
to the root tips and other centers of high metabolic activity.
At the Maryland station foliar fertilizer applications have been
effective in increasing the yield of tomatoes when the applications of
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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/m1/38/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.