Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 38
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38 REPORT ON EXPERIMENT STATIONS, 1952
The Utah station (coop. USDA) has found that closer spacing than
is normally practiced combined with a satisfactory supply of soil
moisture may result in greater profits in growing onion and carrot
seed in that State. As a result of this research, information on land
and water economy is now available, that will be of great economic
help to the seed-growing industry in Utah and other Western States.
Controlled water for vegetable crops
The value of controlled irrigation and proper soil management in
securing maximum yields for many vegetable crops is reflected in
research dealing with the yellowing in early spring lettuce, as carried
on by the Arizona station in the Salt River Valley. The yellowing
is considered a physiological condition and causes sizeable losses to the
growers of head lettuce in various part of the country. Untimely irrigation
applications are largely responsible for this physiological
condition. The station has shown that proper soil management practices
will prevent soil aeration and compaction.
At the Florida station irrigation studies with cabbage, sweet corn,
snap beans, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers have revealed that under
certain conditions, supplemental irrigation may result in increased
profits during a period of deficient rainfall. In some years supplemental
irrigation showed no advantage, but in other years irrigation
was responsible for the difference between a successful harvest and
The Utah station recently published results from irrigation and
fertilizer trials with sweet corn. These findings indicate that additional
nitrogen is beneficial to sweet corn when it is accompanied by
additional moisture. Up to 200 pounds of nitrogen per acre were
beneficial and the nitrogen applications gave the maximum yields
when adequate moisture was present.
Harvesting and Storing Vegetables
A survey reported by the California station points out how improved
methods of harvesting canning tomatoes can result in immediate
reductions in labor requirements and cut costs by 20 to 30 percent.
It is estimated that the economic value of such methods in the United
States as a whole in the 1951 season, when the tomato harvest for
processing reached about 21/2 million tons and required the employmen
of some 50,000 pickers, would have been approximately $5,000,000.
This survey covered various subjects-the type of tomatoes planted,
the method of harvest, method of handling, kinds of containers, field
lay-out, number of pickings, and the type and availability of labor
in connection with the harvesting process. Although of a preliminary
nature, this report points the way to greater economies
through a greater utilization of mechanized harvesting.
At the New York (State) station the tenderometer has been shown
to be a valuable instrument for determining the best time to harvest
peas for canning and freezing to secure a high quality product and
thus realize maximum financial returns. The tenderometer is a mechanical
device which measures the resistance of peas to a shearing
force in terms of pounds per square inch. The higher the tenderometer
value, the harder, and, therefore, the less desirable and lower
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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/m1/40/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.