Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1952 Page: 7
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AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING 7
the applicator to increase the ammonia-absorbing volume of soil, and
a gage depth-control wheel that also packs the soil behind the applicator
and thus seals the furrow. This new equipment proved satisfactory
where the rate of application of ammonia per linear foot is
high, the surface of the ground is covered with trash, and there are
numerous roots in the soil.
Nematode control by fumigation
Agricultural research is gradually building a supply of reliable information
about nematodes, the species of minute parasitic roundworms
that affect man, animals, and plant life. In recent years their
destructiveness to certain crops has become recognized. A satisfactory
method of controlling nematode infestation is through the fumigation
of the soil with chemicals. The Georgia station has built a
machine with which these chemicals can be applied and that can be
attached to any plow. It is driven by a traction wheel, the ground
wheel drive eliminating variation in drive speed and thus permitting
accurate control of the amount of fumigant released. The rate of
release can be varied easily and quickly by turning a crank. The
Georgia model was built primarily for experimental use, but it is
adaptable for practical nematode control work.
Pasteurizing soil by flash-flame process
A mobile trailer-type soil pasteurizer has been developed at the
New York (Cornell) station, for use by vegetable growers, nurserymen,
plant growers, florists, and foresters. The pasteurizer is of particular
interest to all who desire to eliminate damping-off, weed seeds,
nematodes, insects, and wilt-producing organisms from potting soils,
seedbeds, compost piles, and plant-house benches.
The unit is an adaptation of a mobile aggregate heater employed by
road repairmen to heat materials for patching asphalt-surfaced roads.
It consists of a heated, slightly sloping steel cylinder or drum, hexagonal
in cross section, 8 feet long and 20 inches in diameter, which
revolves about 40 times a minute. Tumbling soil after being fed into
the drum is quickly heated and in a few seconds drops from the discharge
end of the drum in a steady stream. A blowtorch mounted
at the outlet heats the drum and the soil to the correct pasteurizing
Higher speed in peanut planting
Extensive research on the relation of plant spacing to yields of peanuts
shows that these yields increase with closer stands. The optimum
seed spacing for Spanish-type peanuts was found to be 3 inches in
24- to 28-inch rows and for the runner-type peanut 5l inches when
planted in 28- to 36-inch rows. But these spacings could not be
obtained with the use of the tractor-mounted planters generally available
that give speeds exceeding 3 and sometimes 5 miles per hour.
To meet the need for closer spacing the Georgia station developed
a new type of planter equipped with a continuous belt, perforated with
properly sized holes, which runs through a seed hopper at a 45 slope.
Tests of the model planter show that high efficiencies may be obtained
at belt speeds necessary to obtain a 3-inch seed spacing at a
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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/m1/9/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.