A preliminary report on cotton experiments


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A preliminary report on cotton experiments
Series Title:
Press bulletin ;
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16 p. : ; 23 cm.
Krauss, F. G
Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station
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Cotton growing -- Hawaii   ( lcsh )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by F.G. Krauss.
General Note:
Caption title.

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University of Florida
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aleph - 029635406
oclc - 758867565
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h waii Agricultural Experiment Sta ion,

A Preliminary Report on r ie
c~~es 9 F .****< A
Experiments. .- ".k

Expert in Agriculture, Hawaii Experiment St*t, united
States Department of Agriculture. t* *.

The Hawaii Experiment Station has in progress invi'iga.u'-
tions in the culture of cotton, of which this bulletin is a first re-
port. Nine varieties or strains, representing three. distinct class-
es, are under comparative test for yield, quality of lint, habits of
growth and methods of culture. Considerable, attention is be-
ing given to the selection of superior individual specimens, with
a view to securing desirable mother plants from which to breed
pure strains. It is believed that a method of propagation has
been devised whereby the qualities of an individual plant may be
perpetuated. Owing to the tendency of cotton to cross-fertilize,
plants propagated by seed show more or less variability and an)'
scheme which will tend to establish a uniform strain should
prove a distinct aid in cotton breeding.
A systematic pruning experiment was begun as soon as the first
crop was harvested, the general culture project including the test

Hawaii has exceptionally fine climatic conditions for cotton. The in-
creasing demand for cotton in the world's markets puts upon us the
duty of adding to the supply. To grow the best cotton requires care-
ful selection of sead. This cannot be done in the nurseries without
danger of hybridzation. Fortunately, the effects of crossing can be
easily avoided by the propagation of selected plants through cuttings.
The present bulletin contains the first published account of this method
as applied to cotton. By its use the cotton breeder will be able to ac-
complish results without danger of the mixing of strains by cross-ferti-
lization.-E. V. Wilcox.
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z9q% EXPE. -M NTS. 00)
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19$^ EXPER-XMLNTS. (')



Sea Island (Fla.)........ Aug. 8
Sea Island (Ga.) ......... Aug. 8
Upland (Chinese)...... Sept. 12
Caravonica (Wool)..... Oct. 16
Caravonica (Wool) ... Oct. 31
Caravonica (Silk)...... Oct. 31
Caravonica (Wool) ...I...... (3)
Caravonica (Silk)............(j)
Caravonica (Kidney) ...... (3)

(Average Yield per Plant and Calculated to Acre Yields).


__________________ .4%

First Picking
Yield Yield






Second Picking


Sept. 14
Sept. 14
Oct. 14
Nov. 14
Nov. 14
Nov. 14

Aug. 8
Aug. 8
Aug. 8

I Yield







Third Picking
Yield Yield
Date per per
Plant Acre
Ounces Pounds






Oct. 12
Oct. 12
Nov. 5
Nov. 25
Nov. 30
Nov. 30


Total Crop
Yield Yield
per per
P t Acre


5.3 ()

f I Tests Nos 100 to 105 inclusive were sown Mblarch 9-30. 1908 ; tests Nos. 106-108 inclusive, were two year old




. ker

.\ 1-o :



- Total







plants at time of first picking.

Tests Nos. 100-103 inclusive, were planted 21/ x 5 feet apart or 3484 plants per acre; tests Nos. 104-108 inclusive were planted about 10 x 10
(a) Owing to the limited number of plants under test the average yield per plant only is given.
(3) Harvested during the summer previous to August 8.





1. -1ys

1^4 1 /

12 1%




Exceptionally lood
Exceptionally lod
Very Fair

Exceptionally bood

feet apart or 680 plants per acre.

(4) After August 8 and up to November 30.
(5) A fourth picking on December 20th brought the yield of Test No. 104 up to 11 5 ounces per plant, and Test No. 105 up to 8.4 ounces per plant : all the plants except two in
each test, were then pruned. The unpruned plants persisted in producing a few bolls through the remaining period up to March 30, 1909.



of varieties as a perennial crop. In addition to the experiments
conducted on the Station grounds, which are here reported in
full, several cooperative, experiments were conducted with, in-
terested parties in different parts of Oahu, the results of which
are only briefly recorded. Beginning with the present year,
two carefully planned experiments on a large scale were under-
taken with private parties cooperatively, the Station supplying
the seed, fertilizers and supervision.
That much local interest is being taken in cotton culture is at-
tested by the application for seed and information, which has
taxed the Station to the utmost. Seed has been distributed to
about fifty applicants, representing many .sections throughout
the islands. Altogether, seed sufficient to plant about 200 acres
has been distributed within the last twelve months and it is safe
to say that at least ioo acres are planted to cotton at this time.
While definite conclusions cannot be drawn from a single set of
experiments, the present data may indicate some of the possi-
bilities of cotton growing in Hawaii.


Table I summarizes the results of the first year's comparative
test of varieties. The Sea Island type of cotton is characterized
by its long, strong, silky staple especially adapted to the manu-
facture of fine threads and mercerized goods. It brings the
highest price of all cottons, ranging from 20 to 50 cents a pound,
according to quality and supply. The demand is said to be con-
stantly increasing, and while the market for the choicest grades
at the highest prices is now rather limited, it does not seem like-
ly that the amount that may be grown in Hawaii can material-
lv affect the market.
As will be seen by referring to Table I, seed sown March 9th-
30th, produced a first picking August 8th; a second, September
4lAth; and a third, on October I2th. The Florida strain yielded
at the rate of 1322 pounds seed cotton peir acre, equivalent to 409
pounds lint, or thirty-one per cent. The Georgia strain pro-
duced at the rate of 2270 pounds seed cotton, yielding 31 per cent
fiber, or an equivalent of 703 pounds lint per acre. It should
be noted that the first picking gave by far the largest yield, main-

ly because subsequent pickings became infested with the boll-
worm. The quality of the lint, the weights of which are record-
ed, was very choice, ranging from I 1-2 to 2 inches in length and
of good color and strength. Aside from that grown at the Station,
an especially fine sample of lint was grown at Hauula from the
same stock of seed. Concerning its culture the grower writes,
under date of October 19, 1908, as follows: "The seeds were
planted last April, on the edge of a marsh. The cotton sent you
(13 1-4 pounds seed-cotton) is from about forty plants growing
from six to eight inches apart and about six feet high. Much of
the cotton was lost owing to the wind, and its late picking." This
little test represents a very high yield, an average of five ounces
per plant, from one picking, with plants set less than one foot
apart. Another lot, grown at Waialee, gave similar results. A
large area of land of this type is available for cotton culture.
Four different samples, submitted to D. N. Shoemaker, cot-
ton expert, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture at Wash-
ington were rated as follows:
"Sample E*-Sea Island, (unginnedi), Florida Strain.
Color, white
Length, 1 1-2-1 7-8 inches
Strength, good
Drag, good
Covering of seed, good for Sea Island
Uniformity of lint, .fair.'"
"Sample Ft-Sea Island, Georgia Strain.
Color, white,
Length, 1 1-2-1 7-8 inches
Strength, good
Drag, good
Covering of seed, good
Uniformity, good."
The A. P. Brantley Company reported as follows: "We should say
that sample Ht has staple quite two inches in length, and is very
strong, fine cotton. We consider sample G* to have staple 1 3-4 to 1 7-8
inches in length and is also fine and strong.
"We do not think there is any Georgia or Florida cotton in this crop
to compare with this cotton. We should think that it would class more
nearly with Fine or Extra Fine Islands. We notice that these two
grades are quoted in Charleston, S. C., at 22 and 24 cents.
"It is quite difficult to estimate the value of this cotton, because it is
in a class by itself."

Station Test No. 100
t Station Test No. 101.
t Hauula cooperative experiment.
Waialee cooperative experiment.


Samples were likewise submitted to the cotton factors' asso-
ciation of Bremen, Germany, who made a most extended and
favorable report, quoting 30 to 34 cents per pound for lots of
sufficient quantity. Other reports have been similarly favor-
able and it would appear that there is an active demand for this
quality of cotton at good prices. Compared with the yields,
obtained in the Sea Island belt, the Station experimental yields,
based on one-tenth acre plots, as well as those of smaller lots
grown cooperatively, were very satisfactory. Authorities are
also unanimous as to high quality of the fiber. It would appear
that the samples grown on the windward side of the island direct-
ly facing the sea, have better conditions for producing the de-
sirable qualities of length, fineness and strength of fiber.
The bolls of Sea Island cotton are small as compared with
those of other types, averaging about 102 to the pound, which,
together with the rather tenacious grasp in which the cotton is
held, increases the cost of picking over that of other sorts. From
50 to 60 pounds of seed cotton per day was the maximum
amount picked by a fairly active Japanese laborer, or, at the rate
of about five cents per pound for lint. Experienced pickers
could doubtlessly do much better.
At this writing (March 30, I9O9), the second year's crop is
well under way. Squares are forming in great profusion, and it
is believed that the yield will average 50 per cent greater than
that from the first year plants. After the third and final picking
of the crop, in October 1908, seven months from seeding, the
pruning experiment was begun in accordance with the following
plan: Series I, plants cut back immediately after final picking,
October 12th, prunings burned to destroy infested bolls; Series
II, Plants cut back immediately following December rains; Se-
ries III, Plants cut back January 2, 1909; Series IV, Plants not
pruned. Two types of pruning were adhered to under each se-
ries. In one type, the plants were cut back to within three, or
four inches of the ground, which is designated as type "A ;" and
in the other, the plants were pruned back to 12-20 inches, or
equivalent to one-third to one-half their original growth, which
has been designated as type "B." No laterals were permitted
on the low pruned plants but spurs bearing two to four buds
were maintained on the long pruned canes, if they were well

Most of the plants had shed the greater part of their leaves
during the dry period following the last picking in October, and
in consequence, remained quite dormant up to the first rains in
December. However, the plants pruned immediately after har-
vest, especially those pruned low, were forced into fairly active
growth almost immediately after being cut back. The different
periods and types of pruning, together with the dry and wet sea-
sons, are means for controlling the resting period of the plant,
and within certain limits, the subsequent fruiting period and har-
vest of the crop. Thus, as was to be expected, drought and
noninterference brought about partial dormancy, while on the
other hand, pruning, irrigation and cultivation stirred the plant
to renewed activity, apparently in direct ratio to the degree and
sequence in which the several influencing factors were applied.
The most marked results followed a combination of all the con-
ditions named.
So far as these factors can be controlled, they will aid the
grower in securing the strongest and most uniform plants; in
determining the best seasons'for maturity, from the standpoint
of labor and prices; in the control of insect pests and dis-
eases; and in obtaining the quality and quantity of product,
which will determine success or failure.
From present indications, the best growth is secured from
low pruning in January. Plants so treated are making the
strongest and most uniform growth of wood, and appear to be
the most prolific. Their season of ripening should prove much
more favorable than that of plants pruned in October. The lat-
ter already show an occasional mature boll, as well as great irre-
gularity in fruiting when pruned high. It should be remem-
bered that the foregoing applies primarily, if not entirely, to the
Sea Island cotton.
The qualities to be sought in Sea Island cotton are long lint
(i 3-4 inch or longer), uniform staple, strength and drag of fiber,
high percentage of lint, lustrous cream-white color, fineness,
productiveness, well formed plants, long medium-large well filled
bolls, and resistance to disease.
There is every indication that Sea Island cotton will adapt it-
self to culture as a perennial. The plants on the Station grounds
are entering their second year in promising condition. Ant

as is well known,'; many stray specimens in the islands are five or
more years old and still flourishing. A limited amount of Sta-
tion grown seed is available for distribution.
Test No. 102 deals with an upland type of cotton of Chinese
origin. The seed was procured from Mr. Ah Ai, to whom it was
sent from China as of exceptional quality. The fiber is said to
be used entirely for mixture with wool, and it is claimed, com-
mands a ready sale at prices equivalent to about 40 cents Ameri-
can currency.. As will be seen by referring to Table I this cotton
gave the heaviest yield per plant of all varieties tested, sixteen
plants approximating an average yield of one pound seed cot-
ton per plant, equivalent to 11 50 pounds of lint cotton per acre,
if planted 2.1-2 by 5 feet apart.
The plants are dwarf as compared with the Sea Island type,
of broad base and pyramidal form; very compact and of uniform
growth; fruiting limbs branch frequently and occur at close in-
tervals. The plant is an extremely prolific and continuous bear-
er. As grown at the Station during the past year, the plants
were slower in maturing than the Sea Island, the first picking be-
ing made September 12th. An average of nearly 50 mature
bolls per plant presented themselves at one time.
The locks were very easily picked and showed some inclina-
tion to shed when left too long. Nearly twice as much of .this
cotton could be picked in a given time as of Sea Island, the bolls
in addition being somewhat larger and more easily reached. The
percentage of lint to seed is larger than in Sea Island, averaging
34.5 per cent, but the fiber bears no comparison in length.
Concerning samples of lint of this variety submitted to Mr.
Shoemaker, who judged the Sea Island samples, we have the
following report:
"Color, white
Length, 7-8 inches
Strength, good
Drag, fair
Covering of seed, fairly heavy
Uniformity of lint, good."
"It would grade as 'very fair' American Upland in length."
The Chinese are said to claim for it unusual qualities of
"warmth and feel," and because of these qualities, it is termed

"fire" cotton, and should the demand and prices be satis-
factory this variety may prove of special value in certain local-
ities where Sea Island does not thrive. It seems drought re-
.i;sting, and is believed to be hard. The plant does not seem to
be as we'll adapted to perennial culture as Sea Island, a number
of the plants dying at the end of the first season. Several of the
pruned plants, however, are making a fairly vigorous growth
and may in time acquire the habit of persisting from year to
year. The same general scheme of pruning as applied to the
Sea Island cotton was adopted for this variety, but the limited
number of plants available makes conclusions uncertain at this
time. Samples of lint have been submitted to cotton factors in
China and reports will be given to the press. A limited amount
of selected seed is available for distribution.
The Caravonica cottons (tests Nos. io6-io8), were grown from
seed received from the originator in Queensland in 1905, by Mr.
William M. Langton, who passed it on to the Station for trial.
The seed was sown in July and is probably the first Caravonica
cotton grown in Hawaii. Caravonica "wool," (test No. 104),
and Caravonica "silk" (test No. io5), were grown from seed
secured by Mr. E. W. Jordan from the originator in 1907.
The Caravonica class of cottons are of a comparatively new
type, of hybrid origin, one of the parents unquestionably being
the Sea Island with a probable admixture of the arborescent kid-
ney type. The three strains designated by the originator as
"wool," "silk" and "kidney" are characterized by their large, up-
right growth which assumes a tree form after the second year.
The plant succeeds eminently as a perennial and three year old
plants of the three types, grown on the Station grounds, show
every indication of persisting indefinitely.
The heavy yielding power of this class of cottons is indicated
in Table I, (tests Nos. io6-io8). A conservative estimate of aver-
age yields from two year old plants, in a series of ten speci-
mens, are 104, 70 and 57 ounces seed cotton per single plant,
covering a period of approximately twelve months. This is
equivalent to yields of 4505, 2975 and 2448 pounds of seed cot-
ton, respectively per acre, with plants set io x o10 feet apart,
which allows 68o plants per acre. The percentage of lint was
37, 32 and 29 per cent, respectively. The length and quality of
the fiber had greatly deteriorated, but this was probably due to

the entire neglect of the plants, which had not been tilled, irri-
gated or pruned for over a year. The plants appear to be res-
ponding to a severe pruning and it is hoped that the original
quality may be restored by careful culture.
Test No. 103, a selection from the neglected plants in test
No. io6, yielded a considerably better sample of lint than was
obtained from the parent plants. The yields were, fair consider-
ing that the habit of this class is to fruit late. The planting
was made at the same distance as the Sea Island and Upland,
which overcrowded the plants, doubtless to their detriment. The
percentage of lint was not so high as in the parent stock, nor
does the uniformity appear as good. This may be explained as
being due to cross-fertilization, the three strains being planted
in close proximity.
Mr. Shoemaker submits the following report concerning sam-
ples of this variety:
"Sample B-Caravonica Wool Cotton, 1908 Crop.
Color, slightly darker brown than A
Length, 1 1-4-1 1-2 inches
Strength, very strong
Drag, good
Covering of seed, fairly heavy
Uiiformity of lint, only fair
Seeds many of them of the 'Kidney' type."
"This sample lacks a great deal of being uniform, and this is
the one great fault of Caravonica cotton-it is a hybrid and one
of the parents is a 'Kidney' cotton; that is, the seeds are all
glued together in a mass in the center of each lock. The lint
in this sample varies greatly in length, and the variation in the
character of the seeds would probably make considerable diffi-
culty in ginning."
Caravonica "Wool" (test No. 104), although planted at ample
distances apart, yielded lightly, averaging 6.3 ounces seed cot-
ton per plant up to November 30th, eight months after planting.
A subsequent picking in December, just preceding pruning,
brought the yield per plant up to the average Sea Island. Since
-however, the plants require at least twice as much room as the
Sea Island, and Upland types, it will be seen that the yields would
be smaller. The amount of lint is high, averaging about 40 per
cent. As will be seen from Mr. Shoemaker's report, which fol-
lows, the quality of the lint is considered choice.

"Sample C-Caravonica Wool Cotton, 1908 Crop.
Color, much like first sample*
Length, 1 1-4-1 3-8 inches
Strength, very strong
Drag, good
Covering of seed, heavy
Uniformity of lint, fair.n"
"I think this sample is hardly so uniform as sample "A"; but
otherwise, not far different."
As in the case of pruning the Sea Island cotton, this test shows
the same general effects, i. e., late, low pruning tends to the pro-
duction of a uniform growth of canes, together with unformity
in fruiting. This report would be incomplete without a brief
mention of the remarkable results obtained by Mr. E. C. Smith
at The Peninsula near Pearl City. In a well sheltered spot,
some thirty hills were planted to the identical stock seed sown
in test No. 104. The ground is of a broken coral formation in-
termixed with a dry silty loam. It appears to be shallow, but
papaias, bananas and other garden truck thrive with but little ir-
rigation. The elevation is about ten feet above sea-level. Sown
on January 6, 1908, the plants began bearing in August, and
have continued to fruit almost uninterruptedly up to the present
time. Careful test weighing from the three be-st plants, cover-
ing the first twelve months of growth, gave the following yields
in seed cotton, averaging 40 per cent lint: 36, 40 and 48 ounces
Of this cotton, Mr. Shoemaker reports as follows:
"Sample A-Caravonica Wool Cotton, 1908 Crop.
Color, light brown, much like Egyptian
Length 1 1-2-1 3-8 inches
Strength, very strong, much stronger than ordinary cotton.
Drag, very good
Covering of seed, heavy
Uniformity of lint, good."
"This is a very beautiful sample of cotton, and I believe that if
you could secure a field which would uniformly produce this
grade, that it would be very much more valuable than any other
sample submitted; in fact, more valuable than most of the Sea
Island that is produced anywhere at present."

See report on Caravonica cotton grown by R. C. Smith.

Samples of this cotton have been submitted to American, Eng-
lish, French and German cotton experts, all of whom have made
favorable reports, and prices ranging from 14 to 23 cents per
pound have been freely quoted. It seems certain that this va-
riety would prove of exceptional fitness to well sheltered low-
lands. An extensive area is being planted, and definite data may
be looked for at the end of another year. A cooperative pruning
experiment is being conducted with Mr. Smith's plants. It ap-
pears that, under his conditions, high pruning, similar to that
practised by California prune-growers, will give the best results.
Soil.-The expeliimnents herein recorded were conducted at
the Station grounds on a well drained, silty loam of fair depth
and moderate fertility. The cotton plant appears to thrive best
in light, rather than heavy soils, although thrifty plants abound
throughout the islands on all kinds of soil.
Temperature.-The Station records show the minimum tem-
perature, covering the period of these experiments, to have, been
580 F. and the maximum, 86 F. The mean minimum was
'64.5 and the mean maximum, 84.3. The average tem-
perature for the year was 73.0. The Station grounds are at
about 70 feet elevation. No data are at hand on the limits of
temperature and elevation for the cotton crop in Hawaii, but it
is hoped that the numerous plantings now made will shed need-
ed light on this phase of the work.
Moisture.-The rainfall during the period in this report, ap-
proximated 30 inches. In addition to the natural precipita-
tion, the cotton planted in March received three irrigations, all
of which preceded May ist. This brought the total moisture up
to approximately 33 inches for the year. The total moisture
supplied up to the first picking was something less than 20
inches. It is believed that the cotton plant, when once estab-
lished, is tolerant to a lesser amount of moisture than most of
our cultivated crops, and that it may be grown over a wide range
of unirrigated territory by the aid of thorough tillage calculated
to husband limited amount of soil moisture. The moisture in
the Station cotton plots, as determined by the Station chemist,
was found to be 14.06-17.51 per cent one foot below the surface
during the periods of greatest growth.

Tillage.-Insufficient tillage was accorded the cotton plots
during the earlier stages of preparation. After lying in undis-
turbed fallow for some months, the ground cracked badly
through drought. A single plowing, followed immediately by a
discing and cross-discing, preceded the planting of the seed. The
short interval between breaking up the land and seeding was too
short to prepare a suitable seed bed and bring about a conserva-
tion of soil moisture; and a preliminary irrigation had to be
made to facilitate germination. Subsequent tillage was frequent
and thorough, and although the season was unusually dry, two
additional irrigations were found sufficient to carry the crop to
successful fruiting. Tillage1 has been found to be a most im-
portant factor in the culture of cotton. Deep plowing, at least
on our leeward uplands, where the nature of the sub-soil per-
mits, would seem advisable. Storage room is thus provided for
the conservation of all the rainfall; the deep rooted cotton ob-
tains a good foothold and the feeding ground for the extensive
root system is greatly enlarged. Frequent shallow surface til-
lage lessens evaporation by providing a soil or dust mulch; keeps
the soil aerated; destroys weeds and avoids the harboring of in-
sect pests.
Planting.-The, Sea Island cottons and Caravonica "Wool"
cotton (103) were planted in hills two and one-half feet apart in
rows five feet apart, or 3484 'hills per acre. Five seeds were
planted in a hill, two inches deep. All but a single strong seed-
ling were removed when the plants were six to ten inches tall.
The Sea Island seed germinated very poorly and some destruc-
tion by cut-worms necessitated considerable transplanting to
make a full stand. Transplanted seedlings never attain as good
growth as plants from direct sowings, although sturdy seedlings
may be successfully transplanted under favorable weather condi-
With late plantings, or in localities with minimum moisture, it
is recommended to plant the Sea Island and Upland cottons in
four foot rows, hills two feet apart in the row. Early plantings
in more favorable locations had better be planted 2 1-2 x 5 feet
apart. Especially important is this wider spacing when the crop
is grown as a perennial. In this case it will be necessary to re-
move every alternate plant the second year, making the final
stand 5 x 5 feet, or 1742 plants per acre. Our Caravonica plants
stand approximately 8 x 8 feet apart. This is too close for two

year old plants under our conditions, io x io feet would be bet-
ter; but for less favorable conditions, 4 x 8 feet apart for the
first year, thinned out to 8 x 8 feet would give good results.
The Caravonica Nos. 104 and io5, were planted very wide
apart, but would have yielded quite as well had they been plant-
ed closer. In calculating acre yields, 5 x o10 feet was used as the
space factor. The results obtained with Caravonica No. 103
indicate that much closer planting would be feasible for the first
year's growth, but more experience is necessary to prove this
point. It has also been found that close planting acts as a pro-
tective measure against destructive winds, especially while the
growth is young and brittle.. The severe winds of November
28th and 29th failed to damage mature plants, while less severe
winds at an earlier period badly shattered the Caravonica plants
growing far apart.
To avoid the expense of hand tillage as much as possible, it is
essential that planting be done in straight check rows at suffi-
cient distances apart to facilitate horse cultivation. Planting
may also be done with a horse seeder, but until seed becomes
more. plentiful, it will be more economical to plant by hand.
The best season for planting has not yet been determined ex-
perimentally, but it is believed that as soon as the ground is in
good working condition, after the first of January, and up to the
first of March, cotton may be planted on the 'leeward side of
Oahu. Planting later than March, unless the rainy season ex-
tends beyond that time, will likely result in the plants making a
poor growth unless irrigation is provided. On the other hand,
early planting should be avoided in excessively wet localities.
To a certain extent, the time of planting controls the harvest-
ing period. The aim should be to have the crop mature at the
most favorable season for picking, both from tho standpoint
of weather conditions and labor supply. During the past year
the Upland cotton matured in six to seven months; the Sea
Island in about the same length of time; and the Caravonica,
from one to two months later.
Fertilization and Rotation.-The cotton plant is a strong feed-
er and it seems very likely that our most fertile soils may within
a few years of cotton growing, respond profitably to a rational
system of. fertilization. A fertilizer experiment was attempted
in connection with the Sea Island cotton during the past year,

and while some benefit appears to have resulted from the appli-
cation of 300 pounds per acre of a complete fertilizer; based up-
on the removal of an average crop of cotton, the unusual dry
weather made the outcome too uncertain to form definite con-
clusions. We now have in progress a fertilizer experiment
covering two acres.
That the rotation of other crops with cotton will prove benefi-
cial, there can be no doubt. Experiments along this line are
well under way; but it will require several years before definite
data can be secured. Corn, soy beans, peanuts and other legu-
minous crops would enter well into a two or three-course rota-
tion. In the southern United States corn and cow peas most
frequently enter into rotation with cotton, although in the Sea
Islands themselves, rotation is too often neglected.
Picking and Ginning.-Picking will probably prove the heav-
iest item of expense and one of the most difficult problems the
Hawaiian cotton grower will have to meet, until the industry be-
comes adjusted. Tests made on a small scale at the Station in-
dicate. that a good Japanese laborer can not pick over fifty
pounds of average Sea Island cotton per day of ten hours; pos-
sibly a fourth more of Caravonica; and at best, a hundred pounds
of Upland, which is the easiest of all to pick. Greater skill would
doubtlessly be acquired with experience. Even by piece work,
the cost at present would probably run from $i .00oo to $2.00 per
Too pounds seed-cotton, depending on the variety and yield.
The removal of the. lint from the smooth seeded cottons, such
as the Sea Island and Caravonica types, is done on the roller-
gin to avoid injury to the long and more delicate staple. The
more closely adhering and coarser Upland lint is removed on
saw-gins, which also have greater capacity. Small machines of
both types, are on the market; but a large central ginning plant
would prove more economical when the area under cotton war-
ranted its establishment. For experimental purposes, the Sta-
tion uses a simple wooden contrivance of Japanese manufacture,
which is well suited for the removal of seed from selected plants.
Its cost is about $5.oo00. By replacing the rubber rollers on a
wash-wringer, with wooden ones, a simple roller-gin of twenty
or thirty pounds daily capacity could easily be made.
Seed Selection.-To the writer's mind the most .important
single factor in the future success of the cotton industry in Ha-

waii will be the development and maintenance of superior strains
of the type of cotton which proves best suited to a given locality.
Grade and quantity of lint are the chief qualities sought for in
cotton, although the value of seed may in time prove equally
important. These qualities are very largely hereditary, and as
the plant is extremely variable, the opportunities for selection
are correspondingly great.
The striking difference between individuals among a given lot
of plants are well illustrated in our experiments with the Sea
Island cottons. In row 4, of the Florida strain, the plants rang-
ed from 24 to 60 inches in height; adjoining plants bore 30 to
120 bolls, and yielded four to 18 ounces of seed-cotton. The
percentage and length of lint were somewhat more uniform,
but differences in these respects were sufficiently marked to al-
low of considerable improvement by selection. Other qualities.
such as early and late maturing, length of fruiting period, ease
of picking, inclination to shatter, resistance to pests and diseases,
al] may be controlled to a large extent by careful selection. Some
sixty selections of individual plants have been made during the
past year from among the Station plants. These will be
planted separately and selection made, generation after genera-
tion, a definite ideal being kept in mind. It will be well for grow-
ers to start out with the best seed obtainable, and then select
rigidly their best plants for stock seed.
The seed from each mother plant should be sown separately
and the progeny again carefully examined for breeding plants
showing improvement. A single plant will yield 500oo or more
seeds the first year, and the progeny from this stock should pro-
duce sufficient seed to plant from ten to twenty acres the year
In the search for a method whereby the qualities of an in-
dividual specimen might be perpetuated, a scheme of propaga-
tion by layers or cuttings was hit upon. It was noted that the
old Caravonica plants budded freely from the surface roots and
as many as ten plants were secured from a single lateral by this
method. This suggested that similar results might be secured
from cuttings of the branches and a large number were made
from immature wood. These gave indifferent results and a
more systematic experiment was undertaken as the plants ma-


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tured and were ready for general pruning.. Accordingly,-on.D e:',,,
cember 15th, cuttings were made from a number of select Jlants'l,)
4- representing the three classes of cotton under experiment.. Se' ."..
lecting the best formed and most fruitful branches, cuttings wre >iM. I
made from the tip end, the intermediate portion and the ,s% `
Cuttings eight to ten inches long and containing five to 4g,,4ii
eyes, were cut from each of the three divisions and plantied'p ,U
the field after the manner of rooting grape cuttings. TheriS:c
Island and Caravonica cottons rooted equally well, about. ,!!A
per cent of all the cuttings planted rooting and making a satisfac -.
tory growth. The Caravonica root cuttings practically all gre,i Au
and are making a fine growth. The Upland cuttings failed ,
tirely. With the Sea Island, the base cuttings rooted best, *,:, !:A7
with the Caravonicas, the tip cuttings gave the largest pe
age of strong plants. With the Caravonica root cutting.
portions were of about equal value. At this writing one hundred .
days from planting, the cuttings have grown from twelve toA.
thirty inches in height. Squares are forming on some of tl 4.
advanced plants, and the general growth compares favoral45
with stock grown from seed. It is believed that a larger Per-C
centage of cuttings can be made to grow under more favorable
conditions. *'* ,
Mr. E. C. Smith of Pearl City has demonstrated that it is
feasible to propagate the Caravonica cottons by budding, and .i...
this method would likewise lend itself to furthering the work in
The plan now is to grow any desired number of cotton vay
rieties and strains in comparative tests and as individual plants :
are selected for breeding purposes they are marked. When the :... .
proper time for pruning arrives all available wood is utilized for
cuttings. These are then planted in isolated plots and allowed
to fruit. The resultant seed will be of a pure strain. r "
Should continuous inbreeding tend to the deterioration of a
strain, some method of line-breeding, as successfully practiced by
breeders of other crops, can doubtlessly be devised, the "ear-row"
plan for the improvement of cotton being suggested as a feasible .. ,
method. The important point is that we now have a simple 7|
method whereby the exceptional individual when once found may
be propagated true to type. -.

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