ilhltit No. 54 New Series October, 1931
STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture................Tallahassee
Botany and Classification ...................................... ................. ....... 3
Soil and Climatic Requirements ..-...........4.........-.. ... 4
Soil Preparation and Planting ........ ..... ............ .........
F fertilizers and F ertilizing .......................................... ...................................... 5
Time of Planting ......_....................... .... ......... .. ..... 7
Corn Varieties ....................... .................... ................ ............ 8
C u ltivation ............................. .... ........................................ ............................... ........ 10
H arvesting .............................. ......... ..... ... .......... ... ..... .... ............ 12
Killing the Corn Weevil ................................. ........................ 13
Insect Enemies and Diseases of Corn ......................................... .. 15
Selecting'Seed Corn .......................................... ............................. 7
Corn in Rotation with Other Crops .................................... 13
P u lling F odd er ........................................................................... ....................... ............... 21
S um m ary ...................... ................................. ........................................ .... .... 21
Acknowledgments .......................... .... .................... .................. ....... 22
Corn Production in Florida
By RALPH STOUTAMIRE
O~K ALL the cultivated crops grown in Florida, corn takes
First place in acreage. It is literally the bread of life for
many of the farm people of this state. Although corn is
it extesiisively grown as a money crop in Florida, it is a great
rnlIli' saver, for when there is plenty of corn in the crib there
is lircad in the home and feed for the farm animals. Thus, it
r,.ally is a money crop. Such is not always true for Florida
I';rnling. When a farmer manages to grow sufficient corn to
supply the feed for his farm animals he usually has money in
thi bank. In other words, he who plans first to live off the
Iruits of the soil is the successful farmer.
Every farm in Florida can profitably grow some corn, if not
more than for table use. Even the truck grower is finding that
.r-rn planted after his truck crop is harvested materially
assists s in helping supply farm and home needs.
llhen in certain areas early corn is grown for shipping in
"roasting ear" stage. While some is grown for silage, the
lrro';ter part of Florida corn is grown for grain. It is grown
alone or with peanuts or velvet beans, cowpeas or some other
lh.uinme. It is this type of corn that is mainly grown in Florida
:nl it will be given the greatest attention in this bulletin.
BOTANY AND CLASSIFICATION
('orn belongs to the grass family of plants (Gramineae). The
g'il.lus is Zea maize. There are a number of species and varieties
o," corit, but only the important ones will be given attention
T'I'e corn plant is made up of a stalk from 3 to 20 feet tall
with nodes and internodes or joints. The blades or leaves
alternate. The root system is rather fibrous and extensive. All
of the roots, leaves, ears, suckers, etc., arise from the nodes or
"knots" on the stalk.
The flowering parts of corn are borne on separate portions
of the plant. The tassel which bears the male flower is a
tIlriniial part of the stalk, while the female part of the flower
is horne on a branch or ear and is known as corn silks, indi-
viluals of which arise from the ovary on the cob. The male
part of the flower or pollen falls by gravity, is blown by wind
or is carried by insects to the silks. There are millions of
4) DEPARTMENT OF AG IC'UL;TU IRE
pollen grains on each tassel. This is nature's way of provid-
ing ample chances for ovary fertilization; at least one grain
of pollen will surely reach each corn silk filament. A corn
grain will not develop unless a pollen particle reaches the
single silk which leads from the particular kernel position to
the tip of the ear where it is exposed to air, wind and insect
Thus corn is naturally a cross-pollinated plant, and it is in-
herently made up of several characteristics. Here is where tle
corn breeder is able to control and influence the kind of corn
lie wishes to grow or improve.
SOIL AND CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS
Corn is adapted to a wide range of soils and climates. Almost
any well drained soil will produce corn. But those soils that
are rich in nitrogen and contain plenty of organic matter
prove best for it. As a rule the farmer will lose money trying
to make 25-bushel land out of 10-bushel land by using comnumer-
cial fertilizers. Poor soil is often the limiting factor for good
production. And with conditions as competitive as they now
are, each Florida farmer should guard against planting corn
on poor soil. If his soil will not grow good cover crops for
improving the soil, it will be unwise to plant it to corn.
As a general rule it is unprofitable to grow corn on sandy
soils, except with some other crop like peanuts. However, the
heavier types of soils and peats and mucks may be grown to
corn successfully when properly managed.
The main aid to growing corn in Florida is to provide ample
supplies of fresh, easily decomposable organic matter. It has
been repeatedly demonstrated that such practice is more im-
portant and effective in bringing about good yields than are
commercial fertilizers. It is not uncommon to double the yield
of corn by growing it after a crop of winter legumes, such as
SOIL PREPARATION AND PLANTING
No soil is ready for corn planting until it has been thor-
oughly prepared. Corn land may be broken broadcast or
bedded, and the plowing ought to be thorough and as deep as
good farm practice will permit. Thus for the ease of tillage
operations and weed control corn should be planted below the
level of the soil surface on uplands and either on the level or
slightly above the level on lowlands.
lom., should be fromz 4-!:. to 6 feet apI)JI t, mid oil th ill soil
1,1 fp4 Vo4d*H sh4)lid he fromni 2 to 4 feet apart it, tile dr1ill. f1e-
p,!:~lilLr 4)11 so1il ftrtilitY. TI' Illilili llT the soil tile wider should
I.. thehills ill the dit-ill. Usiisall v tile hest practice is to have
%tf' ii ilOW1s Wit Ii 'p lliits plailited htI eweel tilt- corat rows. See
Jlzio re 14. Thiiis will jmak poN~ilhle a greater productioja (if
fl-od tiaiii bv grolvil voriD al'llet.
FERTILIZERS AND FERTILIZING
Iii iiiiit pIurposes. ulitrogeli is tlle ti,111. frltilizing! vieullelit
, 1e I to ar1*0V C01rl1 sliccess tiillY. Experi itielits shown
hot 011Y ill ecXepjt iolla eilCses is it profitablel to add l)Ittspl~oril.s
lilt4 poti.l"It to eorn, mtiless tilt Soil haus bevlt cro)pped rot- several
,'Nvar Wit hlout fertil izer or* alttles,, tilt plants av i e g vi o thlick ill
Fig. 1. Correctly fertilized and cultivated corn will stand out to the row
against neglected corn. (Photo by courtesy of U. S. D. A.)
thle d11i II MoistureL allid ii itro4gl'lI a re tisitlall~v tile Hlitit jo fae-
~ ~i gowig ()11. Thie toillow in-r fert ilhizer recommeniudat-
t ionls will .serve mnost F'loridla coiuulit jolls:
1. Where corn follows cotot') Wt whilh has beenl well fertilized.
ii it -oroi~jl iS tilt. ef% 011 Vh'e't iliZilyI element ne~eded for? corn. lit
th is Nase I Ise 100 p)OllldS o Of litalt Of 1s0(hla Or1 its e('(li~ille14l)t
II4)lI11lil conru wheii it is fromai 35 to 40 dai s Old.
-. it e ol P 1n is I-owlil oil Old liul(1 not preiviously fert ilized,
~)poi)lrls o tt a3-8-$5' fertilizer ill tilt drill at philintlgy tilme
........ oI il)*.ilS ltwr*ilii phiosplimIc Ii icd, jiet5(,1 pom h:sl.
D)EPARTrMENT OF AOGRICULTrURE
and 100 pounds of nitrate of soda when tile plants are 35 days
old, will usually give good results.
3. Where corn is planted in wide rows with peanuts, no
fertilizer is recommended.
4. When corn follows a good crop of Austrian peas or vetch
(from 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of green material per acre), no
fertilizer is needed. But where the cover crop is light, 100
pounds of nitrate of soda applied when the corn is 35 days old
will be profitable.
If corn follows truck crops, experience has shown that fer-
tilizer is usually unprofitable. It will get sufficient plant food
from that left by the truck crop.
Where corn is planted thicker than usual, more fertilizer
should be added. It should be kept in mind that moisture and
nitrogen are the limiting factors in growing corn. So where
possible this should be provided for.
Table I shows how fertilizer alone increases corn yields.
Table I. Experimental Effects of Different Fertilizers on Corn Yield.
Plot Fertilizer Treatment in Bushels
1 No fertilizer ....................................... 16.5
2 450 Ibs. commercial 4-7-5 at planting................................ 18.3
200 lbs. nitrate of soda ]
3 200 lbs. acid phosphate at planting ....................... 18.4
50 lbs. muriate of potash
4 200 lbs. acid phosphate t plain .
50 lbs. muriate of potash at planting ............ 16.7
5 200 Ibs. nitrate of soda when plants 2 ft. high ................. 20.0
I 200 lbs. acid phosphate
6 50 lbs. muriate of potash when plants 2 ft. high ... 19.4
S50 lbs. nitrate of soda
I 150 lbs. nitrate of soda when plants 35 days old .......
The soil on which this corn was grown is average corn soil
for Florida. It had been previously fertilized for potatoes.
An examination of the results show that phosphorus and potash
were of no value, while nitrogen gave some increase. This is
typical of what may be expected on most Florida soils. But
when a cover crop like vetch or peas is turned under before
planting the corn, a different crop response is seen.
Table II gives results of corn yields following peas and
vetch under Florida conditions. These results are comparable
to the results of corn following cover crops all over the south-
ern states. Thus it may be seen that greater corn yields may
CORN PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA 7
,,1 Ilit.tiled with cover crops rather than froni con iiecirial
'.rili.cr. In every cast Whlc'r a cover crop was plowed uiflder,
I.,.,r' colni, there was a preiat inllcrese in yield of corn, often
:i;,re times greater yield (or even 11more) than without cover
,.t'*, 'p .\"
Fig. 2. Showing the effect of certain fertilizers on muck soils. Left plot
received potash and copper sulphate the previous year. Right plot received
no treatment. Potash is usually the deficient fertilizer nutrient on muck
and peat soils. Many of the peat and muck soils also respond to copper
Table II. Showing Yield of Corn Following Vetch and Austrian Peas.
Green Weight of
Cover Crop in Lbs.
Yield of Corn
in Bus. After
Yield of Corn
in IBus. After
Yield of Corn
in Bui. on
I 068 67 ...... 22
S 5,. 1 ...... 25.1 7
: f,09o S ...... 30 7.5
No weight taken ...... 20 9.5
S 8,000 ...... 23 8
S 20,000 ...... 37.5 12.3
7 No weight taken 52.3 ...... 14
S 1.500" ...... 13 6
9 20,000 .... 53.3 15.1
iW 10,000' 40 1 40 15
"n('~r crop allowed to grow 10 days after weights were taken.
SE.-timated when plowed under. (Fln. Ext. Ser. Bul. 54.)
TIME OF PLANTING
Thle date of planting corn will vary with different areas of
rlhe .tatc aiidl with how it is worked into the rotation. As a
rii, (C. orn1 in Florida inlla be plaiited froil Febriuary 1 in south-
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRIC'UI TURE
emr counties to June 1 in northern counties. Wheii following
truck crops corn is usually planted later than otherwise.
It is in this manner that corn can serve the farmer. at little
cost, and thereby provide the necessities of life. To live on the
farm and fail to take advantage of the opportunity it affords
usually leaves the farmer in a predicament similar to that in
which many find themselves today. Even though corn can
not be used as a money crop, it can he used in a manner that
will save the purchase of food and feed. The assumption that
a farmer in Florida can buy corn cheaper than he can grow it
has little, if any, foundation. When he is out of a job he has
nothing; but if he grows some corn he will have that much.
The average farmer should plant corn at intervals of a few
weeks all during spring. He can thus provide fresh food and
feed at home for several months of the year.
Fig. 3. Showing popular corn varieties in Florida. Left to right the
pairs are Hastings Prolific, Whatley's Prolific, Cuban Flint, Tisdale and
Smith. Note prolific varieties are smaller eared than non-prolifics, but yields
per acre are Just the reverse.
Due to climate and soil conditions in Florida prolific corn
varieties yield more than non-prolific. So the farmers of Florida
will do well to use one of the standard prolific varieties. For
all purposes Whatley and Hastings Prolific varieties stand first.
However, prolific varieties are not as large-eared as the non-
prolific ones and because of this fact many farmers are preju-
diced against using them. But where yield is wanted, experi-
mental results show that prolific varieties yield from 15 to 25
percent more corn per acre than non-prolific varieties under
If the farmerS prefers non-prolific varieties of cor, lie will
find Tisdale, Smith, Gist, Florida Flint, Cuban Flint and others
good or fair yielders for Florida conditions.
When the acre yield is already ridiculously low, it will pay
to forget about the size and shape of norn ears, so long as the
to forget ablout the sizre an1d shape~t of t'0hil ears, so long as thle
CORN PROI)U('TION IN FLORIAI)
Sicldl is higil, for after all cornl is grown for grrain more than
fIr an.y faiie'y featnu-e. In nine cases out of 10, yield is the de-
,-.liriii ing point.
Il this coinniectioln it is 'well to note that quliality of corn suited
I tlile arnil c.linate of the Sotutli is very important, lbee:ase
.nl(1 varieties ilid types ilar' irathel'r susceptible to disease llan
wevvil dallmagie. For tlie failrier to ignore tlhe losses and (dall-
;i t'ii (rin '1i. weeVilN alolle iilwanls a Ieiavy ilolleyV loss for hilnl.
Fig. 4. Prolific varieties of corn produce, by test, from 15 to 25 percent
more than non.prolific varieties. This is Whatley's Prolific.
T'I'e weevil attacks a soft cornll mch quicker than a hard one,
particularly when it is exposed at the tip by a short or broken
slhuck. See Figure 10. A soft corn is more easily caten or
punctured by the weevil and for this reason it suffers more
Because of possible loss from weevil damage some farmllers
i'trefer to use ai flint co'rn, which is quite resistant to weevil
attacks. The common flitt varieties grown in Florida are
10 )DEPARTMENT OF AGRICI'LTURE
Cuban and Florida Flint. While these varieties do not yield
as well as the prolific varieties, they are not so readily attacked
Ib weevils. If the farmer will select his seed corn so that tips
are well covered with husk, which protects the corn from the
weevil to a great extent, lie can take advantage of the prolific
Cultivation is the most expensive item involved in growing
corn, and for this reason should be given careful attention. If
corn is properly managed, it will not be necessary to hoe the
crop. But if it is not properly managed, the hoe is essential
for best and most economical production.
Fig. 5. Common type of cultivating implement for corn and cotton in
On upland soils corn should be planted in what is know as
a water furrow. Then as the crop grows, the soil in the middle
is gradually worked to the plants, thereby destroying weeds
and grass as they come up from time to time. See Figure 6.
There is no question but that weeds and grass are the greatest
enemies to most corn crops. The old saying, "The grass will
eat iup the corn," is true in a large measure, if the grass gets
The best time to destroy weeds and grass is while they are
COIN P )ODI)C'TION IN l'lHORIDA.\ 11
'ijIll 11( ila Ill. o 1whel.ii I le uoril is p)[ilnte( below i l'vel.
il I'- probl'ii of Cevering theli weeds artiond tile crl is .-illpl'.
ifil dnte e;rly enough. This liieallnl I'lrilli ingarolllld htl' to'l-or
with a hiarillo\ o(r so11me till:_'et inlstiullllent. soon) after eaclh Irain
,itr when thelr anre weed'cl and grass. This is aill that is Ilef'.s.rv.
if the lilitl has blenii well prepar'led. If thl'rt aire no w vdil:
is. ,tii. tiheri. is little o gained by plowing oir h lrrwini.
1 ?l crop.
In Case tlhe .soil is too \wet lo plow anml weeds an d grass rget ai
a1't.l it ia lint he ieas to o\vert tlilt'i with a hal'rro'w. Int thhi
';i.,N it JI't eillt's Il(lcr issl ry to I I s i ri lII l sliove'0l )1r' tlurll'l pilu
o lilt t il te soil to tihe cont s iifiletNly to b1 ry tie gr;is.s aillt
='~ -- ,.-
t.. < .: ... ..'.- -. .i-41
ut .., g. Hee om .. $ h ad wt
-" -- / t-.. .
Fig. 6. Showing common method of tilling upland corn. Planting is
done in a water furrow or between shallow beds, and as the crop grows the
soil is worked to the plants. Note the clean cultivation.
VWhen Corti is gcowni itl rows with p1)iiiiits. wveeditng tlie drills
with tlie liot! is alilost e.sstC itial for proper hIIC liiidliii- of til'
pvelnllt C"01). QiitCe oftell l in is tliin ain(d not dilpted to eorn.
blut will g row pe'liiits wvel I r('c sol ic Co c'l ('l)e illiod with
the ipealiuit Crop. 'Set l'titltir 14. Suichi practice i 'produces at
good 1Id crop to liogs ;iittd sotile corn witlltIot Xt'I ct .ost.
W\hl'ii eo )l1 is 'ro'vii afttri" truck crops like .clery or pota toes,
it is isiually planted just before or at thile tilte tlie trilck crop is
It'rv'stc(d. In Caseil of lpotitltos, it lnily Ie planiled ev''il li.'fore
tilh ii'li is hiai't'ested. It is also wise to pi illt Coltl iln 'very
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
other middle, making 6- or 7-foot rows. Tillage operations are
not very different from those with upland corn. The main
object is to keep down weeds and grass until the corn is large
enough to shade the ground and check weed growth. Here
the use of fertilizers is seldom profitable, except where the corn
crop is planted thicker than it ordinarily is.
Corn in Florida usually is harvested by hand, since the
amount grown does not warrant machine harvesting. Seldom
are entire stalks cut and shocked in the field or elsewhere, as
is the custom in the corn belt. The ears may be broken from
the stalks in the field as soon as they are mature, placed on
truck or wagon and carried directly to the crib. If it is not
harvested until later in tile season, disease and insect damage
will be greater.
Fig. 7. Showing how corn grown in drill is plowed for weed and grass
control. A sweep is the common instrument for such cultivation.
Jt is also well to prepare the crib or storage bin before har-
vest time. No farmer should attempt to keep corn over the
year without treating it for weevils. Authorities claim that 25
percent of the corn produced in Florida is lost by weevil
damage. Here again is an opportunity for the farmer to save
his crop and thereby make money. In other words, money
saved is money made.
CORN 1'RODI('TION IN FLORIDA 1:
KILLING THE CORN WEEVIL
il nll tr'atmelltnt for weevil in eorni. funtigniation with Carbon
hii-i!plliile i.s mo.st practically. At tile same time it is lIoth certain
.m i' reliable. Thel tlr'natmiiit reqiire. s .some precautions. lhw-
,*.v:'. The most illiportiant of these is a crib or other vollt;inier
t!hr thl corn a;s nearly air-tight as possible. If the corn is stored
1:: aor iTdillir hotibrd crib, it will lbe necessary to use a small
;i:!i'iinlt of plaster or cernelt to seal up the crlinks and e'revices.
Thi' lmUy also be done Iby using a good grade of hinildinMi paper
properly pllueed before tlhe corni is stored in tihe crih. RHeticim-
I,,r hatl thloronuglitess of control (lUrendl s on the (degree of air-
i;ht_'itness of tlhe crib or bin. It does not matter howi this is
,.,n,. blit it must be done.
Fig 8. Illustrating most emphatically the ravages of the corn weevil.
('orl nmay be treated as follows as often as necessary to kill
dr weevils. For every 1,000 cubic feet of corn use from 14 to
15- pounds of carbon bisulphide plined in pains on the top of
rlte cornl heap. Seal up the doors anlld windows and allow them
rn stay sealed for four or five days. Then open lp and air out
lithe ases which are poisonous and inflaniilabile. For this reason
il is necessary to be cautions about fire and the lingeriti nearby
t' anyon0Ve duiriing the fuinigition and airing out period.
':'t ,, ,,, *4,, I/ ,. ., 'I t ', ,l "~v
Fig. 1 Left-Corn crib door bolted with burlAp bogs In wilvl! fumlogaton. Ceoter.Iotorlor of portlhie mioral crib
showing carbon bisulphide container und method of looling Joints 'with paint, Rioht-Door ol same melal Crib, shownn;
door so ooltriructed thut It IlMi pracllcoly alrlght,
CO1HN 'ODUCTION IN FLORII)A 15
If tihe corn is husked the treatment will be more effective
,ril require only one or two days time. However, if the house
i properly sealed and the windows and doors made completely
jiglht. weevil fumigation may be successful whether the corn
is husked or not. Cracks in walls and floor may be chinked or
,nvered with paper, plaster or close-fitting boards. Felt or
inmlap is good material to seal doors and windows.
It may be necessary to repeat the fumigation in about six
wv-ceks during warm periods in order to kill weevils hatched
from eggs laid before the last treatment or weevils which sur-
vived the first treatment.
Suchl treatment will also serve to keep weevils out of cow-
pi.as and any other grain. It does not injure corn or other
-rain for seed purposes, unless the concentration is greater
than suggested above or unless the treatment is applied in
biiarrels which prevent no escape of gases. Fumigation of seed
inI barrels should be for only a few hours and only 1 pound of
,.irhlo, bisulphide should be used for 100 cubic feet of corn.
INSECT ENEMIES AND DISEASES OF CORN
Thie corn weevil is so serious a pest it has been given a see-
tion of this publication all to itself. But there are a number of
other insect enemies of corn. They attack corn in the field.
Among those sometimes serious are the bud worm, cutworm
allid ear worm.
The bud worm frequently does serious damage on lowland
coirn and to late corn. Worms are more serious following
winter cover crops. Although there is no definite, sure control
measure, several means of combatting them are practiced. Some
farmers apply poisoned bran to the corn bud. But the best
aind most practical remedy is to encourage the crop to early
mind rapid growth. This may be done by applying a little
soluble nitrogen to the crop early in the growing season.
Grasshoppers and cutworms may be controlled by poisons
placed on tile stalks for the former and by poisoned bran mash
scattered about the field for the cutworms. Directions are on
tile container of commercially prepared baits, indicating how
they may be used.
'Thll ear worm does most harm in making an entrance for
weevils and other insects. There is no practical remedy for
Where corn is grown continuously on the same land, the ears
often rot, due to a fungous disease known as corn ear rot. It
is carried over from year to year and spread to new crops by
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the spores of the causative fungus. So the most practical
remedy is to destroy the spores of the fungus on the previous
year's crop. Although it is not always practical and economi-
cal to destroy the previous year's stalks and crop remains, it
is practical to plow the old stalks into the soil and plant a
winter crop of some kind. Vetch, Austrian peas, oats, rye, etc..
are suggested winter cover crops. Then in selecting the seed
corn precautions should be taken in regard to disease-free seed,
disease-free stalks, well covered ears (with shuck), etc.
There is another corn disease quite common in the field, and
it is known as corn smut. This is also a fungous disease, the
spores of which live over winter in the soil and attack young
plants and ears the following season. Crop rotation, seed selec-
tion and winter cover crops are also the most feasible remedies
for smut control.
Fig. 10. Showing how some good ears of corn are not completely covered
with husk or shuck. Such ears allow free entrance of weevils, and are often
severely damaged when harvested. When selecting seed corn such ears
should be avoided.
("OlN I'Il)U'("'TON IN FI.ORI)A 17
SELECTING SEED CORN
llarve.stinl time, or just before, is the best time to select
,-.-d1 corn. Most good farmers make this a part of their farm
progra.iii. andl they are always donbly paid for their efforts. It
t-1r,,i.ires only a v iw lioulrs extra time aind it mie;ais several extra
ri.s hIrls of cornl. Here again is where a farmer may inmake more
.,rn. with less effort. Corn is a eross-pollinated plant aind
Iitrall;lly becoIntes Ilmixed and often "rulls out.'' Ilauless seed
;!, pr)perl'\' .selected from' year to year. Seed should be se-
hrted with it view to inceroelsing yields and inlereasin... weevil
rcsistailnce of tile corn. 'This can only be done in the field, and
int in the crib. as is so often attempted.
Fig. 11. Farmer storing specially selected seed corn for his own use On
his own seed corn rack. (Photo by courtesy of U. S. D. A.)
Yielding qualities of corn are transmitted from one to an-
other corn crop. By selecting seed from desirable stalks in
the field and not trying to select them in the crib, the new crop
will be not only more certain but will be a better yielder.
In making field selections of seed corn, it is better to go to
a representative area of soil, neither poor nor rich, and select
18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ears from high-yielding stalks within that area. Also select
ears possessing such desirable qualities as well-covered ear tips.
good shaped ear,. and well-sliaped kernel, and so forth. As a
rule, high yield and resistance to diseases and insect enemies
are the most important qualities sought.
It is obvious that seed corn should be kept free from diseases
and insects. Place it in a bag or other container and properly
label it. If the farmer will take this pride in keeping up and
improving his corn crop, his crib will prove to be a constant
source of revenue for feed for livestock. And it may also be
the storehouse for a major item in the diet of his family.
Table Ill. Effects of Legumes Turned Under on Yield of Corn.
(Ala. Exp. Sta.)
Yield per Increase per
Cropping System I Acre, Bu. Acre, Bu.
Corn following corn ................................... 13.6 1
Corn following velvet bean stubbles ........ 17.9 4.3
Corn following velvet bean, entire crop 25.9 12.3
Corn following cowpea stubbles .............. 11.4 .....
Corn following cowpeas, entire crop ...... 20.3 8.9
Table IV. Relative Effects of Nitrogen from Different Sources for Corn.
(Ala. Sta. Bul. 215.)
Kind and Amount of Yields Per Acre Average
Fertilizer Per Acre Yield Gain
(Same amts. of N. for 1917 1918 Per Acre Bu.
each fertilizer.) Bu. Bu. Bu.
*100 Nitrate of soda 26.0 17.5 I 21.8 1 7.5
80 Sulphate of ammonia 25.1 17.6 1 21.4 1 7.1
200 Cottonseed meal 24.3 14.0 19.2 4.9
310 Peanut meal, + hulls 25.7 16.0 20.9 6.6
400 Velvet bean meal,
+ hulls 21.3 11.4 16.4 2.1
... No nitrogen 19.4 9.1 14.3
* All plots received at the rate of 240 pounds of acid phosphate at planting
time. One-fourth of the nitrogen was applied at planting and the remaining
three-fourths as a side dressing when corn was knee high.
CORN PRODI)CTI'ON IN FLORIDA 19
Table V. Effects of Nitrate of Soda on Corn at Different Stages of
Growth. (Ala. Sta. Bul. 210.)
Kind and Ati mount Height of Plants Yield crease Profit
Bu. A. Bu.
N' nitrogen ...... .......... ............. .......... ........ 15.2 ] . ......
I,, ilbs. nitrate of soda 8 to 12 in. tall ........ 21.0 i 5. 4.6
I' n lbs. nitrate of soda About 21/% ft. tall.... 21.2 5.7 |4.80
isl, lbs. nitrate of soda I About 3'_, ft. tall.... 20. 5.1 3.90
N o nitrogen ................. i ................................... 15. ......
I u1 lbs. nitrate of soda Corn hunching to
tassel .................. 19.3 3 1 0.90
lI,) lbs. nitrate of soda 2/. ft. tall
I0" Ibs. nitrate of soda Bunching to tassel ) 22.7 6.0 1.50
41 i) lbs. c.. s. meal ....... When 12 In. tall
lu1r libs nitrate of soda Bunching to tassel 23.6 6.5 I 1.00
No nitrogen ................... ? .................. ......... 17.5 ...... ......."
CORN IN ROTATION WITH OTHER CROPS
Since corn is not rimri ily a cash crop in Florida its greatest
ise will be in combination with other crops and after certain
.a;sh crops. One of the most notable examples of corn in com-
hjination with other crops is corn and peanuts for grazing.
I'lorida will do well to encourage such practice for hog feed.
(')or will not produce satisfactory crops on poor land. So it
blirhooves the farmer to arrange his corn to follow some kind
ft" truck crop, or legnme crop turned into the soil.
Fig. 12. Corn following celery. This Is frequently done by many truck
growers. This corn crop utilizes fertilizer residue of the celery crop and will
provide the planter a nice supply of feed.
20 DEPARTMENT OF AUGRICUlITUIE
No crop of corn should he grown on soil alone. Velvet beans.
cowpeas, soy beans, crotalaria, peanuts and beggarweed supply
organic matter and nitrogen to the soil and increase its pro.
(dncing capacity. Here again feed call be produced with velvet
beans and corn grown together, at the same time improving
the fertility of the soil. Florida soils need more 'over eropl,.
such as beans, beggarweed, etc., than they are getting.
Table IV shows the value of a crop of corn following ditffer-
ent summer legumes, and Table 11 shows the effects of winter
legumes oni thile yield of corn. With these increased yields due
to the cover crop, tli farmer can not afford to lose the value.
of such crops in his farm program. Winter legumes may also
be used for grazing purposes as well as for soil improving.
Fig. 13. Velvet beans and corn make a great combination. Corn yield
is not reduced by beans. The latter furnish most excellent winter grazing
for cattle and hogs. Cowpeas, soy beans, crotalaria and beggarweeds are
other excellent crops to grow with corn.
Since club boys have demonstrated time and time again that
corn can be grown at a profit, it looks as if farmers could at
least adopt methods used by the boys and grow larger and
better corn crops themselves, and at reduced costs. The secret
of high yields-with club boys is selecting good soil, giving the
soil proper fertilization and care nod selecting and planting
good seed. Where they produce cheap corn, the father should
do it also, because now as never before lie needs an income.
The question arises, what can the farmer do with poor soil
that will not produce over 10 bushels of corn to the acre? It
,...;inly will no t pay him to -iultivate such land for .orin. The
l..s; plan ll appears t<> Ie to plant it to peallllts, planting some
.-,,ii il everCy other row of the 1)'lnts. Or lie migiiht grow
i,,-;Iavy crops oif sI.IitiiC'r ICl.leiIumInes before plianttin- col'rn. Thli
,:iln Oil.bjeitive is to) inlirel.ise f li iILre yVitld. With deep salads
;ii- iNs aillii'.t il siNil.. \\itlh s ly loa is it caln Ie dolne
Fig. 14. Showing corn planted with peanuts on thin land. Note peanuts
Aire planted in every row while corn is planted in every other row. This is
a splendid way to grow hog feed. The corn may be harvested for grain or
gr.ied off by hogs.
It is cliitiiol pralietice iln e .rtaii ariis of tihe state to pu ll
fodde r or strip the leaves from the corn stalk and after d(ryiln
irep thianr for feedrinl p|rpo le s. Stic a ipraietice is iati profital)1e
in alnil *v way-s. The vilnie of such matterial (fodder) i., no
luitt r thainii g I)od >l iny aid ( ili ially i0ore expellsive. Fitlicher-
iirlt tlie priletice oif piilliiijg fodder reliduces thl yield of corill-
Theln it is slow. hard ind hot work.
The fiairmii'r caln save liloltey 4nd ti mie by growinghar y. lie
:an so arranige tihe tIiie of harvesting and caring lay that it
will not seriously ititerfere with his general prograiml, at least
linot i is ucli s foddr p|iilling does.
Althou-hli r otrnu is not glroVwn il Florida as n cashli cropl. except
tiunder loval coitditions, it is -rown extensively over thle state
a11(l will no doubt continue to lbe grown oni the majority of
i-'loiila farmts. at least outside of tihe citrus belt.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Heretofore the acre yield of corn has been low and usually
not profitable. Due to the competition now confronting the
farmer and the entire country, Florida not excluded, he can
no longer afford to use poor methods in producing corn. He
must grow more corn, and at less cost, than heretofore, or else
cease to be.
It has been repeatedly shown that corn can be grown in
Florida cheaply by careful-soil selection, by proper seed selec-
tion, by growing cover crops and by using fertilizers in-
If the Florida farmer will plan to grow corn on his farm for
the purpose of feeding all livestock, as well as to have a quan-
tity for table use, his affairs will materially improve. Why
should any general farmer buy horse and cattle feed? What
justifiable reason is there for shipping corn into Florida to
feed farm animals One needs but to visit the feed store to
see what is being done. The farmer who plans to grow his
feed and live off the fruits of the soil will be successful in more
ways than one. It means sweat of both brain and brow. But
what worthwhile thing does not
The author has found a large fund of information on corn
growing in publications of the United States Department of
Agriculture, the Alabama Polytechnique Institute, and the
Florida Experiment Station and Agricultural Extension
In" preparing this bulletin the above sources have been
tapped heavily. However, interviews with farmers themselves
and a number of Florida agricultural workers have been profit-
able. The author is indebted to Dr. O. C. Bryan, professor of
agronomy at the Florida College of Agriculture, for many
valuable suggestions in the preparation of the manuscript.
If this one lesson-"The first duty of the general farm is to
feed the people and farm animals living thereon'"-has been
sufficiently emphasized herein to our farm people, then this
publication has been abundantly justified.