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 Table of Contents

Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 100
Title: Corn
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027602/00001
 Material Information
Title: Corn
Series Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 100
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Rolfs, P. H.
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida
Publication Date: 1909
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Bibliographic ID: UF00027602
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
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Full Text



Agricultural Experiment Station




Fig. 2.-1. Rawls, good tip.
butt, small shank. 4. Rawls,
good butt.

2. Cuban, poor tip. 3. Clopton, irregular
irregular butt, big shank. 5: Georgia,

The bulletins of this Station will be sent free to any address
in Florida upon application to the Director of the Experiment
Station, Gainesville, Fla.
Pepper Pub. & Ptg. Co., Gainesville, Fla.


Introduction----- .--.. .---......-- ..... .....---------- 13
Varieties ...--------------.......... ----------------- 14
Study of Varieties-----..---........---------------. 14
Descriptions of Varieties --...... ----- --------- 14
Selection ----..-..--.....--------..--..--------- 19
Selecting from the Crib .---- -------..------- 19
Testing Seed Corn .....-.. -- ....- --------20
Buying Seed Corn .------------------------------. -21
Storage. ------------------ -......-----. ----------..--- 21
Keeping Seed Corn -.... --------------------------- 21
Storing Corn for Feed -----------.. -------------22
Culture _..._------.-... ------... --__---------------_ 22
Preparing the Land --...--..------.------ 22
Cultivating --..............----..------- ---.----. 23
Conserving Soil Moisture ---- ------------------ 24
Fertilizing --.. .------...............---------------- 25
Disorders due to Wrong Culture ----------............------ 26


1. The value of the corn crop this year exceeded the value of the
cotton crop; thus placing corn first among the farm crops,
and second only to the citrus crop.
2. Only a few farmers in the State have practiced seed selection.
Seed breeding for corn is nearly unknown in the State.
3. By proper seed selection and testing, our corn crop for 1910
can be made to approach double that of 1909.
4. It is more profitable to produce 200 bushels of corn on five
acres than 200 bushels on twenty acres.
5. A good cornlsoil should be well drained and Contain an abun-
dance of humus.
6. The land should be plowed deeply and all vegetable matter
turned under before the first of January. The cultiva-
tion of the corn should be shallow.
7. The Experiment Station has no seed corn for sale or dis-

Introduction----- .--.. .---......-- ..... .....---------- 13
Varieties ...--------------.......... ----------------- 14
Study of Varieties-----..---........---------------. 14
Descriptions of Varieties --...... ----- --------- 14
Selection ----..-..--.....--------..--..--------- 19
Selecting from the Crib .---- -------..------- 19
Testing Seed Corn .....-.. -- ....- --------20
Buying Seed Corn .------------------------------. -21
Storage. ------------------ -......-----. ----------..--- 21
Keeping Seed Corn -.... --------------------------- 21
Storing Corn for Feed -----------.. -------------22
Culture _..._------.-... ------... --__---------------_ 22
Preparing the Land --...--..------.------ 22
Cultivating --..............----..------- ---.----. 23
Conserving Soil Moisture ---- ------------------ 24
Fertilizing --.. .------...............---------------- 25
Disorders due to Wrong Culture ----------............------ 26


1. The value of the corn crop this year exceeded the value of the
cotton crop; thus placing corn first among the farm crops,
and second only to the citrus crop.
2. Only a few farmers in the State have practiced seed selection.
Seed breeding for corn is nearly unknown in the State.
3. By proper seed selection and testing, our corn crop for 1910
can be made to approach double that of 1909.
4. It is more profitable to produce 200 bushels of corn on five
acres than 200 bushels on twenty acres.
5. A good cornlsoil should be well drained and Contain an abun-
dance of humus.
6. The land should be plowed deeply and all vegetable matter
turned under before the first of January. The cultiva-
tion of the corn should be shallow.
7. The Experiment Station has no seed corn for sale or dis-



The quantity of corn produced in Florida is much greater than
is realized even by those who are actively engaged in farming.
According to the Bureau of Statistics of the U. S. Department of
Agriculture, the Florida crop for 1909 is 8,379,000 bushels; ex-
ceeding the crop of 1908 by nearly two million bushels. The
average yield for 1909 is 12.6 bushels per acre, while for 1908 it
was 10.5 bushels. While this increase is creditable, the average
yield is still too low, as it leaves us at the foot of the column of
State yields of corn per acre. For the year 1907-8 the Commis-
sioner of Agriculture reported that Florida produced 4,351,000
bushels of corn, valued at $3,409,000; thus exceeding in value any
other single farm crop. The combined crops of Upland and Sea
Island cotton exceeded the value of the corn produced in 1907 by
only $244,000. Ordinarily, much more is thought of the cotton
crop in Florida than of the corn crop. Even the orange crop for
the year 1907 8 exceeded the corn crop by only $812,000-less
than 25 per cent.
While the total amount of corn produced in the State of Florida
is very large, the average yield per acre is only 12.6 bushels.
This yield is altogether too small for profit. Half a crop of corn
leaves little or no profit for the farmer. It can safely be stated
that a crop of corn that falls below 15 bushels per acre does not re-
turn to the farmer more than the cost of making it. In contra-
distinction to this very low average yield, we have the very large
yields that have been obtained by certain progressive farmers in
recent years in Florida. Eighty bushels per acre have been pro-
duced repeatedly. Yields approximating, or even surpassing, the
hundred bushel mark, have been produced. These, however, are
exceptional cases. Nor have these extremely large yields been
produced at exorbitant cost. In one case where the data were
kept, it was found that the corn cost forty-two and a fraction
cents per bushel to make. At 42 cents per bushel, the average
crop of corn for Florida should not cost over $5.29 per acre; while
as a matter of fact it costs us from $8 to $15 per acre to produce
a crop.
During the last few years considerable interest and rivalry
have occurred in corn production in a number of counties in the
State; notably in Walton, Marion, and Hernando. The corn ex-
hibited in 1909 at the Tri-county Fair at Pensacola was judged by
an Illinois corn expert, and the exhibit that won first prize was
marked only 60 per cent. of the maximum by the score-card
method. In the same year the highest award given to any corn

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

exhibited at the Marion County Fair was only 69 -per cent. This
shows to us that the best corn produced is still open to revolution-
ary improvement.
The Experiment Station has now carried on a testing of varie-
ties of corn for seven years. During this time many varieties of
the very best northern corn and varieties of Florida corn have been
grown in competition. As a rule, the northern-bred corn is too
soft and starchy for ordinary Florida purposes. There are some
varieties, such as the Mosby Prolific, which give very large yields.
Unfortunately, however, this corn is soft and starchy. These
characters make it subject to mold and decay early in the year.
It is also badly attacked by weevils and other insects. Through-
out a considerable portion of the State, however, it will pay to
grow a small proportion of corn of this character, on account of
its large yield. This should be fed, or used otherwise, before the
first of November. For storing purposes it is best to grow some
Florida varieties, preferably such as have originated in the local-
ity in which one is located. Florida corn is usually of a flinty
nature. It dries out well in the field without mildewing or mold-
ing, and can be housed before serious damage from insects occurs.
This corn, as well as all other stored corn, should, however, be
treated as described under "Storage." In various portions of
the State, various varieties of corn have been originated. For the
most part, each of these has been grown for several decades in
its own particular section; and while these selections have been
made in an indefinite way for the most part, yet fairly good corn
is being produced from these varieties. But, almost without ex-
ception, these varieties are lacking in nearly all the material
points that make choice corn.
During recent years members of the Experiment Station Staff
have made a special point of securing seed from varieties that
have a local reputation, and have obtained such from nearly all
parts of the State. These varieties have been tested on the plot
grounds, and have given us some valuable and interesting in-
formation. From these numerous varieties and variations of
corn, several have been selected which seem to have distinctive
merits and special adaptability. In growing these varieties we
usually find that each has a rather circumscribed area on which
it does best. A corn that does unusually well in West Florida was
found to be quite inferior when taken to Central Florida, although
the difference in climate between West Florida and Central Flor-
ida is scarcely perceptible. Corn that had done extremely well
in Georgia was found to be inferior even to the common run of
corn, when brought to Florida.
The following descriptions of varieties are based on ears
raised from seed corn derived from various parts of Florida and

Bulletin 100

Fig. 3.-1. Blitch. 2. Poorland. 3. Rawls. 4. Mosby.

from a few other localities and planted on the Experiment Station
grounds. As these varieties were grown under exactly the same
conditions and on the same soil, any differences in them must pre-
sumably be inherent in the grain itself; although in the last three
years these different varieties have shown marked changes in sev-
eral respects. This is doubtless due to each variety adapting it-
self to the locality in which it is growing.
BLITCH. (Fig. 3, No. 1; & Fig. 5, No. 1.)-This corn is said to have
been grown in parts of Marion County for upwards of forty years. The
character of the soil in that locality varies from sand underlaid with clay to
quite sandy land. Considerable attention has been paid to selecting this
corn, but no fixed methods have been followed. In spite of this, Blitch corn,
as exhibited at the Marion County Fair, showed a fairly uniform type. The
seed of this corn was obtained from Mr. D. H. Irvine, Orange Lake, Florida.
Blitch corn has nearly uniformly white grains, only to a very slight degree
mixed with yellow kernels, and a pinkish cob. As selection for a pinkish
cob has been the rule, all ears with white cobs must be considered inferior.
The general shape of the ear is cylindrical to slightly tapering; length, 7
inches; circumference at middle, 6i inches; average number of rows, 18. The
ear is slightly too short for its circumference. The kernels are fairly uni-
form and closely set on the ear. The spaces between the rows of kernels are
fairly well filled, though there is room for improvement in this respect. The
space between the grains at the cob is somewhat large. The diameter of the

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Fig. 4.-5. Clopton. 6. Common. 7. Cuban. 8. Georgia.

cob around the butt is Ii inches. The shank is somewhat variable, but as a
rule about I inch in diameter. The tips are usually well filled. The kernels
run fairly uniform in composition, the germ being of fair proportion to the
body of the kernel. (Fig. 5, No. 1.) A distinct starchy region occurs at the
top of the kernel. For the most part the kernels are slender wedge-shaped.
The percentage of grain to the ear ("corn to cob") is 87. This is the best-
bred corn of all the Florida varieties that have come to our notice.
POORLAND. (Fig. 3, No. 2; and Fig. 5, No 2.)-This is a name quite gen-
erally applied to the corn grown in various portions of the State, especially
in the region east of Tallahassee and north of Ocala. It seems to represent
a variation of corn from the ordinary starchy type to a more or less flinty
corn. It is a favorite corn for sandy lands, especially those that are tending
towards the type of flat-woods land. The seed corn was obtained from Mr.
T. K. Godbey, Waldo, Florida, who has for twelve years grown this corn
for seed. Mr. Godbey writes that by selecting for productiveness, the yield
has been increased from 15 bushels per acre to 30 or 40. He also states that
by exposing the seed to weevil attack and selecting only the more weevil-re-
sisting ears, a fairly weevil-resistant strain has been produced. Mr. God-
bey has crossed the original Poorland with the Golden Dent to produce a
.shorter stalk. The variety is rather variable, there being quite a number of
distinct types represented in the corn received for seed. These run from
rather long, flat-topped, starchy kernels, to short, rounded, flinty ones.
Poorland corn is one of the best varieties that we have tested for sandy land
and flat-woods conditions. It has white grains, somewhat mixed with yellow
kernels, on a white cob. The shape of the ears varies from slightly taper-
ing to decidedly tapering. The length of the ears also shows considerable
variation, the best type running about 8 inches long, with about 6t inches

Bulletin 100 17

circumference. This is about the correct propor-
tion of length to circumference. The usual num-
ber of rows is 16. The space between the rows of
kernels is rather large. The space at the cob is
usually well filled. (Fig. 5, No. 2.) The butts
(Fig. 3, No. 2) are usually irregular. The diam-
eter of the cob is about li inches near the butt;
with the shank large, and about I inch in diame-
ter. The tips are apt to be beaked with the cob;
that is, the rows do net run to the tip. The ker-
nels vary from those that are almost flinty to
those that are composed very largely of starchy
material. The shape (Fig. 5, No. 2) is inclined to
be more rectangular than the other varieties, ex-
cepting possibly the Georgia. Percentage of corn
in ear, 85.
RAWLS. (Fig. 2, Nos. 1 & 4; Fig. 3, No. 3; &
Fig. 5, No 3.)-This variety has been grown for a
number of years in central Alachua County. In
some respects it resembles Blitch more closely
than any other variety that we have grown. It
has, however, quite a number of distinctive chlar-
acters. The seed was obtained from Mr. John
Rawls, of Alachua. The variety is rather vari-
able, running from flinty to quite starchy corn;
some of the kernels being quite smooth topped,
while others approximate to a distinctly beaked
type.. The color of the corn is a fairly uniform
white; color of the cob, white; shape of the ears,
from nearly cylindrical to quite tapering. In
length the ear averages about 71 inches, and in
circumference about 61 inches, making a fairly
well proportioned ear. The usual number of rows
is 16. The space between the rows of kernels is
large, and the space at the cob quite large. The
butts for the most part are quite irregular. The cob
is comparatively large, about 1* inches in diam-
eter; the shank is also quite large (Fig. 2, No. 4),
about I inch across. Tips are usually well filled,
and rows (Fig. 2, No. 1) run well out to the tip.
The kernels (Fig. 5, No. 3) vary from those with
distinctly flinty tips, to those capped with a con-
siderable amount of starch. The shape is some-
what irregular, being neither distinctly wedge-
shaped nor rectangular. The percentage of corn
in the ear is 86.
MOSBY PROLIFIC. (Fig. 3, No. 4; and Fig. 5,
No. 4.)-This corn was not grown at the Experi-
ment Station this year, but it -was raised by Mr.
C. K. McQuarrie, DeFuniak Springs, Florida, and
gave an extremely high yield in the co-operative
demonstration work. This is a good, thorough-
bred corn, with a high yield per acre. The ears
are very uniform in appearance for a southern
corn. Color of grains and cob, white. Shape of
the ear, nearly cylindrical and very long. In
length the ear averages 9 inches; circumference
at middle, 6 inches. These ears are too long for
high scoring. Usual number of rows, 12. The
space between the kernels, rather open (Fig. 3, No.
4); space at cob, well filled (Fig. 5, No. 4). The
butts are fairly uniformly filled; the cob is small,
about an inch in diameter at butt; and the shank
small, about i inch across. Tips, uniformly well
filled; rows covering tips. Kernels, very uniform,

Fig. 5.-1. Blitch. 2. Poor-
land. 3. Rawls. 4. Mosby.
5. Clopton. 6 Common.
7. Cuban. 8. Georgia.

18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

mostly with a beak; starchy portion, very large in proportion to the flinty
part of the kernel; shape, quite irregular. Percentage of corn in ear, 88.
CLOPTON. (Fig. 2, No. 3; Fig. 4, No. 5; and Fig. 5, No. 5.)-This corn
has been grown in Escambia County for some years. It is grown in sandy
regions underlaid with clay, and on sandy loams. The seed corn was ob-
tained from Mr. H. C. Clopton, Pensacola, Fla. The Clopton corn is de-
scended from the Mosby; and Mr. Clopton states that he introduces fresh
seed of the Mosby Prolific every six or seven years, since the yield from the
home-grown seed gradually decreases. The color of this corn is white,
though considerably mixed with yellow kernels. Color of the cob, fairly
uniformly white. In shape the ear is well proportioned, cylindrical to
slightly tapering. The length of the ear is quite variable, running from 10
to 5 inches; the average of the best type is about 8 inches. Circumference at
middle, 6 inches. Rows, 14 to 16. Space between rows of kernels, usually
wide (Fig. 4, No. 5). Space between kernels at cob, usually open. Butts,
inclined to be fairly regular and well filled. Cob, about an inch in diame-
ter. Shank, usually very small, less than i inch across; tips, inclined to be
beaked with the cob, rarely filled. Kernels, quite uniformly capped with
starch to a considerable distance, making a soft corn. General shape, quite
tapering (Fig. 5, No. 5). Percentage of grain in ear, 89.
COMMON. (Fig. 4, No. 6; and Fig. 5, No. 6.)-This is a corn that may be
met with almost anywhere in Florida, and at almost any time. It appears to
have no particular breeding, simply "plain corn." It is grown in practical-
ly all of northern Florida, from the West to the East, and southward to
Central Florida. It is what one usually gets when one buys seed corn.
Color, usually white; cob, either white, red, or pinkish. Shape of the ear
usually quite tapering; length of best selection, about 81 inches; circumfer-
ence at middle, about 64 inches; number of rows, generally 16, rarely more,
and not infrequently 14. Inferior ears and nubbins preponderate. Spaces
between rows of kernels, very wide; spaces at cob, usually quite small.
Butts, usually irregular, having a considerable number of badly formed
grains. Cob, averaging l inches in diameter. Shank, usually large, about
* inch in diameter. Tips rarely filled. Kernels (Fig. 5, No. 6), from slight-
ly starchy to very flinty, the flinty ones likely to predominate; some with a
large amount of starch capping. Shape of kernel, usually short and broad.
The germ is often much larger than in normal corn. Percentage of kernels to
ear, 77.
CUBAN. (Fig. 2, No. 2; Fig. 4, No. 7; and Fig. 5, No. 7.)-This is a va-
riety of corn that has no great value as a corn for North Florida, it being
to Cuba what our Common corn is to Florida, simply "plain corn." It is
grown throughout the Bahamas and Cuba, and is sometimes met with in Mex-
ico. The seed was obtained from Mr. F. S. Earle, Herradura, Cuba. The
distinctive value of this corn for Florida lies in the peculiar kind of hairs on
the leaves and on the husks. These hairs are extremely stiff and bristly.
It is probable that on this account the corn worm does not find it a favorite
food, the bristly hairs being so large that only the more vigorous "worms"
would be able to gnaw into the husks and destroy the tip of the ear. If this
character could be transmitted to some of our better varieties of field corn
and sweet corn, it would do much towards preventing the ravages of this in-
sect pest. There are two strains of this corn-a white, and a deep yellow
one. The characters of the ears and stalk are practically the same for both.
This corn does best'on the East coast and in South Florida, where it is to be
preferred to the common North Florida types. The yield of corn per acre is
small, but the amount of forage produced quite large. It seems to do fairly well
on the sandy loams, the marl lands, and the mucks-probably best on the marl
lands. For a corn that has not been purely bred it is remarkably uniform.
The color of the variety here described is deep yellow, shading toward or-
ange. Color of the cob, white. Shape of the ear, very tapering; length,
about seven inches; circumference at middle, 6* inches; circumference at butt,
7 inches; circumference near tip, 5 inches. Space between rows of kernels,
very large. Space at cob, fairly well filled; butts, rather regular; rows run-
ning uniformly to the butt. Tips, usually beaked with the cob (Fig. 2, No.
2). Kernels, not of uniform size, those nearest the butt being much larger
than those next the tip (Fig. 4, No. 7). Starchy portion almost entirely
suppressed, being confined to a very small area in the center of the top of the

Bulletin 100

kernels that are near the butt. Shape of the kernels, short and broad; the
germ excessively large (Fig. 5, No. 7). Percentage of corn in ear, 85.
GEORGIE. (Fig. 2, No. 5; Fig. 4, No. 8; and Fig. 5, No. 8.)-This corn
has been grown for many years and purely bred by Mr. Welchel, Gainesville,
Georgia. This seems to be the best bred of the southern varieties that we
have been able to obtain. The region in which it originated is an alluvial
bottom along a river. In character, the stalk affords an excellent example
of a good corn stalk, being very leafy, with unusually broad and rather short
leaves. Corn, extremely uniform. Color, white, slightly mixed with yellow
kernels. Color of the cob, white. Shape of ear, cylindrical. Length of
ear, as grown in Florida, 7 inches. (This is much less than the typical ear
grown in Georgia.) Circumference at middle, 7T inches. Number of rows,
14. Space between rows, well filled (Fig. 4, No. 8); space at cob, well filled;
kernels at butt, unusually uniform. Cob, 11 inches in diameter. Shank, I
inch, small. Tips beaked with the cob. Kernels (Fig. 5, No. 8), very uni-
form, most uniform of any variety here discussed, capped with starchy por-
tion; shape, rectangular. Percentage of corn to ear, 78.

The proper place to select seed corn is in the field, while the
plant is still growing. This may not be possible, and cannot of
course be done if the corn is already gathered. In that case, the
next best thing is to make the selection from the corn in the crib.
For this purpose it is well to have before us at least a hundred
bushels of shucked corn. The proper method of procedure will
be to secure room enough to shovel this corn from one part of the
crib to another. In the process of shoveling, we should select
out the best ears; rejecting all excepting the ones that appear to
be perfect and typical. Out of the hundred bushels of an ordi-
nary crop, we would find that there are probably not more than
five bushels that would pass the first inspection. Even if the
corn were unusually good, not more than ten bushels would pass
this first inspection. This operation will not require more than
five to eight hours' work.
Having the smaller pile of corn (say, of five bushels) before us,
it is an easy matter to inspect every ear individually. Our first
attention should be directed toward the butt of the ear (see Fig. 2,
frontispiece). If the shank should be more than half the diame-
ter of the cob, the ear should be rejected. If any sign of mildew
is visible, it should be rejected, since all or many of the germs
would be dead. The tip of the ear should receive our attention
next. The rows of kernels should run out as near the tip as pos-
sible. In thoroughbred corn the tips are entirely covered by the
kernels. If any mold or rot occurs at the tip, the ear should be
rejected. This operation of examining the butts and tips of the
ears should not require more than two or three hours. No one
should attempt to do this work when he is tired. The proper
time to do such work is in the morning when all our faculties are
most active. Nor should one attempt to do this final selection
work for a period of mere than an hour and a half to two hours at
a time.
After the general characters of the ears have passed inspec-
tion, the next step is to examine the ears carefully to see that the
grains are deep and not shallow, since the latter character gives

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

a low percentage of corn. It is a waste of energy to grow corn
with a large cob and shallow layer of grain. This operation will
require considerably more time than the previous inspections.
Each ear should also be passed through the hands and inspected
on all sides to see that the spaces between the rows on top of the
kernels are as nearly filled as possible. In passing the corn
through the hands for this inspection, each ear should be further
tested to see that the kernels are solid on the cob. If the kernels
are loose or shaky on the cob, the seed will be inferior in germi-
nating and growing qualities.
By these rigid methods of inspection we may not get more
than one or two bushels from a crib holding a hundred bushels.
As a matter of fact, we would find that not more than one ear out
of a hundred would be fit to preserve as seed corn.


After the seed corn has been selected and has passed all of
the inspections which show that it is perfect to the eye, a further
inspection is necessary for germinating quality. This can be
done only by using a seed-tester. Such an implement can be
readily made by anyone
on the farm. The sim-
plest form consists of a
large soup plate filled
with wet sand covered
with ordinary muslin.
Fitted over this should
S"-1 as2ao- H LoA. be a smaller soup plate.
This is to prevent evapo-
Sration of moisture. An
ordinary cigar-box (Fig.
6), about 5 by 7 inches,
with 2 inches of sand in
it, will also make an ex-
cellent seed-tester. When
we are ready for testing
the seed corn, the sand
Fig. 6.-A tester for seed corn, made from in the cigar box should
a cigar-box. be thoroughly wetted,
enough water being used to cover the sand. The box is then
tipped on one edge to drain off the surplus water. Hold it in
this position four or five minutes, then wet the muslin rag, and
we are ready to set in place the kernels to be tested. For this
purpose we must number every ear. This can be easily done by
taking numbered strips of paper and tying them with ordinary
twine to the ears. After the ears have all been numbered, we
may begin with ear No. 1, and remove one kernel about two inches
from the tip, and another kernel about two inches from the
butt; then by sticking them in pairs (Fig. 6) into the sand,
we will have this ear ready for testing. Follow the same
method with the second ear, and so on, until the kernels from ten

Bulletin 100

ears are placed in the first row. The number of ears that can be
tested will depend largely on the size of the box. An ordinary
100-cigar box will hold at least five rows, with ten pairs in each
row. The rows will then be numbered so as to enable us to find
the ears whose kernels failed to germinate. By counting down
the rows, and noting the kernels that have failed to germinate,
we will have no difficulty in locating the bad ears.
After the seed-tester has received all of the kernels that can
be planted conveniently, place over the kernels the wetted muslin
rag, then close the cover and place on it a weight to keep mice
out. This seed-tester should then be placed in the kitchen or any
other warm situation. It should be examined every day to see
that the sand and cloth are moist. In the course of a week or
ten days about all of the corn that is sound will have germinated.
Over nine-tenths of the corn crop in Florida is planted from
purchased seed; either of a local variety, or from some out-of-
State seed house. In buying seed, one should always give pref-
erence to the local varieties.
BUY SEED CORN IN THE EAR.-If it is necessary for a farm-
er to buy seed corn, he should always demand that this seed
corn be delivered to him in the ear. This practice is, unfortun-
ately, not at all general. Less than one bushel out of a hundred
is bought in this way, and yet this is one of the most important
considerations in buying seed corn. When one buys kernels that
are already shelled for seed, it is impossible to reject the dead
grains; and testing shelled seed corn gives us only an imperfect
idea as to its vitality. Such a practice leads to considerable an-
noyance after planting has been done. In addition to this, the
shelled seed corn does not guarantee us that the ears used were
even approximately perfect and true to type. Shelled seed corn
usually sells for about $2.00 a bushel, when the ordinary feed
corn is selling for a dollar a bushel. As a bushel of seed corn
will plant from six to ten acres of corn, we can readily see that
$5.00 a bushel for perfect seed corn would be a small price to pay
compared with other seed corn which would have in it 10 to 20
per cent. of dead seed. Our home-grown seed corn frequently
has as high as 25 per cent. of dead corn in it. We would make at
least 500 per cent. on our investment if we bought perfect seed
corn'at $5.00 a bushel. So high a price is almost never charged;
consequently we can see the extravagance of paying $2.00 a bush-
el for poor seed, when we can nearly always get seed corn that is
nearly perfect, in the ear, for about $3.00 a bushel.

After the seed has been tested and all of the ears rejected
from which the seed failed to germinate, the corn may be placed
in a tight barrel, a large box, or a ceiled bin. A large, well-made,
dry-goods box is a convenient receptacle. This should be paper-

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

ed inside to prevent the fumes of carbon bisulphide from leaking
out too rapidly. For every cubic foot of space in the box allow
one teaspoonful of carbon bisulphide, to kill weevils. This carbon
bisulphide should be placed od top of the corn in a shallow saucer.
After the saucer is in place, the box may be carefully nailed up;
taking care not to upset the saucer containing the carbon bisul-
phide, as the liquid coming in contact with the seed might de-
stroy its vitality. As a further precautionary measure, to repel
insects that might gnaw through the paper and infest the corn, it
may be well to place a considerable number of naphthaline or
moth balls in the box, using 4 or 5 for every cubic foot. If these
are scattered somewhat regularly through the corn, they wi-
prove very effective in keeping out insect pests.
The annual loss to the State from weevils in feed corn is prob-
ably not less than $300,000. At least 90 per cent. of this loss is
preventable at a small cost. For this purpose we need a fairly
well built, sided and ceiled, bin or crib. A crib 6 by 6 by 6 feet
will hold approximately a hundred bushels of shucked corn. To
thoroughly fumigate a bin holding a hundred bushels of feed
corn, one should use about one pound of carbon bisulphide. (For
a larger bin use a larger amount in proportion.) This will cost
from $1.00 to $1.50 for the chemical. The method of fumigation
is a simple one. Use three or four shallow saucers or soup plates
large enough to hold the liquid. After putting these saucers in
place (and they should be placed as high in the bin or crib as the
highest point to which the corn reaches), the carbon bisulphide
may be poured out into them. Then one should retire from the
bin quickly, and close the door. This process will not prove sat-
isfactory where the crib contains large cracks or has an open
door. But second-grade ceiling can be bought cheaply in the
State, and the work of ceiling and siding the crib can be done by
anyone who can use a saw and hatchet.
If one has used a rather liberal amount of carbon bisulphide,
it will require only about twenty-four hours to completely destroy
all animal life within the bin. After this, the door should be
opened and the bin ventilated. During the time the chemical is
being handled and while the fumigation is going on, no fire should
be allowed near the bin. Even a lighted cigar or pipe should be
kept away, as an explosion afid a fire might result.

So long as "Cotton was King" with the farmers of Florida,
corn was planted in almost any sort of slipshod fashion. Almost
any land and almost any sort of condition were considered to be
all right for corn. "It didn't amount to much anyhow." In re-
cent years, however, a great change has been brought about. As
seen from the introductory note, corn has dethroned both Sea

Bulletin 100

Island and Upland cotton, has probably routed the forces of both,
and is running a strong race for first place with the citrus indus-
try. With this change of position in its economical importance
has come about a change in the farmer's attitude towards corn.
We are now studying, and have for a number of years studied,
how to produce more bushels of corn with the same amount of
labor and fertilizer. By proper selection, we will be able to in-
crease our corn production at least 50 per cent.; and by proper
preparation of the soil, the corn production of the State of Florida
could be increased at least another 50 per cent. Under the pres-
ent methods of growing corn in the State, it is doubtful whether
we often actually receive the worth of the labor and time employ-
ed. By slightly changing our methods, it is possible for us to
not only make corn a paying crop, but to make it even a hand-
somely paying one.
HuMus.-The first and primary requisite for a good corn soil,
no matter whether it is sandy land, flat-woods land, or clay land,
is that we have an abundance of humus in the soil. Corn is a
gross and constant feeder. It is not particular as to the source
of the soil fertility, but it wants plenty of it. Humus may be ob-
tained profitably in two ways: (1) from barnyard manure; and
(2) by growing crops of legumes, preferably the velvet bean.
DEEP PLOWING.-The second requisite for a large corn crop
is that we have a deep, mellow soil, in which an abundance of
plant food may be stored in the form of humus, or added as com-
mercial fertilizer, and in which a large amount of capillary mois-
ture may be retained. A crop of corn was produced near Mus-
kogee, Fla., which averaged 109 bushels to the acre. The soil
was turned 10 inches deep, and a subsoil plow run in the furrows
8 inches deeper. It was also treated with an abundance of barn-
yard manure. Similar large yields of corn have been produced
at DeFuniak, and near Quincy. In every case, the large yield
was given by a deep, thoroughly prepared soil, containing an
abundance of humus.


It matters little what implement is used in cultivating corn, if
we observe the principle that the corn must be cultivated very
shallow, so as not to disturb or break off any of the roots. The
best implement for providing a soil mulch is the weeder. Next to
the weeder we have the smoothing harrow. The former imple-
ment is the cheapest and lightest, and with it one man with one
horse can easily cultivate ten or twelve acres of corn in a day.
After the corn is too tall for cultivating with a weeder or smooth-
ing harrow, a six or eight-shovel riding cultivator should be used.
Some of these are provided with sweeps in place of shovels. The
cultivator continues to keep the soil mulched on the surface,
which prevents evaporation. This implement may be used for
cultivating the corn until the field has been planted to legumes
and is ready to be laid by.

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

It is well known to agriculturists that frequent and shallow
cultivation conserves soil moisture. During the winter and
spring of 1908 we had a period of severe drought. From the first
of January to the last of March there was a deficiency of 4.83
inches in the rainfall. During the latter part of April, our chem-
ist, Prof. A. W. Blair, sampled the soil (see Table VI) in a culti-
vated and in an uncultivated portion of the same field, the two
plots being separated by a path four feet wide. On the unplowed
and uncultivated side the weeds at this time were actually dying
out on account of the drought, while on the cultivated side the
crop of cotton looked as promising as any need be; in fact, the
soil on the cultivated side was moist enough to mold in one's
hand, while that on the uncultivated side was as dry as road dust.
The last soaking rain that occurred on this land previous to tak-
ing the samples was on January 7, when we had two inches of
rainfall. By referring to the table it will be seen that, by culti-
vating the crop, sufficient moisture was retained in the soil to not
only keep the cotton plants in a healthy, growing condition, but
also to have enough water in the cultivated soil, over and above
that in the uncultivated soil, to equal 11 inches of rainfall.

April 18, 1908 April 24, 1908

Cultivated Percentage Tons per acre Percentage Tons per acre

First foot--...----.. 5.35 107.0 4.71 94.2
Second foot......... 5.73 114.6 5.67 113.4
Third foot .----...-- 5.17 103.4 5.28 105.6
Fourth foot..------. 4.94 98.8 4.95 99.0

Totals 423.8 412.2

First foot----------. 2.81 56.2 2.91 58.4
Second foot--------- 3.17 63.4 3.20 64.0
Third foot ---..-----. 2.92 58.4 2.99 59.8
Fourth foot.-------. 2.83 61.6 3.19 63.8

Totals 239.6 246.0

Cultivated land, average ---------.........--------.. ------------- 418.0 tons
Uncultivated land, average-------------------------.----..-----242.8 tons
Difference in favor of cultivated land.......------------.-------- 175.2 tons
of water, or li inches of rain.

Bulletin 100

The question as to how frequently we should cultivate to con-
serve the greatest amount of moisture, will depend entirely upon
one's ability to cultivate. The more frequently one cultivates
(even if cultivation were carried on every day), the larger would
be the amount of moisture conserved. It is quite probable, how-
ever, that cultivation at intervals of a week would prove more
Corn may be considered a quick-growing crop, that is, it re-
quires the use of the land for only from 120 to 150 days. Yet it
is not what we would call one of the shortest crops, such as let-
tuce, or cucumbers. On account of the length of the season
through which corn grows, we can use organic materials to a
considerable extent for supplying ammonia. The potash and
phosphoric acid may be derived from the ordinary sources.
There seems to be little advantage in using one form of fertilizer
rather than another, for what corn wants is a large amount con-
stantly on hand.
Land well filled with humus, and deeply cultivated, will pro-
duce a good crop with a much larger amount of fertilizer than is
allowable on poor land, not deeply prepared, and lacking humus.
On the ordinary poor land (such as is used for the most part for
producing corn, and prepared about three inches deep) we cannot
use successfully more than 400 to 600 pounds of ordinary fertil-
izer, in fact, during some years 600 pounds will be found excess-
ive. Whereas, on well prepared soil, containing an abundance
of humus, three times this amount will not prove deleterious to
the corn, even during the driest weather that we are likely to
Ammonia.--.----------------------_ _____ 3 per cent.
Phosphoric acid .------.. --------------.......5 per cent.
Potash _. _---.---------------_--_---------_ 4 per cent.
To secure the necessary plant food represented in a ton of the
above formula, we should use:
Dried blood --------------........... 350 pounds, or
Cottonseed meal, 71 per cent_ ---------800 pounds.
Acid phosphate, 16 per cent ------.----- _660 pounds.
Muriate of potash ----..--. --------- ... 160 pounds, or
Kainit. _-------- _--------------. ... .660 pounds.
It is a waste of good money to use cottonseed meal as a fertil-
izer for farm crops. It should be first fed to stock, and the ma-
nure used for fertilizer. In this way the farmer will get a double
value from the material purchased. If the field in which corn is to
be planted was covered with a good crop of velvet beans, cowpeas,
or beggarweed the year before, the ammonia in the above for-'
mula may be omitted-thus saving about $10 per ton on the fer-

Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

tilizer. Just before the corn is silking, it is frequently profitable
to apply broadcast 200 to 300 pounds per acre of nitrate of soda.
The chemicals necessary to make up the foregoing formula
may be purchased from fertilizer houses in Gainesville, Jackson-
ville, and Tampa, and sometimes in Pensacola. It is more eco-
nomical to have the fertilizers mixed at the fertilizer houses, es-
pecially if we purchase in less than 5-ton lots.
APPLICATION OF FERTILIZER.-Ten days or two weeks before
the corn is to be planted, one-half of the above material may be
taken and applied broadcast to the field. Immediately after the
fertilizer has been applied, we should run over the field with a
weeder. This will cause a fair distribution of the fertilizer on
the field and a rather even mixing with the surface soil.
A second application of the fertilizer may be made about the
time the corn is knee-high. This assures us that the corn will
have the fertilizer at the time it needs it. In case of unseason-
able rains, a large amount of the fertilizer would be lost if it were
all put on in one application. Less trouble is experienced from
this source in the clay soils than in the loose, sandy ones; and
less loss occurs in lands well filled with humus than in those that
are rather sterile.
FIRING, the premature dying of the lower leaves, is due to fer-
tilizing in the rows, to shallow plowing, and to deep cultivation;
but most frequently, to lack of humus in the soil, and sometimes
to want of good drainage.
FRENCHING is due to unfavorable soil conditions. It rarely
occurs on land deeply plowed early in the year and containing an
abundance of humus. It occurs most frequently on soil poor in
humus and poorly prepared, especially where the ground water
is held near the surface by hardpan or clay, or in places where
seepage water comes near the surface. To prevent frenching,
therefore, it is necessary to begin, at the latest, the year before;
certainly not later than before planting the crop.

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