• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Copyright
 Foreword
 Table of Contents
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 I
 II
 III














Title: Broomcorn growing
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055749/00001
 Material Information
Title: Broomcorn growing
Physical Description: 28 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Writers' Program (Fla.)
Publisher: State Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1941
 Subjects
Subject: Broomcorn   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the state of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055749
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002580339
oclc - 01618726
notis - AMU6785
lccn - 41046135

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
    Copyright
        Page ii
    Foreword
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
    Main
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    I
        Page 27
    II
        Page 28
    III
        Page 29
Full Text
-
U


OO


m


CO


rn


Growing


Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program
of the
Work Projects Administration in the
State of Florida


Published by


STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
Tallahaasee, Florida










UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


State-Wide Sponsor of the


FEDERAL


JOHN M.


Florida


WORKS


CARMODY,


Writers' Project


AGENCY
Administrator


WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION


HOWARD (


. HUNTER, Acting Commissioner


P











FOREWORD

Although broomcorn is not at present cultivated ex-
tensively in Florida, it can be grown successfully in every
county of the State, and holds considerable promise for
the future. It can be planted on fields after other crops,
such as potatoes and tomatoes, have been harvested.
Where brush is cured before threshing, fully matured
seed has the same food value as oats. Stalks can be
plowed under to return valuable organic matter to the
soil.


In small communities,
brush in the manufacture
the sale of which brings
are perfecting a process
products from broomcorn
new markets to farmers.


many growers utilize their
of brooms during spare time,
in added revenue. Scientists
to make paper and cellulose
stalks, and this should open


ROLLA A. SOUTHWORTH, Director,
Division of Community Programs.


CARITA DOGGETT
Florida Writers'


CORSE,
Project.


Supervisor,


WORK


PROJECTS


ADMINISTRATION











CONTENTS


Introduction


4I 94I 99*9*9* I'O I t I *..... S 99e ** 9


Production .....................
General Requirements .....
V varieties ......... ...... ..........
Standard Group ...............
Evergreen ............
Black Spanish...........
Western Dwarf Group.....
Evergreef Dwarf .....
Black Spanish Dwar
Seaborough ...........
Whisk Dwarf Group.......
Japanese Dwarf..... ..


f


Culture ........ ..... ................
Seedbed Preparation
Sources of Seed .........
Planting .........
Cultivation ...............


Harvetin .
Threshing
Curing .......
Baling ...


Marketing Factors
Classification
Color ............
Fiber ............
Seeding ........
Defective Bru


11 ~ ~ ~ ~ ** 4I .I .I .11 .I .411 .I 499.........9 I 11
*I .411 *9* 9 4..... ....4. ...... ......


*I .9 9 4 9 .. I. . .I................. I ..
*fos 1 .m 9i 9 IIII ...... ...... .. .. ..


S9 9 . . . . .. . *. 9 . 4 4 .
I .I 9. .. 9ll *...............................9( II II II I
1 9...... ...........................................................................


h ...................... .........


M markets ........ .... ........... ..... ..
Time and Method of Marketing.
Uses for Seed and Stalks.............


Yields and
Florida Pro
Diseases ...
Kernel
Insect


R returns ................
,duction and Markets.


Smut .........
Prts............


* 9.. .. ... ..999 .
. .. .. 9 9 .


994 .4 .9. .9. 99. ... .. ............ ......


*. .. ....**.....94999 ............
**4**S* 4* 49**1111* *9*49 94944
449499*11)111 4*4*4 9*II *9**49 4944


Prod uedon in the United 8tate


Violrl n A QkaaQp mna 9A o mar a Dan. ..In +. .Ia.


TTnI^aA











Broomcorn


Growing


Florida


INTRODUCTION


Broomcorn is a
branched heads
whisk brooms.
for more than th
plant is said to
States by Benjam
gan near Hadley,
shifts to cheaper
westward and
three important
est is in east-cent
Oklahoma; and 1
corn district, are


a type of so:
used in the
Although it
ree centuries
have been
in Franklin.
Massachuse
lands, grow:
iouthwestwa
broomcorn-r


rghum which produces long
manufacture of brooms and
has been grown in Europe
s its origin is unknown. The
introduced into the United
Commercial production be-


stts,
ing
rd.
)rod


but, following successive
centers gradually moved
At present there are
ucing centers. The old-


Illinois. Another is in south-central
third embraces, in the dwarf broom-
in western Oklahoma, southwestern


Kansas, southeastern Colorado, and eastern New Mexico.

Broomcorn has been successfully cultivated in Florida.
At present its production is centered in Dade County
where as much as 240 acres have been planted.

PRODUCTION


Average yields range from 600 pounds of
acre in Illinois, to 200 or 300 pounds an acre in
districts where rainfall is limited and farming
are less intense. Production in Florida averages
mately 500 pounds per acre.


b
1
I


rush an
western
methods
approxi-


GENERAL REQUIREMENTS


Broomcorn is most suc
climate is warm and the
_. 1 .-S a..aaJ a.e..alje1..u-


Successful in regions where the
soils are fertile and moist. A
L~~~~~~. -a aIa-t a a2Jaa








DEPARTMENT OF ALMGUICULTURE


tion the annual precipitation images from 15 inches in
Colorado to 32 inches in Illiniils. While the average an-
nual precipitation for Florida la approximately 52 inches,
allowance should be made too'or the moisture-retaining
qualities of local soils and tie s length of time they are
exposed to the sun's rays.


VARIED TIES
The numerous types and varieieties of broomcorn grown
in the United States may be cllelassifed in three groups:
standard, western dwarf, and whisk dwarf.

STANDARD GROUP


Standard broomcorn ranges f from seven to fifteen feet
height and bears a brush f from 1 6 to 24 inches in


length. The "handle," or stemna, of the brush, at least 8
inches in length, is so strong asattached to the stalk that,
at harvest, it is usually cut inti;tead of being pulled. All
types of brooms are manufactured from the brush of this
group which includes three VeIsell-known varieties: Ever-
green, Black Spanish, sometimes known as "Black Jap,"
and California Golden (Aksdl-hen). Two of these, the
Black Jap and Evergreen, ate:sr several trial plantings,


have been found satisfactory fdsor
Florida.


cultivation


in southern


E wppuSW


established


variety,


this


is repre-


sented in many
are: White Ita
Austrian. The
the White Itali
desirable quality


and
ized


strains now widelely grown,


lian,
last
an i
y. S


coarse for good
by tan-colored


Tennesses, is.ouri
three are pIoractically
s said to ble of a ino
ome strain;. produce
I brooms. TThe Evern


chaff, ranges


frokm


chief of which


Evergreen,
identical w


ire uniform
a brush too


1


and
while
and
ong


reen, character-
8 to 15 feet in








BROOMCORN


GROWING


Black Spanish. This variety produces a finer, straighter
brush and is reputed to be less subject to reddening than
the Evergreen. Its popularity is due more to these quali-
ties than to its yield. The Black Spanish, which ranges
from 6 to 11 feet in height, is somewhat earlier than the
Evergreen. It is characterized by a dark brown or black
chaff.


WESTERN


DWARF GROUP


Western dwarf broomcorn ranges from 4 to 7
height and bears brush 15 to 24 inches in length
weakly attached to the stalk, it is not cut, but
"pulled" or "jerked" in harvesting. The brush, e
to one-half or two-thirds of its length by the "b
the upper lea sheath which often collects water
sects, is frequently reddened thereby and made


sirable
tan or
is exte


feet in
. Being
usually
enclosed
oot" on
and in-
less de-


from a market standpoint. The chaff is either
dark red at maturity. Western dwarf broomcorn
naively grown in semi-arid regions, and is used


in the manufacture
brooms.


types


brooms


and


whisk


Three distinct varieties
Dwarf (Oklahoma Dwarf),
Seaborough.


WHISK


are grown: the
Black Spanish


DWARF


Evergreen
Dwarf, and


GROUP


This type attains a height of 2 ,
a slender brush, ranging from 12
at least three-fourths of which is
The short stem is easily detached a:
fore usually harvested by pulling.
tensively in the manufacture of wl
times for the insides of floor brool


to 4 feet and develops
to 18 inches in length,
covered by the boot.
nd this variety is there-
It has been used ex-
hisk brooms and some-
1Bs.


A *9 -I 1








DEPARTMENT


OF AGRICULTURE


other types and is subject to reddening.
usually dark red. Although known for
years, it is not widely cultivated.


The
more


chaff
than


CULTURE


Sorghums usually exhaust the
effects on crops which follow them.
in the case of broomcorn because
what earlier than other sorghums.


soil with deleterious
This is not so marked
it is harvested some-


In the west and middle-west broomcorn is
other tilled crops which follow, whenever p<
grain or sod crops. In some places it is p
nately with cotton. Broomcorn is harvest
time to permit the planting of winter wheat.
Florida it is usually planted on land from wh
or potatoes have been harvested.


planted like
)ssible, small
lanted alter-
ed in ample
In southern
ich tomatoes


Seedbed Preparation. Ground for broomcorn, if the
soil is heavy, is usually plowed, and disked or harrowed.
On listed land the ridges should be broken previous to
planting. If stalks from other crops have been left on
the land, disking is often necessary.

Source of Seed. Seed is usually obtained from reliable
dealers or neighboring growers who take precautions to
see that their product is high grade and free from smut,
or from the grower's own farm. Since one acre of broom-


con
to I
are
pric
for


yields
ilant ap
needed
e from $
a single


an average of 25 bushels of
proximately 500 acres, only
to supply the demand. Good
i2 to $10 a bushel, or from 10c
planting.


seed, sufficient
a few growers
seed ranges in
to 70c an acre


Where broomcorn is grown for seed, it is left in the


12








BROOMCORN


GROWING


hundred pounds
bushels of seed.


matured


brush


yields


from


Many growers leave crooked


ture seed
a higher
practice.
apartment
state tha
crooked


brush in the


for future plantings. Some f
percentage of crooked brush
However, agronomists of the
of Agriculture (Farmers' Bi
"if the original seed was of i


brush is


of being inherent in ti
is just as good as thai
the regular practice
recommended."


Seed obtained
threshing brush
heavy seed may
contain hybrids
age of the seed f


b
is
be
of
ail


result


arme]
resu
Unite
ulletiz
a pur


environment


ie variety, the seed f]
t from other sources.
of saving seed from


I field to ma-
rs claim that
Its from this
ed States De-
i No. 1631),
e lot and the
rather than
m the crooks
Nevertheless,
:rooks is not


y cleaning the seed piles left
not wholly satisfactory, for
recovered in this manner, it is
other sorghums, and a large pe
to germinate.


after
while
apt to
!rcent-


Planting. Although list
of labor, it sometimes resu
wash out the seeds or bu
higher when broomcorn
planter on land which is


er
Its
ry
is
"


planting is more economical
in failure due to rains which


ti

fla


corn plates are provided by
made by boring 3/16" or 1/4"


iem too deep. Yields
wn with a corn or cc
Lt broke." Special bri
manufacturers, or cai
holes in blank plates.


are
)tton
)om-
n be


Broomcorn


I


warm soil. In
from February
result from the
sive plantings.
for harvesting
A afas T A slrax


nakes the best growth when planted in
Dade County the planting period extends
to May. At least two distinct advantages
, practice of making two or more succes-
In the first place, fewer men are needed
if several lots reach maturity at different
a if +hara i a anffinan" tn awuaal haofwaan


\








DEPARTMENT


AGRICULTURE


In the humid sections of the north, and in
Florida it is desirable to have the plants stand
mately three inches apart, and from 60 to 75


rod is consi
it is necessa
the rod dep
germinating
in different
will determi


dered s
ry to pl
ending
quality
localiti


ne


tance between rows


;atisfactory


secure


I


plant at the rate of 70 to
on the condition of the
of the seed. Spacing d:
es and, in new sections
most satisfactory practi
varies from three to four


such
100
soil


southern
approxi-
plants a
a stand
seeds to
and the


istances
, experin
ce. The
feet. Bro


rary
lent
dis-
om-


corn is sometimes planted
widely practiced.


in hills but this method is not


Cultivation. Unless th
played in germinating, a
production. Growth is sl
are delicate. Cultivation


to control
if the soil
ments are
grain sorg
cultivator
need.


weed
is wel
similar
hums.
is used


e soil is
point in
ow at fir
should


growth. Much
1 tilled before
to those used
In Florida a
i two or three


t


warm, I
favor (
st and t
start as
trouble
l wanting.
or corn,


)roomcorn is de-


)f south
he yoi
soon a
may b
Tilla
cotton


tractor-drawn


times


h Florida
ing plants
s possible
e avoided
ge imple-
i, or other
three-row


depending


HARVESTING


II
and
emp
this
ber


n southern Floi
July which ha
iloyed during t
period ranges
in the northern


rida,
s the
he us
from
and


broomco
advanta
ual slac]
June in
western


rn is harvested in
ge of keeping local
k season. In other
southern Texas to
districts.


June
labor
states
Octo-


When the brush cl
green, broomcorn is


not start until the co
is completed. Brush
still yellow, will be f


changes in


color from


ready to harvest, an
loring process, from 1
harvested while the 1
labby at the bottom.


pale yellow to
i work should
ip to knuckle,
ower ends are
If harvesting








BROOMCORN


GROWING


For these reasons harvesting should be done promptly.
Since the work must be accomplished by hand labor,
large crews are necessary. Small growers exchange labor
during this period while those with considerable acre-
age hire crews who do the harvesting, threshing, and
baling on shares or a contract basis.


All broomcorn, whether standard or dwarf, is har-
vested either by cutting or pulling. Since a ton of cured
brush contains from 40,000 to 70,000 heads, and must be
handled in small armfuls to avoid tangling during the
curing, threshing, and baling processes, 10 to 14 days


of man
keted.


labor


required


each


brush


mar-


Some standard broomcorn is harvested with a corn
binder but the usual procedure is to "table" or "break"
the crop before cutting. The worker walks between two
rows and breaks or bends the stalks across each other to
form a "table" with the heads extending out beyond the
rows at a height convenient for cutting---approximately
three feet. The worker generally begins cutting after
making two tables.


Cutting is done
ing the brush in
the point where
knife, and exert
through the boo
handle or stem ca
pletely severed.
stalk it must be
thrown on altern
for loading on a
of brush is piled i
is the "lay-off."


i with a special broomcorn knife. Grasp-
one hand, the worker pulls the stem, at
it is to be cut, against the blade of the
ts an outward pull as the blade cuts
it. By this method, the brush and its
an be withdrawn before the boot is corn-
If by accident the boot is cut from the
pulled from the stem. The brush is
Late tables in armfuls of convenient size
wagon. The table on which the armful
s known as the "lay-on" table; the other


w


_ _


I









DEPARTMENT OF


AGRICeUL.TURE


tables,


ordinarily harvest from thresee to


four-fifths


acre, or three
ent sections o
about one-ift
enced hands,
two-fifths of
or contains a
siderably moi


to four
f the col
h acre, <
paid by 1
an acre
great de
re labor


ta


bles, a
try; t
two r<
e hour
day.
of del


day," Tables vary in differ-
le average midwest table is
ows 80 0 rods long. Inexperi-
, can harvest approximately
If the broomcorn is lodged


rective


. brush,


however, con-


is required.


Broomcorn


less


than


nine


feet hiaighl


does


form


good table. In harvesting such
quently breaks the stalks over,
same row, then turns and cuts
toward him. When the stand is s
the brush is often cut without


aocro p the
aboveut waist
the se brush
even feet or
bre-eaking a


worker fre-
high, in the
which points
less in height
md piled on


stalks broken to hold the bunches oftif the ground.


Th
after
uable
hours
field.
anced
chain
rack,
wher4


e brush is usually hauled of theield within 24 hours
cutting. Florida growers, horme2* claim that a val-
d


I,




e


start in curing
weather permi
For hauling,
on. the rear axl


is
tti]
a
e a


is commonly emp
seed ends outward


F -


obtained by v san-d
ng, while spnoread
flat-bottone.ed du
mnd held dorvwn in
loyed. The brush
i, and haulesed to i


it is slipped off in piles closes tc the


Irvin upD to


- 0' ~


on tables in
Imp rack,
front by a
is piled on


I
s


48
the
bal-
tay
the


te curing shed
thresher.


Dwarf broomcorn is harvested in


except


that


no tabling


cutt ii


much the same man-
nr is required. The


worker grasps
the top of "fla
such a manner
where it unites
corn often find
second or third
tursl at tha first


the ends of th
g" leaf in the
that the stem i
with the stalk.
it necessary to
i time to pull


e bnuh. in one hai
other and exerts a
s smralpp ed off at th


Growvers of
go through
brush n which


dwarf
their
was


nd and
pull in
e point
broom-
fields a


ma-


hIn rvoaina'


1


w


Ab









BROOMCORN


GROWING


the e
men
corn
since
there


yes
new
itch.
the
is n


and frequently
to the work, ca
" It is felt only
particles which
o lasting effect.


cling
using
vhen
cause


to
a
the
\e i


the skin, especially to
discomforting "broom-
worker perspires and,
t may be washed off,


arid


broomcorn


sections of the southwest most


of the b]
market,
curing.
of brush


rush
but
The
beca


the thresher
branches.


is threshed after curing and
in the humid sections it is t
latter practice results in a
cause when the material is mo
does not knock off so ma


then bal
hreshed
better q
ist and fl
ny of th


ed for
before
quality
flexible
fe ine


Several


types of


threshers are


available


from


heavy-


duty, self-feeders requiring a crev
to the light, hand-fed machines o]


men.
which
from
too h
if th
clear
engil
cised


Most


otJ


h r<
1,2
ligh
e s
I WI


machines


ate


opposite


'00 to 1,500 re'
a speed many
peed is too slo
ork. Hand-fed
are capable of
threshing.


equip]


direction


solutions a
fine branch
w, the ma
machines
good worn


v of from 15 to 30 men,
operated by two or more
?ed with two cylinders
ns, their speed ranging
minute. If operated at
hes are broken off, and
chine will not perforni
operated by small gas
c provided care is exer-


In harvesting, I
field accompanied
brush. When a
curing shed, part
operations.


;he
d
su
of


entire crew usual
by teams and m
efficient quantity
the field crew we


starts
for
piled
:on tl


work in the
hauling the
before the
1e threshing


Unless the brush is evened at the butts or tips and fed
evenly into the thresher a great deal of seed will remain.
A number of men are, therefore, required to untangle
the brush, sort out defective material, and even up that


I


A A


--









DEPARTMENT OF


AGRICULTURE


cleaned brush from the thresher and p
in the curing shed. The charge for
where the grower furnishes the crew,
ferent areas from $4 to $6 a ton.


laces it on shelves
custom threshing,
ranges in the dif-


CURING


dr
ho
CO
sh
an


If left for a considerable period in the field, brush will
y quickly in the shed, but if exposed for more than 24
urs in the field it may become bleached. In most broom-
rn sections brush may be piled on slats in the curing
ed to a depth of two or three inches depending on the
iount of moisture it contains; but in south Florida,


where contrary to the usual procedure in humid climates,
the brush is cured before threshing, it may not be piled
more than one-half inch deep without danger from heat-
ing. One south Florida grower does not advise the use of
sheds, but prefers covered racks not more than two rows
deep.


The


curing shed


is usually


about


10 feet high and


any
two
are
boa
and


convenient
) to four fe
left open a
rded. The
one-half


it width an<
fet beyond 1
except that
interior is '
feet wide.


crosswise or lengthwise in


length. The roof extends from
re plate and the ends and sides
;able ends, above the plate, are
vided into stalls or bents, seven
vhich may be arranged either
the shed.


The posts or studs which form the stalls a
built sheds, creosoted and set on a concrete
should be long enough in the interior to reach
One by four inch boards, spaced two inches a
to the posts, serve as braces and form cleats o


slats are placed.
long. When plac
one-half foot widt


are, in well-
base. They
the rafters.
.part, nailed
n which the


The slats are 1x2 inch boards eight feet
ed on the cleats across the seven and
:h of the stalls they nuvrlan three inchsn








BROOMCORN


GROWING


From 10 to 14 days, or more in damp weather, are re-
quired to complete the curing process. Green threshed


brush loses approximately half its weight by ev
of its moisture content before it is dry enough
In some sections broomcorn growers "bulk" t
before baling, that is, the brush is removed from
and piled to a height of 4 to 6 feet, in the sh
leaves most of the shed available for another
lessens the drying or shrinkage of the brush, ane
the size of the crew needed for baling. This p
not employed in Florida. In some western distril


aporation
to bale.
;heir crop
the slats
ed. This
harvest,
d reduces
practicee is
cte where


rainfall ii
from 3 to
width at
expense,
coloration


s scant, broomcorn is sometimes cured
5 feet high and tapering upward from
the bottom. This saves considerable la
but involves the risk of over-bleaching
a from the weather.


in ricks
a 4-foot
bor and
and dis-


BALING


Ragged looking
brush present an
command the best
is advised in baling
To obtain uniformil


surfaced
bunches
to the ma
receives


bales or those containing tangled
unattractive appearance and do not
price. Considerable care, therefore,


t
t3


object


of bru
an wh
the b


s


A


secure a neat and unit


r of appearance a table
placed near the baler


ih may be "butted" before the


o places then
rush he spree


stems outward and careful
the hopper, the brush being
the tips overlapping in the


the fron


hopper i
brush is
wires. T
bunches
RO hr A


t gate is closed and
SAilled. Then the l1
compressed to bale
he wire used is No.
of 125 wires each.
K hv OR t i9 t 4a+1=-.


Sin tne
fads it
ly butte
placed
middle.


m
dv
d


machine.
enly in
against


?orm product.
or other flat
so that the
y are handed
As this man
the hopper.


t the


en


at alternate ends
When partially


I filling continues
id is clamped in j
size and secured
9, 10, or 11, that
The average bale
no wi an wI a, S e, Ofl


unti


ds of
with
filled
1 the\.


place, the
with five
comes in
measures
A O OrA


J


r
B









DEPARTMENT OF


AGRICULTURE


Most baling is done by


horsepower, but hand-operated


machines are used by small growers.


Two balers are fre-


quently used on a job when threshing is done at the same


time.


This


expedites


work


brush


can


placed in one baler while a bale is being tied in another.
Where the grower provides the crew, the charge for cus-
tom baling ranges from $1 to $1.50 a ton. In some areas,


under


similar


conditions,


seeding


and


baling


combined


cost from $5 to $6 a ton.


The cost of baling wire ranges


from


per ton


of brush.


Baled brush may be stored indefinitely


but in Florida


warehouse should


have


a wood floor


for brush


will


rot quickly if stored on a concrete floor.


MARKETING


FACTORS


Clasificatio.


Baled


brush


best,


only


roughly


classified for market,
which it is adapted.


the types depending on the


Short or stemmy


brush


, designated


as "handle corn"


or "insides,


" is used for the inner por-


tion


manufactured


broom.


Longer


brush


used


on the shoulders of the


broom,


known


as "covers"


"turnovers.


Brush


which


long


and


fine


is used


the outside of the broom and is called "hurl."


A lot con-


training
covers,
brush.


approximately


and hurl


The


best


right


proportion


which go into a broom is


brooms


made


from


insides,


"softworking"


brush


having


numerous


best


fine


price.


round
Barn


branches


and


and


warehouse


this type


brooms


commands


made


from


long coarse


brush


which is often flat or twisted.


Color.
usually


The


best brush has a


attained


dyeing.


uniform


It is bleached


a-green color,
with sulphur


at the factory before being made into


brooms.


Discolor-








BROOMCORN


GROWING


ing, a common defect
caused by overmaturity,


jury.
the ha
is also
posure
curing


Whitening
rvest or fro
discolored
Sto rain, o
process.


especially in dwarf
excessive moisture,


4


may result from excessive
m prolonged exposure to the
by mold, contact with the
r by heating and burning


varieties, is
r insect in-
heat before
sun. Brush
ground, ex-
during the


Fib
of a
quality;
heavy
sion.
point
inches
broom


wr. Unless there is a scarcity of long brush,
medium length commands the best price. A
y fiber is of medium diameter, straight, stan,
pull without breaking, and has a good spring
The fibers should branch from the stem near
to form a definite knuckle. Fiber from 15 t
in length is used in the manufacture of ordil
s. Longer fiber must be trimmed or used in 1


that
good
ds a
ten-
one
o 22
nary
barn


or warehouse brooms while that less than 15 inches long
is made into whisk brooms.


Seeding.


Although


baled


brush


containing


large


amount of seed will be heavier
threshed, the price received f
compensate for the labor inv
grower does not remove the a
ing this work must be done
broom is completed.


,r than that which
or the latter wil
'olved in securing
ieeds cleanly du
at the factory


:h is cle
[1 more
ig it. Ii
ring thi
before


anly
than
!the
resh-
the


Defective Brush. Standards for grading broomcorn
have been published by the Bureau of Agricultural Eco-
nomics of the United States Department of Agriculture.


These design
missile in 4
corn is not
exceptional
fa nirrn n A al


pnate
each
sold
ly hi
As1-


the lengths
bale of burl
on this basui
gh it does n
lA aanu, kAA i


,thickness, and defects per-
or underwork, but all broom-
. Unless the market price is
ot pay to harvest brush con-
* 4. lt a Sal a n a n a- aan -1-









DEPARTMENT OF


AGRICULTURE


Spikes, or "tree tops"


are short, branched stems which


have


are caused


a stand


which,
brush


characteristic


broomcorn


fiber.


an insufficient moisture supply,


or impure


because


seed


rapid


strains.
growth,


has opportunity to stiffen.


"Crooks"


bend
They


over


They
thick
heads


before


found


more


frequently in tall varieties of broomcorn and result from


much


moisture


and


thin


stands.


Only


straight


part has value.

Curley or twisted brush may be used for insides when


the defects do not extend too far from the knuckle.


Flat


brush, caused by poor seed strains, thin spacing, or exces-


sive moisture,


which


can be used


contains center stems


only in cheap brooms.


more


Brush


than one-tenth


inch in


diameter may


used


only for inside


work and


therefore


brings a lower price.


MARKETS

There are few local markets for broomcorn brush, and


the crop


produced in south Florida is used in a grower-


owned


broom factory.


other States broomcorn is fre.


quently


sold


when


baled,


and


often


before


baling


pro


vided good


is sold


prices are


factory


obtained.


representatives


Ordinarily the
. commission d


product


dealer


broker, or shipped to terminal markets having warehouse


facilities.


The


most


important


these


Wichita,


Kansas.

TIME AND METHOD OF MARKETING

Broomcorn prices, quoted only in a few trade journal
and local newsnaners. are not based on grades or quality


__








BROOMCORN


GROWING


when factory needs are supplied
only speculative prices.


the surplus commands


Co-operative marketing has not been uniformly suc-
cessful because production cannot be controlled. The
wide areas adapted for production and the comparatively
small acreage required to supply the demand are factors
which prevent growers associations from establishing an
effective control of markets.

In many communities small growers utilize their brush


in the
winter
tainted
of the
produce
1,000 1
as cheu


va
pr


manufacture of
. Equipment fo
at nominal cost,
workmen and
:t. One ton of
to 1,200 brooms,


brooms during spare


r manual
but profit
ability to
brush pro
of which


time


operations can
s depend wholly
dispose of the
vides material f
60 per cent are


be ob-
on skill
finished
or from
classed


30 per cent medium, and 10 per cent first grade.


USES FOR SEEDS AND STALKS
Fully matured seed has approximately the same food
lue as oats but where the brush is harvested at the
oper time and threshed before drying the seeds are


without appreciable value. In the
others where brush is first cured u
seed will contain some value as a


western districts and
and then threshed the
feed.


Broomcorn stalks, if thoroughly dry, are burned in
some districts, but as a rule they are disked in for humus.
By setting fire to the tables, one man can burn off about
20 acres a day; but if necessary to cut and rake the stalks
before burning, labor costs and time are increased. By
using a tractor-drawn 18-inch sulky plow the stalks can
be plowed under, an operation that returns a consider-
-L .... .J --.....A... A_ -- a.e


ap,









DEPARTMENT OF


AGRICULTURE


and cellulose products from broomcorn
work is still in an experimental stage.


stalks


YIELDS AND RETURNS


Yields
an acre,
and as h
from $75


range from less than 200
and individual lots have
igh as $500 a ton while
to $200 a ton.


U


to 600 pounds of brush
brought as low as $40,
production costs vary


The following is quoted from Fmmer' Bulletin 1631,
issued by the United States Department of Agriculture in
1930:


The principal items entering
broomcorn production are man
tractor work, seed, threshing an
equipment and use of land.


into the cost of
labor, horse and
d baling, use of


In the standard broomcorn district of east-central


Illinois,
of.600 I
acre of
17 hi
work.
man la
tractor
tors are


, based on the usual field practice, wi
pounds of brush per acre, farmers pi
broomcorn with about 42 hours of m
ours of horse work, and 2 hours 4
These requirements amount to 140
bor, 59 hours of horse work, and 8


th a yield
produce an
tan labor,
of tractor
hours of
hours of


work per ton and are for farms where trac-


used for plowing and


disking.


In the Lindsay district of south-central Oklahoma,


where
where
powel
hours
wvioAi


the
Sit i
, the
and
n4 EK


yield is sli
s not the
man labor
the horse
f nrinAo


lightly less than
usual practice
per acre amoul
work to about I
n, ae aea rn n


in Illinois, and
to use tractor
its to about 48
87 hours for a
a 4*n Kohaa i4








BROOMCORN


GROWING


average yields obtained
broomcorn area.


on the


better


soils


In Dade County where b]
or muck land after potatoes
vested, sufficient fertilizer r
the crop. The rent- of this 1
acre. Production costs incluc
ciation, seed, and rent are
The yield on 100 acres pi


roomcorn is planted on marl
Ior tomatoes have been har-


emalns in
and avera
ling labor,
approximr
anted in


the soil to support
ges five dollars an
machinery, depre-
ately $15 an acre.
1940 was 20 tons


or 400
a ton.


pounds an


acre,


having


a market value


$120


Except when prices are high, broomcorn is rarely more


profitable than other crops.


Even


possess considerable experience


brush


more,
. listing
is al


then
prod


that will command advantageous
since buyers are seldom found
production centers, it is difficu
ocal outlet for the crops, to find
^ ^


the grower must
uce a quality of
prices. Further-
outside of ex-
it, unless there
a suitable mar-


ket when broomcorn
lished districts.


grown


other


than


estab-


FLORIDA PRODUCTION AND MARKETS


Although broomcorn can
every county in Florida, it
sively. The United States C0
that the State produced 98 1
report for 1899, recorded t
from 34 acres.


be
has
ensu
tons
hat


produced in practically
Snot been grown exten-
s Report of 1889 showed
on 171 acres and, in the
two tons were produced


No additional records were published until 1937 when
the Florida Agricultural Statistical report showed 8 tons
produced on 300 acres in Dade County. According to the
p -. --_ 4 A F ~ ll __L--- aa r. .. it 1~ ..2J.J fl..a


i


I









DEPARTMENT


AGRI


CULTURE


Capital
Invested


County


Collier
Dade
Duval .
Orange
Hamilto
Marion


(b ru . .. .. .. . . . .
(brush factory)..........


$1,000
12,000
17,460
730
100
300


Average
No. of
Workers
6
19
26

1
1


$82,080


DISEASES


Krnl


Smut.


Covered


kernel


smut


( Sphado.caa


sorghi) is the most common fungus disease affecting
broomcorn. This develops masses of blackish spores
where the seed should have developed, and retards
growth of the brush. If the brush is damp when threshed,
the spores are smeared along the fibers, badly discolor-
ing them.


Although all varieties of broomcorn are susceptible to
smut, control is not difficult if precautions are taken be-
fore planting. While sacked, the seed may be soaked in
a solution containing one pint of formaldehyde and 80
gallons of water. After immersion for one hour the seeds
are removed and spread out to dry. Another method con-
sists of sprinkling the formaldehyde solution on the seeds
which are stirred during the process. The seeds are
covered with canvas for 12 hours and then dried.

A mercury-compound dust known as ceresan affords
complete control for covered kernel smut. This dust
should be applied at the rate of three ounces per bushel
of seed, by mixing thoroughly in a regular dust-treating








BROOMCORN


GROWING


up than those of the covered kernel type. The method
of treatment for control is the same for both.


Sorghum rust (Puccinia purpuro), and leaf spot dis-
eases, marked by reddish discolorations on the leaves and
caused by the bacteria, Bacterium andropogoi, 'B. hold-
cola, and B. holci, also attack broomcorn but are not par-
ticularly destructive. No means of control is at present
known.


Insect PIta Broomcorn generally suffers from attack
by the same insects common to Indian corn and grain
sorghums. In Florida, cutworms are the worst offenders
and often make replanting necessary. Other worms and
plant lice also attack the crop but the extent of their in-
jury is not serious. Information on insect pests is avail-
able at the State Experiment Station or at the Bureau of
Entomology, United States Department of Agriculture,
Washington, D. C. A portion of the plant showing the
injury together with specimens of the insects causing


the damage
formation.


should


accompany


request for such in-


APPENDIX I


BROOMCORN


PRODUCTION


UNITED


STATES


4-Year


Average-1927-1980


Leading States


Oklahoma ..
Colorado ....
Kansas ......
Illinois ......
New Mexico
Texas ..........
Others ........


* . .
* .


Acreage
188,000
54,000
45,000
27,000
88,000
8,000
4,000


Tons


Percentage


950
675
675
725
675
276
760


m









DEPARTMENT


AGRICULTURE


APPENDIX II

BROOMCORN: Acreage, production, and average season
price per ton received by farmers in the United States.


Year


Acreage
Harvested


Acres


Average
Yield
per Acre
Pounds


Production


Short Tons


Price


Dollars


919
920
921
922
923
924
925
926
927
928
929
980
981
932
983
934
985
936
987*


*..................... .
*.. .. .. .


327,000


266,
222,
275,
586,
429,
222,
316,
231,
291,
810,
392,
314,
318,
277,
8065,
497,
344,
342,


000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000
000


333.4
283.9
352.8
278.1
303.2
359.0
279.4
348.3
846.6
362.1
304.5
260.8
813.7
261.8
216.5
188.9
247.0
221.8
296.0


54,600


,800
,200
,200
,400
,000
,000
,200
,100
,600
,800
,100
,800
,900
,000
S,700
,800
S,000
.600


155.00


127.
71.
219.
160.
96.
142.
79.
102.
97.
114.
66.
44.
37.
102.
164.
78.
116.
70.


From 1919 to 1924, November 15 prices; 1925 to 1987,


December price.


*Preliminary.








APPENDIX m


BROOMCORN :


Acrease. yield, production and season average price per ton received by fa:
tatctes,' e re e ana manual 1 00 an 1.00 :
s3wn r~esie ziiu KIIIDURI 1300 moa roo :


State Acreage Harvested Yield Per Acre Production PriMe E

AVergo 1980 1987 Average 1986 1987 Average 1936 1987 1938
1928-82 19283-32 1928-32

1000 1000 1000 Short Short Short
Acres Ace. Acres Pounds Pounds Pounds Tons Tons Tons Dollars


Illinois


Missouri..
Kansas ..
Oklahoma
Texas ......
Colorado..


New


S . .


500
806

295
312
282
265


e*41.ll
* .
* .* .*.*


Meico ...


470


6,860


290
130
300
272


200


236


160
480
,720
,420
,060


5,540


12,900
t
2,000
10,500
6,200
3,000
4,400


12,300
100
1,400
23,200
4.900


6,600


136.00

82.00
131.00
101.0(
88.0(
82.00


United States....
*December 1


324
price.


844 342 313.4 221.3
tLeass than 100 tons.


296.0


48,240


38,000


50,600


116.95




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