PRESS BULLETIN 176
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
By C. K. McQuarrle
The loss in sugar-cane seed owing to faulty methods of bedding is In
some cases thirty to forty per cent. of the total amount bedded. This loss
is much too high. It can be largely prevented by exercising the necessary
care when bedding the cane for seed.
The Time to Save Seed-cane
The bedding of seed-cane should be delayed as late as possible so as to
get it near the dormant stage. At the same time, weather conditions must
be watched, so that no frost may injure the buds and render the seed-cane of
poor quality for planting in the spring.
If the season has been deficient in rainfall, it is advisable to wait until
a good rain occurs. Bedding should be begun immediately after. Cane with
the boot filled Mith water when bedded keeps best. If bedded when dry, dry
rot is apt to be much in evidence when the bed is opened up.
Location of Bed
It is desirable to have the bed as near the growing cane as possible, to
save time in putting it in place. A location ith a gentle slope is preferable.
Ample drainage is needed to prevent standing water in rainy weather. No
preparation is necessary except to see that the ground is smooth and free
from lumps. The ted should not be more than six feet wide. If several
thousand canes are bedded, several beds may be made to save carrying the
cane long distances.
Selection of Seed-cane
Cane selected for seed should be of a thrifty nature, with well matured
buds, and joints of medium length. Cane with too long joints is not desir-
able as it gives an uneven stand unless thickly planted. Cane with too short
joints is apt to be of low vitality. No canes should be bedded from any field
where red rot is suspected or known to be present. If the seed selected is
November 11, 1911
of the same year's planting, the cane can be cut close to the root with a cane
knife or sharp hoe. If last year's stubble is used, it is best to dig it and
bed with the roots attached.
Methods of Laying Down the Seed-eane
The cane should be put in even layers not more than three or four canes
deep, making it thicker in the middle than at the sides so as to avoid water
standing in the bed in rainy weather. Each layer should be placed about ten
inches forward of the previous one, with the foliage covering the joints of
the preceding layer. Some care should be exercised in this operation to pre-
vent thin and thick streaks In the bed, which will make hollows to hold rain
when the bed settles. Cut cane should have the butts touching the soil when
put in place. Dug cane will have the roots on it, and in the opinion of some
growers keeps better in the bed than cut cane. We have always failed to
find any difference in keeping qualities between the two methods when the
butts of the cut cane were touching the ground in the bed.
Covering the Bed
After the cane is laid down, the bed should be covered immediately with
about two inches of soil as protection against frost. A strip the full length
of the bed along the middle should be left open for ventilation for a few
weeks, but covered up before severe weather occurs. A couple of furrows
made with a heavy plow should be thrown to the sides to facilitate drainage,
and provision should be made to let the water in these furrows run off in
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