PRESS BULLETIN 136
florida Agrlcultural Experimenl Station
BY P. H. ROLFS
The proper or improper selection of seed corn makes or wastes one-
half of next year's crop. Half a crop of corn leaves little or no profit for
the farmer. Everyone who expects to plant corn next year, and has not
already done so, should select his seed corn without further delay.
In selecting seed corn from a crib, one should have before him at
least a hundred bushels of good, shucked' corn; and should go through
this, picking out all of those ears that are of the right size, shape, and
color to make good seed. If one has a good scoop shovel, this can be
done in five to eight hours. Out of the hundred bushels, about eight or
ten bushels will probably pass the first inspection.
The first and primary requisite in selecting seed corn is to select
seed that will germinate. Few people, excepting those who have given
this matter special consideration, realize how imperfect is the average
run of our seed. At the Tri-county Fair, at Pensacola, the corn exhibit
was judged by an Illinois man, who was thoroughly familiar with seed
corn. The highest award to any entry for seed condition was nine points
out of a possible ten. At the last Marion County Fair, where there were
probably over two hundred entries, less than ten of the entries passed
perfect with regard to seed condition. Special endeavors had been made
by all of these exhibitors to have their corn perfect from the seed stand-
point. But since so many failed in this point, we see that the seed quality
of the corn must be often overlooked in making selections.
A selection of seed is made from the amount that has been separated
from the large pile. For this we observe the following points:
1. The cob must be perfectly sound and free from all trace of mil-
dew stain, both at the butt and tip ends.
2. The kernels must be firmly fixed on the cob. 1 If shrinkage has
January 1, 1-910
occurred, allowing the kernels to become loose, it indicates imperfect ma-
turity and hence inferior germinating and growing qualities.
3. The kernels must be free from all discoloration, and especially
discolorations due to molds.
During January, when farm work is not pressing, is the time when
we should test our seed corn; and so guard, as much as possible, against
seed failure when the rush of spring work comes on. We should allow
about fifteen good, large ears for every acre to be planted. The ears may
be distinguished by tying to each a numbered paper tag. Two well-developed
kernels should be chosen from each ear; one from near the butt, and one
from near the tip. These should be planted in a fiat, prepared from a soap-
box or other small box. By planting these in consecutive order, we shall
be able to determine whether the germ in the corn from each ear is alive
or dead. In ten days or two weeks the corn in the flat will have sprouted;
then by taking it up in due order, we shall know which of the ears gave
dead seed, and so be able to discard them.
Keeping Seed Corn
Seed corn may be kept in barrels, boxes, or bins. A large, well-made,
dry-goods box, lined with paper throughout, makes an excellent receptacle.
Before nailing the cover down, treat the corn with one teaspoonful of carbon
bisulphide to every cubic foot in the box, to kill weevils. As a further
precaution, a half pound of napthaline, or moth balls, may be scattered
throughout the corn in the box as a repellant to insects that might gnaw
through the paper.
State papers please copy.