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AUG 18 1955
RESULTS OF RESEARCH ON FIELD CORN AND POPCORN
IN THE EVERGLADES AREA---1955.
Victor E. Green, Jr.
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This is the second mimeographed report of re-
search results on Project 662 on work conducted
at the Bverglades Experiment Station in co-
operation with the Field Crops Research Branch
of the U.S.D.A., other experiment stations, and
the Corneli Seed Co., and Louisiana Seed Company,
EVERGLADES STATION IDMEO REPORT 56-2
Belle Glade, Florida
July 20, 1955
RESULTS OF RESEARCH ON FIELD CORN AND POPCORN
IN THE EVERGLADES AREA ---1955.
Victor E. Green, Jr.l/
This mimeo report is a continuation of the results ob-
tained under Project 662 of the Everglades Station, and reported
last year as mimeo circular 55-4. For additional information,
the reader is referred to an article "Research Increases Corn
Yield" in the Florida Grower and Rancher magazine for December
In the continued effort to assist in the national corn
research program to locate corn resistant to leaf blights, 465
lines from 19 sources were grown and observed at Belle CGade.
Many of the cooperators visited the station to see the perfor-
mance of their material under Everglades conditions.
The year 1955 marks a great goal in corn production
for this area in that for the first time a seed company has
offered its services toward the production of hybrid seed. The
Experiment Station is equipped only for the production of inbred
lines and for the production of test crosses to measure combin-
ing ability, yields, and resistance to diseases and lodging.
Enough seed to plant 15 acres of single crosses were
supplied by the Corneli Seed Company of Cuba and were planted by
two local growers for the production of the double-cross hybrid
Corneli 54. This variety'is the successor to a number of hybrid
varieties (Corneli 11, 12, 13, and 31) released in Cuba that were
well adapted to south Florida conditions.
Corneli 54 is superior to the other varieties in that
there is more uniformity in stalk and ear height and greater re-
sistance to damage by insects in the field and in storage. The
stalks average 9.5 feet tall with ears about five feet from the
soil surface. The husk coverage is superior, which prevents
the entry of rain water and insects. Data collected in the 1954
crop season by Mr. Vaulter Thames, then Assistant Entomologist,
Everglades Station, revealed the superiority of Corneli 54 in
its resistance to the entry and damage of the corn earworm.
Damage by the fall army worm into the side of the ear through the
husks averaged only five percent and only 29 percent of the ears
were attacked by rice weevils and grain moths. (See Everglades
Station Mimeo 55-4.)
1/ Assistant Agronomist, Florida Everglades Experiment Station,
and Collaborator, Division of Cereal Crops and Diseases,
Field Crops Research Branch, U.SD.A.
The ears average about 8 inches in length and are
characterized by 14 to 18 rows of straight kernels on a medium
sized cob. The kernels are deep and flat and are very flinty.
They are deep orange in color with bright yellow caps. The ears
yield 80 to 82 percent grain upon shelling. Tip fill is usually
The plants are straight, have a good brace root system
and resist lodging and breaking. The variety is fairly resistant
to leaf blights.
The average yield for 1954 and 1955 on experimental plots
planted the first week in February on three-foot rows with stalks
one foot apart is 88.5 bushels per acre.
Testing for Blackbird Resistance. Forty-four varieties of field corn
planted in October 1954 and subjected to attacks by redwing black-
birds were completely devastated. Not even the variety Francisco
Flint with up to 14 layers of husks could withstand populations of
600-800 birds per acre. The so-called resistant varieties from the
midwest were eaten also.
Variety Test. One field corn variety test was grown in 1955. Soil
tests revealed that no fertilizer was necessary for maximum pro-
duction (Phosphorus above 8 lbs/A. and Potash above 80 lbs/A, accor-
ding to methods at the Everglades Station.) Seventeen varieties
were planted in rows three feet apart running north and south. The
rows werb 190 feet long and the stand was thinned to a plant every
foot (14,520 per acre). There were three replications in random-
ized complete blocks. The seed were planted on February 2, 1955,
and thinned after danger from cutworms and wireworms had passed.
The area was sprayed three times with a quart of 25 percent DDT
emulsion in 100 gallons of water per acre. Weeds were controlled
by three cultivations with soil thrown to the rows during the
last cultivation when the tool bar would barely clear the plants.
After lay-by, no cultural practices were used until harvest ex-
cept that an attempt was made to keep the water table 30 to 36
inches below the soil surface.
On May 16, Miss Alice Robert of the Cereal Crops and
Diseases Section of the U.S.D.A. Field Crops Research Branch,
rated the varieties for resistance to Helminthosporium leaf blights.
The readings probably represent maximum infection since anthesis
occurred in most of the varieties during the middle of April.
When the moisture content of the grain had dropped to
between 20 and 25 percent, the experiment was harvested to measure
yields. A one-row mechanical ccrn picker was used to snap the
ears from the plants. Yields were calculated on an acre basis as
U.S. Number 2 (l5.5 % moisture) shelled grain. The characteristics
and performance of these varieties are shown in Table 1,
The soundness of grain and keeping quality is equally as
important as the yield of a variety. The varieties that are rated
superior (Corneli 54, Francisco Flint, Tiquisate Golden Yellow,
and the cross, Yellow Tuxpan x Francisco Flint) have the best husk
coverage and the flintiest kernels which repel entry of water and
insects while the corn is standing in the field. These varieties
also hold up well in storage.
Rated next best as excellent were the cross: Yellow Tux-
pan x Mayorbela, Corneli 11, Big Joe, Corneli 13, and E.E.S.
Synthetic 1. These varieties are somewhat softer and have less
The keeping quality is very important when prompt har-
vest is impossible due to boggy fields, rainy weather, or break-
down of artificial drying facilities.
Three yellow dent hybrids from the Funk Company yielded
very well, but were soft and of poorer quality grain when com-
pared to the above-named varieties. The G-hybrids are bred for
production in the lower southern United States, and are better
than the Dixie hybrids for south Florida. Growers who prefer these
hybrids can produce good crops of corn if certain precautions are
followed. As for all corn, these varieties must be planted early,
preferably in early February. 'Then the moisture content of the
grain is down to 20 to 25 percent, these varieties should be harves-
ted, This prompt harvest will prevent excessive rotting of the
grain and insect infestation in the field. The grain must be ar-
tificially dried to a point where it can be safely stored.
The year 1955 was the fourth year in which research on
popcorn was conducted at the Everglades Station. Thus far, only
variety tests are grown. The Central Popcorn Company at Schaller,
Iowa furnishes seed of released varieties and experimental hybrids
and conducts popping tests on the grain after harvest. This year
two new varieties were added to the test. The variety South Ameri-
can was received from Dr. Tatum of Kansas State College at ian-
hattan and the variety YS(RS) Fll was received from Ing. C.G. del
Valle of the Estacion Experimental Agronomica at Santiago de las
Vegas in Havana Province, Cuba.
The variety South American, as well as Japanese Hulless,
sometimes called Improved Baby Rice, are totally unadapted to Ever-
glades and are dropped from further testing.
There is very little resistance to Helminthosporium leaf
blights in the popcornsthat have been tested here. The variety from
Cuba is somewhat resistant when compared with the other varieties.
Selections were made in a small planting where resistance showed
up in individual plants.
Damage from insects is very small and losses due to lodging
and stalk break are practically non-existent rith the popcorn varie-
ties since the grain is very flinty and the stalks are short.
Observations of experimental and commercial fields have
shown the need of careful weed and grass control since the popcorn
ears are within three or four feet above the soil surface.
Popcorn Variety Test. This test differed from the field corn test
only in that T varieties were planted on January 28, 1955 in
four replications on rows forty feet long. The grain was harves-
ted by hand on June 6 for the American varieties and on June 20
for the Cuban variety. Eight-ear samples were taken for moisture
determination, and ten-ear samples were taken, dried, and sent to
the Central Popcorn Company for determination of weight per bushel
and popping volume.
These data, along with the agronomic characteristics of'
the varieties, are shown in Table 2. 1iss Alice Robert, U.S.D.A,
rated the varieties for disease resistance.
According to a statistical analysis of the yield data,
5 varieties yielded equally high. These included the Central
Hybrid No. 1 that was in'first place last year; three experimental
Central Hybrids: C-5-319, C-5$-23, and C-$5-28, and the Cuba va-
riety YS(RS)Fll. The Cuba variety'was nearly 9 feet fall with
ears about 5 feet above the ground, and takes about a month longer
to mature than the northern varieties. It has large stalks and good
The popping volumes of the Central Hybrids were between
34.0 and 36.5, while the variety South American was 28,5, and the
Cuban variety only 23.0. The Cuban variety was harvested too
early and dried too rapidly in the oven.
Central Hybrid No. 4 is the earliest maturing variety
as reflected by the moisture content at harvest.
Shelling percentages of the Central Hybrids were between
76.7 and 82.5, and the Cuban variety, due to a larger cob, yielded
about 72 percent grain.
Spacing Test with Corneli 54 Field Corn.
In an effort to ascertain an optimum placement of plants
in rows and an optimum distance between rows, an experiment was laid
out using six different arrangements. No fertilizer was applied to
the area since soil analyses showed that adequate amounts of nutrients
Rows three feet apart or six feet apart were laid out east
and west and seed were dropped by hand on February 21, 1955. There
were four randomized complete blocks. The stand was thinned as re-
quired two weeks after planting. Insects were controlled as in
the other tests and cultivation was identical as in the other corn
experiments. The grain was harvested by hand on July 18, 1955, when
the moisture content was 26 percent. Lodging and stalk break were
recorded, and yields were calculated to busheld of shelled corn per
acre. These data are shown in Table 3.
Table 3.--Population Test with Corneli 54 field corn.
Belle GLade. 1955.
No. of Plants Yield,Bu/Acre
Row Plants-Dis-' Per Shelled Corn, Lodging,
Spacing tance bet.Hills Acre No. 2. Percent
3' 1 9" 19360 96.t 10
3' 1 -12" 1 ;520 76.6 9
3' 2 -24" 14 520 80.8 9
6' 1 6" 14,520 65.2 13
6' 2 -12" 14,520 69.6 17
6' 3 -18" 14,520 69.0 8
L.S.D. 3'rows .05 = 16.2 bu.; ,01 22.4 bu.
L.S.D. 6' rows .05 = 8.5 bu,; .01 11,8 bu.
On the three-foot rows, the yields were higher than on
six-foot rows, even when the same number of plants were used per
acre. This is probably due to the greater amount of weeds'between
rows six feet apart. On three- foot rows, the stand of 19,360 plants
yielded significantly better than 14,520 plants that were one foot
apart in the drill. Spacing the plants two every 24 inches on three-
foot rows was no better than one every foot.
There was no significant difference in the yields on six-
foot rows with one plant every six inches, two plants every foot or
three plants every 18 inches.
Research is planned for 1956 to include row widths be-
tween three and six feet.
The average shelling percentage from 12 samples in this
test was 82,7 percent grain.
Table 1. Field Corn Variety Test.
Belle Glade, 1955.
Avg. Grain and ***
Ear Keeping Q'lty
Yel. Tux. x Frans.
Yel. Tux. x Iayorbela
E.E.S. Syn. #1
* L.S.D. for yields of U.S. No, 2 grain:
.05 = 21.5 bu.; .01 = 24.5 bu.
'* Readings on May 16 by hiss Alice Robert, Field Crops Research Branch,
U.S.D.A. Higher numbers indicate more injury.
W* Quality of rain from Best to 'jorst: Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair,
Planted February 2, 1955. Harvested June 28, 1955 with a one-row
IT'cle 2. The Characteristics and Performance of 15 Popcorn Varieties at Belle Glade, Florida. 1955.
Disease Height, Ft.,Avg.
T^aM nI Ir OlrT
L.S.D. for Yields:- .o05 = 1280 Ibs.; .01= 1710 lbs.
* 0= Central Popcorn Compary; YS(RS) F 11'is an open-pollinated
MW Readings on May 16 by Miss Alice Robert, Field Crops Research
from the Cuba Agri. Expt. Station.
U.S.D.A. Higher numbers indicate
The weight per bushel and popping volume determinationsand normal expansion figures were made by the Cen-
tral Popcorn Company at Schaller, Iowa.
Plated Jan. 28, 1955. Harvested June 6, 1955.
High moisture indicates lateness. YS(RS) F 11 harvested