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simple. The land is plowed in the late fall or early spring, and is treated the same as if grain is to be sown.
The peas are planted with a grain drill, clover and mixed grasses if desired being sown at the same time. When the peas are in the right condition for canning, they are cut with a mowing machine and drawn to the factory where they are threshed, shelled and sorted by machinery. The yield in good seasons is about 2,500 pounds of shelled peas per acre, although 3,000 pounds is not an uncommon yield.
In 1905 the Station conducted two experiments on Mr. Goodwin's farms. While these were primarily intended as experiments upon inoculation of peas with artificial cultures, they served at the same time as partial fertilizer experiments. The account of the failure of the inoculation experiments due to the poor quality of the cultures both from the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Nitro-Culture Company is given on page 28 and following. The report of the fertilizer experiments follows.
In growing potatoes only high grade fertilizers carrying 3 to 4 per cent of nitrogen are employed. Because of the readiness with which this class of fertilizers are obtained they are also quite commonly used for pea growing. When the soil is stocked with the proper organisms, peas, as other legumes, can obtain all, or practically all of their nitrogen from the free nitrogen of the air. The bacteria which enable the plants to do this are more active when the supply of combined nitrogen is limited. Thus it happens that when a fertilizer that furnishes all the nitrogen needed for a given crop of legumes is used, the plants avail themselves of this ready combined nitrogen and do not obtain any considerable amount from the air. In the experiments here reported fertilizers low in nitrogen were used.
EXPERIMENT AT HOME FARM. The field used for this experiment was situated on a rather moist side hill with a slope to the south. The land was in a good state of cultivation and the greater part of it was planted to peas in 1904, while the rest was in grass. A section of four acres which appeared to be uniform in condition was selected for the experiment and divided into plots of one acre each. The division was so made that each plot covered an equal portion of the section which was in grass last season.
The whole field
received a dressing of pea vines from the factory which were plowed under, also the following amounts of fertilizing materials were added to each plot.
Plot 1-400 lbs. acid phosphate, 250 lbs. muriate of potash.
Plots 2, 3, and 4–100 lbs. dried blood, 400 lbs. acid phosphate, 250 lbs. muriate of potash.
On May 23rd Alaska peas were planted with a grain drill at the rate of 2/2 bushels to the acre. Those put on plot I were inoculated with the Nitro-Culture Company's culture, and those on plot 2 received no treatment. The seed used on plot 3 was treated with the U. S. Department of Agriculture's culture and that of plot 4 was not treated with any culture.
The field was visited June 27 and at that time the peas were about 8 inches high, of good color and appeared to be in a thrifty condition. The roots of some plants on each plot were examined and in every instance the nitrogen collecting bacteria nodules were found to be present. This shows, as was to be expected, that the field was thoroughly stocked with the nodule forming bacteria. There was no noticeable difference in the different plots either in size and thriftiness or in the number or character of the root nodules.
The field was visited again July 28th, but the weeds had then made such progress that it was not possible to make any comparisons of the different plots and the peas were nearly ripe enough to harvest.
On July 29 a part of plot No. I was harvested and on the 31st the harvesting of this plot was completed together with plots 2 and 3,—three acres per day being about all the factory cou take care of. August ist plot No. 4 was taken to the factory.
The yields of green peas after being threshed and screened are shown in the following table.
Plot 1. Phosphoric acid and potash, 1,747 pounds.
All of the yields are small, not much more than two-thirds of a crop being secured on account of the very dry season. The larger yield on plot I was probably due to some cause not directly connected with the experiment. It is hardly to be thought that the presence of the small amount of nitrogen used on plots, 2, 3 and 4 could have any relation to the diminished yield. The results show that this small amount of nitrogen was at least unnecessary.
EXPERIMENT ON SECOND FARM. The experiment made at this farm was on a piece of land which had been in grass for several years and was in a rather low state of cultivation. It was not known to have ever been planted to peas and for this reason was considered an excellent piece on which to test the effect of the nitro-culture material. Four acres of the field was measured off and divided into plots of one acre each. After the sod was turned over and the land thoroughly harrowed it was dressed with 700 lbs. to the acre of the following mixture: nitrate of soda, 50 tbs.; acid phosphate 400 lbs.; muriate of potash 250 lbs. It will be noticed that a very light application of nitrogen was made, the idea being to apply just enough in the most available form for the immediate use of the plants up to the time when the nitrogen collecting bacteria could begin to work.
On May 25 the field was planted to Alaska peas. The seed used on two of the plots was inoculated and on two of them it was not treated.
The field was visited on June 27th and at this time the peas were about 6 inches high with a very even stand over the whole piece. The plants were rather light colored and no nodules could be found on the roots. On July 7th the field was again visited. The plants were found to be 12 to 15 inches high, in blossom and growing finely. The roots were examined for nodules and all the larger plants were found to be abundantly supplied with them, but very few were found upon the roots of the smaller plants and those that were found were down low on the smaller roots. As far as could be observed at this time the nodules were no more plentiful in the plots that had received the culture than on the blanks.
No rain fell during July and this field suffered greatly from the drouth, resulting in the premature ripening of the peas and a yield of less than half a crop. The experiment would not have been reported except for the interesting fact that root nodules formed abundantly on a large part of the plants on two of the four plots. It happened that one of these plots received inoculated seed and the other did not. The two other plots, one inoculated and one not, had less root nodules. So far as known peas had never been grown on this or near by land. The organism must have been present in the soil or else upon the seed used.
The results of these two experiments are not satisfactory because of the exceedingly sharp drouth, but they seem to indicate that most soils that have been long cultivated are well stocked with the nodule forming bacteria and that a fertilizer containing only the mineral constituents, or at the most a little added nitrate nitrogen, will supply all the needed plant food for a good crop of peas. .
SAL BORDEAUX FOR POTATO BLIGHT. In 1904 * experiments were made with dry Bordeaux mixture as a preventive of late blight that showed the dry Bordeaux to be inferior as fungicide and preventive to the wet Bordeaux mixture when applied as a fine spray.
The Dust Sprayer Manufacturing Company of Kansas City, Mo., prepare a fine powder that they have named Sal Bordeaux. It consists of equal parts by weight of exceedingly finely ground copper sulphate and lime. This is applied as a dust and the theory is that as soon as this dust becomes moist, from dew or otherwie, the regular Bordeaux mixture in concentrated form is produced at Once upon the foliage.
Five plots of one acre each were used in an experiment on the farm of Mr. John Watson of Houlton in comparing the effect of dusting potato vines with Sal Bordeaux and spraying with regular Bordeaux mixture. The potatoes were all Green Mountain. A high grade fertilizer (Watson's Improved) was used at the rate of 1,250 pounds per acre. The different plots were dusted and sprayed on the same days as follows, July 5, July 15, July 25, (followed by showers), August 2, August 10, and August 22.
The Sal Bordeaux was applied at the rate of 10 pounds, 6 pounds and 3 pounds per acre. It was diluted with lime in each case and until the danger of bugs was over, Paris Green was used at the rate of half a pound per acre. On July 31 all the dusted plots were also sprayed with one pound Paris Green and two pounds of lime per acre, as these plots were pretty badly infested with the potato beetle. Either the dusted poison was not as effective as that applied wet, or the showers following the application of July 25 washed off the dusted more than it did the sprayed. Whatever the explanation, the dusted rows were infested and the sprayed rows were not.
* Bul. 112, Maine Agricultural Experiment Station p. 6.
The Sal Bordeaux was applied with a small hand "cyclone duster, two rows being treated at a time. The nozzle of the machine was so directed that the cloud of dust striking the row nearest passed through it or was carried by the wind to the adjoining row. Of course the nearest row received the more powder and was more thoroughly dusted, but the dust was plainly visible on the second row and some reached rows beyond. With this apparatus one man could dust an acre an hour.
There was no blight on the whole piece and but little blight in the county in 1905, so that the results are not regarded as conclusive. The yields were practically the same on the 5 plots, running from 100 to 102 barrels (275 to 281 bushels) of merchantable potatoes.
It is planned to repeat the experiment in 1906 and to use a power duster devised for potatoes.
CO-OPERATIVE EXPERIMENTS WITH ALFALFA. The Station began experimenting with alfalfa in 1903, but because of the lateness of sowing, poor preparation of soil, and other unfavorable conditions, that season's sowings gave no decisive results.
EXPERIMENTS BEGUN IN 1904. The alfalfa seed (9,452, from Turkestan) used in 1904 was furnished by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. This seed was secured by Mr. E. A. Bessey in the fall of 1902 at Karabulak, 25 miles north of Chimkent, Turkestan. This part of Turkestan is subject to extremely cold weather in winter and great heat in summer and the alfalfa seed raised there is considered to be the best raised in Turkestan. This seed has been treated with the alfalfa tubercles and should be in condition to give the best results."
At Princeton. About one-half acre was sown May, 1904, on the farm of Mr. J. W. Edgerly, in Princeton. The land sloped so as to afford