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The Liberal democrat. [volume] (Liberal, Kan.) 1911-1924, December 22, 1911, Image 5

Image and text provided by Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85029856/1911-12-22/ed-1/seq-5/

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Bushels of the Seed of Noxious Weeds Planted Every Year by Farmers
I Throughout the StateImmense Losses Caused by
. Spread of Quackgrass, Crabgrass
and Like Pests.
n lOTr fin a
By D. H. Rose, Assistant Professor of
IF YOU were to offer a farmer sev
eral bushels of mixed weed geeils,
free, for sowing, he would refuse to
use them and probably would think
you out of your senses for offering
them to him. But many farmers over
the state have this year sown seeds
by the bushel and have paid a good
price for the seed. Not, perhaps $10
or $12 a bushel, but at any rate sev
eral dollars more than it was worth.
And how has this happened? fn
this way: Seed of alfalfa or clover or
Knglish blue grass was for sale close
t hand, cheap, and the farmer bought
Assistant Professor of Botany at
K, S. A. C.
it and used' it. This is a common
practice everywhere, as is well
known, and results in seeding down
the farm land of tlie state to weeds
more thoroughly every year.
Samples of seed such as are here
discussed have been examined in the
seed laboratory of the Kansas Agri
cultural College and have been found
to contain large quantities of weed
seeds. In alfalfa the most common
are foxtail, crabgrass, pigweed, lambs
quarter, RussiaB thlsile, buckhorn and
dodder; in English blue grass, cheat;
and in bromegrass, quackgrass and
cheat.. Quackgrass is' a bad weed
which causes immense losses to the
farmers of the Dukotas, Minnesota,
Nebraska and Iowa everyyear and
gradually spreading over Kansas.
U the seeds mentioned,, any or all
of them, are present in a sample to
the extent of 10 per cent it means
that for every nine bushels of alfal-,
fa or clover or bcpmegrass sown there
Is also sown one bushel of weedseed.
The weeds which come from these
seeds require just as much room as
the reap crop, often more, and rob
the soil of moisture and plant food.
It may make the matter clearer if
some figures are given as to the ac
tual number of weedseeds sown on
a square foot when impure seed is
used. Five per cent of foxtail In an
alfalfa sample means 45.000 foxtail
seeds to the pound of the mixed seed.
If such seed is sown at the rate of
15 pounds to the acre, there will be
It is all very well for scientists to
study and delve and dig for the ulti
mate salvation of the farmer in the
dry land belt, but first tell him and
do it quickly what to grow that will
; bring in money. The sooner this is
done the sooner the farmers, consti
tutionally skeptical, will respond.
"The farmer isn't 'concerned about
fertility," says Professor W. M. Jar
dine of the Kansas State Agricultural
College. "What he wants is a living
and he wants it now. We must help
him to get It. Show him how to do
somehting now; tell him how to feed
his family, first, and then he will be
In position to take up and study the
problems we have discussed. The
thing to do for him is to show him
how to store up every drop of mois
ture to grow crops and produce money.
We" can do that in short order and
with few words."
Before Professor Jardine's appoint
ment as head of the agronomy de
parment In the Kansas Agricultural
College, h9 started exceedingly valu
able' potato experiments for the United
States department of agriculture in
' the dry lands region. These experi
ments began three or four years ago
at three stations in North Dakota, at
Akron, Colorado and Nephl, Utah.
About 2." varieties of potatoes were
used they were planted in every con
ceivable way. In three years the re
turns were from almost nothing to,
300 bushels an acre. On 'five farms
the yield averaged 100 bushels, mar
ketable. Here, in brief, are Professor
For seed, use selected tubers, hand
picked. If not too large plant single
tubers having only one or two eyes.
'' If large, cut in halves. Two eyes are
better than six in seed potatoes.
Plant In rows three feet apart, and
20 to 2 Inches apart in the rows, four
lnche3 ueep; subsolling Is fairly sat
isfactory. ,
Use these varieties: Early Petoaky,
Irtia Cobbler and Early Ohio.
Botany, Kansas Agricultural College.
13 seed of foxtail to every squan
foot of ground. If the sample is onl
one per cent impure, there will stll.
be at leaBt two seeds to every squar.
foot. There are surely enough weei'
seed grown every fall without theii
number being increased by the ui;
necessary and careless sowing o.
It Is true that not all of the seei
examined has been found to contai)
impurities to the extent of 10 per cni
or even 5 per cent, it should be sat',
also; that the number of samples e
amlned this year lias been slightl;
smaller than usual and a large propoi
tlon of them came from seed houses
It might be thought from this th
seed bought from a seed house is sur
to be- clean. This, unfortunately, I
not always I rue. Not that all seed
men are dishonest, or that none
the seed they have is pure. Cred!
must be given them for trying to pu
on the market as good grades of seei
as they can obtain. Hut even wit!
the best of cleaning machinery soilii
weed seeds are sure to be left behind
Among those especially hard to re
move are buckhorn and foxtail fror
clover and alfalfa, Russian tlii-;
from alfalfa, cheat from Knglish blue
grass and bromegrass, and quack
grass from bromegrass. It must b
remembered that In some years n:os
of the seed Is clean as It comes fron
the threshing machine, and in othe
years foul with weed seed and othe:
trash. Seed that grades No. I fancy
one year, would scarcely pass for No
3 prime the next.
Another fact worth consideration.
A sample on examination in the seer
laboratory of the Kansas Agricultura
College may be 98 or 99 per cent pui't
and still be unfit for use because i
contains a few seeds of some ba
weed, such as dodder, Russian thistl
of quack grass. One-half of I pe
cent of dodder in an alfalfa samp!'
means about 500 seeds to the pom;
or at least one seed to every squar
yard, which surely Is more than any
one cares to sow on valuable fair,
The point Is here: The farmers r,
the state are not availing themselve
of the privilege of having seed ex
amlned before they -sow it, but an
using a great deal of locally grow
Seed which, as it. comes from th
threshing machine, often contn!-r.
large quantities of weed seeds am
trash. Such seed can be fairly wel
cleaned with a fanning mill, but tlx
safest way Is to get really clean seei
from some other locality or from :
reputable seed house, liven when thl:
has been done It Is best to send :
sample, say a good handful, to tin
seed testing laboratory at Mnnliattu:
to be examined. A report will b'.
made, free, on the amount of impur
ities present, anl on the germinatin
power of the seed. Examinations o
this sort have 'been 'made for res I
dents of the state since 190.1 Thert
can be little doubt that thousands ol
dollars have been saved by ndvict
given against the use of impure send
fure seed is more expensive, to b
sure, but so are weeds.
"These varieties are not the larf!
est yielders, I admit," Professor Jai
dine said, "but they are the earlies
and, therefore, the most advisable be
cause the fanner may need thi
Why Bhould not potatoes be a gooi
crop to grow on fallow land hint
which, otherwise, would be idle fu
the year? That's the question.
"Why not plant JO or 100 acres?
Professor Jardine inquired. "Wh.
not, anyway, have crops two years I
three? Wouldn't many a dry Inn
farmer like to have $100 an acre froi
his fallow? Wouldn't he be deligute
to get $.'0? Mind, now, I don't recon:
mend you to drop wheat in favor c
potatoes, but here is a scheme tha
may tide over many families whili
thy are waiting the result of :
sclent! lie test of systems we advise."
Only three crops In the dry land
are making money, Professor .lardin.
declared: Wheat, mllo and flax
Why not. add another and Increasi
the Income? The farmer who thlnki
he will grow rich on one crop is mac",
mistaken, he said. Potatoes could b
planted in the low, waste places when
grain can not be sowed. They would
prove to be the farmer's friend.
The Improvement of crops by
breeding and selection Is primarily
the work of the experiment station,
and the experiment station should
be the source and first distributor of
well-bred seed, but the amount ol
seed supplied by the experiment sta
tion is necessarily small and the
farmers who secure the better seed
must grow it carefully and keep it
pure and continue the distribution in
order that great and rapid benefit
may result from the work of the ex
periment station. The permanent im
provement of crops rests with the
farmers who shall continue the grow
ing and distribution of improved
01 E
An order has just been received for another car of
chickens and turkeys. We will hold the turkey market
up to 11c and the chicken market at 6c until this order
is filled, which will probably be until Wednesday, Dec.
27th. We advise you to sell now as the poultry market
will undoubtely go off after New Years.
One Block West of
You don't need to freeze these cold nights for lack of bedding. We
are heavily overloaded on comforts, and they are the Chas. A. Maish
Pure Laminated Cotten Down, all guaranteed to be absolutely pure
and sanitary. Regular prices and reductions are as follows:
Regular price $ 1.25, Cut Price $ .98
This should be very acceptable bargains at this season of the year,
and you should lay in your supply while you can have the advantage
of this saving. These especially at these prices are no more expen
sive than many others of inferior makes.
The Democrat Wishes Everybody a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year.
mm WAV
the Enterprise
Co fl
1.50, " "
2.00, " "
2.50, M . "
3.00, " ' "
3.50, " "
Phone 292

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