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Skill in disking is required in preparation of soils. Bad disking is often seen where the land is left in ridges, or where the center line of the disked strip is left unturned, or where the disk does not scour and therefore does not turn the soil well.

If desired, a score card may be made covering these and other points in disking.

Drilling Seeds.-Skill is required in drilling so that the stand of grain or grass or legume will be uniform and leave no vacant strips or thinly seeded strips. Too thick seeding is sometimes a fault. The chief points to be observed are: Adjustment of the sower; prevention of clogging by foreign materials in the seed bags; careful drilling to avoid lapping and skipping; laying off a true land by straight lines well sighted through the field; Adjustment of depth of shoes, hoes, or disks; condition of soil at time of drilling; constant and uniform supply of seed in boxes; frequent mixing of contents of box; quick discovery of failure of seed to drop in any of the tubes; suitable treatment of soils immediately after drilling.

Let a score card be made giving proper values to each of these points, with proper cuts designated for partial failure in each case. Let students study the score card and then practice drilling with each of the points in mind during the operation.

Other Methods of Seeding. Certain portions of the score card may be revalued for use in scoring other methods of seeding, either by hand sowing, wheelbarrow sowing, fiddle sowing, crank sowing, or wagon-gate sowing.

Seed-Corn Selection.—Score cards have long been in use for the selection of seed corn. These should be used so that the points will come to the mind of the operator without consulting the printed page. Rapid selection is necessary. Let students take piles of corn and sort them into three or four grades. The instructor may frequently stop and question the propriety of throwing certain ears into the first, second, or third grade.

Field selection of seed corn is even more important to the educated student of agriculture (Fig. 26). Make a score card for field selection covering the following points in addition to those usually included in the score card already referred to: Number of ears to the stalk.

Size of ear. Height of ears on the stalk.

Maturity of ear as shown by husks Proportion of sterile stalks in the or otherwise. vicinity.

Freedom from smut and other Degree of covering of tips by husks. disease. Degree of drooping of ear.

Other points.

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Fig. 26.—Students should have actual practice in the field seiection of seed corn. Upper, prepared for the work. Center, making the selection. Lower, corn in form for drying and

storing. (J. A. Wisdom.)

Students should become familiar with this score card by practicing field selection and discussing each of the points for a short time. After this, considerable drilling may be advisable so that the operator will almost intuitively select the proper ears.

Field Selecting of Seed Cotton.—(Figs. 27 and 28). The chief


FIG. 27.—This Alabama student cleared FIG. 28.-These South Carolina students realized $127 on his project with two acres the importance of planting pedigreed cotton-seed. of cotton while attending high school. Dividing the lot of seed. "(L, M, Banknight.)

(H. A. Savage.)

points to be considered in selecting seed for cotton in the field before picking the main crop are the following: Prolificacy, number of bolls to the Number of side limbs or branches. plant.

Length of lint, and uniformity of Size of bolls, and perfect develop- length. ment.

Trueness to variety: Storm resistance or degree of opening Large proportion of lint to seed. of bolls.

Freedom from wilt, rust, boll-rot or Earliness.

other disease. Short internodes.

Students should practice the field selection of seed cotton with the points of this score card clearly in mind. The more practice they get in this the more skill they will attain. They should become so proficient as not to need to be questioned on the points during the operation.

Field Selection of Seed Wheat.—In wheat breeding it is possible to find certain heads of wheat that are superior to others. It is practical for a few seed breeders in each county to improve the wheat of the region by careful selection of individual heads. The yield can thus be increased in quality and quantity.

In practice it is best for all wheat growers who intend to save their own seed wheat to go to those parts of the field where the



heads are best filled, where the grain is mature, where the ripening is even, where the height of stalks is uniformly good; here cut the grain and save it separately for seed purposes. The seed wheat may be run through a seed threshing machine before the main crop is threshed.

Where individual heads are to be selected, as in wheat breeding, keep the following points in mind:

Select large, well-filled heads.
Stalks that are strong and support their heads well.

Plants that are well tillered or stooled; the larger the number of plants to the stalk the better.

Wheat true to variety.
Kernels plump and uniformly mature.
Disease resistance and plants free from rust and smut.

In wheat-growing regions it is well to let students practice the selection of individual heads until they become skilful in the operation. There is practically as great a possibility of improving wheat and other small grains by field selection as there is of improving the yield of corn by this method.

Skill in Harvesting.–(Fig. 25.) Running of grain binders, corn harvesters, mowers, and performing similar cropping operations should be practiced enough by students under instruction to make them skilful in all the details. In running a corn binder the operator should become skilful enough to avoid troubles regarding knives pulling the stubble from the ground, clogging of the carrier chains, failure to tie the bundles, failure to throw or properly carry the bundles, or unnecessary dulling of knives by too low cutting.

In running a grain binder the operator must be able to make the machine work well on both level and hilly ground; he must quickly adjust it to high and low grain if the stand be uneven; he must know conditions which will make the apron work well under all circumstances; he must carefully adjust the "butter" to suit different heights of grain; he must be a good judge of maturity of grain; he must understand the faults of the knotter; he should govern the rate of driving to obtain uniformly even results with his machine.

Skill in Hay Making.–The novice has admiration for the skilful hay maker. To obtain skill one must give attention to a number of points, chief among which are the following: Judging maturity of crop to be cut; weather conditions; facilities for curing; time in


which the kind of crop may be expected to cure most rapidly; effects of dew or showers on the particular crop; conditions in which the crop can best stand these, whether in swath or in shock; best conditions for handling to prevent loss of leaves; special equipment required for particular crops or seasons, as hay caps, and drying frames; degree of moisture (outside or internal moisture) allowable for satisfactory curing in shock, stack, or mow; what to do in case of heating; judging degree of heating allowable without injury; estimating weight of hay, loose and settled. More will be said


Fig. 29.—These Louisiana students learn to select seed corn by careful laboratory study.

(P. L. Guilbeau.)

regarding skill in operation of machinery under the subject of farm mechanics.

Skill in Judging Products.-A successful farmer cannot be too skilful in judging the products of his farm. He should know the market requirements and the market grades of his crops.

Many exercises in judging field-crop products should be conducted at the school or at homes when products are harvested before they are marketed. Use score cards for each of the crops so far as they are available. Learn to know the market grades of wheat, corn (Figs. 29 and 30), potatoes, oats, barley, rye, clover seeds, grass seeds, alfalfa, timothy, clover hay, other kinds of hay, and indeed all market crops.3

3 See Montgomery's “Productive Farm Crops" and other books giving market grades of different products.

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