Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/372

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966,792 per acre; while one bushel, planted October 15th, gave only 812,160.

Two plants of 24 ears each gave 1,911 and 1,878 grains, or 79 per ear; 20 ears per foot, at 48 grains only per ear, would produce 88 bushels per acre. All the 1 conditions of time and space being fulfilled, we can obtain from a single parent-grain as many ears as are ordinarily obtained from twenty grains, with this most important advantage, viz.: these ears being produced from plants which have attained (or nearly so) perfect development of their growth, contain more than double the common number of grains, and their contents may be largely increased by the continued annual selection of the most vigorous parent-grains. These small quantities may be drilled on a large scale in the following manner: The object is to insure perfect singleness and regularity of plant, with uniformity of depth. The two latter may be obtained by the drill, as may the former also by adopting the following plan: The seed-cups ordinarily used in drilling wheat are so large that they deliver in bunches of grains, consisting of six or seven, which fall together within a very small area, from which a less produce will be obtained than if it had been occupied by a single grain. The additional grains are thus not only wasted, but are positively injurious. By using seed-cups which are only large enough to contain one grain at a time, a stream of single grains is delivered, and the desired object, viz., the depositing of grains singly, at once attained. The intervals in the rows will not be exactly uniform, but they will be sufficiently so for all practical purposes. The width of these intervals will, of course, depend on the speed with which the seed-barrel revolves, which can be regulated at will by adjusting the gear which drives it. By this mode of drilling, the advantage of the "broad-cast" system is obtained (equal distribution), as the rows may be close together, and the grains as thin in the rows as may be desired.

The crop should be hoed, as soon and as frequently as possible, with a horse-hoe. If the seed has been sown early, this should be done in the autumn, as it causes the plants to tiller and occupy the whole ground before winter sets in. It is essential to the success of thin seeding to keep the land perfectly free from weeds during the growth of the crop.

Now, what are the advantages of Major Hallett's system? A bushel of pedigree wheat (original red) produced from single grains, planted 12 inches X 12 inches, contains about 460,000 grains, while a bushel of ordinary wheat contains 700,000 or more grains. Therefore, in two crops consisting of exactly the same number of grains, the crop from thin seeding would be upward of 70 bushels against 46 bushels per acre. Again, a bushel of pedigree barley, produced from grains planted singly, contains 390,400 grains; while a bushel of ordinary barley contains upward of 550,000, or, in two crops of equal numbers of grains, the one would be 55 bushels, the other 39 bushels, per acre.