OSMANIA UraVERSITY LIBRARY
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Thi> book should be returned on or before the date last marked below.
Prepared under the Auspices of the
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRONOMY
Edited by A. G.
C. E. MARSHALL
N. P. NEAL
V. G. SPRAGUE
Copyright 1950, by
125 EAST 23RD STREET
All Rights Reserved
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PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OP AMERICA
CONTRIBUTORS TO VOLUME
Agronomy, Texas Agricultural and
Mechanical College System, College Station, Texas.
E. ADAMS, Head, Department of
GILBERT H. AHLGREN, Professor of Farm Crops, Rutgers University,
Brunswick, New Jersey.
W. H. ALLAWAY, Research
Professor of Soils, Iowa Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, Ames, Iowa.
HENRY D. BARKER,
Principal Pathologist, U. S. Department of Agricul-
CHARLES A. BENNETT, Principal Agricultural Engineer, U.
of Agriculture, Cotton Ginning Laboratory, Stoneville, Mississippi.
E. C. CHILDS, Assistant Director of Research in Soil Physics, School of
Agriculture, University of Cambridge, England.
Principal Physiologist, U. S. Department of Agriculture,
College Station, Texas.
ENSMINGER, Associate Soil Chemist, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.
R. F. FUELLEMAN, Professor of Agronomy, University of
C. GAINES, Professor of Entomology, Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College System, College Station, Texas.
N. COLLIS-GEORGE, Demonstrator, School of Agriculture, University of
M. K. HORNE,
Commerce and Business Administra-
tion, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi.
Geneticist, U. S.
W. K. KENNEDY,
Professor of Agronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca,
E. KNOTT, Professor of Truck Crops, University of California, Davis,
Department of Agronomy, Purdue UniAgricultural Experiment Station, Lafayette, Indiana.
CONTRIBUTORS TO VOLUME
0. A. LORENZ, Assistant Professor of Truck Crops, University of California, Davis, California.
WILLIAM E. MEEK, Senior Agricultural Engineer, U.
Agriculture, Stoneville, Mississippi.
R. B. MUSGRAVE, Associate Professor of Agronomy, Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York.
Senior Soil Scientist, U. S. Department of Agriculture,
L. PETERSON, Assistant Agrononvist, California Agricultural
periment Station, Davis, California.
T. PRESLEY, Head, Department of Plant Pathology and
Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station, State College, Mississippi.
T. R. RICHMOND, Professor of Agronomy, Texas Agricultural
Station and Senior Agronomist, U. S. Department
College Station, Texas.
F. F. RIECKEN, Research Professor of
ment Station, Ames, Iowa.
Soil Correlator, U. S.
Iowa Agricultural ExperiDepartment
HARRIS P. SMITH, Professor of Agricultural
Engineering, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, College
In the preface to Volume I it was pointed out that the pressure of
progress in the many sub-fields that collectively constitute agronomy
tends to produce specialists who find it difficult to keep abreast of newer
developments somewhat removed from their immediate interests, yet of
professional importance to them. It was further explained that the editors were not inclined to quibble about the precise definition of the word
"agronomy." In selecting topics for treatment they would be guided
more by the consideration of what might be useful to agronomists than
arc urged to present, as far
as possible, unified, complete and authoritative accounts of the recent
developments in their particular
to time as
Topics will reappear from time
the mid-century year. It would be presumptious on the part of
publication so recently established as Advances in Agronomy to
new material and new viewpoints
prepare a mid-century number delineating and weighing the achieve-
ments and accomplishments of the first half of this century. The editor
had no difficulty in resisting the urge to follow the lead set in this matter
by long-established and more popular publications. However, this
thought did set in train some speculations as to what topics might have
been selected for a similar volume had one been prepared fifty years ago.
Largely, this amounted to a realization of the topics which would not
have been included because their development has taken place almost
entirely since 1900.
Crop improvement through genetics, soil physics,
and soil genesis are examples.
cursory glance at the contents of this
volume will showr that about half of them would not have appeared in
1900 edition. Thus fast has agronomy grown.
Speculation in another direction is possible. One might consider the
extent of the agronomic achievements of the past half century in terms
of the changes in U. S. agriculture and agricultural practice. These are
dramatic enough. Here is a nation which in fifty years has doubled in
population but has no more farms now than then. Twenty-five per cent
more acres are harvested, meat production has been doubled,
consumption has increased eight-fold, but there are fewer sheep, and
far fewer horses and men on farms now than at the turn of the century.
Perhaps in the last lies a clue to much that has been accomplished by the
mechanization of many operations through the availability of power
What can be anticipated in the remainder of this troubled century?
Have the easy things been done? Will the tempo of progress be slowed?
Are the land use systems that have developed stable or exploitive? Will
the crop surpluses of domestic production be absorbed in meeting the
deficits elsewhere, or are
they merely a temporary feature soon to be
dissipated by population increase? Should production be curtailed in the
interests of conservation? Will there be changes in food habits on the
part of the consumer that will call for great shifts in types of farming?
Will the era of surpluses even give way to a period when the demands
for food will be such that exploitive land use
forced upon us?
vital questions such as these will not pri-
the hands of those practicing the profession of agronomy,
yet they will be required to use all their skills and ingenuity and resourcefulness in providing the solution to the innumerable practical prob-
lems that taken together will determine the answers to such major
questions. Subsequent volumes of the Advances will record and sum-
marize their methods, recount their achievements and measure their
COORDINATED BY J E. ADAMS, Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College System,
College Station, Texas
Competitive Position of Cotton Among Fibers, BY M. K. HORNE, JR.
III. Physiology of the Cotton Plant, BY F. M. EATON
IV. Diseases of Cotton, BY JOHN T. PRESLEY
V. Insect Pests, BY J. C. GAINES
VI. Improvements in Production Practices,
BY WILLIAM E. MEEK and HARRIS P. SMITH
VII. Improvements in Ginning Practices, BY CHARLES A. BENNETT
VIII. Fiber Properties and Their Significance, BY HENRY D. BARKER
IX. Breeding and Improvement,
ENSMINGER AND R. W. PEARSON, Alabama
Agricultural Experiment Station,
Factors Affecting Nitrogen Content of Soils
III. Nature of Organic Nitrogen in the Soil
IV. Nitrogen Transformations
V. Effect of Cropping Practices on Nitrogen Level
VI. Nitrogen Economy of Eroded Soils
VII. Commercial Nitrogen vs. Barnyard Manure and Green Manures
VIII. Nitrogen Trends in Various Parts of the U. S
0. A. LORENZ, University of California, Davis, California
IV. Development of New Vegetable Varieties
V. Utilization of Heterosis
VI. Growth Control Techniques
VII. Labor Saving Devices
VIII. Possible Future Developments
Prairie Soils of the
Upper Mississippi Valley
BY GUY D. SMITH, W. H. ALLAWAY AND
F. F. RIECKEN, U. S. Department of Agriand
Agricultural Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa
III. Variability of Prairie Soils as
Functions of Soil-Forming Factors
IV. Classification of Prairie Soils
V. Distribution of the Prairie Soils
VI. Crop Yields from Prairie Soils
GILBERT H. AHLUREN AND R. F. FUELLEMAN, Rutgers University, New Brunswick,
New Jersey, and University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
History and Distribution
Establishment and Management
The Control of
E. C. CHILDS
AND N. COLLIS-GEORGE, School of Agriculture, University
The Scope of the Review
IV. Drainage and Irrigation
Preservation and Storage of Forage Crops
R. B. MUSGRAVE AND
W. K. KENNEDY, Department
During Preservation and Storage
V. Barn Hay Drying
VI. Artificial Drying
VII. Experiments Comparing Silage, Barn-Cured and Field-Cured
The Reclamation of Coal Mine Spoils
BY HELMUT KOHNKE, Purdue
University Agricultural Experiment Station,
The Condition of Spoil Banks
Mrthods of Testing Spoil Bank Materials
Land Use Capabilities
Methods of Revegelation
BY WESLEY KELLER AND MAURICE
L. PETERSON, U. ft. Department of Agriculture,
Logan, Utah, and California Agricultural Experiment Station, Davis, California
Choosing Productive Mixtures
IV. Establishing Pastures
V. Management of Pastures
VI. Economy of Pastures
VII. Pastures in Relation to Other Sources of Feed
Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College System, College Station, Texas
Among Fibers by M. K.
Cotton Loses Markets
End-Uses of Cotton and Other Fibers
A Static vs. a Dynamic Position for Cotton
Need for Expanded Research
Competitive Position of Cotton
Physiology of the Cotton Plant by F. M. EATON
1. Floral Initiation and Plant Development
2. Mineral Nutrition
Carbohydrates, Nitrogen and Fruitfulness
Effect of Drought on Plant Composition and Fruiting
Drought and Other Factors Affecting Boll Development and Lint
Phymatotrichum Root Rot
IV. Diseases of Cotton by J. T.
V. Insect Pests by
General Recommendations for Chemical Control
VI. Improvements in Production Practices
1. In Humid Areas by W. E.
2. In Low-Rainfall and Subhumid Areas by H. P.
VII. Improvements in Ginning Practices by C. A.
Regulation of Moisture
Extraction and Interrelated Processes
VIII. Fiber Properties and Their Significance by H. D.
1. Fiber Structure and Development
5. Significance of
IX. Breeding and Improvement by T. R.
The Breeding Problem
Hybrid Vigor in Fi and Advanced Generations
Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College System, College Station, Texas
is the most important cash crop grown in the United States,
the only major crop which produces the 3 products, fiber," food and
When all phases of the industry are considered, some 20 to 25
million people are wholly or partially dependent on cotton as a source of
income. Of these, approximately 1,500,000 are engaged in production
in ginning, marketing and processing.
fact that the entire fruit of the cotton plant
is used makes it an
unusual crop. In addition^to lint, the embryos or "meats" of the seed
furnish both a protein concentrate and a high-grade oil.
or seed coats are used as feed, as well as the concentrate. The fuzz left
on the seed
removed mechanically and these short
as "linters" are used in upholstering, low-grade mattresses,
of cellulose for synthetics.
and as a source
present status of cotton is both artificial and in a state of flux.
Although cotton lint is the most versatile fiber known when all end-uses
are considered, economic conditions since the early thirties, with intermittent acreage control and price subsidies, have resulted in increased
competition of old and new synthetic fibers. Unrestricted production
during and following the war, with impending acreage controls, is reTable I, released as of December 8, 1949, by the Bureau of
Agricultural Economics, Austin, Texas.
Every cotton-producing state
shows an increase in acreage in 1949 over 1948. In spite of lower production per acre in some areas, there was a net increase of 1,157,000 500-lb.
gross-weight bales in 1949, as compared with 1948. More striking is
the increase of 4,728,000 bales in 1949 over the average of 11,306,000
bales in the 1938-1947 period. The increase in production in the irrigated areas, particularly California and also New Mexico and Arizona,
Although the sections on production treat mechanization of the cotton
crop in many of its details, it is to be emphasized that mechanization
lor all areas really dates to the World War II period, during which there
was an intensification in research and more ready acceptance by the
farmer due to the dearth of labor. Development of flame cultivation,
rotary hoes, efficient fenders for cultivation equipment, along with the
culmination of years of research on harvesting machinery, resulting in
usable harvesters, has made full mechanization of the crop a reality in
some sections. Remaining difficulties for other areas and particular
seasons are yielding to intensified research.
Estimates furnished by the National Cotton Council indicate that
approximately 2900 spindle-type pickers were used in 1949. Mississippi
California used approximately 850, Arkansas, 350, and
led with 990.
Louisiana, 200. The acreage harvested would be difficult to estimate,
but probable harvest per machine varied from 100 to 250 acres.
of better than 7000 strippers were used, with the
accounting for at least 6000.
Texas High-Plains area
Oklahoma was the only other large user,
The capacity per machine ranges from
125 to 400 acres, depending on local conditions.
Considering that practically all of the cotton harvesters have become
available since the war, the increase in use of machinery is outstanding.
feeling that costs of production for cotton must eventually
be radically lowered, leads to the conclusion that production per acre
Better fertility practices, control of insects and dis-
must be increased.
eases, better varieties of cotton for mechanical harvesting, along with
more compl^e^and assured defoliation are of prime importance.
All of the cottons of the world, whether cultivated or wild, belong
to the genus, Gossypium. They may be divided into 3 main groups: (1)
Old World or Asiatic cultivated (n = 13), (2) New World or American
26), and (3) wild, (n = 13, with one anomalous exception).
Though the reported number of species of Gossypium varies
widely, depending on the classification system employed and the inclination of the taxonomist, a recent work by Hutchinson et al. (1947) (see
References in IX) recognizes twenty.
These writers place the cultivated
cottons under four species: G. arboreum L., G. hirsutum L., and G. barbadense L. The first two are designated as Asiatic and the last two as
American cottons, and all bear spinnable seed hairs, called lint, which
them from the wild cottons which do not have spinnable
American cultivated cottons (n = 26), according to the theory
advanced by Skovsted (1937) (see References in IX) and confirmed
independently by Beasley (1940) and Harland (1940) (see References
Cotton Production in United States
Allowances made for interstate movement of seed cotton for ginning.
Kansas, and Kentucky for all years and Nevada for 1948 and 1949.
Included in State and United States totals. Grown principally in Arizona,
Mexico, and Texas.
in IX) , are tetraploids which have arisen by amphidiploidy from hybrids
of Asiatic (n = 13) and American Wild (n = 13) parentage.
This paper will present important aspects of the production of cotton
each of which, because of space limitations, can be treated only
COMPETITIVE POSITION OF COTTON
M. K. HORNE, JR.
University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi
Cotton Loses Markets
Except for the abnormal experience of the war and early postwar
years, it can be said that over the past 4 decades the per capita consumption of cotton in this country has shown no tendency to rise. Over
this long period, it has gravitated around a central figure of 25 or 26
Ibs. a year, displaying no trend either up or down.
In net effect, the
entire new market created by rising standards of living has been captured by rayon, paper, and to a smaller extent, other materials. In this
fact we have an indication of what competition has done to the cotton
market down to the present time, and why the students of the demand
for cotton are engrossed in its competitive position.
There are at least 35 materials which give cotton substantial
interesting ones include
paper, glass fiber, nylon and the other fibers of synthesized polymers,
the synthetic protein fibers, plastic film, and jute, ramie and the other
In seeking the competitive meaning of these numerous materials, it
seems helpful, and in some degree defensible, to think primarily in terms
of rayon. This fiber is not only cotton's biggest, but by a wide margin
its most serious, most threatening competitor.
In Project IV of the
cotton fact-finding program, "A study of the agricultural and economic
problems of the Cotton Belt," presented in 1947 before the Cotton Sub-
committee of the Committee on Agriculture, U. S. House of Representatives, it was found that some form of rayon was cotton's closest
competitor in 65 out of a group of 106 end-uses analyzed. In 25 years,
rayon has advanced from a trivial position among all fibers to second
place in the volume consumed in the United States. In 1948, 1,124,000,000 Ibs. of rayon were produced in this country. Factory capacity has
now reached an estimated 1,235,000,000 Ibs., or the equivalent in usable
fiber of about 2,900,000 bales of cotton.
This amounts to 48 per cent
cotton in this country during the
M. K. HORNE, JR.
decade of the 1930's, and to 35 per cent of the cotton consumption in the
Two-thirds of this rayon
best year of that decade, which was 1937.
decade. With the return
to a buyer's market for textiles in the United States, cotton is inevitably
feeling a terrific impact from a competitor which has grown so rapidly
become so large. In foreign lands, the tendency is for rayon to
assume an even stronger competitive position than in the United States.
Every end-use market
ments in price and in the
a fiber product.
and Other Fibers
for cotton has a separate pattern of require-
scores of distinct qualities which characterize
Likewise, there is a separate price and quality pattern
for every competing material. Most materials are quite different from
cotton in price and quality, and they must compete in a more limited
number of end-uses where their special characteristics give them an ad-
centrating upon and
of cotton they are specialty materials, conlimited to some segment of cotton's end-use markets.
Paper, for example, is cotton's second most aggressive competitor
today. It has a big advantage in price and a few small advantages in
Within a limited range of uses, these factors can sometimes
overcome the important advantages of cotton in other properties. Paper
is a formidable competitor in the great bag market, and in large sectors
of the towel, cordage, napkin, and handkerchief markets.
being steadily improved through research.
texture, strength, and absorbency quite obviously restrict
of the cotton market.
to a fraction
For a second example, the leading synthetics other than rayon are
considered. They are all far above the price range of cotton. One may
be tempted to reason that since rayon came down to the price of cotton,
these other materials can eventually do likewise. Any such reasoning
would seem to be premature, ai least for the better fibers. In the strong,
resilient synthesized polymers, including nylon, the textile scientists point
out that basic differences in the chemical approach seem to invalidate
the idea of ever bringing costs down to the level of rayon. At the same
time, these various synthetics are quite superior to cotton in some qualiThere are certain uses for cotton
ties, and quite inferior to it in others.
which their patterns of quality can overcome the price handicap, but
again these uses are limited.
an ever-increasing degree
it competes for markets, not because of its differences from
because of its similarities to cotton. Its price and quality pattern has
relentlessly shaped itself toward the price and quality pattern of cotton.
fact that to
generally, it can be said that today rayon is in the same price
cotton. In reference to quality, there still are sharp differences
between the two fibers, but rayon has made marvelous progress in over-
coming its quality handicaps through research. That progress can be
seen in the development of staple fiber, in delustering, in crimping, in
higher wet and dry strength, in softer yarns, and in better finishes for dimensional stability. Several of rayon's biggest quality handicaps remain,
but we cannot overlook the fact that the extensive research program
of the rayon industry is going vigorously forward.
cotton, rayon looks less and less like a specialty fiber
like a fiber
As a competitor of
and more and more
contend for virtually
all of cotton's
chief weapons with which rayon might be expected to impresent
competitive position are: (1) the lowering of price;
and (2) the improvement of quality. Which of these two possibilities
is the more threatening to cotton?
From the excellent research in recent
fairly clear that the rayon industry is likely to rely
improved quality to buttress its competitive position. The
era of continual price reductions in rayon, year by year, seems to have
ended in 1938. The average production cost of viscose staple at a recent
time was 29 cents a pound. This of course was before any allowance
The selling price of viscose staple was 35 cents in
for income tax.
tion will be achieved
unlikely that any drastic price reducreducing profits unless market conditions take
On the side of cost reductions, it must be
is still being made, but the nature
of the cost is such that the further reductions are likely to be much more
a serious turn for the worse.
gradual than in the past.
seems that any declines in the
be modest in amount unless
For types of rayon other than
selling price of viscose staple are likely to
a serious business recession occurs.
viscose staple, the possibilities of cost reductions, through technical advances, may be somewhat greater, but nowhere can any reductions of
major proportions be foreseen.
On the other hand, the rayon industry is spending large sums of money
on research, a major part of it apparently aimed at the improvement of
quality. It is perhaps a reasonable guess that the present rayon research
and technical-service programs of the 5 leading companies are costing
ten million dollars a year. We can never predict what research laboratories may bring forth, but we must be impressed with the success of the
rayon research program down to the present time. A continued, and
perhaps an accelerated, improvement in the quality of the various rayons
appears to be the greatest threat to the market for cotton. A continuing