Skip to main content

Full text of "Legume Seed Production in the North"

See other formats

Historic, archived document 

Do not assume content reflects current 
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices 

"■ o 

K Z 

I U 




5 I 

3 I 

E < 
o £ 








In the North 



final .-< 

hilt Ik- I 

mended that growers consult their State agri- 
cultural experiment stations. 

U| id.- pertinent -u^i-tion- apply to all 
legume seed production, the following two 
,-lioul.i lit- -penally emphasized: 

1. Bees are needed for adequate polli- 

. State apiarists can 
:ate colonies of honey- 
Holds fur pollination 

looming legume 
ces for moving 1 

uircs care in harvesting and attention to every 
ossible loss. Considerable shattered seed can. 
ir example, he saved by covering the bot- 
>m of the wagon with a canvas when the 
■ed is being hauled to a stationary thresher. 



Early spring applications of phosphate and 
■it ash fertilizer a* tup dressing* on established 
I fa 1 fa growing on sandy or porous soils have 

ation ha- irun i-d -•■■■I production 
i ngnm-. The kind and .|iiaiility of 
to applv iliffi-r for i-aeh region and 

and driest part of the summer usually pro- 
duces the most seed. Over most of the coun- 
try this is the second crop; south of Kansas it 
may be the third; and in the extreme North 
it is the first crop. Under a wide range of 
conditions slow uniform growth and compara- 
tively thin stands usually produce more seed 
than thick stands or rank growth, which may 

Production under irrigation. 

Apply irrigation water with care, rno much 
water stimulates rank growth and causes the 
flowers to drop; too little causes the blossoms 
to "burn." Kind of soil, height of water table. 

Where injury by Lygus bugs i- set oils, .1 

fields should be given a general fall and spring 
clean-up and cultivation to destroy the hiber- 
nating places of this and other insect nests that 
cause serious losses of seed. All weeds and 
plant trash should he removed or burned along 
fences and ditch banks. A thorough cultiva- 
tion with a spring-tooth harrow i= recom- 
mended late in fall, early in spring, and imme- 
diately after each crop ir- harvested. 
Time to cut first crop. 

duces leafhopper injury- the blooming period 
of the second or third crop may be deiermined 

causes the flowering period to occur during the 
hottest, driest part of the season is desirable, 
provided there is sufficient soil moisture to 

crop and allowing the second to produce seed 
is frequently more successful than mowing the 
first crop for bay. This practice is particu- 
larly advantageous in mixtures of bromegrass 

dry conditions some self-tripping occurs. 

pollinators. Nectar-collecting honeybees do 
not trip many flowers, but in certain localities 
they are known to collect large quantities of 
pollen and thus must be effective cross-polli- 
nating agents. Cross-pollination is essential 
for large seed yields. Increasing the number 
■ .I ■...,,. \\- ■ • lii -ii|.|iliin.-nt tin- niimhr-r .if 
wild bees may be of considerable value in seed 
production. The presence of other flowering 
plants more attractive to bees results in fewer 
visits to alfalfa and consequently less seed 

Alfalfa Rhonld be harvested when two-thirds 
to three-fourths of the pods have turned 
brown. To avoid shattering, cutting should 
he dune in the morning, when the pods are 
damp. Immediately after or at the time of 
cutting, the growth should be windrowed and 
allowed to remain in place until cured. Han- 
dling the plants increases shattering and subse- 
quent seed loss. Seed may be threshed from 
ndrow by the combine or by millers, 

In many loealitie- the latter method 

advantage of -avin^ more seed, since 

/ can he rethreshed if necessary to get 

When hauling the seed crop to a 

Clean seed demands a better price limn 
thresher-run seed. Fanning mills and gravity 
seed cleaners carefully adjusted am! operated 

are generally all that are required to make a 

cleaned seed and screenings. 

EE also Farmers' Bulletin 1722, Growing 


ding. Oil e< 

i are not sufficient 

for g 1 growth, light top dressings early ii 

In" spring of the second year may help to in 
Tease seed production. The kind and qual- 

more frequently during the blooming pe 
>.f the second crop than the first, hence a 
formly larger yield of seed. (4) Time of 
testing doc- not interfere with as many o 

mal cutting time. Early removal of the first 
growth results in (1) rapid vigorous second 
growth and more profuse bloom, (2) bloom- 

reasons for low seed yields 
id other wild bees are effectivt 
t they are not generally preseir 

The seed crop should be cut before shatter- 
ing occurs from the beads that represent the 
largest bulk of the crop. The bulls enclosing 

cutting. Cut in the early morning, when the 
heads are damp with dew, and stop cutting 
during the hot part of the day. Windrow the 
crop either when cutting or when the beads are 
damp and tough. Combin 

pick-up attaclimei 


! used to thresh 

tended, since refreshing the straw frequently 
cmiIL. in the saving of a considerable quantity 
t seed. The crop B ],uuld be bundled as little 
s possible, and when hauled to a stationary 
ombiiie or threshing machine it should be pro- 
■<le.| against sen! loss by placing a canvas in 

The Pleasures suggested for cleaning alfalfa 
seed apply. 

See also Farmers' Bulletin 1339, Red- 
Clover Culture; and Leaflet 93. Red-Clover 

-Wd Production in the Inlermountain St.t™ 


Crop to save for seed. 

Since biennial swcetclover produces only 
one set of crown buds the second year, grazing 
or cutting the early growth reduces the top 
growth and maximum seed production. Clip- 
ping is not recommended in humid regions, but 
if clipping is done, the plants should he cut at 
a height of not less than 9 inches before the 
first flower huds appear, or grazing animals 
should be removed by the middle of May. 

Cross-pollination is essential for seed pro- 
duction of biennial yellow sweetclover and for 
large seed yields of biennial while sweetclover. 
Bees are the principal insect visitors and polli- 
nators of the flowers. Since sweetclover is an 
excellent source of readily available nectar, 
honeybees are attracted to it and are the most 
effective pollinators. The availability of hives 
adjacent to blooming fields will aid in increas- 
ing seed production. 

shatters readily, earlier cutting than is normal- 

'been used to harvest the seed directly in 1 
field, but seed losses arc liable to he high unl 
conditions are ideal. If harvested with 

!,',""'i!r t ',r',-. 


bine used as a stationary machine. When the 
bundles are being hauled from the field to the 
thresher a canvas should be spread over the 
bottom of the wagon. 


The recommendations given for cleaning 

.dl alia -ced apply. 

See also Leaflet 23. Sweetclover. 


Crop to .a 

ve for seed. 

""'' '"!" "' 

•rop is used for seed, as the second 
?es only an aftermath unless the 
bnormally wet. For maximum 

r hay. Crazing animals should be 
an the fields about the middle of 
in the most northerly States. 


Cross-pollination of the flowers is essential 
before seed will set. Bees are the principal 
pollinating insects. Of most importance are 
honeybees that visit the flowers for both nectar 


The stage 

vesting and < 

of maturity and methods of bar- 
leaning alsike clover seed are sim- 

dalKUl- -llnuld In- foltuwci'. 


Under most conditions the use of phosphate 
fertilizers is recommended. Applications 
should he made early in spring. The quantity 
needed depends on the soil and region and on 
[last cropping practices. On acid soils the use 
of lime is recommended — at rates ranging from 
500 pounds per acre for moderately acid soils 
to 1 ton on those that are strongly acid. 
Conditions favoring seed production. 

Bright warm weather following early cool 
moist weather favors blossoming and cross-pol- 
lination by bees. In the central Eastern States, 
heads that develop during the latter part of 
June and early in July, and farther north dur- 
ing July, usually produce the most seed. 
Where proper irrigation practices are followed 
two seed crops can be grown and harvested at 


Grazing or clipping I 

moved 4 to 6 weeks before the maximum inn 
her of flower heads is expected. Clipping ll 
fields immediately after all the animals a 

those of white 

Cro-s. pollination Is necessary for seed set- 
ting. Honeybees, the chief pollinating insects. 

when Mourning begins. 

Kxannne ibii 

beads as blooming pro- 
gresses to determine the period of greatest seed 
set. The seed is ready for harvesting 3 to 4 
weeks after blooming. Cut with an ordinary 
mower. Windrow the clover as it is being cut. 
if it is tall enough to handle. Otherwise use a 
hunchcr to permit curing in the bunch or wind- 
row. To facilitate curing before threshing, 
handle the material as few times as necessary. 
In threshing, use a clover hullcr or a combine 


See also Farmers' Bulletin 1910, Ladino 

Oregon Station Circular 129, Ladino Clover 
for Western Oregon. 

FORAGE LEGUMES are war crops of im 
portance in the Food for Freedom Pro 
gram. All are high in protein and minera 
nutrients, and adequate supplies are essentia 
for needed increases in milk, meat, and woo 
production. Less total labor is involved in 
harvesting forage crops than other feed crops, 
and this increases the advantages of growing 
them on the farm. Furthermore, legumes used 
as green manure add nitrogen to the soil, and 
when grown in mixtures they furnish this 
needed element to the associated grasses. The 
use of a green-manure legume in the crop rota- 
tion is of greater than normal importance for 
maintaining and increasing the production of 
feed, food, fiber, and vegetable-oil crops. 

In addition to providing for home needs for 

legumes, the United States is now supplying 

J legume seed to its allies, and large quantities 

- will also be needed for post-war restoration of 

^ devastated lands in the far-flung battle areas of 

the world. 
3 Despite these urgent needs, seed production 
in 1942 actually decreased for alfalfa, red 
clover, sweetclover, and alsike clover, and 
except for red clover the seed carry-over from 
preceding years was small. 

It is apparent that the acreage and yield 
of legume seeds must be increased in 1943 
and subsequent years. Moreover, it is im- 
portant for farmers to realize that adequate 
legume-forage plantings on their farms in 1944 
will depend to a great extent on the seed 
grown at home in 1943. 

Suggestions for increasing legume seed pro- 
duction are presented in this pamphlet and in 
the other publications referred to in it. These 

This pamphlet was written by E. A. Hollowell, senior 
agronomist, Division of Forage Crops and Diseases, Bureau 
of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering, Agri- 
cultural Research Administration. 


pUB UOI§9J q3B9 JOJ J9JJip AjddB 01 J9ZI|pj9J 

jo Ajuunnb puB pupj gqj^ 'suoi§9J uibij99 ui 
uoponpoad pass p9SB9Joui sbi[ uopBapddB sn 
qios 9ip ui uiapuap si uojoq ni9ui9p jouiui 
9ip 9J3qA\ 'uoijonpojd p99S joj Xjsno9SB} 
-uBApe p9sn 9q ppioo spuBjs ipng *S9ppBoo[ 


9ABq spos snojod jo XpuBS uo SuiavojS ejpjp 
p9qsijqBiS9 uo sSuiss9jp doj sb J9zijpj9j qsBjod 
puB 9n?qdsoqd jo suopBotjddB Suods a^jb^j 


•J9qs9Jip ajbuoijbis B 01 p9piBq Supq SI p99S 

9l[l U9l[A\ SBAUBO B I{JTAi UoSbm. 91JJ JO UIOl 
-lOq 9lfJ SuiJ9AO0 Aq p9ABS 9q c 9jdlUBX9 JOJ 

*ubo p99s p9J9HBqs 9jqBJ9pisuo[) *sso{ 9pjjssod 


-9J siqj^ — 'papioAB 9q isnra 9jsbm p99§ -g 


p99s 9Sjb[ oj piju9SS9 9.ib qotqM 4 S9sodjnd 
uopBuipod joj sppn 9ip 01 Suiaoui joj S99q 

-A9U01J JO S9IU0{09 9JB0O[ SJ9M0J§ 9UIU§9| d|9l[ 

ubo sjsiJBidB 9nng 'PFF 9xim ^ 9 l Suiraoojq 

Siq Ol )U93g[pB p93B^d SI 9JDB J9d S99q JO 9AIIJ 

9U0 jo uinuuuiui b iBip 99s ppioqs 9q sj9mo^ 
9ip SuiddiJi puB uopBuijjod-ssoJO ui ss90ons 

9JnSUI OJ^ *9^qBp;BAB 9JB S99q^9U0l[ 1BIJ1 99S 

ubo 9q mq qojjuoa ou SBq J9uijbj 9ip 9S9ip 


pUB JBJ09U SuiJ9ipB§ UI S99q pjl^ 'UOIIBU 

-IJ[Od 9JBnb9pB JOJ p9p99U 9JB S99Q *T 

:p9zisBqdui9 A^Bi09ds 9q ppioqs 
oavj Suiavojjoj 9qj 'UOIJDUpOJd p99S 9IIinS9| 
TJB OJ X[ddB JBlp SUOIlS9§SllS JU9UIlJ9d 9l[J JQ 

-IJSb 9JBlg JI9ip UJ1SU00 SJ9AYOJ§ }Bip p9pU9Ul 
-UI009J 9JOJ9J9ip SI XI pUB 4 SUOpipUO0 |B0O[ 

DUiD9ds 9J0j\[ ^jnijnoiaSy jo ju9uiiJBd9Q 

S9JBJ§ p91IUQ 9lp UIOJJ 99JJ p9UIBjqO 9q UBO,