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The rose leaf-hopper.- Circular No. 55 is a popular treatise, illustrated with two plates and a number of text figures, on the rose leaf-hopper, which is regarded as one of the most destructive insects of roses.
The ornamental value of rose plantings is frequently distinctly curtailed, if not actually destroyed, through the activities of this pest. The different life stages are briefly described and figured and seasonal history discussed. It is pointed out that when treated in time the leaf-hopper is not difficult to hold in check. Attention is directed to the selection of safe and efficient spraying mixtures and to the conditions under which plants should be treated in order to obtain satisfactory results. The spray is effective only while the insect is in the immature stages, and the application should be made as soon after hatching as possible.
Vinifera grapes in New York.- For fifteen years this Station has been experimenting in the culture of Vinifera grapes. Bulletin 432 is a brief account of the experiment. The following is a summary of the work done:
Experimental culture of the European grape was undertaken at this Station in 1902 when cuttings or plants of 19 varieties were received. In 1911 cuttings of more than 70 varieties were received and grafted upon a miscellaneous collection of Station seedlings ranging from 6 to 10 years old. The results were very satisfactory, most of the plants fruiting in 1913.
By giving the vines winter protection and the usual grape sprays they have been kept in a healthy condition.
As a result of the work certain cultural recommendations can be made for New York. One of the most serious difficulties is to secure plants of the desired kinds. Few can be had from eastern nurseries and not a great number from those in California and then not always on resistant roots. For this reason it will frequently be desirable for the eastern grower to know how to graft cuttings on phylloxera-resistant roots such as Vitis riparia. This can be done in the nursery row or in the vineyard.
In planting Viniferas less space need be given the vines than with native sorts. Rows six feet apart and plants six feet in the row is a satisfactory distance. Care should be taken that grafted vines do not form roots from the cion.
In the east it is probably best to support the vines with the regular two-wire trellis.
Because of the necessity of bending the trunk to the ground for winter protection, a replacing spur should be left at the base of the trunk to use in forming a new trunk when the old one becomes too stiff. The main trunk should be carried to the lower wire and two fruit canes and two renewal spurs provided for. The young shoots which spring from these canes and spurs grow upright to the second wire when they are pinched off and tied. This gives stockier and more mature canes for the following season.
Cheap winter protection is secured by bending the vines to the ground and covering with a few inches of dirt.
The chief value of the Vinifera grape at present in this State is as a home-garden grape for the amateur, for the commercial grower supplying local markets demanding high quality, and for the plant-breeder seeking to improve the quality of our present varieties.
Most of the Vinifera varieties have originated in regions with a longer season and a much warmer climate than that of New York and many kinds included in the test at Geneva have been discarded because, even in the most favorable seasons, they have not reached maturity.
The varieties are discussed in four groups: (1) Desirable varieties for the grape regions of the State for (a) the table and (b) wine; (2) sorts worthy of testing in the more favorable parts of the State for (a) table and (b) wine; (3) kinds still on probation; (4) varieties of little or no value in the State.
Winter injury of grapes.- Bulletin No. 433 is an account of winter injury of grapes in the winters of 1909–1916 at Fredonia, N. Y., where this Station has been carrying on experiments in vine-growing for the past eight years. The observations and conclusions set forth in the bulletin are as follows:
The data show that approximately half the fruit buds in Concord vineyards about Fredonia were killed during the winter of 1909–10. The injury can be traced to a lack of maturity of the tissues as a result of the sudden termination of the maturing period on October 12, 1909, by unseasonably low temperature. Immaturity is favored by high temperatures and abundant rainfall during late summer and early fall.
The embryo flower clusters may succumb to low temperatures if they enter the dormant period immature and yet the foliage of the bud expand normally. Light crops in years following heavy yields are probably due in part to injury to the floral parts by cold; but unless the extent of the injury be considerable, winter killing is overlooked in explaining the light yield.
The low temperatures of December, 1909, probably killed the buds that were to bear the crop of 1910; but freezing temperatures after April 6, 1910, may also have caused injury or increased it. Following an abnormally warm period in late March and early April came freezing temperatures, and injury may have resulted therefrom to the prematurely stimulated buds.
Winter bud-injury during 1915–16 ranged from 10 to 100 per ct. among the varieties growing on the Station grounds at Fredonia. Injury to Concord varied from 19 to 45 per ct. at the same place. The killing was general thruout the “Grape Belt." This great loss may have been due to unfavorable climatic conditions during the maturing months of August, September and October, 1915, as indicated by the poor ripening of the fruit of 1915, which was shown by the low sugar and high acid content. During the week of January 22-29, 1916, however, the average hourly temperature for 96 consecutive hours was 52.6 degrees, which no doubt awakened growth activity at this time; while the minimum temperature of the winter, —16 degrees, occurred in March. The winter killing of 1915-16 may have taken place, therefore, either shortly after the high temperatures of January, or not until the low ones of March.
The fertilizer elements, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, did not affect maturity and hence did not, apparently, influence the degree of killing. Extensive injury is closely correlated with poorly drained soils, altho bud killing occurred where the drainage conditions were satisfactory. Severe pruning after late frost injury of spring has apparently indirectly favored bud killing thru inducing rank wood growth.
Resistance to low temperatures is probably a species character and is possibly correlated with the hardness of wood.
Culture of the globe artichoke.-- For several years the globe artichoke has been successfully cultivated on the Station grounds. Bulletin 435 gives an account of the methods practiced with some general observations regarding the plant. The chief facts set forth are as follows:
The plant is not fully hardy in our latitude and requires covering to endure winter. Coal ashes proved to be a satisfactory material with which to cover the artichoke, affording sufficient protection without causing decay of the crowns.
From records taken, it is evident that marked variations exist in the producing capacity of individual plants of a variety. Consequently, the separation of the offshoots from the old main root of the plant is the most reliable method of propagation and should materially assist in the establishment of uniform and meritorious strains.
The edible portion of the artichoke is the flower bud.
The plant itself is remarkably thrifty in growth and is practically free from fungus and insect pests. One insect, a black aphid or louse, becomes troublesome at times but is satisfactorily controlled by spraying with a properly prepared dilution of Black Leaf 40 and whale-oil soap.
Orchards: Location and care.— Circular 52 gives instructions for the care of orchards of tree fruits. The circular is a brief treatise on the culture of all tree fruits. The following are the chief topics discussed: Location, orchard plans, planting, cultivation, covercrops, inter-crops, fertilizers, pruning, pests, spraying outfits, spraying formulas, spraying schedules, grafting and thinning.
The Station examines samples of several classes of material subject to inspection by the Commissioner of Agriculture, among which are agricultural seeds, insecticides and fungicides, commercial fertilizers and concentrated feeding stuffs. All glassware used where milk and cream are paid for by the Babcock test must also be examined and marked at the Station.
This inspection work is extensive and time-consuming as it receives a large share of the attention of six chemists, an assistant botanist and his laboratory assistant, and one man in the Dairy Division.
The figures given below give an idea of the scope of these lines of Station activity during 1917:
SAMPLES OF SEED EXAMINED.
FERTILIZER SAMPLES ANALYZED.
During the year 705 samples of fertilizers were analyzed. There were 265 samples of complete fertilizers; 249 samples of mixed fertilizers, containing nitrogen and phosphoric acid; 69 samples of acid phosphate; 29 samples of calcium or lime compounds; 37 samples of bone; 16 samples of tankage; 13 samples of nitrate of soda; 8 samples of dried animal manures; and a small number of samples each of blood, dissolved bone, mixtures of phosphoric acid and potash, insoluble phosphoric acid materials, ashes, garbage tankage, ground fish, soot, mixtures of nitrogen and insoluble phosphoric acid; and mixtures of calcium compounds and phosphoric acid.
FEEDING-STUFFS SAMPLES ANALYZED.
During the year 1917, 703 samples of feeding-stuffs were analyzed. There were 38 samples of cottonseed meal, 13 of linseed meal, 8 of malt sprouts, 18 of distillers' dried grains, 2 of yeast or vinegar dried grains, 10 of brewers' dried grains, 14 of corn gluten feed and meal, 22 of hominy feed, 107 of compounded feeds, 113 of molasses compounded feeds, 92 of compounded poultry foods, 1 of calf meals, 51 of animal products, 26 of alfalfa meal, 44 of wheat bran, 52 of wheat middlings, 21 of wheat bran and wheat middlings, 1 of wheat bran and low-grade wheat flour, 3 of ground corn and oats, 5 of wheat bran and corn by-products, screenings, 19 of corn meal and of corn feed meal, 7 of rye by-products, 2 of ground screenings, and 10 of miscellaneous mixtures.