Work aiming at improvement of the sorghum plant by seed selection based upon analysis of individual canes, begun in 1888 and continued in 1889 with the results reported in Bulletins 5 and 8, was again continued last year, (1890).
In accordance with the plan of work, seed from only such stalks of 1889 as were among the highest in sugar content was planted. Soil and culture were nearly the same as in previous years: both supposed to be good.
The season of 1890, notoriously an unfavorable one for corn, was likewise in this locality a most trying one for sorghum. The early and long continued drought resulted in a very small crop of dwarfed, spindling canes, containing but little juice. The yield of cane per acre was not determined, but was certainly not more than one-half to two-thirds of a good crop, and on the higher land fell decidedly short of that. Therefore no improvement can be reported in the cane of 1890 over that of 1889, but decidedly the reverse as regards quantities of cane and juice produced on a given area. In quality, also, there was a decided falling off, especially in respect to “purity” of juice; in percentage of sugar in the juice there was on the average but a trifling decline, and in quite a number of cases an appreciable advance— these latter occurring chiefly in canes growing on the higher ground, where they would naturally have more concentrated juice.
Patrick, G. E.
Bulletin: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol1/iss12/4