xt7k9882m57t https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7k9882m57t/data/mets.xml   Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. 1932 journals kaes_circulars_258 English Lexington : The Service, 1913-1958. Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station Circular (Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station) n. 258 text Circular (Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station) n. 258 1932 2014 true xt7k9882m57t section xt7k9882m57t   UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
  COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
I   Extension Division
I   THOMAS P. COOPER, Dean and Director ~ V
.   I
S   ———— .
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° if 
1  X.
t  — CIRCULAR NO. 258
S  
[~   ——···—·
9 `  ~ KOREAN LESPEDEZA
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Y  fi ._.._..
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-   Lexington, Ky.
is  June, 1932
 C
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i 
  Published in connection with the agricultural extension work carried on
  W C00D€1‘:1tion of the College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, with
 Q UW U. S. Department of Agriculture and distributed in furtl1er:1nce of the
 . “'°*`k D1”0\'ided for in the Act of Congress of May S, 1914.

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   CIRCULAR NO. 258
  Korean LBSPCCICZR I
  By RALPH KENNEY »
  Kentucky has need for a legume, both for hay and for pas-
  ture, that can be grown under varied soil conditions with more
  success than is attained with red clover and alfalfa. It is
 ii, thought that Korean lespedeza in a large measure meets this
 {j need. for it is adaptable to conditions unsuited to clover and
 { alfalfa. The crop has succeeded in every part of the state and
  has become a favorite for pasture or hay.
 Q Desoript~io·n and H abits of Growth. Korean lespedeza is an
{  annual legume. The seeds germinate at a slightly lower temper-
  ature than those of the clovers and alfalfa, but the plants grow
_  Qi rather slowly until early summer. The most rapid growth
 Q occurs in July, August and September. In thin stands the
.  1;, plants usually form a central stem varying from 8 to 24 inches
  in height, with numerous almost prostrate lateral branches as
{ long as the central stem or longer. In thick stands few branches
  form and the plants grow to a height of 6 to 36 inches or more,
  depending on soil and season. When the stand is thick, the
 j crop usually lodges if the height exceeds 12 inches, but growth
  continues. The small, purple {lowers are borne singly or in
 5, groups of varying number, usually not more than SQVGH, mostly
  near the ends of the small branches. Each seed is enclosed in a
  pod or "hull" in which it remains after falling from the plant
  or when the seed crop is threshed in the usual way. Unlike the
I,  other lespedezas, the leaves of Korean lespedeza do not drop
  when the plants mature or are killed by frost.
Q Korean is the earliest—maturing of all the annual lespedezas
 L KYOWH in this country and the most i·eliable and heaviest pro-

  F.
4 Ifentue/ry Ertenmnez Circular N0. 258  
ducer of seed. In the most northern counties of the State the  
plants sometimes are killed by frost before they are completely  
mature. However, during the five years the crop has been  
grown there, enough seed always has ripened to provide for  if
heavy reseeding. ln southern Kentucky the plants always  
mature before killing frost occurs. Even under very close grax-  i
ing, Korean lespedeza produces sufficient seed to assure a perfect  4.
volunteer stand the following year. Experience does not wan  
rant a statement regarding the number of years that Korean ¥Q°
lespedeza will continue to grow well by volunteer reseeding, but  
many fields have produced healthy and vigorous crops for four  E
years after the original seeding.  ‘
Korean lespedeza is native to the l\1anchurian peninsula in  {
eastern Asia. The plant was grown first in the lllnited States  ii
from seed sent to the United States Department of Agriculture  ,
by a medical missionary in Korea. lt has grown in Korea in a  `
wild state for centuries but has never been cultivated there.  ..
The climate of its native country is about the same as that of  .
Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, except. that the rainfall there is  
n only about half that of Kentucky. The tirst seed was sent to  `
Kentucky from the l'nited States Department of Agriculture  ii
in small trial lots in 1924. A few farmers in Shelby and Chris-  
tian Counties obtained some of this, which was sown in rows and · T
cultivated, to produce more seed. From that time on the state  
has each year sowed as much as was produced at home and sonic  .
from outside sources.  
])1·S1Ll`I·f)!(ff/}}2.. The approximate production of Korean lcs-  
pcdexa seed in Kentucky was as follows: 1925, G pounds, 1926. il 
60 pounds; 1927, 600 pounds, 1928, 6,000 pounds; 1929, 60,000  
pounds; 1930, 600,000 pounds; 19291, 3,000,000 pounds. In 19331.  ‘
8.488 nien sowed it, in S9 counties served by county agents.  i
Practically all fields sowed in 1929, 1930 and 1931 are still  
occupied by the crop. This represents 200,000 to 300,000 acres,  L
since most of it was sowed in mixtures at rates of less than ten _ 
pounds per acre. The distribution of growers in 1929 and 1931  _'
.   shown hy the maps, Figures 1 and 2. Every county in the  .
State has Korean lespedeza growers.  
 

  
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   Korean Lespedeza 7
  Economic Importance. Up to this time, 100,000 pounds of
  Korean lespedeza seed has been sown in each of five counties,
  and 30,000 pounds or more in each of five others. This large
  use of seed indicates that the plant is widely used in mixtures
  for hay and pasture. It’s use is recommended by the Depart-
  ment of Agronomy, of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment B `
  Station, in practically all hay and pasture mixtures. ,
  The plant ’s habit of volunteer reseeding each year presents
  a possibility of improving the productivity of poor spots in
  fields where formerly, if the first seeding of grass or clover was
  lost over winter, no growth would appear except weeds. Its
  ability to produce good pasture on acid soil and frequently fine
 if hay on lowlands, is of great advantage to farmers who are not
 y able to lime for red clover, sweet clover or alfalfa.
  Adaptations; Droath Resistance. Korean lespedeza seems
  capable of growth under all conditions of soil and climate found
 A in Kentucky. Failures to obtain stands are less frequent than
  with red clover and similar crops. Profitable gowth is made on
 .» acid soils, altho the plant responds to the application of lime.
  Lands so wet that they can not be planted to corn until late
  produce large yields of Korean lespedeza.
  Lespedeza is more likely to give a stand than other forage
ji plants when sown on old pastures where bare spots and thin
  grass growth prevail. It is an ideal legume to sow with blue-
 5 grass when starting new sod. It adds much nitrogen to the soil
 -1 which causes the Bluegrass to become so vigorous that, on soil
 Q adapted t.o the latter, the lespedeza is crowded out within two
  or three years. It is valuable for sowing with orchard grass
 Ti intended either for pasture or seed production. When it is
 ‘ sown with timothy or redtop it maintains a stand perhaps indefi-
 j nitely, and the grass growth is made larger. It grows in briar
 . patches and in shade better than most weeds.
  Because of its drouth resistance Korean lespedeza matured
  seed in nearly all localities in the drouth of 1930 and produced a
 ; reed volunteer stand in 1931. It furnished much grazing in
  1930 where as much as.five pounds or more of seed per acre was

 8 Kentucky Errmnsioazi Circular N0. 258  ;_
sown., whereas nearly all grasses and clovers perished in the  §{;` the q
drouth. Again, in 1931, many fields sown to mixtures that een.   tuck;
tained Korean lespedeza showed little or no survival of plants   mgm
other than lespedeza. It seems quite evident that the centuries of  
wild growth in a dry region have made Korean lespedeza espeei.   Dom
ally iitted to survive drouth conditions in Kentucky, such as the   YM,
general drouth of 1930 and the drouth conditions that oeeur   im,
almost every year on poor spots and where rock is near the   5 P0
surface.  Q SGM
  per
GROWING THE CROP  _ Sum
Time (md Method of Sewing. The seed may be sown any   Seeoi
time from February 15 to May. In 1931, several seedings that  
did not sprout until June 15, made good stands and matured i  pm]
seed by the end of the season. In one instance, lespedeza was  · hem
sown in corn after the last. cultivation and matured seed. More  E litttlt
than ninety percent of the seedings in Kentucky were without   mq
any nurse crop. .  ` and
Seed Bod. Stands have been obtained on all kinds of seed-  r spre
beds. Sowing in small grain without stirring the ground before  _ 1,00
or afterwards is a common practice. Probably the poorest seed- »   Kor
bed is a plowed iield. \Vhere land has been disked and sown in  .p souv
oats, many consider it best to use a cultipacker before broadcast- ·   tlllii
ing lespedeza seed, and then to cultipack at right angles to the I che;
last working, after the seed is sown. Such work is more neces-  
sary as the season advances. However, when oats are sown   rm,
very early, cultipaeking may not be of value.   gm;
]n0c21/ation. Frequently Korean lespedeza must be inocu-  ° liur
lated o1· the crop will be unsatisfactory. lf the bacteria are  V Haj
already in the soil from growing common lespedeza or cowpeas.  ‘ wht
the Korean should do well from this natural inoculation. lu   Kei
northern Kentucky and in the mountains, inoculation is rarely   les]
present. To inoculate the seed it is advisable to use (;()]l1l'l'lQl'Cltli   'l`lu
culture \Vhile the seeds are damp from applying the culture,   the
it is a good plan to mix about a pint of well-pulverized soil from V ity
, an old lespedeza field with each 25 pounds of the seed. This USG  , {Y0
of culture and soil is a double inoculation, and were one to fail  _» thi;
 

  §.
  Korean Lespedezo 9
  the other miglit succeed. Even in southern and western Ken-
  tucky, many failures to make good growth are due to lack of
  inoculation.
  Rate of Secdring. For a full erop the first year, 20 to 25
  pouncls ot seed per acre are generally required. Equally good
  yields, however, are frequently obtained with 10 to 15 pounds ·
  per acre. When sown in mixtures the usual rate has been 3 to
  5 po1111ds per aere. .l*]>;perience 11218 shown tl1at the use of more i
  seed   profitable. Many growers have sown as little as 1 pound
  pei- acre mixed with grass and clover. Tl1is amount produced
 ., sufficient seed the lirst year to make a full volunteer stand the
  second year, cvcn when the field was grazed.
 si On land "laid out»," and on rolling gullied land that has not
» 2  been plowed for several years, the bare spots should be seeded
S   heavily. The better spots may be sown lighter. and at least a
> I  little seed scattered over all. In thin, worn, hilly bluegrass
Y  Q pastures, three to tive pounds per acre should till the bare spots,
 » and add enough nitrogen, i11 a few years, that the bluegrass will
.   spread Ollt a11d cover tl1e \\'(>1'l1 places and washouts. More than
3  li 1,000 Kentucky farmers sowed some variety of lespedeza, mostly
.   Korean, on old bluegrass pastures in 1931 and more than 1,500
I   sowed it on old pastures ot other grasses, mostly redtop, timothy
. f  and orchard grass. This method of improving pastures is the
B   cheapest Ellltl surest at tl1e command of fariners today.
*‘  f` ]’<1s/11re. The growing season for all annual lespedezas is
I  il 1il‘0l1l 11llll.%lllll1l1(‘l‘ until tall. Korean lespedeza is ready to be
  grazetl from two to three weeks earlie1· than any other variety.
1-   linder favorable conditions tl1e plants are three inches high by
P   May 15, i11 the latitude 100 miles south of Cinciiinati or a11y-
s.  j where west of Louisville. and by ·l ll1lO 1 in the hills of northern
11   Kentucky or anywhere in the State. After maturity Korean
y   lespedeza retains its leaves until late winter illltl early spring.
1l   This provides winter graxiiigr. All other annual lespedezas drop
e,  `_'“ lllrir leaves with the lirst lrilling Yrosts. Soils ol' ll'lt‘(lllllll l`ertil-
111 _ ity ll2l\'l‘ carried 1.000 pounds ot liveweiglit of stock per acre
ge   from June to October. Fertile iields carry two and three times
il   this aniount of stock in good seasons.

  J
10 Kentucky Extension Ccireular N0. 258  
  about
-   when
_ A li}    apprn
4 .   1929,
  arour
        ,»   _ c Au iv
  P V Q     Shogi
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     9'    .. t         
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    4 `e~ ww ?> ¤f~»~     ; i ¤». ~,·· , <·~i;s“~#~¤   ·. ;·~M»~     ~ »%.r`?1
          haps
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  ‘     . —
·   9·~9 2 ¤-f        ;
   '”   ’   Q. in tii
Fig, 3. The number of livestock on this Hereford breeding farm has  . Com
been doubled because Korean lespedeza made more pasture.  ;· Gmy
2 safe
Korean lespedeza promises to increase the grazing capacity   the l
of Kentucky pastures more than any other pasture crop. One Q 
farmer who handles purebred herefords in Union County has  { my
doubled his herd of livestock since first sowing it in 1929. This ,   best.
owner states that had he not been growing Korean lespedeza in  F or s<
1930 he would have been out of feed and pasture because of the   the 1
drouth and would have been obliged to sell his herd. Many  » than
herds of dairy cattle are being maintained today on pastures of  4 of ai
Korean lespedeza. Hog and sheep producers are finding it  [ colo;
profitable. Poultrymen are sowing it in yards intended for  i` apt
rotation in chicken pasture. The plants grazed or trainped into and
the ground continue to grow and mature abundant seed for thc  
next year’s stand.  V pcl-
For Hay. `Wherever six inches of Korean lespedeza can be   mm
cut, the crop may be expected to produce a ton of hay per acre.    6]
Growth of 12 to 14 inches has made two tons and where knee- A O
high, it has yielded 3 to 4 tons per acre.   Km
V Experience indicates that where Korean lespedeza is gr0W·   ml
ing well, the hay crop should be harvested when the plants nrt  i_ pad
i .
 

  
 zi:
  Korean Lcspedeza, 11
 
  about ready to fall over. The lower leaves soon mold and decay
if  where lodging occurs. Lodging usually occurs in August, and
  approximately coincides with the beginning of bloom. In 1928,
  1929, 1930 and 1931, the first bloom in central Kentucky and
 ;; around Bowling Green, Shelbyville and Louisville occurr·ed
  August 13 to 15. \Vhere lespedeza is mowed at this time new t .
’ .  shoots are usually sent up which mature ample seed for the next
   q} year’s stand. In many instances such crops may be grazed dur- ~
   ji ing September without seriously endangering reseeding. Some
    growers prefer this crop to be grazed early in the season, per- ·
   t_, haps until July, then to harvest the succeeding growth for hay
    about September 1.
Q   Where the crop does not lodge, lespedeza should be mowed
Q  il in time for new shoots to mature seed. At l\r[organtield, in Union
as  '` County, a field mowed September 3, 1930, reseeded abundantly.
*` Growers will have to learn by experience the satisfactory and
_, safe time to mow the crop. Growth and climatic conditions of
;.y   _ the locality must be considered.
16 j Korean lespedeza hay appears to be about equal to red
HS   clover hay but perhaps not quite so good as alfalfa hay at its
is   best. Korean hay is much easier to cure than red clover, alfalfa
in   or soybean hay. l\I0wed one day it is frequently ready to bale
he . jg the next day. If wet it. quickly dries and the leaves shatter less
iy   than those of any other variety of lespedeza, even less than leaves
of   of alfalfa or soybean hay. iWith continued rains it does not dis-
it  I color or spoil easily. Its harvest season is when rains are least
or  * apt to occur and when the surface of the ground is usually hot
itc   and dry, which aids in quick curing. V
hc   Hilltops within a few miles of Cincinnati yielded two tons
 1 per acre in 1931. In the mountains of eastern Kentucky, 1]/Q
be  » tons per acre have been harvested. On bottom lands in Union
N.   County, the crop has yielded 3 and 4 tons per acre. More than
€€_   250 men in Simpson County, on the 'l`ennessee line, harvested
if Korean lespedeza hay.
  Response to Fertilizers. Altho capable of making perfect
’“‘  ‘ Stands and profitable growth on the poorest land, Korean les-
W   podeza responds like other legume crops to fertilizer treatments.
 Y

  
 
 if
12 Kentucky Exteazsiion Circular N0. 258  
One experimental project 011 tl1e substation farm at P1`l11C€l()1],   cha
Kentucky, consists of various fertilizer a11d liming treatments in  it mos
a rotation of corn, wl1eat and l1ay 011 limestone land. Tl1e hay  
mixture seeded i11 tl1e spring ot 1930 consisted of 5 ])OllHClS red  
clover, 3 I)OU11(lS alsike, 4 pou11ds alfalfa and 3 pounds lespedeza  €_ SOW
(halt K0rea11 and half Common).   on
The drouth of 1930 killed most of tl1e stand except Korean   dia
lespcdeza wl1icl1 produced enough seed to give a good stand ia   mt
1931. The hay harvested in 1931 was almost wholly Korean  it else
lespedeza. Tl1e average yield for tl1e untreated check plots was   ym]
1,850 pounds per acre. Superphosphate alone increased the  ’ oth
yield 585 pounds per acre, one to11 of limestone alone increased   Thi
the yield 595 pounds, and 011C ton of limestone with superphos-   dm
phate increased tl1e yield 1,620 pounds. The average increase  T mg
for one ton Ellltl two t011s of limestone with superphospliate and ll  abu
potash was 1,684 pounds per acre. The average of 8 plots treated  ` gm
with varying amounts of limestone a11d hydrated lime of one- —  ers
third ton a11d less, with superpliospliate and potash, showed au   Ped
increase of 1,935 pounds over the check plots?    
Lcspedoza for Stopping Gullics. Farmers l1ave expressed   lgglr
surprise at the vigorous growth of Korean lespedeza on worn ‘   bug
washed land. Its ability to grow on subsoil a11d on steep land,  gi: the
even in tl1e bottoms of gullies, provides a 111ost practical way of X  mc]
holding ltllltl from washing. linnumerable instances have been  ` wit
noted where the lespedeza grew tall enough to lodge, on tl1e sub-   we
soil around £lll(l in gullies, whereas, on top soil a few feet away,   it j
tl1e pla11ts were Ollly 5 to S i11cl1es tall.   bg
lt has bee11 said that lespedeza loosens the soil and causes  n Mg
washing. As a 111HtI[C1` of fact, Korean lespedeza has been sown i 8* ll
extensively i11 Kentucky 011 poor rolling land and i11 orcl1ar—,”·?i:_ .·~·»··;._=·* ’~   t     ·  .  ,  — ·: ¤
    " -.‘·            
i       ·-.· ?    ».    ·-     
      ‘°·r·»   =      
  ·..‘     ·f¥» = T‘=;»"*駑-       ¤—  €¢»  
 »‘ `‘·*   ‘.~-        
. *,_,_ zi,(v&.~.,,.,,  L ·_ ;&l {_. rk  ·z,~ i · I; »_·•,4 __ *4, .:.{§?%,;ii;;;_  ‘ (I/A    ! ~  ; §y._;;  ,»:{s.‘  
Fig. 4. Korean lespemlezzi sowecl iu 125-acre peach eireltard.  
4  
,4....,.

  
  Korean Lespedeza 15
 E Two or three early diskings may be made without hindering
QF  .
  reseeding for a full stand. Abundant material for a mulch may
i  i be grown in the orchard if mulch is desired. The growth of
  orean les edeza is low enouvh not to interfere with an orchard
·   P °
  practice requiring the movement of men and machinery. In the
.   fall when the crop is dry there is danger of fire. However, this l -
. E?  dancer can be obviated b makin¤· fire uards at intervals with a
V   ":‘ °
_   disk harrow. '
l.  ii Seed Producilioaz. Korean probably produces the heaviest ,
_  ’ yield of seed of any of the annual varieties of lespedeza. From  
T   200 to 300 nounds er acre is a normal yield the second or third y
5 a  I v
-  vi ear after lantin¤·. Such ields are also obtained under ood
1  Q Y r:
9  QQ conditions the first year, but there are more failures to obtain
  ver hirrh rields the first *ea.r than successes. Under ve
xii D
U  5% favorable conditions much heavier seed yields may be obtained.
¤   . . . .
V   It is probable that seed production will be restricted Hnally
H   to low, fertile land which offers the most favorable conditions
.   for high Yields.   nerieneed men who can ·row Korean les-
.0  j. ‘·
H  ig, pedeza on a large enough scale to warrant the expense of
.1.   machinery probably will be the most able to produce the seed
  cheail enoueh to make a rofit. This should result in ver
g E CJ ’y
 s high quality seed.
i‘  éi .   . ..  
§’   r   y " e dis _.  .   V
Y  .» #·. ··;; *     4 . -   if   
   5   c‘ »  .  ·" a ~ <     — 
· _  if   I4-. ;.;=} § ;_ i    ; Ta  pw vga __ .  °\V·. .i
 ’    ‘°.  €$€i*%i??¥’,§$%*¢£§i..:—»+»¤i¤:Z~+z»¤»t»¥y’ . . wwf · i     
    ¢§, " .;; ~ ·  
..*2 2,:  *   l; l.i£{§eT%iivTi$Jy?»i "‘      
    .-       ~    
. ’  2:. -···‘·.. iis.;§#·f;"Fzoi?‘ea—=;. we 
  Vr—·-·     —r‘-              
  Fig. 5. The seed crop and the straw pile from Eve acres.

 i ,;° __,·
JG Iferzlucky Eir/ensiknz C'~ircuZar No. 258  
Ifaiwrsliiiig the Seed Crop. The present practice is to   I
harvest the seed crop after the plants are dead ripe. There is  I] Us H
a tendency to harvest at an earlier stage while leaves are still   ,[hl_€S]
green, sacrificing perhaps a. little of the seed yield to ohtaiu it   the _
· · .   L
more palatable straw with more ol; the leaves adhering to the   (Butte]
stems after threshing.   from
Following the experience with Common lespedeza the seetl   bil? 0
of which readily shatters into a pan, growers of Korean lcspedezii FE; WHY ·
at first exclusively used a seed pan when mowing the crop. This   these
is slow (izror/r) requiring one man to drive and another to wall;  
behind the pan with a rake to pull. the mowed plants over the  ‘ l
pan. Usually two men harvest 4 to 6 acres in a. day hy this  _ f”“`“`
method. The lespedeza is pulled over tl1e pan and dropped so   d*`“'l
that raking is not necessary. The pan has a hinged lid with  A, thc C
holes thru which the seed and small trash pass. `\\'hen the paii  X Of lll
is full the material is scooped into a. sack. The amount ol seeil  _ llllll `
obtained varies according to maturity and dryness. ljsually it  < llills '
is from 5 to ill) percent ol? the crop. i\Vhen 'the price ol? seed is  . l’l`lllQ
high such a saving ol` seed is prolitalile lrut when the price is low  Q_ ,
the profit is doulittul.  _ `
A   Sepai
..- . . . . .. . . . .  l- lrrrvt
xt;.    ~, Na I V__·  }_,,.;_ _· { rage-·;jyJz.; _sj_ jp ,   V  is Y. J: .4 r (
_‘·'*  —·  f  t     · : —..._         ~, .  —
‘3;$$·     °  iq? #   —E EY   *    
   se    —»» i   ~.  ‘=g*¢;;¤:@~r  ‘ .6   if.;... e·‘~·  ..* ..1 `r*~'*:—.‘¤*·>*· <€‘       
r°`: “?i"2;2?·"f Z- t.   V,   . ` ` _ .~· 3. ·  E
A ° g' ).e?*,"  r_·` ””°*;`ii!‘7§#;".§Q` ~i`i·”V   {   ‘~ T  
Aj       1 V xvii; {ily ,l€.Zfi"‘i i l ,    
gs   l~..      T  i     “       A -  iii ‘l*~i"·   V A
  ` 6*         I ~ '  $ ,;,1  In V __ · V
  _   , ~ "     4* Kyo -    I.  3 .—
                ‘  =   H
e     »    ~  "   `~  I     :-  r s
·; } V; il _   =¤ f}'i•, ·, ,;Gc =' _ *   V ‘  L
. _. ..     ‘.i.. . i .   rl _   V   Q
a és. l i.**.·tt . ‘ ‘ ’ -
Fig. li. Slll1\\'ll`lQ` the seed pan ;itt;L·;l1cd to inower and extra milll l‘l  {
rake oif the bunches.  j» pig
J\¤

  i Korean Lcspcdczct 17
  ln 1930 the growth was short. Reels were placed on 1now—
t   eps to eliminate the man behind the pan. Some of these reels
if  threshed or fiailed out the seed so successfully that two-thirds of
  the crop was obtained. It was also found that the fairway
`   cutter bar, with sickles with serrated sections would harvest
  from 50 to 300 pounds of see