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Field Trials of Agricultural Crops


FURTHER reports of the field trials carried out in Great Britain under the auspices of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany have been published in its Journal (vol. 3, No. 3. 2s. Qd.). As before, stress is laid on the necessity for carrying out the experiments at several centres simultaneously, and for repeating them for three consecutive years, before really reliable recommendations can be made. The results of the trials of cereals in Essex (1927-29) are now complete. ‘Yeoman’ and ‘Yeoman II’ proved by far the best of the winter wheats, and all autumn sown varieties were on an average £3 per acre more valuable than those sown in the spring. As regards barley, ‘Plumage Archer’ was the most generally grown, although 'Spratt Archer’ gave quite as satisfactory yields. Autumn sowing if successful was profitable, a gain of £2 per acre being obtained, but the risk of bad winter conditions has, of course, to be taken into account. ‘Grey Winter’ proved the hardiest and best yielder of the winter oats grown, but both standing and yielding capacity were lower than desired. Spring oats generally gave a higher yield than winter varieties. In every case the advisability of early sowing is emphasised, not later than the middle of November for autumn sowing, and during February for the spring varieties. The growing of named, rather than unknown, varieties is also of the first importance, as it may mean a difference of as much as £3-£4 per acre in the value of the return. Results from potato and sugar beet trials are also given, and the publication concludes with the fourteenth annual report of the Official Seed Testing Station for England and Wales.

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Field Trials of Agricultural Crops. Nature 135, 577–578 (1935).

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