The various plantings of Egyptian corn on the ranch have turned smutty,
very much after the manner of wheat and barley. Is there any unusual
reason for this, or could irrigation have caused it, and what is the
best method of preventing it?
Sorghum is affected by a smut similar to that of other grains. It is due
to the introduction of the germ of the disease which comes with the use
of smutty seed. Possibly the growth of the smut may have been promoted
by moisture arising from soil rendered very wet by irrigation, and for
this plant free irrigation should not be used, because it will do more
with less water than any other plant we are growing, and is likely to be
more thrifty in a drier atmosphere. Get seed for next year from an
absolutely clean field; get as much growth as you can without
irrigation, and then use water in moderate quantities as may be
necessary, followed by a cultivation for the drying of the surface.
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