Some Observations on Pollination of Alfalfa Hay

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Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science

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During the summer of 1948, observations were made on the prevalence of pollinating insects in several alfalfa fields in the vicinity of Stillwater, Oklahoma. In making these observations their abundance was determined by counting the number of pollinating insects that could be collected per sweep with a sweeping net. These collections were made by sweeping the plants, walking through the field at ordinary walking rates. All sweeps were made in front of the person doing the collecting. The sweepings were made in different fields at various times and as a rule about the time that the alfalfa plants were beginning to blossom. It was not possible to make the sweepings throughout the blossoming period because the crop would be cut for hay about the time the plants came into full blossom. The 1948 season in the vicinity of Stillwater was not a good season for alfalfa seed production. While data for comparison are not available, it is, however, believed that the plants did not blossom as profusely as is normal for this vicinity. As a rule, the third crop is used in seed production, and that crop did not produce an average seed yield during the summer of 1948. In addition to the poor showing there was also a serious outbreak of blister beetles and webworms.

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