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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 62 No. 6, p. 758-759
    Received: Apr 22, 1970

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A Mechanical Node Harvester for Soybeans1

  1. R. C. Clark,
  2. W. R. Fehr and
  3. L. T. Empig2



We developed a mechanical node harvester for sampling bulk populations of soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merrill). The node harvester consists of a metal box mounted on the cutter bar of a Scythette. A population is sampled by discarding the top half of the plants, then cutting and collecting one node from each plant with the node harvester.

The efficiency of the node harvester as a means of generation advance was compared with single-seed descent, restricted cross-bulk, maturity-group bulk, and cross-bulk. The methods were used to sample four varietal blends whose components could be distinguished by seed characteristics. The mechanical node harvester was not as accurate as single-seed descent for equally sampling all plants of a population, but was five times faster than single-seed descent. The principal advantages of the mechanical node harvester are that it (a) is as fast as the cross-bulk method, (b) is more accurate for sampling than cross-bulk, and (c) could be used as a mass-selection device for improving the lodging resistance of a heterogeneous population.

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