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the ability of plants and animals to grow and develop rapidly. In plants earliness is determined by how rapid a state of biological and economic ripeness is attained. Earliness in animals is the reaching of physical, sexual, and economic maturity at an early age. Earliness is a hereditary character of certain plant species (lettuce, spinach, radish) and varieties (Kirghiz 16 and Early 12 winter wheat, Saratov 210 and Albidum 43 spring wheat, Bukovina 3TV corn, Number One Gribovskii 147 cabbage, Murom 36 cucumber) and of certain animal breeds (Jersey, Aberdeen-Angus, and Hereford cattle, Breitova and Livny swine, meat-and-fleece sheep breeds). Earliness depends on conditions of plant cultivation and on the feeding and maintenance of animals. It is developed by directed selection and culling.
In plants earliness is characterized by accelerated passage through the vegetative stages. In animals it involves a shortened gestation period, early replacement of milk teeth, rapid onset of sexual maturity, and large weight gains over short periods of time. Meat is obtained the soonest by fattening young animals of early maturing breeds. Earliness has economic significance. The cultivation of early ripening plant species and varieties results in a more productive use of land, since the same field may yield two harvests per season. When early maturing animals are raised, the turnover of the flock or herd is accelerated and a better return of products on feed is obtained.
REFERENCESBorisenko, E. Ia. Razvedenie sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh, 4th ed. Moscow, 1967.
Gupalo, P. I. Vozrastnye izmeneniia rastenii i ikh znachenie v rastenievodstve. Moscow, 1969.
Novikov, E. A. Zakonomernosti razvitiia sel’skokhoziaistvennykh zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1971.