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Soybeans 101

[JULY 2, 2001]  After the short course on corn, it is only fitting to provide a brief description of soybeans. Most people know what a soybean seed looks like. It is round and has two halves. These halves will later become the cotyledons (seed leaves). The hilum is the seed scar where the seed was attached to the pod, much like a pea. The embryo of the plant is attached between the two seed halves.

The germination process is triggered when adequate moisture is available to swell the seed and the temperatures are generally over 60 degrees in the soil. The soybean is quite different than corn in that the cotyledons (seed halves) are actually raised out of the soil by the shoot as it grows longer. The cotyledons provide food for the young plant until leaves provide food through photosynthesis.

After the cotyledons, a pair of unifoliate leaves comes out. The growing point of the soybean plant is the top part of the plant and always exposed. After the unifoliate leaves, the trifoliate leaves begin to emerge. These are the leaves that have the regular three leaflets that will make the food for the plant and seed for the remainder of the growing season.

Soybeans bloom based on the length of the night. This means that the earlier varieties begin in late June and the other varieties commonly grown in our area will follow within the next 10 days or so. Most soybeans grown in the Midwest are of the indeterminate variety, which means they will continue to bloom and add leaves until they begin to die.

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Many of our soybean fields will have only about 25 percent of the flowers actually develop into pods and produce seed. Most plants in a field will have 30 to 100 pods on them, with two to three seeds per pod. One way we estimate yield is to figure four bean seeds per square foot equals a bushel.

Soybean plants normally ripen in the months of September and October, depending on the maturity of the plants used. Most maturities in our area are either Group 2 or Group 3 varieties. Normal yields are from 40 to 60 bushels per acre, depending on variety, fertility, management and weather. The weather is the big factor each year in determining yields.

[John Fulton]

Lincoln FFA members receive recognition at state convention

[JUNE 18, 2001]  Members of the Lincoln FFA chapter participated in activities at the 73rd annual Illinois State FFA Convention at the Prairie Capital Convention Center June 12-14. Attending from the Lincoln chapter were Emily Bakken, Jackie Bakken, Monica Short, Amanda Davison and John Davison.

The sessions included award presentations, speaking contests, ag fairs and addresses by retiring state officers. Emily, Jackie and Amanda also participated in electing the new major state officers on Wednesday night.

Jackie Bakken was installed as the 2001-2002 Section 14 president.

The Lincoln group received an award for being a bronze sponsor chapter.

John Davison and Breeann Werth received their state degrees, while Brett Conrady and Betsy Bakken were recognized for achieving the American Degree, which they will receive at the national convention at Louisville, Ky., October.

Sean Rawlins, Sara Conklen and Matt Davison received plaques for being finalists in the Growmark essay contest.

Congratulations to all FFA members who received honors at the convention.

[Lincoln FFA news release]

Corn 101

A short course in corn plant development

By John Fulton

[JUNE 11, 2001]  Ever wonder how a corn plant grows and develops during the season? Well, here is my attempt at a "crash course" to bring you up to date.

Farmers start with a seed. A viable seed. This seed contains many parts that are all important. When moisture is available for the seed, the kernel absorbs the moisture, and that triggers enzyme systems in it which digest and move nutrients in the seed into the developing embryo. Growth begins with the emergence of the radicle (root) from the kernel. The plumule (shoot portion) also begins to grow. Once it gets out of the seed, this is called the coleoptile. It usually takes six to 10 days for the tip of this coleoptile to reach the soil surface.


The seedling root system will actually help feed the young corn plant until it gets to be about 15-18 inches tall. At this time corn will normally take a "pause" as the root system switches over to the one that will feed it for the remainder of the growing season.

Corn will have a new leaf emerge about every three days. A fully grown corn plant will generally have 18-21 leaves. About five weeks after emergence, the plant will have all of its parts developed. This would include the leaves, ear, bud and tassel. This would also be the time when we can see about 10 leaves on the plant.

About a month from now, it will be very easy to find the ear shoots, and a plant will often develop about seven of these. One or two are all that usually develop, but the others are present in case something happens to the main shoot. The ear shoot is usually about six nodes below the tassel (around the 13th leaf on a plant).



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The tassel will come out about 63 days after corn emergence; then the true reproductive stages of corn begin. Silk starts from the ear about six days later, with the silk coming out first from large kernels at the base. The tip kernels come out last. As pollen shed from the tassel hits the silk, it goes down the silk to fertilize each kernel individually. A corn ear may have 700-1,000 kernels on it in an even number of rows.


Corn is truly mature about 131 days after it emerges. After this point it just takes about 10 more days before harvest usually begins. Most corn is mature at about 34 percent moisture and the rate of dry-down is greatly affected by the corn hybrid and the weather. Most farmers like to get corn in the lower 20s moisturewise before beginning harvest, in order to avoid excessive cost to dry the crop down to the 15 percent standard for corn.

Hopefully this "short course" will give you a new appreciation and understanding of the cornfields you drive by throughout the growing season.

[John Fulton]

Armyworms on the march
in Logan County

[MAY 29, 2001]  The big buzz in the state of Illinois Agriculture right now is armyworms. They have really made their presence felt in areas from Logan County to the southern border of the state. Logan County has had sporadic outbreaks the last week, involving everything from pastures to cornfields. So far the outbreaks have been rather limited in number compared to areas to the south and west, but area farmers should definitely keep an eye on things. Armyworms literally devour just about everything in their path, and they do it in a relatively short time.

The armyworm prefers grass plants for food. Included would be small grains like wheat and oats, pasture and hay fields, and corn. If there aren’t grass plants and if soybeans are next up in the path, they will eat the beans.

Generally control measures in wheat are warranted when there are six or more nonparasitized worms per foot of row and before head clipping occurs. In seedling corn, treatments should be applied when 25 percent of the plants are damaged. This year, fields that have armyworms really don’t have to have the thresholds applied to them. You treat at the earliest sign or there isn’t anything there to worry about treating in a few days.



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Rather than go into all the details about armyworms, I’ll choose to use the miracle of the "hotlink" and send you to the U of I entomology online fact sheet at http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/

If you have questions or concerns about armyworms, please feel free to contact the office at 732-8289.

[John Fulton]

Honors & Awards

Hartem FFA speaker is top in state

[JUNE 25, 2001]  Kate Wrage, of the Hartsburg-Emden FFA chapter, was named the state winner in the prepared public speaking contest at the 73rd state FFA convention. Her topic centered on biotechnology in crop production. She advances to national competition, which will be in October. Kate also was named the state winner in fruit/vegetable production and will advance to regional competition as well. She was one of the top 10 chapter presidents and also received her state FFA degree.

The Hartem group was recognized as a Silver Emblem chapter for their program of activities. The chapter was the Section 14 winner in the Illinois Farm Bureau Heritage and Cooperative Activities programs. As the Heritage winner, Hartem FFA member Anthony Jones will represent the chapter and section on an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., later this summer. The chapter was also recognized for collecting over $2,000 for the 2000 FFA Foundation drive. Other recognitions included the Sweepstakes and Century Challenge Awards.

Hartem FFA member Natalie Coers was a participant in the state FFA band during the convention.

The following Hartem FFA members also attended the state convention: Shane Westen, Anthony Jones, Jacob Klokkenga, Kyle Hoerbert, Matt Wrage, Nick Alberts, Kory Leesman and student teacher Nathan Sasse.

[State Proficiency Award winner in fruit/vegetable production is Kate Wrage. Pictured, left to right, are parents Kurt and Lisa Wrage, state FFA secretary Renee Mettler, Kate Wrage and Hartem FFA adviser Betsy Pech.]

[Kate Wrage, state winner in prepared public speaking, and her FFA adviser, Betsy Pech.]

4-H’ers receive Kiwanis honors

[JUNE 25, 2001]  The Lincoln Kiwanis club honored representatives from seven 4-H clubs on June 19.

 Each year Kiwanis honors outstanding members nominated by 4-H club leaders, and the overall winner this year was John Davison of the Wide-A-Wake Club. He received the Armin Fricke Award.

Other club winners were Brook Wibben, Marty Oltmanns, Andrew Fulton, Aaron Uphoff, Jeff Jones and Heather Osborn.

[Winners from the 4-H clubs were (left to right) Brook Wibben, Marty Oltmanns, Andrew Fulton, John Davison and Aaron Uphoff. Not pictured were Jeff Jones and Heather Osborn.]

Lincoln High School FFA wraps up year

[MAY 10, 2001]  The Lincoln Community High School FFA Chapter had their end-of-year honors and awards banquet Tuesday evening, May 8, at the high school.

Chapter members who received awards and honors in the past year were recognized as follows:

State FFA degree recipients

John Davison

Breeann Werth

American FFA degree recipients

Betsy Bakken

Brett Conrady

National convention delegates

Emily Bakken

Jackie Bakken

Sara Conklen

Amanda Davison

John Davison

Adam Freeman

Jeff Jones

Monica Short

Winners of Chapter Foundation Awards

Jackie Bakken — Diversified Agriculture Production

Emily Bakken — Diversified Horticulture-Production

Jeff Jones — Diversified Horticulture Placement

Jackie Bakken — Diversified Livestock Production

Breeann Werth — Equine Placement

Jackie Bakken — Forage Crop Production

John Davison — Mechanics

Monica Short — Sheep Production

Adam Freeman — Small Animal Care

Jackie Bakken — Specialty Animal Production

Sara Conklen — Swine Production

Geoff Brown — Swine Placement

Winners of Section Foundation Awards

Emily Bakken — Diversified Horticulture Production

Breeann Werth — Equine Placement

Monica Short — Sheep Production

Adam Freeman — Small Animal Care

Jackie Bakken — Specialty Animal Production

Sara Conklen — Swine Production

Team placings at contests

Section 14 Land-Use — 2nd-place team

Blackhawk Land-Use State Invitational — 9th-place team

ISU Crops State Invitational — 1st-place team

Section 14 Crops — 4th-place team

Lincoln Land Crops Invitational — 2nd-place team

Section 14 Parliamentary Procedure — 2nd-place team (advanced to district competition)

Section 14 Livestock — 7th-place team

Lincoln Land Livestock Invitational — 6th-place team

State Livestock and Dairy — No results yet

Chapter officers for 2000-2001

Jackie Bakken, president

John Davison, vice president

Amanda Davison, reporter

Adam Freeman, secretary

Sara Conklen, treasurer

Jeff Jones, sentinel

Emily Bakken, historian

Zac Tibbs, student adviser

Monica Short, chaplain

Breeann Werth, parliamentarian

Mr. Nordstrom, adviser




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Chapter members for 2000-2001

Brandon Babbs

Emily Bakken

Jackie Bakken

Jason Blanford

Geoff Brown

Austin Charron

Reid Conklen

Sara Conklen

Amanda Davison

John Davison

Matt Davison

Miles Ellegood

Adam Freeman

Michael Gasparini

Luke Gerardot

Corey Hassebrock

Jonathon Hinkle

Corey Holmes

Brittany Ingram

Kyle Janssen

Paul Johnson

Jeff Jones

Sara Koehne

Matt May

Devon Nicholas

Emily Patrick

Sean Rawlins

Monica Short

Amy Springer

Shane Steinberg

Andrea Swinford

Zac Tibbs

Breeann Werth

Foundation sponsors for 2000-2001

Croft Fertilizer Service

Al and Eileen Huelskoetter

G & D Four Farming, Inc.

Beason Ag Center

Taloma Farmers Grain Company

Marcia May

Tri-Pork, Inc.

Harold and Rosemary Apel

Gene and MaryAnn Apel

Darren Bakken

Leonard and Rita Bakken

Harold Begolka

Best Friends Animal Hospital

Bock & Associates-Realty

Bill and Pat Bree

Charron's Radiator & Auto Repair

Contractor's Ready Mix

Coy's Car Comer

Ed Hassebrock

Ralph and Joyce Eimer

Eugene Hassebrock

Frontier Mutual Insurance

Graue Pharmacy

Heritage Pork Farm, Inc.

Janet Henrichsmeyer

Jerry's Electric

Charles and Carol Jones

Woody Jones-State Farm Insurance

Kim Koehne

Bob and Sandy Meinershagen

Don and Rose Miller

Paulus Farms, Inc.

Kent and Lynn Paulus

Pegram Welding

Herman Schwantz

Sloan’s Fertilizer Service

State Bank of Lincoln

Town & Country Bank

Earl and Nancy Boyer

Mr. and Mrs. David Deters

William and Mary Jo Janssen

Don and Donna Wilson

Irwin and Lila Conklen

Rod and Pam Conklen

Ethelene White

Quint and Linda Harnacke

C.C. Hawes Implement Company

Mr. and Mrs. Rick Holmes

Michael and Janet Patrick

Lynn and Donna Miller

Mr. and Mrs. James Sheley

Jim White

John L. White

Ag Land FS


Ag Announcements

Conservation field day planned

[JULY 9, 2001]  The Land of Lincoln Soil Savers Club and the Logan County Soil and Water Conservation District are co-sponsoring a field day on July 19.

The day’s activities will begin at 4 p.m. at the Dave Evans and Dan Koons farm in Section 35 of Atlanta Township. People attending will look at new stream-bank stabilization techniques being used on Kickapoo Creek.

The group will then drive to Atlanta, where Howard Brown, agronomist with Growmark, will be the featured speaker for the evening. He will give an update on what has happened this year and what can be expected in the near future with regard to insects and disease.

A pork chop dinner, provided by Blue Catering, will conclude the evening. Reservations are $5 per person if made by July 12 and will be refunded at the door. Reservations made after July 12 will cost $10.

Call the Soil and Water Conservation District office at (217) 732-2010, Ext. 3 for further information and directions to the tour site.

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