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Laboratory Manual



Geo. Livingston

Formerly Assistant Professor of Agronomy in the Ohio State University

F. W. Stemple

Instructor in Agronomy in Ohio State University








NOV -5 Ibio


A large number of tlie exercises contained in this manual have been used
during the past four years as laboratory exercises in connection with the
regular Cereal and Forage Crop courses at the Ohio State University. Dur-
ing that time it has become evident that, to make the courses as valuable
as possible, and at the same time as full of interest and pleasure as other
scientific courses, that several changes and additions needed to be made.

The botanical study of the plants has been considerably increased, giv-
ing the student a more complete idea of the plants, both as a matter of general
knowledge and as a preparation for future work in plant improvement. In
the matter of corn judging, the authors have tried to keep within the bounds
of genetic knowledge, feeling that there is a place in this sort of work for a
better idea of future corn improvement. As most instructors know, the score
cards are only used as a means to bring more closely to the student's attention
the things that are important in the consideration of the quality of the ma-
terial to be scored. Just as the stockman shows by means of his score card
what things he considers essential in an animal so the crop man shows what
he considers essential in the plant. After the student has these things well
in mind the score card should be dropped, for at best the values on it are
only arbitrary. References are given to various score cards and from them the
student will readily see that the aim of all is the same, but the values used
are somewhat different means of attaining the same end.

Several new exercises have been added because we have felt that a general
laboratory outline should contain everything of a general nature possible that
belongs to the realm of general field crops study. More than one laboratory
period of two hours per week will be required to complete all of the exercises,
but when no more time is available, such exercises as are deemed most im-
portant may be selected for study.

The use of references in making assignments for written reports we feel
is one of the most valuable parts of this work. For the most part these ref-
erences are of late date and worth while. However, as a matter of advice
we think that the instructor would do well to look these all up himself before
making assignments in order that the student will not be given something too
technical or too difficult for an intelligent report. The use of blank leaves
placed at intervals in this book will be valuable in taking notes on instruct-
or's recommendations, explanations and so on.

Many suggestions have been gained from various sources, especially from
Hunt's "Cereals in America" and "Forage and Fiber Crops," Shoesmith's "The
Study of Corn," Lyon and Montgomery "The Grading of Grain" and Call and
Schaefer's "Agricultural Laboratory Guide." To J. F. Courcier, Secretary of
the Grain Dealers' National Association, to J. C. F. Merrill, Secretary of the
Chicago Board of Trade, to J. W. T. Duvel, U. S. Crop Technologist, and to
J. W. McCord, Secretary of Ohio Grain Dealers' Association we are much
indebted for information in regard to the grading of grain. To Malon Yoder,
formerly Assistant, and to Adolph Waller and Max Abell, at present Assistants
in Agronomy in Ohio State University, for the many suggestions, just crit-
icisms, and helpful advice obtained from them we are especially grateful.


Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops.


Exercise 1.
Exercise 2.
Exercise 3.
Exercise 4.
Exercise 5.
Exercise 6.
Exercise 7.
Exercise 8.
Exercise 9.
Exercise 10.
Exercise 11.


Corn Botany.

Selecting of Seed in the Field.

Storing Seed Corn.

Judging Corn.

Placing of Corn Ears.

Placing of Five-ear Samples.

Field Study вАФ Ear-row work.

Field Study of Varieties.

Germination Tests.

Moisture Tests.

Final Selection of Seed Corn.


Exercise 12. Wheat Botany.

Exercise 13. Field Study of Varieties. (Early Growth.)

Exercise 14. Laboratory Study of Varieties.

Exercise 15. Field Study of Varieties. (Late Growth.)

Exercise 16. Field Study of Head-row Work.

Exercise 17. Judging.

Exercise 18. Scoring.

Exercise 19. Study of Market Classes.


Exercise 20. Botany of Oats.

Exercise 21. Laboratory Study of Varieties.

Exercise 22. Field Study of Newly Sown Oat Field.

Exercise 23. Field Study of Varieties.

Exercise 24. Weeds Found in Oat Seed.

Exercise 25. Judging.

Exercise 26. Scoring.

Exercise 27. Treatment for Smut of Grains.


Exercise 28.

Exercise 29.

Exercise 30.

Exercise 31.

Exercise 32.

Botany of Barley.

Laboratory study of Varieties.






Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops.
Exercise 33. . Botany and Scoring of Rye.


Exercise 34.

Exercise 35.

Exercise 36.

Exercise 37.

Exercise 38.

Exercise 39.


Exercise 40.

Exercise 41.

Exercise 42.

Exercise 43.

Exercise 44.

Exercise 45.

Exercise 46.

Exercise 47.

Exercise 48.

Exercise 49.

Exercise 50.


Exercise 51.

Exercise 52.

Exercise 53.

Exercise 54.

Exercise 55.

Exercise 56.

Comparison of Oats, Wheat, Corn, Barley, and Rye.

Keeping Record of Market Pi'ices.

Distribution of Farm Crops.

Grading Grain.

Grading Grain.

Grading Grain.

Inoculation for Legumes.

Botany of Legumes.

Laboratory Study of Beans and Peas.

Study of Weed Seeds Found in Forage Crops.

Study of Weed Plants.

Study of Legume Seeds. (Alfalfa, etc.)

Identification of Seeds.

Purity Test of Seeds.

Germination Test of Seeds.

Laboratory Study of Leguminous Plants.

Field Study of Leguminous Plants.

Study of Grass Seeds.
Identification of Grass Seeds.
Purity Test of Grass Seeds.
Germination Test of Grass Seeds.

Collecting and Mounting Grass, Grain, and Legume Speci-
liaboratory Study of Grasses.

Sorghums and Millets.

Exercise 57. Study of Sorghums and Millets.


Exercise 58.
Exercise 59.

Field and Laboratory Study of Varieties.


Table of Seed Weights and Quantity to Use in Seeding.

Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops. 7

Note. *

Exercises 1, 12, 20, 34, and 41 require both seedlings and plants at the
stage of bloom. The instructor needs pay attention to this that he may have
material ready at time to give the work. To get the plants to the stage of
bloom requires some green house space. Exercise 40 will require ten weeks
to complete. Hence this needs to be started sufficiently early in the Semester.

Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops.


(1) Label all parts that are to be shown in each drawing.

(2) Use a hard pencil (4H) in making the drawings, and ink them in at
your convenience.

(3) Use Standard Engineers' Note Book (8x10) which should be supplied
with heavy paper for the drawings, and lighter paper for the notes and

(4) Do not make the drawings too small, usually about one-half page. Use
one side of the paper only.

(5) Make the notes brief and concise. Use one side of the paper. Write
with ink.

(6) The following are reference books used in this course. Further refer-
ence to these works in the book will be to the name of the authors only
and not to the title.

THE BOOK OF CORN Bowman and Crossley.




PRACTICAL BOTANY Bergen and Caldwell.


THE GRADING OF GRAIN Lyon and Montgomery.

FIELD CROPS Wilson and Warburton.









THE POTATO Guilford and Grubb.

(7) A report on any reference should consist of not less than 500 words.

10 Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops.


Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops. 11


12 Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops.

Exercise l. Date


Laboratory Exercise.
(Label all parts in each drawing.)

1. Draw a kernel of each of the following types of corn:

(Germ side up.)

1. Dent

2. Flint

3. Soft

4. Pop

5. Sweet

6. Pod

In doing the following best results can be obtained if the kernel
be soaked in hot water for fifteen to twenty minutes before cutting.

2. Make a longitudinal section of each of the above, showing:

1. Hull

2. Endosperm

a. Hard or horny

b. Soft or white starch

3. Germ

a. Scutellum

b. Plumule

c. Radicle

4. Tip cap

3. Make a cross section of the same and draw with the genu side up, show-
ing all the parts.

4. Does the thickness of the horny gluten vary markedly in different kernels?

5. Does the percentage of tip starch vary materially in different kernels?

6. Which has the greater value for flesh production, a kernel with a large
percentage of horny starch or one which is largely white starch?

7. A large germ denotes what in regard to feeding value?

Labokatory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops. 13

8. Make a drawing of a newly germinated kernel of corn, showing:

1. Plumule

2. Radicle

9. Make a drawing of a coi'n plant eight or ten days old, showing:

1. Kernel

2. Plantlet with unfolding leaves

3. Roots

a. Primary

b. Secondary

10. Make a drawing of a single root. (Enlarge.)
Indicate :

1. The root hairs

2. The root cap

3. The growing point

11. (a) What part of a root takes in food?

(b) What uses has the root cap?

(c) Where on a root are most of the root hairs?

(d) What effect will a wet spring have on the depth of roots and the
number of root hairs?

12. Make a drawing of the roots of a mature plant showing:

1. The general direction of the roots and the points of attach-

2. Primary roots

3. Secondary roots

4. Brace roots

5. Base of stalk

13. Describe in a general way the evolution of the root system of the corn
plant from the time of germination to the ripened plant.

14. (a) What is the comparative length of root and stem?

(b) If kernels are planted deeply early in the spring and the ground
remains cold, where will the first permanent root appear?

(c) Name two reasons why a corn sprout which comes from a kernel
which has been planted too deeply is always long and slender?

14 Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops.

15. (a) What causes the green color in the growing plant?

(b) Is there any assimilation of food by the plant until the green

(c) In a cold spring, which kernel will be surer of putting its sprout
above ground, one that is starchy or one that is horny?

(d) Why?

16. Are nodes and internodes present on the roots?

17. Describe in a general way the evolution of the root system of the corn
plant from the time of germination to the ripened plant.

18. (a) Does the corn plant have a tap root?

(b) What is a fibrous root system?

(c) What physical factors might affect the root system?

19. (a) Would you call corn a surface, medium, or deep feeder?

(b) Differentiate between annual, biennial, and perennial root systems.

(c) To what class does corn belong?

(d) Do the brace roots come out equally on all sides?

(e) What conditions or factors influence this?

(f) At how many nodes do these brace roots appear?

(g) What offices do the brace roots have?

20. (a) Describe the arrangement of the leaves in the young plant.

(b) Is corn a monocotyledon or a dicotyledon?

(c) What is the distinction between them?

21. Draw a portion of a corn stalk bearing a leaf showing: (Sketch and
cross section.)


Leaf sheath


Leaf blade






Rain guard






Woody portion




Fibro-vascular bundles.


Formative grooves.

Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops. 15

22. (a) What is the nature of the epidermis?

(b) How thick is the woody portion?

(c) Of what use is the epidermis ?

(d) What are the differences in structure of the stem of a wheat plant
and a corn plant?

23. (a) Define node and inter-node.

(b) Are the inter-nodes the same length throughout the stalk? Why?

(c) Discuss the fibro-vascular bundles as to their location, structure and

(d) What is the structure of the pith? Its function?

(e) Where does growth take place in the corn plant?

24. (a) What is the arrangement of the leaves on the stalk?

(b) Where does the leaf grow from?

(c) Discuss the purpose of the leaf sheath, ligule, auricle and rain

(d) What gives the wavy effect to the leaf blade?

(e) What is the purpose of the mid-rib?

25. Make a drawing of a com tassel.

26. From a part of a corn tassel remove all except one pair of spikelets.
Make an enlarged drawing of this pair in place.

Are the two spikelets sessile or pedicelled?

27. Make a drawing of the dissected pair showing the following in their rela-
tive positions and properly labeled:

1. Outer glumes

2. Lemmas

3. Stamens

4. Paleas

28. (a) Why is the corn flower called unisexual?

(b) How many stamens are there to each spikelet?

29. With a compass pen show in a diagram the relative positions of the vari-
ous parts of a tassel flower.

Why is this called a staminate flower?


30. Make a drawing of a young corn ear with silks attached.

Note : Each silk is a stigma and style and each kernel an enlarged
ovary all forming the pistil of the corn.
Are there any stamens present?
If the tassel is called a staminate flower, what should the silk be called?

31. Remove two or three kernels from an ear taking chaff with them.
Make a drawing of this showing:

1. Silk (stigma and style).

2. Kernel (Enlarged ovary).

3. Glumes (Outer glumes and lemma and palea).
What is the shuck ?

32. Make a diagram representing the parts of the pistillate flower of a corn
plant in their relative positions.

33. (a) If a paper sack is tied over an ear of corn in a field just before it
begins to silk and left there two or three weeks, what will result?

(b) If the tassel is covered, what will result?

(c) Is com self fertilized or cross fertilized?

34. Examine an ear of pod corn. Do you find the pistillate flowers more or
less like those of other grasses than is the case with common corn?

Note : You will be able after studying wheat to observe that there
is a strong similarity in the flowers of corn, grains, and grasses. All
belong to the same family.

35. Make a cross section of an ear through the kernels. Make a drawing

showing :




Fibro-vascular bundles.


Tip cap of kernels.


Portion of chaff.


Woody part.





36. (a) How does each kernel receive its nourishment from the cob?

(b) Of what use are the little tubes between the woody part and the

Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops. 17

(c) How are the rows of kernels arranged?
References: Sargent, pp. 11-68; Myrick, pp. 5-12; Duggar, pp. 78-97;
Lyon and Montgomery, pp. 27-31 ; Wilson and Warburton, pp. 23-33 ; Bowman
and Crossley, pp. 42-61 ; Kans. Bui. 139 ; Farmers' Bui. 409 ; Bureau of Plant
Ind. Bui. 141 ; B. P. L Bui. 278 ; B. P. I. Circ. 107 ; Bergen and Caldwell, pp.
5-23 ; Livingston, pp. 29-50.

Exercise 2. Date


From the rows assigned by the instructor, select twenty ears of corn
that in your judgment will be desirable for seed. In making the selection,
the following factors should be considered:

(1) Maturity

(2) Environment

(a) Rate of planting

(b) Abnormal conditions favorable to growth

(3) Vigor of the plant

(4) Ability to stand upright

(5) Height of the plant
t*- (6) Height of the ear

(7) Angle of the ear

(8) Size of the ear

(9) Freedom from disease

In your notes tell how the above factors influenced your selection.

References: 111. Bull. 132; Ohio Circ. 72; U. S. Bureau of Entomology
Circ. 59; Shoesmith, pp. 86-94.

Exercise 3. Date


Hang up the ears you have selected (employing the method indicated
by the instructor) in the laboratory or store room. Label your selection with

18 Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops.

your name, date of selection and variety.

(1) What is the essential factor to be considered in the storing of
seed corn?

(2) What methods other than the one you employed might be used?

(3) Discuss drying of seed corn by artificial heat.

References: Minn. Bui. 48; La. Bui. 118; Del. Bui. 77; Wis. Circ. 18;
Farmers' Bulletins 313, 405, 415; Bowman and Crossley, pp. 102-115; Wilson
and Warburton, pp. 121-123.

Exercise 4. Date.


Before one is able to judge and select corn intelligently, he must be
thoroughly familiar with all of the details of those factors which influence
quality and seed condition in corn. Having once acquired a working knowl-
edge of these details, it is necessary for him also to have a conception of the
relative importance of the major points, such as maturity and seed condition,
unifonnity of grain, etc., as means of determining the value of any ear or
number of ears for seed purposes. Too much emphasis is commonly placed
on those factors which have to do with the appearance of ears. Ears of ex-
cellent appearance often yield less than others endowed with less beauty.
Since, with our present knowledge of corn, yield cannot be associated with
physical appearance with any degree of definiteness, more emphasis needs to
be placed on the maturity, adaptability to local environment, and seed con-
dition. These three factors are easily emphasized in the method of judging
employed in exercise 4. Again, the continuous selection of desirable types will
insure a greater chance of getting pure lines for the quality desired than will
the "scoop shovel" method of taking what comes with no regard to desirability.
There are two ways in which this judging sheet may be used. One is
to use two ears, compare them according to points in the com judging sheet
(p. 21), and record the differences which you find. Express the degree of
difference as slight, medium, or mai'ked according to the method explained in

Laboratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops. 19

Shoesmith, Chap. II., putting these terms in the column under the better ear.
The other method is to record one's idea of how nearly the ear being judged
comes to the ideal as explained by the instructor.

Explanation of Corn Judging Sheet.

A. Maturity and seed condition is of first importance in the selec-
tion of seed corn. The assurance of a crop of corn, insofar as the selection of
seed is concerned, is first determined by the vitality of the seed used and sec-
ondly by the earliness or lateness of the corn. Immaturity means not only
lower yields, but also poor seed condition.

Maturity and seed condition are determined by:

1. Hardness of grain and cob. The grain should be firm so that it
cannot be pressed into the cob. The ear should be firm and rigid when
slightly twisted by the hands.

2. Weight of ear in proportion to size. An immature ear has a lower
weight in pi'oportion to its size, after it has thoroughly dried out, than one
that is well matured.

3. Color of ear and kernels. Immature yellow corn has a dull mot-
tled color of light and golden yellow. Many times the crown of the kernels
are golden yellow with the tip of the hull showing a light color. Immature
w) ite corn has a dull white color. Ears that have been exposed to moisture
conditions are dull or bleached. The cobs of immature corn are often dull in

4. Color of kernels. The tip of the kernel should not be pale. The
germ in cross section should not be pale, dull, nor brown. The color should
be light creamy yellow. There should be no white spots or a light colored
streak from the crown to the tip on the side opposite the germ.

5. Shape of kernels at tip. Thickness at the tip indicates a large
germ and well matured com. A wide tip insures a large germ, a pointed
tip, a small compressed germ.

6. Size of kernels. The kernels should be large, and quite thick, in-
dicating a large germ and a plentiful food supply for the early life of the

7. Size of germs. A large germ indicates a vigorous embryo.

8. Freedom from mold and fungus disease. The presence of disease

20 Lakoratory Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops. ,

indicates not only poor seed condition of infected parts, but also susceptibility
to rotting when planted, if inclement weather prevails.

9. Freedom from breaking off of the tip caps. Kernels from im-
properly stored or immature ears frequently leave the tip cap in the cob
when shelled. The tip cap should remain on the grain to serve as a protec-
tion in case of unfavorable conditions in the soil. Breaking off of the tip
cap is usually, though not always, associated with low vitality.

10. Freedom from inject attack. Any attack by insects reduces the
vitality of the seed.

11. Freedom from blisters. Blisters on the kernels are due to the
presence of an excess of moisture at harvest time or improper curing of the
seed. They are associated with poor seed condition.

12. Freedom of tip cap from cob chaff. The presence of cob chaff on
the tips of kernels after removal from the cob is an indication of imma-

13. Proportion of hard to soft eyidosperm. A high proportion of soft
endosperm in the kernel is usually associated with immaturity.

Make a final placing of the ears for maturity and seed condition.

B. Uniformity of kernels is important as an indication of the purity
of the grains in an ear of corn, and also of the accuracy of distribution by
the planter.

Straight and uniform rows from butt to tip of ear insures the greatest
possible uniformity in size and shape of kernels. Notice whether or not the
indentation and color are uniform for all kernels in the ear.

Make a final placing for uniformity.

C. Amovnt and proportion of grain to cob not only influences the
yield of sheller". com but also bears a direct relation to the feeding value of
the corn. This point is of value in judging feeding classes. The proportion
of grain to cob can be determined by:

1. The tveight of ear in proportion to size. Other things being equal,
the ear with the heavier weight in proportion to size has the higher percent-
age of grain.

2. Depth of kerneh in proportion to size. The cob should not be too
large, and the kernels should be fairly deep, the depth depending upon the
type or variety and the latitude in which the corn was grown.

LABORAroRvr Manual of Cereals and Forage Crops, 21

3. Space between grains. Any space between kernels reduces the
weight of grain and the proportion of grain to cob. The kernels should be
full and strong at the tip; and there should not be much space between the
kernels at the tip when viewed in the ear.

4. Filling out of butts and tips. Any uncovered part of the cob re-
duces the amount of grain. While covered tips are not indicative of higher
yielding corn, from the standpoint of feeding value alone it is important to
have well covered tips.

Make a final placing for amount of grain.

D. Shape of ears does not seem to be directly associated with high
yield, but it is important in that it influences uniformity in type, and amount
of grain.

The sides of the ear should be straight, and the width of the ear should
be carried well towards the tip. Unless variety standards specify otherwise,
the tip should have an abrupt taper and a well rounded outline. The butt
should be full and well rounded forming a depression at the shank.

The circumference should be approximately three-fourths of the length
of an ear. Too large a cob lowers the proportion of grain and lengthens the
drying process. A slender ear frequently carries shallow grains. Make a final
placing for shape.

E. Composition is important from the feeding standpoint. High pro-

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