Corn, soybean, milo plot
By Kerma Crouse
Last Wednesday, around 50 area farmers participated in an opportunity to learn about and compare various Pioneer corn, soybean and milo varieties. The program was sponsored by Pioneer Seed and local dealers, Darrell and Damon Bohnert. This was the 36th year the Bohnerts have been involved in a plot tour.
In today's farm economy, farmers want the best seed for their particular need and farm soils. Not just any seed will do. A plot tour gives the producer an opportunity to see for themselves how various varieties compare and how they perform in Jewell County conditions.
The group began the tour with the soybean plot. Roger Underwood and Lane Underwood hosted the group on their farm near Esbon. After a presentation by Brooks Brenn, product agronomist, the group was free to ask questions or take a closer look for themselves at the various varieties of soybeans.
Next stop was the corn plot. This year Darrell and Damon Bohnert were themselves part of the tour as their land west of Jewell hosted the corn plot. Again a presentation was given on multiple corn varieties by Brenn. Gabe Hardman, account manager, also spoke about fungus that is currently attacking corn both in our area and even more so in areas to the south.
Hardman discussed two fungus conditions. One, common fungus, is, literally, more common in this area. While a concern, it is not the threat that southern fungus poses. Hardman found and displayed an example of common rust.
Both fungus infestations arrive as spores carried by the wind and settle down on the corn. Rusts are generally found on the top of the plants first and then on the lower leaves. The rusts thrive in a humid setting so the recent rains have created an opportune environment for their development.
It is thought both kinds of rusts are in Jewell County. Producers hope their crops are close enough to maturity that spraying a fungicide will not be necessary. The threat of southern rust will continue to grow as it is moving north.
The final tour stop was east of Jewell. There the group found the milo test plot of Steve Greene. The gamut of milo varieties were compared and discussed. Several experimental varieties were on display in the continual effort to breed better seeds for producers.
A topic of concern at this stop was sugar cane aphid. Hardman emphasized that these pests are a serious threat and, like southern rust, are moving ever farther north. Agronomists have recently confirmed their presence in Ford and Russell counties.
This pest can cause tremendous damage to crops and its presence in Jewell County looms on the horizon. Producers need to monitor their crops and report suspected infestations. Both Texas A&M and Kansas State University are working to monitor the spread of the pests and to help producers determine appropriate action.
After the tour the group, other customers and friends of the Bohnerts gathered for the annual customer appreciation dinner, planned and organized by Debra, Shelby and Darica Bohnert. The women were helped by a host of family and friends.
Route for new
Highway 14 approved in 1926
On Aug. 20, 1926, it was reported by the Jewell County Republican weekly newspaper that a portion of the route of the new north-south highway through Jewell County had been located. Though the route has been modified over the years, this was the start of what we now know as Kansas Highway 14.
Starting at the Mitchell County correction point, the new highway route ran two and a quarter miles west on the county line to the Brown's Creek corner, thence north on the township line between Brown's Creek and Prairie townships to Jewell.
This change from the prior route of the Beloit road was made to escape two railroad grade crossings.
From Jewell the new road was to continue four miles north to the Bohnert Corner, making 11 miles from the Mitchell County line without a crook or turn. From the Bohnert Corner the road ran west half a mile thence along the east side of the railroad cutting out two creek and two railroad crossings until it joined the Mankato road on which it continued to the northeast corner of the old fair grounds one mile east of Mankato. At the fairgrounds corner it joined the Rock Island Highway.
The agreement between the county commissioners and representatives of the highway commission was that the road should branch, one branch going through Mankato, Burr Oak and on to Hastings, using the Rock Island Highway until south of Burr Oak. The other branch was to traverse the Rock Island Highway east five miles, thence north into Superior.
This arrangement, while very satisfactory to the some sections, was opposed by others and the highway commission held up the north end of road on the grounds it could not give Jewell County that much mileage. The road through Kansas was to become known as state highway No. 14. It was to continue north with approved highways to the Canadian line and south to the Gulf of Mexico. It was expected to be much used by summer and winter tourists,
By the time the route was announced, the markers had arrived and work on the approved section was to begin in September. The road was patrolled and maintained by the gasoline tax.
Four railroad crossings and two creek crossings were eliminated by the rerouting of the road. Ninety years later many of the place names used to define the new route have become nearly meaningless to area residents,
It was anticipated another state road from Concordia via Jamestown and Randall would form a junction with No 14 at Jewell but the plan was not yet assured in the summer of 1926.
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