Course ID:  AGRO 3513, Fiber & Oilseed Crops, Fall 2007


Prerequisites: AGRO 1033


Text(s) and supplemental books and materials:

Arkansas Soybean Production Handbook, MP197.  Available on-line at:


Pests, Thresholds, and the Cotton Plant. P1614.  Available on-line at:


Numerous other reading materials will be assigned or handed out.


Professor’s name: Paul B. Francis, AG 103, 460-1314,


Office hours: M, W, F 9-10, 1-5; T Th 10-12.


Special policies statement:

1. Any student caught in an intentional, premeditated and blatant act of cheating on any exam will be given the option of withdrawing from the course or receiving an ‘F’. 

2. Attendance at all class functions is highly encouraged but not required.  Attendance records will be kept on file for the occasional request from student loan representatives and potential employers.  Please notify the instructor if you are having to miss a class meeting so that it can be recorded as an excused absence.


Special dates of concern:

Oct. 5 – Deadline to file for May graduation (seniors, take note!)

Nov. 7 – Last day to drop with a ‘W’.


Goals and objectives:

This course is designed to give the student an in-depth and up-to-date look at the history, botany, production, and harvest of cotton and soybeans.  We will study the latest methods of crop management, current technologies, varieties, pesticides and future developments.  The course will also include the survey of other fiber and oilseed crops grown in the world.  Therefore, at the successful completion of this course, the student will comprehend and be knowledgeable of:

1. The history of cotton, soybean, and several other minor fiber and oilseed crops

    with regard to area of first cultivation and role in societal development.

2. The taxonomic classification, morphology, biotypes, and physiology of upland

    cotton and soybean.

3. Currently adopted methods of establishment, cultivars, pest management,

    fertility, use of plant growth regulators and pesticides, irrigation, crop quality

    management, harvest, storage, and a little on marketing of cotton and soybean. 

    Major, but not exclusive, emphasis will be for the mid-south region of the U.S.A.

4. Sources of information for all aspects of cotton and soybean crop production.

5. Future challenges facing cotton and soybean production.


Content outline:

The semester is divided into two units: I. Oilseed crops, and II. Fiber crops. 

Each unit will conclude with a comprehensive exam.  The tentative outline of topics for each unit are as follows:


Part I.  Oilseed Crops.

Soybeans:       1. History.

                                    - Origin(s)

                                    - Historical evidence of cultivation, utilizations

                                    - History of cultivation in the U.S.

                        2. Botany.

                                    - Taxonomy, species, biotypes, ecotypes.

                                    - Genetics, physiology, reproductive characteristics

                                    - Physiology with regard to yield and yield components.

                        3. Production.

                                    - Establishment: soils, planting windows, soil management.

                                    - Cultivar selection criteria, examples of current cultivars.

                                    - Soil fertility and water management.  Includes study of

                                       N-fixing symbiotic bacteria in soybeans.

                                    - Pest management:  insects, diseases, and weeds

                                                > Most economically damaging species I.D., habits

                                                > Monitoring methods, economic thresholds

                                                > Current methods of cultural, biological and chemical

                                                   control, including pesticide resistant management

                                                > New technology on the horizon.

                                    - Harvesting, marketing, utilizations.

                        4. Survey of other minor fiber and oilseed crops.


Special projects, assignments field trips:

- Two, mini-reports on assigned contemporary topics.

- Probably one field trip to the Southeast Branch Experiment Station to observe

   cotton, soybean, and sunflower research projects, especially cultivar evaluations.


Provisions for tests and evaluations:

If you miss an exam for a legitimate reason, please inform the instructor within 5 days prior or after so that a makeup exam can be scheduled.  In some situations, the missed points or make up exam may be added to the final exam.  Legitimate reasons are things like official University functions, illness, trauma, or other reasons such as a job interview.


Grading policy:  Please inform the instructor within five days if you miss, or are going to miss, an exam for any legitimate reason so that a makeup exam can be given.  Legitimate reasons include official University functions, illness, personal trauma or other things such as job interviews.


Grading:         Soybean test I.                                               100 pts

                        Soybean/oilseed crops mid-term exam:        150 pts

                                    Oilseed crop paper report:                  50 pts

                        Cotton test I.                                                  100 pts

                        Cotton/fiber crops final exam:                       150 pts

                                    Fiber crop paper report:                      50 pts

                                                            Total pts.                    600 pts


Letter grade assignment:      A: 540 +          B: 480-539      C: 420-479      D: 360-419



“It is the policy of the University of Arkansas at Monticello to accommodate individuals with disabilities pursuant to federal law and the University’s commitment to equal educational opportunities.  It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any necessary accommodations at the beginning of the course.  Any student requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Special Student Services located in Harris Hall Room 120; phone 870 460-1026; TDD 870 460-1626; Fax 870 460-1926.”  


“UAM will no longer mail grade reports to all students.  You may access your grades through Campus Connect on the UAM Homepage,  To have your grades mailed to you, complete the grade request form available in the Registrar’s Office in Monticello, or the Student Services Office in Crossett or McGehee.”


“The following action is prohibited under the Student Conduct Code: Disorderly Conduct: Any behavior which disrupts the regular or normal functions of the University community, including behavior which breaches the peace or violates the rights of others.”