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Serving: IA
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CROP GUIDE: A new ISU publication provides a basic understanding of the major crops grown in Iowa.

New handbook for Iowa growers covers the basics

ISU Field Crop Production Handbook offers valuable insight on crop production.

Growing successful field crops is a science, one that is learned and improved upon with years of experience. But sometimes it makes sense to start with the basics. That’s the approach of a new publication from Iowa State University Extension, the Field Crop Production Handbook. 

The 144-page guide gives a general overview of the essential aspects of producing field crops in Iowa. It focuses on the basics of crop establishment, care and harvest, as well as the impacts on soil, water and wildlife.

“This handbook is useful for people who are new to agriculture or may be joining the family farm and want to get reacquainted with some of the basics of crop production,” says Erin Hodgson, ISU Extension entomologist. 

Field Crop Production Handbook.

Sixteen chapters cover the common field crops grown in Iowa, including corn and soybeans, small grains, and forages. Each chapter has a glossary of terms and additional resources, if you want to learn more. The printed copy has glossy pages with photos and graphics. It costs $12 per copy, or $6 per copy if purchased in boxed quantities of 37. The publication is also available digitally for $6. To purchase a copy, visit the ISU Extension Store.

Practical, helpful information

“The handbook has a lot of practical information to help people get up to speed and refresh their knowledge,” says Mark Licht, ISU Extension cropping systems agronomist.  “It’s also useful for high school and college ag programs, where students and teachers are looking for a basic primer that covers crop production.” 

Licht says it was an enjoyable project with input from a diverse group of ISU faculty and staff. The publication is written and organized to be understandable to those with or without a farming background, and to audiences not traditionally associated with agriculture.

Primary authors are Hodgson and Licht, along with Adam Sisson, ISU Integrated Pest Management program specialist. For more information, Hodgson is at 515-294-2847 or Licht is at 515-294-0877 or Sisson is at

Source: ISU, which is solely responsible for information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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