If you're serious about crop scouting and maximum economic yields, there will be a copy of the Purdue University Corn & Soybean Field Guide in your glove box in the pickup that you drive to check fields. It's pocket-sized, and is more than 300 pages of answers to many questions you will run into in the field during the season.
Even if you can't make a complete decision based on the guide, it helps you eliminate some possibilities of a problem, and be more informed when you ask your consultant or a specialist, or a Purdue Extension ag educator, for help on whatever the problem might be.
The 2012 version is now out. Hopefully your 2011 version is tattered from use and needs to be replaced. It's also good to have one near your computer in your office so you can look up information that might come up while you're selecting seed, figuring fertilizer rates, picking varieties, deciding on fungicide choices, and in many more cases.
Corey Gerber, director of the Purdue Diagnostic Training Center, is also responsible for publishing the book. It is used in training sessions at the training center. During training sessions, there are mistakes in plots planned on purpose, and there are weeds, diseases and insects to identify. The book contains color pictures of many of the worst insects and pests you will encounter in the field.
It also contains soil fertility charts, and has a great conversion table in the back. If you forget how many square feet are in an acre, you don't need a computer to figure it out- it's in the pocket guide.
Sometimes companies order multiple copies, have their own cove4r placed on the front with their company logo, and deliver the book to customers in appreciation for their business. If so, you may wind up with one free. The information beyond the front cover is the same.If not, to order at $7 each, visit this Web site: www.agry.purdue.edu/dtc. Or you can call and order from the Purdue Education Store at: 888-398-4636.