Higher Education

Introduction to Agronomy: Food, Crops, and Environment, 1st Edition

  • Craig C. Sheaffer University of Minnesota
  • Kristine M. Moncada University of Minnesota
  • ISBN-10: 1418050377  |  ISBN-13: 9781418050375
  • 588 Pages
  • © 2009 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $156.75
  • Newer Edition Available
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Introduction to Agronomy: Food, Crops and Environment, provides an introductory look at agronomy and crop science written for a broad audience including traditional agricultural students as well as students with nonagricultural backgrounds. Principles of crop science, sustainable agriculture, and the relevance of agriculture to important current societal issues are covered. Agriculture is discussed from an historical, economic, food, and resource basis. Topics relevant to our overall society such as food, fiber, and energy, ecology, and environmental quality are discussed. The impact of climate and soils on agricultural practices and agriculture’s impact on environmental quality and the description and uses of important crops are included. Approaches to improving plants and crop production efficiency thorough crop breeding, biotechnology, crop management are also covered. Illustrations throughout enhance learning and appeal to more visual learners.

Features and Benefits

  • Simplified, concise presentation of concepts related to crop science, agriculture and environmental quality.
  • Readers will understand the crop-based sources of their food and fiber.
  • Strategically placed illustrations enhance learning of important concepts.
  • The interconnection of food and agriculture is covered through the discussion of food that is consumed, crop sources of food, and changes in food consumption patterns in our society.
  • Integrates all aspects of the food production system and relates it to the individual.
  • Demonstrates why farming is still one of our most important occupations and why understanding of the source of food and its production is essential for all citizens.
  • Explains why sustainable use of our soil and plant resources is imperative to have a productive agriculture in the future.
  • Critical Thinking Questions at the end of each chapter to encourage learners to apply concepts discussed in their everyday lives
  • Review Questions are provided to reinforce major points covered in the chapter.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - History of Agriculture
Chapter 2 – Agriculture Today
Chapter 3 – Classifying and Naming Crops
Chapter 4 – Food from Plants
Chapter 5 – Chemistry of Food and Plants
Chapter 6 – Plant Anatomy and Morphology
Chapter 7 – Plant Physiology and Growth
Chapter 8 – Improving Plants
Chapter 9 – Environment
Chapter 10 – Agroecosystems
Chapter 11 – Soils
Chapter 12 – Cropping Systems
Chapter 13 – Tillage and Crop Establishment
Chapter 14 – Weeds
Chapter 15 – Plant Disease and Insects
Chapter 16 – Harvesting
Chapter 17 – Crop Profiles: Grasses
Chapter 18 – Crop Profiles: Legumes
Chapter 19 – Crop Profiles: Other Crops
Chapter 20 – Feeding the World
Appendix I – Scientific and Common Names
Appendix II – Metric Conversion Chart
Appendix III – Bushel Weights

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Craig C. Sheaffer

Craig C. Sheaffer received his B.S. at Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, PA; and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Maryland, College Park before becoming a professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, where he received the College of Food and Natural Resources distinguished teaching award in 2006. He has studied sustainable cropping systems for more than 30 years, focusing on the topics of forage production, pasture improvement, organic crop production, and bioenergy crops. He is particularly interested in using legumes such as alfalfa, kura clover, and Illinois bundleflower for livestock nutrition and soil conservation and to supply biologically fixed nitrogen for other crops. He is a fellow in the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society.

Kristine M. Moncada

Kristine M. Moncada is an assistant scientist in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, where she assists with research in organic agriculture and has helped develop a risk management guide for organic farmers. Kristine has a B.S. in ecology and an M.S. in applied plant sciences, both from the University of Minnesota. Her previous research has included characterizing the genetic diversity of native plants in Minnesota including purple prairie clover, spotted joe-pye weed, and prairie cord grass. She has also assisted in teaching undergraduate plant identification courses. She has co-authored two interactive computer-based learning modules--"Forage Legume Identification" and "Forage Legume Morphology"--for the Crop Advisor Institute at Iowa State University.