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Introduction to Agronomy: Food, Crops, and Environment 2nd Edition

Craig C. Sheaffer, Kristine M. Moncada

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2009
  • 608 Pages


This full-color introduction to agronomy and crop science offers both traditional agricultural students and students with nonagricultural backgrounds a timely look at the principles of crop science, sustainable agriculture, and a host of related societal issues. A must-read text for anyone interested in what are arguably the most profoundly important issues of our time, INTRODUCTION TO AGRONOMY, second edition addresses the basics of safe and sustainable food and fiber production as well as big picture topics such as energy, ecology, and environmental quality. Throughout the text, readers will find information and illustrations on the latest agricultural methods, regulations, and practices--and how each is impacting our society and each individual within it.

Craig C. Sheaffer, University of Minnesota

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, University of Minnesota

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.
  • A NEW chapter devoted to the hot topic of organic agriculture includes information on organic regulations and practices.
  • This edition includes an expanded focus on agriculture to better represent the industry across the United States.
  • The all-NEW full color design features engaging photos and figures that greatly enhance the impact and usability of the textbook.
  • All data and tables have been updated with the most current statistics available for an up-to-the-minute look at American agriculture today.
  • The text's simplified, concise presentation of concepts related to crop science, agriculture and environmental quality helps readers understand the crop-based sources of their food and fiber, how the food production system works, and how these topics impact us as individuals.
  • The authors highlight the interconnection of food and agriculture--from the food that we consume to crop sources of food--and point out key changes in America's food consumption patterns.
  • The text demonstrates why farming is still one of our most important occupations and why the future of agriculture hinges on the widespread adoption and use of sustainable practices.
  • Critical Thinking Questions at the end of each chapter encourage learners to apply concepts discussed in their everyday lives, while Review Questions are provided to reinforce major points covered in the chapter.
1. History of Agriculture.
2. Agriculture Today.
3. Feeding the World.
4. Classifying and Naming Crops.
5. Food and Energy from Plants.
6. Chemistry of Food and Plants.
7. Plant Anatomy and Morphology.
8. Plant Physiology and Growth.
9. Improving Plants.
10. Environment.
11. Agroecosystems.
12. Soils.
13. Cropping Systems.
14. Tillage and Crop Establishment.
15. Weeds.
16. Plant Disease and Insects.
17. Harvesting.
18. Organic Agriculture.
19. Crop Profiles: Grasses.
20. Crop Profiles: Legumes.
21. Crop Profiles: Other Crops.
Appendix I: Scientific and Common Names.
Appendix II: Metric Conversion Chart.
Appendix III: Bushel Weights.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 1133521533
  • ISBN-13: 9781133521532
  • STARTING AT $16.99

  • ISBN-10: 1111312338
  • ISBN-13: 9781111312336
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $112.50
  • RETAIL $149.95

"Each chapter lays out the key concepts, key terms, review questions AND critical thinking. These are all important but the critical thinking is an area often overlooked."

"I see this as a textbook that my students will actually read. A user-friendly text that would be suitable for freshman/sophomore college students. Although concise, I feel it still gives an adequately thorough discussion of key important topics for an introductory agronomy course. I really enjoy the author's writing style and approach in discussing topics. I appreciate the way the author takes complex topics and organizes the material so that the difficult concepts can be more easily understood."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor Resources

ISBN: 9781111312343
Now available online, Instructor Resources for INTRODUCTION TO AGRONOMY include a pdf file of the Instructor's Manual, a text-specific Test Bank, and customizable PowerPoint slides.