Compendium offers advice to farmers, extension agents
By MATTHEW WEAVER
Much has changed since the last time the "Compendium of Wheat Diseases and Pests" was published in 1989.
"We discover new diseases," Washington State University plant pathology professor Tim Murray said. "Scientists learn new information about some of the diseases that are common problems."
Murray wrote an introduction and edited a section on fungal diseases for the third and latest edition of the reference book.
The 179-page book gives general recommendations for control methods, but advises consulting local experts on chemical control, Murray said.
"It's really intended for farmers, fieldmen and students who work with a particular crop," Murray said.
Greg Grahek, director of marketing for the American Phytopathological Society's APS Press in St. Paul, Minn., said the wheat compendium has sold 29,500 copies, more than any other title in the series. Other topics in the series include herbaceous perennials, beets, potatoes, corn and stone fruits.
"Growers can really use them to narrow down what their issue might be," Grahek said, noting the books are also popular among extension agents. "There's a saying with us that the compendia are always on the dashboard of the pickup truck."
The books are peer-reviewed by experts, Grahek said. The society uses the leading experts in the industry to cover a topic and work on the book.
"If you're chosen to edit a book in the compendia series, that's generally a pretty high honor," he said.
The books are available online at the society's bookstore and through other booksellers.
American Phytopathological Society bookstore: www.shopapspress.org