This first edition of Modern Corn and Soybean Production builds on the excellent publications Modern Corn Production, first published in 1965, and Modern Soybean Production, first published in 1970. Drs. Aldrich, Scott, and Hoeft coauthored the most recent (third) edition of Modern Corn Production in 1986, and Drs. Aldrich and Scott coauthored the most recent edition (second) of Modern Soybean Production in 1983. Many of the concepts published in the earlier versions remain timely and valid, and we have retained most of these in this new publication.
Advances in technology, including products, concepts, and equipment, since the previous editions of Modern Corn Production and Modern Soybean Production have been phenomenal.
Certainly, the rate of change in technology has not decreased in recent years, and has increased in many areas. This new book has been designed to combine the original concepts, along with the newest information on corn and soybean production, into one book, in order to better inform farmers, consultants, classroom teachers, and others with an interest in production of these two important crops.
Along with the need to update information and to add new information, we also felt that the advantages of combining the information on corn and soybean production into one book justifies this work. In one way, this joining may seem artificial; except for the fact that very large areas of both crops are grown in the Midwestern United States.
Why consider these as complementary crops? One reason is the amount of duplicated material in the previous editions of the two books that were combined to produce this one: no matter where these two crops are grown in the world, their water and fertility requirements (except for nitrogen, of course), temperature responses, production techniques, and marketing are more similar than they are different, and so it is efficient to consider these together. Environmentally, the crops are also inextricably linked, both by the fact that they grow in the same areas, and also by the fact that they are so often grown in rotation with one another. And, they are probably the most nutritionally complementary pair of crops that has ever been produced in the world: the carbohydrate in corn plus the protein and oil in soybean make a blend of these two crops a nearly-complete feed for animals, as well as a food for people. Finally, so many farmers in the U.S. and other countries grow both of these crops that it just makes sense to have a publication of this sort that deals with both crops.
Three new chapters have been added: Insect Management; Disease Management; and Precision Farming. The Trouble Shooting chapter has been expanded to include some 130 photographs of symptoms of disease, insect, nutrient deficiency and toxicity, herbicide injury, and other crop problems. New sections have been included to give guidance on establishing and interpreting on-farm research trials in order to help fine tune input types and amounts. The marketing section has been expanded to explain how to use marketing tools like hedging, futures, etc. The pest management chapters provide management options that will allow producers to use modern technology with minimal risk of creating problems for now or the future. The Nutrient Management chapter provides individuals with the tools to understand soil and fertilizer nutrients so that they can develop a nutrient management plan that will optimize production with a minimal risk to the environment. Regardless of the content, the entire book has been thoroughly revised, keeping the best of the concepts in the predecessor books, but giving the entire book a new look and style.
While we recognize the importance of production of these two crops in areas of the world where metric measurements are made, we have decided to eliminate the dual listing of units in an attempt to make the publication easier to read. For those readers who deal in metric units, the Appendix contains some common conversions to use.