Development of the Iowa Corn Field Guide

Daren Mueller, Rich Pope, Lori Abendroth, Roger Elmore, Bob Hartzler, Clarke McGrath, Alison Robertson, John Sawyer, Kristine Schaefer, JonTollefson, and Greg Tylka; Depts. of Agronomy, Entomology, Plant Pathology; the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) team, the Pest Management and the Environment (PME) team, and the Corn and Soybean Initiative


For corn growers, profitable corn production requires maximizing yield produced per acre while minimizing the cost of production. With rising input costs and the recent introductions of some plant diseases and insect pests, growers and agribusiness personnel are spending more time in corn fields looking for pest problems. For Iowa corn producers and their service providers, there was not a good reference that provided information on diseases and insect pests that could be carried to the field. Thus, faculty and staff at Iowa State University worked together to develop a field guide that provided valuable information and high quality photos to help with diagnosis of corn problems.  


The objective was to develop a field reference that will provide descriptions and images of the more common corn diseases, insects and disorders as well as the basics of corn production in Iowa.  The guide is printed on water-resistant paper, and is sized to fit in a shirt pocket or on the dashboard of a vehicle to facilitate its utility for field use.


During the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009, several ISU Extension faculty and staff (alphabetically: Lori Abendroth, Roger Elmore, Bob Hartzler, Clarke McGrath, Daren Mueller, Gary Munkvold, Rich Pope, Marlin Rice, Alison Robertson, John Sawyer, Kristine Schaefer, Jon Tollefson, and Greg Tylka) provided input (copy, images, editing) for the field guide. The field guide was published in June of 2009. Copies of the field guide have been provided at no costs through the ISU Extension Distribution Center. Within the three weeks after making them available, more than 8,500 guides have been distributed through the Extension Distribution Center and Extension Field Agronomists, to at least 11 states and Canada. An additional 30,000 copies are being distributed through Monsanto (Genuity and DeKalb) dealers and their outlets.


The series of field guides (CSI 001, CSI 010, CSI 011, and CSI 012) remains one of the most popular extension publications since their printing. Targeted mailings also have gone to Corn and Soybean Initiative partners and the CCA board. Response from private sector agronomists has been remarkable, and accordingly, we will continue the field guide series with a Field Crop Weed Identification Guide, which is currently in progress.


100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection

Page last updated: July 15, 2009
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,