New comprehensive crop disease reference book edited by AgCenter scientists

(06/27/23) BATON ROUGE — A new crop disease reference guide co-edited by two LSU AgCenter-affiliated plant pathologists is designed to aid students, crop consultants and producers for decades to come.

“Diseases of Field Crops,” a 400-page reference guide, details disease symptoms of 22 major field crops with more than 800 high-quality photographs.

G. Boyd Padgett, an AgCenter plant pathologist, and Clayton A. Hollier, AgCenter professor emeritus, partnered with Martin A. Draper, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the Kansas State University College of Agriculture, to assemble the book. They worked with 49 authors to create the guide, which was published this spring by the American Phytopathological Society.

“We wanted to highlight the major diseases that were affecting each crop across the United States and even up into Canada, as well,” Padgett said.

Padgett, Hollier and Draper wanted to produce a comprehensive, up-to-date reference guide that would help readers identify and manage plant diseases.

“Our attempt was to update some existing field crop disease books that have been around for quite some time that are the standards,” Padgett said.

Padgett and Hollier co-authored the book’s first chapter on integrated plant disease management, which, according to the introductory paragraph, “involves looking at every aspect of growing a crop and manipulating what can be done to reduce pathogens and their impact on the crop while minimizing negative effects on the environment and society.”

The other 22 chapters focus on individual crops and provide descriptions of diseases and the best management practices for combatting the diseases.

While assembling the book and working with other experts in their field, the editors placed a priority on using detailed color photographs to illustrate each disease as it progresses. Plants exhibit different symptoms at different stages and in different environmental conditions, Padgett said.

“Just like in the human population, a kid who has a cold may exhibit different symptoms than someone who's 85 years old, and the older population may be more susceptible,” he said. “So, we wanted to be able to document and photograph the signs and the symptoms of each individual disease on these various field crops.”

Additional AgCenter-affiliated researchers contributed to the volume. Paul “Trey” Price, a plant pathologist at the AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station, co-wrote the chapter on soybean diseases, and Donald E. Groth, the retired director of the AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, is an author of the chapter on rice diseases.

A book stands upright in a photo studio, and the spine and front cover are visible.

“Diseases of Field Crops,” a reference guide for students, crop consultants and producers, is available through the American Phytopathological Society. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter

6/27/2023 4:08:55 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture