sealPurdue News

March 28, 1997

New CD-ROM details corn growth, development, diagnostics

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Corn growers, crop consultants and agronomists faced with tough production challenges can identify problems and find appropriate solutions using a new CD-ROM developed at Purdue University.

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Created by the agronomy, entomology, and botany and plant pathology departments at Purdue with support from Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., the multimedia program focuses on corn growth from germination through its early stages. Common corn diseases, insects, nutrient deficiency symptoms, plus herbicide and weather-related injury problems are identified and explained in detail, along with appropriate management recommendations. The information is presented using color photography, digital video, sound, text and animation.

"Corn growers everywhere will find this program a tremendous help, particularly when diagnosing problems in the field," said Paul Carter, agronomy support manager for Pioneer. "The program has been put together with great care and attention to detail to address early corn growing problems regardless of geography, so it can be used virtually anywhere, by anyone. The program is user-friendly, and the information is easy to understand."

"Corn Growth, Development and Diagnostics -- Germination to Knee High" features a diagnostics key that allows the user to match symptoms to pictures within the program. By doing so, the user is guided to possible causes and appropriate solutions.

The program also includes crop management tools such as economic threshold tables for pests and replant decision-making tools. Using the program, farmers will be able to make their own on-the-spot diagnosis. Then, they can work with their agronomist, chemical representative or Extension educator to confirm the diagnosis and find solutions.

Hundreds of color photographs and video clips are used to represent field conditions, making the program appropriate for training as well as an on-farm agronomics reference library.

Developed under the direction of Lee Schweitzer, professor of agronomy at Purdue, the program began as a teaching tool.

"It is very difficult to effectively teach diagnostics and give students and farmers learning environments in February that pertain to early May corn," Schweitzer said. "It's also difficult to accurately represent problems specific to a certain geography."

Students who used the CD-ROM for classroom exercises showed at least 10 percent to 15 percent improvement -- a letter grade or more -- on quizzes over 87 corn problems, he said.

The CD-ROM requires a minimum 486 processor with 8 MB of RAM and one of the following operating systems: Windows 95/Window NT or Windows 3.1. A Pentium processor with 16 MB or more RAM is recommended for optimum performance. A Power Maintosh version also is available.

"Corn Growth, Development and Diagnostics -- Germination to Knee High" is available for $80 through the Purdue University Media Distribution Center, 301 S. Second St., Lafayette, Ind. 47901-1232, phone (888) 398-4636.

Sources: Lee Schweitzer, (765) 494-4789; e-mail,
Pat Arthur, Pioneer, (515) 334-6908
Writer: Chris Sigurdson, (765) 494-8415; e-mail,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

Photo Caption

Purdue University's "Corn Growth, Development and Diagnostics -- Germination to Knee High" CD-ROM packs bushels of corn and crop problem information and pictures onto one disk. Useful for corn farmers and crop consultants, the multimedia program also has proven its worth in the classroom. (Design by Sharon Katz and Russ Merzdorf)

Color photo, electronic transmission, and Web and ftp download available. Photo ID: Schweitzer/CD
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