ISU Online Store Now Offers E-Books & Digital Downloads

ISU Online Store Now Offers E-Books & Digital Downloads

For readers on the go, the Iowa State University Extension's Online Store is now offering publications in electronic versions. In addition to e-books, other digital files are now being offered.

For readers on the go, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Online Store is now offering publications in electronic versions.

"Corn Growth and Development" (PM 1009), a recently released update to the well-known "How a Corn Plant Develops" publication, is the first to be offered in an e-book format. The publication is available in ePub (for iPhone and iPad devices) and Kindle (for Amazon devices) formats, each for $5.

Both formats are available for download from the Extension Online Store. The store offers free PDF downloads of select publications, and a recent redesign of the store now allows the sale of digital files, such as the e-books.

ISU Online Store Now Offers E-Books

"This added functionality is just one more way for Iowans to access the information and resources available from ISU Extension and Outreach," said Chris Johnsen, Online Store manager. "The addition of new file formats for purchase is an exciting step and one which helps us provide content to fit the needs of emerging technology."

In addition to e-books, other digital files are now being offered. For example, all the images used in "Corn Growth and Development" are available to purchase. Researchers, educators and others who want to use any of the high-quality corn images included in the publication can purchase them for use.

Users of the Online Store can now create an account, which will store their purchase history of digital products so they can re-download at any time.

The Extension Online Store offers thousands of publications in print, PDF and electronic versions. Visit the Online Store to search by keywords or categories, and see recent and popular products available.

"Corn Growth and Development" Replaced "How A Corn Plant Grows"

ISU Extension's corn production team completed the new publication in 2010. "Corn Growth and Development" (PMR 1009) replaced "How a Corn Plant Develops," the previous Iowa State publication that served as the standard reference on corn growth and development for more than 40 years.

"How a Corn Plant Develops," written by Iowa State University agronomists of previous eras, established the basics still used today for staging and communicating about crop development. The late John Hanway, a well-known ISU agronomist, wrote the first version in 1966, which was followed by a rewrite in 1982 by Steven Ritchie, Hanway and Garren Benson. 

The team knew from the very beginning that if they were going to remake this classic publication, they would need to contribute something new and fresh and have some very talented people on the team. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a point to redo it because it already was very useful and popular.

Authors of "Corn Growth and Development" are Lori Abendroth, ISU associate corn agronomist; Roger Elmore, ISU Extension corn specialist; Matthew Boyer, former ISU agronomy graduate student; and Stephanie Marlay, ISU agronomy specialist.

The new publication provides an in-depth look at corn, from the moment the seed is planted all the way to maturity. It takes much of what is known about crop physiology and combines that with field agronomics to provide students, corn growers and agronomists the current and technical information they want and can use.

To develop the new publication, the team conducted multiyear research trials, read piles of research papers, grew hundreds of plants for the photography sessions and spent hours working with editors and designers. One of the first steps was to conduct biomass and nutrient accumulation research, followed by four years of various research trials to fine-tune recommendations and facts in the book, and a year of growing plants for the publication images.

Much of the framework that was successful in the previous versions, including numerous color images and graphics, and descriptive text, has been retained in the new book. "Corn Growth and Development" is more than twice as long as the original, featuring 50 full-color pages, and is based on a new generation of corn hybrids and production research.

The new publication weaves the newest scientific facts regarding corn growth and development throughout the pages in a way that is concise and easily applicable for people in production agriculture. Key features include:

  • more than 90 images, including whole-plant images from emergence to maturity
  • detailed descriptions of vegetative and reproductive development
  • new dry matter and nutrient (N, P and K) accumulations figures
  • clarification of corn development staging methods
an expansive list of end notes with agronomic research references
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