A pocket-size book that helps farmers diagnose and treat crop problems as they come across them is back with new and updated information.

Many sections of the 2002 Corn and Soybean Field Guide were rewritten to reflect the latest in plant disease and pest management research. The Purdue Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center and the Purdue Pest Management Program produce the bright yellow guide, published every year since 1986.

"These books are made to serve as a reference in the field, to help you make on-the-spot decisions or, at least, narrow the options until you can get back to a regular reference source," says Greg Willoughby, director of the Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center.

"The guides are less than 225 pages and fit in your hip pocket or shirt pocket. They also include phone numbers of all of our extension specialists in the agronomic fields."

In addition to sections on insects and diseases, the guide includes chapters on weeds, herbicides, pesticides, plant fertility, growth stages, sprayer calibration and compaction. The guide is packed with charts, graphs and full-color photos of pests and disease symptoms.

Contributing writers come from Purdue's departments of Agronomy, Botany and Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

"We've got 22,000 copies going into distribution," Willoughby says. "Our current distribution is ranging from Alabama up into Canada, all the way to the East Coast and as far west as Texas, Nebraska and Kansas.

"We encourage people who might be interested in ordering to get their orders in soon, because we typically run out of stock somewhere in the middle of planting season."

Field guide copies are $4 each. To order, call Purdue extension toll-free at 888-398-4636 (EXT-INFO) and ask for the Media Distribution Center. Orders also may be placed online at agcom.purdue.edu/AgCom/mdc/distrib.html