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American Society of Agronomy
5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
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Contact: Susan V. Fisk, Public Relations Director, 608-273-8091,

Book reviews yield gains of major U.S. crops

Studying increases in yield important to understanding how food and fiber needs will be met in the future

Madison, WI—In a new book published by the Crop Science Society of America, scientists discuss the increase in yields of all the major US field crops. Yield Gains in Major U.S. Field Crops expands on a 1984 publication that reviewed the gains in producing corn, cotton, potato, sorghum, and wheat. The original book sparked international research to determine the elements contributing to advances in crop productivity, their interactions and to monitor the rate of progress. The editors hope that the new book will do the same.

The overall theme of the book is to show the science behind the yield gains for each crop.

In the Preface, editors Stephen Smith, Brian Diers, James Specht and Brett Carver say “knowledge is imperative to foster a greater understanding and informed debate regarding how food and fiber are produced…[we need to communicate about] long term stewardship, and the most effective use of critical resources like water, soil, genetic resources and human intellect.”

“Each crop has a different story to tell,” say the editors. The fields of plant breeding, biotechnology, and agronomy have all changed over the decades since the first book. Each chapter contains a review of the genetic gains for each crop as well.

To view abstracts from the books, or to order, visit

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.