seal  Purdue News

July 21, 2003

New CD-ROM puts producers in virtual soybean fields

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Farmers and other crop professionals have a new tool to aid them in soybean production – a CD-ROM developed by Purdue University faculty called "Soybean Growth, Development and Diagnostics."

Soybean Growth CD-ROM
Download photo - caption below

"This is a world-class diagnostic tool," said Lee Schweitzer, a professor of agronomy at Purdue and lead developer of the CD. "It contains a wealth of information in a highly visual and easy to use format."

The CD contains multimedia coverage of 104 damage factors affecting soybeans. Color photos and video and sound clips cover things like disease, herbicide injury, insects, nematodes, nutrient deficiency and other damage.

"In-field panoramas and 360-degree plant views allow the user to really see every aspect of a plant or a problem, and symptoms can be diagnosed without lugging a full stack of reference books into the field," Schweitzer said.

In addition, he said, it's an interactive learning environment that allows producers and crop advisers to "ramp up" on diagnostics before the season begins with sections that address GPS yield data, growth processes and diagnostics. Sections on the history of soybeans and other soybean uses are also included to give the CD broad appeal.

"This CD is unique because it can be customized for the individual learner," Schweitzer said. "The quizzes are randomly generated, but can also be set to query the user on only the questions they missed. And any portion of the CD is accessible, there's no set order for viewing."

Schweitzer and other faculty from the agronomy, entomology and botany and plant pathology departments at Purdue developed the CD with support from Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Monsanto as a diagnostic tool for crop producers, educators, students and crop professionals.

"I see this CD being used in many areas," said Tom Jordan, the agriculture and natural resources program leader for Purdue Extension and a professor of weed science. "Chemical and seed companies could use it as a tool for in-service training for their field representatives. Schools, such as community colleges and universities, could us it in the classroom. It's a great teaching tool that's useful and well done."

"Soybean Growth, Development and Diagnostics" and other Purdue crop management CDs can be previewed on the Web at The CD-ROM requires a Pentium based PC or compatible computer with 128 MB of RAM and any current Windows operating system.

"Soybean Growth, Development and Diagnostics" is available for $100 through the Agricultural Communication Media Distribution Center, 231 S. University St., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2064, phone (888) 398-4636 or e-mail

Other Purdue crop diagnostic and development CDs also are available through the media distribution center. They are "Corn-Germination to Knee High," "Corn – Knee High to Maturity" and "Broadleaf Weed Seedling Identification."

Writer: Kay Hagen, (765) 494-6682,

Sources: Lee Schweitzer, (765) 494-4789,

Tom Jordan, (765) 494-7891,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of the CD-ROM cover is available at In addition, a link to a sample animation for use on news Web pages is available at


Purdue University's "Soybean Growth, Development and Diagnostics" CD-ROM is a diagnostic tool that can yield extra bushels of soybeans for producers. Useful for soybean farmers and crop advisers, the multimedia program also has proven its worth in the classroom. (Design by Purdue Agricultural Communications)

A publication-quality image is available at

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