AUBURN, Ala.-Alabama Extension’s Climate and Crops iBook was named an international finalist for 2017 Best Book of the Year in Education.
Bradley Metrock, organizer of the international iBooks Author Conference and CEO of Score Publishing, said the designation honors the best books in Apple’s iBook Store.
“Each year, as part of the international iBooks Author conference, the community of educators, designers and entrepreneurs from all over the world nominate digital books created using Apple’s software on the basis of excellence and uniqueness,” said Metrock. “Climate and Crops was nominated in the Science Education and Overall Education categories. In both instances, it went on to become a Finalist, selected from hundreds of nominations from across the world.”
Dr. Gary Lemme, Alabama Extension director, called the award a truly exceptional recognition.
“Having it selected from the thousands of iBooks released annually reflects the quality work done by our Extension specialists and communications professionals,” he said. “Climate and Crops is unique among the other iBooks recognized.
“It is not a textbook targeting college students and professionals. Rather it focuses helping on Alabama farmers adjust to contemporary climatic variability to sustain the profitability of family farms.”
Dean Paul Patterson of Auburn University’s College of Agriculture called the honor an important recognition of the research done by Ortiz and others.
“Auburn is proud of the work Dr. Ortiz and her colleagues have done in developing this iBook,” said Patterson. “Moreover, it is an excellent example of how information on developments in science related to climate variability can help farmers make more profitable decisions.
“Also, it is an excellent primer for the interested reader in how climate variability affects all of our lives.”
Climate and Crops iBook A Multi State Effort
Dr. Brenda Ortiz, an Alabama Extension precision agriculture specialist as well as an associate professor in Auburn University’s Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences served as the lead author for the book. Twenty-five climate and crop experts specializing in agronomy, entomology, plant pathology, climatology and weed science contributed to the book. Authors represent four of the Southeast’s leading research universities: Auburn University, the University of Georgia, the University of Florida, and Florida State University contributed to the project. Alabama Extension specialists representing several scientific disciplines also contributed.
Auburn Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences department head Dr. John Beasley called the award an important recognition for the scientists’ work.
“This validates the critical importance of the Climate and Crops content,” said Beasley. “Understanding the impact of climate in crop production will continue to be paramount among factors affecting our food supply.”
Helping Farmers Manage Risk
Ortiz noted that the free iBook which has earned multiple national honors can enhance farmers’ profitability.
“It outlines potential farming climate scenarios and the agronomic risks typically associated with these scenarios,” said Ortiz. “It also outlines risk management strategies that growers can adopt in response.”
Funded by a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the iBook focuses on the Southeast’s five major row crops: corn, cotton, peanut, soybean and wheat. It features multiple interactive options, including videos, interactive graphics and images related to insects, diseases and weeds.
Each chapter includes basic considerations associated with crop production. Additionally, each chapter covers potential climatic conditions that may occur during the growing season. Farmers learn how these affect each crops in planting, crop growth and development, insect, weed and disease pressure and harvesting. Along with the risks, farmers find the most effective management strategies to deal with each of these climate scenarios.
Intended to be a comprehensive resource for farmers, crop consultants and Cooperative Extension professionals, Climate and Crops provides a valuable resource school teachers who want to introduce their students to how farming practices adapt to new findings about climate variability.
Learn more about Climate and Crops at http://www.aces.edu/climateandcrops.