CA Mushrooms
CA Mushrooms

Book Review

Compendium of Corn Diseases (4th Edition)

Edited by Gary Munkvold & Donald G. White
2016, APS Press, St. Paul, MN
ISBN 978-0-89054-492-1
8.5” x 11” softcover; 176 pages;312 images

The fourth edition of Compendium of Corn Diseases was just published and has been highly anticipated among plant pathologist and agricultural researchers. It’s been nearly 15 years since publication of the third edition, so many updates were in order. While I’m not employed in the area of plant disease diagnosis, I was formally trained as a plant pathologist and that’s where I got my start.

For horticulturists, arborists, extension agents, and diagnosticians the APS Compendium series of plant diseases are well known to be THE reference books to have on the shelf. The quality and breadth are unmatched. (Even for those of us who just like to geek out on fungal plant pathogens, these books are a must; the images are many and very good; the information concise and clearly written.) And of the many titles in the stable, Corn Diseases has been the most popular and best-selling. Fifteen years since the last edition … you can imagine that there have been many new diseases of corn to have come onto our radar since then (viruses, mycotoxins, witchweed), so I was eager to review this new edition. And it does not disappoint. It includes more than 300 color images; valuable, peerreviewed management recommendations and expert diagnostic advice for nearly 90 diseases and disorders of corn found in the field and in storage. Topics include: diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and parasitic seed plants; nutrient deficiencies and toxicities; air pollution, extreme weather, and other environmental factors; and herbicide injury. New for this edition are new sections on the use of fungicides for foliar disease management, combating storage molds, and an appendix that helps users match common names of corn diseases with the names of their pathogens.

Along with concise and clearly written discussion of major pathogens, most of which are fungi (but include bacteria, nematodes, and insects), each topic includes descriptions of symptoms, causes, cycles, and control practices, plus many full-color photographs to help you quickly match symptoms with diseases.

For years, earlier editions of this book have been the industry standard for practitioners and the agricultural science community concerned with corn health and disease control. For students and those who currently own the previous edition, this fourth and completely revised edition will prove to be a valuable update.

— Review by Britt Bunyard
— Originally published in Fungi