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TO INSTRUCTORS IN AGRONOMY:
The author recognizes the varying interest of the several States in crop production as well as the differences of curriculum and of facilities for instruction at the different agricultural colleges. He has tried to meet this rather wide requirement by a fairly full treatment of all the cereals, which will enable the Instructor to omit certain crops or certain portions of a particular crop. At the same time the collateral readings and copious page references to the original sources of information make it possible to enter into a more thorough study of any single crop or any special phase of that crop. The discussion of certain topics ordinarily not taught in the department of Agronomy has been put in smaller type for the benefit of the general reader. Cross reference is made to paragraphs in order to facilitate comparative study.
The method of treatment is in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Methods of Teaching Agriculture of the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations.
In all courses of study involving the study of material objects it is important to recognize that the student should not only study about the thing, but he should study the thing itself. In Agronomy the importance of studying the crop in all its environments cannot be too strongly insisted upon. The ideal condition involves a study of the plant in the field. Unfortunately this is not always possible, since no systematic course of instruction can be planned that will conform with the season of crop growth and meet the exigencies of the weather. Practicums should be supplied that will as far as possible remedy this defect. Neither the substance nor the form of the practicums here proposed is vital. The Instructor can modify them to suit his needs or plan others along similar lines. Here again the author has included more than any single course would probably offer, in order that the Instructor may choose such as he requires or as his facilities may permit. The author is aware that the success of his attempt to put this subject into pedagodic form is far from perfect. He will, therefore, be grateful to Instructors in Agronomy if they will submit to him any criticisms or suggestions that may occur to them either as to subject matter or method of treatment.