The MFA Agronomy Guide is an annual publication considered by many midwestern farmers to be the “bible” of their profession. It consists of over 170 pages of tables, charts and data detailing all aspects of crop management. The Guide is updated every year, and features full-page advertising from Monsanto, DeKalb, John Deere and many other national corporations interested in reaching farmers. In 2013, the Agronomy Guide was rebranded as the “Today’s Farmer Agronomy Guide”, adding the credibility and name recognition of MFA’s in-house magazine to the product.
Much of the Agronomy Guide’s content is tables and charts, organized into sections such as Corn, Soybreans, Sorghum, Cotton, Rice, and so on. This information is provided to me in Excel spreadsheets, which I can use to copy-paste into InDesign tables prepared from the year previous. Often old tables are removed, new tables are added and existing tables are updated, so the book is consistently distinct from the previous year’s.
In 2013, the Guide was adapted for use as standalone app for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and Kindle, which necessitated an overhaul in the database system which handles the most current set of data. In addition to the printed book, a full set of icons were designed for the app. The guide was redesigned in 2014 with the app’s iconography and color scheme incorporated (note the seed icon in the image above, for example).
The 2013 Agronomy Guide was 176 pages; the 2014 book was 192.