The Encyclopedia of Agricultural Science is the first comprehensive reference that covers the wide variety of disciplines which comprise the field of agricultural science. The four-volume set provides in-depth treatments of specialized topics which are comprehensible to high school and undergraduate students, yet are also beneficial to researchers and specialists. Articles are arranged alphabetically and include featured topics in animal, plant, range, and soilscience; food processing, storage, and distribution; agricultural economics, education, engineering, policy; pest management; rural sociology; water resources, and much more.
Four volume set, including subject and relational indices
1300 bibliographic entries
1600 glossary entries
Large 8-1/2 x 11-inch, double-column format
Internationally renowned Editorial Board
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This book fills a niche vacant since the last comprehensive work on this subject, Bailey's Cyclopedia of American Agriculture, was published at the beginning of the century. The most recent comparable work is the 1992 McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, which provides only brief coverage of the field. In format, the work under review is similar to the Encyclopedia of Earth System Science (1992) and the Encyclopedia of Microbiology (1992), also published by Academic Press.
The editorial advisory board numbers one Nobel laureate (Norman Borlaug) and seven members of the U.S. Academy of Sciences among its 15 members. Both the subjects of the articles and their authors were nominated by this board and other specialists. All completed articles were subject to peer review. The result of this effort is 210 articles averaging 10 pages in length, arranged alphabetically in four volumes. Topics cover animal, plant, range, and soil science; food processing, storage, and distribution; agricultural education and policy; agricultural engineering; biotechnology; pest management; rural sociology; and water resources. A complete table of contents is found at the beginning of each volume. Individual articles contain an outline, a glossary of terms, cross-references, and a bibliography. About 450 tables and 650 black-and-white illustrations are provided. The fourth volume contains a complete list of contributors followed by a detailed subject index (138 pages) and an index that groups together related entries. Appendix A is a list of U.S. colleges and universities offering academic programs in agriculture, while appendix B covers United Nations agriculture and related organizations.
This new encyclopedia was compared with the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. For randomly selected articles, 48 percent had either no coverage in McGraw-Hill or coverage was extremely limited. For the remaining 52 percent, McGraw-Hill contained only about one-third the amount of information in the Encyclopedia of Agricultural Science. The strength of the Encyclopedia rests in its much greater depth. Also, it offers articles of a nature not included in McGraw-Hill, such as World Hunger and Food Security. Information in articles and bibliographies tends to be more current, even allowing for differences in date of publication. Entire articles are devoted to such topics of current interest as Food Irradiation and Transgenic Animals. Minor problems do exist with the set. Searching the subject index for tea under its scientific name will produce no result, although searching for sugarcane will. Also, the length of articles makes searching the subject index for specific topics a sound strategy. In spite of minor indexing problems, the Encyclopedia of Agricultural Science is highly recommended for colleges and universities with agricultural programs as well as large agencies needing agricultural information. Libraries with extensive science reference collections should also consider this set for purchase. Its price will probably make high schools and libraries with minor interest in agriculture continue to refer to McGraw-Hill for brief information.
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