Kansas State University scientists use tried and true methods as they conduct research looking for better ways to produce the nation's food supply, but they also are using the latest communications methods to inform the public about that research and other relevant information.

Agronomy professor Jim Shroyer, for example, started a K-State Wheat Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/kstate.wheat that keeps its Facebook "friends" in the know about the good, the bad and the ugly of the Kansas wheat crop. The page includes photos and reminds readers of relevant news and workshops.

"This is a very quick way to let anyone and everyone know about conditions in the Kansas wheat crop," said Shroyer, who is a wheat specialist with K-State Research and Extension. "It doesn't mean we aren't still providing information in other ways - through conference presentations, publications, news releases and radio reports. Using Facebook is just another means of communicating information."

Similarly, K-State plant pathologist Doug Jardine started a K-State Crop Diseases page to provide producers and others quick information about any crop disease issues in Kansas.

"Crop disease issues change rapidly during the growing season and this is a very quick way we can relay information about monitoring a crop and possible treatment options if disease is detected," Jardine said.