Jen Koukol

Digital Editor

Jen grew up in south-central Minnesota and graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a degree in mass communications. She served as a communications specialist for the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and was a book editor before joining the Corn & Soybean Digest staff.

Sept. 15 Crop Progress: Corn harvest starts and soybeans dropping leaves; conditions remain stable 1

The latest USDA Crop Progress Report shows corn harvest starting in several states. The overall corn crop is just over 25% mature, which is behind average. Crop conditions remain over 70% good/excellent, and well ahead of last year's conditions. The soybean crop has been dropping leaves on almost a quarter of the overall crop. Conditions held on to more than 70% good/excellent.

5 Agriculture stories to read, Sept. 12, 2014 2

These 5 ag stories to read talk about the impact of recent low temperatures on soybean yield, and remind growers to scout corn fields for stalk and ear rots before harvest. There is also big picture information about the choices farmers will soon make regarding the 2014 Farm Bill. Read advice on using tillage to control resistant weeds, and for the hunters, check out the 2014 pheasant hunting forecast.

5 Agriculture stories to read, Sept. 5, 2014 4

Five agriculture stories to read this week reminds growers to renew applications for land enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program. There is also research about late-planted corn and frost risk, as well as some tips and challenges for seeding cover crops. Watch a video about predicting on-farm costs, and take in a parody called “On the Farm.”

5 Agriculture stories to read, Aug. 29, 2014 1

Five ag stories to read this week reminds growers to scout soybean fields for diseases, including sudden death syndrome and brown stem rot. Watch a video update on crop conditions in August across the Midwest, and read about yields and their impact on crop returns for 2014. Also watch a video with practical tips for using UAVs on your farm. And as harvest creeps up on us, check out one of our favorite photo galleries: A day in the life of corn harvest.

Aug. 25 Crop Progress: Corn dent behind average development; soybean pod set nearing completion 2

The Crop Progress report released on Monday by the USDA showed the corn crop falling behind average development in the dent stage. Corn condition improved slightly over last week. The soybean crop is nearly done setting pods, but overall condition dropped slightly in the last seven days.

5 Agriculture stories to read, Aug. 22, 2014 3

This week's 5 Ag stories to read includes advice on scouting for Southern rust in corn, as well as an outlook on farmland prices. Also read an opinion about GMO and organic working together to feed a growing population. There are also tips and methods for seeding cover crops, and for a little fun, enjoy a gallery featuring a throwback to seed bags.

Old seed bags 1

The Minnesota State Fair is the largest state fair in the U.S. And with that honor comes an incredible display of displays; the amount of things to see and take in is endless. One of the neat things I came across this year was a huge collection of old corn seed bags. So many different brands, names, colors. Which ones were used on your farm?

5 Agriculture stories to read, Aug. 15, 2014 3

This installment of 5 Ag stories to read offers best management practices for insecticide applications to help maintain water quality. There are also some crop insurance numbers, and an interactive map showing ag production for all states. Also hear what one family is doing for on-farm conservation. For a little fun, catch a fun "Frozen" parody from the infamous Farmer Derek.

5 Agriculture stories to read, Aug. 8, 2014 1

This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to scout corn and soybean fields for stink bugs, and also talks about the impact cooler weather has on corn yield. Read about Russia's recent ban on food imports from Europe and the U.S., and how that's impacting markets. There's also a progress update on the implementation of new farm programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. Finally, enjoy a little trombone serenade by one his cattle!

5 Agriculture stories to read, Aug. 1, 2014 1

This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to check soybeans for white mold, and to be sure they're in compliance when it comes to the new conservation measures in the 2014 Farm Bill. There are Q&As for those who need some tips on farmland leases, and ideas on reducing yield loss when it's time to harvest corn. Finally, read some funny lessons learned from farm mistakes.

July 28 Crop Progress: Corn, soybean development ahead of average; conditions drop slightly 3

The corn and soybean crops continue to progress just ahead of average, with corn starting to hit dough stage and soybeans starting to set pods. Crop conditions are holding fairly steady, dropping just a point or two in the last week.

5 Agriculture stories to read, July 25, 2014 3

This installment of “5 Agriculture stories to read” offers some help when deciding whether or not to spray fungicide. It also talks about research using an old maize gene (from oregano) to help new corn hybrids defend against pests. The USDA announced an ag investment fund for pensions and large investors, and an Extension expert offers tips for marketing corn at low prices. Finally, watch a parody about weed resistance; I think most farmers can relate!

5 Agriculture stories to read, July 18, 2014 1

This installment of 5 Agriculture stories to read offers tips on controlling large weeds, as well as aerial seeding cover crops. Read about prospective returns and farm revenue given lower corn prices, and learn about a genetic discovery that could lead to better soybean varieties. Finally, enjoy the latest parody hit from the Peterson Farm Bros!

5 Agriculture stories to read, July 11, 2014 5

This installment of 5 Agriculture stories to read reminds growers to adhere to herbicide rotation, and offers new research about using clover as a nitrogen source for corn. There is also help for making farm bill decisions regarding yield updates, and information on GMO safety and labeling, and the consumer's willingness to pay for it. Finally, read about a farmer who lost his cell phone in a grain bin, and had it turn up in Japan.

July 7 Crop progress: Corn silking, soybeans blooming; crop conditions holding steady overall 2

Now that all of the corn and the majority of the soybean crops have emerged, corn silking and soybean blooming have started. Silking is slightly behind average, and blooming is slightly ahead of average. Crop conditions for both corn and soybeans have held fairly steady in the good/excellent categories over the past week.

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