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.

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.

5 Agriculture stories to read, July 3, 2014 1

This installment of 5 Agriculture stories to read offers information on corn diseases, as well as white mold. Also read tips on replanting flooded land to keep soil in condition, and see photos to help diagnose nutrient deficiencies. Finally, as we celebrate Independence Day, enjoy the Dodge Ram Super Bowl commercial, "Farmer."

5 Agriculture stories to read, June 27, 2014 3

In this installment of 5 Agriculture stories to read, there are outlooks for soybean aphids and farm incomes. The USDA is offering funding for farmers who establish new bee habitats. Help bust GMO myths by sharing a gallery showing what is not, and what is, a GMO. And have a little fun learning what a farmer says with a YouTube video.

5 Agriculture stories to read, June 19, 2014 2

This installment of 5 Agriculture stories to read offers tips and considerations for flooded corn and soybeans, as well as tips for double-cropping soybeans after wheat. Also read about the first farm in Minnesota to receive a water quality certification, and download a mobile app to help when scouting weeds. Finally, warm your heart with a story of a bachelor farmer who found love, lost it, then donated his farm to 4-H.

June 16 Crop Progress: Corn emergence nearly complete, soybean emergence ahead of average; crop conditions holding steady 3

Corn and soybean emergence rates are both ahead of average, and closing in on the finish line. Crop conditions are holding steady on the positive end, and slightly increasing in the excellent category for both crops.

5 Agriculture stories to read, June 12, 2014 3

This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to evaluate soybean emergence for uneven stands, and to lookout for "rootless" corn seedlings. There's also insight into revenue and returns on cash-rented land for 2014. To keep up with growing season weather, check out ag weather maps from USDA, and for a little fun, watch a parody by the Peterson Farm Bros.

June 9 Crop Progress: Corn crop emerged, condition holds strong; soybean crop emerging quickly, in good condition 2

The majority of the overall corn crop has emerged, and is slightly ahead of average pace. Corn in good condition dropped slightly, but gained in excellent condition. Soybean planting and emergence are ahead of average pace, and beans are in mostly good and excellent condition.

5 Agriculture stories to read, June 6, 2014 3

This installment of 5 ag stories to read offers tips on assessing early-planted corn hail damage. Consider global fertilizer outlook and Chinese purchase of soybeans, as well as pesticide use in U.S. agriculture for the past five decades. And, have a little fun with a new soybean meme!

Soybean, corn seedlings 2

These soybean and corn seedling photos were taken by CSD Digital Editor Jen Koukol in Nicollet County, Minn. The emerging soybeans were planted into a minimum-till field with corn residue.

June 3 Crop Progress: Majority of corn crop in good-excellent condition; half of soybean crop now emerged 1

Most of the overall corn crop has been planted, and emergence is on pace with the five-year average of 80%. In this first week of corn condition ratings, 76% of the overall crop is in good-excellent condition. Well ahead of the good-excellent condition rating of 63% at this time last year. The soybean crop is ahead of average planting pace for the second week in a row, and emergence rates are ahead of average, as well.

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