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. 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 3

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.

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