Kurt Lawton

Corn & Soybean Digest
Farmers value cover crops 2

Under comparable management, with and without cover crops, more than 500 farmers reported a yield gain of approximately 5% in 2013 after using cover crops. And this follows an average 10% yield hike among surveyed farmers in 2012 during drought conditions.

Think Different: Think. Experiment. Innovate.

For more than 30 years I’ve been privileged to visit with hundreds if not a thousand farmers, and I’ve often marveled at their continued ingenuity – despite the computerization of everything. Many don’t fear change, they embrace it, and try to make it better in many cases.

Think Different: Open the food conversation

With the continued rise of polarizing topics in this great country, research data clearly shows that skepticism about today’s food system continues to grow. The anti-GMO, factory farm activists have become adept at spreading their version of farming. Fortunately, groups like CommonGround are slowly beginning to calm the rhetoric, without using the fear, bad science and vitriol that these activists deploy.

Climate Corp combines data science with ag science to improve weekly crop decisions

Climate Pro opens up a host of valuable in-season advisor tools to improve management decisions during planting, nitrogen application, variable rate strategies using in-season satellite imagery, scouting, spraying, and harvesting.

Think Different: Reflect and move on

I’ve always found a little time for year-end reflection is worthwhile. Not to dwell on the past, but to learn from it and move on.

Attend our Nutrient Master Class next week 2

Take a post-harvest break from tillage to spend some valuable learning time next Tuesday and Thursday as Corn+Soybean Digest hosts two Nutrient Master Class meetings in Omaha, NE (Nov. 19) and Davenport, IA (Nov. 21). Co-sponsored with Wolf Trax, these complimentary, one-day events (breakfast and lunch included) will focus on fertilizer innovations and best management practices to maximize corn and soybean performance.

Think Different: Food is emotional

If only real stories could help consumers understand that there really is no need to label most foods on the shelves. What would be the point of most food packages on grocery shelves stating, “This product contains 0.04% of biotech soybeans, analyzed and deemed safe by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, United States Department of Agriculture, European Commission Joint Research Center, and the National Academy of Sciences?”

late-night corn crop harvest
Crazy GMO debates 2
It’s non-GMO month, say natural food retailers. Really. Kind of a crazy irony, as you and your peers harvest millions of GMO crop acres. These are the same grains that we all have consumed in food for more than 17 years -- without a single instance of adverse health or environmental effects.
Think Different: Don’t harvest Palmer amaranth weeds 1
Before you run that combine through every acre of your fields, I’d highly recommend reading “Resistant Palmer amaranth hits the Midwest." This weed is a game changer, and if left unchecked without multiple herbicide modes of control, you can literally lose a field in three years’ time.
2014 John Deere Equipment Launch 1

John Deere spent almost a month this summer in Columbus, Ohio, training their 4,800 dealers on its new iron and technology coming in 2014. I arrived with other media during the last wave of 1,200 dealers to witness the event and drive the new 7R series tractors.

Case IH launches new engines, tractors, combines, headers, sprayers 3

In the midst of introducing the Red Power Tour to its dealers, Case IH gave the media a hands-on preview of new equipment headed to dealerships this fall and into 2014. Farmers can get their first glimpse of this lineup at next week’s Farm Progress Show near Decatur, Ill.

roots of Bt corn hybrids survived corn rootworm feeding vs. non-Bt corn
Scout Fields for Corn Rootworm 9

Corn & Soybean Digest editor Kurt Lawton went on a root dig this week on a northeast Iowa farm. He explored a Mycogen rootworm test plot with district agronomist Jeff Housman. Check out these scouting tips for corn rootworm damage on roots as well as silks. Housman estimated a 40-50-bu. loss in this test plot based on early indications of rootworm severity.

Solutions from the Land 57

In 37 years, by 2050, will we have had the wherewithal to transform land management into an adaptive, resilient form that meets goals in global food security and energy security, economic development, biodiversity, environmental improvements and solutions to climate change?

Think Different: China in Person 6

A visit to our largest customer was an amazing opportunity to comprehend and Think Different about this capitalist/socialist country that currently buys $26 billion of U.S. agricultural exports. In fact China bought 42% of its 2012 soybeans from U.S. farmers.

North Asia Soybean Import-Export Outlook 5

As 27 Minnesota soybean farmers and spouses (including myself) continue our 10-day trade mission trek across eastern China, we spent valuable time Thursday with Paul Burke, North Asia Regional Director of USSEC (United States Soybean Export Council), who gave an overview of soybean consumption trends in China – from crushing to food use to domestic production.

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