Kurt Lawton

Kurt
Lawton
Editor,
Corn & Soybean Digest
Articles
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 4
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 6

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 27

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 718

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 10

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 10

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.

8 Current Challenges in Chinese Agriculture

Twenty-seven soybean farmers and spouses from Minnesota began a 10-day trade mission trek across eastern China on Thursday as part of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council's (MSR&PC) International Marketing See For Yourself program.

Think Different: Mind Your Traits

Resistant weeds. Resistant rootworms. Who's at fault? Biotech traits, nature or you? Genetic visions of grandeur were hailed from the very beginning. I remember visiting numerous biotechnology labs from Boston to St. Louis to San Francisco back in the 1980s to write one of the first futuristic stories (for sister magazine Farm Industry News) that detailed how this genetic technology was predicted to move crops and farming forward. Claims were amazing and unbelievable – visions that crops could reduce or eliminate pesticide use because of altered genetics.

Bowman v. Monsanto Followup 19

As a follow-up to my recent column, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments from attorneys for farmer Vernon Bowman, Monsanto and the Department of Justice on Feb. 19. Read the transcript (pdf).

Think Different: Rethink Agronomics 2013 1

As with most farm business decisions, very few escape without some type of tradeoff, be it labor, time or money. Our cover story may challenge your beliefs if you're sold on 30-in. row soybeans, because you lose yield (range from 2.9 to 4.5 bu./acre) compared to 15-in. – according to a three-year, six-state university trial.

Don't Let Rootworms Win 17

The wily western corn rootworm thrives in fields where farmers choose a risky combo of continuous corn and continuous use of the Cry3Bb1 trait found in Monsanto's YieldGard RW and VT Triple products.

Think Different: Farmer v. Monsanto

It’s not often a five-page letter from a farmer crosses my desk, even though it is obviously a typewriter-written, mass-mailed letter addressed to “magazine officials.” It was a letter from Vernon Bowman, a 74-year-old farmer from Sandborn, Ind. He outlined his use of commodity soybeans purchased from a local elevator to use as inexpensive double-crop soybean seed, and the subsequent legal actions taken against him by Monsanto.

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