Our aim at Corn & Soybean Digest (CSD) is not to change our popular editorial emphasis on maximizing production and marketing for profit. It's all about how we look beyond the norm, beyond the average ways we do things. We all can learn when we push ourselves outside our comfort zone.
Think back 30 years. 1982. Reagan inhabited the White House. The earth was home to 4.6 billion people. Some brilliant forward-thinking scientists had created a space shuttle, the MRI diagnostic machine, and the first artificial heart. And some agricultural visionaries quietly started a conservation revolution.
With our national election less than a few weeks away, I do hope you cast an informed vote, no matter what your political persuasion. Will our votes help Congress learn how to work together? Who knows. But if we don't vote and we don't express our concerns that we want compromise, will the seemingly polarized two-party system continue its debilitating partisanship? Especially when 80% of the country disapproves of their actions.
CSD Editor Kurt Lawton headed home to Jefferson, Iowa, where his brother and cousin were harvesting corn on the family farm. From dawn until dusk (and beyond), they were combining, loading and getting the 2012 corn crop out of the field. These two fields averaged yields of 117 and 131 bu./acre. Yields were well below average due to the drought.
If drought hit your fields, no doubt you want to put this season in the rearview mirror fast and plan for a more normal crop in 2013. But before you begin to lock in whatever good seed numbers might be available during a coming year of short supply, take a detailed look at each field's 2012 herbicide and fertilizer applications.
While the stomach-churning drought of all droughts gets 24/7 news coverage, our cover story focus for August emphasizes an even larger problem that will remain in your fields well beyond this one crop cycle. And you can't buy insurance for it. The southern Minnesota field on the cover is being overrun by resistant giant ragweed, spread via combine and pollen. The glyphosate molecule will no longer control this prolific weed seed producer – similar to waterhemp and its pigweed cousin Palmer amaranth.
Are you a farmer who buys into the retailer/company/lender logic of adding more inputs to the spray tank, just in case insects or disease might be out there? Or are you fortunate to have a trusted source who scouts and openly discusses practices that can lead to weed, insect and disease resistance?
Big profits the last few years are not only driving add-on purchases of numerous and different spray tank additives; this cash is also driving investment in the machines attached to those tanks. The market is so swamped that some companies can't fulfill self-propelled sprayer orders until fall 2013.
My passion as a news and technology junkie has helped my agricultural journalism career immensely. And one fun component of that curiosity and passion is to ask farmers what's new in order to learn their passions.
With below-average sea temperatures beginning to warm, La Niña peaked in mid-February. It’s transitioning toward ENSO-neutral conditions during March through May 2012, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials.
In this issue we coincidently have two stories that mention the same technology. But the thinking by two different sources, who both reside within the same campus, seem almost polar opposite. An engineer views active crop-sensor technology as one of the next big things in precision agriculture. The agronomist sees all the problems and issues with the technology.
In the world of precision ag, two technologies are the next big thing, says Matt Darr, Iowa State University ag engineer. They aren’t newly developed technologies, but they are the next big wave in agriculture.
As a farm journalist who has logged vast windshield time on Corn Belt blue highways every summer for umpteen years, something struck me different looking across bean fields in 2011. In a word: statues. Of tall, random and proud water hemp.