Kurt Lawton

Corn & Soybean Digest
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.

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 7

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 8

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.

Think Different: Why The Brown Revolution?

It's all about a Think Different approach with the valuable resource that some farmers and investors are paying upwards of $15,000/acre. It's about the need to rebuild and improve the natural biological processes in your soil, so you and your landlord can gain greater efficiency and return on investment.

Think Different: A Year of Think Different

When I became editor last December, we began a journey steeped in a different philosophy – to find the best "Think Different" topics as well as sources for our stories. 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.

Top Think Different Stories of 2012
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 Different: Three-Decade Crusade

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.

Think Different: The Tillage Trap

Most farmers like tillage. Soil really doesn't like it. Too deep or poor timing is simply bad for its health. And this year, given the drought, you lose valuable soil moisture and clog soil pores.

Think Different: Find Common Ground

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.

2012 Corn Harvest: A Day In The Life Of...

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.

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