Susan Winsor


Before joining Corn and Soybean Digest, Susan was an agricultural magazine editor for Miller Publishing, a newspaper reporter for Gannett newspapers and Manager, Marketing Publications for Cenex/Land O’Lakes Ag Services. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Journalism.

Farmer-led watershed groups offer water quality collaboration 

Wayne Kramer cut his nitrogen use by 33% and has applied no commercial phosphorus or potassium to his corn since joining his local farmer-led watershed group in Iowa five years ago. The Farley dairyman collaborates with his Hewitt Creek neighbors to voluntarily improve water quality with best management practices.

Signs of healthy soil

Abbey Wick, NDSU Extension soil health specialist, talked about the signs of healthy soil at the Conservation Tillage Conference in December. She says the presence of soil aggregates is a good indicator of healthy soil, as well as earth worms. The color of soil reflects the amount of organic matter, Wick says, noting that lighter soil has less organic matter.

High-oleic soybeans offer a profit 

John Motter, Jenera, Ohio, pays himself $100 per hour from the premiums he earns for growing high-oleic soybeans. Not bad, says the four-year veteran of growing Pioneer Plenish and Asgrow Vistive Gold soybeans. Motter asked to be a high-oleic soybean grower when food trans-fat labeling first appeared, converting all of his soybean acres to high-oleic varieties after two years.

Weed resistance management tips

Managing editor Susan Winsor spoke with Ford Baldwin about weed resistance problems and how growers can manage the resistance issues that keep moving farther north. Baldwin offered farmers 5 things they can watch and do to keep weed resistance from becoming and even bigger problem.

Community weed control 

Mike Morgan lives the pigweed nightmare and wants to spare others. The Clay County, Ark., farmer teamed up with his neighbors to defeat Palmer amaranth in ditches, turnrows (headlands) and communal areas. This new weed weapon, a collaboration of farmers, is bent on stopping resistant weeds wherever they grow.

9 basics for top soybean yields  1

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate research assistants apply small-plot research results from different management practices to large field-scale settings in order to maximize soybean yields. The basics of their high-yield program include high-yield genetics, early planting, narrow rows, optimal soil fertility and more.

Corn, soybean price outlook

Chad Hart, Iowa State University Extension economist, expects to see corn prices in the $4 range, and soybeans in the single digits for 2015. Good demand but larger supplies will hold prices down over the next couple of years, he says.

104-bushel soybeans 

Northern Illinois is not the first place you’d expect to see 100-bushel soybeans. But Peru, Ill., farmer Dan Arkels yielded 104 bushels per acre on his 30-acre Illinois Soybean Association Yield Challenge plot in LaSalle County, a 15-bushel increase above the previous Illinois record.

No-till saves nitrogen costs 

Soil tilth saves you money. After six years of continuous no-till, a field can produce more yield per unit of nitrogen than a conventionally tilled field. Think of it as better fuel mileage, smarter nitrogen use and better nutrient recycling.

Merge art, science to farm for the big picture 

On his central Iowa corn, soybean and seed farm, Tim Couser tests agronomic practices with on-farm strip trials and new concepts. Beyond the weather, he leaves nothing to chance. “That’s what makes farming so much fun,” says Tim Couser, a Nevada, Iowa, farmer. “It’s half science and half art. Being a low cost producer takes a lot of work; the next yield breakthrough will definitely be harder to achieve.”

Question your assumptions about agriculture feeding the world

Economic trends from the past five years have had an outsized positive influence on row-crop productivity, says Wells Fargo Ag Economist and Senior VP Michael Swanson. As they fade, “recognize that your economic future is in the hands of the new trends replacing them,” Swanson says.

8 tips for successful weed control 1

Jim Legvold’s weed-management story began when this Vincent, Iowa, farmer planned out his program, embodying a new approach. But the plot thickened after an extremely wet spring and cool summer thwarted his best-laid plans. Weather extremes, weed adaptability and low crop prices challenged his long-term plan of corn-soybean herbicides, residual herbicides and rotated modes of action.

Cornstalk nitrate test reveals nitrogen application accuracy 1

How many farmers feel that nitrogen application rates are a guessing game, since you don’t know the season’s rainfall forecast? Cornstalk nitrate testing tells you whether you applied enough nitrogen this year, based on cornstalk samples’ nitrate levels at black layer stage.

Check your tillage costs  3

How often have you wondered whether a new practice or piece of equipment will pay? Kenton, Ohio, farmer Brian Watkins built a computer farming simulation model to calculate the cost of such options. “It tells me how much time a piece of equipment will take to operate and repair, how much fuel will cost and how it will affect other things we do,” he says.

Strategize for lean years on the farm  1

Brian Haugen is preparing his farm for lean times. Leveraging his management experience, discipline, standard operating procedures (SOPs), a diversified revenue base, shared human resources for productivity and collaboration with more than 35 landlords, his corn and soybean operation will do its best to weather the storm over the next few years.

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