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.

Wind erosion from uncovered fields can be costly 4

That’s money in the ditch. If it were $82 in cash, would you pull over and grab it? That’s what western Minnesota “snirt” (snow and dirt) contains in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

A strip-till journey 3

Strip-till has improved soil structure on Sheldon Stevermer's farm to the point where it can manage extreme rains and heavy corn residue. “Three years ago, I realized I didn’t need to freshen the strips in the spring; crusting was no longer a problem,” says the Wells, Minn., farmer.

Narrow-row soybeans offer yield advantage 2

Brent Friest and his father Denny compared 15- and 30-inch rows on their farm near Radcliffe, Iowa, one of seven replicated 2014 strip trials led by the Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network. The Friests’ 15-inch rows yielded 49.8 bushels, compared to 40.5 bushels for his 30-inch rows.

Tips for saving fuel, energy on the farm

Energy costs may not be your largest expense on the farm, but it's one that you can jump in on and make a fairly large impact without changing productivity, says Mark Hanna, Extension ag engineer at Iowa State University. He offers ideas for conserving fuel, including reduced tillage passes, shifting up, front-wheel assist and hybrid choice and drying.

Genetic engineering benefits

Farmers see the benefit of genetic engineering because it's made their work safer, said Don Lee, genetics professor at University of Nebraska, when he spoke to Managing Editor Susan Winsor. Lee also talked about the benefits of golden rice, as well as the naturally occurring process and the safety of the foods.

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.”

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