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.

On-farm conservation: Strip-till and cover crops 7

Dan Sanderson and his son Trent farm near Clare, Ill. The operation is 100% strip-till, and the father-son duo plant cover crops on about 1/3 of their acres, experimenting with different mixes. They have clay loam soils and use a variety of technologies and equipment, including a sugar beet plate to plant some of their cover crops.

Farmland market outlook

Todd Keuthe, University of Illinois, talks about the market for farmland. "Most farmland owners see it as a long-term investment," Keuthe says. "People are willing to pay 34 times what they expect to earn."

Cost management strategies

Michael Langemeier, associate director, Center for Commercial Agriculture, Purdue University, talks about managing farm costs. He says growers need to seriously question new machinery purchases and that cash rents should be negotiated. Those two items can help control costs when commodity prices fall below breakeven levels.

Land risk management

CSD Managing Editor Susan WInsor spoke with Mike Boehlje, distinguished professor at Purdue University, about managing land risk. Boehlje talked about buying new land and making sure farmers know the economic value. He also talked about renting land, and the adjustments to be made in leaner years. Boehlje reminds growers to NOT lock in a high price, and suggests that sometimes renting is better than buying, due to the cost.

Interseeder applies nitrogen, herbicide and seeds cover crops 2

It’s getting easier to establish cover crops on time, thanks to a Penn State interseeder. It also combines three trips into one: V4-V7 sidedress, herbicide application and cover crop seeding.

Aerial cover-crop seeding tips

These timely cover-crop aerial seeding tips come from Damon Reabe, a third-generation aerial applicator and president of Reabe Spraying Service, Waupun, Wis. Tips cover timing, cover crop options and application.

RTK guidance saves this farm $7,475 in annual input costs

When ranking which precision technologies are the most profitable to adopt on their corn and soybean operation, Vogel Farms, Rockport, Ind., finds that RTK guidance pays off in multiple ways. Certainly it makes the Vogels more efficient, but simplifying on-farm trials is the ultimate payoff. And that’s real money.

Unique nitrogen-sidedress system shows promise

A new system for sidedressing nitrogen may increase yield by 20-30% per unit of rescue nitrogen by placing the nitrogen closer to the roots. Combine this with later sidedressing (V14-18), closer to peak plant need, and you have a recent on-farm replicated strip trial conducted by The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) On-Farm Network.

Strip-till: spring or fall? Both work well with practice 3

Choosing spring or fall strip-till “depends on so many factors; only you can decide,” says Brad Meister, Bourbon, Ind. “Soil type, coulter machine or shank machine, whether you have any erodible land, the amount of time you have in the fall to do it; how long it takes for your ground to mellow out in the spring, and whether you put down phosphorus or potassium with it.”

Tips for sidedressing nitrogen on corn

Spoon-feeding nitrogen makes agronomic and economic sense. These guidelines will help you get the best return on your nitrogen investment.

Delayed soybean weed control costs $3.50 per day 1

Shoulda, coulda, woulda may be the theme if you didn’t use a pre-emerge herbicide, and rain has kept you from returning to spray. That could get to be expensive. In soybeans, you have from 9 to 19 days after soybean emergence before losing yield.

Q&A: Aerial photos reveal problems in corn, soybean fields

Common man-made agronomic problems that he sees aerially often arise from uneven plant emergence/planter problems and uneven nutrient application. These July 2013 aerial photos from northeast Iowa show agronomic problems. Can you decipher them?

Farmer educates consumers about GMOs 53

When a group of anti-GMO activists confronted some corn farmers at a convention, Mike Petefish, Claremont, Minn., farmer, calmly approached them to present the scientific facts on GMOs. The 29-year-old farmer has an undergraduate degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Biology and a Master’s in Agronomy. “I just talk to people about the truth of the matter, from my perspective,” he says.

Picking rocks can take longer than planting 1

“Rock and roll” isn’t about music for Mike Petefish when he’s picking rocks in Claremont, Minnesota. “When I see a rock like this one with a certain bluish color, I know it’ll be dense and heavier for its size than any other, and all I can do is rebury it cause I sure can’t lift it with a backhoe,” he says.

Use growing degree days, not calendar days, when planting corn

“Think of corn in thermal time (growing degree days) instead of calendar time,” advises Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois agronomist. “If the whole (corn) crop got planted May 10 instead of May 1, we would not see a big drop in yield. We won’t lose a huge amount of yield until mid-May. We may have forgotten there’s a real advantage for the corn plant to be in a fairly warm soil, ready to germinate and emerge in five to six days."

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