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.

2013 corn harvest 1

CSD Managing Editor Susan Winsor found farmers harvesting corn in Washington and Dakota counties in Minnesota late last week. Farmers made great harvest progress in the last week, closing in on average harvest pace. Looks like this was a beautiful evening to be harvesting corn!

Farmland is now a commodity, too
A new farmland financial index could bring liquidity to the farmland market, say the developers of the PeakSoil Iowa Cropland Value Index. Corn and soybean growers might use a related futures contract, if it materializes, to hedge their risk.
What Caused this Pattern? 17
What caused this fairly common pattern on this Iowa corn and soybean field?
Corn, soybean farmer boosts manager role to grow and sustain business 17
Delegating field operations and accounting activities to dedicated employees frees up Reid Weiland's time to think strategically about how to grow and sustain his Garner, Iowa, corn and soybean farm.
Signs of Spring Flooding Remain in Corn, Soybean Fields 17
These aerial photos show the results of a record-wet spring in East-Central Iowa near Waterloo as of July 2. Aerial photos provided courtesy of Bob Recker, Cedar Valley Innovation, Waterloo, IA.
Nitrogen Testing Tool May Improve Corn Profits 23

You can now assess your corn’s nitrogen (N) needs every 24 hours. The Adapt-N online computer model, from Cornell University, simulates the complex processes in a corn field: local precipitation and temperatures, soil type, soil organic matter and slope, previous crops, inputs, tillage, planting date, population, hybrids, rotation, type and date of starter and yield potential. Using high-resolution weather information (3x3-mile grids), the web model tailors site-specific N recommendations to your farm in almost real time.

Tillage Increases Soil Erosion: See for Yourself 20

A gentle overnight rain turned into a science experiment for Darin Williams, Waverly, Kan., when he collected these samples of drainage water from nearby ditch waterways. The samples come from a ¾-mile radius of each other and have the same soil types.

Nitrogen Efficiency, Application Timing Increase Corn Yields 5
Modern hybrids absorb more than half of their final N content after flowering. In fact, they absorb 27% more total N from the soil after flowering than hybrids grown between 1950 and 1990, says a newly released Purdue study. Today’s hybrids absorb more grain-N during grain fill, as opposed to N being remobilized from plant leaves and stems. The higher amount and duration of N uptake contributed to better grain yields, even as actual grain N concentrations decline; hybrids are much more efficient. But as corn plants increase N use, they increase their uptake of other nutrients.
U.S. Infrastructure Needs Help to Increase Soybean Exports 4
Transportation math shows the beauty of the U.S. export transportation system...when it runs smoothly. One vital bridge or lock collapse during peak season would be a house of cards, as roads and bridges buckle under resulting bottlenecks.
Soybean Export Growth Needs Stronger Infrastructure 1

America’s D+ infrastructure rating by the American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card is no surprise.

Weak links to export channels lower farm profits and U.S. soy’s competitive advantage. One vital bridge or lock collapse during peak soybean export season would result in bottlenecks, as roads and bridges receive more traffic.

Apply Quality Control to Corn Fields for More Consistent Yields 3

Farmer and engineer Clay Mitchell troubleshoots his crop yields the same way an engineer fine-tunes any process: He identifies yield variations and then fixes the cause.

Cover Crop Interseeder 68

One pass seeds cover crops, sidedresses the corn crop and sprays weeds, at least in State College, Pa. Penn State’s cover crop experimental interseeder potentially increases profits by $100/acre in corn yields, reduced N requirements and glyphosate applications costs.

Choose Land or Efficiency? 10

How will your kids judge you on your management of today’s once in a lifetime bonanza? Ag banker and strategist Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo senior agricultural economist, worries that farmers are buying land at any price, at a big cost to future generations. He poses the questions below to farmers, as the stewards of multi-generation businesses. “These questions are about preserving future options, after the good times have gone,” he says. “Just as previous generations shepherded your business, ask yourself some questions to temper today’s sizzling once-in-a-lifetime environment.”

Profit From Soil Organic Matter 128

Will the coming "brown" revolution be as big as the green revolution? The challenge is that it's out of sight, out of mind. And that’s an expensive attitude. The invisible world of soil microbes beneath your feet convert sunlight, water, CO2 and crop residue into crop income, courtesy of the “most incredible zoo,” says Diana Wall, soil ecologist at Colorado State University.

How Buyers Buy Beans | Security of Supply, Price Trump Higher Protein

For years, we’ve heard that U.S. soybean growers risk losing market share due to low bean protein and oil content. But now, a hungry world changes market dynamics. “Things changed forever in 2006,” says Charles Hurburgh, director of the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative and Iowa State University ag engineer, describing price leaps that place overseas buyers’ focus on security of supply above bean protein levels.


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