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.

Farmers: There’s still time to plant corn 1

“Some cold, wet spring days like today, you wonder whether the (corn) seed is better off in the bag or in the field,” says Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Agronomist. Wet soils and cold weather have disrupted corn planting across large parts of the Upper Midwest and all of Iowa.

Monsanto promises more efficient water and nutrient use across 1 million acres 1

Monsanto says it will increase its irrigation water-use efficiency by 25% by 2020 in its global seed production operations, saving 30 billion to 80 billion gallons of water annually, says Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman and chief executive officer.

On-farm experiments increase corn, soybean yields

Would you believe that the corn ears from plants emerging on Day 1 would be 13% fatter than the corn ears from Day-2-emerged corn? That’s exactly what played out at Watson Farms, Villa Grove, Ill., last year on a test of a 40-ft. section of one row. You could say the Watsons’ corn stood the test of time.

Conservation efforts target women landowners 1

Women own a great deal of U.S. farmland, and one national women’s sustainable farming group aims to help these landowners learn more. Women, Food and Agriculture, a national community of women involved in sustainable agriculture, provides the information and confidence they need to take action and work with tenants to improve soil and water conservation on their farmland.

Nitrogen tips for spring 2014 1

Cool soil in most of the Corn Belt means a low risk of nitrogen loss for now, says Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Crop Sciences professor. Advising farmers on best nitrogen practices for this spring, Nafziger offers these observations and pointers.

Less time for planting 1

It’s official now: some major Corn Belt states’ corn and soybean planting weather windows have officially shrunk. Purdue Professor Ben Gramig found that Illinois and Iowa have on average 11-12% fewer hours per week to plant, when comparing 1980-1994 to 1995-2010.

Corn farmer reduces water nitrate level by 29% 1

“The first year I enrolled in the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) program, my farm’s tile water had higher nitrates than the stream where it drained,” says Tim Smith, Iowa farmer.

Conservation practices save money, increase sustainability  1

To be sustainable, Rulon Enterprises is a low-cost producer, increases soil organic matter with never-till and other conservation measures, pattern tiles to speed drainage and is a high-price seller.

Conservation offers sustainable, competitive advantage in farming 1

Rulon Enterprises capitalizes on advanced, environmentally beneficial practices to build soil health and sustainable profits. His family’s emphasis on soil health and disciplined, financial management and marketing makes them extremely competitive in today’s lean environment.

How to profit with $4 corn and $11 soybeans

Count on half the revenue this year and next compared to 2011-12, advises a leading farm management expert. Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois Extension farm management economist, lays out a variety of $4-4.50 corn price and $11-11.10 soybean price scenarios to guide your decisions.

New nitrogen reduction trading program 2

Similar in concept to previous Delta Institute carbon-offset trading that rewarded landowners for sequestering carbon in plants and trees, the new Delta Nitrogen Credit Program will pay qualified Corn Belt corn farmers who reduce their documented N rates. These credits will be purchased by The Climate Trust.

How to view nitrogen prices given tighter profits 2

The good news is that your nitrogen (N) prices will decline; the bad news is that corn prices will likely fall further.

Nitrogen outlook, spring 2014 1

Remember the childhood game of limbo, where you bend over backwards to fit beneath an ever-lower pole? That’s what nitrogen prices are doing to chase falling corn and natural-gas prices.

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!

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