When I became editor last December, we began a journey steeped in a different philosophy – to find the best "Think Different" topics as well as sources for our stories. Our aim at Corn & Soybean Digest (CSD) is not to change our popular editorial emphasis on maximizing production and marketing for profit. It's all about how we look beyond the norm, beyond the average ways we do things. We all can learn when we push ourselves outside our comfort zone.
Change is always a risk, but fortunately the feedback we have received has been much more positive than negative. One recent case in point is a letter I received from a farmer about last month's column I wrote on "The Tillage Trap" (see page 18). This farmer truly gets it.
Another farmer, who took notice of recent CSD stories that involved tillage and erosion, sent us a dramatic video proving this point during an early-season, 2-in. downpour in central Illinois.
In side-by-side fields, one was tilled usingconventional methods. The runoff israpid and extensive. The neighboring field wasstrip-tilled, and basically absorbed this big rain event. Thevideo also showedsilt-laden runoff mixing with clear water coming out of a culvert. This one-minute videomakes a dramatic case for conservation tillage.
Top 25 Think Different stories of 2012. As we dug back into the story archives for our favorites of the year, we found a good variety of topics and sources that played into our theme. It kicked off in January with topics like responsible tillage, rethinking soil and farmland value, aerial imagery profits and escaped sediment. Other stories last winter discussed corn refuge, international exports, innovative conservationists, benchmarking inputs and intensive crop scouting.
In summer we wrestled with how to define glyphosate-resistant weeds, landlord lessons, a huge section on extreme beans, and cover crops that till the soil. This autumn we showcased healthy soil and profits, micronutrients, extreme no-till, mining data, growing international markets, crop insurance, holistic cropping, better root environment, relearning residual herbicides and reversing erosion by moving topsoil back home.
Your feedback on these and other topics is always welcomed and appreciated.
Farm magazine consolidation. 2013 will bring about change in our agricultural media industry, as our parent company, Penton Media, purchased Farm Progress Media. We are excited about the possibilities of this combined media group, now a leader in reaching U.S. farmers and ranchers.
I sincerely thank you for reading and for being willing to Think Different. Happy holidays, and cheers to a better 2013!