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Winter: Time to ponder

Ahh the doldrums of January are upon us. Time to ponder your agronomic practices, tinker with equipment and fine-tune the business plan given the current state of commodity prices. To that end, here are several topics.

Best ‘Think Different’ stories of 2014. As we did in 2013, check out our four-part list of the best stories from Corn+Soybean Digest during 2014 (find them all at Part 1 showcased stories on crop photos, data to manage field zones, advocacy with consumers, ASA Conservation Legacy award winners, tracking variable-rate cost per bushel, and more.

Part 2 reexamined drainage tile as irrigation, high-yield corn trends, how tillage increases compaction, how conservation sustains profits, and more. Part 3 focused on seeding cover crops, fall or spring strip-till, soil maps drive data success, shift to strip-till, how tillage impacts herbicide-resistant weeds, split nitrogen pays dividends, strategies for lean years, and more. Part 4 showcased fresh thinking, residue breakdown myths, soil health tests, top soybean yields, no-till saves nitrogen costs, farmers promote GMOs, and more.

Big farmer impact on communities. As in the past, we recently received a few calls and letters about stories we have written that showcase some larger farm businesses. These farmer-readers vent to us about how these farmers are coming into their communities and jacking up land rental rates without supporting local ag retailers and the local community. In the same breath they can’t believe local landlords who take their big money, forsaking local farmers’ money.

While we understand this frustration, we showcase farmers based on interesting practices, research, data or business perspectives – not really concerned about farm size, since we feature a wide variety. Our hope is that no matter the size, you can glean tips from any farmer to benefit your business.

Why Climate Deniers?” editorial. My December column struck a raw nerve with some readers who had some very unprofessional words for me. You can read some of these letters online. I respect their opinion despite our different views of climate science.

No research is absolute, and we will strive to present sound science, sound agronomy, solid data decisions, the best conservation and soil health practices and much more in the pages of this magazine and on Not everyone will agree, and not every practice will fit every field or crop. I sincerely hope we help you to Think Different, be more open-minded, and pick up some ideas that benefit your farm business.

CSD milestone birthday this year. Toward the end of 2015, Corn+Soybean Digest will officially celebrate its 75th birthday. Look for upcoming features this year as we stroll down memory lane, as well as look to the future of corn and soybean production.

I sincerely thank you for reading, for viewing more valuable content on, for subscribing to our newsletters, and for being willing to Think Different.

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