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Corn+Soybean Digest

Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

That popular television quiz show has likely put many of us in our place way too many times. It seems like answering fifth-grade questions would be a snap. Wrong.

When it comes to marketing, it's far from being simple. This magazine is devoted to providing you with marketing and production advice and now with the help of columnist Ed Usset, we've taken it a step up.

Besides his regular marketing advice in the back of the magazine each issue, we're featuring Professor Ed on our Web site,, in a special project called: Back To School.

Each week Professor Ed posts a new marketing quiz question on the Web site, followed by a short video explaining the answer. Then at the end of several quizzes, there's an exam.

Palms starting to sweat?

Don't worry, the whole idea is to help educate you on the intricacies of marketing and hopefully hone those skills. No one but you will know how you scored.

It's fun to do and, frankly, it's generating tons of Web traffic. So log on now and see if you're smarter than you think, or at least smarter than a fifth grader.


Having trouble muddling through all those seed choices for next year? Who wouldn't? Fortunately, nine years ago we were lucky enough to begin publishing F.I.R.S.T. (Farmer's Independent Research of Seed Technologies) reports. They're a compilation of on-farm corn and soybean yield trials designed to help you make wise, unbiased seed choices.

Next month in most issues of the magazine you'll see a special F.I.R.S.T. section devoted to soybeans stitched into the center. And for many of you there will also be a separate supplement included in that plastic bag you'll have to rip open called F.I.R.S.T. for corn.

This year, more than 49,000 corn plots were planted in 28 regions of the country to test yield potential of top hybrids. Almost 10,000 plots in 20 regions were planted to check soybean yields.

“What's important here,” says F.I.R.S.T. founder Kevin Coey, “is finding the better products from regional averages and picking the best of farm site averages.”

So watch for the December issue and check out the data before you make your final seed purchases. As one farmer told me: “These reports are like my bible.”


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