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August 2012 Archive for From the Editor

RSS By: Brian Grete, Pro Farmer

Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete takes time to talk with Pro Farmer Members about some of the key issues in each week's Pro Farmer newsletter.

Wrapping up Crop Tour

Aug 31, 2012

Chip Flory

From The Editor

August 31, 2012

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

It's been a whirlwind at Pro Farmer for the last three weeks -- final preps for Crop Tour... then hitting the road for the Tour... and wrapping it up this week with analysis, more coverage and a final interview on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning. Now it's over for another year. Frankly... it feels like we got into the final prep yesterday and it's already wrapped up. Crop Tour time flies by...

It was a great Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, and the credit goes to the scouts. Once again, even rookie scouts realized that assessing crop size is almost a side benefit of the Tour. The real benefit comes from the people they meet, the conversations they have and the relationships they build.

As you can see in this week's Pro Farmer newsletter, we're more concerned about being too high with our corn yield estimate than we are about being too low. We looked at a very "weak" corn crop and any rain and wind at this time of the year on this crop will leave even more bushels on the ground. We can't afford that this year.

On soybeans, we briefly mention the downside risk on soybean yields in this week's newsletter, but the downside risk is real. And soybeans can't afford to lose another bushel any more than corn can afford it.

There is one last piece of Crop Tour coverage that's worth watching. If you didn't see this morning's AgDay, you need to give it a watch when you get a chance. Just follow this link and click on the arrow to play the show. Our partners at AgDay did an excellent job of showing what the Crop Tour is all about.

That's it for now...

Have a great Labor Day weekend! If you're getting started with harvest, be safe!

To join Pro Farmer, click here!

Ready to Hit the Road!

Aug 17, 2012

Crop Tour Kickoff Special

We're ready to hit the road on the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour!

I'll be heading up the western leg of the Tour again with help from certified agronomist Jason Franck. It's Jason's first Tour, but he's a well-experienced agronomist with Carson & Barron Farms, Rowley, Iowa. He'll be along to handle the agronomic questions and I'll handle the questions about the Tour and the results as well as lead the evening meeting.

I'll also have Mike Walsten with me. He's a western Tour veteran on the support side. He makes sure all the scouts have a ride from one place to the next and has been busy for months making plans with venues and coordinating the logistics of the western Tour.

And I've got an intern on Tour this year. She's been in the office this week making sure all the tools of the Tour are ready to roll. Emily Flory (last name is not a coincidence) is a Junior in Ag Business and Marketing and Iowa State University and will be missing her first week of classes to help out on Crop Tour this year. On Tour, she'll do some yield sampling and will help coordinate data gathering efforts.

Pro Farmer Sr. Market Analyst Brian Grete will once again lead the eastern leg of the Tour with help from certified agronomist Mark Bernard. Both are veterans of several Tours and are more than qualified to lead scouts through the burnt-up end of the Corn Belt.

Chuck Roth will be along to support efforts on the eastern leg of the Tour and to make sure evening meetings run smoothly. He'll have help from Tour rookie Joe May who will help Chuck and coordinate data gathering efforts in the eastern Belt. And Shelley Eilderts will catch up with scouts in Bloomington, Illinois, to help with meeting registrations and to generally make things happen on the eastern Tour.

Meghan Pedersen will stay back in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to help with data entry and to make sure our daily service, "Pro Farmer Today," is updated with the information marketers need. She'll sprint from Cedar Falls to Owatonna, Minnesota, on Aug. 23 to help with the final meeting and to help Brian and I write the summary of the Crop Tour for the Aug. 25 issue of Pro Farmer newsletter.

Julianne Johnston will also be back in Cedar Falls to work on daily services. She coordinates the data entry process for the Crop Tour and is in the position that when she gets busy, it's just best to leave her alone. Coordinating the data entry and keeping all the route sheets in the right order and headed in the right direction is a bit like herding cats. Helping to keep the cats corralled is Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor reporter Davis Michaelsen. He's a Tour rookie and will be learning the ropes of how the Tour functions at the Pro Farmer headquarters.

Data entry duties fall to Jo Weidman, Carrie Neil and who ever else we can recruit to punch in numbers.

I'm sure I've forgotten to mention somebody, and each person mentioned (and those I haven't) are absolutely critical to make the Crop Tour work. Without each person doing the job they've been assigned for the most hectic week of the year at Pro Farmer, you'd notice. Information flow from the Tour would get logjammed, meeting attendees wouldn't get fed and scouts would undoubtedly be left in Grand Island, NE, or Fishers, IN, or some cafe` along the way!

Crop Tour is a team effort -- and I thought you should all know how much effort goes into this industry event.

The western leg of the Tour will run 9 routes each day with a total of 45 scouts.

The eastern leg of the Tour will run 12 routes each day with a total of 60 scouts.

Hopefully (and prayerfully) we'll all make it to Owatonna on Aug. 23 accident-free and full of newly discovered information. And -- without a doubt -- we'll all have some new friends made in Midwest corn and soybean fields!

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