Editor's Notebook: Keeping Score by Our Crop Years

March 26, 2011 12:55 AM

100 Ideas charlene profileFrom the time I was a tomboy growing up as a daddy’s girl, I marked time in crop years. Not much has changed, other than the decades that have flown by. At Farm Journal, we follow that same rhythm. We plan a new "crop" of stories and events each spring—and spend the rest of the year making them happen.

Early in my career, when I was a newbie reporter at Successful Farming, a farmer in Nebraska told me something that drives me to make every piece of content as perfect as possible. "I figure I only have about 45 crop years and that’s only 45 tries at getting it right," he said.

That bit of wisdom brought me up short and stuck to me like a cocklebur. He was spot-on. My drive to provide serious information for serious farmers drew me to Farm Journal, and 23 years later I’m still motivated to help that Nebraska producer—and his fellow farmers and ranchers—to get it right. That commitment is what motivated me to start the Farm Journal Test Plots with our field agronomist, Ken Ferrie.

This spring, we will plant our 20th crop of data. We’re largely raising corn and soybeans, but we harvest more than grain. The data and information gleaned can help all of us make the most of
every crop year.

From day one, Ken and I made it a point of pride to keep current with cutting-edge technology. Farm Journal Machinery Editor Margy Fischer helped carry out that mission this spring when she worked with Ken and his crew to map fields in a multitude of ways. Check out the story.

If you have something you would like us to test in our plots, shoot me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you!

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