Production Journal and Editor's Notebook

July 25, 2009 09:36 AM

Editor's Notebook
Our refrigerator at home is crowded with a smattering of magnets holding items we want to keep top of mind. Tucked in with the kids' artwork, sports schedules and photos are articles we've ripped out of magazines. One glance at that fridge, which we fear is on its last leg, tells me that my old journalism teachers knew what they were talking about when they referred to refrigerator journalism as "news you can use” or information you want to keep. At Farm Journal, we call it service journalism.

As fast as the world moves these days, you can't have too much valuable information. And there's no substitute for seeing and hearing for yourself. That's why we're stretching beyond our publications and investing more time and resources in top-shelf events.

The lineup on page 11 means you can pack your bags and keep moving in the months ahead—to take advantage of the hands-on learning we have on deck. The fun starts at the end of August when we host a one-day Corn College for spillover crowds from our July event.

Two of the other events—Marketing Rally and Ag Connect Expo—are new to agriculture. Held in Chicago, the world's center for grain, Marketing Rally offers a chance to learn from today's brightest marketing minds—all in one place. It's a historic event you won't want to miss.

I'm also incredibly proud that Farm Journal Media is hosting several educational sessions and events at the first Ag Connect Expo, in Orlando, Fla. Destined to be a premier gathering place for agriculture, Ag Connect offers something for everyone. Be sure to look me up when you're there. I'm putting this schedule on my fridge!

--Charlene Finck


Rust Returns With Vengeance
Keep your eyes turned to the South as soybean rust season heats up. Soybean rust got an early start in 2009 after overwintering on kudzu. By mid-June, soybean rust had already been found in five states and 22 counties. Iowa State University plant pathologist Daren Mueller finds it worrisome that rust has been reported in sentinel plots several weeks ahead of previous first finds in Southern states.

Mueller notes that unlike the past few years, there has been ample rain for soybean rust to increase inoculum (spores). Many of the plant pathologists in these Southern states anticipate rust in new places.

What does this mean for the Midwestern Soybean Belt? Here's the recipe that Mueller says could result in potential outbreaks in Iowa:
¡ Successful rust overwintering in the South
¡ Buildup of inoculum early in the spring in the South
¡ Spread of inoculum to locations that can serve as a springboard for rust to get to Iowa (Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma)
¡ Spores carried up to Iowa—probably under heavy cloud cover (as spores are sensitive to light)
¡ Spores arriving in Iowa when soybean crop is before R5 to R6 and when weather conditions are conducive for soy rust infection.
Monitor what's happening at USDA's Web site:


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Mark Your Calendar for These Events

Corn College
Date: Aug. 31, 2009
Location: Near
Bloomington, Ill.

Overwhelming demand for our two July sessions prompted us to host a one-day event right before the Farm Progress Show, which is about 30 minutes south of the Corn College site. Early bird registration at $199 is open through Aug. 21. After that, registration is $249. To register, call (800) 909-3681. For more
information, see

Midwest Crop Tour
Dates: Aug. 16 - 20, 2009
Location: Across the

Widely variable crop conditions have interest running high for the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Farmers are invited to join the tour as scouts,
although space is tight and priority is given to
Pro Farmer members. Call Shelley at (800) 772-0023 for details. Participate from afar by following the tour on Twitter, and "AgDay.”

Marketing Rally
Dates: Dec. 3 - 4, 2009
Location: Palmer House,
Chicago, Ill.

This is a historic event you won't want to miss! Ag's top commodity market analysts are coming together for the first time—to present a melting pot of information never available in one spot. Headliners confirmed at press time include Bob Utterback, Chip Flory, Jerry Gulke, Mark Gold, Gregg Hunt and Jim Bower. Check the new Marketing Rally blog on for complete information, an agenda and the growing list of confirmed speakers. The meeting will include:
¡ the taping of the largest marketing roundtable in the history of "U.S. Farm Report”. Hosted by
Chip Flory and Al Pell, the taping provides an energized format to display the marketing acumen of each of the key experts in a free-for-all discussion.
¡ breakout sessions and the Marketing Expert Expo allowing attendees to learn more about the analysts' strategies and make one-on-one connections.
¡ a panel of producers providing feedback on what they need from analysts.
See the Marketing Rally blog on

AgConnect Expo
Dates: Jan. 13 - 15, 2010
Special Preview Day: Jan. 12, 2010 by special admission
Location: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

The inaugural Ag Connect Expo, hosted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, brings together farmers, products, experts and innovations through exhibits, education and networking—all with a global perspective. In addition to Pro Farmer co-locating a Leading Edge Conference in Orlando, Fla., Farm Journal Media adds to the
offering with the following:
¡ Lessons Learned from Pro Farmer's Midwest Crop Tour, Chip Flory, Pro Farmer, Jan. 13, l:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
¡ Plan for Success Workshop by Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal Legacy Project, Jan. 14, 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
¡ Yield Tips from Corn College with Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist, Jan. 14, noon - 3 p.m.
Register at

Top Producer Seminar

Dates: Jan. 27 - 29, 2010
Location: Hotel InterContinental, Chicago, Ill.

Come join the nation's leading farmers at the popular Top Producer Seminar. With a theme of "Win in the New Economy,” the 2010 conference will explore the economic shifts taking place and help attendees capitalize on the agricultural business opportunities available in this changing economy.
Topics will include a banker roundtable on current credit conditions, risk management techniques,
updates on ag policy and trade, as well as a slew of marketing and outlook information.
¡Registration opens Oct. 1, 2009.
¡Watch for updates and speaker confirmation
announcements at
¡On Jan. 26, the Seminar week will kick off with the 2nd Annual Top Producer Young Farmer Program. The program will include topics that pertain to young farmers and the older generation that is passing the farm on to the farmers of tomorrow.

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