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Across the Editor’s Desk: Profiting by spending

LOREN KRUSE 05/03/2012 @ 1:46pm Editor-in-Chief Successful Farming

This month's cover story looks at the economic and other benefits of using fungicides.

I hope as you read this that your planting progress is on schedule or a little to a lot ahead. I also hope that your soils have been replenished with enough additional moisture to give you confidence in a good start and a boost to momentum of the growing season. If so, I'm sure the corn market has taken notice, too, and most likely has continued to soften with prospects of a strong crop on the way.

Chances of selling this coming crop at any time at last year's higher prices don't seem as likely. One bit of good news is the continued slide in natural gas prices. That should help lower your nitrogen costs on next year's crop.

A wise old farmer once told me early in my career that you can make money in farming by spending money and you can money by not spending money. Your job is to determine when spending is wise, such as using additional crop protection inputs, for example.

Increasingly, more farmers are choosing the bundle of benefits of strobilurin fungicides even with no disease present. “I am a die-hard believer in fungicides on corn,” Rick Ryan of Iowa told Gil Gullickson in this month's cover story, “Spray-on Profits." “There are other benefits besides yield, like standability and ear retention. Those things are not as tangible as yield, but they are critical in my operation. There is easier harvestability, as I can get more bushels through a combine in a day.”

Young artists invited to poster contest

As a parent or grandparent you know all about the great joy you get from seeing your children and grandchildren use their talents exceptionally well. If their talent is in painting pictures, then I hope you'll alert them to a chance to have their work featured as the official poster of 2013 National Agriculture Day.

The Ag Council of America (ACA), sponsor of National Ag Day, is seeking entrants to its National Ag Day poster art contest, which is open to all high school and college age amateur artists. Purpose of the contest is to recognize original artwork of young people that celebrates modern American agriculture.

The winning artist will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Successful Farming magazine, a National Ag Day partner of ACA. Entries are due October 31. For details of the contest please visit www.agday.org online. 

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