This is the January 2010 issue, which is obviously a bit old, but given the U.S. Supreme Court's decision one week into my ride in Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms weed control was exactly what I was interested in learning more about.
Anyway, I just finished reading this magazine cover to cover, and have four main take-aways:
- With the ongoing spread of weeds resistant to Roundup (i.e. glyphosate) weed control is much more complex than it used to be: choices as to pre-emergence mixtures, post-emergence mixtures, whether to alternate strategies in successive years, whether to switch to a different seed type which can be paired with something other than Roundup, the list goes on and on :/
- I had NO idea so many different marketing tools, contract types, and options concerning sale time were available for crops, and which apparently as a grower you need to actively select amongst and subsequently manage if you want to maximize profit per bushel just as much as you want to maximize bushels per acre: the "Number Cruncher" column concerning maximizing soybean profits on page 33 of this magazine just blew me away.
- I didn't realize to what degree the same crop is often treated differently based on differing soil conditions within the same farm, including but not limited to tailoring fertilizer mixtures and even which seed strain to use.
- A January poll on the question "What do you like the most about farming?" yielded results which might surprise many life-long city dwellers: a clear majority said "independence," one in five said "growing things," one in ten said "machinery and tools," and one in twenty said "nature."
Concerning 1-3 above, my larger take-away is a renewed appreciation for just how many difficult and technical decisions rest behind each of the seemingly uniform fields I'm passing by every day.