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A fond look back, and an eager look ahead

"Welcome to change!” That was part of my opening web editorial about this time last year, and in spite of all that has happened, it is hard to fathom the notion that 12 months have passed since taking the editor’s chair from Peter Darbishire.


April 20, 2009
By Ralph Pearce


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Welcome to change!”

That was part of my opening web editorial about this time last year, and in spite of all that has happened, it is hard to fathom the notion that 12 months have passed since taking the editor’s chair from Peter Darbishire. When I consider the changes that have taken place since marking those changes, the addition of so many more grey hairs to my temples only makes sense.

Yet instead of worrying about the price of hair colouring, I am thankful for the extraordinary learning experience I have had handed to me. Learning is its own reward, whether it is the intricacies of new computer software, lessons on how to play the clarinet or some new application in the field. And it is more than simply acquiring new information or a skill set; it is the empowerment that comes with broadening one’s horizons, accepting challenges, and realizing that meaningful and effective change is capable by our own hands.

Much has been made of agriculture’s relative stability in a time of global economic tumult. But when discussing the challenges facing farmers and the long road ahead, there are those who suggest that growers and producers accept those challenges almost by rote, and just “get on with it.” As if they have no other choice.

Yet from my vantage point, I do not see the slumping shoulders that go with meek acceptance or a grim determination to just “carry on”. I see growers willing to learn by attending workshops and seminars. I see them embracing new strategies and opportunities. I see them wanting to empower themselves and overcome any challenges that stand between them and success in farming.

That kind of optimism and “can-do” attitude is infectious, in a good way. And that is what I have seen in the past 12 months. When high priced inputs threatened to gouge the margins of producers, they began to ask questions about minimizing those costs, not by eliminating them but by increasing the efficiencies in their soils and farming practices.

When life gives you lemons….you learn to go beyond lemonade.

So while the past 12 months have been a challenge, they have also provided me with unique opportunities to learn, and go beyond anything I have ever done before. 

 Late April is a special time in Western Canada: the snow is disappearing and growers are preparing to take to the fields for spring seeding. 

Traditionally, this is also the time when Top Crop Manager goes on something of a hiatus and we go back to the drawing board and begin the process of developing storylines we believe will interest you in the months ahead. We attend field days and plot demonstrations, and talk to researchers, extension personnel, company representatives and you, of course, the growers that bring it all together.

As we look forward to a new growing season, I also want to acknowledge the efforts of Bruce Barker and his legion of writers. This past year, I have to come to rely heavily on Bruce’s wise counsel and his dedication to Western agriculture. I know he has earned a tremendous amount of respect in the West, and now I have a better understanding of why. And I look forward to continuing that relationship, as I look forward to serving you, our readers.

Here’s to a great spring, summer and fall!

EDITOR
Ralph Pearce