From the Editor: Learning – and unlearning
Have you ever caught yourself feeling confident about knowing something, only to subsequently realize you still have much to learn?
Before I worked in agriculture, agronomy was a word I seldom used (and admittedly didn’t truly know the meaning of). So, when I started this job more than eight years ago, I did what any millennial journalist would do, and looked up the definition on the Internet.
“Agronomy is the branch of agricultural science that deals with the study of crops and the soils in which they grow,” according to ScienceDaily.com. Sounds simple enough, right? I learned something new that day and moved along to the next item on my to-do list.
I’m sure you can see where I’m heading with this story. It didn’t take long before I realized there was so much more behind that all-encompassing term. Even a portion of the sentence – “the study of crops and soils in which they grow” – has so many nuances. Who knew there was more to growing crops besides planting seeds into soil, giving them a bit of water and crossing your fingers?
Jokes aside, I’m happy to report I did a lot of learning in those early days of my career in agriculture (and my vegetable garden and houseplants are mighty thankful I didn’t just rely on good luck). But the learning continues every day, and an important part of that learning process is un-learning: letting go of some of the biases and opinions that we continue to hold on to because that’s how it’s always been done. This can often be just as challenging as acquiring a new skill or employing a new strategy.
This issue of Top Crop Manager is our Focus On: Agronomy digital edition, the third in our summer digital-only series of e-magazines. While our content is always centred around agronomy, the stories in this edition zoom in on just some of the nuances behind that word. From seed selection and irrigation to pest updates and weed management strategies, these stories cover small portions of the study of crops. As always, we hope you learn something new – and perhaps you’ll also feel challenged to un-learn some of what you think you already know.