Top Crop Manager

From the editor: Photos, planning and the Plant Health Summit

January 3, 2020  By Stefanie Croley

The national December issue of Top Crop Manager features the winning photo from our cover photo contest captured by Harv Hildebrand of Winkler, Man., and submitted with the caption “Scouting.”

There’s something special about December. I’m not winter’s biggest fan by any means, but thoughts of the holiday season, gatherings with family and friends, and a period of rest and renewal before we hit the ground running again in January bring a smile to my face.

Here at Top Crop Manager, our national December issue is marked with a special photo on the cover: the winner of our second annual photo contest, which came to a close this fall. Our team was, once again, flabbergasted by the beautiful array of images that were submitted throughout the growing and harvest seasons. From stunning fields of flax and canola, to photos of the first and second (and sometimes even third) generations of farmers hard at work, to difficult harvest conditions, we poured over nearly 200 entries showcasing the ins and outs of Canadian crop farming.

The winning photo, captured by Harv Hildebrand of Winkler, Man., was submitted with the caption “Scouting” – a simple word with an impactful message. Harv is part of a fourth-generation farming family, and with his brother, Brad, owns Hildebrand Brothers Farming, a mixed-grain operation north of Winkler. Pictured in the photo is Harv’s daughter, Taylor Koetler, who is an agronomist and Certified Crop Adviser. “I try to take every opportunity to get to tag along with Taylor as she scouts the fields,” Harv says.


When you’re planning for the year ahead, your to-do list will surely include tasks like calibrating your equipment and making time for maintenance, and meeting with your dealers, agronomists and consultants to purchase the products that will set you up for success. But a task like scouting – something that should be as obvious of a task as brushing your teeth in the morning – can’t be overlooked. It’s easy to look at the big-picture decisions and solutions at your fingertips, but sometimes, the best way to see what exactly your fields needs is getting down on your hands and knees and taking a good, hard look at what’s going on.

We’ve highlighted a few more of the beautiful photo entries on pages 38 and 39 of this issue, and we’ll be sharing more online on our Facebook page (, on Twitter (@TopCropMag), and on our website ( We love seeing a glimpse of what’s happening in your corner of the world. On behalf of our team, thanks for participating again this year.

As you take some time to rest and enjoy this season with your loved ones, and begin making plans for 2020, don’t forget about the Plant Health Summit, happening Feb. 25 and 26, 2020 at TCU Place in Saskatoon. We’re bringing farmers, agronomists, industry members and the scientific community together to discuss optimum plant health strategies, with topics ranging from plant breeding to disease, insect pests, spraying and much more. Take advantage of the early-bird registration price of $120 and visit for more information.

Thanks for closing out another year with Top Crop Manager.


Stories continue below