Top Crop Manager

Introduction: Oh brave new world

To say it was an interesting spring was something of an understatement.

October 9, 2008  By Ralph Pearce

To say it was an interesting spring was something of an understatement.

News from across the country and around the globe has been focussed on issues
that are either too complex to be over-simplified, or have been so thoroughly muddled as to frustrate even the most patient of news seekers. Reports of ‘skyrocketing’ food prices, the ‘food versus fuel’ Perfect Storm or food shortages in other countries have been a flashpoint in many urban daily newspapers, not to mention a steady diet for those living on headlines. They may spark lively debates on opinion-editorial pages or on talk radio, however they do little to increase the bank of knowledge for the average person.

Lively debate does not automatically make it informed.


As many of you head to the fields to begin harvesting this year, consider helping to bridge that gap. Help make a difference. Time may be a rare commodity but growers for the most part, are the best ambassadors for the agri-food industry.

And it is a unique opportunity to deconstruct myths and create a more accurate reflection of agriculture. Granted, the challenge is to entice urbanites, be they reporters or residents, to come calling at the farm with questions at the ready. Whether they believe what they hear is another matter.

But where there is a will…

Speaking of which, we have come through our own period of transition with a considerable amount of will power. And at this time, I want to add my own note of thanks to Bruce Barker. His title with Top Crop Manager may read ‘Field Editor’ but the value of his contributions and the wisdom of his counsel go far beyond mere words. Just as I would say I hope that urbanites would come to recognize the wealth of resources and information they have on farms just a short drive away, I hope you realize the quality and depth of experience Bruce brings to this publication.

In the short time I have been editor, I have come to recognize and appreciate it myself.

As he always does, Bruce has put together a worthwhile line-up for our July issue, with timely coverage on diseases like clubroot in canola, and management practices including disposing of leftover herbicides.

Here’s to a successful harvest season to complement that interesting spring and what is hoped to be a gracious yet productive summer.

Ralph Pearce


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