Top Crop Manager

Welcome To ‘Change’

“If you don’t try, the only thing you guarantee is never succeeding.”

April 10, 2008  By Ralph Pearce

It’s not a profound statement, I must admit, but it is something of my own creation, and it adorns the bulletin board in my office.  And I have caught myself glancing up at it several times in the past few weeks, as a considerable change in my life loomed (and has since passed).

Actually, I suppose an introduction is in order here. I’m Ralph Pearce, your new editor at Top Crop Manager.
Before you say it to yourself, let me acknowledge that yes, I do have some incredibly large shoes to fill in taking over the role from Peter Darbishire. For many of our readers, Peter was synonymous with Top Crop Manager – and Top Crop Manager was synonymous with Peter Darbishire; there could not be one without the other.

Yet Peter decided to call it a career, freeing himself from the ‘daily grind’ and do… well, whatever he wants to do.

Of course, I wish him well (and that he camps by the phone for the inevitable 1001 questions I’ll have for him in the next six months). And I cannot say enough about his guidance and patience during the past eight or nine years of my apprenticeship. It’s a big change not to see him on a daily basis.

But times are changing. Take the agri-food industry for example. In the past 15 years – nearly the length of time I have been writing about agriculture – change has become a constant in this industry. Recently, it has been buoyed by the sudden rise in commodity prices yet growers steel themselves against the change wrought by cyclical declines, which have decimated the livestock sector. There are the mundane routines of seeding, harvesting and marketing, positioned against a brighter future led by developing opportunities in the health or automotive sectors.

Change is apparent in all aspects of agriculture, from primary production, to processing… to publishing.

Some ‘change-o-philes’ may call this the dawn of a new era, but let’s be reasonable; it is not likely to be all that new. Change may be inevitable, but change merely for its own sake is shortsighted and foolish. I will no doubt, impart my own style to this job, but the course will be stayed and constant where the quality of information in our magazine is concerned. Top Crop Manager will continue to be the resource that you have come to know and expect, with the latest in agronomy, research, trends, trade and technology and management. That much is not going to change, I assure you.

Yet as I said, change is inevitable and when it is for the better, it’s welcome. Which is why we will be enhancing our website with more news, more features and information to complement what we do with the magazine.

There is also a new October edition in the East, dubbed our ‘Early Fall Issue’, with a focus on traits and research. The plan is to offer a glimpse of the ever-changing world of input and output traits, as well as word from the research laboratories on what is yet to come.
I also want to say a word or two about the editorial team we have here at Top Crop Manager.  From Bruce Barker to Donna Fleury to Rosalie Tennison, we have amassed an extraordinary pool of talent and expertise, for which I am grateful. I have come to realize this as I read through the stories they write and deliver (and always on time). By the letters I have seen from readers and those contributing to their stories, I know well the depth of appreciation and trust they have helped create.

Again, despite my title changing, things like the quality and the integrity of this magazine will not. 

One final note is for you: Peter Darbishire always had an open door policy, with me, with his writers and with the readers, too. Here then is another aspect that will not change. I welcome your comments about what we are doing – with the magazine, with the website, with any facet that affects your perspective of what we do. 

Like the statement on my bulletin board, it’s not profound, but it’s part of what I do and how I do it.

   Some people see things that are, and ask ‘Why?’;
   Some people dream of things that never were and ask ‘Why not?’ 
   Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.
                    George Carlin


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