Editors' Notebook

Webinars on Tap

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
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Given this crazy crop season, everyone is trying to get a handle on what the upcoming harvest will bring, both on our own farms as well as on the national landscape. Of course, we all wonder where the markets will go as harvest progresses.

In addition to our daily attention to such things, we have two special online events coming up to specifically talk about the harvest and the crop of 2019.

Sept. 4, at 12 p.m. CDT, DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman will discuss grain marketing tips as we head into harvest season. Hultman will also share his market outlook going into winter, and some things to think about for 2020. If you've ever participated in Todd's webinars, you know that he mixes a bit of theory with a lot of real-world experience of what kinds of marketing strategies work depending on the market conditions facing us.

Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. CDT, we'll focus on crop development and what that portends for the Sept. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. This webinar will feature the crop modeling gurus at Gro Intelligence, who will share some of their insights into how corn and soybean crops appear to be yielding. We'll also have DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson on hand to discuss how weather patterns are shaping up. There is a lot of anxiety about late-maturing corn and soybeans and what even a normal-timed frost might do in various parts of the country.

If you followed our DTN/Progressive Farmer 2019 Digital Yield Tour, which took place Aug. 12-16, you're familiar with Gro. If you missed it, Gro is a New York-based company creating data analytics for agriculture. Gro builds proprietary crop models that use satellite imagery, soil conditions, weather and other crop and environmental data to produce crop health and yield prediction numbers and visuals.

You can see more about our yield tour here:


We're very excited to continue the information-sharing partnership with Gro. While there still is validity to on-the-ground yield sampling, even the most comprehensive crop tours can only examine a tiny fraction of the fields out there.

Gro's models, which rely on satellite imagery and a host of other factors, have the advantage of peering down on every field in every county. Combining that overall look with powerful artificial intelligence, which "learns" how to weight certain conditions over others, and you get a touchpoint that is truly hard to match.

I know, it's easy to discount computers that have never stepped in an actual field. In the past two years, Gro's August corn and soybean yield predictions have been within a bushel and change of the final USDA numbers released in January. I've been tracking the ups and downs of satellite imagery and crop modeling for a big chunk of my 35-year career. And the Gro models are the real deal. So much so that their outlooks are typically only shared with high-end grain trading companies, and for a tidy fee.

That's why we're so pleased to work with this group to offer a rare look into those insights. Come to this webinar ready with tough questions. Gro Senior VP for Financial Services Steve Matthews and Senior VP for Agribusiness James Heneghan will be on hand to talk about the models, discuss what goes into their view of the world, and discuss what they've learned as they watch the models react to a crop year that has thrown everyone for a curve. I think you'll find them both down-to-earth and ready to discuss the details of what their models are predicting, and what areas they're still learning about.

To register for either of the webinars, which are free to all, go to https://www.dtn.com/….

On that web page, you'll see two additional crop-related webinars coming up in September, one following the Sept. 12 WASDE report and the other after the Sept. 30 Quarterly Grain Stocks and Small Grains Summary reports. Both of those will feature DTN analysts discussing our take on the reports and what they mean to grains markets.

Webinars have become a key way we can get critical information out to readers and customers. We also really enjoy the interactive feel, hearing questions from you all first hand.

Hope you'll join us for at least one. I think it would be worth your time to hit all four.

Greg D. Horstmeier can be reached at greg.horstmeier@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @greghorstmeier



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