Editors' Notebook

Viral Solutions

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
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DTN and Progressive Farmer teams are ready to continue to provide the critical analysis, insights and data you need to farm through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The past week, ending oddly enough on a Friday the 13th, was one of the most remarkable weeks of our lifetime. In a few days the pace of change, from the huge drops in stock market values to the massive cancellations of major sporting events, closing of recreational parks and shutting down other public activities, gave real meaning to the word unprecedented.

As we've reported and will continue to report, agriculture is coming to grips with the reality of what a pandemic can mean to our industry.

At DTN we take extremely seriously anything that influences market prices or that changes our farmers' ability to profit and provide for their families and for the world.

So, we've taken multiple steps to ensure our teams can continue to provide our customers with the content and insights they need to run businesses and protect families. Those include:

DTN Proprietary Intelligence: Our cash grain, fertilizer, fuels and other price gathering teams are prepared to continue serving up key information and analysis in a timely manner as work conditions and mobility changes. That ensures we continue to have the industry's largest, broadest grain bid database which farmers use every day and which drives our national cash grain indexes and our Six Factors marketing strategies.

Weather and Commodity Content and Alerts: Our weather experts and commodity analysts will continue to monitor conditions around the globe and provide the proprietary daily insight our customers and readers depend on, and to alert you to critical changes as they happen.

Actionable Insights: Our reporting and editing teams are equipped to work regardless of location or conditions. We'll continue to distill myriad activities and actions that will have direct effect on how you farm and the decisions you need to make every day.

There may be a few hiccups. An information piece normally seen via one of our three daily videos might be delivered via audio only if our studios have to be closed. Glitches in someone's home broadband internet supplier might slightly delay a market Quick Take as we work from remote locations.

But DTN has already deeply invested into the systems that make remote reporting nearly seamless as we've prepared for inclement weather and other natural disasters that can alter working conditions.

We've also over time scattered our reporting and analysis teams across the country. That puts them closer to each of you, while also giving us less chance that a communication issue in one location becomes a roadblock to serving up the latest insights and information.

A key part of that depth is our colleagues at Progressive Farmer Magazine. Despite the already monumental task of cranking out that magazine each month, they've pledged support in covering many of the key issues we were tackling even before the pandemic hit.

We may do a little less traveling, talking to more of you via phone or email instead of at your farm shops and desks and kitchen tables. But our interest in your lives, your issues and the insights you can share with your peers, is just as strong.

So we're prepared to still be here, every market day.

Be safe. Wash your hands. Be especially careful and caring around the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems. And let us know how it's going. We're always just at the other end of a phone line or an email box. One of the greatest joys of this job is how connected our DTN customers are with us, how comfortable they are at sharing ideas, concerns and opinions. In these uncertain times, we need that input more than ever.

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

Follow him on Twitter @greghorstmeier



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11/14/2019 | 11:16 AM CST
It's a regrettable hassle, but it helps if you continually pester your local exchange carriers to improve broadband service. Get to know the local technicians and managers - complain to them, not customer service departments.