Editors' Notebook

Counting Down the Top 10

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
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(DTN illustration by Nick Scalise)

OMAHA (DTN) -- At the end of every calendar year, it's easy to sit back and say "that was one for the record books." But in a year that saw a National League baseball team do what for more than 100 years seemed impossible, the year that was 2016 was truly one we'll be talking about for a while. Agriculture had some of its own monumental moments.

DTN editors and reporters have begun to share our picks for the 10 most influential stories in agriculture. You can find the first two in our top stories today; No. 8 will be posted Dec. 26, and the rest through the week until Dec. 30.

Creating that list is always interesting, with everyone bringing in the subjects from their coverage area that they feel are worth remembering. This year there was fairly strong agreement on many of those most-influential occurrences.

It's no surprise that many of our Top 10 stories centered on the farm economy. A fourth consecutive big grain and oilseeds crop, continued high input and land costs and tightening credit lines all put pressure on farm family incomes.

It was a year in which China found a number of ways, beyond the usual soybean imports, to put itself front and center of farmers' minds.

We also saw wild gyrations in the livestock markets. There were an increasing number of pest, weed and diseases to combat, leading up to the Delta debacle over dicamba, a situation that will only get more interesting in 2107.

Oh, yes, there also was the matter of a presidential election, one in which rural America and farmers in particular played a larger-than-usual role. The renewed focus on "flyover country" by major news outlets continues, a focus where DTN has played a more-than-normal role itself as general media outlets reach out to us for an inside look at what makes farmers tick.

We hope the stories provide more than a recollection, as each of these Top 10 subjects will continue to influence agriculture through the coming year.

We welcome your feedback, as well as what you think were the top ag news stories of the year, at talk@dtn.com.

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



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