Editors' Notebook

New Yield Data or New Voices, We're All About Filling in Blind Spots

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
Connect with Greg:
Join us for the DTN Digital Yield Tour, with stories Aug. 7-11, and then for our DTN Ag Summit Series virtual session Aug. 15.

Blind spots. We all have them, some of us recognize them more than others. And I mean the figurative, mental, kind. Not the ones in rearview mirrors or caused by tractor cab pillars.

One of the main functions we attempt to supply at DTN is to help you avoid informational blind spots as you run your farms and participate in society. We deliver the information you want and need. We also work hard to deliver the information you may not know you want or need, to give a peek into potential blind spots.

Some of you who regularly read our pages know that Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M ag economist and father of The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP), peer group mentor and former DTN columnist, passed away last week. In working on a remembrance piece for Klinefelter I was struck by a words I found in a lot of his presentations and published works.

"We all see things through a filter. Make sure yours isn't creating too many blind spots."

In context, Klinefelter was referring to blind spots in business and especially family business, issues. He often hit on the situations or actions that farmers tend to overlook. Sometimes it's because our filters block them out. Sometimes it's because they may be too uncomfortable to address. Examples would be a crop or production method we've long had, but may not be giving the benefits it once did; cows no longer performing up to par, but have a soft spot in our heart and are tough to put on a truck; a family or business member with a similar shortcoming. Not that I'm recommending trucking underperforming family members to the sale ring, mind you.

About the same time I was thinking about Klinefelter's advice, I had a completely separate conversation with a long-time DTN subscriber around the blind spots many of us are creating for ourselves just in the way we consume information. This reader was concerned folks weren't being challenged enough, and worried about the long-term effects of political and social tunnel vision. I promised this reader to work harder to supply a broad, well-rounded view of all things agriculture. And I appreciated his calling attention to a potential blind spot in our offerings.

Speaking of broad views, next week is our sixth annual DTN Digital Yield Tour. Our partnership with Gro Intelligence, and now with help from Farmers Independent Research of Seed Technologies, is all about that. It's so easy to get caught up in "backdoor" syndrome, or thinking the rest of the world is dealing with a crop just like yours. Using Gro's satellite-driven crop models, and on-the-ground reflections from the vast FIRST network, we hope to give a realistic view of just what the national soybean and corn crops look like. Then you can assess your harvest and marketing plans around that bigger-picture view.

The yield tour starts Monday, with an announcement of national corn and soybean yields midday. We'll then follow each day with more detailed predictions and real-world anecdotes from various states Gro includes. On Friday, Aug. 4, we'll have the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report to bounce against those Gro predictions. All of it, we hope, fills in potential blind spots.

On Aug. 15 we'll have our next DTN Ag Summit Series virtual event, which centers around what we saw on the Digital Yield Tour and the events that followed. That kicks off at 8:30 a.m. CDT. If you've participated in our previews Ag Summit Series events, you know host DTN Farm Business Editor Katie Dehlinger and the team bring in thought-provoking speakers and keep the energy high.

We'll meet the current View From the Cab farmers Chandra and Mike Langseth of Barney, North Dakota as well as Zachary Grossman from Tina, Missouri. DTN Crops Technology Editor Pam Smith will moderate their sharing how crops look in their neck of the woods as well as other things high on their business and family radars.

We'll also get an outlook on fertilizer markets from Green Markets Analyst Alexis Maxwell, and our Ag Summit staple DTN presenters -- Ag Meteorologist John Baranick and Lead Analyst Todd Hultman -- to give the latest weather and markets outlooks, respectively. I guarantee you'll learn a lot in a morning. Registering also allows you to view rebroadcasts of the event should you not be able to attend live. But I strongly suggest you make the event live in order to ask the detailed questions you have and add your thoughts to the conversation around the 2023 crop. Perhaps you'll fill in some of our blind spots as well.

You can learn more and register for the free event here: https://www.dtn.com/…

Also, check out this week's Reporter's Notebook video to see an interview done with Dehlinger about the Summit.

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

Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @greghorstmeier


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