Pam Smith

Crops Technology Editor
Pam Smith

Pamela Smith joined DTN/The Progressive Farmer staff as Crops Technology Editor in 2012. She previously was seeds and technology editor for Farm Journal Media. In addition to writing, reporting and photography, Pamela served as the writing coach for the magazine staff. A life-long Illinois native, she started her career as a field editor for Prairie Farmer magazine and has freelanced for a multitude of farm, food and travel magazines.


Pamela is a two-time winner of the American Agriculture Editor's Association Writer of the Year honors. In 2009, she received the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism award for a series on soybean rust. She was the first agricultural journalist to receive that coveted prize, often referred to as the Pulitzer of business journalism. In 2011, she received a second Neal award as part of a team covering the legacy of passing down the farm through the generations. She has also been named the journalist of the year by the American Phytopathological Society (plant pathologists) and was awarded a national food writing award for her profile of Father Dominic Garramone, a bread-baking priest. Five generations of her family farm in central Illinois -- spanning ages of 101 years to 6 months.

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More From This Author

  • Complaints claiming misuse or drift of dicamba herbicide continue to mount in Arkansas. (Graphic courtesy of the Arkansas Agriculture Department)

    Arkansas Dicamba Ban Update

    After a procedural error earlier in the week, the Arkansas State Plant Board on Friday voted to recommend a temporary ban on the use of dicamba.

  • Rigid spray requirements and additional training haven't been enough to keep dicamba from drifting onto neighboring crops and sensitive plants in Arkansas. The state is contemplating further restrictions on use of the herbicide. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    Dicamba Drama

    Arkansas sidestepped banning dicamba for the rest of the growing season Tuesday, but a voting error pulls the question back up again on Friday.

  • More cupped up soybeans are causing the state of Arkansas to consider drawing a harder line on use of dicamba in-season. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Hager)

    More Dicamba Decisions

    The Arkansas Plant Board meets Tuesday to weigh a proposal that would ban further post-emergence applications of dicamba on soybean and cotton this season.

  • Cupping symptoms are the first sign that sensitive soybeans may have been exposed to dicamba herbicide. Yield losses depend on the dose and soybeans hit in the reproductive stage typically suffer more. (Photo by Aaron Hager)

    All Puckered Up

    Soybeans showing the cupping symptoms associated with dicamba damage have been identified in several states, and weed scientists are calling for applicators to take more care in spraying the herbicide.

  • Palmer amaranth can grow up to 2 inches per day, so the 4-inch weed height cutoff for Xtend technology makes for a narrow spray window. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    Scout Weeds Now

    Wet, windy conditions have made spray windows tight this spring, but weed size still matters.

  • The field on the right was planted early in central Illinois and has weathered cold and heavy rains. Will the field to the left (typically corn-on-corn) get switched to soybeans is the question. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    DTN Blog of the Week

    Rain, Ponds and Plans

  • Scouts Rick Horton and Brian Walker examined a Kansas winter wheat crop last week during a crop tour immediately after freezing conditions hit portions of the state. Questions remain as to how it will reduce yields. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    What About Wheat?

    The blizzard that blasted parts of Kansas has growers and agronomists still searching for crop condition answers.

  • To pre-empt antitrust concerns, Bayer has said it is willing to sell the LibertyLink trait and its branded glufosinate business. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    Bayer Willing to Sell Assets

    Bayer has agreed it will sell LibertyLink herbicide and trait business as a way to satisfy regulators to approve the purchase of Monsanto.

  • Wheat scout Terry Selleck, Bay State Milling, examines a decent stand of wheat on a terraced field in central Kansas. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    Winter Wheat Tour - Day 3

    Many answers are yet to come from Kansas wheat fields as scouts on the wheat tour found a crop that varied widely with respect to disease and weather damage.

  • Snow cover still remained in many parts of western Kansas. Rick Horton (left) and Brian Walker dig down to take a peek at what the wheat looks like beneath. (DTN Photo by Pamela Smith)

    Winter Wheat Tour - Day 2

    The second day of the hard red winter wheat tour started in snow banks as they left Colby, but found some nice stands of wheat with more yield potential as scouts wound toward Wichita.

  • Hard red winter wheat tour scouts Rick Horton (left) and Brian Walker (right) dig into the snow to measure wheat in western Kansas on Wednesday morning. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    Wheat Tour Midday Report - Day 2

    Hard red winter wheat tour scouts found a mixed variety of conditions in western Kansas Wednesday morning, but those fields hammered by snow and water need more time to assess how much damage has occurred.

  • Bryson Haverkamp, Kansas Wheat Alliance, examines the crop near Morland, Kansas. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    Winter Wheat Tour - Day 1

    The first day of the 2017 Hard Winter Wheat Tour found variable conditions and lots of questions about how winter conditions will play out when temperatures begin to warm.

  • Scouts wade through a wheat field in central Kansas on the first day of the hard red winter wheat tour. (DTN photo by Pam Smith)

    Midday Wheat Tour Report

    Early reports show fields with yields ranging from 37 bushels per acre to 76 bushels per acre on one hard red winter wheat tour route, with some damage and disease in fields as well.

  • The 2016 wheat crop was a bin buster and wheat scouts pulled the highest ever yield estimate for the Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour. What they will find next week is likely a smaller crop that may have suffered some damage from cold temperatures. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    HRW Wheat Tour Preview

    The Wheat Quality Council's Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour is set to kick off Tuesday with scouts spreading out across Kansas to get a read on crop potential.

  • Purple deadnettle casts a colorful hue over a southern Illinois field north of Metropolis. The beauty has a negative side for farmers. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

    Negotiate the Purple Haze

    Nature gives and takes as winter annuals create a questionable splash of color over the landscape.