When Pro Farmer started in 1973, the flow of market-making information was a one-way street from the farm to grain merchandizers – and merchandizers weren’t sharing with farmers. That’s why an original entry in the Pro Farmer mission statement was to level the playing field for information – to make sure farmers had the same access to supply and demand information used by grain buyers.
When Pro Farmer got the opportunity to be a leader of the already-established crop tour in 1993, it fit too well with the mission statement – we couldn’t turn it down. It was a no-brainer to take it on and to engage the Pro Farmer Membership to build and expand the tour.
On the Crop Tour “must-have” list for the Pro Farmer leadership was immediate access to the results for Members. But for information as important as an objective sampling of corn and soybean yield potential, it was decided in that first year to make the information available to all interested farmers. There was no other way in 1993 to level the playing field for information. (The benefit for Pro Farmer Members is first-access to the editors’ analysis of the data and perspective from outside the tour area that make up the Pro Farmer crop estimate.)
When Farm Journal entered the picture, plans to build on the “immediate availability” of Crop Tour data were very quickly put in motion. With the help of awesome tour sponsors, crowds at evening meetings expanded and overflowed our meeting rooms. We knew – eventually – we’d have to broadcast meetings with results of the data gathered each day to meet the demand for the information.
Now enter COVID-19. On AgriTalk, we’ve talked about how the pandemic is “pulling the future forward.” Technology is being put to use earlier than many expected to create a more-efficient work environment. It’s been “forced” on us all! And for consumers, it’s never been easier to get eyeballs on the information you need.
And you need the information from Crop Tour. USDA doesn’t peel any husks from the objective yield plots for the August Crop Production Report. That means the Crop Tour is the first look at ear development. It’s the first look at pod-set. It’s the first data available to you that includes quantifiable comparisons to years past. Simply put, it’s data with value... information you can use.
For the first time – no matter where you’re at – you can be part of each evening meeting. These meetings include the results of each day of the four-day tour. And it’s real-time information with real-time analysis. And there’s no cost. It’s part of Pro Farmer’s effort to level the playing field.