ISU, Iowa Farmer Today Team Up for CropWatch Blog

May 10th, 2007

AMES, Iowa — Crop conditions in Iowa can change rapidly during the growing season. That's why Iowa State University and Iowa Farmer Today have teamed up to launch CropWatch Blog.

The new website features 13 agronomy specialists from Iowa State and industry partners of ISU's Corn and Soybean Initiative. They will post reports of crop conditions, weed problems, and disease and pest threats as they arise in fields across Iowa.

CropWatch Blog, which went live on May 10, is accessible from the home page of Iowa Farmer Today,, or directly at The blog will be continuously updated throughout the growing season, as the crop experts become aware of changing conditions important to Iowa farmers. Visitors to the site can pose questions to bloggers or report conditions in their areas.

The 13 members of the CropWatch Blog team are:

- Palle Pedersen, ISU Extension soybean specialist and assistant professor of agronomy, Ames;
- Roger Elmore, ISU Extension corn specialist and professor of agronomy, Ames;
- Mike Owen, ISU Extension weed specialist and professor of agronomy, Ames;
- Clarke McGrath, ISU Corn and Soybean Initiative partnership manager, Harlan;
- Jim Fawcett, ISU Extension crops field specialist, Iowa City;
- John Holmes, ISU Extension crops field specialist, Clarion;
- Virgil Schmitt, ISU Extension crops field specialist, Muscatine;
- Mark Licht, ISU Extension crops field specialist, Carroll;
- Amy Asmus, owner/certified crop adviser, Asmus Farm Supply, Rake;
- Ryan Lemke, precision ag manager, Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines; and
- Chad Hartzler, seed sales and marketing manager, Tony Licht, regional seed specialist, and Larry Christensen, regional seed specialist, West Central Coop, Ralston.

A summary of reports on the blog will be published in the weekly print edition of Iowa Farmer Today.

The ISU Corn and Soybean Initiative, supported by the College of Agriculture and ISU Extension, focuses on partnerships to better serve the needs of Iowa's number-one-in-the-nation crop growers with science-based production information.

Iowa Farmer Today is distributed to 70,000 farm owners and operators in and around Iowa each week. The staff of 34 includes an award-winning editorial department with extensive knowledge of farming and more than 135 years of journalism experience. IFT also publishes Midwest Marketer, a weekly, tab sized beef publication. Electronic services include Iowa Farmer Today Online, the company's home page, and MarketWatch Online, a twice-daily subscription e-mail newsletter focused on crop and livestock markets. IFT Publications, Inc.'s home office is in Cedar Rapids, with satellite offices in Ankeny, Glenwood, Bloomfield and Maxwell. Iowa Farmer Today is a property of Lee Enterprises.


Kevin Blind, Iowa Farmer Today, (800) 475-6655
Brian Meyer, ISU Agriculture Communications, (515) 294-0706