March 17, 2011

Welcome to farmdoc Daily!

The goal of the farmdoc Project has not changed since its inception in 1999--
to provide crop and livestock producers in the U.S. Corn Belt with round-the-clock access to integrated information and expertise to better manage their farm businesses. While the goal has remained constant, the technology available to meet that goal has undergone enormous changes during the last dozen years. Smart phones, iPads, blogs, and social networks are now commonplace but scarcely imagined just a few years ago.

We created the new farmdoc daily site with an eye towards not only the technology people are increasingly using to access information but also the desired form of the information. Information needs to be easily accessible across a variety of platforms (desktops, laptops, and mobile devices) and in a condensed format that fits the needs of busy people with hectic schedules and more than a little "information overload."

The new site uses blog technology, but it is not a blog in the conventional sense of the term. We think a daily newspaper is a better analogy, and hence, the name farmdoc daily. Our plan is to post one new item each day at the site, drawn from the following categories:

1) Original subject matter posts,

2) Weekly outlook newsletters and farm management newsletters,

3) Summaries of research reports, and

4) Announcements of new tools, tool updates, and data.

Original subject matter posts will focus on what we call "Corn Belt farm economics," with an emphasis on management, marketing, finance, policy, law, and taxation issues. This new site will allow the farmdoc team to respond much more quickly and flexibly to these issues as they arise. Weekly outlook and farm management newsletters will be identical to those already posted at the farmdoc website. Posting the newsletters to the new farmdoc daily site will widen the availability of these resources substantially, especially for mobile device users. Likewise, research reports and decision tools available at the farmdoc website will be highlighted.

There are three other significant advances with this new site. The first is that feedback can be submitted to each post, allowing users to suggest comments that will provide other users with additional perspectives. Please see our section on commenting policy for complete details. The second is that posts can be automatically received by signing up as an email or RSS subscriber. The third is that posts can be shared with Facebook users.

We are excited about the opening of this new chapter in the history of the farmdoc Project. Thanks for taking a look and we hope you visit farmdoc daily often.


Scott Irwin
farmdoc Team Leader

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