About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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An Office With a View

Featured Article

By Andy F., Student Ambassador & Summer Intern

Andyselfie
Out scouting corn in Lincoln, DE

The life of an intern is full of surprises at every turn. We are taught from our first days at orientation that to succeed at Monsanto we need to have agility – to be able to adapt quickly to what is laid before us. I learned the importance of this last year during my first internship with the company and was excited to get back to the fast paced life of a summer intern.

As a Missouri native, my first few weeks here in Pennsylvania have been filled with meeting new people and exploring the East-Coast culture. The territory in which I work mostly covers Delaware and Maryland, which offers a completely different view of the agricultural industry than that to which I am accustomed  in Missouri. One similarity that all agriculturists seem to share is their general willingness to help someone who is new to the industry. Every retailer or grower that I have met during my time with Monsanto has always taken the time out of their day (which is busier than most people, I can assure you) to talk to me about their operation, and help me understand what progressive agriculture truly is.

Andy walking fields
Walking the fields

My FAVORITE part of being a summer intern is getting out in the field with growers every day. You learn that being a District Sales Manager (DSM) means working outside just as much, if not more, than in the office.

Most of our day-to-day meetings take place while scouting someone’s crops. I’m an outdoors type of person, and I couldn’t imagine a better view from my office than the one I get while out looking at fields!

Andy plants tough emergence
Here are several plants that had emergence problems due to compacted soil.

So far this summer we have seen a few different things while scouting, due to having such a varied territory. A common problem that we are seeing is poor emergence. We found that several of our growers’ fields were planted when they were wet. Several days after planting, the soils quickly dried due to a lack of rain so a crusty layer developed on top of the field. When the plants germinated and started growing, they couldn’t push through this compacted crusty layer, and in some spots they never came out of the ground! Luckily, there were only small pockets of compacted soil on each field, so most of the crop emerged. Some growers chose to go back and “spot plant” in those areas.

Andy shallow seeds
This seed was planted extremely shallow (~.5″) Many of the other plants were dug up and eaten by birds!

Along with talking to growers and scouting fields, I have been tracking several of our test plots with the Climate App. Our team is going to use the accurate precipitation data that Climate gives us, along with my observations of the plant’s growth stages each week to see how rainfall affects each hybrid. I have also been working on my specialty project with the Acceleron seed treatment products.  I have been meeting with both Acceleron dealers and growers to talk about their impression of the brand and where they would like to see it go.

Already, this summer is shaping up to be one of the most rewarding learning experiences of my life. I know that I, along with all of the other interns, are thankful to Monsanto for giving us this opportunity to experience global agriculture firsthand and prepare for our future careers.

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