You’re making history! In your hands today is the 30th anniversary edition of this once-a-year guide to the newest in specialty products for America’s farmers. It was borne 30 years ago this month by the editors of Farm Equipment (the business magazine for farm equipment) as THE vehicle to spread the word on the newest specialty products to large “early adopter” farmers like you while at the same time helping suppliers and dealers gauge markets, applications and interest. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that this publication’s coverage and unique inquiry system was instrumental in elevating the innovations the niche companies continue to unveil, well before their advantages hit mass-manufacturers’ radars.

While the unique product formula has stood the test of the time, there’s been numerous changes to the magazine. They include the addition of exclusive and “deep” content, the expansion to include sections for specialty seed, fertilizers and chemicals, and the exclusive coverage of the AE50 Awards (the engineering community’s recognition of new product design).

And I’m excited to share another milestone in our history. On the cover is a small, but significant, change in nomenclature. It’s now officially known as Farm Innovations for Today’s Top Farm Operator. Formerly associated as a catalog, “Innovations” is a more accurate identity for a staff rallying around the job of finding the newest specialty products for the coming year. 

Due to several factors, the smaller, specialized products often fail to receive the same attention as do the major lines and conglomerates. But that’s our mission and “sweet spot” of this publication — to inform you of the latest advancements, regardless of who provides them. History shows that the greatest advancements in farming come from the smaller, narrowly focused suppliers who must innovate to compete. Companies like McFarlane, Ag Leader, Montag, Martin, Yetter, Art’s Way, Calmer, Sure Crop and others. Sure, the “big players” often release their own mass-produced versions at some point, but we also know you can’t afford a single-day’s wait when it comes to employing an advantage ideally suited to your operation.

There’s another intersection of exciting opportunities with cover crops, the focus of our special report that appears on p. 31-76. With interest and acres at record highs, cover crops are being identified as the next big movement in ag. And our ag media business (with decades of experience reporting and events in conservation tillage, machinery and precision technologies) is doubling-down to help farmers like you navigate this area. 

So, as you’ll see on this site, we’re offering you an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best minds on cover crops and how to make the practice work on your land. Just as my dad, Frank, did 47 years ago in the early days of no-tillage, we’re unveiling an array of resources for you early this winter, and you can ensure access to all of them by registering today at Don’t wait ... There’s a market-first opportunity in March — and you can participate right from your farm office.  

As always, let us ( know how we can improve our work for you, the American farmer. It’s an honor to serve you, and we’re wishing you and your families all the best in 2019 and beyond.