RALEIGH, N.C. — Are you part of the 55% of Americans who tuned in to hear their first podcast in 2020? Podcasts are one of the hottest new media options with over 1 million active shows on every topic under the sun. If you can imagine the topic, there’s a podcast for it. Or so Jones County Extension Director and new podcast host Jacob Morgan thought.
Crop Sense is Morgan’s new agricultural podcast that provides current, topical expertise on North Carolina field crops. “The information is similar to what’s covered in-depth at a winter meeting, but it comes out during the season and tackles topics that are top of mind for NC growers.”
Morgan started his Crop Sense podcast in mid-May after hearing a similar one in the Midwest.
“I was inspired by a Nebraska Extension podcast I heard. I listen to a lot of podcasts on the road and didn’t see anyone in North Carolina talking about local agronomic topics. So I thought I’d give it a go,” Morgan said. “I like to keep the episodes informal. So it’s like listening in on that great conversational lunchtime Q&A at a producer’s meeting.”
Podcasts like Crop Sense are a rich new format for conveying up-to-date information in a modern platform, much like the recent Extension Zoom webinars, YouTube channel, and virtual event library. But the podcast audio format has two distinct advantages:
- It’s downloadable to a mobile device so it can be played when users don’t have internet access — like in the field or on rural backroads.
- Podcast services provide notifications of new episodes calling attention to well-timed updates.
“Modern farmers need and want information fast and in an easily accessible manner. The Crop Sense podcast is a very innovative approach to providing sound, applied, and timely statewide and regional information in an easily accessible format for the benefit of growers.”
NC State Extension provided the podcast recording resources for Morgan’s Jones County office, but he says the show is relevant for growers across the state.
“We try to cover the whole state, but recognize that there are regional differences in the crops grown and some technique nuances due to soil types. But overall, if you are a corn, wheat, soybean, tobacco, or cotton grower, it’s for you.”
Designed To Be Digestible
Crop Sense episodes are short, snackable 15 to 20-minute segments. “We want to answer specific questions, but keep the topics distinct. That way growers can choose which episodes are relevant to them and which they could skip if they don’t grow a particular crop.”
Most episodes are Q&A style formats with NC State Extension Specialists, but Morgan has also interviewed one area Extension agent and one grower. There are nine Crop Sense episodes to date, and Morgan plans to release one or two per week going forward.
Upcoming topics include soybean concerns, insect and weed concerns from recent rains, and the complex legal issues and critical stop-use dates for auxin. But Morgan says he’ll consider interviewing anyone on any research-based crop topic.
NC State Tobacco Extension Specialist Matt Vann was an early Crop Sense guest. “This podcast fills a void because it provides North Carolina farmers with something they can learn from while doing other things, “ Vann said. “They are not tied to a computer or video screen, and even better, they don’t have to leave the farm to hear timely information that can help them address current issues.”
Press Play For Profit
Morgan is producing the podcast with a clear motive. “Our goal with the podcast is to give farmers peace of mind about the decisions they make. Extension provides unbiased information – that should be reassuring to growers. There’s no financial gain to us on recommendations, so growers can trust them.”
Financial gain is the podcast’s intent, but farmers are the beneficiaries. “We hope farmers see the value NC Cooperative Extension brings. We want to keep them farming … and make it profitable in the long run.”
How To Get The Podcast
If you’ve never listened to a podcast, it’s blissfully simple, and did we mention free? There are a number of podcast providers to choose from, depending on your device and personal preference, but the content is the same from all providers. Almost all podcast content (including Crop Sense) is free for anyone to download. Plus, if you have an Apple iPhone, the podcast app is already built-in.
To find the Crop Sense podcast, search within a podcast app or click one of the direct links below. Once you find the Crop Sense episode listings, make sure to click the ‘follow’ or ‘subscribe’ button to get automatic future updates. Consider sharing the show link with a friend and leaving a review of the podcast. It spreads the word to help others to find it!
Here’s how to directly access the Crop Sense podcast from the major podcast providers.
…or simply ask ALEXA to play the Crop Sense podcast!
NC State Cotton Extension Specialist Charlie Cahoon was a recent Crop Sense guest. “Like our farmers, I have quite a bit of windshield time. Travel is much more enjoyable with a good podcast,” Cahoon said. “The episode Dr. Wes Everman and I did was a great (and timely) conversation about the difficulties of controlling weeds during hot, dry conditions (which we were experiencing at the time). A farmer struggling to make a weed management decision during that dry spell would have found great value in that discussion. I have listened to all the episodes and encourage our entire ag community to tune in.”
Want to Submit a Question or Suggest A Podcast Guest?
Host Jacob Morgan invites listeners or topical experts to contact him with suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-917-1204.
Looking for More Crop Expertise?
Crop and Soil Sciences’ Extension Specialists share field-tested agronomic knowledge and best practices statewide. Follow how our innovations affect agriculture and environmental science by joining our weekly newsfeed.
Empowering NC growers through proven research is just part of how we are growing the future.
–Jennifer Howard, N.C. State University