No. 25 Article 2/December 7, 2012

Final Issue of the Bulletin

The 2012 growing season likely will be discussed, dissected, and analyzed for many years to come. The challenges imposed by the extremely dry soil conditions across most of Illinois are almost too numerous to recount, and the residual effects of some of these will undoubtedly persist into the coming growing season. Throughout the entire 2012 growing season, authors for the Bulletin continued bringing readers the most current information and recommendations to optimize crop production and pest management. The ardent followers of the newsletter can rest assured that whatever unfolds in 2013, our dedicated specialists will provide you the most current research results and production recommendations possible.

The title of this article is apt for reasons not everyone knows. Not only are you reading the final issue of the Bulletin for 2012, it is also the last newsletter that will be produced in issue format. For more years than some can recall, the Bulletin has been published 25 times a year, following this cycle: The first issue usually appeared in March, then biweekly issues encompassed most of April; issues were weekly for most of the growing season, then biweekly again toward the end of August. October, November, and December each brought one issue per month, followed by a hiatus until the following March.

While this structure has served the needs of our readers and authors for many years, we believe that the current and future pace of information exchange requires a new format. After the publication of this December issue, the Bulletin will change to a blog format, with new articles posted at the discretion of our authors. So, for example, instead of having to wait until March to share new information with you, an author will be able to post it on the blog immediately; the same will be true during the growing season. I've lost track of the number of times since I became executive editor that new information became available a day or two after an issue was published; now the publishing schedule will no longer constrain the timing of our communication with you.

You might notice a few changes in the appearance of the website for the Bulletin, but many current features will remain part of the new format, and we have plans to add features over time. One feature of the current structure that will be discontinued immediately, however, is notification by email when something new is available. All notifications will now be made through the RSS feed, which has been available on the websitefor the past three years. If you want to know when there is a new post on the blog, be sure to sign up for the RSS feed.

On behalf of all the authors who contribute to the Bulletin, I thank our readers for your continued suggestions, feedback, and interest in the newsletter. Please enjoy the upcoming holiday season with family and friends, and I wish each of you a safe and prosperous 2013.--Aaron Hager

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