Part 3 Planter Prep Series: Schedule Fields Based on Productivity, Soil Conditions and End Results

March 16, 2016 07:32 AM

Use this 5 part series to prep your planter and plan your planting strategy

At this point in the winter, spring can’t come fast enough. Longer days, warmer temperatures and hints of green will be here before you know it. Don’t waste time that could be spent prioritizing and planning for what’s to come and prepping your planter. In tight margins, using your time, resources and inputs wisely is even more important. —Staff report

It can be challenging to determine what fields you should plant first—it’s not as cut and dry as harvest.

  • Your most productive fields should be the priority as soon as they’re ready to plant, Licht says. Consider field history. If you deal with a disease such as sudden death syndrome in soybeans it might be beneficial to wait on those fields. If time is a factor, the more productive fields with less risk should move to the front of the line.
  • The two biggest mistakes farmers make involve soil, says Jeff Coulter, Minnesota Extension agronomist. If conditions are wet and the soil temperature is still below 50°F, it’s a good idea to move those fields down on the priority list.
  • If the grain from a field is used for a specific purpose, such as livestock feed, it might be important to prioritize that field to ensure the supply is available when needed, Licht says.
  • Think ahead to harvest and drying capacity. If you have fields that are habitually wetter no matter how early you plant them, you might push them back since other fields could save you time and money in drying costs, Licht says.
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