Prepare for Planting by Making a Plan B

Published on: 22:25PM Jan 07, 2016

It seems like just yesterday we were gearing up the combines for harvest, but here we are thinking about planting season already. While planting remains a few months away, it’s important to make sure you’ve got your machinery and more in tip-top shape and ready to go.

Jeff Coulter, University of Minnesota Extension corn agronomist, advises farmers to make a plan now for 2016. “Think up various scenarios. When will you start? What is your plan for rain and other delays?” he says. “Have a plan A and B and put equal effort into planning each.”

That’s important because for many farmers, it seems like plan B is all too often flying by the seat of their pants and reacting to situations, rather than planning for them. But this year is challenging enough already. We’ve got low commodity prices, uncertain weather and limited time, so here’s your chance to plan ahead to maximize your efficiency and returns in 2016.

To develop your 2016 planting plan, think about the past few years. Ask yourself the following questions:

What were your hiccups?

How could you have been more prepared?

Did you have enough labor?

What other potential challenges could come during planting?

How will you address them?

Once you have your answers, you’ll be much more prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

While you’re planning consider “7 Savvy Planting Tips” to make sure you have all of your equipment, products, labor and other materials lined up and ready for planting so you can start maximizing your yield potential before your corn or soybean plants even come out of the ground.