crop planning

Ensuring you have the right products and tools to raise a bountiful crop is a year-round effort. Success takes attention to what you need at the farm gate all the way to the world marketplace for things like herbicide and fertilizer.

There are always risks in raising a crop, and some of them are out of our control. But you can take steps to mitigate the risk of your crops falling short of peak yield by having the right crop protection products when and where you need them.

Get organized and create your plan

That effort starts with being organized and creating a plan for what your crops will need, even if it’s months in advance. And with lingering product supply availability issues, it’s a good idea to develop a Plan A, Plan B and so forth.

“Mistakes we make with crop inputs from planting on can negatively impact yield. Get organized, double-check your inventory, read all product labels and make sure you received what you ordered for the whole crop year,” said Nationwide Agronomy Specialist, CCA and farmer Derek Hommer. “If you have any gaps in things like seed, fuel, chemical or fertilizer, be ready to adjust your plan to make sure you’re not losing yield potential.”

Don’t get lax after planting

Getting your crop in the ground in the spring is the top priority. But don’t let it take your full attention. Though that’s easier said than done, this is another area where good planning helps.

Other early-season fieldwork can sometimes take a backseat to planting, especially when weather tightens its timeframe. As you develop your crop year plan, make sure you account for every job.

“With so many important tasks requiring attention to detail, it can be easy to get wrapped up in planting and fall behind in other areas. This is where strong preparation comes in,” Hommer said. “When you have the inputs for that next step lined up and equipment ready to go, you can more seamlessly move from task to task.”

Time is always tight in the busy planting and early fieldwork timeframe. The same is true both your own farm’s workforce and any custom operators you hire. “Stay in good communication with those doing work for or in your operation. If you are hiring custom work, those doing the work will be busy as well,” Hommer added. “Give them some lead time to help them manage their workloads.”

Stay on top of potential field issues

Once your crop is in the ground and your attention focuses on early-season field operations like fertilizer and herbicide applications, make sure you’re staying on top of any potential issues in the field so you can act quickly when specific agronomic needs arise. Being proactive with crop scouting helps identify problems early and enables you to quickly secure the products you need to solve them.

“Once your crops are planted, you need to be thinking about how to keep that yield potential as high as possible. The best way to do that is by diligently crop scouting. Keep an eye out for nutrient deficiencies, weed competition, insect damage and disease pathogens,” Hommer said. “When you identify a problem, lean on your trusted advisors to help you tackle it. Keep in mind this sort of team approach requires good communication, from planning to execution.”

Nationwide employs exceptionally talented and experienced people from agricultural backgrounds, including on-staff agronomists, engineers and safety professionals, to provide the support you can trust to protect your next.

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