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The 2020 planting season has gotten off to an exceptional start for most of the United States, but with erratic economic behaviors in play, that could lead projections to be really good or really bad. At ARM, we’re always looking forward. Although the COVID19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in food supply chains, current production is charging forward with full speed ahead. It’s safe to say that in other regards, this year has shaped up to be just as interesting as its predecessor, which underscores the need for farmers to focus on the coming months just as much as the present. Here are seven factors to keep in mind during and after planting season wraps up.

  1. Prevented Planting: If prevented planting exists or potentially exists, stay in frequent contact with your crop insurance agent. Specific discussions as planting progresses can help you maximize benefits. Items such as but not limited to the following are relevant:
    • Eligible Acres by crop and county, total eligible acres by county
    • Guarantees per acre
    • First and second crop planting opportunities
    • Plant dates, late planting periods and restrictions about following first crop with a potential second crop
    • Yield impacts for the following year
    • Farm program impacts
  1. Planting Progress and Record Keeping: Having a well-defined and written plan of your field operations is important as well as contingency plans to keep your team aligned as the season progresses. Keeping up with hybrids, plant dates, acres planted by day. Recording these so they can be shared with multiple parties as planting progresses and is completed (FSA, Crop Insurance Agent, Consultant, etc.) Has your agent provided you with a tool to do this?
  2. Safety: As the old saying goes, “Safety is no accident.” It’s something that always seems so second nature to most, however being aware of your surroundings can be the difference between a smooth day in the field and a trip to the emergency room.
  3. Maintenance: What’s the schedule? Who is performing daily checks? What’s the getting started and shutting down process?
  4. Field to Field: What is the process? Who is helping? What precautions can be taken to ensure safe movement of equipment?
  5. Taking Care of The Team: Who is providing field support and making sure that people get adequate rest, nourishment and employees are cared for during the busy time?  Is there someone there to hold the boss accountable to say, ”Enough is enough, time for a break?”
  6. Next Steps: Are you thinking about the next step as soon as the planter is parked?  Does post-season maintenance wait until the risk of replant has passed? What is the next field operation and are we prepared for it?