Regardless of the weather, when April rolls around it’s time to have your plan in place and spring equipment ready to go. All around you’ll start noticing shed doors opening wide as growers prepare to enter the fields. In this article, we will discuss 3 things you don’t want to miss when it comes to prepping for spring.
Equipment is a fun one to talk about because this is what most of us think of when we say we’re prepping for spring. It also can have a real impact on yield if it’s not properly cared for and prepared. Although planters don’t have engines, they are still complex pieces of equipment.
Farms and ag organizations are talking more and more about reduced tillage and no-till options but for many of us there will still be some spring field work. Inspect your tillage equipment to ensure there is not too much wear or broken pieces before you need to use it to give you plenty of time to order parts or repair it before entering the field.
We couldn’t do spring without our tractors. Check your fluid levels, air filters, and hoses before firing up the engine. After walking through your standard service items, turn the engine on and make sure everything is running properly. It gives great peace of mind to do this before it’s time to actually get in the field because there is nothing worse than being parked when it’s fit.
Fertilizer applicators are sometimes an afterthought to planting, but if you have time before you get in the field, it’s important to check to make sure everything is in good working condition. This little step could make the difference between timely and late sidedress applications, especially with the lead time some parts are taking to order in currently. We use 28% for our sidedress applications and, due to the corrosive nature of the product, we always check the bearings on our applicator. Running the pump to make sure it over-wintered well is usually a good idea, too.
Here at Precision Ag Reviews we spend a lot of time talking about data and its importance. Right before you get into the field is a prime time to ensure you’re doing the best you can to set your entire year up for a year of good data. One of the main issues we see with data is inconsistency when naming fields. Check your field names in your monitor to make sure they match the rest of your data. Take the time to ensure anyone operating machinery knows how much you value clean data and answer any questions they may have about your process.
Do you have your seed and chemistry on hand? If it hasn’t been delivered, or you don’t have a delivery date established you may want to reach out to your retailer. Once you have what product you can store, how do you keep it organized? If you have spent time this winter planning what hybrids and varieties go in what fields, you may want to position the seed in your shed in such a way it’s easy to stick to your plan. If you have one farm you usually get into first, take some time to move that seed to the front so you decrease the risk of planting something else there. Now is also a great time to review your rates and mixing order of chemistry. We like to keep a clipboard in our cab listing each field and our plan for that field, including chemistry rates and seed selection and rate.
Ok, I’m just kidding, but seriously the days are long and sometimes stressful, make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
We wish you all a safe and successful spring season. Comment below to let us know what spring preparations are most valuable to your operation.