How to Stop Second-Guessing Your Spring Plans
Is everyone second-guessing their 2021 planting choices…or is it just me? It seems like every year when things start to warm up, we prep the equipment only to have a lull where we wait for the fields to get fit. That lull leads us to start asking questions that we answered months ago, like:
Are we sure we want to be 50/50 on corn and beans?
Are we sure we want to put that field to corn?
Is our fertilizer, chemical, or <fill in the blank> plan still the best course of action for us?
It’s normal for your wheels to start turning while you’re waiting for planting conditions to be just right – but you don’t need to drive yourself crazy questioning every decision! Here are some tips to help ease your mind, so you can rest up before things break loose.
#1: Schedule time to review your plan for the crop season.
Often these nagging thoughts or last-minute ideas pop up at the worst time (think: when you’re under the planter or in the middle of the night). Scheduling dedicated time on the calendar to review your plan can help. This is something my husband and I like to do together to make sure we didn’t miss anything and to make sure we’re on the same page, so there are no surprises in the middle of spring that could have been avoided.
#2: Review your plan with your ag retailer(s).
Your ag retailer(s) or local cooperative may be a vital partner in your cropping decisions. By talking with them and making sure there isn’t any last-minute data that you should consider can make you feel better about getting started. This year, my husband took our four-year-old son to listen in on the meeting. On the way there, my son admitted that he was nervous because “he had never been to a meeting before.” My husband reassured him that this was going to be a fun meeting that helps us feel confident going into the start of planting!
#3: Don’t be afraid to change things up.
Keep in mind that your current plan was determined last fall or over the winter, based on the best information you had at the time. That being said, if you get new information, it's okay to call an audible when the data says you should. First, check with your team and make sure everyone is on board with the change. Second, check with your suppliers. Make sure they have the seed you want to swap out or the new/different product on hand, and that you won’t be penalized for switching. If the weather is changing your plan, do your best to make sure it’s as agronomically sound as possible. We usually (hopefully) only get one chance to plant this year’s crop and need to make sure we are giving it the best start we can provide.
Many of the readers of this blog tend to be pretty analytical, so you know that good data doesn’t lie. Try to incorporate as much information as possible into your decision-making, and don’t be afraid to do additional research to make sure the plan you have is still best for your operation. That said, sometimes we all just need to take the time to reassure ourselves that we didn't rush the process the first time. Comment below to let us know what your plan of action is when doubt starts to creep in about your plan – and good luck with #plant21!