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A Planting Season Checklist

To Do:

  1. Check those orders of input one more time. Ensure that your seed, fertilizer and crop protection inputs have been ordered and are either on their way or ready to be picked up.
  2. Maintain Your Main Equipment. If things break down, you’ll lose money. The tractor might seem to run fine, but a mechanic’s sharp eye might catch potential hiccups and save you precious time.
  3. Create an Optimal Plan for Planting. Block planting hybrids is a better use of time and money. You will plant big spreads with no stops for changing planter plates, seeds or hybrids. This saves time since you don’t have to mess with seed bags. Organize your seed well. Seed planted early should be near the front of the shed, etc.
  4. Get a Smart Phone. That is, of course, if you haven’t already. With a smart phone you can keep up with the market, get in touch with employees or suppliers via text or email, sync with email, and read PDFs, Word or Excel documents. It can also allow you to find needed web sites with ease. Get a phone that has good service in your area.
  5. Organize. One farmer numbers all his fields and gives all employees a numbered map. That way, all workers know what and where all other worker are working. A short meeting at the start of the day gets everyone on the same page about the work of the day. With many heads, decisions are made better, so talking on a daily basis is very important. Then, throughout the day, keep a list of important things that need addressing.
  6. Train Employees in More than One Job. This is to ensure that no job is dependent on one person. If that person got sick or injured, it could be problematic. All main employees should be trained in all essential jobs. If something happens and your short-handed, hire some extra labor.
  7. Delegate Daily Equipment Inspections. Every day that you go out for planting, one employee checks on the equipment: grease the planter, check pressure spring, hoses, disk opener blades and bearing. If the job belongs to one person, it mitigates the risk that something will get overlooked because everyone thought someone else did it.
  8. Get Supplies Ready. Have replacement belts and filters on hand. Think about all the maintenance or other tools you’ll need for planting season. This is particularly crucial when working far from home base. Consider utilizing a service truck.

 

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