Are you ready to plant the 2009 crop?
It is a bit hard to believe but there will be seed in the ground in two weeks if 2009 is similar to other years.
Do you have your crop plan finished, or do you sort of make it as you plant?
It is easier to change a plan than make one. You should have a list of each hybrid or variety by field and/or farm. Once seed starts coming in mark on the bag lots where each will be planted. Too often hybrids get planted on the wrong fields. And even more often growers are not sure what was planted where.
When you go through the seed make sure every bag is what it is supposed to be. You do not want to have a non-Roundup Ready bag of seed mixed in with the Roundup Ready.
Make sure you have the right refuge hybrids on the right farms and/or fields.
Record all seed lot numbers in case there is something unexplained this summer. Check the germination and adjust your seeding rate accordingly.
Every bag of seed is graded for a range of germination specifications. For example, in corn, a grade of Canada #1 means a germination rate of 90 per cent or more. But your seed may have 97 per cent germination. You do not need to plant the same population of seed testing 97 per cent germ versus 91 per cent. Do the same for soys, cereals and forage seed.
Is your corn planter ready? The planter not being ready is one of the reasons growers give for not starting to plant early. If not done so already it is time to do so.
Make sure you have good maps for all your fields for your input supplier and anyone who does custom work for you. Even if you have dealt with the same suppliers for years they will appreciate a good map, with 911 numbers and pertinent landscapes. It will also save them a lot of time looking for “the old Thompson place.”
It is amazing how many wrong fields get sprayed/fertilized each year. Each one of these mistakes adds to the overall cost of growing crops. All growers ultimately pay for these mistakes. BF