Spring has sprung and Summer is right around the corner. In most years, the ag industry would be at the tail end of planting and moving into herbicide applications or readying for wheat harvest. As I’m sure you’re aware, this isn’t most years. Here are 5 tips to help you finish out the spring and begin planning for summer.
With the May Crop Progress Report showing only 58% Corn and 29% of the Soybean acres planted across the US, many crop plans have gone totally out the window. Working in agribusiness, we are generally used to being thrown a curveball, but it can be overwhelming when we start looking at what needs done. Start by tackling the smallest part and then build a plan to move forward. Even if your plan changes ten times, you still need a plan. With a large cut in corn acres possible, each bushel will count.
Scouting is one of the most invaluable farming tools we have available to us. Nothing beats boots on the ground observations to gain insight into what is happening with the plant. As the already short window for planting and herbicide applications shrinks further, knowing ahead of time what’s going on in the field can save precious hours and reduce mistakes. Attaching scouting notes to a work order in i21 lets you collaborate with other team members and keep everyone on the same page. If pictures are attached, they can be viewed from anywhere.
As crop plans change, hybrids and chemistry may change as well. Reassessing on hand inventory and future needs is critical. Can you quickly look at product in stock and decide if you’re covered? i21 gives you the ability to do just that. Easily customizable search grids allow you to personalize a view and then save it for quick reporting. When the weather breaks, you don’t want to be the bottleneck. Nobody likes hearing that they must wait for product to arrive. Make sure to circle back to your crop plans, prepays and historical sales to create a sales forecast that will help determine what is still needed.
Did I mention having a plan? Make sure it is a good one. Give your growers a call and make sure you are on the same page. There’s nothing worse than being ready to go and then finding out that the grower went a different direction. A fifteen-minute call can save hours of headache and scrambling. Being able to quickly track who you’ve called and what was discussed is priceless. i21’s CRM module makes it easy to document calls to a grower and add notes about what was said.
5. Stay Positive
Even if you’re in an area like mine that hasn’t turned the first wheel in a field, remember that we can’t always change what’s happening, but we can change our outlook. Growers are already stressed, no need to add to it. Try to think outside the box and come up with a new plan of attack! Even with the organic fertilizer hitting the fan, you can be confident that i21 will give you the business insight to work through your challenges.
Use the setbacks as motivation and instead of reinventing the wheel, you may end up with a better wheel.