One Final Task

ReachOut: One Final Task from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

by Mike Zwingman

by Mike Zwingman

And here we are: the end of planting season.

Before you crack that beer, friends, or pour the tea or bake the cake or grill the steak, humor me with one final task of planting. Do a little agronomic retrospection.

I asked you before all the activity started to take notes—mental or physical, whatever. I asked you to jot down where your planter went funny and how, where the field looked at you wrong, where something stuck in your craw, over what you lost sleep. Our fields were not planter-friendly this year—they were too hard or too soft and I know that if you have a problem, it showed its stupid face. So now I’d like to hear about all those things that made you say words in the cab of your planter that you wouldn’t repeat in front of your kids or in-laws.

I want to hear what went right as well, of course. That’s the list we’ll toast to. The list of what went wrong is the list we’ll evaluate after we toast, while your crabbiness about it is still fresh. I have a cure for such crabbiness—solutions to your problems.

For example, did your prescriptions meet your expectations? Were things where you liked them to be? Have an issue? Tell me.

What about the combo in your starter? Did it mix and flow to your expectations? Yes? No? Tell me.

Or how about downforce? Did you decide not to go after it this year? Did you feel challenged to find the sweet spot? Tell me about it.

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Because these are all things that we can tweak and fix. With problems like these, the challenge of solving them is not a lack of knowledge or options, but rather a lack of time. We know how to fix these problems—the reason that they go unfixed is because we wait six months to address them and then find that we have no time, or find that we can’t remember what we wanted to fix.

Until, that is, this time comes around next year and we find ourselves dealing with the same crap.

So don’t wait. June is the time! Before you park your planter in the shed for another 11 months!

Blue-Box-e1409667504172The pace of planting was pretty well spot on this year—y’all picked your spots well, which is solid evidence of improvement in the process. So let’s ride this horse into the sunset. Let’s keep the ball rolling toward ever greater improvement while it’s headed in that direction. That means your retrospection now about what can change, and it means your boots on the soil in a few weeks’ time when we can walk your farm field by field and see. With just a month or so of growth in your fields, we’ll be able to tell if your planting depth was uniform, how your residue moved, how consistent was your singulation. All the good stuff. We’ll CSI your planter together.

And then we’ll celebrate, to the end of planting and to a great season, this year and into the future as well.