ReachOut: Plans Change

Reachout: Plans Change from United Farmers Cooperative on Vimeo.

Mike Zwingman

Mike Zwingman

Two Fridays ago, I was busy getting ready to take my daughters to my parents’ for Christmas, finding coats, stacking gifts, unplugging appliances—all the regular chaos of rounding up a family for a trip and a party. As I was putting a last-minute braid into one daughter’s hair though, the other daughter passed out face first onto the carpet.

So we went to the ER instead of to my parents.

She was fine. Dehydrated and exhausted from a week’s worth of vacation and playing with friends. But travel was not in the cards for her that evening. In the short time it took her to go from packing to out cold, our plans for the weekend changed.

Plans change all the time: when something goes clank in your combine, when the defense shifts a back up the line, when you call the dog in for dinner and he doesn’t show up. Life, for all of us, all the time, fluxes and shifts. Your plans might change between the time I write this article and the time it publishes. Price reports come out tomorrow. Perhaps in the time it takes you to read one line you’ll suddenly plan to plant more beans. Hell, your plans might change now or now or now.

Today is sunny and not as cold as it might be. It’s a January afternoon. The kind you spend ferretting tax documents out of that pile of papers in the kitchen. Today is also the 90 day mark until corn planting will begin. It’s easy to look outside, to look at the calendar, and think, 90 days = plenty of time. But I tell you friends, now is the time.
Where are you in the progression of your plan for the coming growing season? Now is the time for a check in, for recalibration, if necessary. Do you have a planter prescription written and checked out? Do you know the when and where of your seed placement?

If all seems well and on schedule, have you shared your plan with your FSA?
If something seems amiss, or if you’re second guessing, or if you’re staring dumbfounded at the screen right now and thinking planter prescription? then you might share this with your FSA as well. Let him or her help you make the adjustments and schedule that will launch you well-prepared into planting.

Header1Your attention to your plan now, when all is still cold and still outside, and your immensely important communication with your FSA will prevent stress and panic all around come spring when there is much to be thinking about and little brain space left for yet another last minute change. Planning at this stage in the game will set you into planting with confidence and peace, so when those unforeseen things do happen—like a daughter passing out before a trip, or a wicked thunderstorm the hour before you hit the fields for a first pass—you have the clarity and energy necessary to address it best for the success of your season and operation.