Southern Spotlight: Count to Ten

James Banahan

James Banahan

Those of you who know me know that I am not a patient person.  So I can definitely understand some of your frustrations over the past week regarding your wheat crop.  Believe me, I am feeling that same I-gotta-get-something-done craziness that spring brings on.  But.  We all—everyone—just need to calm down a minute.  Count to ten like they taught you in school.

More than a few of you have called me or your Central Valley Field Sales Agronomist or someone like us in the past week to come look at your wheat.  You’re telling us, “By God, it’s dead!” or “We should tear it up!” or “I never should have planted all this wheat!”  You’re worked up.  Here’s why and what to do as you count to ten…

10.  There are ten days left in March.  How many late-March snows have you seen in your lifetime?  I can think of at least three in my thirty years.  Don’t jump the gun—we’re not necessarily past weird winter weather yet.

9.  How many calves do you have yet to get on the ground?  We all know how long they can take and that those old cows just aren’t going to have them until we get some weird weather, because calves just never come on a quiet, sunny weekend, do they?

8.  Take the breather and revisit your plans.  Talk to your FSA about ways to avoid extra expenses and improve your wheat when spraying fungicide.

7.  It takes just seven days for cut worms and other insects to take a good stand of wheat.  If you have areas that used to look good but seem to be going backward, contact your FSA today!

6.  The Jayhawks have been runner-up in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament six times.  (!)  With their latest loss, my bracket is totally busted. Take a second to catch up with the tourney and check out your own bracket, which is hopefully going better than mine.


5.  You planted your wheat five months ago.  How many good growing days did we have between now and then?  Give your wheat a break—some of it is still coming in.

4.  I started working in Kansas four years ago.  I remember that that year was a lot like this one: none of the wheat came up until March.  And we had a pretty decent stand that year.

3.  We’re in the final countdown to the day when your neighbor or your cousin or your neighbor’s cousin  starts to plant corn.   Make sure that you have everything ready to go when the time is right for you and your fields so that planting goes as smoothly as possible.

2.  Whatever percentage of your acres that aren’t in wheat, you could be trying something new on them.  Now’s as good a time as ever to talk to your FSA about the RD 2 programs if you haven’t done so already.

1.  We only get one chance to make this a profitable spring.  Let’s make the most of it by being safe.  Make the most of your count to ten by committing to safe practices as we head back into the fields!