Southern Spotlight: For My Wheat People

James Banahan

James Banahan

Last week, I made a case for getting out in your fields and getting some work done now so as to cross some items off your springtime to-do list.  Wheat growers, you might have read that article and felt pretty darn good about things.

Work the ground?  Check.

Fertilizer down?  Check.

Heck, you might be thinking, my crop is even up and off to a great start.

All of this is great news.  But you’re not off the hook quite so easy.  It should come as no surprise to any grower anywhere in the world that there is always something to be done.  It’s one of the charms of our chosen profession.

So what’s to be done?

There’s scouting to be done.  There are insects and diseases out in those fields just asking to be discovered.  We’ve already encountered some army worm pressure in our oat fields, and while the cold weather might let us pass Go and collect $200, it’s worth a note and a look-see.

There are weeds to kill.  Those weeds you see now won’t magically disappear.  And the bigger they get, the harder they are to get rid of.

There’re plans to be laid.  Fertilizer plans to be specific.  Are you going to top dress?  When?  Do you have a variable rate plan in place?  Which product will you use?  How much?  IMG_3797

And if you don’t have fertilizer purchased yet, there’s a meeting to be had with your FSA, of course.

Truly, the list gets pretty long pretty fast regardless of the time of year and the crop in question.  But as winter descends upon us—and fast—the brakes are soon to be put on as well.  A good last spurt of energy for the season will help us enter the winter feeling confident about our operations, and later, will help us enter spring feeling ready and prepared.  As the days grow short, it’s easy to let them get away from us, but let’s make the most of the daylight left to us in 2014.