Southern Spotlight: Turn it up to 11

James Banahan

James Banahan

In the series This Is Spinal Tap, the band will have their guitars turned all the way up to 10, but they still want—they still need—just that little bit more. What do they do? They turn it up to 11.

In our industry, we’re fond of saying that if you’re not planning for a crop; you’re planning for failure. If you’re reading this right now, I’m going to put my money down that you’re the kind of guy or gal who’s planned for a crop. That being said, what now?

Well, I say turn it up to 11.

At this point in the season, the moment right before we launch into full on, planting mode, there are yet a lot of good and fun things that we can do to turn our planning for our crop up a notch. Even if you think you’ve plotted every detail and explored every option, take a minute to check it out again. Even that simple act of double checking (or triple checking) is a way to take your planning up a notch. You’ll leave no stone unturned, no “t” uncrossed, no option left on the table. That is what turning it up to 11 means.

If you’re planting corn, you might consider adding Ascend or another proven yield enhancer to potentially boost yields by improved emergence in our cool, wet soils You might look into applying zinc to aid in early season plant growth or Avail to ensure that your phosphorus investment is as accessible to your plants as what you had planned.

For those of you planting soybeans, you can yet amend your plans to include a seed treatment and fungicide.

Wheat growers, there are many options and add-ins you can choose from. They include fungicides and top dressing with chloride to help with disease prevention. DSC_0183

It is especially true of corn and beans that once the seed is in the ground, your early options for enhancing the potential of the crops are cut down, which is why considering options such as the ones I’ve listed here now is so fruitful. The time is ripe—and there is yet enough time left!—to make this last review of your plans and to dash in any last minute improvements or safeguards that will enhance your chances of great success.

I hope that you’ll remember to turn it to 11 when you’re out planting in your fields. In your tractor, this means to turn it down; the speedometer, that is. Taking your operation up a notch means turning your speed down as you undertake the important task of planting. It’s a drum I’ve beat many times, but your care and carefulness during planting is so hugely significant to your success at harvest that it bears repeating.

As usual, you can direct any questions, concerns, or orders to your local FSA. As we make the turn into May, I hope that you’re well rested and feeling ready to embark on yet another growing season in the good, old Midwest. Happy planting.