Tip •  2024-01-08

Don’t get stuck without a plan

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What’s your plan for 2024? Do you have a yield or quality goal? These are questions farmers should be asking themselves now, during the winter months when they have time to look at the big-picture and make a plan to achieve desired results. 

When spring arrives, it’s full steam ahead. The fast pace of planting season can make it difficult to make informed and sound decisions that will impact the entire growing season. That’s why making a crop and fertilization plan now is ideal, when there is time to consult advisors, research new hybrids, traits and chemistries and talk to neighbours about their experiences.

Achieving 2024 yield and financial goals starts with creating and working from a plan that accounts for every acre, field and stage of the growing season.

The importance of a plan

Taking a big-picture approach to a crop and fertilization plan can help identify desired outcomes, like yield, quality and income. A plan can be driven by these goals and used to measure year-end results.

A plan will also help keep everything and everyone organized, so when spring comes, every step, decision and tool or piece equipment required has already been accounted for. Everyone on the farm can refer to the plan so they know what to do and where to plant and apply the correct product. Consulting on the development and sharing the plan with crop retail partners and Corteva Agriscience representatives can also help secure products and ensure timely delivery

The ability to plan ahead and make important agronomic decisions before crunch time can also reduce stress during one of the busiest seasons of the year.

Why a crop plan matters

A crop plan is important because it can help farmers understand and manage rotation decisions. One of the fundamental practices, crop rotation can impact everything from weed, disease and pest pressure to field drainage and soil health. Identifying where cover crops fit into a rotation should also be part of the plan.

A complete crop plan also accounts for technology, ensuring farmers are making informed decisions and using the right technology to manage their acres and achieve desired results. Technology decisions could include selecting the right rootworm protection for fields being planted with corn on corn or using herbicides with multiple modes-of-action to manage resistant weeds.

Ultimately, creating and following a robust crop plan will ensure the right product is used on the right acre. It will also include the seed genetics required to realize proper seed population and yield potential of each field.

Planning out each acre will help farmers evaluate and plan for any special or reoccurring crop needs, like white mould in soybeans or herbicide tolerant weeds.

A solid crop plan means farmers will be prepared with the precise products and information required for to meet and achieve goals. A means the right seed products will be ready when planting starts, everyone will know exactly where every seed should be planted and how planters should be calibrated to achieve the right rates and seed population. A crop plan sets spring planting up for success.

A fertilizer plan pays off

Fertility considerations also need to be made during the winter months when there’s more time to make sound and informed purchase decisions about supply and pricing. A fertilizer plan can follow a crop plan, matching fertility requirements for each field to reach yield potential and maximize profit.

Knowing where fertilizer is needed and how it should be placed is just as important as selecting the required nutrients. Refer to fall soil test results to help make informed decisions and consult a trusted advisor or agronomist for insights or suggestions. Consideration should also be given to any equipment changes that may affect current practices.

Take the next step with a crop protection plan

Building on a crop and fertilization plan, a crop protection plan can help farmers get a head start on in-season decisions. Taking the time to research the best products and solutions to manage known concerns, like problem weeds or potential problems like pest infestations, can save precious time during the busy growing season. Planning ahead with a crop protection program that is tailored to every acre can also help secure product supply, so farmers are prepared when crop protection applications are required.

Talk to your local retailer, agronomist or Corteva Agriscience Retail Territory Manager for more information about how to develop a 2024 crop or crop protection plan.