As we prepare to put 2019 behind us, what can we take away for planning a better year in 2020? As I talked with a wide variety of company representatives and experts, the consistent message I heard was plan.
Mike Leetch, with Syngenta, says that plan needs to have several alternative plans, ”for when mother nature throws us another curve ball. So, you need a plan A, and a plan B, and even a plan C. Protecting the crop with a solid plan you can implement next spring is about 80% of the battle.”
John Schartman, with Pioneer, says choosing good genetics is a key, especially when growing soybeans.
“Our market research shows that it is good genetics combined with a farmer‘a good management practices that leads to success in growing soybeans.”
He added that local Pioneer representatives, working with producers on their farms, are also a key component.
In addition to weather and planting challenges in 2019, diseases were a serious issue for many growers. Paula Halabicki, with BASF, recommends evaluating the likelihood of a disease outbreak and taking steps to prevent it.
“Consider if you have had a disease pressure before and evaluate your chances of having a repeat problem. In addition, there are higher risk factors like planting corn on corn that should be considered and perhaps plan for fungicide application as a preventative.”
It may be wishful thinking, but most of the people I have talked with feel it is unlikely 2020 will be a repeat of 2019. There will, however, be challenges and surprises. So plan ahead and be prepared.