Planting time is approaching quickly or might already be here for some farming operations. Crop farms are quickly ramping up operations as they get ready for one of their busiest seasons.
As the farm leader, you're busy coordinating the activities of the other people on the farm and making sure everything gets done according to plan. You might also be in a tractor, or your role might be more focused on coordinating what everyone is doing, especially if there are a lot of moving pieces and people to coordinate.
Every spring is different, so you're always keeping your eye on the ball as the weather and conditions change. You're ready to switch up your plans when you need to, and can revise field plans if necessary. You're ready to move – and to move quickly if you need to.
Your busy season
Keeping track of field conditions and directing activities during busy production seasons is so important. Strong production is what drives a farm business. Passion for the activities and work involved in production might be why you started to love farming. And in the middle of a major production time like planting, a farmer can often get immersed in it.
It's good to be able to focus, but the finance and business management aspects of the farm don't pause just because we're in planting season. On the farm, we might even let them start to go by the wayside a little bit when we're so busy, unless we're being intentional about setting up some time to focus on them.
The markets, the farm's finances, checking in with your employees – these aspects sometimes get put on permanent hold, at least until planting is complete. It's going to be important for the farm leader to stay in tune with these areas, throughout the season.
Here's one way you can be intentional about this. At the beginning of each day, take two minutes to ask yourself these three questions:
• What are my priorities today?
• Why are those items my priorities?
• Am I focusing on doing what's essential for my farm business?
Try to add a couple activities that will give you the opportunity to check in on your operation's financial health, for example, or to find out what's going on in the markets.
You probably don't have time to spend two hours going over your finances or watching the markets, but using a small check-in during a busy season will help you stay on top of the financial and business management of your operation.
How do you plan to stay in touch with your farm's business and financial management side during planting season? Here's something you can do – even in the tractor – read articles to get ideas on preparing for planting, markets and the story of an operation that’s focusing on building their future.
The opinions of Darren Frye are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.