With a fresh planting season it's time to focus on a strong communication plan. This is a critical to get the team on the same page. As always, I recommend a pre-plant meeting with the entire team. Below are a few things to cover with the group.
What is the planting plan and order for each field? Review with the team what crop is going to be planted in what order and what seed is going on which field. Remind individuals about any particulars for each field, like which ones are rocky or which ones the landlord has requested to be notified when it's being planted.
If anything is out of the ordinary, now is the time to talk about it. If you have a planting goal for the number of acres for the day review that as well.
Now move into talking about the team. Who will be planting versus who will be tendering? Who is managing what?
If you have multiple family members, there is nothing more frustrating than two different directions being given to one employee. Clearly define who the employees will take direction from during plant. For those owners not operating a tractor, your team will tell you where some of the hold ups have been and where there has been a shortage of individuals.
Talk about what time the team will start each day and what the goal is for finishing. Yes, we know it will change, but there should still be communication on the expectation for days and times. Also, how will lunches be handled on your farm during plant? Will someone bring lunches or is the team to pack and eat while driving.
Lastly, what needs to be tracked? Is there any training on the precision Ag equipment? What do you want tracked, how often and how are you to receive the information?
Communication, communication and more communication! How will daily communication be handled during planting? Is there a quick conference call at 5 p.m. for what is coming up the next day? If there is a breakdown, who is to be called first? If there are minor equipment repairs, how are those to be handled?
For the sake of keeping this short, I will stop there, but in all honesty I could keep going with questions.
The more these pre-planting season questions are reviewed and answered, the smoother the planting season will go. Give a chance for the employees to provide you input and really get them engaged in the process. You will see better results from the team, guaranteed.