As many of you know, some areas are still grappling with rain delays, saturated soils, and a lack of planting progress. It’s a tough situation, and I wanted to share a few thoughts that might help while some are waiting to get back into the fields.

Talk About It

With all the stress around planting and markets, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why I think it’s important to talk about mental health. The stress can be massive, so find a friend, neighbor, or anyone who will listen and talk about what’s going on. Sometimes just sharing can make a big difference.

Slow Down and Think Things Through

Another key point: slow down. Speed doesn’t solve problems; it often creates them. Going faster won’t improve the situation and can lead to mistakes or accidents. Remember, worrying robs us of the ability to think clearly. Take a breath, slow down, and plan your actions thoughtfully.

Safety First

When you do get back into the field, don’t put yourself in a position to get hurt. An injury can severely impact your operation. Safety should always be your priority.

Make A Plan

Make a spreadsheet for each field detailing what needs to be done. Review your fields, plan what’s going to be planted where, and take note of any herbicides already applied.

Planning and Communication

Planning out the work and setting expectations with your family and employees is essential. Understand and communicate the long hours that may be ahead.

Now is a good time to review your risk management plan. How can we make things smoother? Stay in touch with your seed supplier, ag retailer, and crop insurance agent. Good communication can prevent many issues down the line.

Understand the Problem

Lastly, remember this: if too much of one thing is a problem, adding something else isn’t necessarily the solution. Understand what’s causing the problems in your fields before adding another product to fix it.

I hope these thoughts help as you navigate these challenging times. Take care of yourselves and each other out there.

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About the Author: Kelly Robertson

Kelly Robertson has been a soil fertility agronomist and precision agriculture consultant since 1989 and also spends time in farm/agronomy management roles for farms in Southern Illinois. In 2012, Kelly and his wife Lori started Precision Crop Services in Benton where they provide agronomic services for their customers including soil testing, crop scouting, data analysis, GPS/GIS services including variable rate seeding and fertility recommendations as well as farm and agronomy management for their customers. He is a Certified Professional Agronomist, Certified Crop Advisor, Certified 4R Nutrient Management Specialist, 2015 Illinois Soybean Association Double-Crop Specialist, 2016 Illinois CCA of the Year and the 2021 Illinois Soybean Assoc. Dave Rahe Excellence in Soils Consulting Award winner.

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