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, ”That plan has to have options 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.