Patience is the Companion of Wisdom

“Patience is the companion of Wisdom” –  Saint Augustine

How many years have you been farming?  20? 30? 40 years?  Over those years how many times have you not been able to get the crop planted? Once? Twice?  The answer for most farmers is never.  While some years it may have not always been as early as you wanted and your crop plan might have been altered but eventually the crop does get planted.  So historically you do have the knowledge and wisdom to know that you will have time to get a crop planted.  Since you have the knowledge and wisdom then you must continue to have patience.  But as a farm boy myself I know how frustrating it is to be patient, especially as the days roll on.  It’s hard to be producer with no crop in the ground, after all this is our livelihood, it is what we were born to do.  But Patience is a Virtue in today’s farming world, especially with the 1000+ variables you have to manage throughout the growing season.

As we are at the middle of May the pressure that many of you are feeling to get your corn crop in the ground continues to grow.  But remember that you are on your own schedule, not your neighbors.  Do not let the “coffee shop” talk play a factor in your crop production plan.  The later we get in the year the more important your decisions are.  That means that your mistakes are magnified, not reduced.  Planting conditions must trump all decisions before you head into that field.  Not the date on the calendar or what neighbor Joe is doing.

Farmers are great at producing a crop and as a result many tend to push off the things they do not like to do as much, such as planning, bookkeeping, risk management and marketing.  When things get volatile in these areas they tend to freeze and not make a move, at least until the dust settles.  However, when it comes to planting the exact opposite occurs.  As things get volatile and the days tick past most producers panic and instead of doing nothing they tend to make snap decisions and push planting to the limits.   Too often pushing the planting forward even when the soil conditions are poor.

Your emotion and day to day decisions still come back to your crop plan and business plan.  The operations that took the time to have the right plan for production, crop insurance and marketing have a tendency to be more patient for proper soil conditions. Why? Cause they have a Plan A, B, and C.  After all many of you have the opportunity to harvest two or possibly three crops in one season with today’s market prices and top yields.  Don’t settle for sub par conditions that may cause other issues later in the growing season.  Take this extra time this spring to assess what the market is telling you – it appears to me, it wants to reward producers who have an exceptional crop….. So Be patient!!


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