Now that winter has arrived, crops are sold, and cattle are out on winter grazing areas, this can be the most important time of year for preparation and strategic planning of your operation. Take the time to plan for the coming season by reviewing the past year’s successes and consider your yields and any challenges that you may have faced.

For instance:

  • How did weeds effect your crop?
  • What impacts did insects have on your yields?
  • What are some new opportunities in your farm operation?

The winter months allow an opportunity for you to sit down with your local IFA Crop Advisor and plan for the coming season. It also gives you a chance to complete or update your farm records.

Proper planning prevents poor performance, right? So, let’s look for ways we can help you plan to succeed for this coming year.


Let’s make sure your budget is set and that you have all information regarding any finance programs that are available to you.


Let’s make sure to go over your current and past soil sample. Let’s look at your soil fertility levels and trends. Your records and reports will help us to recommend the right amount of fertilizer and the best varieties of seeds for you. Last year, you may have gone with a dry fertilizer program but now we may want to consider a split application of liquid fertilizers.


Now is also a great time to talk about seeds. Will you be planting corn, alfalfa or even spring grain? We can go through the options and help plan what varieties you’ll try. We’ll also make sure we have the seeds in stock when you’re ready to plant. Let’s talk about the new HarvXtra low lignin alfalfa from our partner W-L Alfalfa Seed.


Let’s talk about your herbicides as we will need to plan what type of herbicides to use. How old is your stand of alfalfa? Can we apply a pre-emerge herbicide or will this Spring be the one in the rotation to use a post emergence herbicide?


Let’s make sure that we address any issues you may have had with bugs last spring. We are finding that it’s getting harder and harder to control our insects, and now’s the time to prepare if we need to change up the chemistry on your insecticides to help prevent any resistance.


IFA has a great network and sources of knowledge with crop advisors covering the whole Intermountain region. They communicate on a variety of crop problems and are finding solutions to problems and concerns you may not be having in your area yet. If you’re experiencing something unique to your area or operation, you can bet that IFA has the resources to help with experienced crop advisors who also advise one another. We all work together to share information.

Please contact your local IFA Crop Advisor for information on preparing your farm business for success.

Written by Kurt Hansen, CCA, and originally published in the IFA Cooperator magazine (vol. 83, no. 4) Winter 2017. Kurt is a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) for IFA in Richfield, Utah.