Top-of-mind questions for a successful season

May 08, 2017

Questions in the Field

With the growing season underway, excitement is brimming across America’s farmland. In all the hustle of planting and managing this year’s crops, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day details. While running a smooth operation does require a good grip of the little things, the big picture can’t fall out of frame in the process.

What can be put into place today that will pay off at harvest? What will inform decisions for next season? Having these kinds of questions top of mind helps growers drive forward.

Wade Oehmichen, Innovation Specialist, BASF, suggests aiming the first question at the goals of an operation.

“I encourage growers to ask themselves, ‘Do the goals I set for my farm make the most sense given my current challenges?’ and triple-check their plans,” said Oehmichen. “Once you’re happy with your goals, you can work toward keeping the course.”

Having a sound plan in place, complete with measurable goals, can act as a roadmap for the season. It is much easier to navigate the daily complexity of farming knowing all efforts feed into a greater strategy.

When setting goals, be sure to ask if you adequately understand the challenges at hand. Defining challenges relies on having a good understanding of past seasons. Reflect on those successes and failures, and use the learnings to boost yields by aligning the positives.

Oehmichen recommends growers keep a long memory, spanning well beyond just the last year.

“Remember where you’ve been and what has worked,” said Oehmichen. “Don’t give up on an approach after an off year, if it’s shown success in the past. Committing to technology and learning the nuances is key to seeing returns.”

Knowing that the equation for higher yields includes dozens of variables, Oehmichen encourages growers to welcome any counsel they can get. Turning focus outward to neighbors and local experts is a good next step after the introspective look at the farm. The resulting conversations are rooted in the local landscape and can help answer questions more specifically to their individual needs.

“There’s a wealth of information across the fence line or a phone call away,” said Oehmichen. “If you’re facing an issue, chances are someone close by has a solution.”

When asking the tough questions, a willingness to find an answer goes a long way. To talk more about the specific needs of their farm, growers can reach out to their local BASF representative. Find out who to contact at


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