Troubleshooting Your Cropping System
Planting and seed
  • Do you get the expected plant population?
  • Do you always use certified or quality seed?
  • Do you shop for seed prices?
  • Are you using the best varieties?
  • Do you use narrow rows, where applicable?
  • Do you finish planting your crops when the best farmers in your area are finished?
  • How much tillage are you doing for seedbed preparation?
  • Do you know the major weed species you are planning to control on your various fields?
  • Do you have fields with continual weed problems?
  • Are you trying to control perennial weeds or annual weeds?
  • Have you priced comparable herbicides?
  • Can you band herbicides over the row?
  • Does your herbicide control the weeds effectively?
  • Do you have soil test and fertilizer history on all your fields?
  • Are you certain you are getting a response from every pound of fertilizer put on?
  • Is your fertilizer bill high in relation to your yield returns?
  • Do you have deficiencies showing up in your crops?
  • Are you using nutrients and rates recommended by University research?
  • Are you always looking for that miracle nutrient or product that will greatly improve yields or quality?
  • Are micronutrients a large part of your fertilizer bill?
  • Do you band apply any fertilizer?
  • Is your fertilizer program based on fertilizer bought or on soil requirements?
Insects & Disease
  • Do you walk your fields once or twice a week looking for insects and disease symptoms?
  • Do you control insects and disease by following your neighbor as an example?
Crop Rotations
  • Do you notice any specific weed, insect or disease problems in your continuous cropping systems?
  • Are you using your best land for the most responsive crops?
  • Do you double crop?
  • Do you plan your herbicide applications with rotations in mind?
  • Do you have any lodging or shattering problems?
  • Do you wait until the crop is at the right moisture level, or do you have a dryer?
  • Do you harvest yourself or custom hire?
  • Do you frequently check your combine efficiency (harvest losses)?