Procrastination – The resilient management enemy |

Procrastination – The resilient management enemy

Will Walter
Instructor, SD Center of Farm/Ranch Mgt

This being the season of pest control in our fields and herds, herbicide resistance is a term ever increasingly heard each season. These weeds can be a visual reminder of an adjustment needed in your management plan. Today I’d like to address a less visual, but equally formidable opponent called PROCRASTINATION. When joined with its’ impressive teammate OVEREXTENDED, it can be the root of stress, anxiety, disappointment and hence lower production of your business.

Even the most reviewed schedule in ag production can be so quickly amended by weather. Often a half dozen other conveniently necessary projects are lurking for a chance to be addressed. Then, the weather changes, and you are back at the main focus. On the next break in the major task, do you often neglect the previous secondary project for one that is now more urgent?

A pause, as I just raised both of my hands!

When the unfinished list of projects reaches double figures, it is time to finish some and cross them off! Making a list is a good start to monitoring what all you have begun. Although farming/ranching is certainly prone to constant change in conditions, it certainly is not alone. When contemplating the next move with oncoming weather, I often emphasize with a roofer. Does he peel off the existing roof or not with the impending clouds? Should the hardware store order extra snow blowers, sump pumps or lawn sprinklers and air conditioners in March?

A variety of orderly scenarios fall into play each year, but generally the farms I work with have calving, fertilizer application, planting, spraying, getting cattle to pasture with water supply issues (now), alfalfa cutting, overlapping into each in the spring. If it is same each year, why do the hiccups appear? Are they reasonable or could some have been avoided by respecting a deadline? Should the planter overhaul been done in February? The calving barn preparation last fall? The pasture fences needing attention were dry and visible in March…… Ok, enough lectures of past. Now is the time for completing the obvious and moving forward.

In preparation for 2015’s FBM analysis, it is time to record each field’s expenditures, cattle inventories as they go to pasture, and of course, financial records and cash flow monitoring. A complete and accurate analysis is obtained by documenting crop inputs and feed records while fresh in mind and the notes are attainable. Please do so while the information and memory is fresh. Also, has your marketing strategy been followed? Think how good it’ll feel at an event next winter when your friends are complaining about doing records and you can just grin because you are leisurely working on the current month.

Planting is a stressful time of year and hopefully you’ve been able or plan to take some time to relax with family/friends. It is not necessary to drive somewhere if you can just turn off the “farm switch” at a reasonable time. You must schedule that too or all of the sudden everyone has grown up and gone. For assistance with the financial management of your operation, contact the SDCF/RBM at or 1-800-684-1969.

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