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Make Notes Now to Improve in 2014

Posted: October 23, 2013

In the vegetable world you might be starting to wind down. Take a little time to take notes now while this season is fresh. It is too easy to forget important changes you want to make on the farm by January when you sit down to do your orders and make your plans.

I like to take a field walk in the fall, before I till in all my summer crops to take notes. It is useful to bring a field map along. Did you make any changes to where you put things in the field? Did you throw your field map out the window mid-season? Make sure to make a new accurate field map so you can think about rotations for next year. Make sure to mark where you planted which cover crops so you will know what areas will be ready for early and late season planting next year.

While walking the field take note of problem areas. Are there areas that got really weedy? Did you accidentally let weeds go to seed in one spot? Where is that thistle patch that got out of control? Are their areas where plants did not do well due to disease or low fertility.  Mark these areas on the map so that you can come up with a plan to remediate the problem or avoid the area next year.

Varieties. While it is fresh in your memory take some notes on what varieties did well or not so well this year. Did any of the varieties tend to have pest or disease problems more than others? Which ones did your customers like?

Once you get out to the field with your pencil or ipad you will think of many important observations from this year. While you are out there take a few pictures and do your soil testing for next year.  An hour now may help you grow thousands of dollars of additional product or save many headaches, so don’t put it off!