Checklist: How do I prepare for next year? – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus
Many silos are sealed and producers are reflecting on a job well done or sighing with relief that another year is wrapped up. Next year’s harvest may be the last thing you want to think about, but it pays to make a checklist for what you can do now to ensure a successful and prosperous harvest for next year. Here are some items you should include on your checklist:
- Clean and disinfect your inoculant applicator and store it properly. Ensure you have the proper hoses so you are ready to hit the ground running next harvest season.
- Consider getting your applicator serviced by the Dohrmann Off-Season Applicator Service program. It includes an extremely reasonable flat rate for labor, rather than a per-hour charge, and a sizeable discount on parts, provided the applicator is received before December 1.
- Roll up the silo plastic nicely and store it off the ground to prevent critters from making a home in it.
- Store any extra unopened inoculant packets in the freezer where you will be able to find them. Canisters that have been opened are good for the duration of the season and should then be discarded. Envelopes that have been opened should be used within 24 hours of opening.
- Book inoculant for next year.
- Come up with a feeding plan for how you will get through this harvest and have at least three months carryover of corn silage and at least three weeks carryover of haylage.
- Step out of the whirlwind and assess what went well and what needs improvement. A nutritionist or forage specialist can help you with that.
- Discuss with your nutritionist or agronomist how you will assess forage performance in terms of digestibility and yields, which will help you select hybrids for next year.
- Be sure to thank your crew for their hard work and celebrate your successes.
- Ensure all debts are settled promptly and fairly.
- Set dates for when you want to complete key tasks and share them with your crew:
- Seed purchases
- Inoculant booking
- Forages scorecarded
- Safety meetings
- Pre-harvest planning meetings