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Serving: IA

Best Laid Plans

Technology can only carry you so far in a year like this - but having it still helps.

As a long-time technology writer, it's easy to opine about how putting top technology to work can help make your farm more efficient, and profitable. But 2009 is showing that no amount of tech can overcome the one thing we still can't control - the weather.

Yet having the right technology in place can help some. As you harvest crops, you're going to be able to better track which corn hybrids dry down faster under these conditions; and if you're using any kind of profit mapping you'll have a good idea which seeds paid their way.

The right self-guided equipment can keep you in the field for longer hours because once it's dry you're going to be going flat out. Auto-steering systems can keep you on track whether it's dark or light out - helping reduce your fatigue as well.

And as you move through the field this fall - hopefully not enjoying those Christmas carols too much - keep track of the tech in use. Then when the dust has settled (or the mud has been washed away) sit down with your dealer for some up-close-and-personal conversation about what you're deploying on the farm today and how you might change that for 2010...and beyond.

Nature has a way of reminding us who is the boss. We're listening, but our technology tools are helping overcome more trouble than ever before. Given the way 2009 is working out, we'll need all the tools we can get to finish the year.

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