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Finance First: These planting season preparations can boost your farm team’s efficiency.

Darren Frye, CEO

March 4, 2024

3 Min Read
Planting a corn field
Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Spring is always an exciting time on the farm – and also a busy one. There’s a sense of optimism and hope that comes along with the warming air and ground temperatures. Everything and everyone seems to be waking up after a long winter rest.

Along with all that hope and optimism for a new growing season can come a great deal of uncertainty, and rightly so. No one can know how the 2024 growing season will play out. That statement can seem daunting, but it also offers you, as the farm’s leader, some important opportunities.

In fact, before it’s go time in the field, now is the best opportunity for farm leaders to prepare for planting season in a few different ways. Doing this now can help make a big difference once you and your team need to be super focused on field operations.

Spring season prep list

  1. Prepare your mindset. While it’s true that no one knows exactly what will happen with weather and markets during 2024, it’s also the case that there are certain things you do have control over in your operation. Choosing to focus on what’s within your control as a farm leader instead of becoming focused on aspects that aren’t, will help you stay motivated and positive no matter what is going on with weather and markets. This means being proactive about what you can do while letting go of worry and anxiety about aspects that aren’t within your control.

  2. Prepare your team. Make sure each person on your farm’s team is prepared for what the spring season will be like. This is especially important if they haven’t worked on a farm during planting before – or if they haven’t worked in your operation during spring before. Every farm operation does things a little differently, and that includes planting season processes. Make sure your farm team knows – and are committed to following – safety procedures to keep everyone safe and everything running smoothly during planting.

  3. Prepare your business. When you, the farm leader, are focused on ensuring an efficient and timely planting season, the business of the farm can sometimes start to take a backseat. You can proactively set things up to already be ahead on your business work once the busyness of planting season begins. Take time now to set up anything that can help you remember any important paperwork, deadlines or meetings that are coming up during the growing season. Then work to get everything completed to the extent that you can right now. Also try to make any major business decisions now that can be made before planting season starts.

One plan that’s important to have in place before planting starts is your farm’s marketing plan. Now is the time to be making flexible, responsive marketing plans for the 2024 crop year and beyond. Set up a meeting with a market advisor now before planting 2024 kicks into high gear.

Farmers have found that getting some third-party perspective from our market advisors has helped ease their minds. The advisors help farmer clients with planning and execution around marketing decisions and help keep them up to speed on the current rapidly-changing grain market situation – and how it impacts their operation.

Get a free two-week trial of our marketing information service (MarketView Basic). Your free trial includes regular audio and video updates, technical analysis, recommendations and more. Learn more about our market advisor programs and offerings at

About the Author(s)

Darren Frye

CEO, Water Street Solutions

Darren Frye grew up on an innovative, integrated Illinois farm. He began trading commodities in 1982 and started his first business in 1987, specializing in fertilizer distribution and crop consulting. In 1994 he started a consulting business, Water Street Solutions to help Midwest farmers become more successful through financial analysis, crop insurance, marketing consulting and legacy planning. The mission of Finance First is to get you to look at spreadsheets and see opportunity, to see your business for what it can be, and to help you build your agricultural legacy.

Visit Water Street Solutions

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