We're keenly aware of our past decisions related to the season. Many fields exhibited success this year due to better drainage or rolling terrain. Poor-yielding areas were often associated with soil compaction created during last year's harvest, itchy trigger fingers on field preparations and lack of soil fertility. Now, we soil sample, apply fertilizer and try to fix problems we created.
Let's take this time to evaluate our greatest resource in farming – people. We all know that the success of any team or business is due to its people. If you want to be great, surround yourself with great people. I'm reminded of the t-shirt I wore while playing basketball in high school – "There is No "I" in Team."
Size doesn't matter
Your farming operation may big or small, but it still relies on people. The level of trust in your operation is key to its success and your sanity. We all have duties within a team.
Field activities last fall, this spring and this summer were less than ideal. It's easy to find fault or blame others for decisions to work a field too wet, plant and leave open seed slots or spray and leave ruts. I suggest taking time to thank these people for making the best decision they could.
You could look back together and agree that it was a poor decision because you now know how the season played out. Likewise, you could agree that it was a decision that was the lesser of two evils.
Mutual reflection on these decisions and genuine appreciation will do more to build up the farm. In the heat of the moment, we can succumb to snapping or judging. I hope that hasn't happened. However, it's just as easy to go about our business and not thank people that make it all happen.
As my grandmother has often said, we need an attitude of gratitude.
Casteel is the Purdue University Extension soybean specialist. See his column Soybean Success in Indiana Prairie Farmer.