Strive for progress, not perfection | Opinion | – High Plains Journal

Posted: October 9, 2021 at 7:35 am

Whether it is water for cattle, resistant weeds, or the appetite of three growing boys, some things never stop. And we should not want them to. My hope is that our own hunger for progress never does either.

Progress does not have to mean the same to you as it does for Joe Farmer down the road or even yield winners 137 counties east or west of you. Maybe for you it is identifying a plan with focus on timely decisions or starting the process for the next growing season earlier. We have observed that inputs like fertilizer, chemical and seed prices tend to follow or mirror commodity prices. If possible, leverage your connections to take advantage of current supply and capitalize on value. These early actions can help assure availability when you need it most and likely insulate margins.

What about new technology? I dont mean autonomous tractors, although I can see how they may help with labor challenges, waste reduction or safety. To me, technology is like simple math. It should be cumulative and match our adoption curve. We cannot expect to jump to calculus without first learning how to add and subtract. Regardless, progress is key. Will a new technology have an immediate impact or measurable response? It better. Does it offset dollars, labor, or help with tasks like spraying windows or drive yield within two to three cropping-cycles? These considerations help you evaluate return and the importance of the investment and progress for your farm long term.

Whether your operation is 100 acres or exceeds 10,000 acres, the simple matter is the prism of progress is about you. Just dont stand still. As a coach, I often ask the team the question, Why are we different? We have heart and we have desire to learn and grow with purpose. Always get better. At High Plains Journal, we have four core values that guide us. The primary principle influences the other three, Find a better way. This does not mean constant change but rather constant awareness and constant evaluation. It sounds simple, but as you know, that kind of dedication can make a small difference become a big advantage. That is what progress is all about.

Remember there is joy in simple gains and minimizing defeats. We will make mistakes, but lets keep them small. It is not about hitting homeruns but rather getting on base. Sure, I like 40-foot combine headers, 1,200+-bushel grain carts, and Lebron-sized seedstock, just like most American fellas. What I really appreciate though is the beauty behind simple. Remember that sentiment when picking corn and your combine monitor leaps over 200 bushels on irrigated ground or 50+ bushels for dryland soybeans. Even if it is only for a moment, you know it is possible. Progress is the prize and despite all the economic and environmental pressures, your fight for progress and fire in your belly did it again. High five!


Strive for progress, not perfection | Opinion | - High Plains Journal

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