By Chad Wiersma

Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet? I try to think of changes that I want to make to improve my life. Supposedly Albert Einstein said that his definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results”. Webster defines insanity as the state of being seriously mentally ill. While I hope I’m not mentally ill, I do suffer from Einstein’s version of insanity. Too often I find myself reverting to old habits and getting frustrated by the same disappointing results. Therefore, as I step into 2018 I have told myself that if I want different results, I probably need to try something different.

My question to you as we flip the calendar to the new year is “What “insane” things are you doing on your farm?” Are you fertilizing for 200 bushel corn, but harvesting 230 bushels? Are you planning on spraying the same herbicides you did last year even though you had an unsatisfactory amount of weeds in your soybean fields? Are you hoping for 250 bushel corn but managing your inputs the same way you did for 200 bushel corn?

In a $3.00/bushel corn environment I know decisions are tough and making budget is hard. In tough situations the natural reaction is to go to defense mode and pull back. Change can be hard especially in a low commodity price environment, but sometimes change is necessary to survive. My challenge to you this year is to ask the question, what is working and what is not working? If the old saying “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” fits you well and what you are doing is working, then continue on the same path you are on. However, asking the questions and challenging yourself could produce even better results. Remember the theoretical potential for corn is about 500+ bushels per acre, and soybeans is 150+ bushels. There is definitely more to be achieved than where we are at today. Some of the best breakthroughs in yield I have experienced are where the producer came in with a list of things to improve yield 5 or 10% and we just broke them down and put a plan in place to make changes and prioritized them with what the economy and the weather offered us. Change can be good with a good process.

2018 is here, what will you make of it?