By Gary Truitt
As we turn the page into December, harvest is wrapping up in most areas. While a few fields remain, the majority of crops are out which is a far cry from last year and earlier than many of us expected back in August. Now begins one of the most important times of the year, the planning season.
As we know all too well from 2019, Mother Nature will have the final word no matter how well we plan. This should not discourage us from planning but encourage us to have several plans. A great place to find resources for your planning process is the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo, December 17-19, at the State Fairgrounds. We have designed the event specifically to address some of the planning challenges facing farmers.
The first is financial planning. Dr. Jim Mintert, from the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, will help you put a financial plan together that will set you on track to profit in 2020. Given the uncertainty in agriculture and the markets, putting several plans together might be a better approach. Dr. Mintert will also pinch hit for Dr. Chris Hurt, a long-time presenter at the show who is undergoing serious health challenges. This outlook presentation will examine the economic forces that will be impacting agriculture in the year ahead.
Meteorologist Ryan Martin will return with a very popular presentation on the weather outlook for the coming year. While long range forecasts and computer models are far from a sure thing, his perspective will help you make decisions on how you are going to approach the planting season and the contingency plans you may want to have.
Other planning presentations will include cover crops, hedging, field drainage, hemp production, and data analysis. A new location for the seminar area will be in the center of the show floor, making it easier to find. Several new exhibitors will be at the event in 2019 with new products and services for your operation. The Expo will also feature a little levity, which is certainly needed after this year. A photo booth will let you take a picture proclaiming you survived farming in 2019. Rumor has it that Santa Claus will be at the show offering to move anyone who attends the event off the naughty list.
So start your planning for the new year by planning to Recover, Renew, and Innovate for 2020 by attending the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo. For a complete copy of the schedule visit www.indianafarmexpo.com.