These tips can help you have an effective and safe planting season.
Perform Equipment Checks
Ensuring all equipment is clean, safe and ready to go for planting is an important first step. Before using any equipment, a safety check should be performed, and all technology updated.
Safety and equipment checks should include:
- Ensure all lights and signals are properly working.
- Inspect and replace parts as needed by starting equipment and ensuring it is properly running.
- Check tire pressure and tread wear, and confirm lug nuts are tightened
- Make sure all equipment, including nozzles, is clean. Common issues are grease or oil remnants, as well as debris and rodent nests.
- Check the quality and levels of fluids, including oil and fuel.
Conducting these checks helps to prevent unnecessary delays due to malfunctioning equipment or technology.
Check and Follow Labels
Applying products like herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, seed treatments and fertilizer incorrectly, or using an expired product, can have harmful effects not only on your crops but on your health. Before applying or handling a product, always check the label and follow it exactly.
Wear the Right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Before applying or handling any chemicals, make sure proper PPE is available, fits wells and functions properly. Do not overlook cautionary statements. Always protect your skin, eyes and lungs with proper PPE, which may include wearing long sleeves, gloves, masks and eyewear. Always have first aid supplies available in case of accidents.
Take care of your body: Sleep & eating right
Planting can be a stressful and hectic time, so it is important to ensure your body is being taken care of. While it’s important to get the crop planted in a timely fashion, not getting enough sleep or eating a good diet can have a long-term impact on health. During planting, prioritize quality sleep and eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day.
Ask for help
Whether you need someone to help fix a part or lift a heavy item, asking for help will almost always save time in the long run. Before planting begins, make a schedule to determine who is available to help you. Have important phone numbers and contacts saved and easily accessible.
On the flip side, check in on friends and family to see how planting is going for them and offer encouragement or resources when needed. Planting can be stressful and showing support for friends and neighbors can mean a lot.
Have a plan and communicate it
Taking time to prepare for planting and reviewing the plan early and often with your team is be a great way to maximize efficiency during planting. It’s also important to note important details that happen so you can refer back to them throughout the season and when preparing for the next growing season.