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By Sabrina Carnevale

Be harvest ready

Use farm management software to create the ultimate harvest prep checklist
Even in that moment of relative quiet prior to harvest, the busy weeks ahead are beginning to occupy your mind. Will you be ready for everything simultaneously coming your way? Production volume, quality, people, equipment and safety all factor into what is arguably the busiest time of your year. 
The ability to plan ahead for all those moving parts through one-click mobile apps can be a huge help. Forget exasperating excel functions and manual paperwork searches. Free your mind for bigger things by depending on the best farm management software to cover all things harvest-related.
In fact, the pre-harvest window is a great time to create a to-do list within your farm management software. To get you started, here are a few key items to include and conveniently update in real-time1 as things progress in the field.

best farm management software

Be machine ready.
One harvest prep task is getting equipment ready – but machinery can be incredibly complex. Having a farm management software checklist ensures everything is ready to go and also helps you accurately collect, store and later leverage all the equipment-produced harvest information to plan for next year.
Whether you have the capability to ready equipment on-farm or through your local service provider, here are some key items to keep on your list:
  1. Your GPS system
  2. Any in-cab monitoring devices
  3. Your data storage system itself
  4. Necessary recalibrations according to each field
  5. Safety first. Check aged parts, implement regular maintenance routines, and give attention to lighting, reflectors, mirrors and safety guards.
When you have all your information correctly set up, you’ll thank yourself later in both your annual review and next year’s planning.
Be field ready.
When you have all your equipment, personnel and field details ready in your farm management software checklist, including back-up plans should something or someone go down, harvest becomes infinitely more strategic. That means a calm, proactive and safe environment for all. 
Items to include on your farm management software checklist can be impactful to your harvest performance:
  • Save time by pre-entering all your field info and crop names ahead of time.
  • Match a team member (and a back-up if possible) to each task, correlating equipment and target dates.
  • Implement daily equipment inspections and cleaning processes. Monitor belts, chains and bearings as well as look for fuel or oil leaks.
  • You know your typical repeat-offender inefficiencies each year, account for them in your harvest plan.
  • Input the key items you need to monitor, including each field, storage facilities, contracts and delivery details.
As harvest progresses, ensure your team uses their mobile devices to update everyone around field conditions, including potential field hazards or bin damage that may require attention when things wind down. Collaboration is key.
Be proactive: don’t miss out on valuable insights.
Before you hit the fields for harvest, be sure all your systems are properly set up, engaged and ready to capture all your valuable farm information. The agronomic and financial insights that information provides you with is essential to continually improving your operation and business.
Things to keep in mind include integration between activity and your monitoring screen, record generation and easy uploading for your entire team. You can also include reminders to connect with crop insurance agents and plan your grain handling needs according to its condition.
Once the dust settles on this year’s harvest, overviewing all that data on your own or with your trusted advisors can be both easier and more effective – because even though another year will soon wrap, our minds are already thinking about making next year even better. In the meantime, here’s to a prosperous and safe harvest 2022.

1 Connectivity subject to internet availability in your area

Read more about how farm management software can help you prep strategically for harvest in our growing blog series

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