For those of you in the south that have started planting this blog may be coming a little late.
For the rest of us it is time for pre-planting preparation. I am sure you have been prepping already; the equipment has or is being worked on, your seed is ordered, insurance is set in place, etc. I am asking for one more item to be added to your list; a pre-planting meeting with your staff aimed at communicating the game plan and setting expectations for the season.
You will want to hold a pre-set, pre-planned meeting to review the upcoming season. Discuss how many acres broken down by what crop is planned for each field. Then take the discussion a little deeper. Lay out job roles and responsibilities. Who will be planting the corn, the beans, side dressing, tender driving, mowing, etc. All the roles from the larger ones to the small ones should be laid out as best it can. Of course, subject to change given the nature of our business.
In the winter it is much easier to grab the crew for quick run down, but during planting it is much more difficult and yet to be successful the communication needs to be significantly higher. How can the farm overcome the hurdle of being in various locations doing a wide variety of activities?
As a team you need to figure out what would be the ideal channel for communication. The owners and managers need to determine how they will partner and how they will be giving direction. For your staff it needs to be discussed who is reporting to who and what you expect from them as far as performance and relaying information to you.
Of course I would like to see you take it a step further, review the safety rules, work rules and farm policies while you have the team all together. And the cherry on top would to discuss what went well and did not go well last year and what changes the team needs to make this year even better.