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From the Editor: Top Crop West April 2018

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


March 21, 2018
By Stefanie Croley

Benjamin Franklin was reportedly referring to fire safety when he penned this quote, and at the risk of sounding cliché, it is more pertinent now than ever before.

In February, just down the road from Top Crop Manager’s head office in Simcoe, Ont., the county of Brant and the area surrounding the Grand River suffered serious flooding due to a quick thaw and excessive rain. Roads were washed out, homes were damaged, fields were completely underwater and a state of emergency was declared. In contrast, Western Canada experienced a severely dry winter, and the lack of moisture has producers concerned about the state of their winter wheat. Two completely opposite problems, but both equally concerning as the spring approaches.

If you’ve ever experienced a devastating event on your farm, you’ll know it’s not always possible to prevent things like extreme weather changes from happening. But with a little preparation and planning, you can prevent everything from completely falling apart. As spring approaches and minds shift toward seeding and strategies for the upcoming growing season, it’s important to remember how the decisions you make now (and all throughout the year) can impact your crops – and your bottom line. We tend to put a heavy focus on the well-being of the outside of the farm: warding off disease and insect pest threats; choosing the best varieties and crop rotations; selecting the best crop chemicals. But as the daughter of an accountant, I’ve always associated April with “tax season,” so I’d be remiss not to mention the importance of taking the time to check up on the inside of your business too. How organized is your paperwork? Are you prepared for a potentially disastrous event? Do you have a succession plan? Though these facets of the farm may take a backseat during the busy crop season, it’s important to take some time to complete those administrative tasks and organize what’s often thought of as the more mundane portion of your business.

We strive to fill each edition of Top Crop Manager with information to help you make the best decisions for your farm. So, in addition to our usual stories on plant breeding, pests and diseases, and crop management, we’ve included a special business management section in this issue. Starting on page 28, you’ll find an update on proposed tax changes that will directly impact tax planning for family farm corporations and tips on how to protect your farm from extreme weather events.

Planning is key to preventing problems in any business, and only you can choose the right options for your operation. So when you’re deciding what chemicals to use, what rotation to try, or what new equipment to buy, consider re-evaluating your insurance options, succession plan and financial management strategies. We can’t always prevent bad things from happening, but with the right tools and resources (and undoubtedly a little bit of trial and error), you’ll be able to make informed choices to help your operation succeed, even in a potentially devastating situation.

Best of luck.