Farmers across the Corn Belt can agree that 2017 was an interesting year. Weather was all over the board and a variety of late planting and replanting plagued swaths of farm country. According to Farm Journal Agronomist Ken Ferrie, 2017 was a year to learn from.

“I think you’ve got to be careful making harsh decisions this year,” he told Clinton Griffiths. “You’ve got to figure out why something happened.”

Farmers experienced a variety of issues during this growing season and Ferrie pointed out that if a seed type didn’t work this year, it could have been nothing more than a planting date issue.

“It’s a situation where I think it’s a year to study what’s going on,” he said. “Unlike a year where everything works, or a year where everything burns up and you throw up your hands and say ‘I did my best.’ This year, there needs to be some homework done to understand why something happened so you don’t throw a genetics or system out [that might work in the future].”

According to Ferrie, farmers must take a close look at their records when making management decisions based on experiences this growing season. A tough year like 2017 is a prime example of the importance of not having all your eggs in one basket, he explained. “It’s all about mitigating risk so a year like this doesn’t take you out of the running.”