Top farm executives spend time on three key activities—planning, financials and marketing—that go hand in hand, says Jeff Beal of the Gulke Group. “They are lifelong learners,” Beal says.

1. Monthly planning is beneficial because it brings a farm team together to discuss opportunities for growth and profitability.

2. Financials are critical. They affect every aspect of a farm and are the bedrock of sound commodity marketing.

3. Finally, be sure to spend time on commodity marketing. Beal says it’s his experience that farmers who hone their marketing on a regular basis are more successful than those who don’t take time to grow their knowledge.