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- Should I use any fertilizer during this time? Fall Fertilizer
- Thoroughly clean all equipment used for harvest. Use a pressure washer to clean debris from tractors, beaters, blowers, conveyers, berry pumps, booms, trucks, gondolas, etc. As you clean note anything that needs to be repaired, re-engineered, or painted.
- Throw out or recycle junk that is no longer useful to you. Don’t let junk pile up around the farm. Inventory fasteners, welding supplies, lubricants, solvents, filters, etc. Do you have needed items on hand which might reduce emergency trips to town?
- Take a few moments to review your production records such as fertilizer and pesticide applications and make sure they are legible and accurate. Make a copy to store in another secure location besides your primary office.
- Take a few moments to consider harvest. What went well? What didn’t work very well that is under your control? Did vital equipment break down? If so, what can be done to avoid similar problems next year?
- Consider having an employee roundtable (if applicable to your situation) where all are free to reflect on the entire crop season providing feedback on what went well and what didn’t. Invite employees to offer suggestions of what might be done differently in the future.
- Review your nutrient management plan. Did your actual application of nutrients follow your plan? How did you decide to vary from your plan? What criteria did you use to make your decision(s)? How will this change your plan for the future?
- Have you mapped where you had problems with specific weeds? If you know where the troublesome weeds were can you use that information to make better weed management decisions next year?
- Ponder mistakes that were made with regard to pest management, personnel management, fertilizer, irrigation, drainage, etc. What policies or approaches could change next year to good advantage?
- Inventory any of your unused fertilizer or pesticides. Make sure pesticides are appropriately stored in a clean, dry and secure location. Ideally, pesticides are stored in a location separate from machinery, etc.
- Check the oil, tire pressure, brake fluid, steering fluid and other hydraulics on all equipment and fill as necessary.
- Continue to monitor weather through the fall and be prepared to flood beds or irrigate if precipitous temperature drops are forecast.