Developing a strategic plan helps you be prepared unlike the main character in “Alice in Wonderland.” In the Hans Christian Anderson novel, Alice goes down the proverbial rabbit hole and winds up in an unfamiliar place for which she is not equipped.
While there, she encounters the Cheshire Cat sitting in the branches of a tree as she approaches a fork in the road.
“Which road should I take?” Alice asks.
“Where are you going?” the cat responds.
“I don’t know,” she says.
“Then either one will get you there,” the cat replies. The conundrum for Alice is that she has no plan in place for the situation in which she finds herself.
The theme for this issue of Cotton Farming is preparation. Know where your operation is headed and set goals to successfully realize its potential both short term and long term.
In the short term, Texas cotton farmers are facing out-of-control weeds after untimely rainfall since late spring. They need to embrace a strategy to take the pests out of the field before harvest because they can slow down cotton strippers and pickers. Lush, green weeds can also stain the lint.
In some areas of the Cotton Belt, fall armyworms are poised to threaten the crop. Farmers are warned on page 23 that “in any given year, multiple generations of fall armyworms occur. With the early and explosive start and until weather conditions change, producers can expect this pest to keep reproducing.” Before it’s too late, scout fields for these creepy crawlers and get familiar with management options to put into play if treatment thresholds are reached.
Your long-term strategic plan may involve updating some of your equipment. If harvesters are on the list, check out the new and improved machines on page 20. Do your homework to determine what this type of investment will potentially contribute to the overall success of your operation down the road.
Succession also needs to be addressed. While developing an estate plan with the help of your attorney and accountant, be aware of how federal taxes can affect the outcome for the next generation or another entity who will be taking over the operation.
The cover story on page 8 provides an educational overview of estate, gift and capital gains taxes.
And marketing your cotton may involve both short-term and long-term preparations. For tips to decipher this process, read “Stay Aware Of Market Risk.”
When navigating your way through all these topics, every detail counts.