Harvest Season –
Harvest season is boring, boring, boring.
But it never used to be.
That’s because the “scales of reality” still covered my eyes and I believed my future as a seed seller laid squarely in the hands of how each of my varieties performed come harvest. As a seed seller, I actually believed my varieties determined my destiny with each and every one of my customers.
Well, to most companies it actually did, I suppose. That’s why we’ve lost more than half of those companies over the past 15 years.
But now that we know that harvest doesn’t control our destinies, but everything we do before harvest does, harvest has become a very boring event.
Whoever thought harvest would ever become boring?
There’s nothing to talk about during harvest anymore — at least when it comes to your products’ performance in customer’s fields. Years ago, we couldn’t wait for harvest to come to see how we did.
We hoped to win every plot, side-by-side, and be welcomed back on every farm we sold seed to.
If the season treated us right, if the crop was harvested on schedule, and if the farmer liked us after he combined our varieties, we considered ourselves lucky.
It was all about luck.
If a variety didn’t perform, it was simply bad luck — Mother Nature’s fault. But if we had good luck and we kicked some competitor’s butt, it was all about how good our varieties were.
Well, years into my seed selling career, the scales finally fell from my eyes and I saw the real truth. When my products didn’t perform as I wanted, it wasn’t bad luck at all, but poor attention to protecting the products’ performance.
If they performed well, it also was not luck, but close attention to production details. The reality was we already knew what the outcomes were going to be when harvest time arrived — we really didn’t need to wait.
This allowed us to make all of next year’s planting decisions prior to harvest, which took individual varietal performance out of the information the farmer gathered at harvest, and it inserted whole-field performance, based on total bushels harvested from that field sans varieties — none of that mattered anymore.
I used to think harvest was the most exciting time of year. I mean, who couldn’t wait to see the results of how their products performed on every customer’s farm? Harvest was always full of surprises – some good and some not so good – but i usually won more than I lost.
But all in all, I have to say harvest used to be the most eventful, exciting, and non-boring time of the year.
Now it’s not.
By the time harvest hits, all the surprises and excitement, when it comes to your products performing, should be gone.
Harvest should be a very boring time of year because most of the excitement is over by then. I mean the jury is already in and you and your customers have already finished developing the cropping plans for the next year (right?) and you chose the varieties by field for each of your growers (right?).
Hope you are having a safe, profitable and boring harvest!