Most turf managers always have a “plan” in their minds as to how they will proceed with their agronomy practices, but do you document your agronomic plan much like you would an expense budget? Have you studied your chemical and fertilizer records and evaluated what worked well, what did not, and what needs to be improved upon next season? Are your practices and applications documented well so that you can review your successes and failures? Are you prepared to put your operating budget to work with an agronomic plan? These are questions to ask yourself on frosty mornings while you hit up the coffee pot and wait for the next “so what do you do in winter?”

Agronomic plans can be very simple or very detailed, can be set in stone and purchased through early order programs (EOP), or be a mere traveler’s itinerary through the growing season with regular visits from your sales representative. It can be typed up in the latest spreadsheet software or scribbled on a sheet of paper tacked up on the wall. It may be devised in a few minutes based on years of experience with a property or may take many meetings, phone calls, texts, and emails with local distributors and management at your facility. No matter the formality of the process, an agronomic plan is a playbook that a turf manager must use to be best prepared for next year.

Advantages of Documenting an Agronomic Plan

  • Creates guidelines for what practices and materials are needed on a weekly/monthly basis specific to the turf facility that you manage.
  • It’s a roadmap to success. It’s always good to know where you are going and what it takes to get there.
  • Good communication. When an agronomic plan is in place and is shared and communicated with staff and management, it brings the entire team at a facility together in support of what will be necessary for success.
  • Financial Management. An agronomic plan will help you know what you need and when you need to purchase it. It will help you better manage your budget and will also prepare you to take advantage of the best deals offered by distributors and manufacturers.

I’d encourage all turf managers to take the time to prepare for success by creating an agronomic plan or updating it to be best prepared for a great year.