The time to focus on yield is not at harvest

by Jack Warren, editor and host of Top Coach Podcast

McLean County, Illinois is traditionally the highest producing county in the United States for corn and soybeans. To start with, it’s the largest county by square miles in the state. And if you’ve ever seen the dirt here, you’d see we have another big advantage.

Harvest is, for the most part, completed here and by all accounts it will be another solid season. In 2016 the average yield for corn was 218 bushels per acre. In 1972 that yield was approximately 120 bushels per acre.  During that period, there has been an average increase of nearly 2 bushels per year.

These increased in production did not come because these thousands of farmers focused on the number 218. The number is indeed important, but only as a goal. The farmer, just like an athlete or a coach, understands how important it is to have something to aim at. However, goals serve as beacons — something to aim at. It’s the processes you put in place and the resources you provide that really determine the outcome.

Our McLean County farmers are blessed with some of the finest soil in the world. However, it is not the soil itself that has led to the steady growth in yield. Equipment technology, seed development, and soil management are just a few of the areas in which great strides have been made to aid in the remarkable increases in crop yield.

As you focus on increased win totals or a conference championship, what are you doing to get there? What processes are you changing? What ingredients are important in getting you to your goals? What resources have you put in place to help you achieve those goals? If you’re doing the same things over and over, then no amount of wishing will help you make it to your desired destination. Take time on a regular basis to evaluate your resources and processes. Put in place those things that will help you achieve your goals.

Jack is available to speak to your team or organization or at your next function. He also provides individual and organizational coaching and consulting. You can get more information on these services at Jack’s professional services site,


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