Even though commodity prices are higher, variety selection, fertility, pest management, irrigation, timely planting and harvesting are still the critical decisions between profit and loss, says Phil Sloderbeck, Extension entomologist at Kansas State University.

“Higher prices will lower economic thresholds, but they don't eliminate the need for scouting and applying treatments in a timely manner,” he says.

“Pay down loans, purchase new equipment to improve efficiency and timeliness of practices, adjust fertilizer rates to rebuild soil that may have been mined during years of poor returns, pay more for improved higher yielding seed, update or improve equipment, and hire a crop consultant to improve pest management decisions,” Sloderbeck says.