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Cotton Consultant's Corner

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Click here to ask Jesse Rice a question or submit a comment about this month’s
Cotton Consultant’s Corner.

  
Varieties & Seed Treatments
     

 

Your whole cotton crop hinges on variety selection and the type of seed treatments that you choose. You can’t put a price tag on getting your cotton off to a good start.

In our area, 50 to 60% of the cotton acres were treated with Avicta this year. I treated some of my seed with Avicta and planted some without. It seems like the cotton I treated with Avicta weighed out a little heavier. It’s convenient for us to use it in our area because we have a treating facility about 30 miles away in McGehee. That works out real well.
 

  

Jesse Rice
Jesse Rice Consulting
Gould, Ark. 

• Began scouting in college and has been in the consulting
business for 40 years
• BBA degree in Agribusiness from the University of Arkansas
at Monticello
• Jesse says he gave up fishing but loves to hunt and farm!


In this Q&A interview, Rice talks about the challenges he
faces and the rewards he realizes as a consultant in
today’s new ag environment.

What services do you offer and how do they contribute to your farmer client’s profitability?

Early in the year we work on variety selection and fertility
programs. In June, July and August, we scout the fields
twice a week and make recommendations on insecticides,
herbicides, PGRs, irrigation schedules and defoliation programs. One of the most important services we offer is making sure that our farmers’ first irrigation starts on time. We get lots of questions on irrigation that we didn’t use to get. This year we had to irrigate on a four- to five-day schedule because of how hot and dry it was. Also, in our area, we usually water as long as there is anything on top we think we can make. That’s just the way we do it.

What’s your approach to processing technology/product information
that you eventually pass on to the farmer?

I go to the winter meetings that the chemical companies
and Extension service put on and attend the Beltwide
Cotton Conferences and the Gin Show in Memphis.
I read a lot of trade magazines, then I meet with my growers before the season starts to see if they have any questions. Five years ago when the Bt varieties came out, we spent a lot more time educating our growers. Now as we get into more Bt II cotton, we’re going to have to go through an education process on that technology, too.

In your career, what’s been the biggest change for crop consultants?

The biggest change I’ve seen is the size of farms. When I first started consulting, we had allotments. Until the early '70s if you owned 40 acres, you could only raise 10 acres of cotton. The government told you exactly how many acres of each crop you could raise on your farm or on the ground that you rented. When I first started consulting, one of my farmers had 200 acres, one had 100 and everybody else was. under 50. Today we have fewer farmers, but they have a lot more acres. Another change is the new technology and the knowledge necessary to use it. It’s unbelievable how much you have to know. That’s where consultants come in. The farmers pay us to do all of the leg work for them while they are actually out there doing the farming.

What has been the most rewarding part of your profession?

It’s two-fold. Watching someone grow from a small operation into a larger operation is very satisfying. One of my farmers was working with his daddy when I first started dealing with him. Now he farms over five thousand acres. I’m also very proud of some of the young people who started out working for me and now have consulting businesses of their own. That’s very rewarding.

 

- COTTON CONSULTANT'S CORNER ARCHIVES -

Cotton Consultant of the Year Award
  • 
Cotton Consultant of the Year History
  • 
Cotton Consultant of the Year Recipients

 


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