here to ask Greg Smith a question or submit a comment
about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.
Control: Mid-Post, Lay-by
apply a neonicotinoid in June to keep plant bugs under control.
I scout my fields closely, and if I think I can get a few more
days of control without spraying, then I don't spray. But if I
do have to spray, I don't cut the insecticide rate or experiment
that may or may not work. The most expensive application is the
one that doesn’t work.
don’t apply any organophosphates in June, but once we start
seeing the (plant bug) nymphs about mid-July, then I start applying
these materials. That’s when we spray to kill.
it comes to insect control, we put enough product out there to get
the job done, keep the damage down and the fields clean.
Crop Services, Inc.
B.S. degree in Plant Science – Arkansas State University
• M.S. degree in Agriculture – University of Arkansas
• Member of the Arkansas Agricultural Consultants’ Assn.
• Licensed by the Arkansas State Plant Board
• Enjoys duck and turkey hunting and spending time with
his wife Angie, and children Lauren, 8, and Grant, 3.
In this Q&A interview, Smith 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?
In January, February and
March, I help most of my growers
with variety selection. That’s an important part of my business
because I get to see what different varieties do under every conceivable
situation: dryland, irrigated, different row spacings, different soil
types. It’s a valuable second opinion to the farmers. When growing
season starts, I scout my fields every four days and make recommendations
on insecticides, PGRs, fertilizer and irrigation. In the fall, I do
soil sampling, including GPS grid soil sampling and conventional soil
sampling. This year, for the first time, I will be sampling by soil
zone with the aid of satellite imagery.
approach to processing technology/ product information that you eventually
pass on to the farmer?
I attend meetings to gather
the knowledge I need to offer
the latest technology and new product information to create
the highest possible yields and bottom line profits. I try
to stay on the cutting edge of technology: learn about it,
use it and then put it to the test to see if it has a fit on my
growers’ farms. But the best technology as far as benefits to
myself and my growers is a plain old cell phone. Some of
the best consultants in the world are in my area, and we all
keep in touch with each other nearly every day throughout
the growing season. This is good for my growers because it
gives me a peripheral vision. I always know what's going
on around me and what to expect.
In your career,
what’s been the biggest change for crop consultants?
Bt cotton and herbicide-resistant
technology have changed the way cotton is grown and scouted. Soil sampling
techniques also have changed my business. Over the next two years I
expect to see widespread use of satellite imagery in cotton, especially
with variable rate nitrogen applications.
What has been the
most rewarding part of your profession?
As a young boy, I started
doing this type of work, and today I know I am in the right place, and
I love it. When I am an old man, I won’t look back with thoughts
of what I could have or should have done. I am where I am supposed to
be. The reward I get from that is that I honestly am a satisfied man.
My wife Debbie is very supportive and is a big part of keeping things
running smoothly. This is a good life that I have.