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Cotton Consultant's Corner

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

  
Weed Control: Mid-Post, Lay-by
     

  1. 

I 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 with something
that may or may not work. The most expensive application is the one that doesn’t work.

 

  
2. 
I 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.
 
 
3. 
When it comes to insect control, we put enough product out there to get the job done, keep the damage down and the fields clean.
 
 

Greg Smith
Buffalo Island Crop Services, Inc.
Leachville, Ark.

• 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.

What’s your 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.

 

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

 


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