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Early Season Insect Control


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.

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.
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.

Billy Bryant
Bryant Consulting Services Inc.
Leflore, Carroll and Holmes Counties, Miss.  

• Twenty-three years cotton consulting experience
• B.S. degree in Agronomy – Mississippi State University
• Member/past director of Mississippi Agricultural
  Consultants Association
• Enjoys hunting, fishing and working with his family on their
  “hobby farm” where they raise their own meat and vegetables

In this Q&A interview, Bryant 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.

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Cotton Consultant of the Year Recipients


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