Cotton Consultant's Corner
Five years cotton consulting experience
What services do you offer and how do they contribute to your farmer client’s profitability?
I assess cotton varieties from Alabama and surrounding states and recommend new varieties where there is a particular fit/need. I offer a “cradle to grave” service – varieties, burndowns and residual weed control, insect control, fertility, pgr’s, and layby and defoliation programs to help my clients increase their profitability. Field reports include number of fruiting nodes and nodes above white flower.
What’s your approach to processing technology/ product information that you eventually pass on to the farmer?
In my prior work experience, I’ve developed working relationships with many consultants and ag Extension leaders.The Beltwide provides a good forum to meet these friends, ask questions and discuss ideas. These professional contacts are invaluable in making some input decisions. Area Extension meetings and research field days are important in assessing new technology. Phone calls still work well.
In your career, what’s been the biggest change for crop consultants?
Assessing all of the technology is a challenge. However, I believe that I am at the “front end” of the biggest change – glyphosate-resistant weeds. A critical decision with my farmers is picking the right residual tank mix partner with glyphosate or going back to tillage. My farmer clients grow cotton on four different soil types and the red Valley soils respond least to no-till. I’ll have more DNA surface-applied at planting this year than the previous years combined.
What has been the most rewarding part of your profession?
I think of it as reward moments:
Picking off the end rows for a new farmer in a field that hasn’t
had cotton on it in 40 years; picking up a “Christmas gift”
barbequed pork shoulder because our cotton crop really turned out well;
seeing the smile on a farmer’s face when his staple is 37 and
38 or when he is passing one million pounds harvested; and picking cotton
with my grandchildren Emily and Taylor for dry arrangements at home
and at church.