here to ask Chad Nelson or Robbie Gwin a question
or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s
2006 Season Review
after planting we encountered above average rainfall, cool weather
and isolated hail storms. This created a lot of problems with
disease and less than desirable plant populations. Hot and dry
conditions followed and remained through most of the 2006 growing
We were forced
to begin irrigation earlier than normal in most places. For what
seemed like a less than favorable cotton growing season, the Lord
blessed us with an above average crop and a great harvest season.
Our clients’ yields ranged from 600 to 1,700 lbs. per acre,
likely to average around 1,100 lbs.
& Robbie Gwin
Both men have a degree in Agriculture from Northeast
Louisiana University and are NAICC members.
• Both are members of the Louisiana Agricultural Consultants
Association (LACA). Chad is on the LACA Executive Board and
is President-Elect. Robbie is active on many LACA committees.
• Chad enjoys hunting, LSU football and most of all spending
time with family. Robbie enjoys bowhunting in his leisure time.
In this Q&A interview, Nelson and Gwin talk about the
challenges they face and the rewards they realize as consultants in
today’s new ag environment..
What services do
you offer and how do they contribute to your farmer client’s profitability?
We offer a full agronomic
consulting service to our growers.
We begin meeting with them during the winter to help
make decisions concerning variety selections, at-planting
insecticides and soil fertility. We begin scouting fields at
planting and continue monitoring fields until harvest.
While our primary focus is insect management, we also help with weed
control, irrigation, fertility management and
defoliation. Most of our soil sampling is done on 2.5 or 5
acre grids. We use EC and yield data to help create sampling zones.
We feel that the more aspects of production we are involved in, the
better job we can do to help increase our clients’ profitability.
approach to processing technology/product information
that you eventually pass on to the farmer?
Because ag technology and
products are constantly changing, we find it’s important to stay
annual LACA meeting is a good source of information
for us. University researchers and industry reps give
informative presentations at this meeting. We also
attend consultant meetings held by seed and chemical companies to gain
information on specific products. Information exchange with industry
reps and fellow consultants helps keep us informed as well. We feel
it is our responsibility to filter through new technology and products
to see what has value for our clients and pass that information to them.
In your career,
what’s been the biggest change for crop consultants?
Without a doubt, boll weevil eradication and Bt cotton have
been the two most influential factors that have changed our way of scouting
and managing a cotton crop. These changes, along with today’s
high yielding varieties, have allowed us to push our crop later than
we were able to do in the past. Now, instead of boll weevils and tobacco
budworms, our primary insect concerns have switched to plant bugs, stink
bugs, fall armyworms and spider mites.
What has been the
most rewarding part of your profession?
feel very blessed to make a living doing something I love. One of the
most rewarding parts of my profession is the friends I have made with
clients, employees, other consultants and people in the industry. Some
of my best friends are also our clients. To see them succeed and to
know I had a part in their success is also very rewarding.