here to ask Carl Hobbs a question or submit a comment
about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.
sample according to historical production with about 25 acres
maximum per sample. Use a GPS application to memorize the zones.
Soil maps and recent aerial photos are excellent places to start,
along with field knowledge. Yield monitors, if available, complement
this program. Don’t overlook nematodes.
enough. Get at least a six-inch core. For lime, look beyond water
pH and focus on using lime to maintain good calcium and magnesium
levels. For conservation tillage, set your pH goal about 0.3 higher
and be a little more aggressive with phosphorus, and on higher
CEC soils, potassium.
Carl Hobbs Ag
Thirty years in ag; BBA degree in Management
• Member of NAICC
• Member and past president, Georgia Association
of Professional Agricultural Consultants
• Enjoys computers and reading. Leisure time is usually
busy with church work and family time.
In this Q&A interview, Hobbs 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?
I consult on cotton, peanuts,
some corn and small grains in
south Georgia. I run a year round program that includes
GIS-based soil sampling/nutrient planning, variety selection,
weed control, PGRs, disease control, irrigation management and harvest
maturity. I also have a technology
business, specializing in precision ag software, hardware,
services and consulting to farmers and other consultants.
approach to processing technology/product information
that you eventually pass on to the farmer?
I enjoy attending winter
production meetings. I set a goal
whenever going to one to leave with at least one thing that
I can apply on some farm some time the next growing season to benefit
a grower’s crop. I love networking with my
consultant friends and hearing how they address production
challenges. Field days, company tech reps and especially
the University people are all valuable. I must admit
that a lot of my growers show me some innovative and
successful approaches that I also take to the next grower.
In your career,
what’s been the biggest change for
I fell in love with growing
cotton in 1976 – when I got a summer job scouting for my home
county’s pest management association while attending college –
and have been hooked on ag as a career ever since, especially cotton.
Twenty years ago, a man could make a living counting bugs in cotton,
then hunt, fish and vacation all winter. Today, to make a living, a
consultant needs to set a goal to learn how to help with ALL of it.
Insect management in cotton is at the most about 60 percent of my total
program. The greatest value that I have brought to my growers has coincided
with their massive migration to conservation tillage in the last six
years. It has required a lot of rethinking on just about everything
What has been the
most rewarding part of your profession?
Wow… I tell people
that being in a field as a consultant is good because you are out there
where things are really happening. I take great pleasure in going to
a field several times over the growing season, identifying specific
problems, writing reports and recommendations, giving reports and recommendations
to a grower and seeing him nod his head, watching him do what I say
and then reaping the awards with a bountiful harvest. If I didn’t
have so many expenses, he wouldn’t even have to pay me to do that.