here to ask Trent LaMastus a question or submit a
comment about this month’s
Cotton Consultant’s Corner.
The Results Are In
2006, the market was talking about a new way to grow cotton, and
it sounded almost too good to be true. Now it’s
2007, and the results are in – AVICTA Complete Pak is number
one after year number one. It provides protection against nematodes,
insects and disease. And it is a convenient way to plant and protect
cotton in one easy step.
provided by Syngenta.
BS degree in Biology from Delta State University
• Member of Mississippi Ag Consultants Assn. for 14 years
• Served 2-year term on MACA Board of Directors
• Consults on cotton, rice, soybeans, corn, peanuts & other
• Enjoys spending time with his wife of 10 years, Jennifer, and
sons, Stephen Trent, Jr. and William Tucker
In this Q&A interview, LaMastus talks about the chal -
lenges he faces and the rewards he realizes as a consul -
tant in today’s new ag environment.
What services do
you offer and how do they contribute to your farmer client’s profitability?
As the needs of my clients
have changed, I have tried to
evolve to fit their needs. I have adapted to the use of GPS
technology and begun grid and direct soil sampling. We
have used GPS to some degree with our overall scouting
program, including insects, weeds, PGR, drainage, defoliation, VR fertilizers
and nitrogen recommendations and variety selections. My scouts and I
probably spend more time in our client’s field than anyone else
involved in his operation. The more information I can provide, the better
he can make decisions that will affect his bottom line.
What have you found
to be the best approach to processing information/ technology and sharing
it with your farmer clients?
Being a member of the Mississippi
Association has been an invaluable source of information,
industry contacts and great friends. I also rely very heavily on our
MSU Extension Service. My area chemical reps and local distributor reps
typically contact me directly with updates, and the companies are quick
to e-mail or fax time sensitive information. After winter meetings I
try to determine what might be of interest or value to my clients. I
start calling and visiting them around January and February so we can
share ideas about the coming season.
As we look to the
future, how would you describe the role of the cotton consultant as
the industry continues to evolve?
In the immediate future,
I would describe the role of a Mississippi Delta crop consultant as
a corn and soybean consultant. Having said that, the role of a cotton
consultant is going to be more important than ever. We are entering
a new era in pest management. In the Delta we are seeing higher levels
of organophosphate-resistant tarnished plant bugs and many glyphosate-resistant
weed species. Big acres are being shifted from cotton to grain, and
we are likely to see an increase in populations of bollworm, plant bugs
and stinkbugs. As growers adapt to new technology, they will
realize the benefit of having an unbiased opinion to help evaluate how
best to use these resources. Who better to do that than the consultant
out walking your fields twice a week from planting to crop termination?
What has been the
most rewarding part of your profession?
I am truly blessed to be
able to make a living doing something I enjoy so much. One of the most
rewarding parts of my profession is getting to work with the best people
in the industry – from my clients to Extension to chemical reps
and dealer reps to fellow consultants and ag pilots. Some of my best
relationships stem from my profession.