here to ask Billy Beegle a question or submit a comment
about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.
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TennArk Crop Service
BS degree in Business Management – University of Arkansas
• Full-time consultant for 28 years
• Partner in TennArk Crop Service with Tim Roberts
for 23 years
• I enjoy spending time with my wife, Gloria, hunting and
fishing and watching NFL football.
In this Q&A interview, Beegle talks about a consultant’s
challenges and rewards in today’s ag environment.
What services do
you offer and how do they contribute to your farmer client’s profitability?
We offer a complete consulting
service, including all
aspects of production from pre-season planning through
harvest. We meet with our growers in the fall or winter to
help plan the upcoming season. We help choose varieties,
then develop herbicide and burndown programs. We help
determine which tillage program best fits a particular field,
such as no-till, minimum till, or conventional tillage. We
take soil samples and develop a fertility program and are
involved with all aspects of production including herbicides,
insecticides, PGRs, irrigation, variable rate applications,
cultivation and harvest preparation. The best way to
stay in business is for our farmers to make a profit. We custom fit
each program to each grower to best serve his individual needs and make
as much profit as possible.
What have you found
to be the best approach to processing information/ technology and sharing
it with your farmer clients?
The amount of information
a grower has to choose from
can be overwhelming at times. Part of my job is to sort
through the clutter to determine what is important, and
what is just hype. We have to evaluate the new products, varieties and
techniques on a small scale before we can recommend them on a larger
basis. We are constantly assessing new ideas and products, some of which
prove to be profitable, some are not. We obtain information from university
and extension data, as well as company trials and independent consultant
trials. I enjoy discussing new ideas with my fellow consultants from
all over the Mid-South to learn from their experiences as well.
How would you describe
the future role of the cotton consultant?
The role of the cotton consultant
may be more important in the future than it is now. Farmers continue
to farm more acres with fewer people. I see this trend continuing, at
least until glyphosate-resistant pigweeds show up. I have asked all
of my farmers how many acres of cotton they could farm if we have to
go back to the old way of farming. Most have answered, “It can’t
be done.” I know we can do it if necessary but not on the number
of acres we farm now. I am also concerned with the speed the new varieties
are pushed at us every year. Many varieties are sold with very limited
testing or verification, so we have to do our evaluations very quickly
to determine which ones fit our area.
What has been the
most rewarding part of your profession?
The most rewarding part of
my profession is the relationships I have formed with my farmers. No
matter how bleak the situation seems to be, they always think things
will turn out all right. Whenever they get a little down, I cheer them
up. Whenever I get a little down, they cheer me up! I also enjoy watching
the crop progress from a seed in the bag, through the different stages
of production, all the way through until what will hopefully be a bountiful