Cotton Consultant's Corner
BS in Agriculture, Plant Science – Arkansas State University
What influenced your
decision to pursue a career
I enjoy the independence
and flexibility that this career
Outside of your usual
responsibilities, such as
In a word, it all boils down to dollars and cents. I think consultants can make the most impact on their clients’ success by keeping close watch on the pulse of their operations. While yield is very important, you have to think about the costs associated with attaining those yields in terms of insecticide and herbicide applications, for example. Your margins, or operating ratio, is what ultimately puts money in the bank. Also, with the high costs of inputs, timing is everything. You have to target your inputs for optimum performance without being excessive.
How would you describe the future role of the cotton consultant as the industry continues to evolve?
The role of the consultant is evolving into professional counsel in terms of continuing education. That is definitely one thing I place my focus on. Outside of my direct responsibilities to my growers, I attend winter education meetings to learn about new products and technologies that can provide economical solutions while increasing their yield. Also, I conduct and participate in field trials throughout the year. It is important to work with university personnel to learn about other “best practices” in different areas of the state. Also, with the skyrocketing prices of other crops, I have had to learn to diversify my knowledge of corn, beans and grain sorghum. I think we will continue to see this role expanding into keeping up with industry trends and how they can be applied to my growers’ operations.
What has been the most rewarding part of your profession?
The most rewarding part of my career coincides with the end of the growing season. I look forward to seeing the fruits of our labor. It’s validation for good decisions, and it is an opportunity to tweakother decisions as my farmers and I begin to plan for another successful crop year.