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In This Issue
Cotton – Charting New Waters
Increased Capacity Helps Texas Ginners
Cotton's Agenda: Don’t Miss Those Deadlines
Greenhouse Gas Debate Continues
Don’t Mess With West Texas...Varieties
Pigweed Hits North Alabama
Air Quality Rules Help Farmers
Ginning In The West Continues To Change
Calif. Ag Summit Focuses On Key Industry Issues
What Customers Want: Today’s Consumer Won’t Accept Poor Quality
Cotton Board: Enemy Becomes Friend
Missouri’s Parker Elected Chairman Of NCC For 2011
Editor's Note: Want Some Advice? Talk To A Farmer
Industry Comments
Web Poll: ‘Combo’ Approach For Weed Control
Specialists Speaking
Cotton Ginners Marketplace: Don’t Wait Too Long To Schedule Gin Repairs
Industry News
Cotton Consultants Corner: ‘Don’t Wait Too Late’
My Turn: A Fond Farewell
TCGA Schedule of Events
President's Report
TCGA’s ‘Ginner of the Year’
Scholarship Awards Announced
Trust Continues Profitable Trend In 2010
Incoming TCGA President
Q&A with Jim Bradford
TCGA Exhibitors and Booth Numbers
CF / TCGA Alliance
Civic Center Map (PDF)
TCGA Staff
NFL Referee To Address PCG Annual Meeting
TCGA’s New Home: Overton Hotel
TCGA Officers/Directors
What To Do In Lubbock
Georgian To Lead National Cotton Ginners

Want Some Advice? Talk To A Farmer

By Tommy Horton
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When in doubt about how and when to sell your cotton, it always pays to listen to the experts. Even if these folks don’t proclaim to have doctorate degrees in agricultural economics, what they have to say matters. They aren’t necessarily sitting around a conference table in a New York City skyscraper discussing hedge funds and venture capital projects. They also aren’t parked in front of a computer all day while talking to someone in Tokyo, Beijing or London.

Our experts are a different type compared to the button-down executives who wear the Brooks Brothers suits. You might call these persons a unique brand of soldier who is on the front line of agriculture. They have something on their side that nobody else really has in a resume or portfolio. These “experts” have weathered the unpredictable twists and turns that market prices dish out every day. But, more importantly, they are survivors who have achieved several decades’ worth of experience planting, nurturing and harvesting cotton crops.

That explains why we called on cotton producers such as Georgia’s Bob McLendon, Mississippi’s Kenneth Hood, Texas’ Bill Lovelady and Arizona’s Dennis Palmer to offer some clarity as the industry tries to make sense of this historic cotton price ride.

I have known Palmer for about a year since we featured him in a cover story in Cotton Farming in April of 2010. If ever there breathed a common sense farmer, it’s Dennis, and I respect his opinion along with everyone else in the Palmer family farm operation in Thatcher, Ariz.

As for McLendon, Hood and Lovelady, I’ve know each of them for about 25 years, dating back to the mid-1980s. Before there were iPhones, Blackberries, iPods, email messages and computers, these three farmers were out there searching for new techniques to make their farms more efficient. They have always had a knack for analyzing a situation and finding a solution – no matter how complicated. It’s this kind of meticulous approach that has allowed them to adapt and succeed through the years.

We thought it would be informative to hear what they had to say about high cotton prices. Each farmer represents a different region of the Belt, and the agronomic challenges aren’t the same. But they have one common trait. They trust their own judgment and are always willing to share their ideas with anybody who will listen.

When you read their stories on pages 14, 16, 20 and 22, you’ll better understand what I’m talking about. An experienced farmer has seen the highs and lows in cotton prices but sticks to the fundamentals and is careful in his decisions.

Such is the case with these four farmers.

If you have comments, send them to: Editor, Cotton Farming Magazine, 5118 Park Ave., Suite 111, Memphis, Tenn., 38117. Or send e-mail to:

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