Home » Cover Story (page 8)

Cover Story

Harvesting The Crop

Missouri’s Rone Family Strives For Efficiency By Tommy Horton Defoliating and harvesting a cotton crop is like painting a picture. Unless everything is mixed together perfectly, the finished product won’t be that good. Some have even suggested that the entire exercise (defoliation and harvesting) is an art form, and it’s all about timing. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but that is ... Read More »

Can Technology Help In War Against Pigweed?

Has this been an unusual year for cotton producers in many parts of the Belt? Most would agree with that assessment. First, there is the frustrating cotton price that has stayed in the 60-cent range for months. Then came the floods in Texas and the Mid- South and dry conditions in the Southeast and West. One theme, however, remained consistent – the need for an effective strategy that could deal with weed resistance, namely pigweed. While most producers understand the concept of “starting clean and staying clean,” technology is assisting in the quest to reduce production costs even more. You’d be hard pressed to find a more forward-thinking farmer than Jason Luckey of Humboldt, Tenn., in the western part of the state. He, father Rege, brother Ken and nephew Zac have consistently adhered to a diversified crop mix involving cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat. They rarely increase acreage for any one crop and have succeeded in their dryland operation by staying with this philosophy. Read More »

Best Stink Bug Strategy?

It is hard to describe the behavior of the dreaded stink bug, which has wreaked havoc on cotton fields in the Southeast – and especially Georgia – for nearly two decades. The bad news is that this pest is here to stay. The good news is that farmers have tools and technology that are helping control the state’s No. 1 cotton insect pest. In addition to new strategies, researchers now seem to understand the pest’s behavior as compared to pre-Bt cotton days before 1996. Extension entomologist Phil Roberts, based in Tifton, Ga., says it’s also easier to explain other scientific facts about this pest. “I have had a lot of farmers ask why we can’t eradicate the stink bug – especially after we eradicated the boll weevil,” he says. “The only way you can eradicate any pest is if there is a weak link in its biology.” Read More »

Quick Start

Quick Start

Across the Cotton Belt, the strategy is the same this year – no matter the location. Producers must find a way to manage this crop efficiently. And that means planting on time and starting the season strong – much like a racehorse bolting out of the starting gate at top speed. It will be a challenge as farmers deal with low cotton prices, a new farm law, weed resistance and water availability in many locations – namely in California and Texas. Add in the big front-end investment with the seed, and you begin to get the picture. Nobody wants to re-plant the crop, and it is essential that young cotton seedlings have plenty of vigor and growth potential. Read More »

Staying With Cotton

Delta’s Justin Cariker Remains Committed To Reliable Crop The facts are clear. Cotton prices are a lot lower now than any farmer could have imagined several months ago. A year ago, everyone felt very positive about 80- to 85-cent prices. Today, the mood is different with a price hovering in the low to mid-60s. And, to nobody’s surprise, acreage projections ... Read More »

Texas Unity

A conversation with Buzz Cooper and Shawn Holladay Editors note – Ginner Buzz Cooper and producer Shawn Holladay know the importance of industry organizations working together for the betterment of U.S. cotton. Holladay is president of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., while Cooper is president of the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association. In this interview with Cotton Farming, they address key issues ... Read More »