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Cover Story

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 »

Texas Turnaround

Steve Verett

Just what is "typical" anyway? That seems to be a debatable question here on the High Plains, where the last three years have been anything but. Even the last good year, 2010, also was not "typical," with the area's highest production and lowest abandonment in recorded history. As executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., a cotton producer organization representing thousands of hard-working farmers in 41 counties on the High Plains, I've noticed... Read More »

West Tennessee Ginner Richard Kelley Trying To Stay Competitive

West Tennessee producer/ginner Richard Kelley has observed many changes in the cotton industry for the past 40 years. In this interview with Cotton Farming, he discusses some of the major issues as harvest and ginning seasons approach. What's uppermost in your mind as ginning season approaches? The thoughts that come to mind are "survival" and the future of cotton in our area. These are challenging times for cotton as we deal with weak demand, larger carryover and lower prices. Read More »