During the heat of the production season, early risers and late nighters aptly describes the nature of a crop consultant. Their day typically begins before sunup as they head out to the field to start work at first light. A cell phone, laptop, notebooks, sweep nets and drop cloths adorn their rolling office. After arriving home that night, they spend a lot of time reviewing notes, sending reports to their farmers and preparing to go again in the morning.
Over the years, the crop consultant’s role has evolved. In the early days, they were known as the “bug man” for the farming operation. They checked the fields for insect pests and made recommendations to control them. Today, consultants typically offer many more services, including variety selection, weed control, fertilizer recommendations, irrigation timing and defoliation applications at harvest time. Many also have expanded their business to check other crops besides the “main crop,” depending on the circumstances.
Recently, consultants also were approved to assist farmers with enrolling in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. According to the program, “a crop consultant can be authorized to enter information and ensure accuracy on a grower’s behalf.” The timing for this designation is significant since enrollment for the 2023 crop year is open now through Sept. 1.
A few years ago, the industry spotlight lit up the consultant segment when a new, comprehensive Cotton Consultants Conference was scheduled to precede the Beltwide meeting. It’s still on the agenda today, is open to all scheduled attendees and covers a multitude of timely topics.
And now, it’s that time of year when we solicit nominations for the Cotton Consultant of the Year Award. To recognize the dedication and hard work of cotton consultants who put it all on the line for their farmers, Syngenta and Cotton Farming magazine have sponsored the CCOY award for more than four decades.
If you have a consultant who exhibits outstanding customer relations and embodies leadership and innovation, please go to cottonfarming.com/ccoy and nominate him or her online. You also can fill out the nomination form on page 15 and scan/email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Another option is to drop it in the mail to my physical address.
There are a lot of deserving cotton consultants out there, and I bet one of them is on your farm. Don’t miss this chance to recognize the person who always has your best interests and bottom line at heart!