Footprints In the Field And On The Home Front

Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith

As the cotton crop rolls into mid-July, consultants are shifting into high gear across the Belt to nurture and protect the precious money bolls. This important segment of the industry is now in the height of its season. With that in mind, we have a “consultant-rich” issue of Cotton Farming this month.

In “Turnage Farms” on page 8, cotton farmer Patrick Turnage shares credit for the Missouri Bootheel farm’s success with their consultant Tim Roberts, co-owner of TennArk Crop Service. “From being a cotton scout to a father figure, Tim has guided me through understanding seed selection and placement according to soil type, spreading risk with multiple cotton varieties, the importance of weed control, the why and why not’s of fertility, being aggressive on bugs, and most of all, the importance of timeliness in all of our practices,” Turnage says.

Independent crop consultant Paul Scott Poag, based in Manila, Ark., shares his thoughts on the importance of controlling plant bugs during the bloom stage in “Cotton Consultant’s Corner” on page 7. “July 4 marks a critical time in the season when money bolls are being set,” he says. “We have to keep bugs off the cotton and the water rolling since the bulk of the crop is being made at this point.”

Tennessee crop consultant Larry Kimery made the news this month as he recalls being selected the grand prizewinner in last year’s Transform My Community Contest. Dow AgroSciences donated the grand prize money on his behalf to the Gibson County Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. In his winning essay, Kimery explained how “$20,000 would go a long way to help all the children in need of the center’s services.” Details about the 2017 TMC contest, which kicks off on Aug. 1, can be found on page 10. All eligible cotton consultants and farmers are encouraged to enter.

July also is the month in which we open nominations for the 2017 Cotton Consultant of the Year award. This program began in 1981 and is sponsored by Syngenta and Cotton Farming magazine. If you know of a consultant deserving of this honor, please take time to nominate him or her. The nomination form can be found on page 13 and on the Cotton Farming website at

Our special treat for you this month features Dorothy Young in the “My Turn” column on page 22. Dorothy is married to Louisiana cotton consultant Ray Young. Check out behind-the-scenes anecdotes and life as “A Consultant’s Wife” from her perspective.

And to all the cotton consultants out there, we salute you!

If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138. Contact Carroll Smith via email at

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