Keep Optimism In The Forefront For 2018

Carroll Smith
Carroll Smith

The 2017 cotton season was bittersweet, considering the havoc wreaked on some areas by extreme weather and the bountiful harvest in others where conditions were favorable. Good or bad, the end results are almost in the rearview mirror. Now it’s time to start planning for next year.

Oklahoma native Will Rogers once said, “The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”
To me, this comment makes perfect sense. After all, when farmers look across their fields in the spring, they don’t see bare dirt; they see the promise of good things to come. Farmers don’t dwell on what the weather might do because they have no control over it. They faithfully plant their seed and nurture the crop, all the while envisioning snowy white fields at harvest time.

Perhaps the most important decision farmers will make going into the 2018 season involves variety selection. To aid in this process, Cotton Farming presents its annual Seed Variety Guide found on pages 10, 11, 12, 13 and 16. Seed companies from across the Cotton Belt provided information about their headliners, including new varieties, for farmers to consider during the planning season. For a complete listing, please visit the company websites or discuss specific needs with your seed representative.

Another helpful resource for cotton farmers is their consultants. These men and women take pride in staying up to date on new technology and how it can contribute to boosting their clients’ bottom line. Multiple opportunities are scheduled during the winter to provide education not only on technology itself but also on how to manage any issues surrounding that technology. One example is the Beltwide Cotton Conferences set for Jan. 3-5 in San Antonio, Texas.

Louisiana cotton consultant Hank Jones, chairman of the Beltwide consultant committee, says, “We put a lot of hard work into the Consultants Conference program, and I encourage my colleagues from all areas of the Cotton Belt to consider attending. I think it’s money well spent.”

For more information about the Beltwide, which also includes presentations from university and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers, Extension personnel/agents and industry sales/support personnel, see the article, “Elevating Efficiency In 2018,” on page 17.

And remember, as 2017 comes to a close, the take-home message is to stay optimistic about the upcoming season. Nobody does that better than cotton folks.

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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