Growing up in a small Louisiana town, I remember March was the month that sat on the winter side of spring. It was the time of year when you had to stick your head outside in the morning to decide whether to wear a jacket to school that day.
On the warmer days, our junior high PE teacher took us out to the field beside the main building, put us on teams and simulated a track meet of sorts. Most of the events were just foot races since we didn’t have any track equipment, not even starting blocks. Two people — one from each team — lined up, leaned forward a bit with our hands on our knees and waited for the count. Ready, get set, go!
I also remember Shirley Short, the fastest girl in our class. No one could beat her. But we all loved the competition, and I’m sure our teachers enjoyed us getting rid of some of our pent-up adolescent energy.
In the agricultural community, farmers, consultants, Extension experts and industry personnel find themselves hunched over in the starting blocks this time of year as well.
Some decisions have already been made, while others are still pending. For example, in the Specialists Speaking department on page 16, North Carolina cotton specialist Guy Collins said, “It’s a great time to start inquiring about seed quality and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Cotton Seed Testing Program. Any growers wanting their seed tested should know it’s the grower’s responsibility to ensure the inspectors are notified for testing the grower’s seed.”
And it’s always a good idea to attend winter meetings to hear the presentations and panel discussions that address topics you may still be on the fence about. Discussions often arise, so speak up and ask questions that may help in your decision-making process.
In most areas of the Cotton Belt, March is not quite go-time. But when the moment is right to crank up the planters, make sure you are ready to make the most out of the 2023 growing season!