Southeast, Delta and South Texas Farmers Honored
Growers from the Southeast, Delta and South Texas regions were honored recently at the annual Stoneville Legacy Club celebration held in Destin, Florida.
The club, now in its third year, recognizes cotton growers for their advanced knowledge and skill used to maximize yield and profit potential, as well as produce high-quality fiber.
Twenty growers earned membership in the Stoneville Legacy Club and were recognized for harvesting yields in the top 10 percent of their state.
“Stoneville has been around for nearly 100 years, and it’s a brand growers trust to consistently perform at high levels,” says Rachel Walters, BASF cottonseed marketing manager. “Stoneville Legacy Club growers pair our elite germplasm with their quality management to deliver high yields year in and year out. We’re honored to provide them with this recognition.”
Of those who qualified for the Stoneville Legacy Club, the following growers received special awards in their regions:
▶ Highest yield: Mark and Becky Landry, Landry Farms, 2,276 pounds per acre
▶ Most acres: Mark and Becky Landry, Landry Farms, 254 acres
▶ Most varieties: Lea and Jody Calloway, Calloway Farm Partnership, ST 5471GLTP, ST 5517GLTP and ST 5122GLT
▶ Highest yield: Bart Waller, H.B. Waller III, 1,360 pounds per acre
▶ Most acres: Matt Ransom, Ransom Farms, 920 acres
▶ Most varieties: Matt Ransom, Ransom Farms, ST 4848GLT, ST 5020GLT, ST 6182GLT and ST 4946GLB2
Mark and Becky Landry of Landry Farms in Knippa, Texas, received the award for highest yield in the South Texas/Delta region. “We’ve been growing Stoneville for 30 years,” Landry says.
“We started out with 3-bale cotton yields in the ’80s, and as genetics and varieties have improved, we’re now achieving more than 4 1/2-bale yields. This is a result of the new varieties that Stoneville has brought to the table for cotton farmers.”
To qualify for the Stoneville Legacy Club, growers must have planted 100 percent Stoneville cotton seed on at least 20 qualifying acres from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2018. To view a complete list of winners and learn more about how to qualify for the 2019 Stoneville Legacy Club, visit Stoneville.com/LC.
Partnership Brings Real-Time Drone Mapping Onboard
Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, has announced a global agreement with DroneDeploy to use DroneDeploy in its fleet of more than 400 DJI drones. The agreement is across the company’s global seed production and supply chain, as well as its Pioneer strategic account management and agronomy teams in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Europe.
DroneDeploy provides commercial drone software and intelligence gathered via satellite and aerial photography for construction and agriculture.
“The field intelligence technology will enable our Pioneer agronomy and strategic account management teams to work with farmers to provide real-time aerial views of their operation,” says Jeremy Groeteke, Corteva Agriscience U.S. digital agriculture lead.
UAV operators can survey a 160-acre field in less than 15 minutes, quickly spotting variations in plant and soil health. Every operator will be trained on how best to harness the power of the aerial technology and will be certified according to local aviation regulations.
USDA Designates Natural Disaster Areas For Louisiana
Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., says the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 17 parishes as primary natural disaster areas because of excessive rain and flooding from Aug. 25 through Nov. 16, 2018. As a result, some Louisiana farmers could be eligible for assistance.
Farmers in Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Catahoula, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, Terrebonne and Vermilion parishes are eligible for low- interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency provided eligibility requirements are met.
Farmers in eligible areas have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs — in addition to the emergency loan program — to help eligible farmers recover.
These 18 Louisiana parishes are designated contiguous disaster areas as a result of damages and losses because of the rain: Caldwell, Concordia, East Baton Rouge, Evangeline, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, LaSalle, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, Tensas and Vernon.
Local FSA offices can provide further information.
Eminent Domain Remains A Hot Topic In The Lone Star State
Texas landowners often face an uphill battle in eminent domain cases, but Senate Bill 421 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst aims to create a fair, transparent and accountable process. Texas Farm Bureau Secretary-Treasurer Scott Frazier testified in support of SB 421 at a hearing of the Senate State Affairs Committee.
The bill would mandate that all easement agreements used for pipelines or electric transmission lines include minimum protections for landowners.
“Requiring standard easement terms ensures landowners get basic protections for the use of their property. Easement terms are held as leverage over the landowners,” Frazier says. “I can make headway with the company negotiating important protections into the company’s easement form. But if we can’t agree on fair compensation, I risk losing those easement terms.
“If I’m taken to court, the easement is written exclusively by the company and filed with the condemnation petition. I have to accept whatever terms they choose to give me.”
The bill also outlines increased transparency between the condemning private entity and the landowners. Companies that use eminent domain would be required, in certain circumstances, to hold public meetings within the counties they would be asserting eminent domain. These meetings must be held before the company can acquire any property.
“This is required of public entities in Texas,” Frazier says. “Let’s hold private, for-profit corporations to the same standard.”
The bill also creates a disincentive for entities that make a low initial offer. “We see this as a mechanism to deter ridiculous offers and get landowners fair compensation without having to hire an attorney and be taken to court,” Frazier says.
Under current law, the only requirement for the initial offer is that it be in writing. “That’s it. They’re not required to provide any documentation substantiating the offer provides the compensation required by the Constitution,” he says. “This allows bad actors to take advantage of landowners.”
Texas Farm Bureau, other agricultural organizations and landowner groups support the legislation because it seeks a better solution for private property owners while also ensuring public needs are met.