Worthy Cotton Pest Management, Inc./cotton farmer
Cadaretta, Miss. (Consults in the Bootheel of Missouri,
In the summer of 1977, I started down a road that I had no idea of
where it would take me. I was at Mississippi State at the time and like
most farm-bred boys, I knew what my summer would consist of: Sitting
straddle of a 3020 John Deere tractor plowing cotton, spraying, etc.
I had in the back of my mind trying my hand at scouting cotton for
someone to make some money, since my dad’s pay schedule wasn’t at
the top of the heap. I got a job scouting with the local county agent and
loved every day of it. This is when I realized what I was going to set my
goal for. From this point on, I have spent every summer doing what I enjoy
most, helping farmers make more cotton.
As I said earlier, being from a farming background, I know how
important it is to do this job and do it right. Once I start making scheduled
rounds, I try to treat each man’s cotton as if it were my own, “to make
every dollar count.”
As for 2012, it has been pretty much like all other years (completely
unpredictable). We started out our year pretty much as any other year in
the Bootheel as far as weather goes – unpredictable. First of all, we went
from 100 to 120 days without as much as a sprinkle of water in a large
area. We planted cotton in mostly old beds, but lack of moisture kept us
from getting any type of uniform stand. We actually had some fields with
five different ages of cotton in them. Seventy percent of our cotton was
brought to a stand by either flooding or by using center pivots.
For 2012, this was only the start of our problems. Next, we had an
abundance of thrips, which led directly into the worst spider mite infestation
I’ve ever seen in my 35 years of consulting. The rest of the summer
ran fairly smoothly, although defoliation was tricky due to the many ages
of cotton that were in the same field. However, we managed to get
through this, and, from what I understand, we are picking a very good
cotton crop in between rain showers.
As for any advice I could offer about cotton for 2013 (since prices are
where they are), it would be: 1) Pick your seed varieties based on what
they have done for you in the past; 2) Match varieties to your soil type; 3)
This is not a year to try unproven yielders on a very large scale; 4) Always
use in-furrow fungicides 5) Plan planting dates. Remember, “The early
bird always get the WORM.”
By the time you read this, I hope and pray that all of you have gathered
your crops, and that they were bill payers. Now it’s time to be in the right
place at the right time for that 170 buck to come by you. Okay, maybe a
140 buck. Have a good hunting season.
Click here to ask Kobin Worthy a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.
• B.S. in Agricultural Engineering Technology and
Business (AETB)/Entomology – Mississippi State University
• Consults on cotton, corn and soybeans
• Member of the Mississippi Association of Crop
• Member of the Board of Directors, Four County Gin
• Member of Philadelphia Baptist Church
• Married to wife Lisa for 15 years
• Two children: Maggie, 14, and Landon, 13
• Enjoys all outdoor activities, bow hunting, fishing and
tending to his own farmland
Recap: Goal Is To
‘Make Every Dollar Count’
1. Pretty much like all the other years, 2012 was completely
2. Despite lack of early season moisture, thrips, spider mites
and tricky defoliation due to the many ages of cotton in the
same field, I understand we are picking a very good cotton
crop in between rain showers.
3. For 2012, pick your seed varieties based on what they have done
for you in the past.
4. Be sure to match varieties to your soil type.
5. This is not a year to try unproven yielders on a very large scale.
6. Always use in-furrow fungicides.
7. Plan planting dates. Remember, “The early bird always gets