Want to know what group keeps production agriculture on track? Or who really makes sure a farmer’s crop can weather the storm and deliver a good yield? If you didn’t know the answers to those questions, you’ve been living in a cave. The real “crop doctors” in the cotton industry are Extension specialists and crop consultants who are the eyes and ears for farmers.
I know I’m singing to the choir on this topic, but it never hurts to remind everyone of the contributions that these professionals make to agriculture and certainly to the U.S. cotton industry. For that reason, our magazine thought it would be timely to feature two consultants in one of our stories this month. In addition, it seemed fitting to have Extension cotton specialists from across the Belt offer expanded updates on how harvest is progressing in different states.
On pages 18 and 19, you’ll learn how consultants Tim Roberts and Billy Beegle of Dyersburg, Tenn., are helping their Mid-South farmer customers make smart decisions on issues such as weed resistance and variety selection. They’ve been making these recommendations for more years than they’d like to admit, but they continue to fight the good fight every day. I love their suggestion on how to battle the resistant pigweed problem. Just get mad at those weeds! I think we understand that message.
This is probably why Tim and Billy have gained so much respect from farmers in West Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. They don’t tiptoe around in their recommendations. They give you the flat-out, bottom line explanation. It isn’t politically correct. It’s simply the unvarnished truth that a farmer wants to hear.
As for Extension cotton specialists across the Belt who contribute reports to Cotton Farming every month, we want to say thanks one more time. These folks have a passion for not just one farmer but an entire state where their recommendations are respected. An Extension specialist – much like the consultant – deals with long hours, stress, deadlines and an equal assortment of compliments and criticism. It comes with the territory, as we like to say. You’ll find their detailed reviews of the harvest season on pages 8, 9, 10 and 12.
Nobody gets rich in either of these professions, but there can be no denying how important consultants and Extension specialists are to the ongoing health of the U.S. cotton industry. It takes special people to take on crucial responsibilities. These ag experts were “multi-taskers” long before the term became part of the popular workplace vocabulary.
We salute Extension specialists and consultants everywhere – the true unsung heroes of the cotton industry.
If you have comments, send them to: Editor, Cotton Farming Magazine, 1010 June Road, Suite 102, Memphis, Tenn., 38119. Or send e-mail to:
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