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How to Manage a Cotton Crop

Dr. Will McCarty


My title today is an almost impossible topic. There are many things that can be taught, i.e. I can teach soil fertility, I can teach insect control, I can teach weed control; however I am not sure anyone can teach management. Management is something which requires personal skills beyond raw intelligence. Management requires the ability to see things as they occur and to develop a feel for how what you do or may not do may interact with your crop and the environment to produce a desirable end result. That end result must ultimately be profitability of cotton on your farm sustained over time. I know of no one who wants to protect the environment more than a farmer. However, there is indeed some truth to the definition of sustainable agriculture offered by a grower friend of mine: staying in business. Staying in business is a complicated issue. It requires a tremendous knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge in a timely manner. Of course a little luck never hurt anything either.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 24 - 25
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998