Justin Shealey poked holes, sampled gas and got muddy all in an effort to help the vegetable growers in his area not lose tens of thousands of dollars and time by accidentally killing their spring transplants.
It was 1947 and J.L Clegg was attaching pipes to a free-flowing artesian well on his tobacco farm. That same year, L.E. Connell and assistant county Extension agent J. O. Hensley adjusted pipes on H. Langdale, Jr. Farm. And in 1951, Dock Jones was using dynamite to make ditches.
Johnny Cochran believes in crop rotation and uses at least a two-year to cotton and one-year to peanut rotation. But with a year like 2015, even he is tempted to stray from that doctrine and stretch peanut rotation on a few fields.
The Environmental Protection Agency in 2009 began to phase in new regulations for soil fumigant applications. Fumigant labels were introduced requiring stricter safety measures, including buffer zones around fields.
Currently, more than 60,000 landowners representing 4 million acres are enrolled in U.S. conservation programs. The newly created USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program looks to accelerate that amount in the coming years.
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy continues to lift the corn yield bar, clocking 503 bushels per acre this year to top the National Corn Growers Association National Corn Yield Contest, setting the highest yield ever in the 50 years of the competition.
There is little question that growers, particularly Southeast cotton growers, need the new auxin-tolerant crops and other herbicides hovering over the horizon as they continue their costly dance with herbicide-resistant weeds.