Ron Smith

Southwest Farm Press

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

Herbicide resistance changing production options across Sunbelt
From the Coastal Plains of the Carolinas to the High Plains of Texas, farmers are facing or trying to avoid the nightmare of herbicide resistant weeds and grasses.
Prospects improved, but 2013 Texas cotton acreage still up in the air
A lot of uncertainty remains as to the eventual 2013 cotton acreage in Texas.
Despite obstacles, livestock can be incorporated into conservation-tillage systems
Farmers’ goals include productivity and profit, but protecting the environment is also important.
Reasons for optimism exist for cotton industry
In spite of significant challenges, the cotton industry also sees reasons for optimism and a turn-around in market share.
Cotton seed companies announce 2013 rookie lineups
U.S. cotton seed companies have once again released new cotton varieties, many with out-of-the-park yield potential and fiber quality.
Technology leads to five-bale per acre cotton for West Texas grower
Even though William Carlton, Jr., (Junior to his friends) wasn’t raised on a farm, something about the challenges and opportunities of making a living from the soil always appealed to him.
Boll weevil bottled up in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley
The Lower Rio Grande Valley remains the last bastion of boll weevil infestation in the country, and the decades-old eradication program continues to deplete the pest’s numbers there, but as long as a viable population exists, cotton farmers cannot rest.
Poultry litter not responsible for weed surge
You don’t get weeds in your fields from applying poultry litter.
Grain sorghum acreage increase forecast
Continued high grain prices, environmental and climate concerns, need for a viable rotation for resistant weed management and anticipated use for ethanol will spur an acreage increase for grain sorghum in 2013 and beyond.
High fertilizer prices spur need for efficiency
The price of fertilizer may have decreased some and stabilized from recent historic peaks, but it’s still expensive.
Strong demand outside China supporting cotton prices
O.A. Cleveland can’t see 90-cent cotton — 86 cents a pound, maybe.
Economist says farm bills should be designed for times of low prices
Among all the unanswered questions about the farm bill, one thing is certain: farmers will operate under the 2008 law through 2013.
Southwest growers dealing with erratic wheat stands
Ronnie Lumpkins has a bit of a management dilemma: how to manage a wheat crop that emerged in two distinct phases; about half came up shortly after a late October planting; the rest after a combination of late December rain and snow provided enough moisture for seed to germinate.
Will agriculture get caught in another round of budget cuts?
Pushing the farm bill to the future means greater risk for changes in the budget and available money for agriculture.
Former Peanut Profitability winners saw record crops in 2012
Fifty-five inches of rain from planting until harvest is too much rain for any farmer, even a dryland peanut producer.
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