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.

Oceans combine to change U.S. weather patterns
A combination of warming water temperatures in the Atlantic and changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) pattern (which shifts heat and energy to different parts of the world) is creating more extreme weather patterns and affecting food production.
Freeze puts Texas High Plains crops in jeopardy
High plains farmers face a lot of “what if’s” this week as they evaluate effects of the Monday morning freeze.
Easing trade sanctions could mean millions for U.S. beef
Erin Borror, U.S. Meat Export Federation, says opening up new markets or regaining old ones offers significant opportunity to the U.S. beef industry. Gaining access to China, for example, could mean around $320 million to U.S. beef producers.
Japan holds key to U.S. beef exports
Increased access to Japan is one reason Erin Borror, U.S. Meat Export Federation, is optimistic about beef. Also, Taiwan has agreed to a “science-based protocol for beef additives, opening up a $200-million market.”
Petroleum, fertilizer prices to remain high
Petroleum prices should remain high for the foreseeable future, while natural gas prices should remain low and electricity prices are likely to increase slowly.
Estate planning crucial by year-end
Farmers and ranchers who have not made arrangements for estate planning should run, not walk, to their tax advisors and determine if they should transfer assets to their heirs before year-end.
Droughts changing the way High Plains farmers grow cotton 1
Two consecutive droughts may be changing the way Texas High Plains cotton farmers manage their crops.
Agriculture a big factor in narrowing trade gap
The United States is narrowing the gap between what it buys from other countries and what it sells overseas, says Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Presidential election rated as 'toss up' by political observers
If you happen to be a person prone to picking the ponies, yanking on the handle of a slot machine, or playing Texas Hold ‘em ‘til the wee hours of the morning, you’d be better off staying with these relatively sure things rather than betting on national elections.
Technology drives changing produce market
In the words of the 20th Century poet and philosopher Bob Dylan, “The times they are a- changin’.”
Crop insurance, quick action top list of farm bill objectives
Commodity groups don’t always agree on the specifics they want or need in a farm bill.
Commodity prices expected to remain high for next decade
Some wood may need knocking on here, but a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service spokesman expects commodity prices to remain at historically high levels for the next decade.
Farm bill will happen; timing is the question 2
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas is convinced the nation’s farmers and ranchers will get a new farm bill.
Expensive fertilizer becoming bigger part of wheat production budget 1
Wheat farmers can count on high fertilizer prices becoming a consistent factor in annual production budgets.
Guest worker program needed to provide ag labor
Texas state senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa remembers the day when he was five years old — picking tomatoes with his mother in the Rio Grande Valley.
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