What is in this article?:
- Carolina grower believes in Extension, research
- Ask someone who knows
• Farming is really not backbreaking work, but it’s hard in the sense that you have to juggle so many things.
• Inefficient farmers who haven’t been onboard with the 21st century farming practices haven’t lasted.
Ask someone who knows
Taking the attitude that when you don’t know something, it’s best to ask someone who does, he quickly came to rely on Cooperative Extension for recommendations ranging from marketing and budgeting to production.
“The folks in Extension are very smart and competent in solving the multitude of problems we encounter on a daily basis,” he said. “They are excellent, excellent sources of information. World-class.”
To explain what he means, Perry cited efforts to help farmers deal with what’s often been called a “monster” weed — glyphosate-, or Roundup-, resistant Palmer amaranth. The weed spreads quickly and can take over a field in short order.
North Carolina State University Extension specialists, as well as county agents, have done a good job, Perry said, in helping farmers keep the weed out of their fields.
They’ve recommended that farmers carefully time herbicide applications and use herbicides with different modes of action. Extension also emphasizes the importance of detecting the emergence of any Palmer amaranth early and carefully removing and destroying the weed.
Managing weeds is just one of the challenges that farmers face when it comes to maximizing their yields and, thus, their profits, Perry said.
“Farming is really not backbreaking work, but it’s hard in the sense that you have to juggle so many things. Inefficient farmers who haven’t been onboard with the 21st century farming practices haven’t lasted,” he said.
“You have to be a marketer. You’ve got to be a finance guy. You’ve got to be a business guy. You’ve got to be a mechanic. A diagnoser of problems. A personnel manager. Plus you are growing a garden. So it’s challenging.
“You have to be on top of your game to do it well, and Extension and research are vitally important in helping us do that,” he said. “They help us be efficient, more profitable. In the end, they help keep us in business.”