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.

U.S. peanut production is up 20 percent over 2015
The latest USDA peanut crop estimate shows a 6.21 billion-pound crop. Planted acreage at 1.63 million reflects a 20 percent increase, and harvested acreage at 1.57 million is 19 percent higher than 2014 harvest
Gallery: Cotton industry convenes in New Orleans
The 2017 Beltwide will be at Hyatt Regency Dallas, Dallas, Texas. January 4-6 (Wed - Fri).
New products, smart phone apps unveiled at Beltwide
Beltwide attendees get the latest information on new cotton varieties (to be covered in a later issue), new chemistries, equipment innovations, and new smart phone apps for cotton management.
Cottonseed certification protocols vary state to state
“Seed certification requirements vary across states and crops.”
Cotton farmers see seed vigor as a top priority
Forty-two percent of Cotton Incorporated survey respondents cited the combination of seed vigor and stand establishment as a major problem.
UAVs offer opportunity for Extension education
“Drones cost from as little as $150 to you-can’t-afford-it.”
Red River Crops Conference offers two-day crop and livestock updates
The annual conference was created to address issues unique to the production area on both sides of the Red River near Southwest Oklahoma and across to the Texas Rolling Plains.
Texas pesticide regulations change to define auxin use
"TDA supports new tools that will assist in providing new crop traits and new herbicide modes of action for improved weed control and improved crop production.”
Over-regulation limits farmer access to necessary tools
Misinformation often results in negative responses to new products — GMOs being a prime example.
Gallery: My favorite photos of 2015
I did discover a few photos that I like well enough to include in this gallery, which I’ll call my favorite photos of 2015.
Cotton production beltwide: From ‘awful’ to ‘decent’
Most producers at the NPE Summit remain committed to cotton and see at least a tad of silver on the backside of the dark clouds. They likely will start off 2016 with ample soil moisture to germinate the crop.
Sesame proving to be good option for Texas farmers
Sesame may not be a magic crop that solves all the production challenges for Southwest farmers, but it may offer a viable alternative or profitable rotation crop for more traditional enterprises.
Early detection critical for sugarcane aphid control in sorghum
"We can control sugarcane aphids, and the future looks good for hybrid resistance. We can do this.”
High-grade cotton should get a premium
“A 70 cents per pound goal for the 2015 crop in South Texas was a reasonable target. Why not for 2016?"
Critical agriculture issues will face the next Congress
“We (the ag industry) will likely also face pressure on agriculture spending and the costs of ARC and PLC.”
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