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.

For Shawn Holladay: A new harvester, bad budget resistant weeds, and hopes for cottonseed
“I had to replant all my irrigated acreage because of the storms,” Shawn says. “We got 8 inches of rain — all at one time. Yield on my irrigated fields is not as good as usual, about 2-1/2 bales per acre. We typically want to make 3 bales on irrigated land.”
Cotton harvest proceeding at brisk pace in High Plains
Some cotton farmers report yields may be off a bit from what they would like but perhaps better than many expected back in late spring and early summer when a combination of weather-delayed planting followed by drought set the crop back.
Drought declines to 15 percent in Texas: region receives significant rainfall
Most of the region received significant amounts of rain from a system that came in on the coattails of moisture generated from Hurricane Patricia.
Mechanical harvester shows promise for New Mexico green chile production
New Mexico State University plant breeder Stephanie Walker is working on the chile plant, looking for varieties more adaptable to mechanical harvest and mechanical de-stemming.
USDA announces ARC, PLC payments, NAP extension; Disaster designations declared for Oklahoma and Texas
Late last week USDA announced that nearly half of the farmers who signed up for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs will receive payments for the 2014 crop year.
House passes bipartisan budget agreement 2
Pressure from the ag industry, speaking in one voice, was instrumental in the agreement to reverse the insurance subsidy cuts in the omnibus.
Farm interests voice strong criticism for budget proposal
Farm interests across the spectrum of agricultural activity are criticizing a proposed budget deal that threatens the last remaining safety net for many farmers.
Random photos show wonder of rural America: UPDATED
The camera is handy. The light is still good and it doesn’t cost anything to take another digital image or two.
U.S. peanut harvest is 45 percent complete
Crop conditions across the peanut producing states show mostly fair (28 percent) to good (50 percent) with 13 percent rated excellent and only 9 percent rated either poor (7 percent) or very poor (2 percent).
Drought conditions covering almost 50 percent of Texas
Drought conditions persist across 47 percent of Texas, down a percentage point from last week but also showing the first spot of exceptional drought since back in May.
Favorable production outlook is bearish for wheat
Across the wheat belt, “the updated seasonal outlook (October 15) calls for wet conditions across much of the southern U.S. through January, a forecast consistent with the El Nino phenomenon.
SW Peanut Profitability winner looking at good crop
Anthony Reed, the 2015 Peanut Profitability Award winner for the Southwest Region, says he’s just started digging and will have combines running by the end of the week.
Sugarcane aphid heads Ag Tech Conference agenda
Mike Brewer, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, will discuss pest management strategies to control sugarcane aphid in forage and grain sorghum at Ag Technology conference Dec. 10.
Farm bill rollout in home stretch administrator says
“I feel good about our FSA offices here in Texas and across the nation for the work they have done over the past two years to get these programs rolled out,” said USDA-FSA Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini.
The arid west displays scenic vistas
A drive up I-10 from El Paso to Las Cruces and a drive south from El Paso into Tornillo and other farm communities reminds a visitor of how scenic the west can be.
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