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.

Burdensome supply depressing wheat prices
Burdensome wheat supplies will depress prices in the short term, but the underlying demand for grains bodes well for the long-term market outlook, says Mark Welch, Texas AgriLife Extension grain marketing economist.
Regulations pose challenges for Texas wheat
Burdensome regulations and meeting sustainability standards pose challenges for Texas wheat growers in the coming years, says Steelee Fischbacher, director of policy and marketing for the Texas Wheat Producers Board and Association.
Rusty truck
Aug. 31 deadline for ugliest truck photos 1
Remember, a $100 gift certificate will be awarded to the ugly truck photo contest winner.
Uncertainty is only certainty with Southwest weather
Much of the Southwest has benefitted from increased moisture this summer. May rainfall broke a cycle of increasingly high temperatures.
Drought status mostly unchanged
Drought conditions across Texas showed little net change over the past week.
Rainfall events are encouraging across Southwest but drought persists
A whopping 100 percent of New Mexico remains in drought status ranging from abnormally dry to extreme.
Southwest drought stubbornly hangs on
Texas remains at 58 percent in moderate to exceptional drought, same as a week ago.
Drought tolerance difficult but not impossible goal for marker assisted peanut breeding
Finding peanut varieties with increased tolerance to drought may be possible.
Peanut farmers may see “paradigm shift” in production (Part 2)
Marker-assisted variety selection could help reverse a trend of reduced peanut production in the United States.
Marker-assisted selection will improve peanut production efficiency (Part 1)
The Peanut Foundation is using a five-year project and some $6 million to sequence the peanut genome and use marker-assisted breeding techniques to create varieties with more disease and pest resistance and improved shelf life, among other desirable characteristics.
Maker-assisted breeding will improve peanut varieties
The ultimate goal, Valentine said, is to make peanuts more competitive with cotton and other crop options and, ultimately, to increase profit potential for peanut farmers.
Drought status improves across Texas
Finally, a drought that has tortured Texas farmers and ranchers for almost four years seems to be diminishing.
Sugarcane aphid identified in Oklahoma sorghum
The sugarcane aphid continues its northern march through Southwest grain sorghum fields, putting the crop at risk of severe damage if growers fail to make timely insecticide applications.
Multiple factors creating weed problems
Specialists across the Southwest agree that weed resistance has become a more serious problem in recent years.
Moisture levels remain low for SW peanuts; crop conditions holding up
Lack of moisture remains a key issue for southwest peanut growers as they head into the hottest, often driest months of the summer.
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