Soybean South

 - From the Editor -

Mixing It Up

By Carroll Smith

It’s an understatement to say that farming can be a stressful profession, given the risk factors and the unknowns that producers face every year. Many farmers employ knowledgeable crop consultants to scout their crops, give them good production advice and keep them apprised of local crop conditions, seed supplies and so forth. If a farmer has a question, he knows the answer is just a cell phone call away.

One of my favorite consultants and dear friend conducts his business in east-central Louisiana – Roger Carter, owner/operator of A.M.S. – Agricul-tural Management Services, Inc. Roger began scouting in 1964 and is a great source of information when it comes to area crops such as cotton, soybeans, corn, wheat and grain sorghum. He consulted for my Dad for many years, adores his wife ’Lise, is a rabid LSU fan, has a great sense of humor and always tells it like it is.

Once the season gets underway, Roger sends out the A.M.S. Ag Report every week, not only to his clients, but to a host of other folks in the ag business. I’m not sure exactly when he started the newsletter, but he used to mail it out, and somewhere along the line he switched over to email so now it regularly pops up on my screen.

The unique thing about Roger’s report is that he not only provides timely updates on individual crops, the weather and “hot” ag issues, but he also adds a personal touch. He may eulogize a local person who was connected to agriculture, offer congratulations when a baby is born and even offer advice to his young scouts on how to get along with women.

But he always ends his report with “things that make you laugh.” Some of them are documented, but I believe he makes up most of them. Quotes, proverbs, jokes, you never know what Roger is going to come up with. For example, “You can survive on charm for about five minutes, then you better know something.” Or, here are some new country song titles: “I Bet My Wife Against Some Corn Seed and Lost,” “My Tractor Cut a Rut and Now I Am in It” and “Jimmy Cracked Four Dollar Corn & I Do Care.”

As I mentioned earlier, farming can be stressful, but if you’re one of the lucky recipients of Roger’s report, the timely crop information mixed with a dose of good humor will always brighten your day. If you’re not, remember to take time to laugh at little things and stay in touch with your friends.

Believe me, it will make the season go a lot smoother.

Soybean South
Since One Grower Publishing was established two years ago, Soybean South has been published in the early months of the year as a supplement to sister magazines Cotton Farming and Rice Farming. Many southern operations are diversified, and soybeans are often in the crop mix, so it makes sense to address production practices, new markets – such as soy diesel – and new diseases – such as soybean rust – that are associated with this crop.

Hopefully, you have gleaned helpful information pertinent to the southern soybean growing region, and we look forward to continuing this effort in future issues.

If you have particular soybean topics you would like to see covered while we are out in the field this summer, please contact me at (901) 767-4020 or

Here’s wishing you a productive and profitable 2007 season!