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.

Oceans combine to change U.S. weather patterns 1
A combination of warming water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation pattern (which shifts heat and energy to different parts of the world) is creating more extreme weather patterns and affecting food production.
Estate planning crucial by year-end
Farmers and ranchers who have not made arrangements for estate planning should run, not walk, to their tax advisors and determine if they should transfer assets to their heirs before year-end. Failure to do so could mean millions of dollars in estate taxes to those heirs, says Rob Gunther, Frost PLLC, Little Rock, Ark.
Commodity prices should remain high for next decade. 2
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service spokesman expects commodity prices to remain at historically high levels for the next decade.
Dems could gain in House, presidential election rated ‘toss up’
Polls change almost daily — sometimes with the news cycle, sometimes with a new set of campaign ads — justifying the opinion of election observers that the presidential race remains a “toss up,” and “too close to call.”
Soil drought expected to end; hydrologic drought to be long-term issue
The drought that has covered most of the Southwest for two years is coming to an end.
Efficient fertilizer use crucial for wheat farmers
Wheat farmers can count on high fertilizer prices becoming a consistent factor in annual production budgets, says a Texas AgriLife Extension fertility specialist. So farmers need to fine-tune operations to make certain their fertility programs are as efficient as possible.
Farm bill will happen; when is the question
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas is convinced that the nation’s farmers and ranchers will get a new farm bill. He stops short of predicting just when that will happen, however.
H2A agricultural workers program needs improvements
Farmers, ranchers and others who need manual labor have limited options for a legal workforce, says a recruiter for the H2A and H2B guest worker programs.
Severe immigration laws 'weaken the economy" 5
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, signed into law last May by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, cost the state more than $340 million dollars and more than 3,000 jobs, despite assurances from Deal that eliminating illegal labor would create 11,000 new jobs.
Crop insurance will cover massive losses
In spite of the depth and far-reaching impact of the drought that has gripped more than half of the nation’s agricultural production area this summer, farmers should have no worries regarding their crop insurance policy’s ability to pay.
Bumper peanut crop dampens markets
An anticipated bumper crop will keep the peanut market quiet during the growing season and could put a damper on farmer contracts this fall. Still, the industry displays an attitude of “guarded optimism,” say peanut industry experts.
Rep. Lucas vows to do all he can to complete farm bill
Rep. Frank Lucas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, says he will “do everything I can” to get a farm bill done by late September. “But the magnitude of changes dramatically alters commodity titles.”
Joe D. White: Peanut Profitability Award
Farming is all about timing, says Joe D. White, Tillman County, Okla., peanut, cotton and grain farmer. For him, planting on time, irrigating on time, and spraying, plowing and harvesting on time often mean the difference between success or failure of a crop. It’s especially important in peanuts, he says.
Senate farm bill leaves protection gaps
If U.S. farmers believe commodity prices will stay strong for the next five years, the Senate’s farm bill proposal could be a good choice, say Texas AgriLife Extension economists.
Limited water resource will change Texas agriculture
Travis Miller jokes about his work as a member of the Texas Governor’s Drought Preparedness Council and as the “go-to-guy” for media questions about drought and wildfire.
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