John Bradley, former University of Tennessee researcher and one of the fathers of no-till cotton production, has joined Beltwide Cotton Genetics to focus on bringing the new cottonseed company's transgenic and conventional varieties to the Mid-South.

“I am very excited about working with Beltwide Cotton Genetics and feel this opportunity will enable me to do what I love best — work closely with farmers in the field to help them determine what cotton varieties and production systems will help them be the most profitable,” Bradley said.

Bradley was the leader of the UT's Milan Experiment Station for 14 years. During that time, he researched and developed many techniques used in no-till planting of cotton and other crops. More recently, he worked as the conservation tillage specialist for Monsanto.

In his new role as account manager and consultant for Memphis, Tenn.-based Beltwide Cotton Genetics, Bradley will provide sales and agronomic oversight of the company's new cotton varieties in the Mid-South. His primary responsibility will be to introduce Beltwide's BCG-28R as the variety of choice for Bollgard refugia acres.

“This will allow Mid-South area farmers to gain some experience with Beltwide varieties prior to the introduction of Bollgard with Roundup Ready Flex varieties,” he said.

Beltwide Cotton Genetics officials said they anticipate Bradley will perform the same duties for the introduction of these varieties into Southeastern states after they have been more thoroughly evaluated in that region.

Rick Rice, marketing and sales director for Beltwide Cotton Genetics, says the company's hiring of Bradley underscores its commitment to growers to provide the best in cottonseed research, field evaluation and technical support.

“We plan to put John Bradley to work immediately doing what he does best — working closely with farmers and agricultural advisors to determine the most efficient, profitable and cost-effective ways to grow cotton,” Rice said. “He will be able to draw on his broad base of agronomic and technical experience in his new duties here at Beltwide Cotton Genetics.”