Former University of Tennessee academic and Monsanto conservation tillage specialist, John Bradley, has joined Beltwide Cotton Genetics, where he will now focus his efforts on bringing the new cottonseed company's transgenic and conventional varieties to the Mid-South section of the Cotton Belt.
"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 says.
Bradley is widely recognized by farmers across the Cotton Belt as one of the top experts in the science of conservation tillage. For 14 years, Bradley was the leader of the University of Tennessee's Milan Experiment Station, where he conducted research on no-till and con-till cropping systems.
He also directed the Milan No-Till Field Day, which became, under his leadership, the preeminent reduced tillage field event for farmers in the United States.
After leaving academia, Bradley joined Monsanto Company as conservation tillage specialist in 1997, working with farmers across the Cotton Belt to help them adopt various conservation tillage systems. During his seven-year tenure with Monsanto, Bradley's expertise and technical support helped fuel the growth of conservation tillage in cotton from 17.9 to 75.7%, an increase of 400%.
In his new role as account manager and consultant for Beltwide Cotton Genetics, Bradley will provide sales and agronomic oversight of the company's new cotton varieties in the Mid-South, including field testing, evaluation and marketing. 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 ReadyFlex varieties," Bradley says.
It is anticipated that Bradley will perform the same duties for 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 in Memphis, Tenn., says that the company's hiring of Bradley underscores its commitment to growers to provide the very 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 says. "He will be able to draw on his broad base of agronomic and technical experience in his new duties here at Beltwide Cotton Genetics."
Beltwide Cotton Genetics is a sister company to Delta King Seed Company, both of which are owned and operated by Lawhon Farm Services in McCrory, Ark.