Roy Roberson

Associate Editor,
Southeast Farm Press

James R. (Roy) Roberson began his career in agricultural communications as an assistant editor of agricultural research and teaching in Auburn University’s College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. When he retired from Auburn University in 2004, he was head of the agricultural communications program at Auburn and assistant director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Between stints at Auburn University, Roberson worked for several years as an account manager for Fletcher/Mayo and Associates, which at that time was the largest agricultural marketing and public relations company in the U.S. He also worked for nearly five years as Southeast marketing and public relations coordinator for Swanson-Rollheiser-Holland, an Omaha, Nebraska-based agricultural advertising and public relations company. In addition to his current position on the editorial staff of Southeast Farm Press, Roberson is former editor and publisher of Southern Pulp and Paper Magazine and was part of the team that created the Atlanta-based Southeast edition of Ad Week. Roberson grew up in rural east Alabama and earned bachelor and masters degrees in journalism and mass communication from Auburn University.

U.S. cotton farmers caught in trade war crossfire
A trade war between the U.S. and Vietnam continues to brew. The trade conflict holds ever increasing importance to U.S. cotton farmers and textile workers.
Hula 400 corn shows big yields
David Hula made big farming news in 2011 when we won the corn yield contest with 429 bushels of corn per acre. Ronnie Heiniger set out to duplicate Hula’s feat with a test he calls Hula 400.
Congress should do its job, let farmers do theirs 2
USDA Secretary Vilsack urged Congress to end the sequester, give government agencies a budget, then rapidly get along with the business of passing a workable five-year farm plan that will allow farmers to do their job.
2012 cotton crop was record-making, heart-breaking
In each region of the Cotton Belt there were growers who topped five bales per acre in 2012. The production news for cotton remains outstanding, the economic side — not so much.
Gourmet cottonseed oil market beckons for cotton industry
Finding more profit in cotton for growers is an ongoing challenge for Tom Wedegaertner’s team at Cotton Incorporated, and cooperative efforts to produce flavor-infused, gourmet oils made from cottonseed may just be the ticket.
Linwood Wilson: cotton farming with innovation and grit
Hard work, innovation and gritty determination have helped cotton farmer Linwood “Lyn” Vick, Wilson, N.C., get where he is today with his family’s farming operation — but having the right gene pool didn’t hurt a bit. In his case, the apple truly didn’t fall far from the tree.
Grain prices likely to drive US agriculture in 2013 1
Near record low stocks of grain will keep demand high and prices good for farmers through the 2013 season. The news is not universally good for farmers. Livestock and dairy farmers will continue to be in a high stress economic situation due to continually increasing grain prices, economists contend.
Stevia offers cropping opportunity for farmers
Chew a leaf and you’ll quickly understand the claim that stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar is probably on the conservative side. Stevia is being grown for the first time this year in research plots and in commercial fields in North Carolina and Georgia. While it’s not likely to replace cotton and corn any time soon, Stevia does present an interesting opportunity for farmers.
Seed technology looks for moisture sensor breakthrough
As seed companies push to provide new and improved varieties to growers on a more timely basis, having day-to-day data on which to base release of one variety, in a particular part of the country, versus another variety could be a major breakthrough in seed technology.
Golden opportunity for US agriculture in Vietnam
Vietnam is one of American agriculture’s biggest customers and is rapidly becoming a major power in Asian economics. Most economists contend Vietnam is 20 years behind China in terms of economic growth, but will likely make up that difference in less than five years.
Are high grain prices good for anyone?
Some well regarded economists contend $20 a bushel soybeans and $10 a bushel corn and wheat are not only possible, but likely for this year and beyond.
Solving energy problems key to agriculture’s future
A key to solving energy problems and invigorating agriculture in the U.S. and worldwide is to invest billions, not millions, into meaningful research efforts that could change the very fiber of energy production and consumption worldwide.
Vertical tillage increases wheat yields
Vertical tillage refers to systems where soil disturbance is confined to soil movement mostly in the upward direction and/or confined to a slot or strip where the next crop rows are to be planted using strip-tillage implements or coulter-based implements that perform full width tillage.
Cotton modules get app technology
A new app for tracking cotton modules can make life a little easier around the gin come fall picking time.
Agriculture feeling strain of political wrangling
The biggest impact of politics on individual farms comes from the area of environmental regulation. “We as agriculture must speak in a unified voice to find workable solutions to these legal cases. The current political system is not going to do it for us. We must find a long-term system for these types of law suits that come through the judicial system,” says Dana Peterson, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers.
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