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.

Best yet to come for US agriculture
The best is yet to come for farmers in the U.S. and around the world. The 10-year outlook is for continued growth and prosperity, which will be driven by a handful of economic factors globally.
Markets still feel force of $2 cotton
In the time since $2 per pound cotton shocked the entire world, the industry has seen a record expansion in global acreage, a contraction of demand and a historic effort by China to build reserve buffer stocks. Two dollar a pound cotton is now in the past, but its influence worldwide continues to drive the price, the demand for cotton products and the planting intentions of farmers worldwide.
Time is now for farm bill
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said that all Americans, not just U.S. farmers, need a farm program and that getting a viable program in place will further help agriculture to aid the recovery of the U.S. economy.
Sworn enemies no more: Cotton and Under Armour
“On June 9, 2009, we met very secretly and very quietly in a remote building in a remote area of their sprawling Baltimore, Md. facility. We weren’t allowed to go into their main building, but here we were, two Cotton Incorporated guys meeting with the management team at Under Armour — a company that had previously called us their enemy,” Messura says.
Cotton acres losing pigweed battle
When dealing with pigweed, resistant or not, don’t let inconspicuous get confused with harmless. Inconspicuous and harmless don’t go together in describing pigweed. Controlling pigweed is a numbers game that farmers simply cannot win
Mother Nature took cotton on wild 2011 ride
U.S. cotton growers planted 14.7 million acres in 2011 — more than two million acres more than projected by USDA planting intention surveys. When all the accounting is done, U.S. cotton growers will likely end up losing more than 5 million acres of cotton to weather-related problems.
Starting from scratch brings big results for cotton farmer
Starting from scratch in the cotton business was a tough row to hoe for St. Matthews, S.C., grower Kendall W. (Kent) Wannamaker. But, today he and his wife, Mary Lil, own and operate a thriving cotton, peanut, and corn farming operation, and he is a recognized leader in the cotton industry.
Apple grower beating labor and marketing odds
Labor and marketing challenges that have knocked all the other 20 or so apple growers in Haywood County, N.C., out of business — except Benny Arrington. When he grew his first crop of apples on what had been Barber Farms, Arrington hired a group of Mexican laborers to help him spray, pick and process his apples. Over the years, he paid them well, treated them fairly and even helped several get green cards and subsequently U.S. citizenship.
Unlocking secrets of water management in cotton
Combined with a much more current series of tests to map the cotton plant genome, the old and the new may combine to unlock some of the secrets of water management in cotton that have challenged cotton farmers for centuries.
High commodity prices new norm for farmers
“The new norm for farmers worldwide is high commodity prices, high volatility of production costs and little or no safety net for crop failures,” says Sterling Liddell, vice-president for Rabo Agrifinance. Over the past four to five years corn has been a driver in the commodity market and indications it will remain the crop to watch over the coming years, Liddell says.
Hurricane Irene delivers less crop damage than expected
Though there was damage from Hurricane Irene, the consensus is that agriculture in the Upper Southeast fared much better than expected.
Athletic sportswear market a key for cotton industry
There was an instantaneous roar of applause from the 100 or so cotton farmers attending a recent tour of Cotton Incorporated.
Cotton's hot streak carries on
Anthony Tancredi has been in the cotton business a long time. Never, he says, has he seen anything like the cotton market over the past year.
Deadly tornadoes rip through farm country on East Coast
More than 60 tornadoes cut an erratic path on Saturday from south-central North Carolina northeastward to the Virginia line, leaving 21 dead and untold dollars in property damage.
Cotton growers getting boost from growth of U.S. textiles
Cotton growers are riding an unbelievable hot streak. Prices are high and climbing, demand for cotton products worldwide is growing and production in the U.S. may come close to 13 million acres in 2011.
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