What is in this article?:
- Since Farm Press Publications and The Cotton Foundation began the High Cotton Awards in 1995, we have chronicled the environmental stewardship efforts of 71 cotton producers. Since then, we’ve found that environmental stewardship and a willingness to try new technology go hand in hand.
- These are some of the most environmentally conscientious producers we’ve featured in our 16 years of presenting the bronze Cotton Boll awards.
Southeast winner Ronnie Lee
Southeast winner Ronnie Lee has successfully combined the concepts of stewardship and profitability to build Lee Farms into one of the premier cotton farming operations in the Southeast, Southeast Farm Press Editor Paul Hollis wrote in an article about Lee.
While Lee oversees the farming of about 6,200 acres and multiple business enterprises, he also takes time to work on perfecting the use of such conservation practices and strip-till and no-till farming and modifying them when unexpected hurdles arise.
“We were one of the first in Terrell County to adopt strip-till and no-till planting practices, eventually helping educate and inform neighboring growers about the benefits of those practices,” says Lee. “Now, however, we’ve had to modify our system somewhat due to glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed.”
Lee believes strongly that farmers need to set the example when it comes to environmental stewardship. The adoption of conservation tillage practices on his farm had a ripple effect, with other growers in the area soon taking notice and trying it successfully in their fields.