Mark Brown to Join PCG Staff

Friday, June 23, 2017                              By Mary Jane Buerkle

      C. Mark Brown will join the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. team as Director of Field Services effective August 1.

      He will succeed Johnny Anderson, who will retire June 30 after more than 31 years of dedicated service to PCG.

      Brown, a Plainview native, comes to PCG from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, where he began his career in 1986 as an Extension Agent-Integrated Pest Management in Crosby County. He transferred to Lubbock County in 1993 as the Agriculture/Natural Resources Agent and recently had begun serving both Lubbock and Hale counties through a cooperative agreement.

      Some of his major educational efforts in Lubbock County have included row crop production, irrigation management, water conservation, agricultural risk management, and management of resistant weeds.

      "Mark's background, experience, and extensive knowledge of the cotton industry will be beneficial as he represents PCG throughout our service area," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "He already is well-known throughout our circles, and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team."

      Brown has served as a board member and past president of the West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute. In 2011 he was recognized with the Texas A&M University Regents Fellow Service Award. In 2015, he received the Outstanding Cotton Educator Award from the Texas County Agricultural Agents Association and Texas Cotton Producers. In 2016, he was recognized as a Distinguished Agent by AgriLife Extension.

      "I have thoroughly enjoyed my career with Texas AgriLife Extension; and I value the opportunities, experience, and relationships that I have gained through Extension work," Brown said. "Throughout the years, we often partnered with PCG staff on various efforts and events. This seems like a natural transition to me, and I am very excited about this opportunity to join the PCG team in continued service to the High Plains cotton industry."

      Brown is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and a Master of Science in Entomology. He and his wife Jana, a Cotton Center native, have two sons, Payton and Weston.




6th Annual

Celebrate Cotton Game

Saturday, Sept. 16

7 p.m.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Arizona State Sun Devils



AgriLife Extension Announces

2017 Crop Hail-Out and Replant Guide

Thursday, June 22, 2017       By Steve Byrns, AgriLife TODAY

       The latest Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service crop hail-damage assessment and replant guide is now available, said its author.

      Dr. Calvin Trostle, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist at Lubbock, said Texas farmers in the Lubbock and South Plains region regularly face the risk of hailed-out crops this time of year.  When it occurs, especially on cotton, he advises, growers may need to wait up to a week before determining the fate of their hail-hammered crop.

      Should they stay with the crop, fallow the rest of the season or replant? To help them navigate through the options, Trostle recently published his 15th annual "2017 Alternative Crop Options after Failed Cotton and Late-Season Crop Planting for the Texas South Plains." 

      "That lengthy title pretty well sums up what this crop management tool is all about," Trostle said.

      The document posted at is updated annually in June. It encompasses everything from assessing damaged cotton stands, to herbicide precautions, and basic agronomics including the last recommended planting dates for various crops including grain sorghum, sunflower, guar and black-eyed peas with hybrid, or variety maturity data added where applicable.

      Dr. Seth Byrd, AgriLife Extension cotton agronomist at Lubbock, said Trostle's work is invaluable, because assessing a damaged cotton stand can be tough.

      "Farmers need to be patient, because it sometimes takes a week before you know what the survival rate of cotton plants on a hailed-out field will be," Byrd said. "This is important this late in the season as a damaged stands with as little as 1.5 plants per foot of row may still be a keeper, especially if the plants are uniformly spaced."

      Danny Nusser, AgriLife Extension regional program leader at Amarillo, said the publication offers good timely information for AgriLife Extension agents and producers alike.

      "Producers may be surprised that they even have options, and that viable crop replanting and late planting options are available as late as mid-July, he said. "And this is especially true moving south from Lubbock."

      When Trostle began the guide in the early 2000s, he never thought it would become the comprehensive document it is today.

      "The guide reflects a lot of what I have learned about farming in the Southern High Plains region," he said. "And truthfully, preparing it every year may help me as much as anyone to deliver sound science-based advice to growers."

      For more information, contact Trostle at 806-746-6101, or