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July 13, 2004

Moultrie - Alfred McDonald has been farming full time since 1970, so he's always interested in ways to do his job better. "I like to grow the best variety," he says. "It gives me an opportunity to see the best variety of each crop."

And he gets to learn about new ways of growing each crop, like 15 inch row cotton. "It's a system that we've really had a lot of success with in Australia and we're in a position now as a company where we're really trying to test that technology here in the United States," says Andy Pace of John Deere.

But it's not a technology McDonald is interested in for his farm. "Not for me," he says. "15 is not for me. I'm still on 36 inch row and that does a good job for me, so I'm really not into to the micro planting, no."

He thinks the canopy formed by the rows could block the sun from getting in, eventually rotting the crop, but he's not opposed to trying it if it proves to be successful in the future. He says, "That's why I come out here to see what's working and what's not, so, maybe in a few years that might be something to look at, but it's no eye appeal to me now."

But he'll continue to look for other technologies that could improve his operations today. This year's Sunbelt Agricultural Expo will run from October 19th through 21st.

posted at 4:21 PM by karen.collier@walb.com