By Katie Nichols
The Alabama Crops Report Podcast is where research meets the row. When time is tight and every minute matters, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System crops team ensures decision-making is simpler for farmers by bringing Extension expertise straight to the tractor cab.
Available for listening pleasure any time, the Alabama Crops Report Podcast series is accessible on most major podcast platforms.
Mike Phillips, the new director of Alabama Extension, said the podcast is one way Extension personnel are taking knowledge to the farm.
“This has been a hard year for farmers and their families,” said Phillips, formerly Extension’s assistant director of agriculture, forestry and natural resources programming. “While our team never stopped working to meet the needs of Alabama farmers, there have been many challenges to overcome. The Alabama Crops Report Podcast is just one way our agents and specialists can get information to our farmers in a timely manner no matter where they are.”
Scott Graham, an Extension entomologist and one of the podcast hosts, said the COVID-19 pandemic made Extension professionals re-evaluate their methods and take steps to more effectively help stakeholders.
“When the world seemingly shut down, our growers were still farming and still needed solutions for their management problems,” Graham said. “We hope to use this avenue as a way to expand on our Alabama Crops Report Newsletter to provide more in-depth information on important topics.”
Producers will hear a wide range of topics throughout the year. From insect scouting tips to fertilizer application recommendations and harvest updates — timely issues in the field will be addressed by agents and specialists from all over the state. Episodes will be 10 to 15 minutes long in a conversational form. New episodes will drop weekly during the production season. Graham said in cases where there are several important topics to discuss, there may be multiple episodes in a week.
Graham, Katelyn Kesheimer, Amanda Scherer and Adam Rabinowitz will take turns interviewing Extension specialists, regional agents and agronomists about what is happening in the field.
“As technology evolves, we plan to grow with it,” Graham said. “This podcast allows us to share information in an efficient — and hopefully entertaining — manner that lets farmers listen in the truck, tractor or office at any time that is convenient for them.”
Graham said the crops team looks forward to helping Alabama producers navigate the growing season in-person, through their newsletter and via the Alabama Crops Report Podcast.
Listen to podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.