by Thomas Crigler
Touring Khombi’s farm was an eye-opening experience. It is always a pleasure to visit with somebody who is passionate about what they do, and Khombi’'s passion for agriculture was palpable. When questioned as to his favorite crop, without hesitation he answered “cotton." As a fellow cotton farmer, I immediately knew I liked him.
He had pretty clean fields and he was proud of them. His upbeat attitude was in a word—refreshing. While his crop had been stressed due to drought, he was still so happy to be out there doing what he loves. Even with the tough conditions Khombi’s cotton was flowering and putting on a crop. It was nothing short of impressive.
His love of farming wasn't the only thing that I found interesting. His acceptance of new technology and how it affected his farming operation was also noteworthy. The Bt and Roundup Ready cottonseed that he now plants allowed for substantial expansion of his operation. He's able to stay on top of weed control and can keep a handle on the bollworm pressure. With these increased efficiencies, Khombi is now able to farm land that was previously left idle due to apathy and lack of work ethic from his farm neighbors.
I also found it very interesting that while he is planting the latest seed technology, he is also doing some things the old fashioned way. All of Khombi's cotton crop is hand picked, providing much needed jobs for his community. Another benefit of hand picking is that it grades out higher than machine picked cotton; making it more valuable and his farm more profitable. All in all, I was just thoroughly impressed with not only the farming operation, but also the man himself. Thanks for a great visit Khombi!!!
Thomas Crigler is partner/manager in Crigler Planting, a 3,000 acre row crop farm in Tensas Parish. He produces cotton, corn, soybeans, and wheat. He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Louisiana State University.