AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — Steve Brown, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System cotton agronomist, was named 2024 Cotton Researcher of the Year at the 27th Annual Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference in Arkansas.
Brown is a 1978 Auburn University graduate who earned his Ph.D. in agronomy and weed science from Texas A&M University in 1986. After serving in various industry and Extension roles, Brown returned to Auburn in 2019 as the Extension cotton agronomist.
His role at Auburn is critical to the evaluation of cotton seed quality, seeding rates, planting patterns and other cotton-related issues. Brown oversees numerous on-farm trials and spends much of his time assisting producers in their fields.
Honored for His Work
Brown said it is an honor to be nominated for such an award.
“While I’ve been involved in some novel research projects, including some that were actually conceived and initiated by others, I’ve enjoyed exploring ways to improve production efficiency on the farm,” Brown said. “Even more, I’ve relished my role as an Extension scientist whose job it was to take research-based information and apply it to issues and questions generated in the field, farm, shop, ag dealership and gin.”
Alabama Extension Director Mike Phillips said Brown has had a long, productive career devoted to cotton production and all aspects of managing the crop — including marketing once it’s ginned.
“Dr. Brown has provided outstanding leadership in advancing the knowledge of cotton and is highly respected by many — nationally and internationally,” Phillips said. “Most importantly, he has always had the incredible ability to communicate at the level of his audience, a personal characteristic and gift possessed by that of an outstanding agricultural educator.”
Becky Barlow, Alabama Extension’s assistant director for agriculture, forestry and natural resources programming said Brown’s well-known Extension and research program in cotton provides much needed expertise to producers.
“He is generous with his knowledge and time, and I am always impressed by his willingness mentor new growers and member of our Extension team,” Barlow said.
Brown is the author of a monthly newsletter — Alabama Cotton Shorts — and is a regular contributor in the Alabama Row Crops Report. He is also the coordinator of the Cotton Specialist Corner, a podcast about cotton management across the Cotton Belt.