Glover, Charles

About | Abstract

About

Glover describes the study of agronomy, his involvement as an agronomist with the Extension Service, and his work as a seed breeder.

Interviewee Charles Glover, male, born in -0001
Date Range 1938-2010
Date & Location October 13, 2010, NMF&RHM
Project Pioneers of Knowledge
Region Southwest New Mexico
Number of Tapes 2
Transcribed January 14, 2014
Download Abstract

Abstract

Tape 1, Side A

Glover’s grandfather homesteaded in the Clovis, N.M., area, coming to the area from Oklahoma for health reasons. Glover attended school primarily in Roswell and graduated in 1957. He attended New Mexico A&M (now New Mexico State University) and graduated in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy. His parents wanted all their children to go to college, but did not dictate what degree they should pursue. Originally Glover pursued a degree in soils but the curriculum was more than he anticipated so he switched to a degree in general agronomy.

He worked on his grandfather’s farm during the harvest and helped process sorghum into syrup. He recalls that his grandfather farmed with a mule and mare and did not own a tractor. His aunt held several political offices; Glover says that he is disheartened by the way politics are today. As a child he was involved in 4-H and FFA [Future Farmers of America]. Typical activities for children were fairs, rodeos, athletic events, and socializing with neighbors. He met his wife, Judith, at a rodeo. Courtships and typical dates are briefly discussed. He describes Roswell, where he grew up, and the crops that were grown in the area when he was a child.

Glover shares his insights in the field of agronomy. He studied for six years to get his bachelor’s degree, after which he went to work for the Soil Conservation Service as a soil scientist. He returned to New Mexico State University for his master’s degree in crop and plant breeding. He earned a PhD in plant breeding and genetics from Oklahoma State University in 1971. He worked as a plant breeder for the Taylor-Evans Seed Company for eight years, retired as Extension Service Agronomist in 1993, and worked as the manager of the New Mexico Crop Improvement Association.

Tape 1, Side B

Glover believes that progress in agronomy research is necessary to keep the farmer and the public informed about different ways to grow crops. If the farmer is to stay in business he must continue to look into ways to diversify and rotate crops, control pests and weeds, improve the fertility of the soil, and use quality seed. Population growth and city expansion is inevitable, and a detriment to farmers, and not always a good choice for the area. He feels that productive and progressive farmers are still able to maintain a substantial living. Advanced technology in machinery is needed to increase crop yield.

Crop rotation and the use of manure are as important to producing good crops as using quality seed. Crop rotation helps control weeds and pests. Glover believes it is beneficial to the farmer to have a soil sample analysis to determine what is lacking in the soil. In this area the soil lacks nitrogen, and is high in potassium. Plant analysis is also a good way to see what is lacking. The choice of seed is very important to the productivity of the crop.

Tape 2, Side A

The types of seed and general seed characteristics are discussed. It is important to register new seed varieties so that the seed remains pure. Glover believes that the Elephant Butte Irrigation District dam should continue to be used for the purpose it was designed for-to provide irrigation to the farmer, but is unsure what the future holds for this particular entity.

The uses of chemical sprays and biological weed control, plant diseases, and herbicides are briefly discussed. Local weeds and pests include morning glory in cotton, field bindweed, mustard seed in alfalfa, and aphids.

Tape 2, Side B

While working at the Taylor-Evans Seed Company as a plant breeder, he bred sorghum seed for yield, disease, and hybrids. Specialty crops here in the Mesilla Valley include chile, onions, cabbage, and lettuce. Alfalfa and cotton are considered staple crops, and small grains and corn are grown for silage and green-chop for cattle. Glover believes that the rural way of life is an important part of our country and a good way of life. He hopes that it will continue to be an important factor in the economy of this area, as long as the farmer can continue to make a profit.

He believes that good researchers in the agricultural field are needed to maintain and improve variety and to improve farming techniques and marketing. While FFA has changed over the years, it is still important to rural areas because it involves not only the farmers but chemical producers, machine producers, and distributors. The agriculture program at NMSU is now more specialized and specific than it has been in past years, but Glover would like to see it return to a more generalized or well-rounded training.