Thirteen Mid-South cotton producers will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley the week of July 13 as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2014 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience via a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. program is now in its 25th year of helping U.S. cotton producer participants improve yields and fiber quality.
The program is designed to help producers improve their overall farming operation efficiency by gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting; and observing the unique ways in which their peers in other regions of the country are using current technology.
Upon completion of this year’s tours, the P.I.E. program will have exposed more than 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own.
The participating Mid-South producers are Sam Whitaker, Monticello, AR; Wally Willoughby, III, Marked Tree, AR; Michael Arceneaux, St. Joseph, LA; Scott Crigler, Jr., Waterproof, LA; Adam Faulk, Winnsboro, LA; Chris Freeman, Jonesville, LA; Russ Ratcliff, III, Newellton, LA; Brian Barham, Anguilla, MS; John Bush, III, Greenwood, MS; Will Hood, Cleveland, MS; Robert Royal, Midnight, MS; Bradley Moore and Matt Rhea, both from Somerville, TN.
The group will begin their activities July 14 in Fresno with a presentation on California cotton issues from the California Cotton Ginners/Growers Association, followed by a tour of the Netafim Drip Irrigation Plan. They also will see cotton production during visits to Don Cameron’s Terra Nova Ranch in Helm and other cotton operations in the Tranquillity area.
On July 15, the group will tour Gilkey Enterprises and other cotton operations in the Corcoran area, then visit the Nichols Farms Pistachio Processing Plant in Hanford and Jovie and Mark Rosa’s cotton operation in Laton.
On July 16, the group will visit the Quady Winery in Madera before traveling to Los Banos for a tour of the Morning Star Tomato processing facility and meetings with area cotton producers. The tour concludes on July 17 with a look at the table grape harvest at Kirschemann Farms in Bakersfield and a tour of the Bayer CropScience research operations at the company’s Shafter Research Center.
Three other P.I.E. tours are set for this season. Far West cotton producers will see operations in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee on July 27-August 1; Southwest producers will visit North Carolina and Virginia on August 3-8; and Southeast producers will tour Texas on August 17-22.
Source – National Cotton Council