Twelve cotton producers from Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley the week of July 17 as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2017 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.
The P.I.E. Program, now in its 29th year, has exposed more than 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in Cotton Belt regions different than their own. The program aims to help the cotton producer participants boost their farming 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 innovative peers are using current technology.
The program is sponsored by Bayer through a grant to The Cotton Foundation. NCC’s Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection.
Participating from the Mid-South are:
- Louisiana– Christian Frierson and John Frierson, both from Shreveport; Heath Herring from St. Joseph; and Mead Hardwick from Monroe;
- Mississippi– Graham Flautt from Sumner; Paul Good from Columbus; and Dale Weaver from Macon;
- Arkansas– Caleb Miller from Leachville and Sam Shackelford from Montrose;
- Tennessee– Robert Hill from Gates and Mark Zarecor from Newbern;
- Missouri– Chris Porter from Essex.
The California tour begins July 17 in Fresno with a briefing from the California Cotton Ginners/Growers Association and a visit to Bayer’s research facility. They also will tour Don Cameron’s Terra Nova Ranch in Helm and observe extra-long staple cotton production in the Tranquillity area.
On July 18, the group will see Gilkey Enterprises’ cotton operations in Corcoran and visit other area farms before traveling to Lemoore to see the Droogh Dairy, followed by a tour of Jovie & Mark Rosa Farms in Laton and other farms in that area.
On July 19, the producers will tour the Quady Winery in Madera, go to Los Banos to see tomato processing at the Ingomar Packing Company, and then meet with local cotton producers. The tour concludes on July 20 with a look at table grape harvesting at the Kirschenmann Farms in Shafter prior to touring Bayer’s research activities at the Shafter Research Station.
Two additional P.I.E. tours are scheduled for this season. Southwest producers will visit agricultural operations in Georgia July 31-August 4, and producers from the Southeast and Far West will tour two Texas cotton production regions August 14-18.
Source – National Cotton Council