Eleven cotton producers from Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas will visit cotton operations in Georgia the week of July 30 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 Southwest producers are:
- Texas – Colin Chopelas, Corpus Christi; David Weishuhn, Garden City; Jerry Sowder and Seth Sowder, both from Sudan; Tanner Hogue, Brownfield; Taylor Murrell, Tulia; Todd Straley, Plainview; Trevor Spain, Olton; and Wade Vaughn, Shallowater;
- Oklahoma – Chance Worrell, Altus;
- Kansas – Jeff Preisser, Turon.
Following an orientation and overview on cotton production in the Southeast, the producers begin their tour July 31 in Columbus, observing raw cotton spun into yarn at Swift Spinning and denim manufacturing at Denim North America. Later, they travel to Vienna for a visit to Coley Gin and Fertilizer Company, then tour cotton farms in that area.
The next day in Tifton, the group will see vegetable production at Lewis Taylor Farms, and peanut harvesting and tillage equipment at Kelley Manufacturing. They will visit BCT Gin in Quitman and tour individual farms in the area before traveling to Moultrie for a presentation on the Sunbelt Ag Expo, then to Funston for a look at cotton production on Tom Stallings Farms.
On August 2, the group travels to Albany for a presentation on agricultural aircraft manufacturing at Thrush Aircraft. Other activities for the day include a look at cotton, peanut and corn production at Harvey Jordan Farms in Leary; a presentation on cotton breeding at Bayer’s breeding facility in Dawson; and observing cotton, peanut and pecan production at RCL Farms in Bronwood.
The tour concludes August 3 with a look at peanut processing at Premium Peanut in Douglas; a presentation on drip irrigation on cotton and peanut fields at Southeastern Gin Company in Surrency; and examining cotton and tobacco production at the FMR Burch Farm in Screven.
One other P.I.E. tour is scheduled for this season, when producers from the Southeast and Far West will tour two Texas cotton production regions August 14-18. Earlier, growers from the Mid-South visited California’s San Joaquin Valley in mid-July.
Source – National Cotton Council