Ten cotton producers from Arizona and California will see cotton operations in Georgia the week of August 3 as part of the 2015 National Cotton Council’s Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. program is now in its 27th year of helping participants improve yields and fiber quality. The program specifically aims to help its participants boost 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 are using current technology.
Upon completion of this year’s tours, the P.I.E. program will have exposed nearly 1,200 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own.
Making the trip are Bob Bertao and Natasha Crivelli, both from Dos Palos, CA; David Collins, Willcox, AZ; Alex Heiden, Buckeye, AZ; Jace Householder, Thatcher, AZ; Derric Kirschenmann, Shafter, CA; Mike Newton, Stratford, CA; Daniel Pacheco, Oro Valley, AZ; Jerry Salvador, Fresno, CA; and Justin Sandlin, El Nido, CA.
The group will begin their tour on August 3 with an orientation and overview on Southeastern cotton production, a visit to the 1888 Mills, LLC in Griffin, a discussion about the Georgia peach industry at Lane Packing Company in Fort Valley, and a visit to the Coley Gin and Fertilizer Company in Vienna before touring cotton farms in that area.
On August 4, the group will learn about peanut harvesting and tillage equipment at Kelley Manufacturing in Tifton, see peanut handling/shelling at Tifton Quality Peanuts and learn about South Georgia vegetable production at Lewis Taylor Farms. The day’s activities will end with a visit to Bart Davis Farms in Doerun, where the group will observe cotton and beef cattle production.
On August 5, the group will travel to Albany for visits to the Miller Brewing Company for a presentation on automated machinery for product handling and to Thrush Aircraft for a look at agricultural aircraft manufacturing. They will also tour the Bayer CropScience CAP trials near Plains, see cotton, peanut and grain production at RCL Farms in Bronwood, and visit other area cotton farms.
The tour concludes on August 6 with a presentation on drip irrigation for cotton and peanut production at Southeastern Gin Company in Surrency, plus a look at cotton and tobacco production at the FMR Burch Farm in Screven.
One other P.I.E. tour is scheduled for this season, when Southwest producers travel to Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi on August 16-21. Southeast producers visited California’s San Joaquin Valley in early July, and Mid-South producers toured Texas in late July.
Source – National Cotton Council