P.I.E. Tour Takes Southeast Cotton Producers to San Joaquin Valley

P.I.E. Tour Takes Southeast Cotton Producers to San Joaquin Valley

Eleven cotton producers from the Southeast will see cotton and other agricultural operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley August 13-17 as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2018 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.

Now in its 30th year, the P.I.E. program has exposed more than 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in cotton producing regions other than their own. The program is sponsored by Crop Science, a division of Bayer, through a grant to The Cotton Foundation.


The program aims to help the 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 ways in which their peers in other regions are using current technology.

NCC’s Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection.

Participating producers from the Southeast are:

  • ALABAMA – Shep Morris, Shorter; Randall Beers, Tyler; Catherine Porter, Prattville; and Steve Gross, Gadsden
  • FLORIDA – Ernie Fulford, Monticello
  • GEORGIA – Jared Scott, Hazlehurst; and Bodie Johnson, Alma
  • NORTH CAROLINA – Garrett Boyd, Pinetown; and Eric Cahoon, Engelhard
  • SOUTH CAROLINA – John Rhett Covington, McColl
  • VIRGINIA – Seth Edwards, Drewryville.

The producer tour begins in Fresno August 13 with a briefing from the California Cotton Ginners/Growers Association and a tour of Bayer’s research facility. The group will also tour Don Cameron’s Terra Nova Ranch in Helm and observe extra-long staple cotton production in the Tranquillity area.

On August 14, the group will see Gilkey Enterprises’ cotton operations in Corcoran and visit other area farms before traveling to Laton to tour of Jovie & Mark Rosa Farms.

August 15 tour stops include the Quady Winery in Madera, a look at tomato processing at the Ingomar Packing Company in Los Banos, a tour of Delta Farms’ cotton operation, and visits with area cotton producers.

The tour concludes on August 16 with a look at table grape harvesting at Kirschenmann Farms in Bakersfield, plus a tour of Farmers Cooperative Almond Huller in Wasco.

This is the second of three P.I.E. tours scheduled for this year. Cotton producers from the Southwest and Western Cotton Belt visited the Mid-South the week of August 6. A group of Mid-South growers are scheduled to tour two Texas cotton production regions the week of August 20.


Information provided by the National Cotton Council