Southwest, Western Cotton Growers Set for Mid-South P.I.E. Tour
Fifteen cotton producers from the Southwest and Western Cotton Belt will visit cotton operations in Arkansas and Tennessee August 6-9 as part of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) 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 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.
This year’s Mid-South tour participants are:
- ARIZONA – Clayton Schulz and Hayden Melton, both of Buckeye; and Todd Thelander, Tempe
- CALIFORNIA – Connor McKean, Riverdale; and R.J. Errotabere, Visalia
- KANSAS – Brad Moberly, Wellington
- OKLAHOMA – Jeron Park, Walters
- TEXAS – Ben Loya, Fabens; Bill Belew, Winters; Brad Byars, Lakeview; Greg Slough, Gruver; Heath Heinrich, Slaton; Kevin Corzine, Stamford; Mitchell Jansa, Garden City; and Ryan Netherland, Sudan.
The tour begins August 6 at the West Tennessee AgResearch & Education Center in Jackson for an overview of Tennessee cotton production, weed management and cotton research. The group then travels to Humboldt for tours of area cotton farms and a look at cotton yarn and nonwoven products at Jones Fiber Products.
The tour’s final three days will be spent in Arkansas. On August 7, the group will learn about Mid-South irrigation and see McClendon Farms’ cotton operations in Soudan, and tour the Lon Mann Research Station in Marianna for a presentation on the University of Arkansas cotton breeding program and a comparison of Mid-South and Southwest cotton production. While in the Marianna area, the group will visit the W.G. Huxtable Pumping Station for a briefing on Delta flood management and see Reed Farms’ cotton operation for a discussion of cover crops.
On August 8, the participants will learn about rice production during a tour of the White & Flye Farms in Weona and rice processing at Windmill Rice Company in Jonesboro. They also will see Bayer variety trials at Wildy Farms in Manila, before touring individual cotton farms in the area.
The tour concludes August 9 with a presentation on Mississippi River commerce and a port tour by the Osceola Port Authority in Osceola, and a look at cotton operations in the Wilson area.
This is the first of three P.I.E. tours scheduled for this year. Cotton producers from the Southeast will visit cotton and other agricultural operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley the week of August 13, and Mid-South growers will tour two Texas cotton production regions the week of August 20.
Information provided by the National Cotton Council