MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Eight cotton producers from Arizona and California will see cotton and other agriculture-related operations in Texas on August 15-18 as part of the 2016 National Cotton Council’s Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.).
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience LP through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is now in its 28th year and has exposed more than 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in Cotton Belt regions different than their own. Specifically, the program aims to help the cotton producer participants boost their farming efficiency by: 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting; and 2) observing firsthand the unique ways in which their innovative peers are using current technology. The NCC’s Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection.
The tour participants are: Arizona – Sam Daley, J.R. Howard and Matthew Palmer, all of Thatcher; and Thomas Wuertz of Coolidge; and California – Travis Fugitt of Bakersfield; Cannon Sanchez of Hanford; and Douglas Mederos and Mike Silva, both of Tulare.
The tour will begin on August 15 in Lubbock where the group will get an overview of the Texas High Plains from Plains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President Steve Verett, a presentation on the Plains Cotton Improvement Program from Carol Kelly with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and a report on the e3 Sustainable Cotton Program at Bayer’s Seeds Innovation Center.
The group then will travel to Meadow for tours of Nick Seaton’s and Anthony Ferguson’s farms where they will see both conventional and organic cotton production as well as production of black eyed peas, peanuts and wine grapes. They will end the day with a visit to Cotton Creek Farms in New Home and tours of other cotton farms in the area.
On August 16, the group will travel to Plainview for a briefing on water conservation, watering systems and cropping systems from the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation.
The next two days will be spent in Texas’ Coastal Bend area. On August 17, the group will visit begin their day in Corpus Christi with a visit to Stover Equipment Company for a look at module trucks and round module handling and then see ginning of round modules at the Edcot Gin Coop in Odem and stripper harvesting with round module machines at Randy Rachal Farms in Taft. They also will visit Bayer’s field site in Taft. That afternoon in Corpus Christi, the group will tour the Gulf Compress, the Port of Corpus Christi and Gatefront, LLC before touring individual farms in the Odem area.
On August 18, the producers will see local operations in Kleberg County and get a report on the “Status of Boll Weevil Eradication in South Texas” from Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation staff. The Texas tour will conclude with a visit to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi.
This season’s other P.I.E. tours had Mid-South cotton producers visiting the Carolinas on July 18-21; Southeastern producers seeing operations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee on July 24-28; and producers from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas observing cotton and other agricultural operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley on August 1-4.