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Texas Cotton Producers to host Southeastern Peers
12
Aug '08
Cotton producers from the Southeast will travel to the Southwest, visiting operations in Texas, August 17-21 on the four and last tour of the 2008 Cotton Foundation Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program. They will be exposed to the diverse and innovative farming practices of the hosting region.

The P.I.E. Program is conducted by the National Cotton Council's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer associations. Bayer CropScience sponsors the program via a grant to The Cotton Foundation.

Now in its 20th year, the P.I.E. program exposes U.S. cotton producers to innovative cotton production practices and other agricultural operations in regions different than their own. Participants gain new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting as well as to observe unique ways in which their peers are using new technology. The program's overall goal is helping its participants improve yields and fiber quality.

The 11 Southeastern tour participants include: North Carolina producers Andrew Burleson, New London; Joe Martin, II, Conway; Milton Prince, Belhaven; and Tory Slager, Pantego. They will be joined by Georgia producers Wes Busby, III, Dawson; Judson Hornsby, Iron City; and Brian Massey and Lee Trice, both from Bronwood; along with Alabama producer Jamie Wood, Town Creek; Virginia producer Lofton Braswell, Windsor; and Tennessee producer Brett Graham, Taft.

On August 18, the group will visit the Bayer CropScience Warehouse in Lubbock, TX, to hear a presentation on cottonseed and traits from Bayer's Monty Christian and an overview on the Plains Cotton Growers Association by Steve Verett, their executive vice president.

They also will hear presentations on “Texas Cotton Production” and the “Texas Cotton Improvement Program” from Texas A&M researchers, Dr. Randy Bowman and Dr. Jane Dever. They will then tour PYCO industries where the group will focus on cottonseed and its varied uses with hosts, President and Vice President Gail Kring and Robert Lacy.

That will be followed by a tour of the Farmer's Cooperative Compress hosted by Ron Harkey, president and Buddy Melton, vice president. The next day in Lubbock the group will tour the Texas Feed Lot and the Back to Earth Resources for a look at turning gin trash into a value-added product before getting a presentation on electronic marketing from Plains Cotton Cooperative Association President Wally Darneille.

The group will travel to the Coastal Bend area and while in Corpus Christi on August 20 will visit Stover Equipment Company, the Port of Corpus Christi and the Smith Gin Coop in nearby Odem. The tour concludes on August 21 with a tour of the King Ranch and Farms in Kingsville hosted by Cliett Lowman and individual farm tours in San Patricio, Nueces and Kleberg counties.

After the four 2008 tours, the P.I.E. program will have enabled more than 850 U.S. cotton producers to see operations outside of their Cotton Belt region.

Click here to view schedule:

National Cotton Council of America

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