MEMPHIS - Texas cotton producers will host New Mexico, Arizona and California cotton producers August 4-9 as part of the National Cotton Council/FMC 2001 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) program.
This program, now in its 13th year, is managed by the NCC’s Member Services staff and supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from FMC Corporation. The program’s overall aim is to help America’s cotton producers become more efficient by speeding up their adoption of proven technology and innovative farming methods.
"The P.I.E. program is basically the Internet in the flesh," said James F. "Jimmy" Dodson, newly-elected president of The Cotton Foundation. "It’s a problem-solving tool that allows innovative producers to share information, management ideas and concerns with other progressive cotton producers."
The Robstown, TX, cotton producer said that successful producers typically leave their mark on their communities, but this program allows then to impact other areas of the Cotton Belt, too. He said the P.I.E. program also helps producers understand concerns in regions different than their own – a timely process as discussions on new farm law escalate this year.
Foundation Chairman Talmage Crihfield, a Ripley, TN, producer and 1993 P.I.E. participant, said the exchange program also is serving the increasingly important function of exposing participants to creative ways of reducing their production inputs as a means to achieving profitability.
The New Mexico, Arizona, and California cotton producers will begin their tour with a program orientation in Corpus Christi on August 4. The next two days the group will see farming operations in the Coastal Bend region, including the King Ranch in Kingsville and farms in the El Campo area. They also will tour the port of Corpus Christi.
On August 8, the cotton producers will see High Plains cotton operations near Lubbock, including visits to Mimms Farms, Heinrich Farms and New Home Coop Gin. They will conclude their tour with visits to Plains Cotton Growers, Plains Cotton Oil Mill and Plains Cotton Cooperative Association.
The 2001 P.I.E. program features one later tour where producers from Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee will travel to Georgia and Alabama August 18-23. Southeastern cotton producers toured the Mid-South July 7-12 and Far West cotton producers shared their innovations with growers from Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas July 21-27.