MEMPHIS – Nine cotton producers from Arizona, California and New Mexico will see cotton operations in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee on July 28-31 as part of the National Cotton Council's (NCC) 2014 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) program.
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is now in its 26th year and has exposed more than 1,000 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 Far West participants are:Arizona -- Cassy England, Casa, Grande; California -- Jerred Barba, Lemoore; Michael Kleiber, Merced; Tim Sanchez, Hanford; and Daniel Martin and Renato Serrano, both from Firebaugh; New Mexico –Dosi Alvarez and Seth Ferguson, both of La Union; and Brandon Jones, Virden.
Following an orientation, the group will begin their Mid-South activities in Tennessee on July 28 with a look at the Stoneville Breeding Facility at Agricenter International in Memphis. They also will look at Walker Farms precision agriculture efforts in Somerville before observing cotton operations in that area. The next day, the group will tour the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson, Hargett Farms in Bells, and Lindamood Planting Company in Tiptonville.
On July 30, the Far West producers will go to Missouri to see test plots, irrigation and discuss round module pickers at Parker Farm in Senath. They will then travel to northeast Arkansas for a discussion of weed resistance and new varieties at the Sam Stuckey Farm in Clarkedale. On the 31st while in Arkansas the group will hear about flood management at the St. Francis Levee District in West Memphis and at the W.G. Huxtable Pumping Station in Marianna. They also will visit the Lon Mann Cotton Research Station in Marianna before concluding their tour at the Cotton Museum in Memphis.
In this season's other tours, Mid-South producers saw operations in California's San Joaquin Valley on July 13-17 while Southwest producers will visit North Carolina and Virginia on August 3-8; and Southeast producers will tour Texas on August 17-22.
The Mid-South cotton producers who just completed their tour in California included: Arkansas – Sam Whitaker, Monticello; and Wally Willoughby, III, Marked Tree; Louisiana – Michael Arceneaux, St. Joseph; Scott Crigler, Jr., Waterproof; Adam Faulk, Winnsboro; Chris Freeman, Jonesville; and Russ Ratcliff, III, Newellton; Mississippi – Brian Barham, Anguilla; John Bush, III, Greenwood; Will Hood, Cleveland; and Robert Royal, Midnight; and Tennessee – Bradley Moore and Matt Rhea, both from Somerville.