MEMPHIS – Nine cotton producers from Arizona and California will see cotton and other agriculture-related operations in Texas on August 5-8 as part of the 2013 National Cotton Council's Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.).
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. program is in its 25th year of helping its U.S. producer participants improve yields and fiber quality.The program aims to help cotton producers boost their overall operation's efficiency by: 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting and 2) observing the unique ways in which their innovative peers are using current technology.
Upon completion of this final of the four 2013 tours, the P.I.E. will have exposed more than 1,050 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own since the program was initiated 25 years ago.
The Southwest tour participants are: Arizona – Don England, Jr., and Jonathan Cockrill, both from Casa Grande; Phillip Garcia, Eloy; and Kelci Morrow, Coolidge; California – Jake and Aric Barcellos, both from Los Banos; Tim Gomes, Gustine; Adam Mendes, Fresno; and Matthew Watte, Tulare.
The Southwest tour will begin on August 5 in Lubbock at the Plains Cotton Growers office for updates on Texas cotton production, Texas A&M University's Texas Cotton Improvement Program and Bayer CropScience's research/development. The group will visit PYCO Industries andtour Vardeman Farms in nearby Slaton before concluding the day with a visit to the Caprock Winery.
The next day in Lubbock the group will tour Farmers Cooperative Compress and then get a presentation on electronic marketing at Plains Cotton Cooperative Association before touring the Lubbock Feedlot and the Back to Earth Resources for a look at turning gin trash into a value-added product. They also will tour Mimms Farm in Acuff.
The next two days, the group will be in the state's Coastal Bend area. On the 7th while in Corpus Christi, they will visit Stover Equipment Company, the Gulf Compress, the Port of Corpus Christi and Gatefront, LLC. They also will visit Edcot Gin Coop in Odem, the Gregory Gin in Gregory and then participate in individual farm tours in the Coastal Bend area. The tour concludes on August 8th with a visit to Kingsville for a tour of the King Ranch and Farms and a look at algae biodiesel and gossypol free shrimp feeding projects conducted by Texas AgriLife Extension at the AgriLife Mariculture Laboratory in Corpus Christi.
This season, Mid-South producers observed operations in Georgia on June 23-28; Southeast producers traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi on July 7-12; and Southwest producers visited California on July 21-25.