MEMPHIS, TN – Thirteen cotton producers from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in California's San Joaquin Valley the week of July 22 as part of the National Cotton Council's 2013 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.
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 year's four tours, the P.I.E. program will have exposed more than 1,050 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own.
The participating cotton producers are Kansas – Jason Dunn, Santata; Oklahoma – Carson Vinyard, Altus; and Texas – Micah Evans, Roby; Austin Harwell, Robstown; Jake Kalina, Miles; Wade Klepac, Sinton; Donald Kirksey, Lorenzo; Richard Lange, Norton; Bill Luckett, Matador; Ryan Mimms, Ransom Canyon; Kevin Mitchell, New Home; Brandon Rodgers, Littlefield; and Dusty Swanberg, Harlingen.
In this third of four 2013 P.I.E. tours, the group will begin their activities on July 22 in Fresno with a briefing from the California Cotton Ginners/Growers Association and then a tour of Bayer CropScience's research facility. They also will tour Don Cameron's Terra Nova Ranch in Helm as well as other cotton operations in the Tranquillity area.
The next day, the group will see Gilkey Enterprises' cotton operations in Corcoran before traveling to Laton for a tour of Jovie & Mark Rosa Farms and then tours of other area farms. On the 24th, the participants will travel to Bakersfield for tours of Fanucchi Farms and the Sun Pacific Juicing Plant & Cold Storage.
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 Far West producers will tour Texas on August 4-9.