MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) has scheduled tour dates and locations for the 2017 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.
The P.I.E. program’s goal is helping U.S. cotton producers maximize production efficiency and improve yields and fiber quality by: 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting; and 2) observing diverse farming practices and the unique ways in which their innovative peers have adopted new and existing technology. A unique program benefit is that the participants get to ask questions of both the producers they visit on the tours but also from producers from their own region that they travel with during the week.
This season, Mid-South producers will visit California’s San Joaquin Valley on July 17-21; Southwest producers will see agricultural operations in Georgia on July 31-August 4 and producers from the Southeast and Far West will tour two Texas cotton production regions on August 14-18.
The NCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection. Sponsored by Bayer through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is now in its 29th year and has exposed more than 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own.
Cotton Foundation President Gill Rogers, a Hartsville, S.C., cotton producer, said Bayer’s support of the P.I.E. program continues to provide its producer participants an invaluable opportunity to boost their on-farm efficiency.
Rogers, who was a 1993 P.I.E. program participant, said at that time nobody in his area was using irrigation. He said after seeing the innovative irrigation techniques that cotton producers were using in California and Arizona, he decided to begin irrigating his cotton back in South Carolina.
“The tour changed the way I farmed from that day forward and helped me do a better job of farming,” Rogers said.
Rogers also recalled that during his Far West tour he heard from farmers who were making the effort to educate their children so they would continue to farm.
“I have never forgotten that,” he said. “Everyone on the tour was very positive about agriculture and the tour was a very positive experience for me.”
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National Cotton Council of America
As the U.S. cotton industry’s unifying force, the Memphis, Tenn.-based National Cotton Council carries out a mission of ensuring the seven industry segments’ ability to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad. Farms and businesses directly involved in the production, distribution and processing of cotton employ more than 125,000 workers and produce direct business revenue of more than $21 billion. Accounting for the ripple effect through the broader U.S. economy, direct and indirect employment surpasses 280,000 workers with economic activity of almost $100 billion total economic activity.
The Cotton Foundation
This 501(c)3 organization was created to give U.S. cotton’s agribusiness allies opportunities to support the U.S. cotton industry over and above the products and services these firms provide. Agribusiness members’ dues support general research and education projects while some members’ provide grants over and above their dues to fund special projects.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.