MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Cotton producers from the U.S. Cotton Belt’s West and Southwest regions will observe cotton and other agriculture related operations in North Carolina on August 28-September 1 as part of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.).
More than 1,200 U.S. cotton producers will have been exposed to innovative production practices in Cotton Belt regions different than their own after the tour and this year’s other P.I.E. tour in which Southeast and Mid-South producers are seeing cotton operations in Texas on August 21-25. Launched in 1989, the P.I.E. now is sponsored by BASF Agricultural Solutions through a grant to The Cotton Foundation.
NCC Chairman Ted Schneider, a Louisiana producer who was a 1994 P.I.E. participant, said, “The U.S. cotton industry is very appreciative to BASF for underwriting the P.I.E. program because it is providing its producer participants an exceptional opportunity to improve their on-farm efficiency by seeing what works and doesn’t work.”
Bryan Perry, U.S. head of seeds and traits for BASF Agricultural Solutions, said, “BASF is proud to support this unique educational opportunity for America’s cotton producers. New technology continues to accelerate at a rapid pace but adapting these tools and techniques to specific farming operations is a challenge. These P.I.E. participants are receiving an invaluable experience by not only seeing innovative farming practices firsthand but getting to ask questions about them face-to-face with their peers.”
The P.I.E. program has a specific goal of 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 creative ways in which other resourceful producers have adopted new and existing technology. The program provides another beneficial opportunity as it fosters the sharing of information among the participants within their own Cotton Belt region as they travel together during the week.
The NCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, coordinates the P.I.E. program’s tours and participant selection.
The Southeast tour participants are: Arizona – Burleson Smith, Tucson; California – Doug Cardoza, Tipton; Kansas – Ian Parker, Mulvane; Oklahoma – Matt Braun, Hobart; and Texas – Joe Baumgardner, II, Wellington; Trey Beyer, III, Portland; Russ Eggemeyer, Midkiff; Brent Halfmann and Paul Kocich, both of San Angelo; Brett Howard, Dalhart; Zachary Mengers, Tynan; Landon Mires, O’Donnell; Orin Romine, Big Spring; Layton Schniers, Wall; John Walker, II, Stamford; and Hunter Wilde, Lyford.
On August 29, the group will visit BASF’s headquarters in Research Triangle Park where Bryan Perry will provide an overview of the company’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture and research capabilities. The producers then will see variety development trials at BASF’s research facility in Pikeville.
The next day, the group will travel to Warren Farming in Newton where they will see and hear about agricultural crop production in the state’s central eastern region. They also will get a briefing on agricultural supplies/production management at Harvey Fertilizer and Gas in Kinston before observing cotton and tobacco production at the JP Davenport & Son farm in Greenville.
On the 31st, the producer contingent will see cotton production in the state’s Outer Banks region at Cahoon Farms in Engelhard and agricultural operations in the state’s Blacklands area at Boyd Farms in Pantego before taking individual tours with producers in that area.
The tour concludes on September 1 with a presentation on eastern North Carolina production at the Lassiter Family Farms in Conway; tours of farms in the Gaston area; and a briefing on cotton fiber processing at the Gaston Coop in Garysburg.
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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.
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 such as BASF provide grants over and above their dues to fund special projects.
BASF Agricultural Solutions
From high-quality seed with established brands like FiberMax® and Stoneville®, to proven crop protection and seed treatment products, BASF works closely with cotton growers to protect their crops and maximize yield, acre after acre, year after year. We deliver a complete grower experience – field-tested solutions, agronomic insights, and customized recommendations to help growers overcome every challenge and achieve their fields’ full potential. Learn more at www.agriculture.basf.com.