Mid-South Cotton Producers to See San Joaquin Valley Agriculture
Thirteen Mid-South cotton producers will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley the week of July 13 as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2014 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.
MEMPHIS, TN – Thirteen Mid-South cotton producers will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in California's San Joaquin Valley the week of July 13 as part of the National Cotton Council's 2014 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 26th 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 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own.
The participating cotton producers are 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; Tennessee – Bradley Moore and Matt Rhea, both from Somerville.
The group will begin their activities on July 14 in Fresno with a presentation on California cotton issues from the California Cotton Ginners/Growers Association. They also will see cotton production during a tour of Don Cameron's Terra Nova Ranch in Helm and see other cotton operations in the Tranquillity area. The next day features tours of Gilkey Enterprises and other cotton operations in the Corcoran area and visits to the Nichols Farms Pistachio Processing Plant in Hanford and Jovie & Mark Rosa's cotton operation in Laton.
On July 16, the group will visit the Quady Winery in Madera before traveling to Los Banos for a tour of the Morning Star Tomato processing facility and meetings with area cotton producers. The tour concludes on July 17 with a look at the table grape harvest at Kirschemann Farms in Bakersfield and a tour of the Bayer CropScience research operations at the Shafter Research Center in Shafter.
This season, Far West cotton producers will see operations in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee on July 27-August 1; Southwest producers will visit North Carolina and Virginia on August 3-8; and Southeast producers will tour Texas on August 17-22.