MEMPHIS – Ten cotton producers from the Southeast will see cotton operations in Louisiana and Mississippi on July 7-12 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 firsthand 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.
Following an orientation, the group will begin their activities on July 8 in Louisiana with a look at cotton, corn and milo production at Jay Hardwick's farm in Newellton and tours of other area farms. The next day, the group travels to Lake Providence for tours of the Port of Lake Providence and Panola Pepper Company and to see bio-succinic acid production at Myriant Lake Providence, Inc. They also will tour area cotton farms and get an update on the repair of Bunches Bend levee by the Fifth Louisiana Levee District before ending the day with a tour of the Louisiana Cotton Museum.
The next two days will be spent in Mississippi. On the 10th, the producers will visit Staplcotn cotton cooperative in Greenwood, tour Ray Makamson's farm in Itta Bena and then visit Bayer CropScience's "Cottonseed Station" in Leland. On the 11th, the group will go to Stoneville for a briefing on the Delta and the region's cotton production from the Delta Council and tours of the Stoneville Research Complex and Delta Branch Experiment Station. Their activities conclude with individual tours of farms in the Greenville area.
The Southeast participants include: Virginia – Brad Monahan, Waverly; North Carolina – Josh Asby, Pantego; Justin Boyd, Pinetown; Hill Homewood, Raleigh; Rickie Leggett, Windsor; and Gerald Tyner, Jr., Elm City; Georgia – Nick Aldridge, Jr., Waycross; Phil Murray, Axson; Jason West, Cobbtown; and Brock Young, Tifton.
This season's other tours will have Southwest producers visiting California on July 21-25; and Far West producers going to Texas on August 4-9. Mid-South producers observed operations in Georgia on June 24-28.