Eleven cotton producers from the Southeast will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in California’s San Joaquin Valley the week of August 13 as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2018 Producers Information Exchange (PIE) program.
Sponsored by Crop Science, a division of Bayer, through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, PIE is now in its 30th year and has exposed more than 1,100 cotton producers to innovative production practices in cotton belt regions different than their own.
Specifically, the program aims to help the cotton producer participants boost their farming efficiencies by:
–Gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, fertilization, planting, pest control, irrigation and harvesting;
–Observing firsthand the unique ways in which their innovative peers are using current technology.
A program benefit is that the participants get to ask questions of the both producers they visit on the tours and the producers from their own region that they travel with during the week.
The tour’s participants this year are from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Caroline and Virginia. They will begin their activities in Fresno with a briefing from the California Cotton Ginners/Growers Association and then a tour of Bayer’s research facility. They also will tour Don Cameron’s Terra Nova Ranch in Helm and observe extra-long staple cotton production in the Tranquility area.
The next day, the group will see Gilkey Enterprises’ cotton operations in Corcoran and visit other area farms before traveling to Laton for a tour of Jovie and Mark Rosa Farms.
On Aug. 15, the producers will tour the Quady Winery in Madera, then go to Los Banos for a look at tomato processing at the Ingomar Packing Company and a tour of Delta Farms’ cotton operations and visit with area cotton producers. The group will conclude their California tour Aug. 16 with a look at table grape harvesting at the Kirschermann Farms in Bakersfield prior to touring Farmers Cooperative Almond Huller in Wasco.
In this season’s other PIE tours, Southwest and Far West producers will observe agricultural operations in the Mid-South and producers from the Mid-South will visit two Texas cotton production regions.