MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Eleven cotton producers from Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas will see cotton operations in Georgia on July 30-August 4 as part of the National Cotton Council’s 2017 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) program.
Sponsored by Bayer via a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. program is now in its 29th year of helping its U.S. cotton producer participants improve yields and fiber quality – and has exposed more than 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own. Specifically, the program helps producers improve their overall farming operation 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 peers are using current technology. The NCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection.
This year’s Southeast P.I.E. tour participants are: Texas – Colin Chopelas, Corpus Christi; David Weishuhn, Garden City; Jerry Sowder and Seth Sowder, both from Sudan; Tanner Hogue, Brownfield; Taylor Murrell, Tulia; Todd Straley, Plainview; Trevor Spain, Olton; and Wade Vaughn, Shallowater; Oklahoma – Chance Worrell, Altus; and Kansas – Jeff Preisser, Turon.
Following an orientation and overview on cotton production in the Southeast, the producers will begin their tour on July 31 in Columbus observing raw cotton spun into yarn at Swift Spinning and denim manufacturing at Denim North America. Later, they will travel to Vienna for a visit to Coley Gin and Fertilizer Company and then touring cotton farms in that area.
The group will begin the next day’s activities in Tifton where they will see vegetable production at Lewis Taylor Farms and then peanut harvesting and tillage equipment at Kelley Manufacturing. They will visit the BCT Gin in Quitman and tour individual farms in the area before traveling to Moultrie for a presentation on the Sunbelt Ag Expo and then to Funston for a look at cotton production on Tom Stallings Farms.
On August 2, the group will travel to Albany for a presentation on agricultural aircraft manufacturing at Thrush Aircraft. Other activities that day include a look at cotton, peanut and corn production at Harvey Jordan Farms in Leary; a presentation on breeding cotton for tomorrow at Bayer’s breeding facility in Dawson; and observing cotton, peanut and pecan production at RCL Farms in Bronwood.
The tour concludes on August 3 with a look at peanut processing at Premium Peanut in Douglas; a presentation on drip irrigation on cotton and peanut fields at Southeastern Gin Company in Surrency; and examining cotton and tobacco production at the FMR Burch Farm in Screven.
The season’s final P.I.E. tour will have Southeast and Far West producers touring two cotton production regions in Texas on August 14-18.