MEMPHIS – Attendees at the 2015 Beltwide Cotton Conferences will have access to individual reports and panel discussions containing information useful for helping them make key cotton research/production/marketing-related decisions.
Registration now is open for this National Cotton Council-coordinated forum, set for January 5-7 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Housing/registration instructions, a schedule of events and general information are at www.cotton.org/beltwide. Registration costs before December 15 are: $175 for NCC/Cotton Foundation members, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel, associations and consultants; $300 for non-NCC members and $80 for students.
The "Beltwide" annually brings together those with a stake in a healthy U.S. cotton production sector, including industry members, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel/agents, consultants, and industry sales/support personnel. They are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the Beltwide's dynamic program and the opportunity the forum provides for networking with their peers from across the Cotton Belt. Continuing education units or "CEUs" also are offered.
The "Beltwide" ranks as the world's premier cotton technical conference. The meeting's format provides a forum for intra and inter disciplinary exchanges on a wide range of topics and as a place where attendees can gather and coordinate plans for ongoing research efforts and the new production year.
The 2015 Beltwide will begin at noon on January 5 with a half-day Cotton Consultants Conference session that will focus on new developments from industry, including discussions of and reports on new varieties, chemistries and emerging technologies. The session is open to all attendees and also will include an update on NCC-led efforts to deliver contamination-free cotton and other challenges the U.S. cotton industry is currently facing.
Beginning on the morning of January 6, the 11 cotton technical conferences will meet concurrently. On that day, some of these technical conferences will meet jointly with the consultants conference at specific times to discuss key issues in those disciplines, including current research. The technical conferences will conclude their meetings by noon on January 7.
Among timely topics being considered for those joint sessions are pollinator health and control of plant bugs and other key insect pests. A panel discussion will feature state-by-state university recommendations for overall weed control, including management of Palmer amaranth and water hemp utilizing new and existing technologies. Other topics likely to be addressed are: 1) managing nematodes, target leaf spot, root rot and other cotton diseases, 2) the results of uniform agronomy/physiology studies conducted in multiple Cotton Belt locations during 2014, 3) plant nutrition/soil management, including updates on irrigation and fertility practices, and 4) the Fieldprint Calculator's development status.
The "Beltwide" continues to be the site for the following recognition events: The Cotton Foundation/Farm Press Publications' High Cotton Awards, Cotton Grower magazine's Cotton Achievement Award and Cotton Farming magazine's Consultant of the Year. The National Cotton Ginners Association also will conduct meetings in conjunction with the Conferences, including participation in the technical conferences for ginning and engineering-systems.
On-site conference self-registration kiosks will be available 24 hours a day beginning the evening of January 4. Beginning on the morning of January 5, NCC staff will be available for attendees needing assistance with registration and name badge printing.