Cotton Foundation News

National Cotton Council periodically disseminates information such as news releases and articles in its newsletter, Cotton's Week, regarding Cotton Foundation projects, including progress reports and announcements of new special projects.

Cotton's Week -- February 2022

High Cotton Recipients Recognized

The 28th High Cotton Awards recipients, whose management practices were characterized as producing more with less, were recognized at the annual High Cotton Breakfast held on February 25 in Memphis.

The awards, given to producers from each of the four Cotton Belt regions for growing quality U.S. cotton using regenerative practices, are supported by The Cotton Foundation with a grant from Farm Press Publications which conducts the program.

The 2022 honorees, cited for using year-long sustainable practices ranging from minimum/no-till to drip irrigation and cover crops, are: Southeast - Lee Cromley, Brooklet, GA; Mid-South - John Lindamood, Tiptonville, TN; Southwest - Randall Bankhead, Roscoe, TX; and Western - Dan Thelander, Maricopa, AZ.

See more information about the recipients.

Cotton's Week - July 2022

PEP Participants Complete Training

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The 2022 Policy Education Program (PEP) producer participants completed their training with a trip to Washington, DC.

This year’s Policy Education Program (PEP) producer participants completed training in Washington, DC. The 2022 participants are: Eric Cahoon, Engelhard, NC; Andrew Hairston, Silver City, MS; Brad Hinton, Snyder, TX; Greg Slough, Gruver, TX; Carson Vinyard, Altus, OK; and Ciera Ware, Ralls, TX.

More than 200 NCC producer members have participated in the PEP, which provides the participants an opportunity to learn more about the NCC's policy development and implementation process, as well as industry issues. The PEP is supported by FMC through a grant to The Cotton Foundation.

While in DC, this year’s group: 1) participated in professional development sessions, including media, social media and speaking training; 2) met with FMC executives who briefed them on research and development, the regulatory pipeline/new product registration and government/industry affairs; and 3) heard industry regulatory issues updates by NCC and CropLife America staff. They also received briefings from EPA and USDA staff, as well as from staff of the House Agriculture Committee, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee and that Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.

The group’s first 2022 PEP session enabled them to attend the NCC's Annual Meeting in February where they observed leadership from the seven U.S. cotton industry segments establish NCC policies.

Cotton's Week - August 2022

Foundation Trustees Approve Research Projects

The Cotton Foundation held its annual membership meeting in Little Rock, AR, immediately followed by the Foundation Board of Trustees meeting.

During the meeting, Foundation trustees for the 2022-23 fiscal year were elected. Those include producers: Jon Whatley, Odem, TX; Dean Calvani, Carlsbad, NM; Sam Whitaker, Monticello, AR; Philip Edwards, III, Smithfield, VA; and David Light, Rolla, KS, along with allied industry members: Jennifer Crumpler, Bayer; Macie O’Shaughnessy, Syngenta; Matt Rekeweg, Corteva AgriSciences; Travis Becton, John Deere; Andrew Conner, BASF; Eric Castner, FMC; Kelly Fenner, Seal Transportation; Jeffrey Smith, Valent; and Russell Sutton, Lummus. Independent Consultant Association trustees include Rogers Leonard, St. Joseph, LA; Hank Jones, Winnsboro, LA; Wes Briggs, Bainbridge, GA; and Jack Royal, Leary, GA.

Foundation trustees elected officers for 2022-23. Whatley was elected Foundation chairman and Calvani, president. Other elected officers are Gary Adams, executive vice president; Don Parker, executive director/secretary; Matt Rekeweg, treasurer; and Drew Davis, assistant treasurer. Neal Isbell, outgoing Foundation chairman, was recognized for his five years of service and leadership.

The trustees also approved funding for 12 general research projects totaling $270,500 for 2022-23. Included are studies related to a new invasive insect (cotton seed bug), sustainability, regulatory issue information gathering, plant protection products re-registration, risk data updating and education efforts.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          August 11, 2022
Contact:  T. Cotton Nelson (901) 274-9030 cnelson@cotton.org or Marjory Walker mwalker@cotton.org

EPA Officials Learn About Cotton Pest/Weed Management Challenges


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Key EPA officials visited multiple Georgia farms to gain more insight into weed resistance and other pest management challenges U.S. cotton producers face.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Key EPA officials will visit South Georgia cotton farms on August 15-17 to hear firsthand how producers are tackling weed and other cotton pest management challenges that threaten their viability.

The National Cotton Council is coordinating the farm visits as part of The Cotton Foundation’s 2022 Educational Outreach Program. The 10-member EPA contingent represents chemical safety, pesticide programs and other agency departments.

“Herbicide resistance, for example, is a growing threat to efficient cotton production, particularly in the Southeast and Mid-South regions of the Cotton Belt,” said Don Parker, the NCC’s vice president, Technical Services and Cotton Foundation executive director. “The goal is for these EPA staffers to gain a more thorough understanding of the challenges U.S. cotton producers face and the creative strategies they are employing in managing weeds, insects, nematodes and diseases. That includes the prudent use of pesticides and other environmentally-sensitive farming practices.”

On Aug. 15, the group will visit the first site in Georgia to have confirmed glyphosate resistant pigweed and then tour a multi-crop farm of Howard James in Byromville and Matt Coley’s cotton farm in Vienna. The next day, the group will see University of Georgia research on its Ponder Farm in TyTy before visiting the Lewis Taylor multi-crop farm in Tifton. They end that day by hearing from Georgia Extension staff regarding the importance of and changes in usage of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides and the critical need for seed treatments.

The final day, the group will visit the cotton farms of Bart Davis in Doerun, Ronnie Lee in Dawson and Jimmy Webb in Leary.
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      August 18, 2022
Contact:  T. Cotton Nelson (901) 274-9030 cnelson@cotton.org or Marjory Walker mwalker@cotton.org

West, Southwest Cotton Producers to See North Carolina Operations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Cotton producers from the U.S. Cotton Belt’s West and Southwest regions will observe cotton and other agriculture related operations in North Carolina on August 28-September 1 as part of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.).

More than 1,200 U.S. cotton producers will have been exposed to innovative production practices in Cotton Belt regions different than their own after the tour and this year’s other P.I.E. tour in which Southeast and Mid-South producers are seeing cotton operations in Texas on August 21-25. Launched in 1989, the P.I.E. now is sponsored by BASF Agricultural Solutions through a grant to The Cotton Foundation.

NCC Chairman Ted Schneider, a Louisiana producer who was a 1994 P.I.E. participant, said, “The U.S. cotton industry is very appreciative to BASF for underwriting the P.I.E. program because it is providing its producer participants an exceptional opportunity to improve their on-farm efficiency by seeing what works and doesn’t work.”

Bryan Perry, U.S. head of seeds and traits for BASF Agricultural Solutions, said, “BASF is proud to support this unique educational opportunity for America’s cotton producers. New technology continues to accelerate at a rapid pace but adapting these tools and techniques to specific farming operations is a challenge. These P.I.E. participants are receiving an invaluable experience by not only seeing innovative farming practices firsthand but getting to ask questions about them face-to-face with their peers.”

The P.I.E. program has a specific goal of helping U.S. cotton producers maximize production efficiency and improve yields and fiber quality by 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting; and 2) observing diverse farming practices and the creative ways in which other resourceful producers have adopted new and existing technology. The program provides another beneficial opportunity as it fosters the sharing of information among the participants within their own Cotton Belt region as they travel together during the week.

The NCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, coordinates the P.I.E. program’s tours and participant selection.

The Southeast tour participants are: Arizona – Burleson Smith, Tucson; California – Doug Cardoza, Tipton; Kansas – Ian Parker, Mulvane; Oklahoma – Matt Braun, Hobart; and Texas – Joe Baumgardner, II, Wellington; Trey Beyer, III, Portland; Russ Eggemeyer, Midkiff; Brent Halfmann and Paul Kocich, both of San Angelo; Brett Howard, Dalhart; Zachary Mengers, Tynan; Landon Mires, O’Donnell; Orin Romine, Big Spring; Layton Schniers, Wall; John Walker, II, Stamford; and Hunter Wilde, Lyford.

On August 29, the group will visit BASF’s headquarters in Research Triangle Park where Bryan Perry will provide an overview of the company’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture and research capabilities. The producers then will see variety development trials at BASF’s research facility in Pikeville.

The next day, the group will travel to Warren Farming in Newton where they will see and hear about agricultural crop production in the state’s central eastern region. They also will get a briefing on agricultural supplies/production management at Harvey Fertilizer and Gas in Kinston before observing cotton and tobacco production at the JP Davenport & Son farm in Greenville.

On the 31st, the producer contingent will see cotton production in the state’s Outer Banks region at Cahoon Farms in Engelhard and agricultural operations in the state’s Blacklands area at Boyd Farms in Pantego before taking individual tours with producers in that area.

The tour concludes on September 1 with a presentation on eastern North Carolina production at the Lassiter Family Farms in Conway; tours of farms in the Gaston area; and a briefing on cotton fiber processing at the Gaston Coop in Garysburg. 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      August 16, 2022
Contact:  T. Cotton Nelson (901) 274-9030 cnelson@cotton.org or Marjory Walker mwalker@cotton.org

Mid-South, Southeast Cotton Producers to See Texas Operations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council’s Producer Information Exchange program (P.I.E.) will enable Mid-South and Southeast cotton producers to see cotton and other agriculture related operations in Texas’ Lubbock and Lower Rio Grande Valley areas on August 21-26.

After this year’s two P.I.E. tours, more than 1,200 U.S. cotton producers will have been exposed to innovative production practices in Cotton Belt regions different than their own since the program was launched in 1989. Now sponsored by BASF Agricultural Solutions through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is resuming after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19.

NCC Chairman Ted Schneider, a Louisiana producer who was a 1994 P.I.E. participant, said, “The U.S. cotton industry is very appreciative to BASF for underwriting the P.I.E. program because it is providing its producer participants an exceptional opportunity to improve their on-farm efficiency by seeing what works and doesn’t work.”

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Southwest and Western producers saw cotton operations in North Carolina as part of the 2022 P.I.E. program.

Bryan Perry, U.S. head of seeds and traits for BASF Agricultural Solutions said, “BASF is proud to support this unique educational opportunity for America’s cotton producers. New technology continues to accelerate at a rapid pace but adapting these tools and techniques to specific farming operations is a challenge. These P.I.E. participants are receiving an invaluable experience by not only seeing innovative farming practices firsthand but getting to ask questions about them face-to-face with their peers.”

The P.I.E. program has a specific goal of helping U.S. cotton producers maximize production efficiency and improve yields and fiber quality by 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting; and 2) observing diverse farming practices and the creative ways in which other resourceful producers have adopted new and existing technology. The program provides another beneficial opportunity as it fosters the sharing of information among the participants within their own Cotton Belt region as they travel together during the week.

The NCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, coordinates the P.I.E. program’s tours and participant selection.

The 2022 Southwest tour participants are: Alabama – Andy Armstrong, Dothan; Arkansas – Ryan Johnson, Wilmot; and Connor Miller, Leachville; Florida – Phillip Melvin, Altha; Georgia – Patti Niewoehner, Dixie; Mississippi – Bo Leatherman, Robinsonville; North Carolina – Kellum Cahoon, Engelhard; Travis Grimes, Battleboro; Denton Spruill and Blake Sumner, both of Como; and Ryan Tolley, Scranton; South Carolina – Weston Green, Lynchburg; Tennessee – Scott Farmer, Stanton; Chad Hardy, Gates; Will Robinson, III, Lavinia; and William Walker, II, Somerville; and Virginia – Bland Pope, Courtland; and Travis Snyder, Capron.

The tour will begin on August 22 in Lubbock where the group will get an overview of the Texas High Plains from Plains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President Kody Bessent before visiting BASF’s Seed Innovations Center. Later, they will tour Lloyd Arthur Farms in Ralls and Sam Stanley Farms in Levelland.

The next three days will be spent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. On the 23rd, the group will tour the Port of Harlingen and see BASF agronomic performance trials near La Feria. On the 24th, they will visit the Ross Gin in Mercedes, look at sugar cane processing at Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers in Santa Rosa, tour Rio Farms in Monte Alto and tour individual farms in the area.

On the 25th, the group will learn about cottonseed oil processing at the Valley Coop Oil Mill in Harlingen, hear about pumping water from the Rio Grande River at the Hidalgo and Cameron Counties Irrigation District #9 in Mercedes, and then tour a border cotton trans-shipment warehouse at CI Logistics in Weslaco. Later that day, the producers will tour Chris Bauer Farms near San Benito, hear about grain terminal building plans at West Plains LLC at the Port of Brownsville and then get an update on boll weevil eradication status in the Rio Grande Valley from the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation.

In this year’s other P.I.E. tour, Southwest and West region producers will see cotton and other agricultural operations in North Carolina on August 28-September 2.

One of Our Many Members

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Gowan Company, a family-owned registrant and marketer of crop protection products based in Yuma, AZ started as a crop consultancy in 1963. Our foundation was formed by walking the rows and orchards in lockstep with our customers. Gowan’s success is attributed to our focus on niche products and minor crops, accompanied by technical know-how and customer responsiveness. Gowan Company differs from other chemical companies because we started in the field, walking with and listening to our customers. Our roots are firmly planted in the fruit, nut, vegetable and specialty crop sector but we seek niches in all crops when there is a need to provide and protect unique crop protection solutions. We position our products on best agronomic fit and technical merit. Gowan Company is known in the ag chemical industry as a political advocate for pesticides. We dedicate our resources to keep the pulse of agriculture in the forefront of our daily business. Gowan serves on committees that affect pesticide legislation and maintains key contacts in this arena. We listen to your needs to find new uses for our products, and make a commitment to keeping those products in the marketplace. Gowan Company recognizes the need to rescue mature products that larger companies no longer find value in retaining. We acquire and defend valuable crop protection products that are critical to key markets. We are responsive and readily available to our customers, and most importantly, we maintain an unwavering commitment to serving growers.