Ten Southeast cotton producers are touring cotton operations in Louisiana and Mississippi as part of the NCC’s Producer Information Exchange (PIE) program.

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.

Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the PIE 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 PIE 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 begins activities today (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 cotton farms.

Tuesday, the group will travel to Lake Providence for tours of the Port of Lake Providence and Panola Pepper Co. and for a visit to Myriant Lake Providence, Inc., to see bio-succinic acid production. 

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 touring the Louisiana Cotton Museum.

The next two days will be spent in Mississippi. On July 10, the producers will visit Staplcotn in Greenwood, tour Ray Makamson’s farm in Itta Bena and then visit Bayer CropScience’s “Cottonseed Station” in Leland. On July 11, 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 tours of Greenville area cotton farms.

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This season’s other tours have Southwest producers visiting California on July 21-25 and Far West producers going to Texas on Aug. 4-9. In June, Mid-South producers toured cotton and other agricultural operations in Georgia.

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