Cotton producers, ginners and textile manufacturer will discuss how certain agronomic practices and processing techniques can maximize fiber quality in a panel discussion at the 2001 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference, Jan. 10-11.

Moderated by Alabama producer Jimmy Sanford, the panel will talk about how to fine-tune cultural practices, including with what Mother Nature deals out, to turn out optimal fiber quality. Practices such as varietal selection, irrigation/fertilizer volume and timing, weed management, defoliation and harvesting and contamination prevention will be covered.

Panelists also will talk about what field research is needed to help industry members improve and preserve quality.

"We want to encourage a discussion about varietal affect on achieving good yields and fiber quality, what ginning procedures help preserve fiber quality and is there any spinning technology in the pipeline that is more forgiving of natural fibers," said NCC's Anne Wrona, who serves as program coordinator.

Serving on panel will be producers Wiley Murphy, Tucson, Ariz.; Eddie Smith, Floydada, Texas; Larry McClendon, Marianna, Ark.; Louie Perry, Jr., Moultrie, Ga.; ginners Michael Hooper, Buttonwillow, Calif.; and Van Murphy, Quitman, Ga.; manufacturer, Harding Stowe, Belmont, N.C.; and USDA researcher David McAlister, Clemson, S.C.

For more information about the Beltwide Cotton Conferences scheduled Jan. 9-13 in Anaheim, Calif., visit www.cotton.org/beltwide or call NCC's Debbie Richter, (901) 274-9030.