The National Cotton Council’s Producer Information Exchange Program is coming back to California this month, allowing cotton growers from other regions of the U.S. to see how production works in the Golden State. The program has been helping foster industry relations between different growing regions for 30 years now.
This year the program will begin on August 5, with Far West and Southwest producers including Connor McKean of Riverdale and R.J. Errotabere of Visalia visiting several agricultural operations in Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. The next leg of the tour will have Southeast producers learning about cotton production in the San Joaquin Valley beginning on August 12. The tour will conclude in Texas, as Mid-South producers will explore two cotton-producing regions starting August 19.
The purpose of a program like the Producer Information Exchange is to assist in the development of better efficiency. Learning from industry members in other regions can provide perspective on the fundamentals of production. Participants are able to ask questions regarding things like fertilization, planting, irrigation and pest control in-person, and then take that information back to other growers in their own region. Industry members also get the opportunity to see how other growing regions may be implementing new technologies.
Over the course of the program over 1,100 cotton producers have been able to explore other growing regions to learn more about their counterparts’ production techniques and unique challenges. A spirit of cooperation and the sharing of information to help improve yields and increase fiber quality can help strengthen the American cotton industry as a whole.
The program is sponsored by Crop Science, a division of Bayer, through a grant to The Cotton Foundation. Staff from the National Cotton Council Member Services works with local producer interest organizations in administering the program, including the selection of participants.