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Info Seekers Swarm Winter

Like a football player spending hours pouring over film even after the season is over, farmers and consultants are flocking to winter meetings and trade shows seeking any and all information that will help them improve their game plan for 2008.

In today’s environment, successfully planning, producing, harvesting, ginning and marketing a cotton crop can be a complex, multi-faceted endeavor. In the December Web Poll, Cotton Farming asked what our readers hoped to learn this winter, then provided four specific topics from which to choose – varieties, equipment, marketing and products – as well as an open-ended “other” category.

After tallying a very healthy number of votes, it is obvious that there are many more than four topics out there that cotton folks are interested in learning about.

Six percent of the respondents want to beef up their knowledge of cotton varieties, while four percent are interested in seeing what’s available as far as new equipment. Five percent want to learn more about crop protection products, and 11 percent want to explore viable marketing tactics.

While these topics are all important to a successful cotton operation, the fact that 74 percent of those who voted chose the “other” category indicates that there are many other subjects of interest, including precision agriculture and ways to reduce costs without sacrificing yield and quality.

Following is a sampling of the mixed bag of comments that we received from readers who voted in the December Web Poll. It appears they covered all the bases from production to employment status to politics. At least we know our readers are not afraid to tell us how they really feel!

• “I’m very interested in learning more about GPS technology. This seems to offer potential in reducing production costs.”

• “I have heard of new research with fungicides in cotton. I am interested to find out more about it at the Beltwide.”

• “As a cotton consultant, I want to learn more ways to cut expenses while increasing yields for clientele in order to preserve profitability and maintain cotton acreage, infrastructure, etc. Otherwise, I will rapidly become a grain crop consultant.”

• “New Flex varieties are not yielding very well in my area. I need to see a multitude of data from all the university yield trials.”

• “I will be interested in listening to anyone who has innovative thoughts about methods for significantly reducing costs. While we normally want to make higher yields, it seems that each time we achieve that, our costs increase. I would be satisfied to make less yield, produce high quality cotton that is in demand and spend less on the crop. That’s where we started, and it looks like we may need to go back there. The road we’re on is certainly not getting us anywhere.”

• “I’m a cotton consultant, so I hope to learn whether I will have a job this year or not.”

• “I hope to someday learn why the Washington politicians hate American farmers, yet take pity on the farmers in every other country in the world. If farmers could separate from the United States and become a sovereign nation, we would no doubt receive some foreign aid!!!”

This month we’re asking our readers to identify what they think has the most potential to lower costs for cotton farmers and why.

Cast your vote and tell us your thoughts in the Web Poll comments section. To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the February poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming April issue.

Web Poll Results

In December, we asked: What do you hope to learn at winter meetings/trade shows, and why is this topic important to your operation?

  • Cotton varieties — 6 %
  • New Equipment — 4 %
  • Marketing tactics — 11 %
  • Crop protection products — 11 %
  • Other — 74 %


February Web Poll Question

Which of the following do you think has the most potential to lower costs for cotton farmers and why?

(1) Precision ag technology
(2) Using more efficient equipment
(3) Crop rotation
(4) Renegotiate lease agreement
(5) Land leveling for more efficient water use

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.


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