Mississippi cotton consultant Joe Townsend was honored with one of the industry’s most prestigious awards at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans. His colleagues selected him as the 2009 Cotton Consultant of the Year.
A special reception at the Roosevelt Hotel was the setting for the event. Syngenta and Cotton Farming magazine are co-sponsors of the award. On hand to honor Townsend were his wife Kim, daughter PJ, son Luke, his sister and brother-in-law – Jeri and Ted Hogan from Waxahatchie, Texas – as well as numerous cotton producers and consultants who have worked with him through the years.
Townsend, a Texas native who received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree from Mississippi State University, has consulted in the Mississippi Delta for 38 years. Several of Townsend’s friends spoke at the reception, including fellow consultants Roger Carter and Tucker Miller, Syngenta’s Chad Steiner and producer John McKee. Cotton Farming publisher Lia Guthrie and Steiner presented Townsend with the special Syngenta jacket that goes to each year’s winner.
“As I mentioned before, this is one of the real highlights of my career,” Townsend says. “This award means more to me than you can possibly imagine.”
‘Vision 21’ Effort Underway
The National Cotton Council (NCC), Cotton Incorporated and Cotton Council International (CCI) are working together on a project to address issues that affect U.S. cotton, both domestically and internationally.
Mark Lange, NCC president and CEO says, “In the United States, the group is working to get the cost down in moving cotton from the warehouse to the container and improving U.S. cotton flow to be competitive in the international market.
“We need to understand cotton’s environmental footprint and deliver cotton in a cost-competitive manner,” he adds.
Allen Terhaar, CCI’s executive director, is coordinating demand research in China and India, which represent one-third of the population of the world.
“We want to better understand the demand side and are looking at secondary demand levels in China and India,” Terhaar says. “CCI and Cotton Incorporated are engaged in ongoing consumer efforts and trying to define what creates a good environment for cotton sales.”
Lange also notes that the plan includes bringing stakeholders together at the end of 2010 to hear Vision 21 progress reports and review the consumer preference data that is in the process of being collected.
Hardwick Sees Bright Future
Despite a global recession and other economic challenges, NCC chairman Jay Hardwick, a Louisiana producer, painted a positive picture for cotton’s future in his remarks at the BWCC’s Cotton Production Conference.
In particular, he expressed confidence in how the industry was prioritizing important issues by working through the NCC. Among the key topics he mentioned were Farm Bill implementation, trade, emergency disaster assistance and other technical subjects of interest.
He also praised Congressional support from Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) for not allowing regulatory changes that would prevent producers from fully participating in farm programs.
Positive Factors For Cotton
Gary Adams, the NCC’s vice president for economics and policy analysis, says several factors are putting cotton in a better position for the future.
In his remarks to the Cotton Production Conference, Adams pointed to a variety of components that are helping cotton today.
They include steady mill demand that is so critical as manmade fibers continue to pose a serious threat, decrease in cotton stocks and competition for cotton acres in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Wright Wins Specialist Award
David Wright of Florida is the 2010 Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year. Wright received the award at a special dinner at Broussard’s restaurant in New Orleans.
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience, the annual award and banquet has been a featured event at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences since 1984. Extension cotton specialists representing every cotton-producing state select a recipient annually based on leadership and industry service.
Wright’s highly respected research program is focused on cropping systems and conservation tillage techniques for all major row crops in the southeastern United States.
The work he has conducted during his career includes cotton, peanuts, soybeans and corn.
Wright received his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Tennessee Technological University, his master’s degree in soil chemistry and a doctorate in forage physiology – both from Virginia Tech University.
Webb Gives Conservation Update
Georgia producer Jimmy Webb, chairman of the NCC’s Conservation Task Force, says the group is developing a strategic plan to fully educate the NCC’s membership on the importance of existing conservation programs and how to take advantage of them in the future.
Webb, who told Beltwide attendees that he has enrolled in the new Conservation Stewardship Pro-gram, says he is confident the program can help producers by rewarding them for accomplishing goals in the CSP and providing incentives for enhanced practices.
Syngenta, Dow Sign Agreement
Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences made a major announcement during the Beltwide meeting.
Syngenta has now granted Dow AgroSciences licenses to a number of the VipCot cotton varieties as well as access to the company’s COT102 cotton transgenic event.
Under terms of the agreement, Dow will receive a global license to develop and commercialize stacked combinations of Syngenta’s COT102 transgenic event with Dow’s traits. The COT102 event contains Vip3A, a novel vegetative insecticidal protein that is structurally different from insect traits currently on the market. It has a distinct mode of action, which is an important tool for insect resistance management.
Dow also will receive a license to a number of VipCot cotton varieties, stacked with glyphosate tolerance, for sale in the United States under its PhytoGen cottonseed brand. Pending regulatory approvals, these varieties are expected to be launched in 2012.
Bayer Announces Seed Treatment
Bayer CropScience announced that it will launch a new biocontrol seed treatment in cotton, corn and soybeans in 2011. Select producers and seed companies will be able to test VOTiVO on their farms in 2010 for a firsthand look at its protective properties.
Product manager Paul Hewitt says the new seed treatment creates a living barrier around plant roots so nematodes have limited access to feed. The safe, stable formulation allows endospores of the bacteria to be applied directly to the seed. When that seed is planted, the endospores are activated and VOTiVO begins its work.
The product provides enough protection to withstand early season nematode feeding when damage potential is highest. And because it blocks nematodes rather than attacking them, VOTiVO is effective against all major plant-parasitic nematodes, including lance, lesion, needle, root-knot and soybean cyst nematodes.
For more information, interested parties can go to www.VOTiVo.us.
Storm Denim Maintains Popularity
Cotton Incorporated and the Cotton Board provided the media with an update on Storm Denim technology, which provides water repellency, protection from the cold and damp while maintaining cotton’s natural breathability at the same time.
The technology was first introduced in 2006 and created a functional goal: to offer a high degree of water repellency for use as rainwear and outerwear, while maintaining the natural comfort of cotton.
The denim segment continues to evolve and remain fresh through design and technical innovations such as the Storm Denim finish.
Presenting the hands-on-demonstration of Storm Denim was Mark Messura, Cotton Incorporated’s executive vice president of Global Product Supply Chain.
Several other industry updates were given by Cotton Incorporated president Berrye Worsham, Cotton Board chairman Larkin Martin and Cotton Board president Drayton Mayers.
Valent Insecticide Registered
Valent announced at the Beltwide that it had received registration for Belay insecticide as a foliar application in cotton and soybeans.
Belay is a third-generation neonicotinoid, proven to control a broad spectrum of tough pests, including aphids, plant bugs and stinkbugs.
The insecticide provides farmers highly systemic chemistry that quickly translocates through the plant. Trevor Dale, field market development specialist for Valent, says this means farmers can consistently expect longer control with Belay.
Belay offers a novel mode of action that farmers can incorporate into their resistance management programs against tough cotton and soybean pests, including the redbanded stinkbug, plant bugs and aphids. Scott Stewart, University of Tennessee professor and cotton Integrated Pest Management (IPM) specialist, says Belay showed control of both primary and secondary pest populations.
DPL’s Class Of ‘10 Unveiled
Although the first introduction of Deltapine’s Class of 2010 seed varieties was made at a special event in mid-December in Charleston, S.C., attendees at the Beltwide received another update.
During the conference, three presentations were held in the New Develop-ments in Industry session.
The Class of 2010 includes six new varieties that were tested by the company, public entities and farmers. More than 160 farmers across the Cotton Belt participated in the New Produce Exposure (NPE) program last summer, testing candidates for the class on their farms.
The six new varieties are:
• DP 1032 B2RF, a mid-maturity, smooth leaf, broadly adapted variety for West Texas mid-maturity markets.
• DP 1044 B2RF, a mid-full maturity, smooth leaf variety for dryland and limited-water irrigated acres.
• DP 1028 B2RF, an early to mid- maturing variety with smooth leaf, excellent yield potential for the Mid-South and Southeast.
• DP 1034 B2RF, a mid-maturing variety for mid-maturing markets in the Mid-South and Southeast.
• DP 1048 B2RF, a mid- to full-maturing variety with semi-smooth leaf and broad adaptation for the lower Southeast, Mid-South and south Texas cotton-producing areas.
• DP 1050 B2RF, a mid- to full- maturing variety with semi-smooth leaf and broad adaptation in the lower Southeast, the Mid-South and also in south Texas.