The National Cotton Council encourages its member producers, their business partners and employees to mark their calendars for the 2011 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, a forum that can help attendees tailor new and existing products and production systems to their operations for utmost efficiency.
Why should I attend the Beltwide?
The detailed knowledge that producers can glean from the Beltwide easily outweighs their investment of time and money. The NCC negotiates favorable hotel room rates. With the support of Cotton Foundation members, the NCC keeps registration fees well below the normal rate for this type of meeting, and many allied agribusiness firms underwrite on-site receptions and meal events that can further reduce producers’ out-of-pocket expenses.
An information-packed program and opportunity to network with Cotton Belt peers separate this conference from all other agricultural forums. Four days of individual reports, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and seminars are designed to provide proven data as well as insights on techniques that work. All reports are aimed at improving producers’ decision-making and maximizing the upcoming growing season’s potential. The face-to-face dialogue between industry members and those who have a vested stake in a healthy U.S. cotton industry is extremely important. This interaction among cotton producers, processors, scientists, Extension personnel, consultants and agribusiness representatives helps in planning and refining research and product development.
What topics are being considered for the 2011 Beltwide?
Key agronomic, pest management, economic and policy reports are staple presentations at the Production Conference. Among key issues to be addressed are herbicide resistance prevention/management and various insect pest concerns ranging from plant bug pressure to secondary insect pest problems. Another timely topic that will be covered is irrigation, including research updates on various scheduling techniques and other methods for producing more cotton with less water.
Even greater interaction and information sharing between producer speakers, panelists and attendees on these and other topics is being planned in the workshops. Attendees will be able to discuss, for example, how to implement resistance prevention/management tactics and still meet the various conservation program requirements. They also will be able to hear what’s in the pipeline with new chemistries, plant varieties and traits that can help in managing a dynamic and evolving pest situation.
What are the key dates?
All meetings of the 2011 Beltwide Cotton Conferences will be Jan. 4-7 at the recently remodeled Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Early room reservations – for NCC and Cotton Foundation members only – can be made Sept. 17-Oct. 31. Early conference registration also begins on Sept. 17. A detailed brochure on the 2011 conferences will be available on Sept. 17 at www.cotton.org/beltwide and will be mailed to all previous Beltwide attendees shortly afterward. I urge all producers to check out the Web site and see what great opportunities will work for their operation and enjoy the new face of downtown Atlanta, including great dining and shopping within walking distance of the Conference.
Kenneth Hood is a Gunnison, Miss., cotton producer/ginner and chairman of the NCC’s Beltwide Cotton Conferences Steering Committee. He and other NCC leaders contribute columns on this Cotton Farming page.
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