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Texas A&M to host plastic contamination webinar, May 6

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Photo by Vicky Boyd

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Nueces and San Patricio counties will be hosting a free webinar from 8:30 a.m. to noon, May 6, to discuss practices both growers and ginners can implement to help the industry address plastic contamination in cotton.

“Plastic contamination is one of the greatest problems for cotton producers,” said Jason Ott, AgriLife Extension agent, Nueces County. “It affects every segment of the cotton industry and the war against plastic contamination has been going on for some time.”

An International Textile Manufacturers Federation survey from 2015 estimated contamination-related losses to cotton to be as great as $200 million per year worldwide. In 2018, cotton bales that ran through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Classing Office in Corpus Christi had the distinction of having the highest percentage of plastic contamination in bales throughout the United States.

“The Plastics in Cotton webinar will address practices and methods to prevent plastic contamination and participants will be able to view the proceedings and ask questions from the comfort of their home or office,” Ott said. “All they need to participate is a desktop or laptop computer with internet access and to preregister.”

While there is no cost to participate, those accessing the webinar are asked to preregister on or before May 4. Once preregistered, a link to the seminar will be emailed to the participant the day before the webinar.

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“This program has been planned to be a comprehensive discussion directed toward cotton producers and ginners, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the problem,” said Bobby McCool, AgriLife Extension agent, San Patricio County. “Industry professionals from across the cotton sector will be giving their perspective and insights on best management practices for producers and ginners, long-term market implications and other pertinent information regarding plastics in cotton.”

Speakers and panlists include:

• Jeff Nunley, South Texas Cotton and Grain Growers Association, Victoria.

• Bill Norman, National Cotton Council, Cordova, Tennessee.

• Ben Robles, USDA Cotton Classing Office, Corpus Christi.

• Dr. John Robinson, AgriLife Extension cotton economist, College Station.

• Marvin Beyer, San Patricio County cotton grower.

• Jimmy Dodson, Nueces County cotton grower.

• Norlan Sapp, Tama USA Inc., Dubuque, Iowa.

• Tony Williams, Texas Cotton Ginner Association, Round Rock.

For additional information about the program, call the AgriLife Extension office for Nueces County 361-767-5223.