From managing a pest flare-up to maximizing yield and quality under extreme weather, cotton producers can get valuable decision-making help from the annual National Cotton Council-coordinated Beltwide Cotton Conferences (BWCC).
How is information presented at the BWCC?
Individual research reports, panel discussions, poster sessions and seminars presented over a span of three days enlighten attendees about the latest research developments and their practical applications in cotton production. Face-to-face interaction with processors, scientists, Extension personnel, consultants and agribusiness representatives provides valuable insight into the performance of existing and new products and guidance on fine-tuning farming operations. Attendees not only learn what works and what doesn’t work, but how to tailor new technology and innovative cultural practices to maximize efficiency.
What were timely topics at the 2017 BWCC?
Among highlights at the BWCC’s Cotton Consultants Conference were presentations on emerging pests, irrigation practices and plant fertility; the chemistries associated with dicamba and 2,4–D tolerant cotton varieties; and the re-registration of various plant protection products such as aldicarb. An update on the importance of eliminating lint contamination was shared with attendees.
The Consultants Conference not only offered a wealth of information — including the New Developments from Industry session — but served as a bridge to the Beltwide’s nine technical conferences. These technical sessions gave attendees the opportunity to hear about what’s in the pipeline, such as traits in new plant varieties and the latest chemistries and equipment. Attendees’ dialogue with attending scientists will help tremendously with new product development and with refining or planning new research on such important cultural practices as weed resistance management and irrigation scheduling.
One of the technical conferences’ valuable elements has been the inclusion of the graduate student oral and poster presentation competition. This serves as a much-needed incubator for developing competent cotton scientists who can ensure the continuity of cutting-edge technology and tools for our industry. A new linked page on the Beltwide website (http://www.cotton.org/beltwide/) recognizes student competition winners and serves to encourage them to continue their work in the cotton research disciplines.
How are the BWCC reports made available?
n The reports are published in the BWCC Proceedings. BWCC attendees, as well as all National Cotton Council and Cotton Foundation members, can access them on the website listed above. The 2017 BWCC Proceedings, for example, will include valuable information from some 370 oral and poster presentations.
I urge cotton producers to explore the Beltwide Proceedings — a substantial resource for making critical decisions on using best management practices and tools. I want to remind our industry members that the 2018 Beltwide Cotton Conferences is set for Jan. 3-5 in San Antonio, Texas.
Gary Adams is president/chief executive officer of the National Cotton Council of America. He and other NCC leaders contribute columns on this Cotton Farming magazine page.