According to the ancient Roman calendar, which recognized only 10 months by name, March denoted the beginning of the year. One theory is that it was given this designation to coincide with the onset of the agricultural cycle. December, the last month of the year, comes from the Latin word decem, meaning 10. Interestingly, the winter months between December and March were not named. Perhaps these months, characterized by short days and long hours of darkness, were a time for farmers to reflect on the past season and prepare for the new one.
If we accept this premise, then not much has changed today. For those in the agricultural world, the winter season is still considered a time to reflect and prepare. To help facilitate this process, several compelling meetings are held during this time.
The Beltwide Cotton Conferences kick things off early January in Dallas, Texas. Attendees can look forward to the Cotton Consultant Conference and the cotton technical conferences, which will provide research and technology updates. Those interested can go to www.cotton.org/beltwide/ for more information.
On Jan. 18-22, the Southern Southeastern Annual Meeting will be held in Charlotte, N.C. Producers and ginners can learn the implications for cotton from the state level all the way through to the international arena. As Kent Fountain, president of Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association Inc., says, “A high percentage of our product is exported so we have to know the needs and concerns of the people who are buying our cotton.” Frank Gasparini, National Council of Agricultural Employers, Washington, D.C., is also on the program to talk about the status of immigration under the Trump administration. Fountain and David Dunlow, president of Southern Cotton Growers Inc., shared a few of their thoughts about how the meetings will particularly interest cotton producers and ginners across the Southern Southeastern region in an exclusive interview with Cotton Farming magazine on pages 14-15.
The Mid-South Farm and Gin Show will be held March 3-4, and the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show will be held April 6-7. Other regional and state meetings are slated to provide useful information for the upcoming season as well.
For now, take advantage of this “fallow” time to reflect on what you learned form the 2016 growing year and start making plans for 2017.
If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138. Contact Carroll Smith via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.