NCC Resumes Producer Information Exchange Tours
The National Cotton Council’s 2022 Producer Information Exchange program (P.I.E.) enabled Mid-South and Southeast cotton producers to see cotton and other agriculture related operations in Texas’ Lubbock and Lower Rio Grande Valley areas. West and Southwest region producers participated in the second of the two P.I.E. tours, which took place in North Carolina.
After this year’s tours, more than 1,200 U.S. cotton producers will have been exposed to innovative production practices in Cotton Belt regions different than their own since the program was launched in 1989. Now sponsored by BASF Agricultural Solutions through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is resuming after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NCC Chairman Ted Schneider, a Louisiana producer who was a 1994 P.I.E. participant, said, “The U.S. cotton industry is very appreciative to BASF for underwriting the P.I.E. program because it is providing its producer participants an exceptional opportunity to improve their on-farm efficiency by seeing what works and doesn’t work.”
The 2022 Southwest tour participants included: Alabama – Andy Armstrong, Dothan; Arkansas – Ryan Johnson, Wilmot; and Connor Miller, Leachville; Florida – Phillip Melvin, Altha; Georgia – Patti Niewoehner, Dixie; Mississippi – Bo Leatherman, Robinsonville; North Carolina – Kellum Cahoon, Engelhard; Travis Grimes, Battleboro; Denton Spruill and Blake Sumner, both of Como; and Ryan Tolley, Scranton; South Carolina – Weston Green, Lynchburg; Tennessee – Scott Farmer, Stanton; Chad Hardy, Gates; Will Robinson, III, Lavinia; and William Walker, II, Somerville; and Virginia – Bland Pope, Courtland; and Travis Snyder, Capron.
The 2022 Southeast tour participants included: Arizona – Burleson Smith, Tucson; California – Doug Cardoza, Tipton; Kansas – Ian Parker, Mulvane; Oklahoma – Matt Braun, Hobart; and Texas – Joe Baumgardner, II, Wellington; Trey Beyer, III, Portland; Russ Eggemeyer, Midkiff; Brent Halfmann and Paul Kocich, both of San Angelo; Brett Howard, Dalhart; Zachary Mengers, Tynan; Landon Mires, O’Donnell; Orin Romine, Big Spring; Layton Schniers, Wall; John Walker, II, Stamford; and Hunter Wilde, Lyford.
Bryan Perry, U.S. head of seeds and traits for BASF Agricultural Solutions said, “BASF is proud to support this unique educational opportunity for America’s cotton producers. New technology continues to accelerate at a rapid pace but adapting these tools and techniques to specific farming operations is a challenge.
“These P.I.E. participants are receiving an invaluable experience by not only seeing innovative farming practices firsthand but getting to ask questions about them face-to-face with their peers.”
Professional Aerial Applicator Safety Steward Program
As the agricultural aviation industry moves from its first century into its second, it faces a strong and increasing demand for fast and effective agricultural input services.
It also faces challenges from additional regulations, public input, rising insurance costs, stiffer pesticide label language and competition from technological advances in other facets of agriculture.
To meet these challenges, the National Agricultural Aviation Association is launching its Certified-Professional Aerial Applicator Safety Steward program in 2023.
C-PAASS will enable aerial applicators to augment their advancement of safety and application accuracy while demonstrating their professional nature to their customers, regulators and the public.
Requirements for certification will ensure C-PAASS members are taking part in the best available educational opportunities for agricultural aviation.
C-PAASS is a voluntary program that will allow those aerial applicators who strive to constantly educate themselves to better their safety and applications to be recognized for their efforts.
There will be four requirements for an ag pilot to earn their C-PAASS designation during the program’s 2023 launch year, with additional requirements forthcoming in subsequent years.
The PAASS Program, from the National Agricultural Aviation Research and Education Foundation (NAAREF), has a proven record of reducing accidents and drift incidents. Five years after it debuted, the industry saw a 26% drop in drift incidents from drift surveys collected by state pesticide enforcement agencies.
Since the first PAASS season in 1998-1999, the ag aviation accident rate (number of accidents per 100,000 hours flown) has dropped by 26%, and the fatal accident rate has dropped by 10%.
For more information about the program, visit AgAviation.org/cpaass.
CCGGA Submits Comments Opposing Statewide Pesticide Application Notification
In a letter to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association expressed serious concerns with the current proposed concepts for a Statewide Pesticide Application Notification System.
Allowing anyone to sign up for any notification was the biggest concern expressed by the association.
Under the currently proposed plan, all an individual had to do is provide a valid address within a certain distance of where the pesticide application is going to occur.
Then they would be notified regardless of whether or not that individual lived at that address. This means the individual could live on the East Coast and still get notified of any application they signed up for.
The association is extremely concerned this could disrupt some pesticide applications by anti-pesticide activists, such as what has occurred in Monterey County, where they have had a similar pesticide application notification system in place.
Multiple applications have been appealed and held up due to protests. This is what the association fears will happen with CDPR’s proposed system.