The format may have changed somewhat from previous years, but one fact remains consistent about the Beltwide Cotton Conferences (BWCC) in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 5-7. Timely information will be offered to attendees, and one of the most important events will be the annual Consultants Conference. It will begin with a half-day session on Jan. 5, starting at noon.
“This event has grown through the years, and it will be open to anyone attending the Beltwide,” says Bill Robertson, coordinator of the Consultants Conference. Robertson has returned to his position as Arkansas Extension cotton specialist, but he will continue to coordinate this conference. The program will be diverse and include reports on new cotton varieties, chemistries and emerging technologies. Discussions also will be conducted on the National Cotton Council’s efforts to deliver contamination- free cotton.
The good news is that we will have a wealth of information available for anyone who attends the Beltwide.”
On the morning of Jan. 6, the 11 cotton technical conferences will convene, and some will meet jointly with consultants to discuss topics of mutual interest. Some of those conferences will concentrate on weed and insect control, pollinator health, control of plant bugs and other key insect pests.
Weed Issues Addressed
In addition, a panel discussion will feature state-by-state university recommendations for overall weed control, including management of Palmer amaranth and water hemp. Arkansas Extension weed specialist Tom Barber will coordinate this presentation.
A weed scientist from each region of the Belt will offer timely recommendations on how to deal with weed resistance. Extension updates will be presented on various new technologies being introduced to deal with these crucial problems.
Other topics likely to be addressed are: 1) managing nematodes, target leaf spot, root rot and other cotton diseases, 2) the results of uniform agronomy/ physiology studies conducted in multiple Cotton Belt locations during 2014 and 3) plant nutrition/soil management, including updates on irrigation and fertility practices.
“The good news is that we will have a wealth of information available for anyone who attends the Beltwide,” says Robertson. “I think it’s also very good that the consultants will kick off the conference on the first day.”
Robertson believes that it is advantageous to have the BWCC in San Antonio at the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, which has hosted this event numerous times through the years.
“The hotel staff is very familiar with how the Beltwide conference is conducted, and that is definitely a plus,” he says. “Plus, San Antonio is a convenient location for many Texas producers who can easily drive to that part of the state. I am anticipating another excellent conference.”
The National Cotton Council contributed information for this article. For additional details about the Consultants Conference or BWCC, visit www.cotton.org.