U.S. farmers tour local crops

August 16, 2017

It was a big day for agriculture in Terry County on Monday, August 14, as representatives from several different entities were in the county at just as many locations.

The National Cotton Council’s PIE (Producer Information Exchange) program was in the area and visited a couple of different locations. The P.I.E. program provides cotton producers from all over the nation with the opportunity to maximize production efficiency and improve yields and fiber quality by: 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting; and 2) observing firsthand diverse farming practices and the unique ways in which their innovative peers have adopted new and existing technology.

Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is now in its 29th year and has exposed more than 1,000 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own. The NCC’s Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection .

National Cotton Council of America — As the U.S. cotton industry’s unifying force, the Cordova, Tennessee,-based National Cotton Council carries out a mission of ensuring the seven industry segments’ ability to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad. The U.S. cotton industry provides employment for some 235,000 Americans. Taken collectively, the annual economic activity generated by cotton and its products in the U.S. economy is estimated to be in excess of $150 billion.

The group stopped in Terry County for lunch and some grape information at the Whitehouse/Parker House. The groups gathered outside while Anthony Furguson and Nick Seaton talked about the grapes surrounding the house and the trials of the year, including the hail in May that took out those grapes for the year.

The guys answered questions about the transition from cotton to grapes and how well producers have adapted to this change. A wine tasting was held inside the house and a taco bar meal was served to attendees. The group was allowed to prowl around the house and the vineyard to get a firsthand look.

From there, the group traveled to the Farmhouse headquarters and looked at more grapes and learned a little more about the soil and weather and how it plays into the production of quality grapes.

The tour then made a stop at an organic farm and got a close up look at some organic black-eyed peas and a fine field of organic cotton. Nick and Anthony talked about the ins and outs of going organic, along with the pluses and minuses of the trade.

Questions were asked by producers from Alabama, Georgia and California about what pests are in the area and there was some interesting back and forth about the different issues with which each area has to deal. The California guys admitted that perhaps they have more water available but they have many more regulations with which to deal than the Texas guys.

One California producer talked about how he has to take a water truck out each day to spray down the dirt roads to keep the dust out of the air.

A regulation of the California air quality people. “I have to use my driver, my diesel and my water to do this each day,” he stated.

It is easy to see that having so many regulations can quickly take a toll on an already tight farm budget.

The producers that are a part of the PIE program went on their way with much information and a different perspective on how things are done in a different area.

Anthony stated, “We are glad to have these guys visit us today. Nick and I have had the opportunity to be a part of the PIE program and we know how beneficial it can be.”

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Category: Agriculture, Area News, Updates