Annual Beltwide Cotton Conference Kicks Off This Week

The annual Beltwide Cotton Conference gets underway this afternoon in Orlando Florida. Bill Robertson, Manager of cotton agronomy, soils, and physiology with the National Cotton Council, and coordinator of this year’s Beltwide, says that the consultants conference will kick the convention off this afternoon, and resistant pigweed will be a topic of conversation:

“I really think the highlight of the consultant’s conference is going to be the hour and a half block where we’re going to talk about the myths and the facts of pigweed control. We’ve got researchers from all over the cotton belt and areas where we’ve got pigweed issues where we have problems. And so we’re going to talk about things that worked, what didn’t work, and then what we need to get the best out of our pre-emerge products, and our behind the planter products and so forth.”

Robertson goes on to explains some of what Wednesday has in store:

“As we move over to the next day, Wednesday morning, in the general session, again, I think we have a great program put together, something that we have this year, we have a meteorologist out of Florida coming in talking about our weather patterns from across the belt, kind of what’s going on right now, what does he feel like is going to happen in the next year and the coming years, as far as our weather patterns, the El Nino, the La Nina and so forth.”

Of course, the ever changing landscape of pest and weed management tools is always of concern. Robertson says they plan to address that, as well:

“Another topic we’re addressing in the general session, again, we’re losing tools and we’re gaining tools in terms of managing pests and managing our cotton crop. So, we’ve got one session where we’re looking at managing cotton with a changing arsenal of tools, different technologies, different products, we see our use rates being restricted with different products. So, we’ve got an entomologist, a weed scientist, a pathologist, and a nemotologist to talk to us about that.”

As in 2011, in 2012 all eyes will be on the market, especially before acre selection. Robertson says that will be addressed as well:

“We’re going to round out the general session with Mike Quinn from Carolina’s Cotton Growers Cooperative there in Garner, North Carolina and what he feels like the market outlook is for the 2012 cotton crop.”

Robertson says that they’ve seen to it that real-world production issues are addressed at this year’s Beltwide:

“I feel like if a person looks at our program, that they’ll see just a vast array of workshops and programs to address, really, production-related issues that they’re dealing with right now.”

To learn more about the 2012 Beltwide Cotton Conference in Orlando, Florida, go to: www. cotton.org/beltwide.

Bill Robertson with the National Cotton Council


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