The Beltwide Cotton Conference got underway yesterday in San Antonio; the last Beltwide in the format that it’s been presented for over 25 years. Randall Weiseman visits with Craig Brown, VP Producer Affairs, National Cotton Council about plans for conferences on cotton in years to come:
“For next year we really do have a good idea of what the format is going to be. There will be a consultant’s conference, as we’ve had this year, the new developments workshop will be combined into the consultants conference- that will take place on the first day of the conference.
Instead of having the production conference like we’ve had this year, we will go directly into the technical conferences which will be the same format as they are this year – a day and a half session and everyone will be invited to attend those sessions.
There will not be a technical exhibit and there wont be a production conference but there will be a lot of information for people to gather and hopefully it will still make sense for them to come.
The boll weevil is truly a success story, it’s a very successful federal private industry success story, partnering with the US government and Congress to rid the cotton belt of one of the most damaging pests we could have. We are now at a very critical stage, we have the boll weevil eradicated except for the very southern part of Texas. While it’s the last zone it is the most difficult zone because: its in a sub tropical area and there are rarely any killing freezes, but more importantly, it borders northern Mexico where weevil control is not as efficient. We get some run over of Mexican weevils and it makes it more difficult to get a handle on but I’m optimistic that we will eventually get a handle on it.
The rest of Texas is technically weevil free, or essentially functionally eradicated. We hope to push the weevil down into mexico and will be able to say the US is weevil free.
Here the production conference will start at 8:00 with a good half day session and a lot of interesting topics. Then we go into hands on workshops with a number of opportunities for growers, and then the technical conferences start up after that. A lot of information to be gathered.”
Our special coverage from Randall Weiseman will continue all week from the final Beltwide Cotton Conference. Beltwide continues through Thursday in San Antonio.
Vice President of Producer Affairs for the National Cotton Council Craig Brown.