Cotton Task Force Meets to Review Priorities A SPECIAL COTTON task force appointed by Delta Council Advisory Research Committee Chairman Ben Lamensdorf of Cary reviewed the current research and education efforts aimed at making Delta cotton growers more profitable.

"We are all aware of some of the challenges that have faced Delta cotton growers over the last few years, including low yield, lower quality, increasing cost of production, low prices, and bad weather," said Lamensdorf, a Sharkey County farmer and ginner. "Researchers at Stoneville and at other places are doing an excellent job and we simply wanted to review projects they were working on and let a group of farmers give their input from a turn-row perspective."

Lamensdorf appointed the task force by inviting at least one cotton producer from each county in Northwest Mississippi. After a review of both USDA/ARS and Mississippi State University research efforts, producers voiced a strong approval of the research efforts in cotton and also expressed interest in some other areas that need to be focused on.

"I think the single biggest item that came out of the meeting from the producers standpoint was that the research is, on the whole, targeting the problems we are facing in the Delta, but that the process of education and disseminating information to producers must continually be emphasized," said Lamensdorf. "We are very fortunate to have the research infrastructure we have now, but it was obvious that many of the producers felt that more communication is warranted with the growers."

At the conclusion of the meeting, the producers voiced some other areas they would like to see explored. They included: more ultra-narrow row research; early season varieties; Bt research; remote sensing; row patterns; reduction of costs; yield enhancement; whole farm approaches; crop rotation; subsoiling; nematodes; and plant bug resistance.