The Beltwide Cotton Conferences feature numerous workshops and seminars that provide an opportunity for cotton producers to interact with researchers, scientists, industry representatives and other growers. Here’s just a small sampling of what you can expect:

When you want to know the latest on cotton production practices, there’s one person to turn to: your own guru of gossypol, your state Extension cotton specialist. On Wednesday, Jan. 5, most of them will be gathered in one place, International 7 and 8 of the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta.

The Extension Cotton Specialists Workshop will kick off with Georgia Extension cotton specialist Jared Whitaker, who will conduct a workshop on cotton’s response to foliar fungicides from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Or you can join Tennessee Extension cotton specialist Chris Main at 2 p.m. for a session on cotton cultivar response to nitrogen fertilization. Other cotton specialists will join in for a discussion at 3 p.m.

Sustainability is the latest buzzword in the green movement, but does anybody really know what it means? Leave it to Cotton Incorporated to take on the task of defining this elusive, and often polarizing, term. Find out about Cotton Incorporated’s project to quantify the impacts of the cotton industry on the environment, “from Dirt to Shirt,” and how you can measure your farm’s sustainability, from Cotton Incorporated’s Janet Reed, Wednesday, Jan. 5, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in International 9 and 10 in the Marriott.

Can’t live without the new guidance system on your tractor? Would you like to get more bang for your buck from GPS technology with variable-rate applications, the latest sampling techniques and other precision farming techniques?

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, Jeff Willers, with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service at Stoneville, Miss., will discuss basic and intermediate concepts of spatial sampling for cotton pest management from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Marquis 103 and 104 of the Marriott Marquis. At 4 p.m., Willers will present advanced concepts for spatial sampling for cotton pest management.

The introduction of dual-gene Bt cotton meant the end of the structured refuge concept and perhaps higher yields for U.S. cotton growers. In 2010, however, growers sprayed more dual gene cotton, BG II and WideStrike, than ever before. A symposium on dual-gene Bt cotton will take place in Atrium 706 and 707, of the Marriott, on Wednesday, Jan. 5, from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The objective of the session is to stimulate discussion on the current issues facing growers utilizing this technology. The focus will be to review any changes in efficacy since the development of dual-gene Bt cotton; sampling techniques and thresholds for this technology; control options and insecticide efficacy when bollworms exceed existing thresholds; and what the future hold for existing and new technologies.

The session will also feature input from industry, crop consultants participating in a panel discussion and technical presentations.

That will be followed on Thursday, Jan. 6, by a producer roundtable on insect control in Marquis Imperial A in the Marriott, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Entomologists Ryan Jackson, Jeff Gore, John Adamczyk with the Delta Research and Extension Center, Stoneville, Miss., and the University of Arkansas’ Gus Lorenz will moderate the session.

“We’ve asked researchers and Extension what are some of the hot topics growers would like to talk about at the session,” Adamczyk said. “We’ve been doing this for several years now. It’s turned into a good show, and we’ve gotten some lively discussions going.”