The National Cotton Council is the conferences’ primary coordinator. The forum’s objective is speeding the transfer of current and emerging technology to U.S. cotton producers and other industry members – with an overall goal of strengthening U.S. cotton’s competitive position in domestic and world markets and increasing industry members’ profitability.

The 49th annual Beltwide Cotton Production Conference is set for Jan. 6-7. Among topics being considered for its general session are: 1) a cotton breeding/improvement update, 2) the impact of production practices on fiber quality and spinnability, 3) the advantages of cotton rotations with corn and small grains, 4) a grower’s planting investment, including alternatives to seed treatments and rates, 5) new high volume uses for cotton lint and yarn, and 6) cotton export market development.

“For example, regarding the market development topic we would address the questions of what foreign mill customers need and how can U.S. cotton continue to compete in the world marketplace,” said Dale Thompson, NCC’s manager, marketing and processing technology.

Thompson, who coordinates the Production Conference program, said one of the workshops being planned will focus on the COTMANä crop management system. It would include a poster session and hands-on demonstrations of the hand-held data collection units and the COTMANä computer software in addition to results of COTMANä research conducted across the Cotton Belt in pest management, irrigation, defoliation and other facets of cotton production.

“The COTMANä and other cotton management systems’ hardware and software are more grower friendly today,” Thompson said, “and the NCC believes these tools can provide growers a principal solution now for responding to the challenges of efficient cotton production. Plus, this workshop also should provide crop consultants and Extension personnel the opportunity to compare and contrast the various systems with the potential of improving each of them.”

The 2004 conferences will include The Cotton Foundation Technical Exhibit and the 12 cotton technical conferences covering disciplines ranging from economics to weed science.

A conferences’ information booklet will be mailed in mid-September to previous attendees, and the information will be posted on the NCC’s web site, http://beltwide.cotton.org. For further information, contact the NCC’s Debbie Richter, P.O. 820285, Memphis, TN 38182 (901) 274-9030 FX (901) 725-0510 or email: drichter@cotton.org.

The Beltwide Cotton Conferences brings together those with a stake in a healthy U.S. cotton production sector, including industry members, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel, consultants and allied product and service providers. Attendance at the 2003 conferences in Nashville, TN, exceeded 3,000.

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