Cotton producers from the Southeast expressed a bit of amazement at the size of the Texas cotton industry and the way Texas farmers deal with extreme weather conditions to produce a crop as they traveled from the High Plain all the way to the Gulf Coast as part of the 26th Producer Information Exchange (PIE) program.
Participants in the Southwest leg of the annual PIE program agree that everything does seem bigger in Texas—more equipment, bigger fields, larger gins and bigger problems with weather.
The program involves shuttling growers from four regions—the Southeast, the Mid-South, the Southwest and the Far West—to other regions. This year Mid-South producers traveled to the Far West to review and exchange information on operations in California. Producers in the West paid a visit to the Mid-South to look at farm operations and facilities in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Producers from Texas traveled to the Southeast, while farmers from the Southeast visited farms and facilities in Texas.
Southeast cotton producers coming to Texas included farmers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Virginia for five days of touring cotton operations and the industries that support cotton production in both the Lubbock and Corpus Christi areas.
Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the Producer Information Exchange tour has exposed more than 1,000 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own. The NCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection.