“Technology — The Common Thread” is the theme of the 2002 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Jan. 8-12 at the Marriott Marquis and Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

The National Cotton Council is the conferences' primary coordinator. The conferences' goal is to strengthen U.S. cotton's competitive position in domestic and world markets and to increase industry members'profitability. The objective for reaching that goal is to speed the transfer of new technology to U.S. cotton producers and other industry members via that forum.

The 47th annual Beltwide Cotton Production Conference is set for Wednesday, Jan. 9 and Thursday, Jan. 10. The general session will feature reports and panel discussions on such topics as biotechnology, cotton improvement, cultural practices for least-cost production, fiber quality, global competition, marketing and new technologies. Afternoon hands-on workshops will focus on electronic tools, nematodes and precision agriculture.

Seminars and panels will cover agricultural chemical consolidation, e-trading, insurance, and new developments from industry. The cotton technical conferences, including joint sessions and poster sessions, will run Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12. The Cotton Foundation Technical Exhibit will be open Jan. 9-10.

A conferences information booklet will be mailed Septt.r 10 to previous attendees, and the information will be posted on the NCC's web site, HYPERLINK http://www.cotto.org www.cotton.org/beltwide For further information, contact the NCC's Debbie Richter, P.O. 820285, Memphis, TN 38182 (901) 274-9030 FX (901) 725-0510, ore -mail email: drichter@cotton.org.

In addition to cotton producers, ginners and other industry members, the Beltwide Cotton Conferences bring together those with a stake in a healthy U.S. cotton production sector, including university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel, consultants and allied product and service providers.

The National Cotton Council of America's (NCC) mission is to ensure the ability of all U.S. cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and manufactured product markets at home and abroad.