Cotton bloom

2016 Cotton Beltwide Conferences aim to enhance decision-making

Those planning to attend the 2016 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for Jan. 5-7 at the New Orleans Marriott, can register and make hotel reservations beginning Sept. 21 at http://www.cotton.org/beltwide/. That site includes a schedule of events and general information.

Registration costs before Dec. 14 for the National Cotton Council-coordinated forum are: $175 for NCC/Cotton Foundation members, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel, associations and consultants; $300 for non-NCC/Foundation members; and $80 for students.

On-site conference self-registration kiosks will be available 24 hours a day beginning on the evening of Jan. 4. Beginning on the morning of Jan. 5, NCC staff will be available for attendees needing assistance with registration and name badge printing.

Continuing education units or “CEUs” will be offered.

The 2016 Beltwide will begin at noon on Jan. 5 with a half-day Cotton Consultants Conference session that will focus on new developments from industry, including discussions and reports on new varieties, chemistries and emerging technologies.

The next day’s Consultants Conference will begin in the morning with updates on weed management strategies.

Neonicotinoids

In addition, entomologists will provide updates on the latest research with regard to the neonicotinoid insecticides including their impact on pollinators and possible replacements for this important class of chemistry should alternatives become necessary.

This session will conclude with a joint session of the Agronomy and Physiology Conference and the Soil Management and Plant Nutrition Conference that will be open to all attendees.

Included in that joint session will be an overview of the current status of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and how they may be effectively integrated into a precision agriculture program to improve production efficiency and profitability.

The 11 cotton technical conferences, ranging from agronomy to weed science, will meet concurrently beginning on the morning of Jan. 6 and conclude by noon Jan. 7.

The Beltwide Cotton Conferences annually bring together those with a stake in a healthy U.S. cotton production sector, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel/agents, consultants, and industry sales/support personnel.

NCC Chairman Sledge Taylor, a Mississippi cotton producer and ginner, said the Beltwide Cotton Conferences provide an excellent environment for these groups to exchange information.

“This exchange is helping guide cutting-edge research in agronomy, pest management, economics and other important disciplines that can lead to more efficient cotton production, processing and marketing,” Taylor said.

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