Beltwide Cotton Conferences Open in San Antonio

More than 3,500 expected to attend production and technical sessions. Dan Crummett

Published on: Jan 3, 2006

More than 3,500 producers, educators and agribusiness people from the U.S. cotton industry were expected to register at this year's 2006 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio this week. Sign-ins began today and continues throughout the meetings.

The three-day conference, entitled Strategies for Success, kicks off Wednesday morning with a general session and a look at various aspects of cotton production and a world trade outlook.

The meeting, U.S. agriculture's largest of the year, is set in San Antonio's Rivercenter and is located in the middle of the nation's Cotton Belt, so organizers are optimistic for a large turnout—particularly as the cotton industry faces market and policy turmoil.

Registration computers were busy at San Antonio's Marriott Rivercenter Tuesday as hundreds of cotton producers and agribusiness people checked in for the 51st edition of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences. In all, more than 3,500 conferees are expected at this year's meetings.

Aside from updates on new cotton lines, crop protectants and management practices, many of this year's attendees to Beltwide are quite interested in the shape of their business in years to come. Currently national policy toward agriculture—and cotton in particular—is being heavily swayed by foreign producers and their clout with the World Trade Organization. In addition, budget restraints in the U.S.—reeling from massive hurricane damage and a war in Iraq—make federal dollars less dependable as lawmakers rewrite U.S. farm policy while they're awash in red ink.

Topics for the 51st edition of Beltwide's general session include:

  • Washington and world trade update, and the short and long term impact of trade negotiations for the cotton industry.
  • Emerging technology's value to cotton production
  • Pest resistance management
  • Grower experience with innovation in cotton production