The Wiregrass Cotton Expo, one of the Deep South's most comprehensive annual cotton meetings, will Feb. 15 at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan, Ala.
William Birdsong, a cotton agronomist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, says the Expo is an opportunity for growers to think strategically about all facets of their cotton program, from variety selection and planting to getting a handle on pest and weed problems.
"This is the time of year when producers are working out their plans for the upcoming season, and they've got to have the best information available to make informed decisions," Birdsong says.
As with previous expos, seed company representatives will be on hand to answer questions and to book purchases for the 2013 season, Birdsong says.
Extension economist Max Runge will discuss 2013 cropping decision-making, an especially important consideration for Wiregrass growers.
The growing problem associated with resistant pigweed, an especially serious problem in the Wiregrass region, is also another issue that will be addressed at this year's expo.
"It's imperative for growers that they have a plan in place early in the year," Birdsong says, "because the last few years of experience have taught them that they have got to be consistently proactive with their weed control."
Following remarks on cotton diseases by Extension plant pathologist Austin Hagan, crop physiologist Dale Monk will discuss control options for resistant pigweed.
David Zeirden of the Florida Climate Center will offer some advice about the 2013 weather patterns that are projected to occur. While climate forecasting is no panacea, it can provide them with a vague picture of how weather patterns are likely to play out — and this already has been of considerable help to some growers, according to Birdsong.
Representatives from the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resource Conservation Service will also provide updates on current federal programs. Updates will also be provided by representatives from Cotton Incorporated and the Alabama Cotton Commission.
Hank Reichle, vice president of Export Sales for Staplcotn Marketing, will be the featured luncheon speaker. Following Reichle's remarks, financial adviser Scott Parsons will offer an introduction to estate planning.
For more information about the expo, contact Birdsong at 334-693-3800.
Langcuster writes for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.