Seminars focus on cotton, fish

Published 9:22 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Wiregrass Research and Extension Center is getting ready to present two agricultural seminars to Pike County farmers in late February.

There will be a Cotton Seminar on Feb. 23, and the East Alabama Fish Farm meeting will be held on Feb. 26, both seminars at 5:30 p.m. on their respective nights, at the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association.

William Birdsong, an extension agronomist at the Wiregrass Research and Center in Headland, said cotton varieties are going to be one of the main subjects discussed at the event.

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“We want to hone in on cotton varieties because one of the main cotton varieties, (DPL555), is being phased out. We will continue to buy it for ’09, and maybe we will have some in ’10, but then it will be off the market,” Birdsong said. “We have done some testing, and we are going to present optional varieties to the farmers.”

Mike Patterson, a weed scientist from Auburn University, will discuss options for cotton farmers to rid their fields of the resistant pig weed.

“Dr. Patterson will be here discussing his management plan for growers to adopt when trying to combat the resistant pig weed,” Birdsong said.

Two other keynote speakers are scheduled. Ron Smith, an extension entomologist from Auburn, will discuss stinkbug control, and Bob Goodman, an economist from Auburn, will share a plan to help farmers in the current economy.

“Dr. Goodman will be speaking on budgeting for lower inputs in the cotton crop,” Birdsong said. “Because the price of cotton is depressed, and partially because of the recession, farmers may need to look at ways to cut their expenses in order to make a greater profit.”

Glen Arnold, a crop-marketing consultant from Cochran, Ga., will discuss hedging for price protection with crops. “Mr. Arnold will help us reduce the risk of price volatility in the commodities market,” Birdsong said.

Agriculture vendors are paying for the meeting and there will be a sponsored meal.

The East Alabama Fish Farm meeting will be titled “Winds of the Future,” and there are several keynote speakers at the event. Claude Reeves, the area extension aquaculturist at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center, said the event will be beneficial to area fish farmers. “We hope we have a strong attendance,” Reeves said.

There will be a $15 steak supper at the meeting, and reservations need to be made by Feb. 23. To make reservations please call 566-0985.