Wiregrass cotton expo set for Thursday

Published 11:07 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pike County cotton farmers are gearing up for the 13th Annual Wiregrass Cotton Expo on Thursday at the National Peanut Festival Grounds in Dothan.

The Wiregrass Cotton Expo has developed into one of the most well attended and comprehensive annual meetings in the Southeast, said Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator.

The Expo attracts around 200 producers from Alabama, Georgia and Florida each year and a “bumper crop” is expected this year. Registration for the cotton industry fair will begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

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Lyons said the Expo functions primarily as educational seminar.

“The Expo provides producers with updates on farm legislation as well as opportunities to learn about emerging crop-management techniques and the latest in cotton research,” he said. “Featured topics of information and discussion will include the new farm bill, cotton disease control strategies and options for dealing with the growing pigweed problem.”

Representatives from several companies will present cotton variety updates and updates will be given on current cotton pest management strategies.

“Extension economist Thomas Hall will inform the producers on the economy behind the cotton market,” Lyons said. “Ron Smith, an Extension crops consultant, will also be on the programs.”

The keynote speaker for the Wiregrass Cotton Expo will be John Mitchell of the Autauga Quality Cotton Association,

Updates of interest and importance to cotton producers will be given by representatives from the Alabama Cotton Commission, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

A precision agricultural demonstration will be featured on the fairgrounds following lunch.

“There is no registration fee for the Expo and the lunch is complimentary so we encourage all area cotton producers to attend,” Lyons said. “The information will be useful and valuable.” For more information, contact the Pike County Extension office at 334-566-0985.