Last year, Mid-South growers faced challenge after challenge. Resistant pigweed, plant bugs, drought and a roller coaster cotton market tested their mettle and patience. Most – thankfully – came through the year in good shape. And many of them got a head start on advice for their season at the Cotton Grower SoundOFF at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis.
On March 1, Cotton Grower – in partnership with Stoneville cotton and Bayer CropScience – will host its fourth annual SoundOFF during the 2013 Farm and Gin Show. This event brings industry experts together with cotton growers and consultants from across the Mid-South to discuss some of the biggest issues facing growers as they finalize their production plans for the year.
The SoundOFF format lends itself to an open, lively discussion of the issues at hand. A panel of industry leaders addresses the crowd, while attendees enjoy a plate of complimentary Memphis barbeque. Following each presentation, the floor is opened for questions, and the audience is encouraged to be as involved as they’d like with questions and other comments.
Last year, a capacity crowd of SoundOFF attendees heard presentations from Extension specialists, economists and agronomists on managing herbicide-resistant weeds, plant bug control, world markets and their impact on cotton pricing, and the new variety and technology pipeline. And following the presentations, the dialogue began as growers asked questions and shared their own on-farm perspectives.
“This is the real value that SoundOFF brings to our audience,” says Mike Gonitzke, publisher of Cotton Grower magazine. “We want to provide an informal forum for growers to hear about and discuss the topics that matter to them most. In the three years we’ve hosted this event, growers have never been shy about joining in the discussion with the experts. We learn as much from them as they do from our panelists.”
This year’s SoundOFF event will be held Friday, March 1 at 12:00 pm (Central Time) in the Cotton Row Room at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis – the site of the 61st annual Mid-South Farm and Gin Show. Attendance and lunch, provided by Corky’s BBQ, are free. Stoneville and Bayer have graciously sponsored the event every year since it began in 2010.
“The SoundOFF is a great opportunity for us to hear from farmers,” says Jeff Brehmer, marketing manager for FiberMax and Stoneville cotton. “We definitely want to know what the issues are and hear their challenges so we can better help them be more profitable growing cotton.”
Today’s cotton producers have more agronomic and economic factors to consider when making decisions than ever before. Event organizers will again focus on several key issues currently impacting cotton production in the Mid-South to help give attendees a head start on production decisions for the 2013 growing season.
Those interested in attending this year’s Cotton Grower SoundOFF, sponsored by Stoneville cotton and Bayer CropScience, during the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show should contact Cotton Grower magazine soon to reserve your space. You can RSVP by contacting Sue Betteley at 440-602-9131 or by e-mail at email@example.com.