Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Brad Cowan, 956-383-1026, email@example.com
MERCEDES – The 24th Annual Rio Grande Valley Cotton and Grain Pre-Plant Conference and annual membership meeting of the Cotton and Grain Producers of the Lower Rio Grande Valley will be Jan. 16.
The free conference will be held at the RGV Livestock Show Event Center, 1000 N. Texas Ave. in Mercedes. Registration will be from 8-9 a.m. with presentations to begin immediately after. The conference will conclude at 3 p.m.
“This conference and meeting will provide important updated and useful information cotton and grain producers can apply to their operations,” said Brad Cowen, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources, Hidalgo County. “Presentations will be by academic and industry experts, so this will be a great opportunity to get a lot of excellent information in a relatively short time.”
Four Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered to those attending the entire conference, including one in laws and regulations for the optional dicamba training at the end of the conference.
Morning program topics and presenters will be:
— Cotton & Grain Market Update & Marketing Strategies for 2018, Dr. John Robinson, Agrilife Extension economist-cotton marketing, College Station.
— Washington Update, Craig Brown- vice president of producer affairs, National Cotton Council, Memphis, Tennessee.
— Research Update from Cotton Incorporated, Dr. Kater Hake, vice president of agricultural and environmental research, Cotton Incorporated, Cary, North Carolina.
— Reflections on What We Learned in 2017, Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension agronomist-cotton, College Station.
— Cotton Varieties for the Valley for 2018, Dr. Josh McGinty, AgriLife Extension agronomist, Corpus Christi.
The lunch program will include the annual membership meeting of the Cotton and Grain Producers of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Speakers will include Brady Taubert, president, and Dr. Webb Wallace, executive director.
Afternoon program topics and presenters will be:
— Update on the RGV and Northern Mexico Boll Weevil Eradication Programs, Larry Smith, program director, Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, Abilene.
— Bollworm Resistance in BT Cotton and Corn, Dr. David Kerns, statewide integrated pest management coordinator, College Station and Danielle Ortiz, integrated pest management specialist, Weslaco.
— New Developments from Industry, panel discussion by industry representatives.
“The afternoon will also offer a TDA-required dicamba training, also called auxin training,” Cowan said. “This is something new added to the conference this year.”
Cowan said those attendees planning to use one of the new dicamba formulations such as Engenia, FeXapan or Xtendimax on one of the dicamba-tolerant cotton or soybean varieties should stay for this mandatory training, which offers one TDA continuing education unit in laws and regulations.
For more information, contact Cowan at 956-383-1026; Dr. Enrique Perez, AgriLife Extension agent, Cameron County, at 956-361-8236; or Matthew Rodriguez, AgriLfie Extension agent, Willacy County, at 956-689-2412.