The 2006 Beltwide Cotton Conferences' Production Conference agenda will include topics ranging from the keys to getting a healthy stand to new precision agriculture tools.

“Strategies for Success” is the theme for the NCC-coordinated conferences, Jan. 4-6, at the Marriott Rivercenter/Riverwalk hotels in San Antonio.

The three-day format, which proved popular for the 2005 conferences, will feature the Production Conference and its special seminars and workshops along with the 11 cotton technical conferences and the Cotton Foundation's technical exhibits. On-site registration will open Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The National Cotton Council's Dale Thompson said that the American Cotton Producers, the Beltwide technical conferences' chairmen and others have provided a wealth of recommendations for program topics and the agenda is being finalized. Among topics being considered for inclusion is maximizing “the critical first 40 days,” the window involved with getting through the growing season's first phase. This discussion would take into account all production systems and Cotton Belt regions.

Thompson said the Production Conference will maintain an emphasis on precision agriculture, which has moved from the basic research phase to applied applications and integration into an increasing number of farming operations. Other topics will include a focus on the Conservation Security Program, an update on Washington, D.C., activities affecting U.S. cotton, an economic report focusing on the globalization of cotton and updates on NCC and Cotton Incorporated activities.

Production Conference workshops/seminars will cover control of the lygus/stinkbug complex; understanding disease resistance; how variable rate application/global positioning system technologies relate to plant pathology and nematology in cotton; new developments from industry; and a cotton economic outlook that will center on the U.S. situation, world situation, trade policy issues and market outlook for 2005-06 crop year.

Attendees must register online by going to the Beltwide Web site at http://beltwide.cotton.org where general conference information also can be found.

For additional information, contact the NCC's Debbie Richter, P.O. 820285, Memphis, TN 38182 (901) 274-9030 FX (901) 725-0510 or e-mail beltwide@cotton.org. The Beltwide Cotton Conferences brings together those with a stake in a healthy U.S. cotton production sector, including industry members, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel, consultants and allied product and service providers.

Attendance at the 2005 forum numbered more than 3,700.