Cotton producers from each region will share how they have pulled together various new technologies to streamline their production systems and improve profitability during a panel discussion at the 2001 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference, Jan. 10-11 in Anaheim, Calif.

Moderated by NCC Chairman Ron Rayner of Arizona, panel will include producers: Ted Sheely, Lemoore, Calif., Ken Van Loben Sels, Los Banos, Calif.; Mark Williams, Farwell, Texas; Kenneth Hood, Gunnison, Miss.; and Joseph Boddiford, Sylvania, Ga. Joining them will be Extension workers, James Marois and David Wright, University of Florida, and Jimmy Roppolo, El Campo, Texas, ginner.

NCC's Anne Wrona, who serves as conference program coordinator, said panelists will discuss their use of conservation tillage, irrigation, row spacing, sod-based rotations, transgenics, precision agriculture, gin process control and other technologies under development as means of "least-cost" production and sound stewardship of resources. Among questions likely to be answered are: 1) how does yield monitor data help cut production costs, 2) are there quality problems associated with ultra narrow row, 3) is there potential for sod-based rotation in regions other than Southeast and 4) in face of escalating energy costs and sometimes scarce water supplies, which combinations of technologies can optimize profitability.

What is the most commonly eaten food in the world? Rice. What food is grown on every continent except Antarctica? Rice. What food does the United States export more of than it consumes? Rice.

What do you call cattle with a sense of humor? Laughing stock.

Natural? Or organic? If you're talking about the method used to produce some foods-from growing to processing, they're not necessarily the same. "Natural" has no legal definition or regulations to guide production and processing and offers no guarantees that no pesticides were used. "Organic" includes a fully audited management system, guaranteed by a third-party inspection and certification.

Americans may not be getting sweeter, but their diet definitely is. Sugar consumption is up 28 percent since 1982. Farm Bureau sources say that equals about 68.5 pounds of sugar per person each year.

American beef consumption has been on the increase since 1993 and now equals that of poultry, pork and seafood combined.

Nematodes - a threat to dozens of California crops - are nearly invisible. Ten times finer than an eyelash, these microscopic worms with voracious appetites invade the roots of plants, suck out their juices and leave them vulnerable to attack by deadly fungi and bacteria. That's the bad news. Here's the good news: Genetic researchers found a rare strain of sugar beet that resists a half-dozen nematodes and are working to insert its disease-resistant genes into peaches, tomatoes, beans, carrots and potatoes.

Proud hunters who bag their limit usually haul the meat home to feed the family. To get the maximum enjoyment from your wild game, Farm Bureau suggests that you follow food safety procedures when dressing, storing and cooking the meat. Why? Of the cases of human trichinosis reported to the Centers for Disease Control, many were the result of eating bear and other game meats.

The most recent statistics indicate that California exports of milk and cream to Mexico increased $46 million to a total of $65 million annually.