The 6th Pima Production Summit is scheduled for May 11 at the Visalia Convention Center, Visalia, Calif.

Sponsored by Western Farm Press, Supima Association of America, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, and the University of California Cooperative Extension, on-site registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. with the first speaker at 9 a.m.

There will be reports on the 2004 planted acreage as well as a market outlook based on that acreage. There also will be updates on UC research as well as a look at some of the newer Pima varieties as well as the higher quality Acala cottons which are being roller ginned and compete with Pima. The Supima Association also will make a report on its very active promotion campaign to increase consumption of Pima cotton products.

There have been a wide range of acreages estimates for the SJV Pima crop, ranging from 185,000 acres to more than 250,000. For sure it will be larger than last season's 135,000 acres which was cut dramatically by poor spring planting conditions. Prices are projected to be good this season, even with the big acreage increase. World stocks are the lowest in decades and demand for high quality cotton products is one of the fastest growing segments of the cotton market.

This season planting conditions have been dramatically different early with ideal degree-day forecasts from mid to late March. For the five days beginning on March 21, the forecast was for 30-degree days or more for Fresno and Bakersfield. Anything above 20 is considered ideal.

The summit is free and includes lunch.

At the last Summit, more than 20 commercial companies provided financial sponsorship for the event. Most of them set up booths inside the convention center ballroom, and they will be back this season.

A detailed program will be in upcoming issues of Western Farm Press.

e-mail: hcline@primediabusiness.com