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NMSU Extension Plant Sciences announces cotton growers conference in Ruidoso Jan. 15

Cotton growers from around the state will gather for the New Mexico Cotton Growers Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the Ruidoso Convention Center.

"I want producers to come so they can get the best advice for the cotton production season in 2014," said John Idowu, Extension agronomist in the Department of Extension Plant Sciences at New Mexico State University. "It's going to be a well-rounded program that will inform producers about leading-edge technology in the cotton industry."

The annual conference will feature discussions about issues of concern to growers, including economic prospects for cotton, variety and planting date trial information, an update on cotton pest management issues, cotton breeding for New Mexico, New Mexico ginning update, glandless cotton research and updates and new products from the cotton industry.

Idowu said that the acreage of upland cotton and pima cotton grown in New Mexico has fluctuated dramatically in the last couple of years due to price changes. In 2011, there were 60,000 acres of upland cotton planted in the state, but that number has dropped to 30,000 in 2013. The more profitable pima (ELS) cotton was planted on 3,000 acres in 2011, but that number dropped to 2,400 acres in 2012, and rebounded to 4,000 acres in 2013.

"We'll discuss the prospects and what farmers should do next year," Idowu said. "The prices were very high the year before last, and a lot of people grew cotton, but last year's prices dropped, so a lot less people grew cotton."

Idowu encouraged anyone interested in the cotton industry to attend the conference. Two New Mexico pesticide applicator continuing education units will be offered at the conference. Texas continuing education units also will be available.

You can download registration information online at http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/ifcpm/documents/nm-cotton-conference-registration.pdf. The $25 registration fee includes lunch. Please register by Jan. 5 to help plan for the lunch.

The Ruidoso Convention Center is located at 111 Sierra Blanca Drive in Ruidoso, N.M.

The conference is hosted by New Mexico State University's Extension Plant Sciences, the Cooperative Extension Service and the New Mexico Cotton Growers Association.

For more information, contact Idowu at 575-646-2571 or jidowu@nmsu.edu.