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Articles from 2001 In December


Farm Business Planning Workshop

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Glyphosate-tolerant lettuce 'extremely valuable'

However, no-till lettuce is possible today, according to research conducted by Steve Fennimore, University of California Extension weed specialist, Salinas, Calif., and Kai Umeda, University of Arizona area Extension agent, Phoenix.

Unfortunately, there is a brick wall between research and field utilization, and it was built by misinformation about the safety of biotechnology. Growers are reluctant to embrace herbicide-tolerant or other biotechnology enhanced food crops because of the largely unfounded negative perception consumers have about the technology.

Until that can be overcome, growers will not chance introducing into the marketplace lettuce or any other food crop that could create a marketplace backlash.

That will preclude growers from embracing a technology that has proven in research trials to reduce hand-hoeing costs by 90 percent with the application of a quart of Roundup per acre when lettuce was at the two- to six-leaf stage.

Umeda told the 11th annual Desert Vegetable Crop Workshop at Yuma, Ariz., that the variety tested at Salinas and Yuma was glyphosate-tolerant Raider. Research was conducted both on the May-July lettuce deal in Salinas by Fennimore and September-December in Yuma by Umeda.

No crop injury

There was no crop injury at the recommended rate, said Umeda.

For Salinas, Fennimore recorded exceptional weed control at the quart rate at the four- to six-leaf stage. With sequential applications, Umeda said weeds were virtually eliminated compared with not only the non-herbicide check but also the standard Prefar/Kerb preplant herbicide treatment.

For desert lettuce, Umeda said a quart applied over the top at the two- to four-leaf stage was most effective in the desert.

The Roundup-tolerant lettuce plots also produced the highest yield, 65,000 pounds of lettuce per acre compared with a hand-weeded, weed-free plot of 61,000 pounds. Yields were even lower in plots where a preplant herbicide was used along with hand weeding.

The virtually weed free glyphosate-tolerant lettuce plots did not require tillage and that reduced weed control costs by not having repeated flushes of weeds cause by disturbing the soil.

Umeda called the technology "extremely valuable."

Unfortunately, it is at least four to five years away from use by farmers because of consumer reluctance to embrace genetically modified vegetable crops.

Desert too hot for lettuce aphid

The Salinas Valley was the first place the destructive new aphid was first identified. That was in the summer of 1998 and it has been increasing its destructive presence since.

It made its way to the desert valley later that year and was first identified in the Gila and Yuma valleys in the spring of 1999, according to University of Arizona research entomologist John Palumbo.

Palumbo, stationed at the Yuma Valley Agricultural Center, told more than 100 pest control advisors and producers at the 11th annual Desert Vegetable Crop Workshop in Yuma that he does not expect the lettuce aphid to pose as serious a threat to desert lettuce as it does in the cooler climes of Salinas’ summer.

The green peach aphid is the more common aphid pest in Yuma, and it has been around for a long time. However, it is even hard to trap in the desert in the summer.

Not only is it too hot for the lettuce, but also there are few primary hosts in the desert upon which it can survive the summers.

However, Palumbo said that doesn’t mean producers and PCAs will not have to contend with it because he believes it likely will continue to be a problem because it will hitchhike to the desert on transplants and vegetable harvesting equipment, which is how Palumbo believes it got to Yuma two years ago.

Marking differences

The lettuce aphid is distinguishable from the green peach aphid by its black markings on leg joints, antennae and abdomen. It also has a more reddish color than the pale or translucent green peach aphid, he said. "In Salinas some people call it the red aphid because of its color," said Palumbo.

The lettuce aphid prefers to feed on the lettuce’s plants growing point while the green peach aphid prefers older leaves.

The lettuce aphid has a short life cycle and disperses readily. Often its infestation pattern in a field is patchy, therefore, it requires far more thorough scouting to detect. The growing point is the primary scouting site.

And, failure to detect can cause major problems since it feeds deep in the head where major damage can occur. Palumbo has found as many as 700 aphids within a single head lettuce plant.

Its optimum growth temperature is 65 to 70 degrees — a warmer range that the 55 to 60 degrees for the green peach aphid. Therefore, Palumbo said if the lettuce becomes a problem, it likely would be late in the desert lettuce season.

This late-season potential infestation likely would run headlong into a buildup of predators. As a late-season pest, that would put it at the end of the desert lettuce season and therefore not a major pest.

Threshold at one

While Palumbo does not believe the lettuce aphid will develop into as serious a problem as it is in Salinas, he said the threshold for treatment in his book is one.

"If you do find it, you probably ought to nip it in the bud" because of the damage it can cause, he said.

Palumbo recommends the same topical pesticides as are used in Salinas: Metasystox-R, Orthene, Provado and Endosulfan. If these products are selected, they must be used before the lettuce head closes.

The widely used systemic Admire can effectively control aphids for 70 to 90 days at the 16- to 20-ounce rate. However, that control level may not be sufficient under heavy lettuce aphid populations. "If you get 90 percent control of a heavy population, that 10 percent not controlled may represent thousands of aphids," warned Palumbo.

He believes the use of Admire in the areawide plant bug and whitefly suppression program around Yuma also may be why the lettuce aphid has not established itself in the desert. Use of pyrethroids and Lannate for thrips control may also be a contributing factor.

There are highly resistant varieties of butter and head lettuce Palumbo tested. "I would have not believed the resistance level had I not seen it," he said. Where susceptible varieties had as many as 900 aphids per plant, resistant varieties had none.

"The resistant varieties currently available are not agronomically suited for our spring lettuce deal, but they are working hard in the Salinas area to get them going there," he said.

Breaking down weed surface tension

However, not all weeds have the same waxy or hair surface, McCloskey told the 11th annual Desert Vegetable Crop Workshop held recently in Yuma, Ariz., sponsored by the UA, University of California and Western Farm Press.

While there is variability in waxy surfaces of broadleaf weeds, most grasses have very waxy surfaces, particularly summer grasses like Johnsongrass.

Non-ionic surfactants are the most widely used in agriculture. However, McCloskey said to avoid organo-silicone surfactants, which can actually impede the efficacy of Roundup, especially in controlling grasses. One reason for that is that it spreads droplets too thin and under desert arid conditions the herbicide evaporates too quickly.

However, nutsedge does not have as much wax coating on its leaves, yet it is one of the most difficult weeds to control with glyphosate, according to McCloskey, who did his research based on the increasing use of that herbicide and other contacts.

The proper micro size helps disperse the surfactant and herbicide tank mix. McCloskey recommends 200 to 400 micron size. "The smaller droplet size, the better," McCloskey said. "However there is always the need to balance the need for good coverage against the chance of drift."

Water needs

Most herbicides perform best with water gallonages of 10 to 43 gallons per acre. The exception is glyphosate, which is most effective in the 3 to 10 gallon range, noted McCloskey.

Adding ammonium sulfate to the tank before pouring in glyphosate also can enhance the herbicide’s efficacy, but the 17 pounds per 100 gallons recommended on the label is too much, according to McCloskey.

UA researchers analyzed a wide array of well and surface water sources in Arizona for calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, the most antagonistic elements in water to glyphosate.

It only took about 8.5 pounds of ammonium sulfate to buffer the lowest quality water, which had 1,000 ppm salts, according to McCloskey.

"You can analyze your water and use the chart developed by the university to add the correct amount of ammonium sulfate. If you do not know your water quality, adding 8.5 pounds per 100 gallons of water should be adequate to do the job," said McCloskey.

"Ammonium sulfate is not that expensive, but it may save a little if you add only what you need," McCloskey said.

Glyphosate-tolerant lettuce 'extremely valuable'

However, not all weeds have the same waxy or hair surface, McCloskey told the 11th annual Desert Vegetable Crop Workshop held recently in Yuma, Ariz., sponsored by the UA, University of California and Western Farm Press.

While there is variability in waxy surfaces of broadleaf weeds, most grasses have very waxy surfaces, particularly summer grasses like Johnsongrass.

Non-ionic surfactants are the most widely used in agriculture. However, McCloskey said to avoid organo-silicone surfactants, which can actually impede the efficacy of Roundup, especially in controlling grasses. One reason for that is that it spreads droplets too thin and under desert arid conditions the herbicide evaporates too quickly.

However, nutsedge does not have as much wax coating on its leaves, yet it is one of the most difficult weeds to control with glyphosate, according to McCloskey, who did his research based on the increasing use of that herbicide and other contacts.

The proper micro size helps disperse the surfactant and herbicide tank mix. McCloskey recommends 200 to 400 micron size. "The smaller droplet size, the better," McCloskey said. "However there is always the need to balance the need for good coverage against the chance of drift."

Water needs

Most herbicides perform best with water gallonages of 10 to 43 gallons per acre. The exception is glyphosate, which is most effective in the 3 to 10 gallon range, noted McCloskey.

Adding ammonium sulfate to the tank before pouring in glyphosate also can enhance the herbicide’s efficacy, but the 17 pounds per 100 gallons recommended on the label is too much, according to McCloskey.

UA researchers analyzed a wide array of well and surface water sources in Arizona for calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, the most antagonistic elements in water to glyphosate.

It only took about 8.5 pounds of ammonium sulfate to buffer the lowest quality water, which had 1,000 ppm salts, according to McCloskey.

"You can analyze your water and use the chart developed by the university to add the correct amount of ammonium sulfate. If you do not know your water quality, adding 8.5 pounds per 100 gallons of water should be adequate to do the job," said McCloskey.

"Ammonium sulfate is not that expensive, but it may save a little if you add only what you need," McCloskey said.

George Franklin Jr., High Cotton winner

The story, insists the son, must begin with his father because everything he does is filtered through his daddy’s voice.

The son just wishes his father would have held out and traveled a touch further. After all, a few miles down the track, around Oak Ridge, sweet cotton soils abound. But at the outset of the 1900s, there was no way for 14-year-old George Franklin to know that. He was hungry, ill and weary of his boxcar accommodations. And from the boxcar door, the small Delta towns were indistinguishable.

When he finally gathered the nerve and hopped from the train, Holly Ridge, La., was where he landed. It was a small town centered around the train depot and cotton industry and it must have looked frightening to the kid. But anything, he figured, was better than the orphanage he’d just left.

The train still runs the same route but no longer stops in Holly Ridge. The buildings around the depot have long been abandoned; spindly trees poke through their roofs, vines tangle around doorposts. But the town once thrived and it was here and in the nearby town of Rayville that Franklin doggedly worked his way up from hotel cook to manager to proprietor, landowner and largest farmer in Richland Parish. It was here that he married, raised a family, built a grand home and taught his son and namesake the value of hard work and love of country.

"America is a great nation. There’s no other place that would let a 14-year-old kid have the opportunity to build the life my father did. He knew it and I know it and neither us have ever taken it for granted," says George Jr.

George Franklin Jr., a man with an easy sense of humor, carries a business card. On one side is typical contact information. The flip side reads, among other things: Farmer, Cotton Ginner, Veteran, Builder, Philosopher, Hunter, Conservationist (I also tell tall tales).

The card doesn’t lie. Franklin can spin yarns by the basketful. And if one sits for a while and listens, he will touch on every job description listed above. But he’s also a modest man and many of his accomplishments only come to light through words of his neighbors, co-workers and friends.

In speaking with these people, one thing becomes clear. Franklin should have the words "Keen Observer" added to the descriptive list. After all, this is a man who simply from walking countless miles through wooly forest, found that a nutall oak tree — "a great acorn producer" — grows well in bottomland, that willow oaks grow well mid-hill, and that bitter pecans are prime for a sweet pecan graft (he does such grafts on at least 200 trees annually).

The farmer and builder

Franklin’s land isn’t the best for row crops. Through crop rotation, precision leveling and organic matter put back into the soil, however, his land is healthier than ever before.

"We’d have made a bumper cotton crop this year except for the rain. We still had a decent crop — we’ll probably average around 800 pounds. We thought we’d get two-bale cotton before the rains, though."

Rice is also a major crop for Franklin. He says the greatest asset of his home parish — Richland — is the water supply that sits about 100 feet deep.

"Unlike a lot of rice farming areas, we have plenty of water. Our aquifer is very healthy, even with all the pumps that’ve been sunk these last few dry years. The biggest drop I’ve seen in any of my wells is 2 or 3 feet. We’re blessed because whatever drop we see during growing season is gone by spring."

In a normal year, Franklin, who farms with his three sons, has around 5,000 acres of cotton, 2,500 in rice and more acreage in corn and soybeans. He also owns and manages large tracts of timberland.

According to friends and associates, Franklin is a man often ahead of the curve. He was keen on precision leveling and irrigation before either was popular.

"Irrigation in Louisiana, where there is usually 50 to 60 inches of rain per year?" was the typical reaction when Franklin first began watering his crops, says Basil Doles, retired Extension agent. At that time, "Most farmers would tell you that cotton (was) a dry weather plant. You could count on one hand the farmers who were trying to irrigate cotton. George was one of those and he never stopped."

The first irrigating he did was during the 1950s when crops were burning up due to drought, says Franklin. He put a pump at the river, cranked it up and began furrow irrigating.

"I learned a lot. The first thing I learned was that not only was yield better after irrigating, but that staple length is determined by water. On land I wasn’t irrigating we had staple of less than an inch. Where I was irrigating, the cotton length was much better."

Franklin bought five irrigation walking rigs and started sinking wells around his property. Many of his farming buddies, knowing of the floods that arrived regularly, laughed at the purchases and work.

"They kidded me about the rigs. They wanted to know if I could reverse the flow and suck water out of the fields. But soon enough the irrigating paid off and now everyone is doing it. If I see something and believe it’ll work on my land, I’ve got to try it. That’s my make-up. It may turn out to be the wrong thing to do, but I’ve got to try it and see."

Franklin also pioneered cotton/rice rotation, says Harry Cook, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services biologist.

"I was just thinking one day that most every cotton pest and weed would be killed by rice water and aquatic weeds can’t stand dry ground. So why not try to rotate the two?" says Franklin.

He sat on the idea and then, about 20 years ago, bought some new land that presented him the opportunity to rotate the crops. Franklin found that his cotton yield jumped following rice. His rice yields also climbed because problem weeds and organic diseases lessened. He’s been rotating the two crops ever since — two years in cotton, two years in rice.

With Franklin, says Cook, "Soil improvement is always the goal with rotating crops to improve organic material and to control nematodes. Water quality is also of major concern since prior to being released into streams, water is rotated from one field to the next with the final use for waterfowl and timber growth. He’s done an outstanding job.

"Here’s the truth. I work with private landowners in Louisiana and other states. George has so many great ideas, I’ve put many of them into practice on other folks’ land. He’s still a man way ahead of his time."

The hunter and conservationist

"I started getting into conservationism in the 1940s. I’ve always been a big hunter and wanted to be able to do that while helping to fix my land," says Franklin.

He plants wheat and ryegrass for deer, floods huge amounts of land for ducks and plants filter strips with fervor. Black bear are seen around his thousands of acres regularly.

At 76, Franklin’s passion is "creating perfect wildlife habitat on every acre of idle ground on his farm," says Larry Savage, wildlife biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Creating such habitat means regular planting of trees. Franklin, say those interviewed for this story, is a master at knowing what types of trees will fit certain environments.

"(Franklin) knows the value of trees to the environment. He’s probably forgotten more than most of us know," says Doles.

About 10 years ago, Franklin bought land along the Ouachita River — 4.5 miles of river frontage. On the land are various row crops and timber.

"When he bought the land he noticed a lot of erosion troubles with the clay soils. Through CRP, WRP, Partners for Fish and Wildlife and his own initiative, George has planted hundreds — maybe thousands — of acres of filter strips and riparian zones in an attempt to create corridors for wildlife travel. He’s made his land a showplace for environmental stewardship," says Cook.

Franklin has been at it for a long time, too. Far longer than it’s been popular.

"George has trees he planted decades ago. He was working with George Putnam (informally titled "The Father of Hardwoods") out of Stoneville, Miss., on reforesting hardwood bottomland 45 years ago. George has the oldest research plantation that I know of," says Cook.

To be successful in planting trees, Franklin says, not only do you need to know a variety’s tendencies but also the soil it’s being planted in. That’s why he does a lot of soil testing, soil typing and reading of elevation maps.

"We pull soil samples all the time. That’s just as important when planting trees as when planting row crops. Then I find three or four tree varieties that’ll work and I plant them all. I don’t like planting just one kind of tree in an area. I want a mix."

Franklin’s mobile phone rings. His son, on the other end, says a black bear just crossed the road a couple of hundred yards up. Franklin stops his truck, turns around and heads the opposite direction.

"We’ll just let that bear be. As long as he’s out here in these thickets he’s minding his own business. He’s welcome here. Let him call it home."

If you make the short drive from Rayville to Holly Ridge, right before reaching the old train depot you’ll come to a road that turns north. True north.

"This stretch runs for 15 miles straight at the North Star. If you don’t believe it, come on out some night and that star will be straddling the center line," says Franklin.

He knows this because his father, in one of his myriad early jobs, surveyed the road when it was going in. The crew boss said he wanted the road pointing north and Franklin Sr., taking the man at his word and eschewing a compass, waited until dark and pointed the road at the North Star.

"Sounds like something some ancient civilization would do, doesn’t it? Whenever I drive this road I tend to look up," says the son. "I can’t help it. Doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, either. Daddy would probably like that, I think. How’s that for a story?"

E-mail: David Bennett

Trade promotion authority raises more questions

The debate over U.S. trade policy could become more heated when the Senate takes up the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act after the first of the year.

In a vote that was even closer than the 215-214 margin would indicate, the administration and the Republican leadership barely eked out a House victory for the legislation in early December. (House leaders extended the time limit for voting to round up more ayes.)

Proponents argue the president needs the legislation's “Fast Track Authority” to be able to present trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote without subjecting them to annoying and time-consuming review.

Critics say such review is needed to keep the administration from giving away the store in the interest of more trade for trade's sake.

Bush administration officials have warned that failure to pass this legislation and thus establish “freer trade” with other countries would mean that U.S. farmers would be left behind.

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman has said that U.S. representatives must be given a free hand to negotiate new agreements on such topics as import tariffs where there is a wide disparity between countries (an average of 62 percent for them vs. 12 percent for us).

Obviously, U.S. farmers can benefit from lower tariffs and reduced trade barriers. But critics of the trade promotion authority bill say they don't trust U.S. trade representatives to always put the interests of U.S. farmers ahead of their desire to conclude new agreements.

Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., said the main disagreement was between “those who believe trade policy must be updated to address a changed landscape and those who think there is no need to shape the terms of trade, because more trade is better no matter what.”

By “changed landscape,” Levin said he was referring to the dramatic increase in both the volume and value of trade in recent years. “It increasingly involves nations with very different economic structures from ours,” he said, “And trade negotiations now involve virtually every area of what used to be considered U.S. domestic law — from antitrust and food safety to telecommunications.”

That was what Rep. Marion Berry of Arkansas was talking about when he issued a press release explaining his no vote on the trade promotion authority bill.

Although he helped manage the campaign to pass Fast Track Authority when Bill Clinton was president, Berry said he argued against the current legislation “because I am concerned about this administration's commitment to agriculture, and this legislation did nothing to relieve that concern.”

In the past, Berry has said that farmers need a strong farm bill to increase U.S. bargaining power in future trade negotiations. But the administration seems to be backing away from such policies, he said.

The trade promotion authority bill may face an easier time in the Senate, which has been more liberal on trade issues, some say. On Dec. 12, the Senate Finance Committee passed its version of the bill, 18-3.

But farmers would prefer their senators do their utmost to make sure the final version of the bill does not enable trade negotiators to give away the farm in future agreements.

Rice growers focus on exports, policy

U.S. rice producers have all the tools necessary to make a bumper rice crop almost every year. Is a fair price for their effort too much to ask?

That was the question on the minds of most rice producers attending the 2001 USA Rice Outlook Conference in St. Louis.

“Right now, depressed prices,” answered Jim Carroll, rice producer from Brinkley, Ark., when asked what challenges farmers are facing. “Most farmers have the equipment and the know-how to get good yields. We just don't get much for it.”

Carroll doesn't have an easy solution. “The exports need to be here. But right now the whole world is in a depression.”

For the last few years, Carroll has expanded his rice acreage “because that's where we can make the most money with the government payments. But China is sitting on some big reserves that may come on the market when it gets in the WTO. Everybody thinks the WTO issue is one-sided, that we can export to them. But they can also start exporting to other countries.”

“I'm real anxious to see the new product developments that we have coming up,” said Davis Bell, farmer from Des Arc, Ark., referring to the conference's new products session. “They've asked us to cut costs for the last 15 years. I think I've cut about all I can cut. But there are always some edges somewhere that you can trim.”

Bell was optimistic about farm bill prospects, however. “Washington realizes that the farmer is in a dire situation. All I ask is that they understand. I realize that the rest of the country is in a dire situation, too. We don't need any more than the airlines need, than the hotels or carmakers need. Just don't leave the farmer out.”

What kind of farm bill would Bell like to see? “We can't do a higher loan rate. That's a no-brainer. We would be government farming for sure then. We've got to have some price support.”

Bell holds out hope that a sudden change in world supply could quickly buoy prices. “The world rice supply is ample to slightly surplus. That may change tomorrow. If something happened to curtail production somewhere, we could see dramatic changes in the market.”

Bernie, Mo., rice producer Larry Riley says making the right management and financial decisions are crucial to surviving during a time of low prices. “Do the best possible job you can do. I don't agree with a lot of people who say that bigger is better. We also need to do a good job of marketing what we produce.”

Riley, who raises 1,800 acres of rice with two partners and one employee, hasn't increased his rice acreage in 10 years.

“I wish there were a way we could get a fair price for our product without looking to government subsidies,” Riley said. “A short crop in a major rice-producing country could change prices considerably. But we don't see many of those movements any more. When have you seen corn, wheat or soybeans jump the limit in two to three days consecutively?

“Farming's been good to me,” said Riley, who began his career on 80 acres in 1961. “My dad tried to tell me not to, but I wouldn't have it any other way. If I had it to do all over again, I'd probably do the same thing. You have to love farming to stay in it.”

Iowa, La., rice producer Jimmy Hoppe says the farm bill “is the most important thing on our minds right now, and certainly we are trying to get the best deal for rice that we can.”

“Rice prices are in the tank and so are other commodities and agriculture as a whole is suffering,” Hoppe added. “In rice, we have a large crop this year, large stocks and we need to get those stocks down.”

Hoppe, who is chairman of the USA Rice Council, said the USA Rice Federation “is trying to move more food aid shipments. Rice is a staple in 70 percent of the world, so it's a prime commodity to use in food aid. But we haven't been able to get nearly as much as we think we ought to get.”

Hoppe noted that the federation “is working in 60 countries trying to open markets. We've had our share of problems. It seems like everytime we get a decent market developed, we lose it because of food embargoes or sanctions.

“We also need to get the Cuban market back,” Hoppe said. “Forty years ago, we were shipping 100,000 metric tons out of Louisiana every year. That went away. Certainly, any amount of rice we move into Cuba will help us and we're in a prime location to get that done.”

The terrorists' attacks of Sept. 11 did slow rice trade, noted Hoppe. On the other hand, “there may be some areas we can move some rice into, like the relief effort in Afghanistan.”

But Hoppe is not altogether happy with U.S. recognition of the role that rice producers can play in the food aid program. “There was a 22,000-ton ship at the Port of Lake Charles in south Louisiana that picked up 10,000 metric tons of products, mainly lentils, corn/soy blend, wheat/soy blend and yellow peas for food aid to Afghanistan. But there was not a grain of rice on it.”

The shipment, put together by USDA, “was promoted as something that would help the people of Afghanistan, but we should have had some rice on that ship. We are a little disappointed. There was a big article in the newspaper about it, and here we are right in the middle of rice country.”

Tunica, Miss., rice producer Nolen Canon agrees that the farm bill is the most important issue facing rice producers today. “It's likely that many producers have turned over the marketing of their crops to someone else. That means all the producer can do is produce as much rice as he can.”

Canon, chairman of the U.S. Rice Producers Association, would prefer that farm subsidies for rice producers come in the form “of some type of AMTA payment. I don't think raising the loan rates is the way to go. That would encourage over-production (at low prices) which would go in the amber box under the World Trade Organization.” (The amber box refers to any trade-distorting policies a country may accumulate through its farm policy.)


e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com.

Best gin practices

COTTON GINNERS around the world can now reach for a new publication designed to give them a comprehensive source of the best ginning practices for their individual needs, thanks in part to an Agricultural Research Service agricultural engineer.

The publication of Report of an Expert Panel on Ginning Methods in by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) identifies the current production and ginning practices for the major cotton-producing countries and describes the functions of each type of commercial gin machinery and its impact on fiber quality.

A key contributor to the report was W. Stanley Anthony, research leader of the ARS Cotton Ginning Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss. He chaired an international panel of cotton experts — including members of industry, research institutes and trade associations — who helped develop the report.

Anthony says ginners should be knowledgeable of new technologies that impact fiber quality and value. He says a greater understanding of global ginning practices would enhance the quality of cotton goods.

Anthony was managing editor of ARS' Cotton Ginners Handbook, a much-used information source in the ginning industry.