A record number of participants, 173, joined the 2013 Cotton Breeders’ Tour held in Lubbock September 15-18. The tour kicked off Sunday afternoon with attendees learning about new features of CottonGen. Monday morning activities began at the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Research and Extension Center with a welcome from Steve Verett of the Plains Cotton Growers and an overview from Jimmy Wedel of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative. Attendees then were treated to presentations on bacterial blight screening, salinity testing, and thrips research in the nearby greenhouses. After lunch we traveled to the Fiber and BioPolymer Research Institute and learned about research projects on fiber, yarn, and fabric testing. Field visits concluded that afternoon with a visit to the Dow AgroScience / Phytogen research site.
Tuesday morning began with a short drive to the USDA-ARS farm for presentations and walking field tours on genetic diversity, irrigation scheduling, and sorghum research. This was followed by a visit to the Texas Tech University farm where participants learned about studies on commercial variety trials, high throughput phenotyping, and irrigation applications. Morning activities concluded with presentations by company personnel about new commercial cotton varieties from All-Tex and Americot. After lunch we toured the PYCO seed processing facility and learned about seed handling and logistics. We concluded the day’s activities with a visit to the Bayer CropScience Museum of Agriculture and a dinner at the American Wind Power Center where the picture above was taken.
Wednesday activites began at the Bayer CropScience Research Station. There we learned about research gin innovations and enjoyed walking tours through nurseries and random mated populations. We then traveled to the USDA-ARS-CPPRU and learned about research spanning harvest innovations, moisture sensor development, ginning, and air quality. The next stop was at the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Research Station at Halfway where we had field tours on verticillium wilt screening and irrigation timing. We concluded Wednesday activities with a visit to the Monsanto Megasite and observed their display of research plot equipment and growth chambers and heard about their innovative delinting system.