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Premier Event; Top cotton breeders tour FBRI, Quaker Farm research centers

Premier Event; Top cotton breeders tour FBRI, Quaker Farm research centers

More than 150 cotton breeders from around the world spent part of today (Sep. 16) examining cotton research being conducted at two facilities at Texas Tech University. The group was part of the four-day 2013 Cotton Breeders’ Tour. The tours are sponsored by Cotton Inc., and are held every other year, rotating through each of the nation’s five cotton-growing regions.

“The tour is set up to facilitate interaction between public and private cotton breeders,” said Richard Zartman, chairman of Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science. Today, visitors tour Tech’s Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute, in addition to tours of the facility’s material evaluation and spinning laboratories.

Zartman said the FBRI is equipped and staffed to conduct research and development activities ranging from small-scale testing through large-scale manufacturing. A fundamental objective is to foster greater use of the natural fibers and increase textile manufacturing in Texas, he said.

The following day the group travels to the department’s 130-acre Quaker Avenue Research Farm. The facility is less than a 10 minute drive from the center of the Texas Tech campus. The farm has 120 acres for large- and small-plot research, and 13 acres for turfgrass research.

This year’s Cotton Breeders’ Tour included participants from all the major U.S. cotton-producing states and from countries as far away as China and Australia. Participants were fairly equally divided between university and private industry researchers and breeders.

Other points of interests on the tour will also include presentations by Plains Cotton Growers, and a Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative greenhouse and field visit tours. Other stops feature a cottonseed processing industry tour, as well as talk at the American Museum of Agriculture, Bayer Crop Science, Monsanto, Texas A&M AgriLife-Halfway, Texas A&M AgriLIFE Research and Extension Center at Lubbock and the USDA Ginning Laboratory at Lubbock.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Richard Zartman, Department Chair and Leidigh Professor of Soil Physics, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2838 or richard.zartman@ttu.edu

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