Producers can fine-tune their farming operations with information garnered at the 10th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference Jan. 29-30, sponsored by Cotton Incorporated and US Rice Producers Association.

The event, which alternates yearly between Mississippi and Texas, is a production of MidAmerica Farm Publications. The Omni Houston Hotel Westside, Houston, Texas, is the headquarters for the 2007 conference.

“It’s an ideal setting for this conference, providing a relaxing environment where farmers can visit with each other and researchers,” says John LaRose, chairman of the conference steering committee.

The event is co-sponsored by the University of Arkansas, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, University of Missouri, University of Tennessee, Auburn University, Texas A&M, USDA-NRCS, and USDA-ARS centers in the southern states. Corporate co-sponsors are Delta and Pine Land Co., Helena Chemical Co., Horizon Ag, and RiceTec. Agricultural media co-sponsors are Delta Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press.

The conference is returning to Houston, having first opened in Little Rock, Ark., in 1997, then alternating in succeeding years between Texas and Mississippi. Last year’s conference at Tunica, Miss., drew a record attendance.

“No one leaves without learning something new and useful,” LaRose says, “and everyone finds new facets of their operations to create more stability and increase their bottom lines.”

Breakout sessions will offer approximately 102 specific topics over the two-day period, “several of which are sure to focus on the topics most important to each producer,” LaRose says.

Each session is led by a university researcher and a producer who is practicing the system, each offering sound, practical advice to help beginners or veterans. Both producers and researchers will make presentations during the breakout sessions; discussions are informal and questions or comments from the audience are always welcome. These often add a new twist to the discussions, LaRose says.

Farmers from Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee will be able to receive state pesticide recertification credits, and certified crop consultants can earn CEUs during the two-day conference.

“Don’t miss the opportunity to get your questions answered or to search for new ideas that could improve your operation and help fill your pockets,” LaRose says.

For further information on the conference or to register, visit the Web site at www.nctd.net, or call Robin Moll at (573) 547-7212.