Farmers can fine-tune their farming operations with information to be offered at the 11th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference, to be held Jan. 21-22.

The event, sponsored by Cotton Incorporated and US Rice Producers Association, and a production of MidAmerica Farm Publications, is returning this year to the Grand Casino Resort Convention Center in Tunica County, Miss.

The conference 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 in Washington DC and USDA-ARS centers in the southern States. There are also five corporate co-sponsors: Delta & Pine Land, Helena Chemical Co., Horizon Ag, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., and RiceTec.

Ag media co-sponsors are Delta Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press.

“No one leaves without learning something to improve their farming operation,” says John LaRose, chairman of the Conference Steering Committee, “and everyone finds some facet of their operation they can rebuild to create more stability and increase their bottom line.”

The conference, which was first launched in Little Rock, Ark., in 1997, has since alternated locations between Texas and Mississippi.

“Last year’s conference in Houston drew a record attendance, with farmers and researchers both deriving a sense of new direction,” LaRose says.

The Tunica Grand Casino Convention Center “is an ideal setting for this conference, providing a relaxing environment where farmers can visit with one another and with researchers.”

As with past conferences, the breakout sessions will offer approximately 91 specific topic choices over the two-day period, “several of which are sure to focus on topics important to each producer,” LaRose says. “Each session is led by a university researcher and a farmer who is practicing the system, and each can offer sound, practical advice to help everyone from beginners or to veteran farmers. The discussions are informal and questions or comments from the audience are always welcome. These often add a new twist to the discussions.”

New this year is the addition of the Mid-South Corn Conference and the Mid-South Precision Ag Conference, which will be held in conjunction with the Cotton & Rice Conference.

The Mid-South Corn Conference will feature 16 corn production technology and systems breakout sessions by some of the nation’s leading corn researchers and farmers. The Mid- South Precision Ag Conference will feature 9 precision agriculture technology and systems breakout sessions led by precision agriculture researchers and farmers.

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 some of 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 telephone Robin Moll at 573-547-7212.