In tough times, knowing how to squeeze an extra bushel out of your production program or a few more pennies from your marketing plan can make a big difference in your bottom line.

Southern soybean producers now have an excellent opportunity to learn the latest techniques for increasing profit potential at the 2001 Southern Soybean Conference, Feb. 2-4, 2001, at the Grand Hotel in Tunica, Miss.

Want to get more bushels out of your production program? A number of production experts can tell you how. Larry Heatherly, Mississippi State University researcher, and Lanny Ashlock, University of Arkansas soybean specialist, will discuss the Early Soybean Production System, as well as other production programs, while Tommy Carter, USDA/ARS will address drought tolerance in soybeans.

Is there a chance for more rain this coming season? Have you thought about irrigation? Speaker Rick Shields, Sparks, will discuss potential weather patterns and their effect on production, while Mississippi State University Agricultural Engineer Jim Thomas and University of Arkansas Economist Tony Windham will address irrigation planning and the economic impact of irrigation, respectively. There'll also be sessions on how to produce a better soybean.

Even if you do grow a great bean and plenty of bushels, you need to be paid for your efforts.

There will be no less than four sessions on marketing for producers, as part of a new conference schedule featuring breakout sessions. Learn about the marketing of identity-preserved soybeans, meeting the needs of foreign customers, marketing your soybean crop for the loan deficiency payment and how to market in the changing market of the South.

Legislative efforts Now that all the votes have finally been counted, we have a new president and some new faces in Congress. So, what should soybeans producers expect from the next farm bill? Chip Morgan with the Delta Council will be on hand to discuss where farm policy could be headed in 2001. The conference will have an expert on government regulation in to speak on government's role in water supply issues.

There'll also be breakout sessions on the impact of genetics on soybean research and causes and cures for green bean syndrome, which struck in many southern soybean fields this past summer. One session will offer a review of research verification programs.

The pre-registration fee is $35 for registrations received before Jan. 19, 2001. The regular registration fee is $65, for registrations received after that date, or on site. A spouse accompanying a registrant may attend all sessions for an additional $5. Young farmers age 18 and under are free. For registration information, see the advertisement on Page 18 of this issue, or call 636-928-3700.

The Grand Hotel is located approximately 30 minutes south of Memphis, on Hwy. 61. To make reservations, please call the hotel directly at 800-394-7263.

The conference begins Friday, Feb. 2 with a half-day session from 1 p.m. - 5:30 followed by a reception. An all-day session begins Saturday morning and concludes Saturday evening with a reception. The conference is an educational project of the soybean checkoff.