Two leading authorities on cotton and grain market trends will present their outlooks for 2001 at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show to be held at Memphis March 2-3.

William “Billy” Dunavant, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the nation's largest cotton merchandising firm, and Richard “Dick” Bell, president and chief executive officer of Riceland Foods, will speak at the show's annual Ag Update session Friday, March 2, at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby auditorium of the Cook Convention Center.

“Billy Dunavant's analysis of the cotton situation is a perennial feature of the show,” says Lee Todd, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Assn. and show manager. “Everyone always looks forward to hearing what he has to say about cotton's prospects.

“Dick Bell has been with us many times, also, and his long experience with markets and government programs helps him provide a unique perspective of the rice, soybean, and wheat markets.”

Also speaking at the Friday morning session will be John Maguire, director of Washington operations for the National Cotton Council, who will discuss what's shaping up for agriculture in the new Congress and administration.

Saturday, March 3, at 8:30 a.m., Ark. Rep. Marion Berry, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, will speak on legislative issues, and Mississippi producer Kenneth Hood will discuss his experiences with precision farming methods and technologies.

“We believe both the Friday and Saturday sessions will offer Mid-South farmers timely, useful information as they move toward the new cropping season,” Todd says.

This year's show, the 49th for the ginner group, is co-sponsored by Delta Farm Press, and is the largest indoor exhibit of agricultural products, equipment, and services in the Mid-South. It is the largest cotton equipment trade show in the nation.

Several thousand people attend the two-day event and the various functions related to the annual meeting of the member associations of the Southern Cotton Ginners Assn.

The show offers farmers an opportunity to see firsthand the newest and latest products, Todd notes, as well as being able to talk face-to-face with representatives of all the major companies offering equipment, chemicals, and other products and services.

More than 400 exhibitors have signed up to participate in the show.

The show opens at 9 a.m. each day and closes at 5 p.m Friday, 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The official show program, published by Delta Farm Press, will be mailed to all of the publication's subscribers with the Feb. 16 issue.

“We hope everyone is making plans to be with us in Memphis March 2-3,” Todd says. “It'll be the best show yet.”

Show parking

Free shuttle bus service will operate between the Convention Center and the Peabody Hotel. Since parking can sometimes be tight in the Convention Center area, a suggested alternate is to use one of the several parking garages and lots near the Peabody and catch the shuttle from the hotel. Buses will leave frequently during show hours from the Union Avenue entrance to the Peabody. Or you can park in one of the lots near the Peabody and walk a couple of blocks to the trolley line.