Richard Brock, one of the nation's leading grain marketing analysts, will be a featured speaker at the 2006 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show.

The show, sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor, will be March 3-4 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.

Brock is widely known in the agricultural and agribusiness community through his weekly newsletter, The Brock Report, that focuses on grains, and the Pork Profit Edge, another newsletter his firm also publishes.

Brock Associates manages grain sales on over 500,000 acres throughout the United States and advises many major agribusiness and grain companies on price direction and purchasing strategies. In a normal year, he will speak at over 60 conferences throughout the U.S., Central and South America, and Europe.

He will speak Saturday morning, March 4, at the 8:30 a.m. Ag Update session in the convention center lobby auditorium.

Years of experience

“Richard has been analyzing and forecasting grain and other agricultural trends for many years and is well-respected by farmers throughout the nation,” says Tim Price, executive vice president of the ginner association and manager of the show that attracts 15,000 to 20,000 people.

Also on tap Saturday will be a special energy seminar, to be held at 1:30 p.m.

The big runup in energy prices has had a major impact on every sector of agriculture — from gins to production to transportation. Ginning operations have been affected by the huge increase in natural gas prices, along with nitrogen fertilizers.

“We'll have a number of specialists on hand to discuss the energy situation and what producers may expect as they plan for the coming season,” Price says.

The seminar will include the national and regional outlook for energy for agriculture, including effects on transportation of farm products and markets, and what farmers can do to plan and cope with higher energy costs.

Presentations will be by farm management specialists and other experts from several southern states.

The Saturday afternoon special seminar, inaugurated at last year's show, provides another venue for getting critical information to producers and ginners, Price says. “Our seminar on Asian soybean rust last year had a standing room only audience and a lively question-and-answer session. We're expecting a lot of interest in this year's energy seminar.”

Friday's ag update sessions will include market outlooks for cotton, rice, and cash grains. Speakers will be announced later.

The 54th annual event will also focus on another topic of keen interest: cottonseed.

“Both farmers and ginners are concerned about trends in cottonseed usage and price,” Price says. “At our association's annual meeting Thursday, March 2, we'll have experts on hand to discuss cottonseed concerns.” The session will be at 1:30 p.m. at the Peabody Hotel.

Hundreds of exhibits

This year's show, is shaping up to be another sellout for the 200,000 square foot convention center and the largest in the event's history, Price says.

More than 450 exhibits are expected, running the gamut from the latest equipment, to seed, chemicals, and services. Exhibitors are from 40-plus states and two foreign countries.

“The show has become an early spring tradition for Mid-South farmers, ginners, and others involved in agriculture,” he says. “In addition to many exhibitors who are with us year-in and year-out, we have many who will be here for the first time, bringing a new array of products. And a lot of our every-year exhibitors are increasing their space, so it's going to be a very diverse show spanning all the major Mid-South crops.

“While we're proud of the cotton and ginning heritage of the show, it has evolved over the years into a stage for exhibitors representing all of our crops. We believe it is the premier indoor farm show in the South.”

Family fun

“Memphis is a fun place for the entire family to spend a weekend,” Price says, “and we hope everyone will mark their calendars and plan to come and be a part of this year's big show.”

Coinciding with the show is the annual meeting of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and its member associations from Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas-Missouri, and a number of ginner events are held during the week of the show.