One of the hot topics for growers at the annual January meeting is wheat production. This year North Carolina wheat growers are expected to plant a record crop — possibly close to a million acres.

Randy Weisz, North Carolina State small grain specialist, is the pied piper for many of the state’s grain growers, and his update on winter and spring care of wheat will likely be among the highlights of the conference.

Cotton will follow suit with one of the best known Extension specialists in the country, Alan York.

Now officially retired as the Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Weed Science, York hasn’t slowed down much and continues to conduct some of the most innovative research in the country on weed management systems, primarily for cotton.

An annual highlight of the conference is presentation of grower awards.

State award winners and area winners will be recognized by the various grower associations that participate in the conference.

For many growers this will be their first opportunity to meet new North Carolina State Dean of Agriculture, Richard Linton, who will help present the awards.

Historically, the All Commodities Conference attracts a high percentage of growers and a growing number of agriculture industry exhibitors, who participate in the Exhibit Hall component of the convention.

During the day and a half conference, growers will have ample opportunities to visit vendors and to view a number of poster exhibits, featuring research findings from North Carolina State University researchers.

The morning program on the second day of the conference will begin with an early riser session with the presidents of each grower association represented. These include: Jimmy Thomas, soybean growers; Burt Eure, grains growers; Donny Lassiter, cotton growers; and Jay Sullivan, corn growers.

In 2012, North Carolina saw a dramatic increase in grain sorghum acreage and a continued increase in oil crops, grown for Technology Crops International.

David Hull, a grain buyer with Murphy-Brown grain buyers, headquartered in Warsaw, N.C., will talk about his company’s renewed efforts to boost production of sorghum and other grains to be used for livestock feed.

Jeff Riddle, with Technology Crops International will discuss new opportunities for farmers to grow winter and summer oil crops for his company.

rroberson@farmpress.com