Topics ranging from the second-generation of biotechnology in cotton, to petiole analysis, from how farmers can benefit by using conservation incentives in the 2002 farm bill, to drip irrigation will be covered at the annual Southeast Cotton Conference sponsored by Farm Press.

The conference will be held Jan. 28, 2003, at the Business and Industry Center on the campus of Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, N.C., The facility has separate meeting areas for conference speakers and exhibitors. The conference begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

Breaks, a sponsored breakfast and a sponsored lunch are planned during the day to accommodate networking between farmers and exhibitors. Bayer CropScience and FiberMax Seeds are sponsoring the breakfast before the conference starts. Stoneville Pedigree Seed Company is sponsoring the morning break. John Deere is sponsoring the lunch.

On the topic of biotechnology, John van Duyn, North Carolina State University Philip Morris professor of entomology, will discuss how farmers can best benefit from the second wave of technology. Representatives from Monsanto, BayerCrop Science, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences have been invited to speak about the benefits in the fields of the new offerings on tap over the next few years.

The conference continues in its tradition of offering discussion on timely, cutting-edge topics. Application has been made for Certified Crop Advisor CEUs and credits with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Extension entomologists from South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia will give an insect update. Extension cotton specialists from North Carolina and South Carolina will discuss the previous crop year, and present separate talks on the effect of Roundup on pollination and variety selection, respectively.

In addition to the talks about last year's cotton crop, an Extension engineer will discuss the possibilities of drip irrigation in cotton.

An Extension economist will address the cotton outlook for 2003 and beyond as well as offer information about updating cotton bases and the fundamental changes occurring in the world market.

Mary Combs, the chief of the North Carolina Natural Resources Conservation Service, will tell farmers about the many opportunities to benefit from the conservation title of the new farm bill.

An Extension engineer will cover the possibilities of drip irrigation in cotton for the Southeast.

This year, the Carolinas Cotton Cooperative will again give away a bale of cotton bydrawing. Traditionally, the cooperative has bought back the bale from the winner.