The 11th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference, to be held at the Grand Casino Resort Convention Center, Tunica, Miss., Jan. 21-22, will have a new feature: Roundtable discussions.

“Along with our 91-topic breakout sessions, with experts leading discussions on a specific topic, the roundtable discussions will be more focused in nature,” says John LaRose, chairman of the conference steering committee. “Experts will also facilitate discussions on these focused topics.

“This format will allow anyone in the audience to bring an issue on the particular topic to the floor for discussion by other producers and the expert.

“This can be of great benefit to producers who have problems and are searching for answers.” LaRose says.

The roundtable discussions will center on 9 different topics, including:

  • Ground and aerial application strategies for herbicide drift management.

  • Precision agriculture.

  • Precision land forming for no-till.

  • Dual-row planting systems.

  • Con-till rice establishment.

  • Con-till rice weed control.

  • Climate change and farming decisions.

  • Cotton weed control.

  • Hybrid rice stand establishment and crop management.

Also new for the 2008 event will be the Mid-South Corn Conference and the Mid-South Precision Ag Conference, both in conjunction with the Cotton & Rice Conference.

The corn conference will feature 16 corn production technology and systems breakout sessions featuring some of the nation's leading corn researchers and farmers, LaRose notes. The precision ag conference will feature breakout sessions with precision agriculture researchers and farmers.

“And all of the other features of past conferences will be continued,” he says, “including the breakout sessions that pair more than 91 researchers and farmers to make presentations. There will be a general atmosphere of sharing knowledge, practices, and techniques throughout the conferences.

“No matter what your conservation-systems questions or problems, they're sure to be addressed during the conference sessions.”

The conference, which alternates yearly between the Southwest and the Mid-South, is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated and US Rice Producers Association, and is a production of MidAmerica Farm Publications.

Co-sponsors are the University of Arkansas, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, University of Missouri, University of Tennessee, Auburn University, Texas A&M, USDA-NRCS in Washington D.C. and USDA-ARS centers in the Southern states.

The conference also has five corporate co-sponsors: Delta & Pine Land, Helena Chemical Co., Horizon Ag, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and RiceTec.

Ag-Media co-sponsors are Delta Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press

For further information on the conference or to register, visit the Web site at www.nctd.net or call Robin Moll at 573-547-7212.