The Southeast Cotton Conference, set for Jan. 27, 2004, has become a top forum for growers and others to get up-to-date information on varieties, cultural practices and issues facing the cotton industry in the upper Southeast.

Last year, the annual conference sponsored by the Southeast Farm Press, changed locations to an enthusiastic response.

The Southeast Cotton Conference returns to the Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, Jan. 27, 2004. The spacious facilities of the Business and Industry Center on the campus give exhibitors, speakers and growers ample opportunity to interact with each other during the conference.

Breakfast and lunch are included in the price of the conference. Admission is $20 at the door; $10 in advance.

The conference begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Application is being made for Certified Crop Advisor CEUS and pesticide credits with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Experts with the Cooperative Extension Services at Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University and Clemson University will speak on cultural practices, and insect and weed control.

Growers can also learn about the newest varieties available for the 2004 season.

Mill closings continue to plague the cotton industry. There's a new dynamic at play for U.S. cotton producers: Growing for primarily an export market. Conference speakers will discuss the changes, the future of the U.S. textile industry, as well as what growers can expect in producing two-thirds of their crop for an export market.

The impact of trade agreements on the cotton industry will also be addressed.

Organizers of the conference are also working on bringing together a panel of growers to share ideas about the 2003 crop and what they'll be doing for 2004.

Fifteen-inch cotton will also be addressed at the conference.

The Carolinas Cotton Cooperative will give away a bale of cotton by drawing during the conference. Traditionally, the cooperative has bought back the bale from the winner. Door prizes will be given away during the conference.

For more information, contact Cecil Yancy at 910-938-3061.

e-mail: cyancy@primediabusiness.com