Ways to boost production while cutting cost will be the focus of the nation’s leading conservation systems conference, which will feature more than 80 researchers and producers.

The ninth annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference will be held at Tunica, Miss., Feb. 1-2.

Additionally, the conference has added roundtable discussions with leading experts serving as facilitators.

The conference, which alternates yearly between Texas and Mississippi, will be held at the Grand Casino Conference Center at Tunica, Miss.

“The subject matter for the roundtable discussions will be more focused in nature,” says John LaRose, president of MidAmerica Farm Publications, which sponsors the conference. “These open discussions will allow anyone in the audience to bring a question or comment on a particular topic to the floor for discussion. This can be a real benefit to producers who have problems and are searching for answers. We want them to know that anything they want to talk about, on that particular topic, can be brought up for discussion.”

The roundtable discussions will center on eight different conservation systems topics, including:

• Cotton weeds and marestail control.

• Rice weed control.

• Rice establishment.

• Comparison of hybrid rice and varietal rice management.

• Precision land forming for no-till.

• Panel discussion on Asian soybean rust.

• Ground and aerial application strategies for herbicide drift management.

• Trimming the federal budget deficit: What will it mean to producers’ pocketbooks?

All features of past conferences will also be continued, LaRose notes, including breakout sessions featuring 83 researchers and producers. “There will be an atmosphere of information-sharing throughout the conference.”

The event will also feature sessions on cotton, rice, soybeans, corn, and precision agriculture. “No matter what your conservation systems problem, it’s sure to be addressed,” he says.

Other conference sponsors include Cotton Incorporated and US Rice Producers Association. Farm Press Publications is a media co-sponsor.

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