The 54th annual Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, to be held at Memphis March 3-4, will not only give growers and ginners a firsthand look at a broad array of new ag products and technologies, it will also focus on two topics of keen interest: cottonseed and energy.

“Both farmers and ginners are concerned about trends in cottonseed usage and price,” says Tim Price, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and show director.

“At the association’s annual meeting Thursday, March 2, we’ll have experts on hand to discuss cottonseed concerns.”

At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, there will be a special seminar on energy.

“The big run-up in energy prices has had a major impact on every sector of agriculture — from gins to production to transportation. Ginning operations have been affected by the huge increase in natural gas prices, along with nitrogen fertilizers.

“We’ll have a number of specialists on hand to discuss the energy situation and what producers may expect as they plan for the coming season.”

The Saturday afternoon special seminar, inaugurated at last year’s show, provides another venue for getting critical information to producers and ginners, Price says. “Our seminar on Asian soybean rust last year had a standing room only audience and a lively question-and-answer session. We’re expecting a lot of interest in this year’s energy seminar.”

The seminar will be held at the downtown Cook Convention Center, where the big farm show will take place.

And as usual, Price says the 2006 show is expected to be a sellout. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest by exhibitors and all our showrooms will be filled with companies offering a wide range of products and services.

“Since our show comes just before the start of the new season, the show will offer growers an opportunity to interact with industry suppliers and to get the latest information for use in making key crop management decisions.”

In addition to the special energy seminar, show attendees will have access to a broad range of additional information in the annual Ag Update sessions held Friday and Saturday mornings at 8:30.

These will include Friday sessions on market outlooks for cotton, soybeans and cash grains by leading industry specialists, and Saturday sessions on legislation, politics and other key issues.

“We feel the Ag Update programs and the soybean rust seminar will offer a forum for issues of key importance to farmers this year,” Price says.

Hundreds of exhibits

This year’s show, which is co-sponsored by Delta Farm Press, is expected to have more than 450 exhibits, Price says, running the gamut from the latest equipment, to seed, chemicals and services.

“We have many new exhibitors, bringing a new array of products,” Price says, “and a lot of our every-year exhibitors are increasing their space, so it’s going to be a very diverse show spanning all the major Mid-South crops.

“While we’re proud of the cotton and ginning heritage of the show, it has evolved over the years into a stage for exhibitors representing all of our crops. We believe it is the premier indoor farm show in the South.”

Bring the family

“Memphis is a fun place for the entire family to spend a weekend,” Price says, “and we hope everyone will mark their calendars and plan to come and be a part of this year’s big show.”

Coinciding with the show is the annual meeting of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and its member associations from Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas-Missouri, and a number of ginner events are held during the week of the show.