The nation’s focus on alternative energy sources is causing dramatic shifts in commodity markets and cropping plans — and farmers attending this year’s Mid-South Farm & Gin Show will have the opportunity to learn how these trends may affect their businesses.

Saturday, March 3, at 1 p.m., attendees are invited to get the latest information on the exploding energy industry at a special seminar, The Energy Outlook: Challenges and Potential for Agriculture.

“Energy remains a top issue and concern in our industry,” says Tim Price, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, which sponsors the annual event, set this year for March 2-3 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.

“Over the past 12 months, however, we’ve seen a change to the increasing role of agriculture in fueling our energy needs.

“This seminar will feature perspectives from government officials and energy company representatives, who will give unique insight about the current energy situation and its impact on agriculture, as well as what farmers and agribusiness can expect in the coming months.”

Speakers will include Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., and James K. Allwood, senior vice president, Informa Economics. Agency officials, energy suppliers, and distributors will also weigh in on the discussion.

“We’re pleased to have such a top-notch lineup of speakers for this year’s informational sessions,” Price says, “and we hope everyone will make plans to attend.

“Farmers are probably facing as many questions and unknowns as they’ve had in years,”

“We’ll be offering a very timely, informative lineup of sessions on markets, legislation, and alternative fuels, presented by experts in those fields.”

The show, co-sponsored by Delta Farm Press, has been a must-attend event for years, but Price says this year’s program roster has been beefed up “to give farmers the best, latest information available as they go into the new cropping season.”

And as always, they’ll have two days to wander through more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, featuring the latest in equipment, agrichemicals, and other products and services.

“We’re going to have the biggest lineup of new products in several years,” Price notes. “This will be a great chance to see everything firsthand and to talk face-to-face with representatives from the companies.”