This year's Mid-South Farm & Gin Show is the place where information, analysis, planning all come together as Delta producers begin to nail down management decisions for the 2009 cropping season.

The 57th annual event, to be held Feb. 27-28 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, provides the year's first look at the newest technologies and innovative solutions that today's farmers demand, notes Tim Price, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and show manager.

Sponsored by the five-state ginner organization, with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor, the show gives farmers an opportunity to see the latest machinery and equipment innovations, new seed technology, and new inputs that can help improve profitability. More than 400 exhibits will be featured, covering more than 200,000 square feet of the convention center's exhibit halls.

Agriculture is influenced by all the events affecting the U.S. and world economies, Price notes. “The economic crisis is impacting every facet of our industry, from commodities to inputs to the availability of credit. How we deal with this impact will be a priority in 2009. “

Grain crops, spurred by strong prices and demand, continue to be at the forefront of interest by Mid-South farmers, and this year's show will again feature a grains outlook and marketing seminar conducted by Richard Brock, president, Brock Associates, one of the nation's leading analysts of agricultural markets and issues.

Brock's firm provides price forecasting and strategies for sales and purchasing programs to farmers, agribusiness firms, and the food industry. He also serves as a commodity marketing advisor and price forecaster to many of the nation's largest agribusiness firms, food companies, and financial institutions, and publishes The Brock Report, a weekly newsletter that details commodity pricing analysis and recommendations.

The Brock seminar will be at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, in the convention center lobby meeting room. In addition to Q&A opportunities during the seminar, Brock will have a booth at the show, where farmers may visit with him personally.

At the Friday, Feb. 27, Ag Update Meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby meeting room, leading industry experts will discuss the outlook for Mid-South crops.

Jay Hardwick, Louisiana cotton/grains producer and chairman-elect of the National Cotton Council, will discuss current council activities in the legislative and trade issues.

Carl Brothers, senior vice president of Riceland Foods, the diversified agricultural processing and marketing cooperative at Stuttgart, Ark., will discuss the rice and wheat outlook.

Joe Nicosia, chief executive officer of Allenberg Cotton Company, will discuss the outlook for U.S. and world cotton.

Members of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association will be holding their annual meeting during the week, and speakers there will include Sledge Taylor, Como, Miss., farmer/ginner and president of the National Cotton Ginners Association; Gary Adams, National Cotton Council economist, who will discuss challenges and opportunities for cotton in 2009; Larry McClendon, Marianna, Ark., farmer/ginner and former National Cotton Council chairman, who will discuss a ginner's perspective on ginning changes; Austin Rose, president of Cape & Sons, Abilene, Texas, who will discuss the outlook for cottonseed marketing; and Julian Beall III, president of TJ Beall Company, West Point, Ga., who will discuss value-added and quality issues.

Anyone interested in these topics is welcome to attend the session at the Peabody Hotel Venetian Room at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26.

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“We're excited about the number of new products that will be offered at this year's show,” Price says, including an opportunity for attendees to learn about the latest developments in cotton harvesters with on-board module builders, and the newest precision ag technologies, along with new chemistries, seed, and a host of other products and services.

“Biotechnology continues to have a major impact on our industry, as will be reflected in all the exhibits related to crop seeds, agrichemicals, and all the related products and services,” Price says.

Exhibit areas at the show will be open Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For additional information, contact the association at 901/947-3104 or visit the Web site: www.farmandginshow.com.