Are weeds smarter than us? That question, centering on the ability of weeds to develop resistance to herbicides used in Mid-South crops is among issues to be discussed at this year’s Mid-South Farm and Gin Show.

“Weed resistance has the potential for major repercussions for our growers, and could well require major changes in the way they’ve been farming,” says Tim Price, manager of the annual show that will be held Feb. 26-27 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.

“It could have a significant impact on conservation tillage, which farmers have widely adapted not only as a cost-cutting measure but as a means to limit soil erosion and reduce chemical use,” he says.

“It could cause us to rethink our entire agronomic process.”

Experts from several states will participate in a special session on weed resistance at the show Friday afternoon, Feb. 26, Price notes.

“This is just one of many issues confronting agriculture as it looks for solutions that will be workable for farmers while conforming to the layers of regulations they have to contend with.”

On hand to address some of the legislative, policy, international trade, food/nutrition, environmental, and regulatory issues will be Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who will speak Saturday afternoon, Feb. 27.

“We feel fortunate to have Sen. Lincoln come to our show and for farmers to have the opportunity to have firsthand interaction with her regarding industry issues.”

This will be the 58th Farm and Gin Show, which is sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor.

It has become a must-attend agricultural event for producers in the Mid-South states, and increasingly for those in other areas across the South because it comes at a key time — as they’re formulating plans for the new cropping season.

More than 400 exhibitors will offer a broad range of products and services in the largest indoor farm show in the South.

“In addition to the return of a lot of long-time exhibitors — some of whom have been with us since the very first show — we’ve had a tremendous amount of interest by new exhibitors,” says Price, who is executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association.

“Agriculture has been in the forefront of new technology adoption in the past decade or so, and companies are working to expand even more the array of products and services being offered to growers to help increase productivity and profitability.

“A lot of the new products we’re seeing also reflect the added challenges farmers are facing with weather adversities, problems of the economy, the continuing cost-price squeeze, etc.

“All this is evidence that this industry is adaptable, that research and development is a part of its culture of continually looking ahead.”

Some 400 exhibitors have been signed for this year’s show, filling all the exhibit halls in the convention center, Price says.

“In one place, farmers will have access to hundreds of products and services, so they can see what’s new in agriculture and talk one-on-one with knowledgeable representatives from all those companies, as well as to have one-on-one discussions with fellow farmers and ginners.”

More than 20,000 domestic and international decision-makers are expected to attend the 58th annual show. Admission is free, but registration is required for admittance to the show areas.

Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The informational Ag Update seminars to be held Friday and Saturday will include outlook sessions for cotton and grains, along with comments from industry officials.

Headliner speakers for the 8:30 a.m. Friday seminar will be Carl Brothers, Riceland Foods, and Joe Nicosia, Allenberg Cotton Co.

At the Saturday 8:30 a.m. session, Richard Brock, Brock and Associates, will present his in-depth seminar on grain marketing.

The member associations of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association will be holding their annual meeting during the week of the show, with informational sessions and other events, including the annual banquet honoring the Ginner of the Year.

For more information about the show, contact the Southern Cotton Ginners Association at (901) 947-3104 or visit their Web site, farmandginshow.com.