The timing of this year’s Mid-South Farm and Gin Show comes at a critical junction for the region’s farmers, says Tim Price, manager of the annual event to be held Feb. 26-27 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

“Our show comes on the heels of one of the most trying seasons growers have had in years and as they’re ready to kick off the 2010 crop year with early corn planting — so we’re right on target in offering an outstanding lineup of informational opportunities along with 400-plus exhibits featuring perhaps the most extensive array of products and services we’ve ever had.

“A lot of farmers are still reeling from last year’s challenging weather and the impact it had on their management programs,” Price says. “They’re looking for information and solutions to better cope with adversities that may occur, as well as insight into markets, legislation, and other issues of importance as they go into the new year.”

The event, sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor, is a sell-out, he says. “We’ll have a show overflowing with exhibits featuring a large number of new products and services along with exhibits by our long-time customers.”

Special to this year’s show will be an informational seminar on a topic of major interest — weed resistance —and a guest appearance by Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“We’re honored to welcome Sen. Lincoln to the show,” Price says. “She is a long-time advocate for agriculture, and we appreciate her coming to provide insight into key policy issues of concern to Mid-South farmers.”

The senator will speak Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the Steamboat Room of the Convention Center.

“I’m looking forward to participating in the show and hearing directly from those who make significant contributions to agriculture each day,” Lincoln says.

“This event is an important opportunity to highlight the traditions and successes of American agriculture — particularly those of our Mid-South growers.

“Times are hard for farmers, and I will use this opportunity to hear firsthand from growers and industry leaders on the challenges they face as they plan for the future. Together, we will work to insure that our agricultural producers can continue to meet our food and fiber needs, while providing much-needed economic strength to our rural communities.”

The seminar on herbicide-resistant weeds will be held Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Steamboat Room of the convention center.

“Herbicide resistance has emerged as one of the leading production issues for farmers, not only in the Mid-South but across the nation,” Price says. “Farmers are concerned about how to deal with this critical issue, which could drastically change production practices.”

Ken Smith, University of Arkansas Extension weed specialist, will provide an overview and moderate the panel discussion.

Other participants will be Jason Bond, assistant research professor-rice weed management, Mississippi State University; Daniel Stephenson, assistant professor/specialist weed science, Louisiana State University AgCenter, and Larry Steckel, University of Tennessee Extension weed specialist.

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.

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.

For more information about the show, contact the Southern Cotton Ginners Association at (901) 947-3104 or go to Mid-South Farm and Gin Show.