MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss. — Cotton growers can get the latest in production recommendations and technology application from top agricultural specialists, researchers and fellow farmers at the annual Mississippi State University Extension Service's Cotton Short Course, Dec. 4-6.

Despite weather setbacks and market disappointments, cotton remains one of the Mid-South's most important industries and keeps hundreds of millions of dollars turning over in the region's economy. Knowledge and understanding of the latest in cotton production technology and application are of vital importance to the cotton growers who are the foundation for this industry.

"We've had a lot of ups and downs in the cotton industry in the past few years, but for growers, the show must go on. They know this country needs to be able to feed and clothe its people, and they want to be the best at doing that," said Will McCarty, MSU Extension cotton specialist.

Registration for the short course, which will be held at the Bost Extension Center, is $75 and will begin at 9 a.m. on Dec. 4.

"We've been having this program for 19 years, and we strive to put the most information we can into three pretty intense days of presentations, panel discussions, poster sessions and one-on-one assistance if requested," McCarty said.

The program for 2002 includes sessions on cotton insect and weed control, fertility and irrigation, as well as a look at how available varieties performed in the 2002 season. The program also includes presentations on cotton fruiting characteristics and field performance of transgenic traits in cotton, fiber quality and its impact on market potential, the cotton loan and marketing program, pesticide application technology and spray drift prevention.

"We will have the latest and most up-to-date information on topics relevant and important to growers as they make decisions for the 2003 crop year," McCarty said. "And we will have some of the Mid-South's top experts presenting this information."

For registration information, call Charlotte Simmons at 662–325–2701 or e-mail her at csimmons@pss.msstate.edu.