Cotton and cash grains producers attending the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show will have an opportunity to hear leading commodity analysts present market outlooks for the coming year.

“Our Ag Update sessions will give growers a chance to get the latest opinions on markets before the season gets under way,” says Tim Price, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, which sponsors the event to be held March 4-5 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tenn.

The show is co-sponsored by Delta Farm Press, and more than 15,000 people attend.

Among those who will present crop market analyses are:

Friday morning:

  • Woods Eastland, president and chief executive officer of Staplcotn, the Greenwood, Miss., cotton marketing cooperative.

  • J. Michael Hathorne, vice president and coordinator of economic analysis for Informa Economics, Memphis, who will discuss rice and wheat.

  • William Dunavant, chief executive officer of Dunavant Enterprises.

Saturday morning session:

  • Richard Brock, president of Brock Associates, a widely known farm marketing advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report. He will present the outlook for soybeans and corn.

Additionally, the Saturday morning session will include a speaker on the outlook for alternative bio-based energy, including biodiesel and ethanol.

The show, which is the 53rd annual event by the ginner organization, will not only give growers a firsthand look at new ag products and technologies, it will also offer the latest information on what's sure to be 2005's hottest topic: soybean rust.

“We're planning a special seminar on the topic, led by the nation's number one authority on the disease,” says Price. “Monte Miles, USDA Agricultural Research plant physiologist at the University of Illinois, will lead a reaction panel, which will have participants ranging from growers and input providers through end users.”

The seminar will be held Saturday afternoon, March 5, and will be co-sponsored by a number of Mid-South organizations, including the Agricultural Council of Arkansas, the Delta Council, state soybean associations, state soybean promotion boards, and others.

“We feel the Ag Update programs and the soybean rust seminar will offer a forum for issues of key importance to farmers this year,” Price says.

More than 15,000 people attend the annual event, to be held at the downtown Cook Convention Center.

“Since our event comes just before the start of the new season, this seminar will offer soybean growers an opportunity to get the latest information on this disease for use in making key crop management decisions,” Price says.

“While soybean rust is new to the U.S., researchers have been working on it for at least five years, and Dr. Miles has a wealth of information that can help growers to take a proactive stance in dealing with it.”

This year's show is shaping up to be another sellout for the 200,000 square foot convention center.

More than 400 exhibits are expected, Price says, running the gamut from the latest equipment, to seed, chemicals, and services.

“We're excited by the tremendous response from our long-time exhibitors,” Price says, “and we're also seeing a significant increase in interest from new exhibitors. It's going to be a very diverse show spanning all the major Mid-South crops.”

Exhibitors from more than 40 states and two foreign countries are already signed up.

“While we're proud of the cotton and ginning heritage of the show, it has evolved over the years into a stage for exhibitors representing all of our crops. We believe it is the premier indoor farm show in the South for cotton and cash grains.”

There is no admission for the show.

“Memphis is a fun place for the entire family to spend a weekend,” Price says, “and we hope everyone will mark their calendars and plan to come and be a part of this year's big show.”

Coinciding with the show is the annual meeting of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and its member associations from Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas-Missouri, and a number of ginner events are held during the week of the show.