Current and future rice farmers interested in learning the latest in variety selection, fertility, on-farm drying and storage, and weed and insect control should plan to attend the Missouri Rice Producers Conference, Feb. 16, at the Eagles Club in Dexter, Mo., on Highway 25 just off Highway 60.

Presentations begin at 8:30 a.m., said Bruce Beck, University of Missouri Extension agronomist in Butler County, Mo., and conference organizer.

Gene Stevens, agronomist at the MU Delta Research Center in Portageville, Mo., will present fertilizer recommendations for rice in Missouri, he said.

“Gene will present data from work he and soil scientist David Dunn conducted,” Beck said. “He'll also talk about a new, low-tech yardstick nitrogen management system he's developed for rice.”

Other researchers from the Delta Center also will address the group, he said. “Weed specialist Andy Kendig will talk about weed control in rice, entomologist Michael Boyd will discuss insect control in rice, and plant pathologist Allen Wrather will give an update on soybean rust.”

Donn Beighley, rice breeder from Southeast Missouri State University, will introduce producers to the latest rice varieties available in 2005.

MU agricultural engineer Bill Casady will present information on proper on-farm rice drying and storage techniques, he said.

Also of interest will be a report by John Kruse of the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute in Columbia, Mo. “John will give a policy and market outlook for the upcoming year,” Beck said.

The final report of the morning will come from Sonny Martin, president of the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council, who will talk about the council's most recent activities.

Conference sponsors include MU Extension and the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council, and Southeast Missouri State University.