Missouri rice growers will hear the latest market, policy and production information at the 2006 Rice Producers Conference, Feb. 22 in Dexter, Mo.

“Missouri has continued to expand in rice production due to good prices,” said Bruce Beck, a University of Missouri Extension agronomist and conference chair. “Growers also are facing higher production costs due to higher irrigation and fertilizer costs related to higher petroleum prices. So we should have good discussions during the conference.”

The event, at the Eagles Club off U.S. Highway 25 in Dexter, begins at 8 a.m. with registration, coffee and doughnuts. At 8:30 a.m., John Kruse, agricultural economist with the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute in Columbia, Mo., will present “Rice Issues and Market Update.”

Missouri producers attending the conference also will hear details of production costs, and how to hold the line on them, from MU researchers.

Gene Stevens, MU Extension agronomist, will present recent nitrogen fertilizer research and suggest ways to economically apply adequate fertilizer for top rice yields. Joe Henggeler, MU Extension agricultural engineer, will speak on the economics of different irrigation systems and practices.

Additional topics include: new measures for controlling weeds in rice fields and top-yielding rice varieties from southeast Missouri trials.

For more information contact Beck at the Butler County Extension Center, (573) 686-8064.