The 9th annual National Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference, to be held at Tunica, Miss., Feb. 1-2, will have more than 80 researchers and producers making presentations on a wide range of conservation tillage topics.

To be held at the Grand Casino Convention Center, the conference will include dozens of breakout sessions as well as roundtable discussions on eight different topics: Conservation systems cotton weeds and marestail control; conservations systems rice weed control; conservation systems rice establishment; comparison of hybrid rice and varietal rice management; precision land formation for no-till; a panel discussion on Asian soybean rust; ground and aerial application strategies for herbicide drift management; and “Trimming the federal budget deficit: What will it mean for producers' pocketbooks?”

Crops included are cotton, rice, soybeans, and corn.

“Our roundtable discussions will be more focused in nature, and an expert will facilitate discussions on the specific topic,” says John LaRose, president of MidAmerica Farm Publications, sponsor of the event, along with Cotton Incorporated and USA Rice Producers Association. Southwest Farm Press is a media co-sponsor.

This will mark the fourth time the conference, which rotates between Mississippi and Texas, has been held at Tunica.

“Last year's conference had a record attendance,” LaRose noted, “and we're expecting another large group for this year's event. It's an ideal opportunity for farmers to meet with researchers and other experts and to visit with one another about experiences and problems.”

Each of the 83 breakout sessions is led by a university researcher and a producer experienced in the particular system. The sessions are informal and questions or comments from the audience are welcomes.

The two-day conference will be preceded by a reception for all attendees the evening of Feb. 1. “This will be a good opportunity for everyone to renew acquaintances and interact before the conference starts,” LaRose says.

For more information on the conference or to register, visit the Web site, www.nctd.net, or telephone Robin Moll at 573/547-7212.