Even as farmers continue to pore over details of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 they're making decisions about crop options for 2003.

“We hope to provide High Plains growers with a little more information about programs, deadlines and production options as they make these crucial decisions with the fifth annual Southwest Crops Production Conference and Expo,” says Mike Gonitzke, Publisher, Southwest Farm Press, one of the co-sponsors of the event.

The conference will be held February 25 at the Lubbock Civic Center. Registration begins at 7:45 AM and runs until 5 PM.

Gonitzke says growers will have an opportunity to learn more about peanut marketing, which is significantly different under the new farm legislation. Other speakers will discuss other farm law issues and Texas A&M and Texas Tech specialists will provide information on production and management techniques.

In addition to peanuts, specialists will discuss cotton and grain production. CalvinTrostle, Texas Extension agronomist says farmers have shown increased interest in grain sorghum production.

“I hear from quite a few farmers that they are considering some sorghum this year,” Trostle says. “So I'll concentrate on sorghum production information.”

Also on the program will be research updates from the A&M cotton breeding program, a cotton production discussion, and crop insect and weed control strategies.

Growers also will hear marketing updates for cotton and grains. And a farmer panel will discuss efficient moisture management techniques.

Growers may qualify for as many as 4 continuing education units.

Also, local and regional agricultural companies will display their latest products and services at the Expo. Early registrants qualify for door prizes.

“We encourage early registration so we can get a handle on meal needs,” Gonitzke says.

In addition to Southwest Farm Press other sponsors include: The Texas Cooperative Extension Service, The Texas A&M Agricultural Research Station, the USDA-ARS station at Lubbock, Texas Tech, and The Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

For more information call 662-624-8503.